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What Is Semantic SEO and Why Is It Important?
SEO / 28 May 2022
Semantic search is a big player in the algorithmic game of search engine optimisation (SEO). Search engines rely on it to deliver high-quality content that matches the search intent. So what is it? And why the hype?
What is semantics?
In recent times, search engines – be that Google, Bing or Yahoo – have undergone multiple updates to improve their grasp of search intent, AKA, the reason behind any query popped into a search engine.
So to better understand the contextual meaning behind search queries, developers introduced Semantic SEO.
To elaborate, semantics is the study of meanings. Search engines need context to understand the meaning behind search queries to return the most valuable results. This is where semantic SEO copywriting comes in.
What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is one of many content marketing techniques used to rank on semantic search engines. Unlike traditional SEO-driven copy where the keyword wears the crown, semantic SEO copywriting involves working from a broader range of topics.
A top SEO agency, therefore, will tailor content to include semantically relevant terms, phrases and meta-data, rather than specific keywords. The idea is to (a) help searchers understand a subject and (b) ensure the nifty little Google bots will deem your content more accurate and relevant to x, y or z search.
We break some SEO strategies down a little more in the third section of this article – feel free to jump ahead.
Want to learn more about SEO copywriting? Get in touch about our copywriting webinars or SEO service features.
Why is Semantic SEO important?
Users don’t always create their searches using the same words. Heck, they often don’t know what they’re looking for until it’s shown to them.
But Semantic SEO is less about keywords and more about query context. So if you know the pains, needs and contexts of your prospects inside and out, you can create content that search engines are more likely to show them whether they used your keyword(s) or not in their query. Bingo.
Strategies to add to your SEO content writing plan
Here are some ways to optimise your SEO content writing using semantics to boost Google rankings and reach your intended audience.
Prioritise topics over keywords
Any (decent) SEO service will tell you that optimising content goes way beyond implementing keywords. Start researching the most relevant topics and subtopics that you can incorporate into your content.
Consider creating a topic map – you can do this manually or using a tool – to foster rich semantic models you can incorporate into your content strategy.
Even a good ol’ spider diagram will do the trick. Start with a primary concept and then break this down into smaller sub-concepts and categories.
Optimise for search intent
To answer the right questions and satisfy search intent, you have to know what users are asking in the first place. You might want to find an SEO service to help with this.
Start by exploring the most frequently asked questions in your niche. Then, using your findings, consider creating a dictionary of semantic (relevant) terms, questions and phrases related to your target topic based on what people are actually asking. Remember, your prospects’ pains and needs should inspire your topics.
Make sure to pepper your findings throughout clusters of content. Step into our office (the next point) to find out more.
Create Content Clusters
Content clusters are a series of blog posts and articles organised around topics. You generally start with a pillar page and then, from here, link to multiple subpages.
Clusters of content help marketers optimise their website structure and internal linking and build authority over a particular topic. That will, slowly but surely, attract more organic web traffic. Hey there, new conversions.
Top up your markup knowledge
Markup is basically the language of search engines. It’s the code used to provide search engines with clear information or structured data to understand your content.
This data also means you can provide more juicy intel in accessible snippets displayed beneath the page title on search engine results pages (SERPs). This little bit of info, also known as your meta-description, could be the difference between someone clicking on your page or a competitor’s, so it matters.
New to all this markup business? Start by considering how to improve your website metadata. Look at tools to help you create and validate your markup, such as Google Data Highlighter or Google Structured Data Markup Helper.
Need some help breaking down meta-data? Don’t hesitate to touch base with us about SEO solutions.
Eye-up your competition
Consider market research to determine if your competitors present any content gaps, then fill those gaps on your own website.
Analyse and identify keywords your competitors lack using various SEO tools. You’ll want to uncover ‘weak’ keywords where you rank lower than your competitors, and ‘strong’ keywords where you reign supreme in the ranking world.
Land featured snippets
Featured snippets are the highlighted excerpts of text that appear at the top of SERPs in what is known as, wait for it, Position Zero. The highest and most honourable rank in the digital realm.
To land a featured snippet, you need to convince the mighty search engine that your web page provides the most helpful and accurate answer to the searcher’s question on the web.
Knowing the pains and needs of users and how they may search for potential solutions is paramount. So again, get to know what people are tapping into the search bar and then analyse the featured snippets for these results.
Go a step further, and break down the articles attached to the featured snippets. Look at the structure of bulleted lists, tables, images, videos, headings, etc. and the language used. Then, see how you can replicate this content but better with more semantics and relevant sentences that read naturally and provide solutions.
The snippets are often chunks from the first section of blog posts or articles. So if you can get to the meat of the matter in the first few paragraphs, you’re in for a win.
Semantics still got you scratching your noggin? Hop on a call with our founder for more information on powerful, turnkey copywriting and our uniquely tactical SEO service.
Copywriting / 30 Nov 2022