Picking a few competitive keywords and putting them into your content and page tags is not enough to get your website to the top of the search results these days.
We’ve gotten smarter, and we understand that there are limitations to this approach. The keywords that a person puts in a search bar don’t necessarily tell us much about what they want. The keywords are related, but they aren’t prescriptive.
For instance, if you search for “fishing lures,” that doesn’t indicate what kind of lures you want and whether you are looking to buy lures, learn about what kind of lures you need, or learn about how to make the lures yourself.
Semantic search looks at the contextual clues to figure out what the user wants so that more relevant results are provided.
If you want to get your site noticed by search engines – and you want to get the right audience funneled to your site – you need to optimize your site for semantic search. Here’s how you can create a semantic SEO strategy that gets results:
Perform Contextual Research
You’ve already done keyword research, but you’ve likely not looked beyond what kind of traffic or competition these keywords get.
You need to go back to the drawing board and conduct your keyword research with a context in mind.
When you do your research, pay close attention to the list of related and suggested keywords. Then start new searches with each of those keywords and make additional lists of related and suggested keywords.
Go to forums and online communities to look at topical discussions. Get a better understanding of the words people use when talking about a topic or when asking questions about a subject. You can use these phrases and questions for contextual keywords.
Create extensive keyword maps as you go. The more information you have per topical keyword or phrase, the better.
Once you have your keyword maps created, you can start optimizing your content.
You have to do more than just go back and add a bunch of keywords to the content you already have. You need to create extensive content around the keywords, as well.
For example, if your foundation keyword phrase is “artist dolls,” you might have contextual keywords like “ooak dolls,” “custom dolls,” “doll artwork,” “how much do you pay for custom art,” or even “dolls that look like me.” You can create a series of articles around these terms.
Ideally, your site would be a resource for your audience, so creating content that more fully explores a topic will help you create a more valuable site for your audience as well as earn the favor of search engines.
You can use your new keyword research to identify holes in your content and to start beefing up your offerings.
Explore All SEO Opportunities
Google is showing a lot more in its search results than simple website links. It has rich snippets, knowledge graphs, and much more.
You have a lot of opportunities to get featured prominently on the first page of the search results. Make sure that you are taking advantage of all these opportunities.
Create richer content around Q&A sessions, tutorials, recipes, and other informative copy. Include more contextual keywords in the page markups for this copy, including your titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
Focus on Mobile
The majority of people now use their mobile devices to find information online, and they are often using conversational search terms to find what they need.
Most mobile users are looking for immediate information, such as where to find a type of business near them, how to change a flat, or the answer to some trivia question that their friend just asked them.
You need to optimize your site with mobile users in mind, and it is especially important that you use semantic search tools to do so.
Don’t forget to optimize your mobile pages for local. As mentioned, many mobile users are looking for immediate information near them, so those local markers will be integral to the semantic search.
Test and Measure
Just like with any SEO strategy, you need to test and measure your campaign to make sure you are getting the results you want.
Test your keywords with your content and your landing pages. Test the changes that your markups make. Test how mobile users are responding to your changes.
Constantly analyze and monitor your results to measure your success. You’ll know that you’re doing the right thing when you see the numbers start coming in.
Semantic search isn’t the newest fad in SEO – it is the future of SEO. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are making the way we interact online more sophisticated. Make sure that you are keeping up with the times so that you can keep connecting with your audience.