Is it really possible to future-proof your search rankings? With semantic SEO, it may be a real possibility.
Let’s face the facts. SEO gets more and more complex and difficult to work with every year. As content continues to be created at a fast pace, articles, blogs, and websites are fighting with more intensity for that valuable top spot in organic search results. The competition is getting really heated.
But, there is hope. It’s absolutely possible to make your search listing stand out, and that is through semantic SEO.
Semantic SEO is a type of SEO that has become the baseline for developing content and on-site SEO. But what exactly is it? How can it be used? On a basic level, semantic SEO is a new, slightly more complex version of SEO that is a bit more subtle and interesting. Let’s learn a bit more.
What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is a process of SEO optimization. It is based around topic and entities instead of exact keyword phrases, which is the biggest difference between semantic SEO and traditional SEO. This essentially means that you should not be targeting specific keywords but instead should focus on keyword groups or topics.
With semantic SEO, you no longer need to optimize different pages for locations. For example, if you own a salon in Chicago, you don’t have to optimize pages for “salon in Chicago,” “Chicago salon,” or “salon near me.”
Instead, these keyword phrases will all be under the same topic or keyword group. Since Google has become a bit better at understanding these things, the platform will cluster these keywords together. So, instead of trying to keyword bloat or obsess with keyword ratios, you can optimize the keyword group or topic altogether.
An Example of Semantic SEO from The Simpsons
The popular television show “The Simpsons” is an excellent example of semantic SEO.
When a user is searching for the keyword “Simpsons,” they could be looking for information about the show, information about a real family, or anything else that involves the word “Simpsons.” Google can identify if a webpage’s content involved the television show or something else through entities and topics.
The following diagram is an excellent example:
If a user were to type in “Simpsons,” and Google saw that the content or website also discussed Springfield, Homer, Lisa, etc… The algorithm would have confidence that the website is talking about the television show. So, if a user was clearly looking for the television show, Google will show them websites that the platform is confident addresses that topic.
How to Identify How Google Understands a Topic
We can optimize our pages for these topics and keyword groups by using Google. The platform has expanded its library and features on the search results pages, as well as signals that provide great clues for SEO. Two great features include the “People also ask” and “Searches related to” boxes.
“People Also Ask” Box
The People Also Ask (or PAA) section will usually list four questions in an accordion-style box so that users can look through relevant questions and answers that other searchers have looked up. This is valuable because they show the user and you how a topic is understood. This allows you to guide your content strategy on your own website. Here, you can add answers to these common questions in your content.
You can also add these handy FAQs to your sales pages. This will help Google understand your page a bit better and will also show Google that your page has a thorough offering of content for users. That’s a big advantage.
“Searches Related To…” Section
At the bottom of search results pages, you will see a section called “Searches related to…” This will show what users are searching for that relates to your keyword. Now you can see what searches Google directly relate to your topic, which can offer great insights into other keywords that are part of the topic.
You can easily get inspired by this section and figure out different areas where you can expand your content. The key here is to see what keywords you may be missing out on. This section is great for getting some added inspiration and different ideas for synonyms.
I started freelancing in SEO back in college, sold my first agency, and now I’m the founder of Zupo, which is an Orange County-based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients.
I also enjoy multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.