Semantic SEO can be a daunting subject for anyone that doesn’t understand Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but it can have a really positive effect on your website and SEO rankings.
Read this article to discover what semantic SEO is and how it can benefit your business.
What is semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is the practice of optimising your content around a topic instead of an individual keyword or phrase. By doing this, you will be producing more meaningful content that has greater topical depth, making it easier for search engines and users to understand the topic of your page.
How does semantic SEO work?
Over the years, search engines have become more and more intelligent and their ability to understand human language has rapidly advanced. There was a time when Google would rank web pages based on the number of times a keyword was used.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then and search engines can spot any instance of keyword stuffing from a mile away. Instead of simply counting the number of times a keyword is used, Google’s algorithm is now able to understand the actual meaning of words.
Google uses a type of Artificial Intelligence called Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make sense of human language and infer deeper meanings behind words on the page. With Natural Language Processing, search engines have a greater understanding of content because they can look at various signals in the text that support the main phrase or keyword. Therefore, it’s important to produce content that covers whole topics, so you can make these signals as clear as possible.
So, if you’re not creating content that’s up to the exacting standards of modern search engines, your SEO performance is going to pay the price.
Why is it better to optimise content for semantic SEO?
Writing content that’s optimised for semantic SEO is better because it does more than just answer a simple query.
Imagine that an internet user searches ‘How do solar panels work?’. They click on the first result and begin reading, and as they read, they realise they’d like to find out more.
They might be thinking of further questions, such as:
- How much sunshine do I need for my solar panels to work?
- How long do solar panels last?
- Do solar panels work when there is a power cut?
A piece of content that has been written with semantic SEO in mind will cover related subjects like the questions above. These questions are close to the user’s initial query and fall within the overarching topic of how solar panels work; therefore, they are relevant and should be addressed in the content.
Covering these subjects will prevent the user from having to leave the page and look elsewhere to find answers to these questions. Instead, they can find all the information they’re looking for from a single source.
As we know, Google likes information to be well-organised and accessible for users, so content that meets these criteria is likely to perform better. Semantic SEO is a great way to make sure you’re thinking about what users are looking for and optimising your content accordingly.
How can you introduce semantic SEO to your content?
The first thing to think about is how you can add depth to the content you’re writing. Consider your content from a user’s point of view and ask yourself:
- What other questions could they ask?
- Are there any closely related topics that I can cover?
- Have I explained this topic in enough detail?
Once you’ve started to think about the bigger picture, you’ll be able to draw in more subjects to include in your content. And as you write about these subjects, you’ll find yourself naturally including more keywords and variations of phrases in your text.
These keywords will all act as signals to search engines, telling them what your content is about and boosting your semantic SEO in the process.
What else can I do to optimise for semantic SEO?
Writing informative, high-quality content around topics is the bulk of the work, but there are a few ways you can elevate your content to an even higher level.
Add Structured Data Markup
It’s true that search engines are very clever, but they’re not all-knowing. We should do anything and everything we can to make what we’re writing about as clear as possible.
Structured Data Markup can be used to distinguish between specific products, jobs, or events that you’re trying to promote in your content. Adding the appropriate markups will help to eliminate any doubt about what you’re writing and can even increase your chances of appearing on rich results.
Internal linking anchor text
We already know that internal links are important for SEO because they help users to navigate websites and find solutions to their problems. Well, it’s no different with semantic SEO. However, to provide additional value, all internal links should lead to relevant and contextual information.
The anchor text you use for the link should relate to the topic of the page you’re linking to. This helps the user to understand where you’re taking them and it adds additional depth and meaning to your content, which adds semantic value.
The benefits of semantic SEO
From an SEO point of view, optimising for semantic search has a huge number of benefits:
- Improves search experience for users
- Increases the total number of keywords your website ranks for
- Helps Google to understand and rank your content
- Increases internal linking opportunities
- Helps to establish yourself as an expert in your topic area
- Increases engagement with your content and your website as a whole
In addition to these specific advantages, writing good content is generally best practice and something you should be trying to do regardless. Semantic SEO lets you send strong signals to search engines and provide high-quality content for users while you’re at it.
So, why not kill two birds with one stone? It might take some extra planning and more time to produce quality content, but both search engines and visitors to your website will thank you for it!
Not sure where to start?
We understand that this is a lot to take in and depending on your industry and the content you create, it’s not always straightforward to implement.
For more information on semantic SEO or any other aspects of SEO and content marketing, feel free to with our team today.