Semantic SEO is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization.
It’s all about understanding how Google interprets the website content and providing users with the information they are searching for.
In this guide, we will discuss what semantic SEO is, why it matters, and how you can use it to improve your rankings.
What is Semantic SEO?
It’s about creating content that is comprehensive, well-researched, and relevant to your audience.
When you produce high-quality content that covers everything around the topic, you are more likely to rank higher in search results because Google will see your site as an authority on the subject.
For example, if you are writing about blogger outreach, you want not only to cover the entire process of searching, segmenting, and contacting bloggers, but also outreach templates and the best outreach tools like I did in my guide:
Why is Semantic SEO Important?
Google used to evaluate pages only based on keywords. But now, Google’s semantic search algorithm looks at the overall meaning of a page to determine its relevance.
It’s not about optimizing your content around a single keyword. But instead, writing about a broad topic that covers all the related keywords and questions users can have.
Google has been working on improving its algorithm to have more a human and semantic approach to understanding users’ intent and to ranking content around the web.
Some of the most important steps to do so were:
- Knowledge Graph. In 2012, Google launched the Knowledge Graph, which is a semantic system that understands real-world entities and the relations between them.
- Hummingbird. In 2013, Google released Hummingbird, an algorithm update that marked a shift from keyword-based to semantic-based search.
- RankBrain. In 2015, Google announced RankBrain, a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps Google interpret searcher intent and match it with the most relevant results
Today, Semantic SEO is important because it helps you rank better in search results.
When you create content that is comprehensive and relevant to your audience, you are more likely to rank higher than if you simply stuff your content with keywords.
In addition, semantic SEO can help you attract more website visitors and convert them into customers or subscribers.
This is because when you write about topics in-depth, you are providing your readers with valuable information that they are likely to want to share with others.
As a result, your content is more likely to be shared on social media or linked to other websites, which can help you attract even more traffic.
Best Practices for Better Rankings
Semantic SEO is all about covering the topic in-depth with the focus of giving users a better experience.
Here are some of the best practices to follow to create content for better rankings:
- Cover the Topic In-Depth
- Optimize For Keyword Clusters
- Answer People Also Ask Questions
- Write Topic Outlines
- Use Related Terms and Synonyms
- Publish Long Content
- Include LSI Keywords
- Add Structured Data
Cover the Topic In-Depth
The first step to semantic SEO is to make sure that you are covering the topic in-depth. This means going beyond the surface level and really delving into the details.
For example, a few months ago I targeted these keywords in an article I wrote: “on-page SEO“.
I could have written the usual “8 Ways to Optimize Your Content for SEO”.
Instead, I created a 4000-word guide covering all the aspects of on-page SEO, including what is search intent, how to create content that Google wants to rank, tools to use, and advanced optimization techniques.
Optimize For Keyword Clusters
Another semantic SEO best practice is to optimize for keyword clusters instead of individual keywords. A keyword cluster is a group of related keywords that are all semantically connected.
An example of a keyword cluster for the topic of “page speed” could be:
- what is page speed
- page speed concepts
- how to measure page speed
- Google page speed recommendations
- website loading speed
- improve page speed
When you optimize for keyword clusters, you are offering users a better experience, delivering added value to your content.
Plus, Google’s semantic algorithm will find more keywords to rank your content for.
Answer People Also Ask Questions
People use search engines to find answers to their questions.
One way to find them is via the “People Also Ask” section in the result pages.
So, it just makes sense that you would want to answer those questions in your content.
Write Topic Outlines
A great way to organize your content and make sure you are covering all the bases is to write topic outlines before you start writing.
A topic outline is a list of all the subtopics or subheadings that you want to include in your article.
This can be a helpful way to brainstorm ideas and make sure you don’t forget anything important.
You can include a list of topic outlines at the beginning of your content as I did for my bounce rate post:
Use Related Terms and Synonyms
When you are writing about a topic, it’s important to use related terms and synonyms throughout your content.
This helps Google understand the context of your article and can also help you rank for more keywords.
To find related keywords, you can use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner.
If, for example, you want to search related keywords for the term “backlinks“, you can get many ideas:
Publish Long Content
One of the best things you can do for semantic SEO is to publish long-form content.
In general, longer articles tend to rank higher in search results because they are usually more comprehensive and in-depth.
It’s almost impossible to fully cover a topic in a 500 words blog post. In fact, many of my articles are around 3/4,000 words.
For example, my link-building guide counts almost 3800 words and makes readers happy, covering almost anything about the topic.
Include LSI Keywords
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are related terms that help Google understand the context of your article.
By adding them sparingly to your content (including meta tags), you can improve your semantic SEO and also your chances of ranking for additional keywords.
You can use Google autosuggest feature to find LSI keywords or tools like Answerthepublic:
Add Structured Data
Structured data is code that helps search engines understand the contents of your page.
This may help increase your organic CTR:
Semantic SEO is indeed important for content creators and marketers.
By following the best practices above, you can craft better content that will attract more traffic and convert more readers into customers or subscribers.
What are your thoughts on semantic SEO?
Have you used it to improve your content?
Let me know in the comments below!