As with most things in the SEO industry, there comes a change, there comes a slight panic, and then there comes all sorts of tools to help. The idea of semantic search and semantic SEO is no different. Although this isn’t a new term or concept, it’s beginning to become more and more important as Google continues to alter its algorithm. As most marketers know, Google is constantly trying to be able to look at all factors in a piece of content, not just the links. Semantic SEO is a step in this direction.
In short: It’s a term marketers should know and a strategy that needs to be adopted. This is the way search is moving, so it’s best to get on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
The Basics of Semantic Search and Semantic SEO
For those who are unfamiliar, semantic search is all about offering search results that are related to the query, and not necessarily limited to results that just include that specific keyword. Semantic search takes into account the context as well as the meaning of the search query. In the past it was the links and the anchor text associated with those links that gave Google bots a clue about the contents of the page, but semantic search is now giving the bots a chance to look at all of the content around the link to make a conclusion. Consider some of the following points:
- Supporting terms are taking into account. This includes synonyms, modifiers, etc. Marketers therefore need to complete keyword research with this in mind.
- Use these related terms in places like your title, h1 and h2 tags, content, etc.
- Example: Being from Chicago, I like to use the example of the very broad term “Blackhawks.” If you were to type this into the search box, you wouldn’t just get entries about the hockey team. You would get entries that discuss related things such as ice-skating lesson, physical sports, Canada customs, and even alternate meanings such as the actual Native America Tribe the Blackhawks or even hawk birds.
As a side note, it’s important to remember that your other SEO strategies are still relevant and should not be throw aside to focus on semantic SEO. This is just one thing Google looks at when it comes time to rank a site, so you should still keep your other efforts in place.
Great Tools That Help Improve Your Semantic SEO
Semantic SEO is definitely something that you can do on your own, but if you have thousands of pages and need a little bit of help, semantic SEO tools have been popping up left and right. Because you’re going to need to start writing and creating content with semantics in mind, you’ll surely find that it takes a lot of creativity to think about related words and then include them in your content, so tools really can be helpful.
Below are a few of the great tools out there to help with this newer Google initiative:
- Ubersuggest. This is an incredibly simple tool, so it’s great if you just need that little bit of extra help or simply just can’t think of any synonyms or related terms for your keyword. It’s a free tool, and all you need to do is type your term into the box and get thousands of keyword ideas similar to your term, and they are all categorized alphabetically.
- CTRL Semantic Engine. This tool is a bit different because it helps you determine what is similar and what you may want to link back to in your content. You plug in an excerpt from your content, and the tool will give you images, other content, and synonyms you may want to add. After all, semantic SEO isn’t just about related words—it’s about related everything (videos, links, etc).
- LSI Keywords. LSI stands for “Latent Sematic Indexing” and helps you find semantically relevant keywords and phrases. Just like the other two tools, this is also free. What makes it unique is that it gives you the option of eliminating some words from your results.