In this article, I am going to teach you everything you need to know about semantic SEO and how you can use it for your website to improve your ranking and organic traffic in a step-by-step process.
What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is a process of analyzing key topics and subtopics important to your business to create relevant content by targeting keywords and their relevant words to create topic relevancy and increase topic signals to improve your ranking for an overall niche.
Now, this is the definition of semantic SEO. However, as you can see, semantic SEO means many different things, so let’s explain each of them separately.
First, to understand it, we need to look at Google Semantic Search. Since Hummingbird update in 2013 Google prefers pages and websites that match the search query’s meaning rather than pages with the stuffed matching keywords within the text.
And what it means it prevents stuffing keywords within the content to “win” the favor of search engines in order to improve ranking.
Hummingbird update encourages web developers and writers to use natural language when creating content instead of using forced keywords and stuffing keywords everywhere.
And as the technology is getting better and new updates are rolling out such as RankBrain in 2015, BERT in 2019, Google MUM, and Google Passage in 2021 Google semantic search is getting better and Google can better understand the natural language and the search intent.
Therefore Semantic SEO is about finding the right words or phrases that are commonly used and associated with your targeted keyword.
And this gets us to the second part of Semantic SEO and what it means.
Now, publishing content on your website and including relevant key phrases in your On-page SEO is just one piece of a pie. As I mentioned in the definition, you need to analyze key topics, to create relevant content to increase topic signals.
A well-known SEO strategy from HubSpot the Topic Clusters is specifically targeting this part of Semantic SEO and what it means is that instead of just focusing on targeting SEO keywords, you switch topics in your niche you want to own.
For example, one of the main topics in digital marketing is SEO. So, for me to own this topic I must create as much content around it to create semantic relevance on my website and interconnected together with internal links
And by linking all internal content within that topic to a pillar page, search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yandex can easily scan all the content and understand that there is a semantic relationship between the pages’ content and that my website is about SEO.
Therefore, semantic SEO and SEO overall strategy are about creating relevancy on your website and focusing on topics and not just key phrases.
However, this doesn’t mean that keywords are dead. They are more important than ever before, just you must be more strategic about what keywords you are targeting.
Why Do You Need Semantic SEO?
First and foremost, Semantic SEO addresses some of the most important and latest Google ranking factors and algorithm updates, thus, you can improve your ranking, views, and impressions.
It also helps SEOs and content marketers to create more comprehensive pieces of content with a satisfying amount of information that answers searcher’s questions. Therefore, semantic SEO helps websites being established as the trusted source for the topic within the niche.
And not only it helps with creating content that answers the search question, but also Semantic SEO helps you to create content that matches the search intent or create the exact content your users want and answer their questions.
And because semantic SEO is all about creating as much content around the content with a satisfying amount of information it helps to improve the overall Google E-A-T which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
And overall semantic SEO is the way how you should think about creating content if you want to be successful with SEO and that means:
- Focusing on topics and create as much content around it.
- Provide a satisfying amount of information within your content.
- Optimize your website and content for your niche.
Thus, since Google implemented algorithms that support semantic SEO, we can see fewer and fewer spammy websites that are run by one person who writes about everything, and we can see more niche websites dominating the search in an area of their expertise.
And now, let’s move on to how you can optimize your website and page for semantic SEO in a step-by-step process.
Step #1: Find Your Main Topics
The first step in Semantic SEO is to find the main topics you want to own in the search.
This highly depends on the industry you are in and on what you are focusing on there. It is crucial to decide the right topic to not only generate organic traffic but also leads from organic traffic. Because remember organic traffic doesn’t pay the bills.
Now, most likely you can come up with main topics quite easily as often your industry, products, or services are considered the main topics.
For example, in the digital marketing niche, the main topics you can target are “SEO”, “lead generation”, “content marketing”, “email marketing”, “digital marketing”, “technical marketing”, etc.
Another example could be a computer eCommerce shop where the main topics could be “keyboard”, “computer mouse”, “gaming computer”, “gaming laptop”, “computer screens”, “graphic cards”, etc.
As you can see, anything general that can have more subtopics could be potentially your main topic. The main topic is also called the seed keyword and it is used to find relevant subtopics.
Also, before we get started with searching for keywords to be qualified as the main topic the keyword must:
- Has high search volume. This depends on the industry you are in. In some industries, it could be tens of thousands and in others, it could be hundreds of thousands.
- Has a lot of keyword ideas. Usually, if the main or seed keyword has at least 2,000 keyword ideas, then you will be able to create at least 20 subtopics to target. More in step #2.