How To Win at the Best Practices Semantic SEO Game
The way searching works is rapidly changing for the better. Semantic SEO is the newest player on the stage, meaning more work for website owners who want to apply search engine optimization (SEO) to their websites’ blogs. Luckily, findings from SEO agency research make catching up a breeze.
This guide discusses everything you need to know about semantic SEO best practices, including:
- Changes to how SEO works and the shift toward semantic SEO
- Five best practices that help win the semantic SEO game
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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Entering the Era of Semantic SEO Best Practices
Search engines (especially Google) have seen significant changes in recent years to keep up with major technological advancements, particularly artificial intelligence (AI). Among the greatest of these is the massive shift towards content made by humans for humans.
The next step in the evolution of best practices is learning to build a semantic SEO strategy to win more traffic on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Semantic SEO focuses on entire topics, rather than individual keywords, to boost and emphasize your relevance to user searches. Using semantic SEO could look like this:
1. Publishing a series of interconnected articles based on a single, broad topic page or idea
2. Incorporating semantically-related keywords into your content strategy to boost context
3. Responding directly to your target market’s search intent through your content strategy
What This Means for Your Website
Bad actors have always sought exploitable loopholes in the algorithms to create so-called black hat SEO practices. One of these is mass-producing low-quality content through generative AI. Google, for one, has taken notice and decided to add “experience” to its content rating guidelines.
These changes have led every SEO agency to focus on content creation fundamentals and Google’s experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) requirements. The spotlight is on semantic SEO as a direct response because it simultaneously addresses all these issues.
How To Adapt Semantic SEO ASAP
The most straightforward way to add semantic SEO to your website strategy is to plan content around topic clusters. Another relatively easy method is to start mixing semantic keywords into your approach to content writing — anything that brings your content closer to users.
To get set up for semantic SEO, start with a well-defined research strategy to learn as much as possible about the concepts or ideas you want to tackle. It goes beyond just keywords. It also touches on topics such as user search intent, backlink building, and competitor analysis.
5 Semantic SEO Best Practices To Rule Them All
As daunting as semantic SEO probably sounds by now, best practices are available to give your website a much-needed boost. New ones are bound to come up as time goes on, too. Below are five of them that are relatively easy to apply, even for beginners.
1. Know What Your Users Want
Your target market may not always be the best at searching for what they want, which is where semantic SEO comes in. The goal here is to use semantic SEO to bridge the gap between you and your audience so they can find you. Start working toward that by doing any of the following:
- Invest in marketing software that helps identify your target market’s search intent
- Fill in content gaps to satisfy all types of search intent and parts of the buyer’s journey
- Use keyword tools to generate a wealth of content ideas adjacent to your target topic
2. Create a Robust Link Profile
One of the best ways to approach semantic SEO is to create context around your brand. You can do this by deepening the association between a topic and your business so that whenever the subject comes up, your business should, too. At least, that is the idea.
However, you cannot achieve this with internal links gained from topic clusters alone. Your strategy should consider other reputable sources outside of your website for it to have a significant effect. In other words, create a portfolio of content that other people want to link to.
3. Make a Topic Cluster Strategy
A topic cluster is a collection of content connected through a single overarching theme called a "pillar page." The job of the supporting pages is to create a network of internal links pointing back to the pillar page and to each other in order to fully display your expertise on a particular subject matter.
This plays into semantic SEO best practices by heavily emphasizing helpful content and context. With topic clusters, your content specialization moves toward specific topics, strengthening their association with your website and making you more relevant to users.
4. Keep a Watch on Competitors
If you truly want your business to be competitive in the industry, you inevitably find yourself up against some heavyweights. The best way to deal with them is to do what any SEO agency would do — look at everything they do well, get inspiration from it, and find ways to do it better. Ideas to get from them include:
1. High-performing content or topics you can incorporate into topic cluster strategy
2. Common semantically-related keywords to consider adding to your content
3. Content ideas that attract plenty of natural backlinks from highly authoritative sources
5. Find Sources of Unique Ideas
Last but not least, get creative in finding new ideas to remain ahead of the game. For example, Google search engine results pages (SERPs) are full of them; you simply must know where to look. Its various unique features offer many semantic SEO ideas.
Generative AI can also give clues on what topics or keywords to use for the best semantic SEO. Even your social media or business profiles can be practical resources if you know how to use them correctly.
SEO and search engines embody constant change, with rules that constantly change to suit the current state of technology. This time, the change — semantic SEO — points us back to the roots of content creation — creating the best and most helpful content possible for users.
Need help understanding and applying semantic SEO strategies? Contact us to learn how we can help.
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