Semantic SEO: How to Change Your Game to Win in Search
Mar 20 2017

Semantic SEO: How to Change Your Game to Win in Search

Remember the good old days when SEO was straightforward? You follow a formula, check all the boxes, and get at least some results.
Ok, maybe results have never been guaranteed, but there were clear-cut steps in the process.
Has the game now changed with the rise of semantic search engines?
How does semantic search change the way marketers should do SEO? Does it make SEO harder or easier?
- It changes things a lot, but it doesn’t make things harder.
The b key now is to optimize for the topic, not just the phrase. Since Google is much better now at understanding the intent of the searcher and the true meaning of the phrase, we need to adapt by thinking beyond the phrase, beyond that combination of letters and words. We need to cover the topics in our writing more broadly.
Pick a target key phrase.
Use it in your title, header and body text
Sprinkle in a few related grammatical forms.
Hopefully, rank for the phrase.
Pick a target phrase.
Find the phrases that are semantically connected to that phrase.
Consider those phrases as you plan the scope of your SEO content.
Use the target phrase and those semantically connected phrases throughout your article, answering as many questions related to the broader topic.
Hopefully, rank for the phrase and the many related phrases.
Is it harder to take this approach? Well, it’s more work, but it’s not harder work. Actually, the research piece often makes the writing piece easier. And in my opinion, it’s more fun.
If semantic SEO is all about targeting a broader topic instead of a specific phrase, does that mean that content needs to be longer to be more comprehensive?
- Longer content will still perform better in search.
 Your goal as a search marketer is simple…
 Make the best page on the internet for your topic
it’s hard to do that in 400 words. If you sit down and make a sincere effort to create the most thorough and detailed piece of content on your topic, you will likely lose yourself deep in the topic. You’re about to go big.
And in semantic SEO, we’re talking about answering questions. We’re talking about ranking for “informational queries.” This is one of the three types of searches online.
breakdown of search intent by type
80% of online searches are people looking for answers.
10% are people looking for a specific product or service, and the remaining
10% are people trying to get to a specific website. (source)
Semantic SEO is especially relevant for that big, first group of searches. These people are doing research. They want answers and Our goal is to “be the best answer.”
Here’s our takeaway for todays topic:
Keyword research is critical to semantic SEO, maybe even more so than before. Before, it was the quantifiable way to discover demand and competition for your topic. Now it also informs the content planning process. So while the act of keyword research has changed a little bit, the value it adds to the end results has increased

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