Keyword stuffing is not a good strategy anymore, as search engine algorithms have changed. SEOs and marketers must modify content strategies to keep up with newer search engine technology.
What is Semantic Search?
Semantics, the study of words and their logic in relation to search engines, helps Google and other search engines understand what people are really looking for when they make a query, allowing them to offer more relevant results even when the exact keywords are not used.
Understanding the context is critical; for example, if someone searches for “Nocturnal Animals”, are they looking for information about the movie or nocturnal animals?
Search engines now use data about a user’s query, spelling variations, location and trending topics to better predict what the user is searching for. They also monitor click-throughs and bounce rates to optimise future results.
To deliver more relevant search results, Google created RankBrain in 2015, the AI component of their Hummingbird algorithm. This machine-learning technology understands user behaviour and continues to learn how to provide better outcomes.
ComScore predicts that voice-search-based digital assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa will make up half of all searches by 2022, revolutionising the search engine space.
The Challenge for Content Creators
Content creators must stay updated with the latest trends and learn how to optimise for Google RankBrain and voice searches. It’s now essential for content to understand what people are looking for when they use search engines to be seen online.
To better serve your target audience, you need to understand their questions and provide them with natural, relevant content.
How to Optimise Content for Semantic Search
Suppose you don’t create content that is valuable to your followers and related to their interests. In that case, you won’t be seen as a reliable search engine answer, and your ranking could suffer.
What should you do to optimise for semantic search?
Optimise Content for Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
Google utilises Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to detect related words related to your content’s primary keywords. This allows Google to understand the context of your post and order it accordingly since it understands the LSI terms generally seen in top-ranking content.
To support your main keywords, try incorporating LSI keywords using LSIGraph or taking note of Google’s Related Searches.
Google strives to provide searchers with the best possible results, so developing quality content will enhance your semantic search rankings.
To improve your website performance, generate valuable and informative content with high-traffic long-tail keywords and relevant meta tags and descriptions. Incorporate semantic HTML markup to provide context for every web page.
To learn more, click here.
Having a robust online presence is beneficial for Semantic SEO. To increase your visibility:
- Make sure all your web pages are mobile-friendly.
- Optimise your content for local search queries.
- Include business details or author names in all your content.
- Build relationships with industry influencers.
- Promote your content using social share buttons.
- Create or update your profile on Google My Business.
- Deliver search engine-friendly press releases.
Optimise for Google’s Knowledge Graph
Optimising for a Knowledge Graph, referred to as “featured snippets” or “rich answers,” you can increase the likelihood of your website appearing in search engine results. To do this:
- List your company on Wikipedia. See how to create your own Wikipedia page here.
- Create business profiles on Google Plus, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
- Add structured data– or schema markup – to your site.
It makes it easier for search engines to crawl, organise, and display your content.
Optimise for Google’s Featured Snippets
If you want to show up in the Featured Snippet or Answer Box, which is powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph and appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), there are steps you can take:
- Create in-depth content that explicitly answers the questions your target audience is asking.
- Display the question in your content, and provide answers in step-by-step bullet form.
- Add all the relevant HTML markups.
- Answer common questions on your social media channels.
- Add a question-and-answer section to your website.
Optimise Internal Links
A well-designed internal link structure can help optimise your content for RankBrain. Use specific keyword phrases in your anchor text to provide more information about the topics you’re covering. Learn more about best practices for internal linking here.
Optimise for Voice Search
Provide customers with quick answers to their FAQs on your website. Make sure to include contact information and operating hours throughout the site. Additionally, provide details about products and services and a clear statement of your value.
To maximise your semantic search performance, utilise a variety of content marketing and SEO approaches. Consider all elements of your online presence, like website copy, keywords,
To stay ahead of the game, you should now optimise for semantic search. If you don’t, your website’s search engine rankings could suffer.