Optimizing your website is going to be different in 2015 than it has been in the past thanks to something called semantic search. For those who are unfamiliar, semantic search essentially means that Google is going to start focusing more on related terms and words that people are typing into the search query box. This then will naturally mean that websites need to optimize for related words. You have to think about the questions that people will type into a search box, and then in addition to optimizing for keywords, optimize for related words and terms as well.

Consider the following example:

Let’s say someone types in the search query, “housing marketing in San Diego.” Instead of only getting entries that included the words “housing market,” semantic search will offer you results that are related, such as real estate, for sale, property, other counties near San Diego, etc.

The idea here is that Google will focus more on searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms. SEO guru Tommy Landry gave a good analogy about why this type of search matters. He said here, “A good analogy is that of a headhunter or free agent recruiter. Have you ever received an email about an ‘exciting opportunity’ for which you were completely unqualified? Did they say your resume suggested you’re a fit? This is a case of blind matching of keywords with no qualitative overlay.”

Resources to Help You Understand Semantic Search for Future Online Success

We’ve been writing about semantic search on our website and contributing content to other websites throughout the year to help prepare businesses for the new way of search. Below is a review of a few of these articles. Use them as extra resources and to get a well-rounded understanding of how it all works and the steps you can take to alter your strategy:

Articles Found on HigherVisibility

Semantic Search Means Semantic SEO: What it Means to You

If Google is worrying about semantic searches, then you can bet that a semantic SEO strategy needs to follow for companies looking to improve in rankings in 2015. This article points out three steps you can take semantic search and transfer that into a new semantic SEO strategy, or have a semantic theme to your webpages:

  1. Consider all of the supporting terms, modifiers, and synonyms whenever completing keyword research.
  2. Use these keyword terms in all aspects of SEO like you normally would such as in the content on a webpage, titles, h1 and h2 tags, descriptions, etc.
  3. Keep this in mind offsite as well when you contribute content to other websites or even in your PPC ads.

Of course this is not to say that keywords and keyword research doesn’t matter; it just adds another layer of SEO considerations onto your existing strategy.

Top Tools to Help Your Semantic SEO Efforts

Semantic SEO is really not a new idea or practice. It’s true that this will be the way SEO shifts in 2015, but many are already anticipating this shift and have created tools to help. While semantic SEO is something you can do on your own, it can get overwhelming if you have a large website with thousands of pages. It can take a lot of creativity to think up related terms, so tools can really help. This article discusses three major tools: Ubersuggest, CTRL Semantic Engine, and LSI Keywords.

Articles Written by HigherVisibility

How Writers Can Adopt Semantic SEO Strategies

When push comes to shove, it’s really the writers in your company who are going to need to understand semantic search and how to write with this new mentality in mind. Content has always been the most important thing for a business’s online marketing success, and that will only intensify as semantic search because more apparent.

Writers are going to need to be able to think ahead by thinking about their topic and then what someone may type into a search query box about that topic. Then, once the queries are brainstormed, writers will need to think of creative ways to incorporate synonyms and related terms along with the target keywords into an article. This article offers more tips for writers specifically.

The Difference Between Semantic Search and the Semantic Web

This is a unique article that explores the difference in the two terms (and a little bit about semantic SEO), which often get confused by marketers. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually mean slightly different things. In short:

The semantic web is a set of technologies for representing, storing, and querying information. In other words, the semantic web will include things like numbers and dates to be able to answer complex questions. While semantic search focuses on text, the semantic web focuses on pulling data from multiple sources. It takes details from many different pages on the web and then pulls those details together to create one cohesive answer.

Semantic search, on the other hand, refers to the process of typing something into a search engine and getting more results than just those that include the exact keyword. It takes into account the meaning of the search terms and makes assumptions about the searchers intent in order to produce the most relevant results (as discussed in our introductory paragraph).

Understanding the different terms can help semantics in search make more sense and help you better understand what Google is thinking when it comes time to analyze pages. The article discusses this more in-depth.

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