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What Is Semantic Keyword Research?

August 4, 2020

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Semantics is a component of linguistics that describes a type of relationship between two or more words.

But aside from it being an important lesson for English class, semantics also has a place in marketing, in the form of semantic keywords. For instance, if your main targeted keyword is “website traffic” some keywords to include could be:

  • Organic traffic
  • Search traffic
  • SEO methods
  • SEO agency, etc.

But why do you need to do this, and how do you know which semantic keywords to include in your SEO strategy? Let’s take a closer look.

Are Semantic Keywords That Important?

Researching semantic keywords could potentially help improve your keyword strategy by allowing you to target more high-value words and phrases. In the marketing community, semantic keywords are also called LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing) and the idea of these keywords is to solve a specific issue search engines and websites have:

Users don’t always type in the same search terms to look for a particular subject.

Let’s say you have a text about “best cars for families to buy in 2020.” You use that particular keyword phrase as a way to potentially reach people interested in new cars that are perfect for a family. However, perhaps some people won’t type in their query with that exact keyword.

By default, search engines can’t tell that “cars, ” “vehicles, ” “automobiles” mean the same thing. To them, they are different keywords, even if we know they mean the same thing. If not for semantic search, you would only reach those users who specifically used “cars” in their search query, leaving out the others who’ve types in “vehicles” or “automobiles,” even if they are basically all searching for the same thing.

As a result, your great article about the best cars for families only reaches a fraction of its intended audience, at least in theory.

Search Engines Are Getting Better at Semantics

We create content in hopes of reaching an audience, but we can’t control how users search for a particular topic. Luckily, you do not have to target all variations of your core keywords for Google and other search engines to match your link with user queries.

Modern search engines now use semantics as a way to ensure they always deliver relevant search results for their users. It’s why Google will show a user who types “best cars in 2020 for families” articles that contain other similar keywords as well.

But that’s the search engine’s job. What does it mean for marketers? Well, it all ties into how to craft your keyword research. Keyword optimisation these days isn’t just about adding as many keywords into your content, even if they are semantically related. It’s about matching relevancy.

Let’s look at some strategies to improve your keyword research:

1. Target Topics

Search engines these days understand that “cars* and “vehicles” are related semantically, so you don’t have to create content for both these keywords just to increase your odds of reaching an audience.

Instead of focusing on one major keyword, and them coming up with variations, it’s much more beneficial to target topics, and choose keywords around the topic that are relevant to your content.

So for instance, in the topic of “cars,” you can have a plethora of different semantically-related keywords that could help you match an audience:

  • Car insurance
  • Car repairs
  • Car brands
  • Car issues

These are all connected to the overall subject of cars, it’s just that they present different facets of it. But you could rank well for any of the keywords included, not just your core keywords.

2. Use Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are one of the best ways for you to match user intent, which is essential to raking well.

Users won’t just type in “cars”/in Google and hope for the best. They have a specific reason why they are looking for information, and you can match that intent by leveraging long-tail keywords in your content.
Some examples of long-tail keywords are:

  • Where to change car oil Sydney
  • Best car repair shops
  • Worst vehicles to purchase 2020
  • Eco-friendly car brands
  • Car dealerships near me

A person that types “eco-friendly car brands” can have a different intent than someone who looks for “car dealerships near me”. The former can act on a curiosity, while the latter is likely in the market to buy a car. A targeted keyword that also matches intent is far more likely to rank well than more generic keywords.

3. Look at Trends

The best semantic SEO practices when it comes to keywords is to combine those that are on the top of the trends now, with those that are on the rise.

If you use the Keyword Planner for keyword research, you’ll see that some keywords are more likely to be used than others. But, you should also go to Google Trends and spot those SEO keywords that are on the rise.

You can then create content that integrates both types of keywords and potentially hop on a trend before it takes off. Even if it doesn’t, you are still left with clearer blog posts because you’re not stressing about repeating the same keyword over and over without stuffing. Using diverse semantic keywords makes for high-quality texts, at least from a language perspective.

So, Is Semantic Keyword Research Worth It?

Mostly, it is. Basically, you don’t have to look for synonyms and all keyword variants and create content on them. You’re much better off focusing on diversifying SEO efforts through link building or social media marketing. But, leveraging semantic keywords can help your produce more high-quality content.

Schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with Search Engine Optimisation Expert at Australian Internet Advertising to start improving your keyword research and SEO strategy!

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session
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