What The Heck Is Semantic SEO? And How Can I Benefit From It?


semantic seo like a bossYou are probably asking yourself this question when you read the headline of the article. What the heck is semantic SEO, anyway? It sounds like a term developed by an ex-mutant professor turned internet marketer.

The term “semantic SEO” is nothing new, unless of course you are one of those very few Filipinos who have not heard of internet marketing. However, as time goes by and more searches are being made in Google and other search engines, the term “semantic SEO” has taken a whole new meaning which has a strong impact on websites that utilizes internet marketing strategies.

I often tell to my students and audience “Change is inevitable in the world of SEO, whether you like it or not”. There have been a lot of changes in the recent years in the SEO industry in the Philippines and some start to panic, thinking that their website will be sucked by a black hole. As the big G continues to change its top-secret algorithms and make internet marketers and webmasters squirm, you need to be prepared to deal with these changes if you want your website and your online business to survive.


Semantic SEO and Semantic Search

First, you need to know the meaning of “semantic SEO” and how it differs from “semantic search”. SEO exists because search exists. And semantic SEO exists because semantic search exists. It will make more sense after you read the explanation below.

Keyword-driven SEO came about because people are searching using the internet. For example, if you want to search for the word “car” not because you want to buy one but because you want to see how Google works, you will get search results that have the word “car” in their content. Webmasters and internet marketers make sure that their content has the word “car” in it so that when people who want to buy a car or want to find out how Google works searched the internet using the word “car”, their website will appear on the search results. Cool, right?

If you are impressed with the keyword-driven SEO, you will be further amazed at how semantic SEO and semantic search work. Semantic search uses words that are synonymous or related to the word that you typed in to the search field.

Take the word “car” again as an example, if you search the internet using the word “car”, Google will pull up websites that also have the word “automobile” or “auto” or “vehicle” in it. If you do not see the connection, you should take a refresher in elementary English or just read on.  =D

The words “auto”, “automobile”, and “vehicle” are synonyms of the word “car” which means they have the same or similar meaning. In fact, Google will also give you search results that have words related to “car” such as “garage” or “engine”. Google just loves to give suggestions like that, making it easier for internet users who do not have enough time and patience for useless content that litter the internet nowadays. Because of this shift from keyword-driven searches to semantic searches, webmasters and internet marketers also started to use semantic SEO to promote their websites.

Site relevancy at it's finest.

Site relevancy at it’s finest.


Semantic SEO and User’s Intent

Just imagine a robot interpreting what you meant by the word “car” when you type it in the search field. This is how semantic SEO works. It focuses on the user’s intent or meaning aside from the keyword you used. This artificial intelligence will use some clues such as your past searches to come up with relevant results.

Webmasters have to use the right vocabularies and syntax for structured data so that the search engine will be able to understand the meaning of their website. After all, how are you going to explain to Google what your website is all about without some kind of formula? This structured data is also referred to as semantic markup, something that your efficient search engine needs to process to be able to provide relevant search results to the user’s query.


­Impacts of Semantic SEO in the Philippine Industry

Some Filipinos wonder whether keywords will be a thing of the past because of the development of semantic SEO. The good news is that keywords are here to stay, good news400px-Approaches_to_semantic_search to all those people who love keywords. After all, only the right keywords will give you good results if you are searching for “the best smartphone of 2013” or “the top 10 apps for iPhones”.

However, keywords should be used in the right way and not just sprinkled all throughout your content however you want, like colorful sprinkles on your cupcake. It should be used and placed within the content properly, the way you would place icing flowers on your cake.

Moreover, semantic SEO will give you better and more relevant results instead of keyword-stuffed content that has nothing to do with “cars” or whatever it is that you are searching for.

This change in the SEO industry also marks the start of search engines becoming answer engines. When you want to learn more about something, you do not need to ‘search’ for the answer from the results provided by Google or other search engines. With semantic SEO, you can be sure that all the results provided give relevant answers to your query. No need to waste your precious time browsing through several pages just to find something relevant about your topic. Wouldn’t it be nice if people start calling Google an “answer engine” instead of a “search engine”?


Benefits of Semantic SEO to a Website

You may think that Google is just tweaking its algorithms to make the lives of marketers more difficult. This is not true. In fact, Google loves websites, but only those websites that provide meaningful contents to their users. So if you want Google to love you and place your website at the top of its page ranking, you should make an effort to provide high quality, original, and timely content to your users with semantic SEO in mind.

Your website can also get a lot of benefits from using semantic SEO like the ones listed below.

  • It encourages you to keep on producing fresh and relevant content to your users, which greatly improves your website’s overall quality and search ranking. Gone are the days when all you had to do to let people find your website is to stuff it with keywords. Now, you have no other option but to provide quality content to your visitors which is good for your business.
  • Once people find out that your website offers quality content, they will start spreading the word and the big G will see you as an authority site. Your business will have the reputation of providing great content to its users, which translates to good branding for your company.
  • Semantic markup, which was discussed in the previous paragraphs, makes all your business data and digital content accessible to internet users. Search engines love semantic markups the way women love shoes or men love cars. If you inject semantic markups in your website, you can be sure that Google will find its way to your website and show it to your target audience. Some examples of business data and digital content are product reviews and ratings, product information, location, contact information, rich-media video content, special offers, specialty deals, and many other data related to your business.
  • Your website will also get 30 % higher CTR and better page ranking if you use semantic markup. The first thing that you need to do is to optimize your website with the right keywords, then use semantic markup after optimizing.


Paul’s Last Words:

If you have an online business or a website to promote, it is important that you are up to date with whatever is the current trend in SEM strategies.

It is important that you understand that it is no longer just about keywords but more about relevant and quality content that makes a website appear at the top of the search page results. If you know what’s good for your website, you should definitely remember the information and details outlined in this article about semantic SEO and use them to your advantage.


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Paul Agabin is the Founder and CEO of Wooka Interactive. He is an internet marketer based in the Philippines which deals with varied topics such as local industry news, seo strategies, content marketing, inbound marketing, social media management, website reviews, and the like. You can contact him at 0917-5069839.

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