The search engines are constantly changing. Semantic search is the new “big thing” ever since the Google Hummingbird algorithm was implemented. Paying attention to semantic optimisation therefore makes increasing sense.
With the Hummingbird algorithm, Google is increasingly looking for answers to questions. Semantic optimisation looks to benefit from this semantic search. In essence if we can help Google answer those questions, then we will be rewarded.
You may be noticing that the search engines are starting to display a lot more than just the 10 blue links that are all you ever saw in days gone by. The results are now more varied and more visually appealing and are having to cater for being seen on multiple device types too. What is happening is that the search engines are striving to make searching a more personalised experience – more interactive and engaging.
You might like to understand some more about the Semantic Web so here are some pointers to understand these developments.
What this means for you when we work on your SEO?
In simplistic terms it means that we will inject some clever code into the back of your site, that will not be seen by website visitors, but will be seen by the Google bots. This will give Google the semantic context that it wants, and in essence, this will greatly help your rankings.
Optimise Your Content for User Intent
We all now need to focus more on user intent to tickle the underbelly of the Hummingbird algorithm. In the past it was all just about keyword phrases, and if course some people attempted to game the system. But this approach is no longer adequate and we now also need to think in terms of semantic optimisation.
That’s all very well, you might say, but what does optimising your content for user intent actually mean?
Well let’s take an example of the owners of a hotel in London who naturally want people to come to their hotel, rather than go to one of the countless other hotels in the city. Well the starting point is quite obviously to share information about the hotel and its facilities. But to take matters further, you can begin talking about other activities in the neighbourhood. What are the fun and exciting activities around in the area for which the hotel is well placed to help you enjoy. These are related things that are relative to your particular hotel.
Questions and answers are also big with the semantic web. So just simply setting up a Q&A page that is relative to your business and you specific location will most certainly help raise your ranking.
Aligning Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation Campaigns
One of the aims of the semantic web is to bring the entirety of the Internet together whereby ranking your content in the search engines is only one small piece of the jigsaw puzzle. One of the things you would want to happen would be for users to begin to share your content across social media sites. You will find that if your content begins to go viral, then you rankings in the search engines will most likely rise. So think in terms of creating content that people will want to share – and then getting the ball rolling by sharing it on social media platforms.
Unquestionably if your social media work is good, then you will be thinking in terms of what people will like. What is the kind of thing that people will want to share? If you are successful, then again it is a double whammy. Your message is being broadcast further and wider, and your ranking will automatically rise. All in all you will be creating a powerful online presence.
Sharing your website (and often only certain pages and posts) on social media is the obvious way to begin to leverage the extraordinary power of getting social search to get your business or website out there into the world.
So it’s a logical progression to combine your search engine optimisation with your social media practices. This is an outstanding way to expand your reach. Your rankings and traffic can soar through this combination of regular search engines and social search engines.
So your goal should be to provide content that has the opportunity to go viral, because this has a built in advantage of turning into better search engine rankings.
Make it a point therefore to give your website viewers worthy content, with an eye on the semantic algorithm. These are the matters that if you pay attention to, can ensure you are performing “semantic optimisation”.
Don’t Forget Standard SEO Practices
Don’t forget to continue all of your standard search engine optimisation practices when you begin performing semantic optimisation. The two work in conjunction with each other.
Your regular bread and butter SEO activities will continue as before. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. What you are doing now is adding a powerful extra layer to your SEO activities.
This is just a very small summary of what you should know about semantic optimisation. It’s a lot different to how we’ve thought of SEO until now, but if you get this right the potential prize is domination of the search engines in a way that you’ve likely never even imagined.