Like anything else in this fast-paced world, SEO is rapidly evolving. Searchers are becoming more savvy, more demanding, and more particular. SERPs, therefore, are following suit. Long tail keywords are all the rage, reflecting the new and growing trend of niches and highly targeted audiences. As a whole, search is simply becoming more personal, and far more accurate. And as an added bonus, results are starting to look more polished and readable too.
One of the most innovative and effective new trends emerging in the world of SEO is a concept called semantics search. Massively fueled by last year’s important Google Hummingbird algorithm update, semantics technology aims to better understand a searcher’s intent through more accurate query interpretation. Semantics search also aids in the ongoing trend of making search more personal and meaningful.
It’s easy to predict that semantics will be one of the most integral parts of SEO advancements this year. Because Google has become increasingly more sophisticated in determining search intent, and in turn providing more interactive and useful results, semantics aims to assist all in-the-know marketers of joining this trend. If you’re embracing this shift, welcome to the cutting edge — now here are some tricks of the trade.
Incorporate Semantic Language on Your Site Today
Like most crucial SEO tactics, semantics begins on your website copy and HTML. You’ll want to ensure you’re using appropriate and accurate word structure — use schema.org for a guide on vocabulary, as the major search engines currently embrace this format.
Additionally, several tools have emerged to assist in integrating semantics into any given site. There are scads of WordPress and Joomla plugins, and Google has even jumped into the foray with their Structured Data Markup Helper.
Keep User Intent at the Forefront of Your Strategies
As evidenced by Google’s latest release, the sophistication of their algorithms in analyzing queries via templates is increasing tenfold. What does this mean to your SEO efforts? Get specific. Really, really specific.
For example, if you operate an eCommerce site that sells jewelry, you’ll be best served by using extremely targeted keywords, including not only the jewelry type (wedding rings) but specific materials, stones, settings, styles, and designer names. Furthermore, you’ll want to include data that is relevant to your niche too, like in this case, celebrities that wear similar pieces, eco-friendly materials, fair trade descriptions, and related information. The key here is to know your audience intimately and to have ample content on your site that reflects their desires and needs.
Social Media Integration is at the Heart of a Successful Campaign
Think of semantics search as “personal search.” This will help you craft the appropriate keywords, content, and social media campaigns. Search is getting more and more personal with every passing update. For example, you used to be able to get flight information by searching for your airline and destination. Now you can get gate data, arrival times, weather info for your arrival city, in-flight details; just about every detail about your trip. If you aim to provide a similar level of information about your goods and services, semantics search technology will help your demographic find you.
Social signals, therefore, are becoming more critical to SEO planning. In turn, searches are more frequently focusing queries specifically in their social sphere. What this means from a marketing perspective is crystal clear – we no longer have the luxury of separating SEO and social media. They are fires that fuel each other, and the more you treat them as partners in crime, the more they will leverage and assist your combined efforts.
Don’t Forget the Fundamentals of SEO
Semantics search is by no means a replacement for the already established rules of engagement for SEO. Your page loads need to be optimized, sitemaps up to date, and mobile-friendly versions of your site are still essential to success. Semantics are just allowing a more targeted catapult into your target audience; but without the basics, your efforts will still all be in vain.
Google+: The Last Word in Semantics
Google+ simply cannot be ignored, no matter how much you’d like to forget it exists. Google is working insanely hard to integrate its beloved social platform into search relevancy, and by all accounts, they’ve been successful. Your business profile on Google+ needs to contain your comprehensive keyword strategy, including the semantics vocabulary. Your profile needs to be 100 percent complete, and the more you participate in circles, use the various tools, and are otherwise active on the network the better.
Finally, with regards to Google+, don’t forget to utilize the very valuable rel = author tags. These help you to increase your author rank, and thus, your credibility in the eyes of Google. These efforts, combined with a finely tuned semantics/personal approach in your SEO, could increase your rankings significantly.
Are you utilizing the new semantics approach in your SEO strategies?