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Semantic SEO – What it means to small business owners

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Semantic search results are produced when search engines understand the searchers intent and bring up more relevant results, rather than bringing up suggestions based on keywords alone.

Search engines like Google and Bing are continuously improving their understanding of the true intent and purpose behind what users are searching for. The rapidly increasing use of mobile devices driving this change in approach by search engines, users expect instant intuitive answers to their search queries, literally at their fingertips 24/7

The idea is that searchers are shown more relevant search results which is ultimately fantastic, especially if what they are looking for is to buy something you sell.

However, does this new way of selecting search results have an impact on the way we need to optimise our websites? What is the impact on small business owners?

This problem is a complex one as the elements of each search engine’s algorithm are always a closely guarded secret. However, we do know the core principles which should be applied to websites to give them the best possible chance of appearing in search results:

  1. Make the content look popular – we can do this by including lots of relevant cross-links to other reputable and relevant websites as well as sharing of the content on social media
  2. Make the content look relevant – this is achieved by ensuring content on your website contains specific phrases people might be searching for
  3. Ensure the user experience is of good quality – this can be improved by ensuring a website’s speed & accessibility is at its best
  4. Keywords – keywords still matter, by including keywords in titles, URLs and meta description tags search engines pick these up as clues that a website may be an appropriate answer to a search result

It’s really important that all the above four elements are covered to help your website appear high up in as many organic (non-paid) search results as possible. Covering these areas also makes any paid advertising campaign through a search engine much cheaper, you’ll pay more per click if you don’t play by the Search Engine Optimisation rules.

And in terms of Semantic SEO all these points are still important and it’s still the best idea to adhere to SEO best practice. However, with this type of search result, there is an additional emphasis placed on option 2 (relevance of the content). An additional variable of a user’s search history comes in to play too – but of course, we cannot influence this!

So, in future, the highest investment of time should be placed on creating content which naturally answers the questions customers or potential customers might be asking. Great ways you can do this are:

  • Adding frequently asked questions pages
  • Regularly contributing to a blog or articles on your website which could cover key questions concerning customers
  • Review the way your website is written ensuring it presents information in a way which would answer your customer’s questions

In addition to this, any campaign or marketing activity should focus on generating more traffic to your website or visibility (brand awareness). These are the best ways to work with Semantic SEO.