Semantic SEO is a common term in web development and content creation. Most developers and marketers have utilized it in one way or another without knowing it. Reputable companies such as Google have capitalized on semantic analysis to a great extent to gain a deeper understanding of human language. This knowledge goes a long way toward assisting Google (and other search engines) in providing users with more relevant search results.

This explains why a single-keyword strategy for SEO no longer yields the expected outcome. Instead, semantic SEO considers the natural language processing and deep learning that Google company uses to ensure that your website content attracts sufficient traffic.

Semantic SEO is the way to go if you are a site owner looking to build topical authority in your industry. Semantic SEO will enable you to outperform your competitors for crucial keywords in their niche. Before we delve into further details about semantic SEO, we need to provide you with its accurate definition and full meaning.

What is Semantic SEO?

Semantic SEO enables you to create web content based on topics instead of relying on individual keywords. It essentially aims to respond to all your queries about a given topic instead of accentuating your focus on a single keyword.

Semantic Search

Search engines are getting smarter and relying less on crawling sites with exact matches to your search query. They are taking the context, the word choice, and the location (among many other things) into consideration as they produce result pages for the billions of search queries they process every day. When a search engine (primarily Google) is able to synthesize this information and then present results based on inferences from your query, this is what we call semantic search.

A web developer using semantic SEO to create and deliver content can answer five questions in a single article. Anyone would agree that this is more efficient than reading through five different articles to get your answers.

Suppose a user wants to understand the meaning of a root-router. In that case, he may also wonder about other subject matter components, including how it works, its standard operating procedure, its benefits, and cost.

In such a scenario, having a single article that provides an in-depth analysis of these queries constitutes the key to an effective SEO strategy. While you can always switch to a different page to get the answers you need, the risk of missing vital information is high.

Proper use of semantic SEO combines written text with visual elements such as images, graphs, and videos to help users better understand your content from diverse viewpoints. Next, we are going to look at the importance of Semantic SEO.

Why is Semantic SEO Important?

Presently, the practice of SEO is inseparable from the subject of semantics. This can be attributed to the progress that search engine algorithms have achieved. There are numerous reasons why you should capitalize on semantic SEO to increase your web traffic. The following are some of the most notable ones agreed upon by industry experts:

To begin with, search engines are becoming more sophisticated. This is particularly the case when you consider that most of them are equipped with intelligent algorithms. Instead of simply utilizing keywords to communicate results, they are conducting in-depth analyses of meaning or intent to provide the best content.

The second importance of semantic SEO constitutes how users formulate their queries. Even on a personal level, you would notice that 90% of all your queries made on the internet each day are far from being precise. Most queries contain ambiguous words, making it difficult for the internet to deliver accurate results.

Search Results

With semantic SEO, ambiguity is the last thing you would have to worry about when performing an internet search because of its ability to process how users express their ideas and match them to the specific features of their index.

An additional justification for using semantic SEO is that users usually do not understand the unique process behind a query. Let’s look at Google’s example to understand this point better. Immediately you key in a query on Google; the search results will be displayed on several elements and analyses like:

  • Browser history: Google can capitalize on your browser history to display results consistent with your needs.
  • The entities: These are concepts or objects that possess a clearly defined meaning, such as things, places, people, and names.
  • The lexical hierarchy: In this case, Google studies the possible linkages or correlations between the texts contained in the classes and in a query.

While optimizing content using semantics can be suggested as one of the most effective SEO strategies, it is important not to shift our focus from the primary idea, which is to develop content optimized for users. In other words, your organization or website should not just focus on how to manipulate a search engine to attract more traffic, but it should also give precedence to the type of content portrayed and whether it resonates with users’ demands.

Google Hummingbird Algorithm

Unlike the previous Penguin and Panda updates that Google released as add-ons, Hummingbird is being portrayed as a comprehensive overhaul of the core algorithm. While it is true that several of the pre-existing features of the core algorithm remained in use, Hummingbird revealed Google’s quest to develop an increasingly deep understanding of users’ demands. The overall goal of this resource is to match users’ queries to more relevant results.

The Hummingbird update gets rid of all sites that are using excessive keywords or keywords that don’t make sense or strings of keywords that are awkward in content. These things decrease the value of a site for both search engines and users.

The official announcement for Google’s Hummingbird was made on September 26, 2013, but in reality, the algorithm had been in place a month before. The decision to develop Hummingbird was partly motivated by the inconsistencies in previous algorithms, notably Penguin and Panda, that were causing significant losses in web rankings and traffic. After trying out the new algorithm a month before its official release, Google noticed that Hummingbird did not generate any negative implications on the general web.

How Hummingbird Impacts SEO

During the first few months after its release, the SEO community primarily understood it to impact the accuracy of Google’s knowledge graph positively. However, over time, it became apparent that the algorithm also significantly affected local search engine results.

The benefits of Hummingbird are powerful in conversational and contextual search, two components firmly attached to the relationship between words and fundamental semantics.

In the case of contextual search, Google Hummingbird conveys the outcomes that resonate well with the intention behind the query. This is an improvement from the previous algorithms that only generated results based on interpreting the words themselves.

Benefits of Semantic SEO

The new feature facilitates improved content quality. Semantic SEO allows you to increase the chances of providing users with comprehensive information, consequently narrowing their search. This is enabled by focusing on the broader subject matter instead of a single component.

Search engine optimization aims to get users to spend enough time on your website to compel them to take action and mitigate the scenario of abandoned carts in e-commerce businesses. For instance, a user that spends 15 minutes reading a post about lawn services in Fort Worth, TX, will most likely contact the company using the number provided on their website compared to a user who spends less time.

Accordingly, semantic SEO enables you to increase the average time that a user spends on a page, thereby, you engage them more. This can be attributed to comprehensive and detailed content being more interesting and helpful than brief material.

The third benefit of semantic SEO constitutes improved domain authority. Semantic has the potential to bring more quality to your topic search by incorporating fact-based analysis.

Internal Linking and Competition

Semantic SEO also provides you with vital opportunities for internal linking. When you delve into certain subject matters, there are chances that you’ll notice their relation to other topics that interest you or are related to your work. That provides you with a favorable landscape to organically incorporate internal links.

The reality of modern living is that we all have to contend with competition at some point, particularly in areas involving money and income. Probably, the keywords you have used to create your online content are the same as those employed by your competitors. If you are looking to gain an edge over other similar businesses, then semantic SEO is the way to go. This increases the chances of users finding your webpage through different searches such as Google or Bing just to mention a few.

Semantic SEO Strategies to Focus on

Now that you understand the meaning of semantic SEO and its key benefits and importance, it is time to delve into specific strategies that can enable you to increase your web traffic. The first technique constitutes understanding the users’ intention. This entails going beyond individual keywords to see the bigger picture of your users’ queries. For instance, while the keyword might be “social media,” the full query could be “the impact of social media on marketing.”

Secondly, you should focus on improving your external and internal link structure. By heightening your focus on comprehensive topics instead of keywords, you will often discover that one subject matter shares a correlation with other meaningful content on your page. This strategy will additionally enable you to obtain authoritative backlinks.

One can also choose to use structured data markup to structure content in an organized manner so that the algorithms interpret them better. Executing this strategy will allow you to move up the SERPs and culminate in snippets. Additional strategies include performing keyword clustering, enhancing your keyword search, and formulating in-depth topic outlines.

How Does Semantic Search Affect My Site?

As a business owner with a website, you don’t really need to worry about semantic searching. Honestly, if you’re doing SEO right, then you don’t really need to worry about it – semantic search will actually probably help your site thrive. So what can you do to optimize to make semantic search beneficial to you? Well, there are a few things you can do.

Useful Content

Make sure your content on your site is useful and addresses the topics thoroughly and accurately. Google crawlers search sites with a lot of great information to find answers to search queries. If your site has a lot of content, it’s more likely to hold the answers that the search engines and the searchers want.

Optimize for Local Search

Optimizing your site for your geographic location will help search queries that are focused in your area. Often, searchers will type in a query that contains the words “near me.” By optimizing your site by being in your Google My Business rankings, having accurate hours and location information on your site, and including location-specific content on your blog, search engines will be able to link your site to semantic queries.

How Google Finds and Ranks Relevant Pages

Google utilizes web crawlers that index and scan web pages. Every web page is rated according to Google’s judgment of its usefulness and authority. Google proceeds to deploy an algorithm containing more than 210 known factors to order websites on a search result page. A website that appears top on the search result page is the most relevant and authoritative in contrast to the other websites.

While keywords are vital in attracting the necessary traffic for your website to thrive, semantic SEO combines the benefits of keywords and the advantages of delivering comprehensive content to secure a competitive advantage. With semantic SEO you can capture the attention of your users to a great extent by delivering comprehensive content on your web page.

Understanding Semantic SEO to Boost Your Rankings

If you need help with further understanding Semantic SEO and how it fits into your strategy, reach out to Boostability today. As a white label SEO company, we help small businesses get found online. If you are looking for an SEO partner program to help your clients rank higher on Google, reach out to our team of experts today. We have the knowledge and experience to seamlessly integrate with your product offering and boost your business.


Kyle is the former Partner Marketing Lead at Boostability. Since graduating from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, Kyle has developed a passion for creating SEO and Digital Marketing content to help educate and inform readers, customers, and partners through various marketing channels. He has previously worked with clients directly on Boostability’s Client Management team and loves to help businesses succeed online. Outside of work, Kyle enjoys playing sports, skiing, trying new restaurants, and spending time with family.