What are Semantic Keywords and How Do They Impact SEO?

“Semantic keywords” in SEO speak, refer to the meaning and intent behind a specific keyword phrase.

When someone enters a search query into Google, there is some user intent behind that search. For example, if they use the word “Pizza” that could mean they were searching for great recipes for pizza, looking for a local pizzeria to eat at, looking for pizza delivery or a number of different things.

So in order for Google to return the best possible results for the searcher, they look at other semantically related keywords in search queries, and on websites, to determine who should rank well in results. Moz.com put together a really nice illustration that outlines this with a different example (though I’m more partial to pizza than politics):

Semantic Keywords and Relationships

Great SEO Focuses on More Than Just a Few Phrases

In order to be effective with Search Engine Optimization, you can no longer just focus on one keyword or phrase. As shown in the diagram above, if a core keyword that you want to rank well for  is “White House,” then you need to use that term along with other semantically related terms like:

  • President
  • Washington
  • Government
  • United States

But, you can’t stop there, you need to undercover other secondarily related keywords as well; for example:

  • Trump
  • Obama
  • First Lady
  • 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
  • Fake News
  • Orange Comb Over
  • Etc.

(Okay those last few might be pushing it, but I think you get the picture.)

How Do You Choose the Right Semantically Related SEO Terms?

In our SEOwebinar, we dig into semantic keywords, keyword research strategy, incorporating related terms into your website, and much more. We outline how to create and implement an SEO strategy to improve search visibility and drive qualified traffic to your site. Learn more about Semantic SEO now.

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