Sahil Kakkar
Sahil Kakkar 3 September 2018

How is Semantics a Determining Factor in SEO?

Semantics is a popular term in the world of digital marketing. Every marketer knows how important semantics can be for their website. If you are someone who is new to this field then you might be looking for answers to questions like what exactly is semantic search? How can it affect your website’s search engine optimization? Etc. This article is aimed to resolve such queries that can be a bit complex for you to understand. Semantics is indeed a confusing term that is not really that easy to comprehend with. So, I am going to begin this article by laying the foundation as to what semantic search is.

What is Semantic Search?

The word semantic is relating to meaning in language or logic. And Semantic Search means that the search engine will perform a search based on not just the keywords but several other resources as well.

You’ve all used and possibly have been troubled with autocorrect, right?

Well, that’s just one form of semantics. What autocorrect does is it provides you with suggestions or automatically corrects a spelling mistake which it considers as the most relevant word depending on the rest of the content. 

What Semantic search actually does is it tries to comprehend a user’s search intent depending on the context of the search and the previous searches performed by him

Search engines do such actions so that the user is not provided with irrelevant information to his query. It is better to get one correct result than a hundred incorrect ones. 

Still having a bit of a trouble in understanding what semantic search means?

Here are some examples which can help you clear the fog.
Semantic Search Examples
When I searched on Google meaning of the word Semantics, I purposely typed the wrong spelling and Google corrected it and presented it to me like this:

It also showed the answer on top, which it thought would be the best answer to my query.

Plus, it has shown some graphical representations on the right-hand side to help me get an even clearer understanding of the subject, like this:

And just below the images, there is a “people also search for” tab that gives the searcher an idea as to what other people who searched for semantics have also shown their interest in.

Previously, Google only focussed on specific keywords and showed search results depending on them only, but after the Hummingbird update, search queries possibilities were broadened and Google began to prioritize resolving user’s search queries by focussing on it as a whole and not just showing results depending on the keywords.

When I searched for ‘Semantics Meaning’, Google search results weren’t focussed on providing me with results that include exact same keywords in them, it juggled a bit and synonymized my query, so my search results have a variety as well,

Google showed me results where the focussed keyword was ‘definition’.

How does Semantics affect Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Neither Google nor does webmasters know what the searchers are going to search for. Google has its own algorithms to determine what the searcher is really looking for but the webmasters have no clue so they have to do semantic keyword research and make their content rich with them.

What I mean is, let’s say the primary keyword is ‘men clothing’ and you are using it efficiently in your website content, but not everyone is going to search using the exact same keywords. So you need to use synonyms of the primary keyword in your content pieces, for example, ‘men clothing’ can become ‘men apparels’. By this, you are not only adopting a smarter way of getting your website ranked but also you are increasing the chances of boosting it’s SERP rankings.

Proper usage of semantic keywords can improve your click-through rate and when your website’s content is rich with semantic keywords then search engines give it a higher quality score, which also helps in boosting SERP rankings. 

How should you do Semantic Keyword research?
This might sound a bit complex but the consistent use of these methods will only make it easier for you to identify the relevant keywords for your content pieces.

1. Related searches on Google
This is the easiest way to do semantic keyword research. 

Visit and enter your query in the search bar.

Then press enter and you will be presented with such results:


You don’t have to focus on the results, just scroll down and reach the end of the page, there you will find this


These are the related searches to ‘Men’s Clothing Discounts’. These can be used as semantic keywords and they are a mix of short tail as well as long tail keywords, so you will be able to make your content piece even richer when you use a primary keyword, semantic keyword, short tail keyword, long tail keyword, in a single content piece.

2. Use The Keywords Everywhere Tool
You can install the ‘keyword everywhere’ extension in your browser to get an even detailed account of semantic keywords alongside the already suggested ones by Google.

After installation, whenever you perform a search you will get additional results like this,


So, here again, I have performed a search for ‘men’s clothing and on the right-hand side, you can see the ‘related keywords’ suggestions made by the keywords everywhere tool.

It also gives you more suggestions for keywords that people have also searched for.

You will be provided with the search volume, cost per click, competition as well. Depending on those numbers you can decide which keyword to use in your content pieces.

Things To Remember
While making your content rich with the required relatable keywords, you need to keep your main focus on two things, so that your SEO efforts bring out the best results. 

Organically Place The Keywords
Whenever you decide to create content and enrich it with required keywords, you should not just put them anywhere you like, they need to be organically placed in the content, otherwise Google Bot will penalize your website by not ranking it or by decreasing it’s SERP rankings.

Create Content Around Trends
This is simply the best way to get your website ranked. You need to learn how to build semantics using trend for better content. You have to begin by looking for semantic keywords around the trending topics or some viral content and create content pieces using them. This will increase your chances of getting indexed in the top SERPs and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.
On Page Optimisation
On Page, optimization is one of the most important factors there is in the world of SEO. You need to use the keywords in the heading, the title, the meta description, etc.. although the title and heading tags won’t give you much freedom of using semantics but meta description will and you can use semantics keywords in that.

Closing Thoughts

Semantic search is not a complex term after all. Neither searching for the semantic keyword nor the usage of them.

You can easily extract the keywords from Google and with the help of keyword everywhere tool.  All you need to worry about is how you are going to use those keywords. You have to place them organically, make your content SEO optimized, and boost it more you have to start focussing on what’s viral and create content pieces based on that.

I know this is an article but this may as well be a brief guide to Semantic search.

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