Even if you've heard of semantic SEO, it can be tough to keep up with search’s ever-evolving best practices. We’ve got your back.
First, what is it? Semantic SEO is the practice of optimizing content for the meaning and intent behind a search query. Prior to the semantic search shift, users would find 1:1 pages directly related to the search term they entered. Now, “next phase” search results provide related relevant content—think knowledge graph results and answer cards.
Here are some starter tips for making the most of your semantic SEO efforts.
- Find users who crave your content, even if the search terms they’re using aren’t high-volume ones that typically drive a lot of traffic. Use long-tail keyword research for a more conversational approach to content development.
- Create “halo” content that complements your core topics of expertise. This content will expand your keyword reach beyond a niche keyword with a single piece of content.
- Use a conversational tone where it feels natural. With the advent of voice search, conversations with technology trigger the need for content that clearly answers the query and matches the searcher’s intent. You may gain a competitive advantage by trying a tone and style that reflects how people really talk in casual conversations.
And if you want to keep up with the latest on this emerging search field, check out this list of leading voices to track for tips and updates.
Experts on the Wire: Dan Shure’s weekly podcast featuring the best of the best on content marketing trends, SEO and social media.
The Business of Digital: This show highlights common SEO challenges and advice on digital marketing solutions.
Edge of the Web: A savvy podcast focused on the bottom line of internet marketing for business leaders.
Social Pros: Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, helms an insightful podcast covering social media marketing trends and ideas and how they can impact your business.
This Old Marketing: Content marketing godfathers Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose bring a content-first POV to SEO. The show has ended, but archived episodes are worth a listen.
Resources for SEO Newbies
Google’s SEO guidelines: Why not get it straight from the source? This resource gets updated semiregularly so you can stay on top of important industry changes.
Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO: The most comprehensive resource if you want to learn about all facets of SEO. The section related to keyword research is especially useful for expert-level context for semantic SEO.
DistilledU: A full course on all things SEO to become a savvy industry insider. This is a paid service (though the fee is minimal) that’ll provide great ROI for anyone looking to learn SEO.
Thought Leaders to Follow
Rand Fishkin: Co-founder of Moz and an industry favorite.
Annie Cushing: Founder of Annielytics. A technical SEO genius who wrote the framework for a successful SEO audit.
Andy Crestodina: Co-founder of Orbit Media who is living at the intersection of content and SEO.
Larry Kim: Founder of WordStream and MobileMonkey. A true SEO unicorn.
Dan Shure: Founder of Evolving SEO and the SEO equivalent of a Swiss army knife.
Wil Reynolds: Founder of Seer Interactive and the most no-nonsense, innovative SEO expert.
Pubcon: This conference is like walking into a private house party filled with the best SEO, PPC and content marketing minds. You’ll leave with actionable insights to apply to your own marketing initiatives.
MozCon: Moz’s annual conference boasts world-class speakers serving up smarts and takeaways that deliver, regardless of the size of your business.
SMX: Known as an elite SEM conference, SMX is a place where nerding out on SEO, PPC and all things digital marketing is celebrated. Some of the largest brands in the world are represented at this premier conference.
Inbound: Hosted by HubSpot, this conference zeroes in on the world of inbound marketing and attracts people using content as a cornerstone of modern marketing.
SearchLove: The long-running digital marketing conferences boast a heavy-hitting lineup of SEM thought leaders willing to share industry tips and insider knowledge to help your business get found.
Top News Sources
Search Engine Land: All the news fit to post.
Search Engine Journal: Your SEO BFFs.
Search Engine Watch: The go-to reference.