Keyword research has always been a foundational component of good SEO. Before search engines were as savvy as they are today, keyword research was critical for identifying the terms to use, in order to help Google understand what a page was about and how to classify it. Any page that wanted to rank well needed to feature the same keyword phrase, in the header, subheaders and throughout the body copy several times.
Today, however, keywords (and readers) have advanced significantly. While keyword research is still very important, the approach to it has evolved. Semantically connected keywords have taken over where traditional keywords once ruled.
What Are Semantically Connected Keywords?
In the early days of Google and other search engines, a platform's bots could only understand a search term as it was exactly written. This means that if you wanted to rank for "blender," you had to use the word "blender" - and nothing else.
Today, however, search engines have evolved to understand semantics and user intent. Today, Google understands that a user who searches for "kitchen appliances" is probably also interested in "blenders," even though he or she never used that exact keyword.
This is semantic search, and it represents the future of SEO.
How to Use Semantically Connected Keywords
Semantically connected keywords are a major part of Google's current ranking methods. This makes the process of search and SEO easier and more natural for both marketers and readers. To use semantic keywords, follow these tips:
1. Start with your standard keyword list.
To find the right semantically connected keywords for your topic, start with your list of standard keywords and work out from there. Once you've compiled the core list, use Google's "related search" feature to find out what other people are searching for and which phrases might be most relevant to your keyword list.
2. Focus on thematically related keywords.
If a person searches for "fitness classes in NYC," there's a good chance they'd also search "yoga classes in NYC" or "cycling classes in NYC." By understanding these thematic—rather than exact literal--connections, it's easy to make the most of semantic search.
3. Incorporate the keywords naturally throughout your text.
Today, all good keywords must be incorporated naturally into text. The moment a keyword breaks the readability of a piece of content, it becomes a bad keyword. With this in mind, focus on natural inclusion - but don't go overboard. Google and your readers are smarter than you may think. This is where it’s valuable to have a copywriter who is search-smart.
The Case for Semantically Connected Keywords
Designed to make search more natural, semantically connected keywords make it easier to rank for various search terms and help readers find exactly what they're looking for. We can provide semantically connected keyword research for your industry, and help you target the correct terms.