The Semantic Universe: Boost Search Engine Ranking Using This Simple Technique
You most likely don’t have a formal SEO process. People find it hard to find you in search engines and you are losing valuable customers. Sure, customers can find you if they search by your company name, but that means they have to know you by your company name!
Mention.com improved their organic search SEO by 373% in six weeks by using a two-step process: choosing the correct keywords and optimizing content. This post is one of a series of posts over the next few weeks that focus on SEO methods.
Google’s Search Algorithm
Google’s Penguin update in 2012 (the algorithm for search) introduced penalties for keyword stuffing – an SEO technique, in which a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content of a web page – link-buying, and other SEO hacks. This forced webmasters to change their strategy. Google’s reasoning? To help people find sites that provide good user experiences.
Your SEO strategy should keep in mind the user experience. The SEO method? Focus on three things:
- Volume – how many people are searching for the term?
- Difficulty – how competitive is the keyword?
- Usage – Are prospects using the keywords?
The Semantic Universe
The common logic is that if you are targeting a specific keyword you should use that phrase in your SEO and tags. This technique is antiquated and Google will likely punish your ranking. Google understands variations and has built a semantic universe. This means that this “universe” is like a virtual word cloud of related terms and synonyms, so when you use terms that are similar to your keywords, your keywords will get a ranking boost as well.
Choose Your Keywords
Once you’ve chosen the keywords you will use – keep in mind the Semantic Universe strategy! – you need to create content that suits them.
You need to use the keywords in titles, headings, tags, and the body of the page text. There are technical fixes you should keep in mind, such as using the keywords in the image tags, h1 and h2 headings, duplicate content, pagespeed, among others that we will touch on in the next post.