Create The Movement Podcast Episode 19
Brad Post, Create the Movement: Welcome to the next edition of our podcast.
Josh Rich, Create the Movement: Yes, yes.
B: My name is Brad Post. I’m sitting here with Josh Rich.
J: Hello, hello.
B: Josh, how are you?
J: Doing well. How are you?
B: I’m doing great. We are going to be talking about semantics?
J: Semantics. And how it impacts overall SEO efforts.
B: I don’t even know if I know how to spell semantics.
J: I probably don’t either.
B: That’s a big word.
J: That’s why we do podcasts. We don’t know about spelling things. We just talk.
J: So, semantics are kind of, you know, the devil’s in the details basically. And so, semantics, by definition, are just like those little details that typically people don’t care about.
J: But, Google is starting to care more, and more, about these little details.
J: So, we all know, like, keywords are important to have on the page. So, if you want to rank well for Christmas decorations, then you have the word ‘Christmas decorations’ on your page. But it’s also important to have other common keywords that are associated with Christmas decorations.
J: So, you want to have this, kind of, like web of keywords, if you will. And Google is getting more, and more sophisticated, and they’re, kind of, starting to weigh the semantic keywords more and more. And so, what that means is that basically it’s just an effort to make the page ranking more natural. So, that way people can’t just stuff the keywords in there as much as they want. They need to be talking about things that are related to that keyword.
J: So, take the example of Christmas decorations. You probably want to have ‘ornaments’, ‘hooks’, ‘tinsel’, ‘Christmas trees’, even ‘Santa’, or just different things like that. You know, like I said, this is just more, and more sophisticated, that way people can’t fake it.
J: It has to be, you need to have good content on your site that’s not just about one word that you use over, and over, and over, and over, and over again to be repetitive.
J: So, that’s kind of why Google’s doing this. And we’ve kind of seen this shift in placing a bigger priority on that. And I think that will continue as the search algorithms become more sophisticated. And the bots become more sophisticated. And we kind of see a push to, kind of, eliminate these old, black-hat tactics. So, the big question then, is how do you know if your semantics are correct?
J: So, one thing you can do, you can check pages that well for the keywords you want to rank for.
J: And just read it and see what else they’re including in there. And that’s what Google will do, too. They will look at the pages that have all the traffic for that keyword, and say, “Well, all right. What do they have?” Obviously, this is what people like. This is what people are going to. So, what are they talking about the other pages need to be talking about too?
So, go to your competitors’ websites if you’re trying to write for a new keyword, or just improve your ranking for an existing keyword. And see what else they’re talking about. And, you know, it might even be worth your while to take one of those semantic keywords and maybe write a blog post on it. Or, even, just devote a whole page of content on there.
J: Because that might, you know, it might help depending on the situation. It’s hard to make a blanket statement about that.
The other thing you want to do is just get some actual hard data and some numbers, and there are some tools, as there always are, for this sort of thing. You know, our favorite is always Raven Tools. It doesn’t give you a ton of data, but it will let you know if you have, you know, any blatant problems.
J: Moz has this as well. I can’t speak to that. And there are just a couple of SEO tools that are completely devoted just to semantics. I’ve never used any of them, but I think some of them got some good reviews. But it will just help you, again, just make sure that you have content saying the right things and not just keyword stuff.
B: Would the Google Keyword Planner help give you some ideas?
J: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. If you go to the forecaster, or, I forget what it’s called, just the Keyword Generator.
B: Yup, it’ll give you ideas.
J: Yeah. It helps give you different ideas of what else people are searching for. And that’s one thing that you want to do, you know. If people search for Christmas decorations and they also search for
B: Christmas ornaments.
J: Christmas ornaments. Yeah, exactly. Then you need to make sure you have those as well.
J: So, there’s not like an exact science to it, per se, of how many related keywords you need to have. Or which related keywords you need to have.
B: Or, how many semantic keywords you need to have?
J: Yeah. Well, there isn’t yet, at least.
J: Maybe someone will think of that up. But for now it’s just, kind of, a general, make sure that you have semantic keywords on your page, on all your content. And that will help your rankings.
J: Because otherwise people will just think your keywords  and then you’ll get penalized for it.
J: So, that’s really the biggest thing that you need to watch out for.
B: Okay. And I think it’s good because it’s a lot more readable.
B: If you see ‘Christmas decorations’ in one sentence, and then two sentences later ‘Christmas decorations’ it’s frustrating to read.
J: Yeah. Exactly. It’s not only to add relevant content, but again it’s almost forcing the content writers to be good at their jobs.
J: To write about things people want to read – that’s the biggest issue.
B: Exactly. And then, like you said, also maybe adding more pages of content, or adding blog posts on those other semantic keywords.
J: Yeah, absolutely.
B: And then linking back
J: Yeah, using internal linking never hurts anything.
B: Good. Good. So, do you see this just being a big deal as far as Google in the future?
J: Absolutely. Yeah, I think that as their tactics become more sophisticated that it will kind of force out a lot of the black-hat tactics that SEO people have been using for a long time.
B: Yup, perfect. All right. Anything else, Josh?
J: That should do it. It’s a quick one, but it’s important.
J: Semantics is quick, but it’s also very important.
B: It’s in the details. Thank you, sir.