Welcome to the World of SEO
Understanding what Search Engine Optimization is and how you can use it to your advantage is what will separate you from your competition and bring your business to the next level. More often than not, users are either entirely overwhelmed by the concept of SEO or they simply believe that it is a hoax that isn’t worth the money. As it turns out, SEO is not magic, nor is it a trick. It is a series of tried and true methods used on a website in a meticulous and planned fashion in order to consistently increase the amount of traffic brought to it. The unavoidable side effect of increased traffic to a website is it’s elevation in search engine rankings.
This is our first article in a series whose main goal is to teach you the ins and outs of search engine optimization. We advise that you read the articles in this series carefully because they are packed with useful tips and tricks that, if followed precisely, will bring you enormous online marketing success. This first article focuses on a crucial aspect of SEO: the construction and use of the Semantic Core.
Search Engine Optimization Basics: What is the Semantic Core?
Your company website is a representation of your business, plain and simple. We already know that design and layout play a huge role in user experience, but just as important is the content that makes up the bulk of the site. The best websites employ something called a semantic core, which can loosely be defined as an ordered set of words and phrases for which users will search and be brought to your website from search engines. These words and phrases are used throughout your website in order to be “picked up” by search engines when users search for them.
Not all words are created equal, however. Words are divided into categories of high, medium, and low frequencies, a ranking based off their popularity. For example the phrase “Web Design” will be high-frequency (HF), “Web Design Company” will be at mid-range frequency, and “Top Web Design Company in Montgomery County” will be low-frequency (LF). As you can probably guess, the more popular a word or phrase is, the more competition you face when trying to use it as a representation of your business (this is because many other people are doing the same thing). On the same note, the more competitive a keyword or phrase is, the better the results will be when using it as representation of your website in your semantic core. Being at the top of Google’s rankings for competitive keywords and phrases is a trying task, but one that can yield invaluable results.
Describe Your Company with Tails and Specifiers
It is important to keep in mind that up to 40% of all requests users search in Google will never be regularly sought after. By this we mean that while you may find a unique way to describe your business, other people will not search for your company in that way. It is only through using competitive and relevant descriptors or specifiers can your website really come to the forefront of Google’s top ranks.
The best requests are made from HF and mid-range words with many qualifiers mixed throughout. Here are a few examples:
- “Affordable custom web design services for small business”
- “Custom web design and development in Philadelphia area”
- “Best professional web design agencies”
It is important for you to sit and think about how people may be searching for your business, and then to construct a string of possible searches that contain HF and mid-range frequency keywords and phrases and use them throughout your website. They will become integral parts of your semantic core.
Building your Semantic Core to Begin Website Optimization
We know that the quality of both your company and website is far above that of your competitors, but don’t write them off just yet. By looking at your competitors’ websites, you can begin to gather words and phrases that would be helpful additions to your own semantic core. Check out the headlines they have on their websites. Do a couple of Google searches and see if their website appears as a top submission. You can even view Google’s recommended keywords.
You should also remember that not everyone searching for your business knows it as well as you do. It might be helpful to poll friends and family with the simple question of “What would you type into Google in order to find my firm’s website?” This type of self-conducted research will provide you with the insight necessary to bring organic traffic to your company site.
We ask that you use caution when working with fee-based online marketing programs. It is true that they will help you optimize the routine operations of SEO, but not one of them will be the “all-in-one” solution to receiving professional results online.
The best way to understand the value of words and phrases in Google’s search rankings is to consult with Google itself. Google AdWords will be your best friend in building a semantic core for your company page. It uses huge aggregate sets of data in combination with localization techniques in order to determine how many times a particular word or phrase has been searched and even how many times it was searched for in your area. Pretty cool right?
When constructing a semantic core, it typically takes us anywhere from five hours to a few days. You are just as capable!
First, sign up for Google Adwords.
Next, open up Google Planner and begin researching various keywords and phrases. Make sure when doing so that you specify the region in which you would like users to be searching for you - it’s great if someone in California finds your website, but if you are in Philadelphia and they don’t plan on flying over, it is only a waste of your time.
Now, with your list of several hundred keywords and phrases, compile it into an organized document and save it for later use.
Best SEO Techniques: How Many Words Should be in my Semantic Core?
Here is an answer we are sure you will love: it depends. That’s right. Depending on the site, the number of words will vary entirely. If you are a small business offering only a few services in a very specific location, you will only need several different combinations of keywords for your semantic core. If you are a large corporation or a store engaged in online marketing, you will need thousands of keywords. As a rule of thumb, a typical semantic core will consistent of three or four strong HF words and at least 100 mid-range words.
Many companies make the mistake of using only a few mid-range and LF words, thinking them to be unimportant. The problem with this, however, is that substantial results come from the many variations of the phrase that become available from having a diverse list of these types of words in your semantic core. The greater the depth of your semantic core, the more likely your website will occupy top positions online within Google’s search result rankings.
We will discuss how increase the amount of searches your website receives from your semantic core in an upcoming article.
Summing it up
A company without a semantic core is doomed to fail in the realm of online marketing and search engine optimization. They will be lost without targeted keywords methodically chosen to represent their company in search engines. By compiling an accurate and informed list of keywords and phrases into a semantic core, you place your company or business in a position that is now relevant to potential customers. It is not something to be overlooked, but rather, the first step in laying a solid SEO foundation for your website. But just like a house, the foundation needs to be done correctly or else it will collapse on itself.
By following the advice in this article and the ones to follow, you are embarking on the best path forward in order to bring you and your company the best online results possible.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out our others or call us for more information. Cheers!