18 Mar Taking Advantage of Semantic Search | SEO Services in Florida
In the olden days of SEO, rankings were based, in part, on exact keyword match.
For example, if the user typed “SEO services in Florida”, Google would find pages that pretty much had that exact term on them somewhere, and in the right proportion.
Those were the days of exact keyword matching. In those days, it was fairly easy to optimize a page; all you had to do is find the exact keyword and plug it in. Of course, you occasionally had a tough time plugging in weird or awkward keywords, like “SEO Florida companies” or something like that. It’s tough to make that natural.
Google eventually figured out that people don’t really always search using exact keyword matches. And, the best websites to show them – the most relevant websites – weren’t always ones that had exact keyword phrases on them.
They determined that when showing people the best sites for their searches, it was all about semantics. In other words, it’s more about matching the general idea people were looking for rather than their specific words. Maybe they don’t know what to search for, or they’re not exactly sure what the best phrase is to search.
By shifting to semantic search – getting “close enough” – Google could do a better job of showing searchers the most relevant sites without having to worry about exact keyword match.
For example, previously the keyword phrase may have been “SEO services in Florida”. But maybe they’re looking for “Florida SEO companies” or “SEO marketing firms in Naples” or any combination of those keywords.
Google understands their intent. They understand what the user is trying to find. So, they pore over web pages and find the ones that are most directly correlated to that general idea.
How do you take advantage of this? Write your content in a completely natural way. Don’t worry about shoe-horning in exact keyword phrases. Your content should be conversational, easy to follow, and easy to understand.
Also, think of different variations of a keyword phrase. This allows you to potentially show up to more searchers who aren’t necessarily using that one specific phrase you’ve tried to optimize for. (You can see that performed here throughout this blog, as we are trying to reach people who are searching for agencies in Florida who offer SEO services.)
Semantic search is the way forward, and taking advantage of that method is the best way to ensure your pages are prepared to rank.