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Semantic Core: What It Is and How to Use It?

Written by

Andrew Strassmore

Reviewed by

Emmanuel O.

Fact checked by

Artem Goryushin

May 30, 2023

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Elementary

Semantic Core

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In linguistics, “semantics” means the definition of a word or a phrase, and in Internet marketing this term is used to describe the themes and structure of a site. In fact, it is a set of words and phrases that best describe the resource and its purpose. They are the ones that bring users to your site.

The semantic core should be compiled for:

  • search machine robots to better see the site;
  • search engines to correctly rank the resource and give users relevant results;
  • visitors to be comfortable while searching for information.

In the first place in the searching output is the site that search engines will find most relevant to a particular query. Such resources will attract a large amount of organic traffic, broaden an audience and increase sales.

How to compile a semantic core?

In order to compile the semantic core, you need to simultaneously take into account your own business goals and the interests of the audience. The work starts with selecting keywords that bring users to your site. To systematize the information and not to miss anything, enter it into Excel or Google Sheets.

In order to generate the most detailed list of keywords you can use one of the following methods:

Brainstorming session

The first thing to do is to think about what problems and needs bring visitors to your resource, and imagine what kind of query they enter for it in the search engine. To avoid missing anything, ask a few questions:

  • What is the possible naming of your product that your customers might come up with (you need to consider jargon, professional terminology, abbreviations or words in English)?
  • What is important to the customer when buying or ordering the goods (fast delivery, online consultation)?
  • What are the qualities of the goods the buyer is looking for (waterproof watch, silent vacuum cleaner)?
  • What components does your product consist of (if you sell building materials, this could include cement, bricks, and drywall)?

Look at what your competitors are doing

Go into your browser in incognito mode and study the websites of your principal competitors. First, read your colleagues’ texts and write down words and phrases that could be considered keywords. Then expand that list with the help of special services. SEMrush or Serpstat will show you the queries that drive customers to other people’s sites. Most likely, some of them will be relevant to your resource.

Use special services

For automatic selection of keywords we will need a Keyword Planner  (Google Ads tool).  

In this tool you can enter several keywords in the search box, choose the country you are targeting, the level of depth you want (the higher the level, the more the number of keywords you get back). If you are developing your business in one or more cities, rather than across the country – use a regional filter.

How to filter keywords?

Not all of the options offered by services will be right for your business, so a set of keywords should be carefully reviewed and cleaned up. If a company doesn’t have a product or service listed – don’t include it in your semantics. Get rid of queries that mention competitors and cities in which you do not operate.

Pay attention to the frequency of requests. It can be high, medium or low. Expressing it in numbers is impossible, because it all depends on the subject of the site. 

Medium and low-frequency queries are of most interest to us: they are less competitive and easier to display in the top search engines.

What to do with the semantic core?

Once all the queries are collected, they need to be distributed to individual pages of the site. This process is called clustering: you need to combine similar keywords in groups and decide where to put them. This will depend on the structure of the site and terms of reference for future articles.

If you are launching a small site, you can do manual clustering. For a project with a complex structure and thousands of keywords you will have to use special services, which analyze resources that occupy the first ten positions in search results, and automatically form clusters.

Types of semantic markers

  • Informational – help in finding background information about something (“how to”, “how to choose”) and are relevant to the sections “blog” and “articles;
  • Transactional – used in commercial projects when users want to perform an action (“buy”, “download”), used in catalogs and product cards;
  • Navigational – branded queries, search for a company, a specific resource (“official website of the company”)—such keys are typical for pages with contacts or information about the organization.

Conclusion

Knowledge of SEO will be useful to anyone who launches a new site or fills an existing one with content. Unfortunately, good design and interesting articles are not enough for promotion. If you do not pay attention to semantics and do not understand the principles of ranking, you run the risk of remaining “invisible” to search engines.

Related articles:

What is Link Building? What is Link Juice? What is Nofollow Link in SEO?

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