Semantic keywords are keywords that have a similar or related meaning to your main keywords. They’re very important when you’re writing SEO content, because of the way Google now assesses web pages in order to decide how to rank them.
In the past Google used to make ranking decisions based on how often keywords appeared on a page, but this led to the infuriating practice of cramming website content with primary keywords, making it dreadful to read. For example, a company selling double glazing might have produced a blog post where the term “double glazing” appeared in virtually every sentence and heading.
These days Google does it differently. It looks at the constellation of words and phrases that are semantically linked to the main keywords – so, for example, if you’re a baker and one of your primary keywords is “bread”, then your semantic keywords might include “baguette”, “loaf”, and “bakery”. Rather than mentioning the word “bread” at every opportunity, your SEO content would need to include these semantically linked words too.
Sprinkling semantically linked keywords through your content increases the chances of your page ranking more highly in Google search results. It also helps you write more interesting, informative and readable copy, and provides useful ideas for new content.
How do I find semantically linked keywords?
Here are 8 ways to find semantically linked keywords:
- Google’s “related searches” and “people also ask” sections
Put your primary and/or secondary keywords into Google and scroll down to the bottom of the search results page, to see the list of related searches. This will give you some ideas for semantically linked words and phrases. You can also get ideas from the “people also ask” section halfway down the search results page.
- The Google Ads tool
Google Ads includes a keyword planner which can help you find semantically linked keywords. It can help you identify not only popular keywords, but also the search terms related to these.
- Google search result listings
Scroll through Google search results and you’ll see that the keywords you entered into the search bar appear in bold within each listing. Not only that, but Google will have put other related keywords in bold. For example, search results for “buy bread Swansea” include the following words in bold: “bakery”, “shop” and “Swansea loaf”. These additional words can provide useful semantically linked keywords.
- Google Trends
Google Trends is a fascinating tool that can show you the searches people are making in relation to your keyword. For example, related queries for “buy bread” include “brioche bread” and “where to buy keto bread near me”. It also lists related topics such as “olive”, “French toast” and “cream cheese”. This provides content ideas as well as keywords.
- Social media monitoring tools
Social monitoring tools track what people are saying about certain keywords. This is a great way to understand what people are talking about and get ideas for related keywords and topics. Examples include Buzzsumo, Sprout Social, Hootsuite and Mention.
- Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool
The Keyword Magic Tool will do the hard work for you, giving you detailed information about the semantic keywords you need. The keywords can be sorted by various traits, such as volume, to help you decide where to focus your efforts.
- LSI Graph
LSI Graph is a free keyword tool that will give you a long list of related terms to use in your content. For example, the word “bread” brings up results including “types of bread”, “how to make bread” and “French bread recipes”, and it tells you which terms are the most popular. It also lists top performing content linked to the keyword “bread”, which could fuel further content ideas.
- Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool
Amazon’s Alexa has a Keyword Difficulty Tool that will reveal similar words and phrases related to your target term. It also gives competition and popularity scores for each keyword.
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