Boosting Local Searches: Semantic SEO Tactics
Semantic search is arguably one of the least-tapped areas of search engine optimization for businesses, taking into account search query context and meaning, searcher intent, and subject relevance to deliver highly personalized results. Semantic SEO tactics are the little snippets of code embedded in a website that make the site machine-readable, allowing products to appear along a customer’s purchase path to deliver practical value in a way that traditional websites search results can’t.
Along with increasing the chances that your website shows up high on the first page in Google search rankings, the listing of your business itself can be enhanced with a vast array of metadata, attracting prospects to click through, learn more and ultimately convert to customers.
Local Business Marketing, Online Reviews
Most businesses these days understand the importance of local SEO and appearing high in search results, especially in large markets where there is a lot of competition. Sometimes, customers take only seconds glancing at search results before making a snap decision on where to spend their money, like at a restaurant or beauty salon.
An enhanced listing with a photo or other differentiating metadata can mean the difference between a visit or a click and being ignored. Online review resources such as Yelp provide customers with in-depth and immediate feedback and information, and local-based review websites have also expanded to add value to local search.
Reach, Then Engage
One thing that is important to remember as you are designing an SEO strategy is that the search engine’s needs can be very different from user needs, and may not take into context the user’s request (although a good search engine will try). Providing semantic connections to users as they search assures that you will plant potential customers one step closer to becoming customers. Semantic data provides a greater bridge of understanding of the product or service to the end user through highly enriched metadata and semantic markup on your website.
Content Strategy And Quality Curation
These days, content is king and nowhere is that more evident than on websites. Having high-quality, engaging and entertaining content is so incredibly important. Whereas several years ago you could simply slap up a hodgepodge of words on a page with the keyword repeated every few words and expect people to come flocking to your site, now search engines are much more finessed. The topics, the length of your content and how engaging the search engine believes it is to your audience all contribute to whether or not your information shows up high in the rankings.
This is where the semantic web comes in again, by adding semantic markup to your site, using schema.org vocabulary, you can deliver highly-targeted information to individuals, giving them yet one more reason to click and learn more about your offerings. The more people comment on your blog post, the more relevance it gains to search engines, the higher your content shows in search results.
Being the friendly organization that it is, Google has created a suite of semantic markup tools to test your structured data and even provides information on how to implement them on your website. Why would Google take the time to do this? Because the more relevant the results of the search, the more Google learns–and Google loves to learn.