Semantic Keyword Research - Part 1

The term 'Semantic Keyword Research' is something you'll be very familiar with if you're into SEO and web content creation/marketing. But like all internet related subjects, this one appears difficult to understand till you get the hang of it. When you do, it just seems too easy. Dig deep enough into the subject and it is very easy to be confused by the many different interpretations of what 'semantic keyword research' is all about. To begin with, the most important thing you need to know about semantic keyword research is that, applying it to your content can immediately make it stand out amongst all other similar content on the world wide web.

What Are Semantics And How Are They Related To SEO?

Now that we've understood what Semantic Keyword research is all about, let's proceed to understand what the term actually means. 'Semantics' is defined as the "Study of Meaning". Put simply, Semantics deals with the meanings of words. Within the context of SEO content, Semantics refers to the possibility of a word having more than one meaning or the possibility of two or more words having a single meaning. Let's say Person 'A' says "Spud" and Person 'B' says "Potato". The context will mostly be different in each case but both words refer to pretty much the same thing.

Coming to the SEO context of semantics, let's say for example, a user keys in the term "Potato" in a search engine. Now search engines use complex algorithms, but their intelligence and ability to understand a user's search terms is roughly equivalent to a 6th grader. Now what did the search engine user mean by the term "Potato"? Did he mean the starchy tuber or the sweet potato? The reality is, one word could mean many things and this is where LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing comes into play. We may be over simplifying here, but LSI is a way of making your content rank higher in search engine results through the use of clever keyword combinations to your advantage.

It All Starts With The Right "Core Keyword"

Confused where to start Semantic Keyword Research? The best approach is to start with the right 'core keyword'. A core keyword is the easiest part of your research. You can use the 'Google keyword' tool to figure out a list of core keyword phrases that are similar in meaning to your original keyword. Let's say, for example, your original keyword phrase was "Spud Cannons". Now the Google keyword tool will give you a bunch of phrases that are similar to or relate to the original keyword. What's better, it also ranks results based on relevance. Choose the highest rated matches, add some extra words to them so they still make sense and voila! your unique core keyword phrases are ready. For said example, you could end up with phrases like,

- spud cannon range

- spud cannons and safety

- firing a spud cannon

Now that you've settled upon your core keywords, you can take your Semantic Keyword Research to the next level.

I've posted the 2nd part of this article on my blog http://leesmallwood.com/2012/04/13/semantic-keyword-research-part-2/
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