Semantic Search Content Writing Tips

Date: Wed, 03/21/2012 - 15:24

As mentioned in our previous blog post; the “semantic search” algorithm update is being pushed live by Google some time in the spring of 2012.  This penalizes sites that have keyword overstuffing and will most likely be looking more closely at just how much content a given site has for a particular niche.  

Basically, Google will be looking more closely at just how much content you have and how “relevant” you are for your niche. For example, if you have an ecommerce store that sells “cowboy boots” but all you have for content is the text that is on your home page, a handful of category pages, and your product pages, you will most likely have some issues. You will not look like the leading authority on “cowboy boots” unless you have topical content on other things that are semantically similar to cowboy boots, such as western clothing, country fashion, country music, horseback riding and so on. 

So what is a small business owner to do? 

Write, write a lot and write smart.  The above-mentioned company could easily engage their customers and fans through social media, blogging, and articles relevant to the “country” or “cowboy” niche.  Forgive my stereotype as I am generalizing just to provide an example, but most likely their customers are interested in things like country music, riding horses, other western fashion items like plaid shirts and cowboy hats, and maybe even Nascar.

Where do I get started?

First, decide where to focus your new pieces of content. Will you be creating new landing pages around these topics with sales copy or will you be creating articles or blog posts that are not sales oriented?

Second, build out a list of topics and keywords to write on. Use the content writing & keyword research tools mentioned in our “keyword stuffing post” to build your list of ideas, then formulate your strategy around them. 

The landing page Approach: (Service or Ecommerce Websites)

  •  Don’t outsource the writing. Only your company or your staff will understand your niche and your costumers like you. It is important to educate yourself on sales copywriting in addition to LSI copywriting but outsourcing won’t help in the long run. Consider having an employee help, a family member, or training someone new in your area on writing for you.
  • Do it now and do it often. New content should be added to your site at least once a week. If you are not going to be engaging customers via articles or blogging on site, then you should be adding new landing pages at least once a week for moderatley competitive industries.

On Site Articles for Guides/Tips (All niches)

  • On site articles are more commonly used as guides or resource pieces. For example, the customer who sells cowboy boots may benefit from writing a resource guide on “Selecting the right cowboy boots for horseback riding” with detailed photo’s and instructions on what’s important.
  • Relevant On site articles should be found one click away from the landing page where your keyword is focused on.  So the above mentioned article would be great to link to from their category or home page on cowboy boots, whereas a blog post on nascar is not as useful to a visitor (or the search engine) and does not need to be linked one click away from your major landing page.
  • Articles are longer and may require more effort then a new landing page. If you are creating really in depth guides, don’t stress about adding them once a week. Try to settle on a bi monthly plan.

Blogging & Community Building 

  • Of course blogging is a whole marketing practice unto itself but for LSI purposes and semantic search, stick to creating blog posts that are topically similar to the semantic keyword research you compiled. Businesses most often use blogs to give out advice, but there is a tremendous opportunity to engage customers here with interesting “niche” content. The cowboy site could blog about recent nascar races, horseback riding tips, or blog on the general niche of western fashion.
  • Engage guest bloggers to write for you. Guest bloggers will provide content to you for free in exchange for a mention in the blog post of the author, usually with a link to their site. Your SEO company or inhouse SEO should thoroughly check out these companies to make sure they are not using ghosted keywords or engaging in any black hat SEO as linking to someone like that could get you in trouble.

Always Remember

No matter what strategy you use for adding content. Quality is more important then quantity.  A informative, funny, or controversial post will likely earn links and rankings of its own. Additionally, don’t forget to use include media, videos, and imagery whenever possible. The easiest way to scare someone away from reading your content is to make it look like one massive wall of text.

 

 

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