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Writing for Semantic Search


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Key concepts for content creation for web visibility and client conversion. Write for customers, edit for search engines. One concept with accompanying details written for clarity and discoverability.

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Writing for Semantic Search

  1. 1. Writing for Semantic Search Zara Altair – Actation now!
  2. 2. Old SEO and New SEO Before, you just had to write about something. Now you have to say something useful. Richard Hussey SEO and Semantic Search Google+ Community
  3. 3. Goal Drive people to your website Answer a question Solve a problem Take action
  4. 4. Writing for SEO is dead and buried. However, editing for visibility, authority and discoverability is not. Write for humans, edit for search engines and you won't go far wrong. Jason Darrell
  5. 5. SEMANTIC SEARCH Concepts and Questions
  6. 6. Semantic • Relating to meaning in language or logic
  7. 7. Semantic Search • advanced data searching technique • search query targets to determine the contextual meaning of the search words • intent of the searcher rather than focusing on finding just the keywords 01398135#r3LBHd2YRE2wEpJi.97
  8. 8. Algorithms for meaning • Penguin - spam & link bombing • Panda - quality • Hummingbird - understand verbose queries • RankBrain - interprets languages and interprets meanings
  9. 9. Query • Connect the dots • Find meaning in text
  10. 10. THEORIA The What
  11. 11. Writing for machines is over • Write for people • Use natural language
  12. 12. Search has changed • Natural language • Answer a question • Think concept not keywords • Not how much content, but quality • Find meaning in text • Connect the dots of your content Change your content strategy
  13. 13. Relationships among concepts Everything you say is connected to your business
  14. 14. KEY CONCEPT Thought, Text, and Relevancy
  15. 15. Preempt the query Lead towards a goal - shared understanding, ultimate goal Answer a question Initiate dialogue ?
  16. 16. Be the piece of the puzzle your customer is searching for
  17. 17. Goal: Content Writing that connects the dots
  18. 18. Resonate with your reader Visitor • Solve a problem • Discover new ways of thinking • Collaborate Your Content • Win a place in visitor’s attention • First place to enter a win- win relationship • Every page a landing page
  19. 19. interconnected Website + blog + social media
  20. 20. Digital footprint • Website • Social Media • Blog
  21. 21. RELEVANCE ABOVE RANKING Your business niche
  22. 22. Retrain your Brain or…
  23. 23. Relevance Google isn't going to openly tell you what the relevant ingredients are in your particular niche (nor is anyone else ) they've just levelled the playing field for everyone. Now you need to search out that relevancy for yourself especially if you want to produce higher quality content than your competitors. Peter Hatherley
  24. 24. Get Ready Now
  25. 25. Quantum Computing In order to be able to take full advantage of search now and in the future you need to: • Have information on your website that is practical, accessible and rich in detail. • Maintain an active presence across social networks that creates a consistent, persistent breadcrumb trail leading to your website. • Use social networks to build and maintain your reputation (sentiment mining is going to play an increasing role here). • Use the online world with the same care and attention to detail that you use the offline one. David Amerland
  26. 26. USER FRIENDLY Talk to your visitor
  27. 27. User Friendly Writing • Answer a question • Use natural language • Structure from concept introduction to details
  28. 28. SEARCH FRIENDLY Show search your details
  29. 29. Google Webmaster Guidelines • Quality Guidelines • Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  30. 30. PRAXIS How to write semantically
  31. 31. Search Optimization Low and slow… Way to go.
  32. 32. Answer At Least One • Does it answer a specific question the reader may have? • Does it create a challenge for the reader? • Will it leave them feeling enriched? • Is this content that helps establish your company’s authority? • Is it going to help generate greater equity for your brand? Google Semantic Search, David Amerland, p. 103
  33. 33. Choose your theme • One keyword/topic/theme per article • Keyword research • Word bank collection of related “companion” words (the vocabulary)
  34. 34. Vocabulary Builders
  35. 35. Your school teacher was right Keep It Simple
  36. 36. Title or Headline • Clear • Relevant to topic • Include on focused keyword • Keep it short (Maximum 70 characters) • One H1 per page
  37. 37. Headings • Clear • Relevant to topic • Set off next section • Keep it short 45 – 60 characters(Maximum 70) • Easy to skim the logic (get the idea from reading just the headers) • Easy to skim for targeted answer (shows where to find the answer) • Descending order of importance (except for summary)
  38. 38. Sentences • Clear and short • Avoid heavy vocabulary or industry jargon • Easy to skim the logic • Allow reader to quickly read
  39. 39. Paragraphs • Clear and short • Avoid heavy syntax and advanced rhetoric • Aim for three sentences per paragraph • Main point in first sentence • 180-210 characters including spaces and punctuation • 6th grade reading level (Yes, I know.)
  40. 40. Sequence • Topic/Overview - Clear and focused • Romance but not bombast • Pertinent details explained – focus on benefits • Special features • Additional features/you may want to know • Summary with a little more romance • Call to action
  41. 41. Tone • Conversational • Avoid promotional text and hype • Don’t talk down to the reader
  42. 42. Keep In Mind • What question being answered • User experience • Detail and thoroughness • Visuals • Quality of writing • Information and data elements
  43. 43. Don’t do this!
  44. 44. Do this • Give an example of overcoming a problem. Seth was struggling with bounce rate on his site until we redesigned his page and helped him write the introductory content for his landing page. Kathy has lots of followers but no sales. We taught her the three key questions to ask her prospects and how to develop a conversation. List the three questions. Keith wants to give his girlfriend a beautiful and unique gift. A really one-of-a-kind item. Describe the labor, intensity, and unique material that go into your beaded basket. Joanne thinks she needs SEO for her self-hosted website but doesn't know what that really means. You have an evergreen article that explains, What is SEO and Why You Need It.
  45. 45. Use natural language About Us • The Special Dentistry Center® (SDC) focuses on performing Smile Makeovers (Oral Rehabilitation, Dental Reconstruction) for dental phobia patients. Our multi-specialty in-office team of dentists is sought out for the most complex cases in dentistry. One office visit could involve, for example, Cosmetic Dentists, Endodontists, Oral Surgeons and Lab Technicians all working together in one office during a routine day. Significant cosmetic changes can occur in one treatment visit. About Us • Here at Smiles by Payet Family Dentistry, we have put together a team of people that we think you’re going to LOVE. We know you expect professionalism, empathy, and kindness, and that’s what we strive for, as well as the ability to really listen to your concerns. So we’d like to introduce you to the wonderful people who will be taking care of you, along with Dr. Payet: Used with permission.Fictitious name, real wording
  46. 46. Clarity and Focus
  47. 47. Proof your work • Grammar, spelling, and punctuation count ( • Reading level ( • Internal relevance (
  48. 48. Structured Data • • Search Console: Data Highlighter • ured-data/testing-tool/
  49. 49. Rich Snippets • Mark up articles for headline, images, publish date and description. • Google may use your rich snippet markup to power features like “In the news” and content carousels. • Use most specific applicable type: a news article should be marked up as and a blog post as
  50. 50. FOLLOW UP Keep track of visitor action.
  51. 51. Quick check
  52. 52. Site visitor behavior Google Search Console
  53. 53. More Tools To Add Semantic Value • Yandex, Rambler, Yandex Checker, AlchemyAPI, Schema Creator, Gruff
  54. 54. Goal Drive people to your website Answer a question Solve a problem Take action Give them a reason to return One-visit conversions (without trust) are as rare as rocking horse poop. Jason Darrell
  55. 55. Empathy It's not about Google, SEO or indexing... it's about empathy and your customers. Empathy for more customer focused content marketing. Omi Sido
  56. 56. Find a Semantic Writer
  57. 57. Basic Qualities • Takes time to know your business • Researches your industry and competitors • Asks about your current customer base and any desired changes to the demographic • Understands your products and services • Is current on search optimization
  58. 58. WHO TO FOLLOW Keep up with the conversation.
  59. 59. Contextual Thought Leaders • David Amerland • Jason Darrell • Peter Hatherley • Teodora Petkova • Omi Sido Alphabetical Order
  60. 60. Search Engine Thought Leaders • Bruce Clay, Inc. • Ammon Johns • John Mueller • Bill Slawski • Google Webmasters • Google Webmaster Hangouts
  61. 61. THANK YOU! Questions? zara@actationnow.comGoogle Me Zara Altair – Semantic Writing