Semantic Keywords – what are they and why do you need them?

by | Feb 5, 2023 | SEO, Website Copywriting | 0 comments

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When it comes to SEO keywords & phrases, there are always people out there that know just enough to be dangerous.

You know the ones – they have a subscription to Moz/SEMrush, read Search Engine Journal, & know enough buzzwords to impress the management team, but not quite enough to really know how to do the job themselves.

They probably have Yoast or All In One SEO installed on their WordPress website, and can quote the rules to a green smiley face or green tick quicker than you can say “I’ve been doing SEO since before Google existed.”

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So when it comes to keywords, they know all the stats:

  • 👉 Use your keyword in your title
  • 👉 And your H1 headers
  • 👉 And your H2s and H3s
  • 👉 Make sure your keyword is used in every section of your website
  • 👉 Your keywords should be x% of your text
  • 👉 Use keywords in alt tags on images

🛑 But that’s how we end up with website pages like this:

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And it may work. They may get good front page Google listings. But it won’t sell their services. Or yours.

💩 Because it reads like shit.

There’s an easier way to make sure Google, etc understands what your website is about, while keeping your website visitors (who will actually READ your content) in mind.

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Semantic keywords.

Semantic keywords are words or phrases that have a similar meaning or context to the main target keyword. It’s like talking about different flavours of ice cream – even though they all have a different name, they are all still part of the same category of dessert.

So, if the main keyword is “copywriting” some semantic keywords might be “content creation”, “marketing writing”, “SEO writing”, or “brand messaging”. These words are related to the main keyword and help search engines understand the context and meaning of the content on a webpage, without sounding like an over-optimised page from 1998.

Search engines are clever enough now to understand that “content creation” is related to “copywriting”, so when thinking about the keywords on your pages & blog posts, take some time to expand on your core phrases; your website, Google, and your readers will thank you for it.

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This blog post was written to support the SEO for (not just) Copywriters weekly email series. If you came to it via other means, please feel free to sign up for the next intake!

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