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Advanced Semantic Search Strategies for 2024’s SEO Landscape

Advanced Semantic Search Strategies for 2024’s SEO Landscape featured image

Semantic search is shaking things up in the world of SEO.

Marketers are transitioning from mere keyword matching to focusing on what users are

really after—the context behind their searches. For brands like yours, this means a new game plan for keeping your digital presence strong.

To stay visible and attract more eyes, you need to understand what your audience truly wants and deliver content that aligns. 

By tweaking your content strategy to fit the semantic search model, you’ll boost your chances of popping up in search results that match what your audience is looking for.

Let’s take a closer look at what semantic search means for brands looking to maintain or increase digital visibility. 

Semantic search focuses on understanding the context and intent behind a user’s query instead of just matching keywords. Search engines use natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to interpret meaning and phrases in a more human-like manner.

The goal is to provide more relevant search results by considering the meaning of words, the relationship between them, and the potential context of the user’s search query.

This helps deliver results that best match intent.

For example, if you were to search “Milan, Italy,” Google would generate:

  • Links to Milan travel guides, videos, and blog posts
  • How long a flight to Milan is from the user’s location
  • Related follow-up questions people also ask
  • The current weather in Milan
  • A description of Milan
  • Photos of Milan, Italy 
  • Things to do in Milan 
  • A map of Milan
Google SERP for "Milan"

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While Google can’t be sure of your exact reason for searching Milan, it assumes you’re looking for general travel information—which makes sense.

With long-tail keywords and question phrases, search engines understand intent more clearly.

For instance, if you search “productivity tools for project managers,” Google assumes you intend to compare tool options for project management work.

With this in mind, it generates:

  • Links to project management and productivity tool review guides 
  • Follow-up questions people also ask
  • A list of project management tools
  • A list of productivity tools
  • Related searches

Types of semantic analysis

Semantic analysis works to understand the meaning of text or speech.

Here are some common types of semantic analysis:

Named entity recognition (NER)

NER identifies and categorizes entities mentioned in the text, such as people, organizations, locations, dates, and more. This helps extract important information to understand the context.

Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis determines the emotional tone expressed in text, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral. Marketers use it to understand customer opinions, brand perception, and market trends.

Semantic role labeling (SRL)

SRL identifies the relationships between words in a sentence and assigns semantic roles to them, such as agent, patient, and instrument. This works to understand the underlying meaning of sentences and extract structured information.

Word sense disambiguation (WSD)

WSD resolves the ambiguity of words with multiple meanings by determining the correct sense of a word in a given context. This is crucial to accurately understanding and interpreting text.

Topic modeling

Topic modeling algorithms analyze a collection of documents to identify recurring themes or topics present in the text. This helps organize and summarize large volumes of text data to understand the main subjects discussed.

Semantic similarity

Semantic similarity measures the degree of relatedness or similarity between words, phrases, or documents based on their meaning. It’s used for document clustering, information retrieval, and recommendation systems.

Concept extraction

Concept extraction identifies and extracts important concepts or terms mentioned in the text, which may represent key ideas, entities, or topics. This helps summarize and organize textual information.

Is it possible to optimize for semantic search?

Yes, it’s possible to optimize for semantic search!

You’ll need to factor in search intent, context, and user pain points when planning keywords and creating content.

You’ll also need to prioritize:

  • User experience (UX) best practices, such as fast site speed, optimal website performance, and having a user-friendly interface
  • Incorporating schema markup to enhance search snippets and rich results
  • Optimizing for voice search queries, local searches, and mobile users
  • Publishing comprehensive, engaging, and high-quality content
  • Planning blog content around topic clusters 

Let’s take a closer look at these in the next section.

5 advanced semantic SEO strategies for 2024

Here’s how to capitalize on semantic search in 2024:

1. Optimize for voice search, local search, and mobile

Plan content that targets conversational keywords that users often search for using mobile devices or voice assistants like Alexa.

Some of the most common conversational searches include location-based queries, such as “vegan breakfast restaurant near me,” Or question phrases, such as “what was the name of the actor from Friends who played Spencer?”

As far as location-based search queries go, having an optimized Google Business Profile can help you rank faster.

Get inspired by FrameStore, a custom framing store with multiple locations in Los Angeles. Its Google Business Profile is packed with meaty information its target audience needs, such as:

  • Relevant keywords, like “Picture frame shop in Santa Monica, California”
  • Frequent promotional updates with images
  • Links to its social media profiles
  • A detailed business description
  • Product listings with images
  • Its business phone number
  • Its business address
  • Links to its website
  • Engaging images
  • Answers to FAQs

For instance, if a user queries “custom picture frames Santa Monica, CA,” FrameStore populates as the second organic search result.

SERP for "custom picture frames Santa Monica CA"

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You can also create listicle posts to cater to local searchers. For instance, “Top 10 Vegan Restaurants in Dallas” or “The Best Divorce Mediation Firms in Phoenix.”

To target conversational question phrases, consider your audience’s top pain points and FAQs. Plug these long-tail keywords into Google and scroll down to find the “People also ask” and “More searches” sections. Use these to create FAQ sections for related topics—or target them directly.

2. Publish comprehensive, engaging, and high-quality content

Craft valuable content that covers your topics comprehensively and keeps search intent in mind.

One of the best ways to do this is to lean on subject-matter expert writers—and provide them with scopes of process (SOPs). Your SOP for semantic content creation should include how to optimize content based on mobile, voice, and local search and which helpful additions to include.

For instance, helpful additions might include:

  • Relevant internal links 
  • Detailed breakdowns
  • Table of contents
  • FAQ sections
  • Screenshots
  • Videos

Other best practices might include:

  • Adding secondary keywords throughout content where relevant
  • Referencing expert sources, real examples, and case studies
  • Proofing the content for grammar, readability, and plagiarism
  • Emphasizing key ideas with bold and italics
  • Writing using conversational language
  • Providing actionable advice

3. Plan blog content around topic clusters 

As search engines become smarter, they’re looking for more than keywords—but they’re also looking for the context in which they’re used.

This means you need to optimize content to align closely with user intent and related topics, not just specific keyword phrases.

For example, in the gaming industry, developers target game names and words that relate to the experience around them‌—like “Fortnite Spider-Man Zero outfit,” a popular item from the video game Fortnite.

Yu-Play Fortnite Spider-Man Zero outfit

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Creators also target related terms such as “superhero skins” or “iconic video game weapons.” By doing so, they capture a broader audience interested in superhero games, not just those searching for the Spider-Man outfit itself. This approach is essential across all sectors, ensuring content not only matches direct searches but also related queries and themes.

To uncover subtopics related to your main topics, consider your audience’s core needs. For instance, if they search “summer BBQ recipes,”—what related needs could they have? 

For example, they might also be interested in other summer recipes, such as “how to make homemade lemonade” or “best berry cobbler recipes.” Or, they might want more BBQ content, such as “best homemade BBQ rub” or “how to make homemade BBQ sauce.”

You can also find these by scrolling through the “People also ask” and “More searches” sections in Google. Or by conducting research using tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Frase.

To make the most of this tip, center your blogging strategy around your topic clusters.

For instance, you might have pillar topics, such as:

  • Fruit-based desserts
  • Chocolate desserts
  • Vanilla desserts
  • Nutty desserts

And subtopics, such as: 

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Chocolate bunt cake 
  • Chocolate lava cake 
  • Cherry cheesecake 
  • Almond joy cookies
  • Peanut butter bars
  • Vanilla ice cream 
  • Vanilla custard
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Berry cobbler 
  • Peanut brittle 
  • Apple pie 

This means your blog will have pillar/parent pages (with your pillar topic content) and relevant links pointing to child pages (where you post your subtopic content). Interlink these pages where relevant. For instance, your chocolate bundt cake recipe should also link to your other chocolate dessert recipes.

4. Incorporate schema markup to enhance search snippets and rich results

When optimizing for semantic search, incorporating schema markup is essential to helping search engines interpret and categorize your content more accurately.

Structured data markup also helps present your content in the most relevant and visually appealing manner in search results. This improves website visibility and promotes a positive UX by providing users with more informative and engaging search results.

Schema markup can also help your content have a better chance of appearing in rich results, such as featured snippets, images, and videos.

If you’re unsure how to add it to your website—ask your web developer for support. 

5. Follow UX best practices 

Promote ‌optimal UX by making sure your website loads immediately, has an intuitive interface, and passes website performance reviews. (Bonus points for a visually pleasant website!)

It’s also vital to consider all users that may visit your website. This includes people with disabilities who may be using screen readers and other devices to digest your content.

To make sure users aren’t alienated, include metadata information, such as page titles, descriptions, and image alt text. To pass accessibility protocols, consider adding support aids on your website, such as an accessibility widget. This helps users choose specific viewing profiles, such as “seizure safe” or “ADHD friendly.”

To support people with hearing impairments, consider using an audio-to-text tool to autogenerate video captions.

Lovo tool for audio-to-text

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To support people with visual impairments, consider integrating a text-to-speech tool visitors can use to listen to your written content.

How does semantic search impact visibility?

Semantic search results reference content that’s comprehensive and aligned with search intent.

The more comprehensive your content is—and the more it’s aligned with search intent—the better chances you have at ranking.

Writing comprehensive content also gives other reputable sites more reasons to link to your pages when relevant. This can help you build up quality backlinks and authority, which most impact search engine rankings.

Conclusion

Semantic search represents a shift toward a more intuitive and user-focused approach to searching and accessing information on the internet.

Focusing on the meaning and depth of your target keywords can give your target audience the information they’re looking for.

It’s as simple as putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes.

What are they struggling with? What pain points do they have? What solutions are they looking for? What frequently asked questions do they have? And how might they word these on mobile or when conducting a voice search? What about related concerns?

You can also plug long-tail keywords and question phrases into a tool like Semrush or Aherfs to pull more ideas and identify search intent.

By producing comprehensive content your audience cares about—and building authority in your niche—you can rank faster and foster trust with your target market.


Need help putting together a semantic search strategy? Leave it to Omniscient Digital—a content production and growth agency specializing in high-impact content and technical SEO to maximize brand impact online. Book a strategy call to learn more.

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Cassandra Rosas

Cass is the SEO Outreach Team Lead at Omniscient Digital, she loves writing about topics such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content operations, e-commerce, and social media marketing. In her spare time she likes listening to music, doing oil painting and watching SciFi movies.