Benefits Semantic Search Brings to Digital Marketing
Semantic enrichment gives data more meaning, making it more easily discoverable by both users and search engines. Semantic search is changing the way digital marketing should be performed; gain the benefits of semantic search today!
Google means to be an “Answer Engine,” trying to provide those who use it with the best results for their search queries. Accompanying Google’s move towards relevancy and semantic search is an adjustment for SEO’s. Most of us need to get better acquainted with semantic search technology and how to edit your Google Knowledge Graph. This article endeavors to be an introduction to the topic, to a few semantic experts, and to others who conduct technical SEO.
By studying Google semantically related keywords used in text, we see that when our content choices fit the natural use of language – visibility expands. Marketers who engage machine learning models for text analysis, disambiguation of subjects, keyword concepts, and classification are gaining semantic search advantages. In semantic search, the search results will return better snippets of information that will provide searchers a glimpse of a page’s content before clicking on a URL. Both visibility in Google’s Knowledge Graph and rich snippets assist user choices.
QUESTION: What is Semantic Search? What does it take to Succeed in Semantics?
ANSWER: It is useful to start with a definition of se·man·tics [si-man-tiks], when used as a noun.
“The branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings.” – Collins English Dictionary
“Semantic search is a search, or a question, or an action that produces meaningful results even when the retrieved items contain none of the grey terms or the search involves no query text at all.” – Aaron Bradley
“Semantic search is Google’s growing ability to make associations between things in ways that come closer to how we humans make such connections.” – Mark Traphagen, of Stone Temple
“Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results. Semantic search systems consider various points including context of search, location, intent, variation of words, synonyms, generalized and specialized queries, concept matching and natural language queries to provide personalized and relevant search results.” – https://en.wikipedia
News clips about big data are grabbing headlines at an increasing pace. Newcomers seek to understand it; marketers try to determine what is the best answer to offer with the help of semantic search terms. Using predictive data to understand user intent requires the ability to associate thought, analyses, abstract ideas, categorized, and incorporate findings correctly in relation to other data. Engagement and implementation of semantic technologies offer real value to businesses when the data output can be used for practical interpretations to understand better the company’s relationships with it’s clients.
Jarred McGinnis*, UK managing consultant of Ontotext, offers this take on semantic search; “Think of it as search with initiative: the results will be more targeted towards the goal of the search rather than being limited by the technical limitations of the person doing the searching.”
Models Announced in 2018: TensorFlow Hub and Universal Sentence Encoder
Semantic textual similarity is meant to more easily understand text at the paragraph or even document level.
Expanding on the Universal Sentence Encoder model, Yinfei Yang, Software Engineer and Chris Tar, Google AI Engineering Manager, posted new models on TensorFlow Hub: the Universal Sentence Encoder – Large and Universal Sentence Encoder – Lite. They explained that they are pretraining to Tensorflow “models that return a semantic encoding for variable-length text inputs. The encodings can be used for semantic similarity measurement, relatedness, classification, or clustering of natural language text.”
The bigger model knows how to leverage the Transformer encoder and manages situations requiring high precision semantic representations and the best model performance at the expense of speed and size.
The May 17, 2018 article titled Advances in Semantic Textual Similarity explains that the Lite model is taught about a Sentence Piece vocabulary instead of words in order to drastically lower the vocabulary size, which is a major factor that makes up model size. It targets scenarios where memory and CPU resources are more measured, such as on-device or browser-based operations.
6 Benefits Digital Marketers May Obtain by Embracing Semantic Search Technologies
1. Site visitors are pleased when they can easily find answers.
2. Improvement of user experiences on-page.
3. Business intelligence is enhanced.
4. Enterprises can build better relationships with their customers.
5. Semantic strategies encompass both earned and paid search.
6. GoogleBot finds it easier to understand your site and match queries to content.
A Deeper Look at the Advantages of Semantically Enhanced Browsing
The benefits of semantic search are gaining as Google Search heads more in this direction.
1. Semantic Search Makes it Easier for Users to Find Answers
The chief benefit comes from additional semantic relations during query routing by search engines that offer better results. These relations provide a more interactive, conversational or dialogue-based search engine result pages or SERPs. Semantic search technologies allow people to track down information by concept instead of by the limited match of a keyword or key phrase. This means that individuals can more effortlessly distinguish what will be on a page while making a choice as to which one to advance to. For example, semantic search makes it simple to decipher between searching for crane; the bird, crane, machinery used to lift heavy objects, and to crane, the verb, such as in “She had to crane her neck to see the car in her blind spot”.
Search and search engines are all about what the user wants. The semantic approach is more successful in ensuring that users are not disappointed after arriving somewhere SERPs suggest. Those who entered the search query are free to decide which URL they want to explore and which they want to avoid based on what various rich snippets reveal. Users can mix traditional information retrieval (IR) queries and ontology-based ones.
2. Semantic Enrichment can Improve User Experiences
A semantic approach to writing digital marketing messages spares readers from redundant and repetitive word choices. Most SEO’s set their sights on the most competitive traffic from Google. In the past, that may have been the best search engine optimization tactic, but Google algorithms are maturing, which creates opportunities to obtain more relevant search traffic. That can be better accomplished by semantically enriching your web content with solutions and links to sources that users want. Teodora Petkova, who offers a great course to learn semantic search, commented, “Links are to be understood and built with enrichment of understanding in mind.”
Related-content semantic tagging and linking is a way to offer users pathways to discovery to related content — whether related gems on your site or another highly relevant site that the user didn’t even know existed. By offering users’ the ability to read more content; a business can improve website metrics such as the number of page views and time on site. Empower the user with choices that they most likely want. Outbound links to supporting research and related topics may be what adds to their experience.
3. Semantic Enrichment Enhances Business Intelligence
Plan your future content so that it is more likely that your documents semantically enriched with metadata can expand your visibility online.
The method of using a semantic approach and structured data for content planning utilizes a data model to define the data. Jarno van Driel focuses on the value and the power of using structured data for business intelligence and offers case studies and how-tos. Read evidence that sites incorporating semantic benefits from this approach. Semantic metadata makes information retrieval a more worthwhile process.
If you prepare your site documents semantically, you can accrue higher benefits in Google Search. It’s much about removing barriers so Googler’s Crawler can focus on your top content. This plays a role for major enterprise semantic search improvements; advancements in the arena of technology search can highlight your genuine business benefits for the right buyer if your documents are prepared for a meaning searched by matching queries. Try this approach to gain an advantage for both earned and paid search.
4. Build Customer Relationships with Enterprise-strength Semantic Search
In semantic search, our digital content needs no longer hinge on a base system of recognizing keywords and returning exact word matches. Rather, by getting outside the boundaries of the speech terms, we can settle into a rut using, semantic keyword use helps companies grow customer relationships that matter by conversing in consumer’s manner of speech.
An SEO expert with a semantic approach can help companies identify, build and maintain their key customer relationships so that they can protect and grow their business.
Understanding semantics may also boost lead generation by being inclusive of valuable information which may be relevant but not tagged with the phrases used in users search. What may otherwise be lost content can become monetizable marketing.
The success of a business’s ongoing branding, search and digital identity hinges in part on the ability to be found in search engine result pages (SERPs). Knowing how to put your ideas, what you do, the questions that you answer, and the solutions you offer into findable and share-worthy words means better chances of getting found online. David Amerland says, “Companies that cannot successfully answer what they do fail to then understand how they can continue to do it in the face of change.”
5. Semantic Strategy Can Encompass Both Paid and Earned Search
Semantic strategy for semantic enrichment of both paid search and earned search has many benefits.
How Internet users find the content they want is progressively evolving towards a semantic “shape” to reach that information. One way to explain it is that the natural ordering and logic of web information has a semantic purpose and role. Business owners now have more ability to customize and control the text copy of your digital content.
Google offers users more than simply discovering information on a search topic — it’s now striving to order the web into a coherent flow of information; how topics, search themes, concepts, text, video, audio, and images are connected and associated to each other.
Content added to a page should make the user experience richer and be tightly woven to that page’s unique purpose. When semantic keyword research supports how that content is conveyed, it is easier for more users to find the answers they are seeking. Semantic keyword strategy used in Google AdWords Ad Extension Structured Snippets can add to the value of your paid search.
While seeking semantic enrichment, marketers must factor cost, scalability, and accuracy into the decision process. To minimize associated risks, a well-thought-out semantic strategy will improve your probability of success.
6. Semantic Search makes it Easier for GoogleBot
“Semantic search requires a way to describe data conceptually and a way to search via these concepts”, according to Cambridge Semantics*.
Structured data may look to the human eye like a bunch of scrambled words, but for search engines, it unravels the words on a page. In the task of organizing information, it is critical for GoogleBot to find mechanisms to more precisely understand a web page’s content. By becoming more like authentic learning machines, search engines are interpreting content much faster and more accurately. These new technologies offer enormous benefit for search capabilities to be robust in terms of scalability, efficiency, and resilience to failure from indiscernible search queries. So by using schematics, we make this easier for them.
There are many workings that can help marketers accomplish business goals; adding semantic technology applications is one of the most relevant approaches to achieve them. In an article titled Keyword Research in 2016: Going Beyond Guesswork, Dr. Peter J. Meyers of Moz says: “We developed a Keyword Difficulty metric based on our authority metrics (Domain Authority and Page Authority). Page Authority (PA) is a constantly evolving metric that is designed to correlate with a page’s ability to rank on Google, based in large part on the page’s link profile. Keyword Difficulty (V1) used Page Authority in the middle-top of SERPs (the median PA, more or less) for a given keyword to approximate how hard that keyword would be to rank on.” We recommend using this tool to get ahead in your semantic search strategies.
A Semantically Enriched Digital Marketing Plan
When forming your semantic strategy, begin by answering the following questions:
• What user stories highlight your company’s premium products or services?
• Which business benefits and return on investment are most important in your business’s future?
• What web content do you need to tag and optimize? What pages best support your user needs? How can you replicate existing semantic successes across additional web pages?
• Which classification system will fit your needs best? Do standard taxonomies or thesauri exist that fit in your niche? How will you sustain your classification system?
Digital Marketers can Expect Future Semantic Search Enhancements
The International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) has recently been awarded a grant from the Google Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund to develop an additional, “multilingual open-source platform for rules-based classification of news content”. This should assist in helping “publishers to enhance their content with all sorts of metadata services, including enriched search, intelligent recommendations and precise analytics”, according to news updates from Aaron Bradley****, owner of the Google Semantic Search Marketing community.
The grant will go to improve the execution and exchange of information between content providers, intermediaries, and Internet users. Also, expect additions to semantic search for multilingual sites and advertising needs from schema.org. For marketers with clients serving international markets, Schema offers structured data markup currently only in English, but with hopes to expand more into additional languages that will aid when adding schema markup to your site. Metadata and semantic research is striving ardently to bridge the past, present, and future of metadata, data and semantic technologies.
6 Steps to Obtain Semantic Search’s Benefits
The semantic web is great at modeling and exploring relationships. Once you have an understanding of how semantic search works conceptually — and how algorithms currently use it — you can take better advantage of leveraging semantic technologies.
1. Know your audience. Aggressively identify which channels your social audience participates in to find their interests, the questions they seek answers for, and their views on the topic. Then, write content that offers relevant and high-value solutions, or builds on those interests. Read between the lines to gather what they are really asking for and need, but may not know how to address.
2. Know how Google helps you find your audience. Google provides very clear and helpful usage guidelines. If you expect this search giant to deliver volumes of visitors to your website, then adhere closely to what Google says it needs you to do.
3. Add suitable semantic markup to your web pages. Choose the most closely woven markup vocabulary from schema.org. If you don’t find a perfect match, select the nearest category that you fit under. Start with Google’s own Structured Data Markup Helper or find your favorite code snippet generator.
4. Use only ethical SEO. Incorporate all standard aspects of SEO that use white hat tactics. Optimize page load times, the UX experience; build relational inbound links and domain authority.
5. Plan for mobile searches. More people prefer to search from mobile devices, meaning that sites that offer a feeble mobile experience compared to their competitors may find themselves lagging in mobile rankings.
Vast amounts of mobile data is generated and combined with mobile devices such as smartphones. Generally, mobile offers a user with a keyword-based full-text search (FTS) while searching for mobile data. However, FTS only processes the data analogous to the keywords given by users as results without deliberating a user’s query intention. To overcome this limitation, Google’s RankBrain algorithm uses a semantically enhanced keyword-based search method. To enable semantic search on mobile devices, a lightweight mobile ontology has become integrated. This “provides a better user experience than the conventional FTS and returns accurate search results in an acceptable response time”, according to an abstract from the Journal of Information Sciences**.
6. Integrate your entire web presence and marketing efforts. Don’t stop with on-page semantic search optimization. Social, SEO, SEM, PPC advertising and Semantic Web/Semantic Computing need to liaise and coexist as a synergistically combined force. “Just as cross-pollination within a technology team will accelerate the pace of innovation, cross-pollination of these skills within a team will enable your team to keep pace with the necessary changes to attract your desired traffic to your website,” states Barbara Starr.
Businesses which embrace the concept of semantic search and implement it can gain a natural competitive edge. Semantic search experts offer businesses huge opportunities to increase visibility. Cutting-edge developments in machine learning continue to add to the value of semantic search. Semantic search technology relies on Classification (http://goo.gl/NrWsj5) and (http://goo.gl/LhkXuF) code Validation as two machine learning advancements.
It is challenging for many average SEO’s who are managing websites and who are overseeing its promotion to also add the full benefits of semantic search.
How to Measure Relevancy of Semantic Keywords Before Posting
A real benefit comes with your ability to garner long-tail traffic that comes from using search term phrases that more naturally occur in long-tail queries. Many times they are otherwise unexploited by not including all the related terms. By checking BEFORE you post a new piece of content to see what viewer interest level exists, you can avoid the “Your content is statistically irrelevant” issue. There are many ways to learn from big data how Google Alphabet uses semantics in search.
As well as using SEMrush and the new Moz Keyword Explorer, try the Alchemy API and Writer App**** to measure the relevancy of the website page content against a single semantic keyword phrase. In brief, this tool or several Chrome extension tools can analyze every word on the page to see if they are relevant or not to that pre-selected phrase. This can feel too geeky for the average non-technical user, but employing the skills of a true SEO expert, can make your content creations on-target for user wants. Then marketing it right may mean that you even go viral with it.
By putting in a strong effort up front, you may be able to achieve a 99% relevancy score for your primary keywords. For example, if you wanted to do that for “Luxury Hotel”, you would want to make sure your homepage included words like suite, opulence, islands, boutique hotel, spa, resorts, private, leisure, safari getaways, premium guesthouse, package, indulge in extravagance, and fine dining accommodations. Use of semantic structured data will increase your chances of being awarded an answer box in search. Representation and attempting to use them for variations is challenging at best. The semantic approach to writing or optimizing content includes the work of deeper thinking to build relevant content that supports the topic. This form of content expansion enriches a blog post or organic landing page user experience, which ultimately increases your success.
The Longevity of Semantic Search
Search has merged into real life entities that focus on user interactions, needs, and wants. Google’s deep learning experiments are using a structured approach that is better quantified and effective. “For AI search ranking to be a success, Google needs to transcend semantic markup…and will be an indelible tool for us in these early stages… more so that it ever has. A semantic understanding of your markups – let’s not forget that – and let’s actually focus on that.” said Mike Arnesen during the November 24, 2015, Semantic Search Marketing Open Forum
Semantic search involves a better means to recognize the way humans process and understand information. It helps facts be comprehensible to both humans and machines. Today, adding text to a page is a mere part of successfully reaching individuals using Google Search.
Much goes on behind the scenes for search engines to find relevant content to match user search queries. By incorporating text mining, semantic enrichment, and deep data integration tools, a stronger bridge can be made between digital text, meeting user expectations, and the knowledge businesses need to discover ways to reach new customers.
Gerald Murphy sheds light on the path search engines have to take in a March 24, 2016 article titled, “Are search engines ‘semantic’?. While much is headed in the right direction, semantic technology has a long ways to go. He explains that “Subject keywords are searched for semantically and today this is often just synonyms, a bit like an online thesaurus. For semantic search, the engine must deconstruct the whole query and reformulate it with variations, matching it with semantics, and construct sub-queries for each combination.”
Don’t Shelf it – Embrace Semantic Search NOW! Steps to Take to Engage Semantic Search
CURRENT CONTENT – Begin by ensuring that your current web pages consist of in-demand content and have the benefit of Classification that utilizes hashtags, and an Ontology structure that fits your business niche. Site thematic linking and theme concepts have become integrated more and more into SEO techniques.
• NEW WEEKLY CONTENT – Build and offer information that continues to offer your readers fresh content that interests them and supports your previous semantic search efforts. Semantic breadcrumb trails created by our digital footprints remain consistent and granular.
• ANNUAL MARKETING PLAN – No need to be daunted by semantic search; it practices are rational and straightforward; schedule them into your future digital marketing work.
If you are relatively new to discussions on semantics, you may be trying to access the merits and applications you need to glean for your website. For additional reading, a Merriam-Webster article titled >It’s Time to Argue Semantics****** will help you step into the conversation. It covers the inception of semantics as early as the late 19th century as a technical word used in the field of semiotics, referring to such topics as the correlation between signs, words, and the concepts to which they refer.
Semantics relates to natural language. Consider if two or three individuals are caring on a conversation and seeking to cover it in detail, each person presents their opinion from a different angle on the same topic and uses similar but different words to explain it. Conversations are best when it is not about arguing over whose opinion is right; it is about benefiting from other’s take on the same matter. Likewise, there is little advantage in spending too much time and mental energy arguing semantics and unimportant detail; there is a tremendous benefit to relating better to our subject matter from the user’s viewpoint.
“Semantic technology makes everything connected to anything and helps to build smart data through intricate models for representing information.” – Atanas Kiryakov CEO at Onotext
“Your (schema) markup must correlate with what is visible on the page. The information that you include in your markup must match the content that you’re displaying to visitors. My advice to others is to try to always stay away from gray areas so that you don’t have to worry about changing the markups later on or worse, getting penalized because of them.” – David Deering
“There is never a specific amount of data that can be enough when semantic search relies on constant judgments made based upon its ability to generalize and project.” – David Amberland
The web is an inter-connect series of real-life objects that transcends the limitation of words talking about web objects. The process of improving your site’s visibility in semantic search requires an on-going test and tweak application where the metadata revealed becomes sufficiently semantic dense to generate fresh data that offers the benefit of key insights extracted from it.
When a group of individuals converses, they naturally use different word choices within the same topic. When writing for the web, by expanding on word choices, it is possible to encompass additional user searches and others conversing on the subject.
People tend to lose attention after a while if they hear the same thing stated in the same way too often. Likewise, web content is more readable and engaging when it puts solutions in multiple word phrase versions that a variety of readers can relate well to.
Hill Web Marketing is a Digital Marketing Agency that provides services in both earned and paid search to help businesses implement and manage semantic marketing across digital content. Our commitment is to provide you with improved marketing performance and user engagement. Does your site have a strong semantic structure? Are you using best practices in digital marketing for semantic search visibility? if you would like to partner in auditing your website content, together we can consider opportunities for growth for your business’s future.
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