February 8, 2023

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Why And How To Use Entity-Based SEO And Semantic Experiments

Ehsan Jahandarpour is CMO of Top10best.io. He is an experienced data-driven CMO, serial entrepreneur, and globally recognized growth hacker.

When it comes to budgeting for marketing spend, enterprises and large organizations allocate a big portion of their budget to paid marketing and often try to get seen in the shortest possible period of time. That “selling now” tendency distracts many CMOs and marketing leaders from focusing on organic channels. Because Google’s algorithm is not crystal clear to everyone and is updated frequently, it is essential to know how to approach SEO.

In my company’s SEO experiment lab, we have tested hundreds of scenarios on the main search engines, including Google, Bing and Yandex, to demystify SEO practices and verify them as valid and measurable organic channels for growth. However, the truth is that even if you write the best quality content and use latent semantic indexing terms, as well as secondary and primary keywords, the search bots may misunderstand your context if you don’t assign the right entity to your content.

What is entity SEO?

While entity SEO is a relatively new term, it is still built upon technical SEO and schemas with a focus on entities. We can define entities as unique, distinct and well-defined things that carry meaning. They don’t have to be physical objects and can stand alone from other entities.

Developing contextual links between entities in your content improves your UX and can create a common vocabulary to guide your website’s visitors. You can do this by using synonyms, antonyms and homophones. These are terms that people often use in a given context. They are useful for describing your business, products and services.

The semantic HTML tag tells bots what the page sections are about, making the page more readable by search engines. This tag should include entities.

Why is semantic SEO important?

Since AI may not be mature enough yet to be precise in all cases, relying on SEO and automation tools alone would be a big mistake, especially because they lack the human intelligence to differentiate between right and wrong. Here is an example: If you write content about veneers for your teeth, content writers who don’t use semantic SEO would tend to optimize it with medical and dentistry keywords and start building links as a normal practice. According to Search Engine Journal, semantic SEO is “the process of building more meaning and topical depth into web content. By doing so, you help Google crawlers better understand your content.”

Keywords and link-building might have been enough five years ago, but now you must guide search engine bots to read and understand your content the way you intend, and to do that, you should use technical SEO and schemas. However, when you tag your content to a schema, you should always understand the context of the entity and ensure you are choosing the accurate entity. In this example, when you search Wikipedia for entities, you will see that “veneer” can refer to dental veneers and countertop veneer; tagging the wrong entity in this case could make or break your strategy.

To improve your entity repository, create your own knowledge graph. In general terms, a knowledge graph is a database that stores a set of interconnected nodes. Consider a node to be a word or term. Each node contains a description of a subject, predicate, object and other schema types. You can import the entities from reliable sources for definitions and create connections between entities.

What are the most common schemas?

Using entities requires you to implement data markups. As Moz explains, you can use Schema.org to find tags for your content in order to help Yandex, Bing and Google represent your page properly in their search results. These are the most common types of schemas, according to Schema.org:

“• Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TV series

• Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject

• Event

• Health and medical types …

• Organization

• Person

• Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant

• Product, Offer, AggregateOffer

• Review, AggregateRating

• Action.”

What semantic strategies should you implement?

Creating new content is tempting, especially if you have the resources; however, it is best to develop a strategy before implementing semantic SEO in new content. Here are some points to consider:

1. Analyze your site structure and crawlability to make sure your crawl budget—the number of pages a search engine crawls on your website in a certain time period—is spent correctly.

2. Analyze your content and assign the right entity to it.

3. Make sure your page title contains the entity.

4. Create the knowledge graph and define entities clearly.

5. Consider using silos to prove your topical authoritative competitiveness over competitors.

6. Improve the customer journey using enhanced internal linking between pages and entities.

7. Always improve your existing content before creating new content.

Do let me know if you have any questions about how to use entity-based SEO to improve your organic growth—and share your experience with the results that you have achieved using this strategy.


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