Search Engine Optimization 101 – What is Semantic Search

What is Semantic Search?

An Introduction to Semantic Search

At one time, Google search results for any particular query were quite varied, with results for just about every item that was linked to your keyword. For instance, if you input a search query like “Jaguar” without any context, you would be offered results based on the luxury car brand, the wild animal, and anything else that bears that name.

Search Engine Optimization concept on blackboard.

In the modern semantic world, however, the same search query “Jaguar” would give you results purely based on the car brand, if your search history comprised car brands, information about buying a car, and other car related content. Any mentions of the animal in the SERP – Search Engine Results Page – would be nearly zero.

This is what semantic search is about in its simplest form: using details of the searcher’s history to provide the most relevant search results for a particular keyword. Google’s algorithms also consider other users’ search queries from around the same location/time and the most successful results following search query refinements.

It sounds like a simple concept, but it actually requires the algorithms to take into consideration the likely context of the search, rather than simply listing the most optimized content for a specific keyword.

St.Helens, England - January 15th 2012: iPad2 in females hands displaying google search engine page. Google is one of the biggest search engines in the world. iPad2 was launched in March 2011.

Definition of semantic search

Based on the dictionary meaning of the word “semantic”, which is the “essence of something”, “semantic search” is designed to boost the accuracy of a search by trying to grasp the intentions of the user through concept matching and synonyms.

Semantic search seeks to provide the most interactive search results possible by taking structured and unstructured data and transforming it into an intuitive and responsive database. This process improves the understanding of searcher intent, providing more personalized results.

The evolution of search engine results and their relevance

Since the early days of Google, the search engine has been trying to link search results with natural conversations by creating machine learning algorithms that deliver results based on what is in the user’s mind. Semantic search involves the use of these algorithms to determine what ranks first in the SERP for each search query.

There are many reasons why Google would aim for a more connected world: less spam, more data, greater understanding of user intent, and conversational search (the use of natural language). Ultimately, Google is able to deliver the best possible search experience.

Benefits of Semantic Search

Semantic search is beneficial to the Google search engine in various ways, including:

  • The ability to identify and disqualify lower-quality content: The use of advanced search systems such as latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), latent semantic indexing (LSI), and term frequency-inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) weighting schemes help to identify spam content – keyword stuffing and article spinning – and filter it from search results.
  • The ability to better understand the information that users are looking for: For instance, in a search for “the dancer in the chandelier video”, Google seeks to understand the entities and assess the data behind the search habits of millions of people with the same search query. This improves the ability of the search engine to identify the information you want and display it preferably at the top of the SERP.

The fact that Google can apply algorithms that connect keywords to a specific entity and respond with an accurate answer makes the search engine beneficial to its users.

Big Data related concepts in word tag cloud isolated on black background

Implications on SEO

SEO experts need to integrate semantic search signals in their content to achieve optimal rankings for a specific entity. You need to think about the likely topics and keywords that a user would think about when looking for a brand/product/service you are offering. You need to:

  1. Provide valuable content

With Google looking into providing conversational types of results that revolve around the user’s latest interests, the search engine is likely to return results of websites that it deems offer the most value. You need to match your content with the right keywords that identify you as an industry expert.

  1. Develop content that addresses customer concerns

Creating targeted content that addresses common concerns in your industry, utilizes mixed media (graphics, images, and videos), and is useful to your audience will allow you to build semantic authority with regard to Google’s algorithms. Try using question/answer type of content.

  1. Create user-friendly content

Your content language should appear natural, sensible, and answer-based. Make your content easy to understand, using lists, numbers, etc.

  1. Make your content attractive to bots

Use structured data markup to annotate your web content, as a way to improve clarity and emphasize your authority in the industry. This information will make users more likely to click on your link in SERP if they believe that you have the information they need, and Google algorithms notice this.

  1. Use internal links

Use links to direct users to other pages on your website where they can get more information, and reference key pages in your site’s HTML and XML sitemap.

Final note

Semantic search adds value to search engines by answering user questions, reducing spam, and providing more personalized results in a conversational manner. As a webmaster, your content needs to provide more value to users for it to picked up by search engines. This can be achieved by implementing structured data and integrating related content for your target topics to establish yourself as an industry leader.

If you are paying for SEO, ask yourself “Do I know what I’m paying for?” and if you can’t answer that, give us a call at 818-990-9843 or request your free consultation.

5 Tips To Creating A Successful Social Media Advertising Campaign

5 Tips To Creating A Successful Social Media Advertising Campaign 

Suppose you want to promote an event and get immediate results, or you are dissatisfied with the low level of engagement from organic social posts and want to increase it. It is unfortunate that some marketers think that social media marketing is beyond their skills and timelines, causing them to rely heavily on paid social media advertising.

Though effective, you can still use social media to drive traffic to your website on a much lower budget, while making your efforts more productive, effective, and rewarding.

Here are some tips to a successful social media advertising campaign:

1. Define measurable goals 

Before you plan out the details of your social media marketing strategy, you need to identify the objectives of your campaign, and preferably come up with measurable goals that will help you know you are on track. Some metrics to track include:

  • Gains in number of fans/followers
  • Gains in number RSVPs in Facebook event
  • Number of brand mentions on a single platform within a set time frame
  • Website conversions from social media traffic
Social Media Advertising

Social media is about engaging your followers

Knowing your main goal will also help you determine the primary call-to-action in your ad.

2. Know your Audience 

An effective social media marketing strategy demands that you see the world from the point of view of the people that you intend to reach and influence via your campaign. Identify the platforms where your target audience spends more of their time, as well as how they interact with brands they’re interested in.

This will not only help you determine where to invest your social media marketing resources, but also how to communicate directly to that audience on their preferred social media platform. For instance, if your audience spends more time on Facebook than on YouTube, you can focus your campaign on Facebook, using available ad tools to target a specific age group, gender, location, or people with a certain interest.

3. Choose your social media channels 

If you know your audience, you will also be able to know the social platforms that they engage with the most. Base your campaign on the platform that aligns with the interests of your audience. Review social data in your Google Analytics account to identify social channels that send traffic to your site and build your campaign to increase that traffic.

Social Media Platforms

Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube, Twitter, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbl etc.

4. Create a landing page 

Your ad should have a clear call-to-action that clearly tells them what to expect when they click on it. They should be directed to a well-designed landing page that clearly communicates how you want them to respond – register for an event, submit an email for a product trial, etc.

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5. Implement, track, evaluate 

After you have created your social media advertising campaign, roll it out on the platform you expect to reach most of your target audience. The ad should be visually attractive, un-cluttered, personal, and engaging. Use available social analytics tools to track the performance as you compare the metrics to your goals in step (1). Tweak the ad as many times as you need to until your key goals are met.

Finally, while a social media advertising campaign may run for a limited time, you should participate in your chosen channels daily. Keep in mind that the objective of social media is ‘conversation’, so you must be available to interact with your audience and provide leadership in industry matters, so they don’t seek the same information from your competitors.

Infinite Launches Website for CNC Machine Shop – W Machine Works

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W Machine Works hired Infinite to create a modern, professional website to display its capabilities and brand heritage as a leader of manufacturing in the aerospace and defense industry. 

Infinite Communications launches the newly designed website, including:

• Integration of industry certifications & awards
• Custom design & modern graphics
• Responsive mobile friendly platform
• Content development
• Photography services
• Easy Online Request forms

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W Machine Works is a process-based manufacturing company specializing in the aerospace & defense industry, with the capability of reducing customer cost.

Visit Website >

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Infinite Launches Website for Peninsula Consulting – Business Consulting Firm

Infinite Communications launches the newly designed website, including:

• Custom design & modern graphics
• Responsive mobile friendly platform
• Content development
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Easy Online Request forms

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Peninsula Consulting offers business consulting services for the Industrial Gas Industry and Industrial Distribution industries.

Visit Website >

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Your Reputation Is Your Most Important Marketing Tool – Here’s How To Manage It

Marketing experts claim that an estimated 92 percent of consumers base their purchasing decisions on online reviews. The increasingly savvy consumers are relying on social media platforms and third-party review sites, such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ to read reviews, parse out provider information, and get updates on the latest trends in order to make more informed choices when selecting a provider.

Concept illustration - feedback, reviews and rating, testimonials, like, communication. Voting system, communications and technology reviews. Editable Stroke. Vector illustration

More than ever before, businesses have to be proactive in managing their online reputation to make sure that their practice portrays a positive image to their audience. This will, in turn, ensure the loyalty of your existing clients, get you new patrons, and help you achieve your long-term business goals.

If you, however, continue to ignore any negative online reviews of your practice or fail to engage with your customers and prospects, you will be viewed as untrustworthy, which will make it hard to convert your visitors.

Here are a few other reasons why you should work on your online reputation:

  1. Good/bad reviews easily go viral on social media

Social media is one of the most powerful digital marketing tools available today. With over 1.8 billion active members in the different social media networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – having a presence on multiple platforms can increase your reach within your region considerably.

Social media and third party review websites work hand-in-hand, since most people prefer to post reviews and comments using their personal social media profiles. In turn, these comments (like on Facebook or Google+) show up on the News Feed of the reviewer’s family members and friends, who may respond by “Liking” the review or even adding their own comments to the chain of comments already made by other people.

With such an elaborate sharing structure, a single review made via social media can grow your reputation exponentially through “Likes”, “Shares”, and comments. If the review is a positive one, you can easily reach new prospects and grow your conversions.

  1. Positive reviews encourage word-of-mouth referrals

Marketing experts claim that 80 percent of consumers consider online opinions as if they were personal recommendations from a close friend or family member, which are said to influence consumer decisions more than online ads.

This means that positive online reviews by your satisfied clients can easily reach other prospects beyond their circle of family and friends on social media. For instance, someone searching for your services in your area can come across your positive review and be influenced to try your practice.

User reviews and feedback vector illustration, flat style

User reviews and feedback are important

  1. Positive reviews boost your SEO

Positive online reviews not only give prospects a reason to choose you, but also give Google and other search engines a reason to list you at the top of SERPs for local searches in your industry.

At this point, you don’t need convincing that consumers rely heavily on online reviews. And since search engines are in the business of giving searchers the most relevant results based on the search query, they love online reviews too. In fact, online reviews account for nearly 10 percent of search engines’ ranking factors.

Search engines take into consideration what consumers find to be valuable when ranking local webpages. So, good online reviews can boost your local SEO strategy.Great Reviews When People Search Your Name

How to start building your online reputation

Now that you know how important your online reputation is to building a successful business, how or where do you start with creating a good one?

Step 1: Create or claim your business review pages

To begin with, you need a place where you can direct and control your 5-star reviews. So, create or claim business pages for your business on the popular third-party review sites, including:

  • Yelp – Findings from a Harvard Business School study showed that a single star increase on Yelp review could lead to a 5-9 percent boost in revenue. This is the most popular third-party review site, followed by
  • Google+ – This platform has an estimated 135 million active users, and over 1 billion Google daily searches. Having a Google+ page will increase your chances of appearing first in SERPs when a consumer uses Google search engine to perform a local search. Additionally, linking your Google+ account to your business site creates credible backlinks for better SEO
  • Facebook – There are over 1 billion active users on Facebook today. This is the biggest social media platform available, giving you an opportunity to reach an incredibly large number of people, not only through reviews, but also sponsored/paid ads.

Sometimes, these websites use publicly available data to create a page for your business. So if you find one that already exists, simply claim it for free. Once you create or assume ownership of the pages, you can monitor incoming reviews and respond to them as the official representative of the practice.

Step 2: Track the Reviews

After setting up your business pages, you should monitor any reviews posted on them. It can be hard to keep track by yourself and still run your business, so consider assigning one of your employees to monitor all three (or more) platforms for incoming reviews and mentions.

Instruct them to promptly and appropriately respond to reviews as soon as they’re made to avoid bad reviews from going unnoticed and unaddressed.

Keep in mind that if there are any online platforms in your local community where people review and comment on local businesses – like a city-of-commerce website or local business directory – it should be monitored as well to connect with local area residents.

Step 3: Encourage positive reviews

When you know that your business is providing a unique and pleasant experience for your customers, you should encourage them to leave positive, five-star reviews of your practice.

Ask your highly satisfied customers directly to review your business, but don’t instruct them what to say or take it personally if they don’t.

Otherwise, encourage them by:

  • Making it easy to access third-party review sites by embedding icons that link to them on your business website. The icon could be marked “Review Us Now” directing visitors to Yelp or Google+
  • Using survey tools to send satisfaction surveys to your current and new clients. The tool prompts users who leave a positive review to rate your business on a trusted third-party review site, and also gives you access to consumer feedback that you can use to identify your strengths and weaknesses. One such tool is the iMatrix Survey Tool
  • Give your clients a reason to help you and review you by introducing new offers, providing valuable content, or presenting some other kind of incentive that make them more willing to leave a review

Step 4: Respond to reviews

When your clients take time to review your business, it is important to acknowledge their opinions. This will not only make them happy, but also present you to prospects reading those reviews as a courteous and professional business that values feedback, whether positive or negative.

Studies suggest that 71 percent of consumers who experience a quick and effective response to their comments are more likely to recommend that business to others, compared to 19 percent of consumers who review but don’t get a response. So,

  • Always respond quickly to someone’s comment or concern
  • For good reviews, say “thank you” and perhaps “welcome again”
  • Remember to incorporate keywords for SEO purposes. Include a location, business industry, and other keywords a prospect is likely to use when searching for your business
  • It is important that you be genuine in your response. Don’t simply copy-paste one generic response. Instead, personalize each response according to the feedback provided.

Finally, always respond to negative reviews as well. Studies show that 86 percent of online consumers like to hear from a company regarding a complaint or negative review. So, take your time to respond thoughtfully, demonstrating how much you value your business, and how you solve potential problems for your clients. Investigate any complaints before responding, and if need be, resolve serious problems in private before mentioning on the review that the problem was addressed.