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Are you making this costly error with your SEO keyword research?

Discover how semantic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can improve readability and attract more targeted visitors. By creating content that covers topics deeply and in a way that is relevant to your audience, you signal to your audience and Google that you are a topical authority.

Join the free mini-course that shows you how to do audience research

Why many marketers fail when it comes to keyword research

Keyword research is essential for identifying the right keywords to target. By focusing on the right keywords, you can ensure your content is found by those looking for information related to those terms. But most content marketers make the costly mistake of starting their keyword research before they deeply understand their audience. This approach is less than optimal and can lead to Google penalizing your content. 

Instead, the right keyword research approach involves conducting extensive audience research to understand your target market’s problems, hopes, values, dreams, and desires. Keyword research using tools such as Google Keyword Planner, MOZ, SEMRush, and Google Search Console to discover average search volumes and keyword difficulty should come later on in the process. 

In this article, we will explore the process we follow at Sell On Autopilot, both for our brand and our clients, to find keywords that attract the right audience and convert visitors to customers. 

If you start with keyword research, you end with the wrong audience.”

Prue Madden

Why Search Engine Optimization matters 

SEO matters because a well-optimized website can improve online visibility and rankings. When your business is more visible it can attract new customers and increase revenue. Whether you’re a small business looking to improve your visibility online, or an established company with a dominant web presence, you can optimize your content for better search engine visibility. The best way to do this is by implementing semantic SEO techniques.

What is semantic SEO?

While SEO is the process of optimizing a website to gain higher rankings on search engines, semantic SEO is the practice of using keywords and phrases that are related to your content’s topic but have a technical or specialized meaning relevant to your audience. Semantic SEO aims to make content more relevant to your target audience and build more meaning and topical depth into your content. 

By using semantically relevant keywords throughout your content, you can ensure that your site reaches the right audience and speaks to them in their own language and voice, making them feel like they are in the right place.  By focussing on semantic SEO, you can improve readability and attract more targeted visitors by creating content that covers topics deeply and in a way that is relevant to your audience. 

What are the benefits of semantic SEO?

By creating new content around topics of interest to your audience and building upon existing concepts in existing content that have proved to be of interest, you will ensure that your website appears more credible and relevant to Google. Doing this can result in:

1) Higher rankings: Improved search engine rankings lead to increased traffic and improved click-through rates (CTR). Therefore less time is spent visiting irrelevant pages on the internet while simultaneously improving conversion rates for any effective ads you may have placed on these pages.

2) Increased Traffic: With better rankings comes increased visibility for your site. People searching online will likely see your content as the first result for relevant keywords, increasing your chances of converting potential customers.

What are semantic keywords?  

Semantic keywords are unique and individualized phrases that describe the topic or subject of your content in the language that your audience uses around the topic. As it’s the language of your audience, the only way you can truly understand your audience’s semantics is by studying the language they use. That’s why it’s critical to do audience research is a critical first step that should precede keyword research.

How to use semantic SEO to your advantage?

By understanding semantic SEO, you can optimize your content to match how Google “selects” what should appear high up in search results. When you appear on page 1 of Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), you can attract more visitors looking for the information you provide on this topic. In addition, semantic SEO can help Google understand your site better and give you preferential treatment when ranking queries based on your site’s areas of authority.

In the past, Google’s ranking algorithm was far less advanced than it is now. Crawlers found keywords on a page and used these to understand meaning and relevance. But the Google search mechanism is no longer solely keyword-based. Google has become far more advanced in recent years and can now access a piece of content and understand the topic it covers, the related subtopics, terms, and how all of those concepts relate to each other. 

As we know, understanding human language comes from more than just words. Context of the topic and words, tone, and the content before and after the words, all impact the meaning of an entire content piece. Google continuously updates its algorithm to understand website content, taking a more human-like and semantic approach before determining how to rank web content so that search results for user queries are far more nuanced. 

semantic seo

Use the language of your audience.



Create people-first content in the words of your audience.
audience research for seo

Why understanding how to research keywords in the right way should be the top priority. 

Semantic keyword research should be a top priority for content marketers. Semantic search engines, such as Google and Bing, are designed to index the contents of websites and return the most relevant results for queries. In short, if you want your audience to be able to find you when they type in a search query, you need to optimize your content for semantic search. 

With Google’s recently revising its search algorithm to rank content crafted primarily for people rather than search engines, semantic SEO is more important than ever for maximizing your website’s visibility. Your content must be well-written, compelling, and relevant to target audiences if you want it to rank higher in semantic searches. 

This step should be a top priority for any content creator looking to improve their website’s visibility and traffic. By targeting the right semantic keywords, you can ensure that your audience can easily find your site when they search in search engines. When you focus on what your target audience is searching for around the topics they are interested in, you can ensure that your content is more likely to be found by people looking for information about those topics. Using this people-first or audience-first process can also help you identify new opportunities for marketing your business through content creation.

Why should audience-first keyword research be classified as your biggest concern regarding SEO?

There are several reasons why this should be classified as your biggest concern regarding keyword research for SEO. By focusing on your audience’s problems, pain points, and needs, you’ll better understand what people are searching for and give your content a higher chance of being found by your audience in search engines and attracting the right audience on social media.

Suppose you start your research in an audience-first manner to understand their problems, challenges, concerns, needs, and desired outcomes and educate your audience around these topics. In that case, you can enable them to resolve these issues or learn how your solution can help them do this. 

When you consistently attract the right audience and move them through the buyer journey, you become a valuable source of knowledge and a trusted partner in their success. If you don’t take this people-first approach to keyword research, you’ll have a harder time targeting the right keywords and driving traffic to your site.

What is the best process for semantic SEO keyword research for people-first content?

If you don’t take this people-first approach, you’ll have a harder time targeting the right keywords and driving traffic to your site. But how do you research semantic SEO keywords for people- or audience-first content?

The first step is to research your audience to understand their problems, pain points, needs, and other information about your audience. Include demographic research and psychographic research. Audience research can be conducted using AI research tools and by manually researching conversations on social media platforms and forums such as Reddit. 

After you understand the problems, hopes, values, dreams, desires, and other psychographics of your audience, decide what topic you will write about by analyzing your research data and determining the type of content you need for the part of the customer journey for which you are creating content.

Next, it is time to research the semantics of your audience when they discuss this topic. Use semantic SEO principles to determine your keywords, such as looking at content clusters. Look through your research data and consider the words they use when discussing this topic and researching this topic. Consider their level of expertise as this will impact their semantic searches. Use your preferred keyword tool to find keyword clusters and determine average keyword volumes.

Also, consider the search intent to determine where they are in the buyer journey (and the stage of your marketing or sales funnel). When you have a list of relevant people-first keywords and their corresponding traffic potential, start writing high-quality, audience-focused content that tackles those problems. Using your keyword research findings, you can write about topics to resonate with your target audience and help your content appear high up in search results.

Finally, it’s time to plan and write your content, with the following process being the framework for the planning and writing process: 


  • Where have they come from before this content piece that you are about to create
  • The topic of interest of the content piece
  • The stage of the buyer journey (and your funnel) of the audience to which this content is directed (pinpoint their stage of awareness)
  • The search intent
  • The keywords suitable for this topic and search intent
  • The messaging angle
  • The content piece is heading.
  • The start point of your article is dictated by their stage of awareness
  • The endpoint of the article – to which stage of awareness will be moved by the end of the content piece
  • The article flow (sales argument) will move them from the start point to the endpoint.
  • The Call To Action
  • What will happen after the CTA – where will you take them next, and with what content? 

Once you have created your content, you can use search engine optimization techniques like on-page SEO, inbound marketing, and social media marketing to get your content ranked higher in search engines for these keywords. Finally, continue promoting your content through various channels such as social media, email campaigns, and paid advertising. Doing this will help you reach more people who may be interested in what you’re offering.

How to Optimize website content for Semantic Search  

1. Incorporate semantic SEO into your overall SEO strategy by ensuring that all of your content is well-written and relevant to your target audience. Doing this will help you rank higher in search engines for related keywords and improve your site’s click-through rate (CTR).

2. Use keyword research to identify relevant and targeted keywords that can help boost your website’s ranking position. By targeting high-traffic keywords, you’ll ensure that visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

3. Work to improve the depth of your content by discussing specific topics in more than one sentence. Doing this enables searchers to explore more thoroughly and uncover new information about the subject.

4. Use webinars, social media, and other online platforms to share valuable tips and advice with other WordPress enthusiasts. Doing so will help you build relationships with potential customers and attract fresh blood into the SEM ecosystem – two key ingredients for success in semantic SEO.

Take our free mini-course and start your market research.

Learn to use Artificial Intelligence and traditional market research to research your audience.

How to find semantic keywords

Google search today is the best it’s ever been for finding the information that you need. Whether you are looking for software for your business, a song title from a few words in a verse, or even by humming the tune, or you are looking for the nearest pizza shop; Google provides relevant results almost every time. How does it do this so effectively? The answer is semantic search. So how can you do semantic SEO keyword research to attract the right audience and keep Google happy?

What are the risks of ineffective keyword research? 

By not taking a people-first approach to content creation and by not taking an audience-first approach to keyword research and selection, you will fall behind those brands that are creating people-first content. If you aren’t taking this approach, it’s time to ask yourself why. Are you afraid of change? Do you not believe you can do it? Do you think the problem is too big, or are other distractions competing for your attention?

Without taking an audience-first approach to keyword research and selection, you risk falling behind those brands that do take this approach. You will also miss out on ideas for keywords that would appeal to your target audience and help improve your SEO ranking. If your target audience is not front and center of your keyword research process, you risk attracting the wrong audience and alienating potential customers. Your ideal audience will be less likely to click through your ads, social media content, and search engine snippets. The outcome? Your website’s traffic and SEO ranking will tank, and visitors will also be less likely to convert to customers, translating to a smaller customer base and lower profits for your business.

How to do audience research for optimal semantic SEO results

For optimal SEO results, you must understand your target audience deeply before conducting keyword research. By taking an audience-first approach and using tools like AI and semantic SEO, you can avoid this costly marketing error. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the mistake most marketers make when conducting keyword research is to start from the wrong point. Instead of beginning with an understanding of their audience, they use keywords as the starting point, which can lead to content that does not answer the needs or desires of their target market. Marketers regularly neglect the research steps because they don’t know where to start or what to follow or are afraid of undertaking a long and labor-intensive research process.

However, it doesn’t need to be this way. With the introduction of Artificial Intelligence and the massive pool of consumer data easily accessible on the internet, market research and audience research are faster, easier, or more affordable to complete than ever before. Whether you are a large business, a medium or small business, or even a one-person gig, market research can be completed quickly and at a minimal cost. 

The free mini-course that teaches audience research for the best SEO results

If you have been using an outdated approach to SEO or neglecting this important part of your content marketing and brand-building strategy, now is the time to change. Successfully researching the keywords most relevant to your target audience will ensure you create the best possible content for driving conversions and growth for your business.

We have created a free mini-course that provides the step-by-step process for starting your market research. You’ll learn the exact steps we take to research our market using AI and traditional research methods to gather free data from online audience conversations.  Once you have access to this valuable audience data, you can decide on content topics and do your keyword research to create people-first, semantic SEO-optimized content that your audience and Google will love.

Take our free mini-course and start your market research.

Learn to do market research to understand your audience.

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