It Concerns Concerns of your Concern: Homonyms in SEO and SEM
One of the most frequent mistakes people make when creating SEO or SEM (Google AdWords etc.) campaigns is targeting keywords with two or more meanings. Such words are called homonyms.
Here, we will tell you how to avoid this mistake and how Search Engines understand the correct meaning of your keywords.
Even we have problems with them; nobody is able to think of all possible meanings of keywords that they want to rank for. Putting the word “concern” meaning “trust” to one of your Google AdWords campaigns may lead to your site people with anxiety in form of different “concerns”, or people needing consultants for their enterprise and searching for “business consultant for my concern”.
How to make it clear what meaning the homonym keyword has in each particular case?
Fortunately, it is not only our “concern”; search engines also try to resolve it for a long time. Here is how they do it (still, you need to help them, find out how in the end).
How do Search Engines Understand the Correct Meaning of your Keyword
So, SEO used to be about density of one particular keyword that you want to rank high for, but those times have passed long ago. Now, it is often the case that the text contains the target keyword just once or doesn’t contain at all.
So, how does Google understand, what the text is about?
Here, the LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) comes into play. It is the term meaning a group of semantically related keywords. They form a semantic base that is used by search engines to understand the whole topic of the text.
There are also words that Google regards as synonyms, while we may not, that rank high for the same keywords, although being spelled differently. It is especially the case in popular (online) languages and popular (online) topics.
For example, in travel industry “things to do”, “attractions” and “sightseeing” have almost the same meaning for Google. So, you might name your article “Things to do in Zurich”, and rank on the first position for the search term “attractions in Zurich”
So, that is how Search Engines understand the meaning of your text and particular keywords in SEO, but you need to help them (and yourself), especially in case of search engine marketing. Here is how.
How to Make the Meaning of Homonyms Clear for Search Engines
Here, we will separate our instructions into SEO and SEM, as there are different ways to ‘explain’ the keyword meaning for search engines in these two cases.
Homonyms in SEO
You’ve just finished your great post about your favorite topic and ready to post it on your blog… But you realize that the main article’s keyword has several meanings, so it may get some irrelevant traffic and never rank high in Search Engines.
Here is how you can fix this problem:
- Check the general keyword density/semantic base. You can do this using this tool. It will show you the words that you used most of all in your post. If the top ones relate the same topic (and the one you write about), you’ve done everything right. If not, try to change it. Most important are the first and the last paragraphs, while the general keyword usage is also important.
- The general website topic should be related to the topic of your post. Your website may have several topics that you write about. Then the best idea would be to create an appropriate structure. You can simply look at our website’s menu to understand what I mean.
- Sites linking to it and the ones you link to from this post, should also have a relevant topic. Writing about social media marketing, you shouldn’t link to pages about dog food (it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get our point).
- The same about internal linking. Link from one of your posts to another only if they have something in common and it may be interesting and useful for your readers to check the other one.
- Meta descriptions and alt tags should also contain keywords of your main topic. Your readers might not read them, but the Search Engines will.
Homonyms in SEM
In case of SEM, you don’t get any LSI.
Well, if the goal of your Google AdWords campaign is to maximize the number of clicks at a limited budget, after some time and lots of lost money, Google might find the keywords that are the most relevant to the audience and the page, where the ad leads.
But, there are ways to avoid losing money from the beginning.
- Don’t use too generic keywords. Use key phrases instead. Instead of “concern” you should better use “xyz services for my concern”. Instead of “bank”, you should better use “buy a beautiful house on the river bank in Paris” or “open a bank account in Zurich”. It will not only make it clear for google, what you mean by saying ‘bank’ or ‘concern’, but will decrease the amount of irrelevant traffic and increase the number of conversions.
- Clearly state the industry and topic of your site. This will make it even easier to filter out the irrelevant traffic and maximize outcome of your marketing expenses.
Wasting money for irrelevant homonyms is just one of the many mistakes that you can make in SEO and SEM. Don’t make those mistakes, and order our professional SEO services and let us start an efficient SEM campaign for you!