The purpose of semantic search is to improve the accuracy of the results fetched by a particular query by attempting to understand the intent of the user. This means that the contextual meaning of search terms as they appear on the internet will be taken into account to provide results that are truly relevant to what the user is looking for. Factors such as context of search, user intent, synonyms and location are taken into account within semantic search systems. As we all know, Google employs certain semantic search elements to refine their searches.
While some consider semantic search as the death of SEO, there are ways to make it work for you. As any good SEO professional would know, you have to make sure that your content is always relevant to your keywords. For instance, if you create a page with the keyword 'hotels in Gold Coast' you will have to have content relevant to 'Resorts on the Gold Coast' rather than to simply have the word present in an article with completely unrelated content. Targeting a user's intent is much more successful when it comes to semantic search. A user who is seeking for 'Resorts on the Gold Coast' might be seeking for a good option to make a reservation or information on the search phrase. What you need to do on your page is to make sure that you offer content that is valuable for both types of users. A listing of hotels, tips on getting good rates, nearby attractions and other travel tips may hold a user's interest.
The influence of social media increases with the decline of paid links. A social media strategy is essential to build a quality audience for your website. Of course, it's not just about getting 'likes' and 'follows', in order to make your social media profilers matter, you have to keep your audience interested. Take the effort to identify your preferences and interests and offer content that answers to those interests. Although not a particularly exciting social media platform as defined by users, Google+ is also becoming more important. Being listed on Google+ and having Google Authorship set up is seen as a sign of credibility.
Last but most certainly not least, the right on-page setup is of utmost importance. Even the strongest off page strategy will not have satisfactory results if the on page content is not strong enough. Factors such as page loading speed, optimised sitemaps and cross platform optimisation are also important to make sure that semantic search does not overlook your website. In addition to all this, mobile optimised and responsive websites are a step ahead in the race.
In the end, semantic search is a way for search engines to eliminate irrelevant search results in place of useful content. After all, search engines also have to keep their users happy by offering the right results for their queries. New and improved SEO strategies are winning while paid links and content stuffing is on the route to obscurity. What website owners need to bear in mind is that they need to offer content that is relevant to user intent at their convenience.