The semantic kernel is the basis of site promotion, because it contains the information/commercial offer for which users come to the site. It is the semantic core that provides the link between the business and what customers write in the search engine, what the search results show them.
An SEO specialist collects the semantic kernel, and here comes the problem: top managers and marketers of businesses do not understand reports in the format of cumbersome array of data in Excel or Google Tables, which optimizers are accustomed to. Optimizers use complicated macros and formulas when working with the semantic core, but in the end all this leads to the fact that it is difficult for businesses to understand why they need this semantic core and how to work with it.
The root of the problem is that the SEO-specialist lacks focus on the client’s business. And we have previously talked about the close relationship between SEO-audit and the client’s business. At the same time, clear communication with the client allows for effective prioritization of requests for promotion. On the basis of Artem Bagnenko’s experience, we will tell how the optimizer can make reporting transparent and useful for all parties, and how the business can make use of this information.
Doing semantics for the client, not just for the optimizer
The classic approach in the collection of semantics looks like this:
- We collect basic queries and “tails” from various sources;
- then clustered;
- determine the predominance of commercial intents;
- design by frequency / level of aggregation;
- and get the results in the form of a Google or Excel spreadsheet.
What is the client lacking in this approach, why does he perceive the result without understanding, or even skeptically? This formation of the semantic core lacks focus on business!
You can provide the client with traffic to the pages, but the business needs not just traffic, but its conversion into money. And no one will tell you better than the business itself which product categories are marginal, where it is more profitable to direct traffic.
This requires presenting semantics to the client in the language of the business, showing him what growth of traffic is possible in what categories, and giving him clear reporting on the entire funnel, from standard SEO indicators such as positions and traffic, to margins and other positions that are important for the business.
It’s not enough to gather query semantics, prioritize, land on some pages and try to promote those pages. It is necessary to understand the goals of business and fully immersed in the project client, which increases the number of areas of work with the semantic core (highlighted in the image below).
How to orient the work with the semantic core to the objectives of business?
Each of the points highlighted above, let’s analyze in detail:
Product categories and their margins.
With regard to product categories, you need to carefully communicate with the client, because only through him can you understand: which categories are marginal, which to focus on. The marginality of the pages to which queries lead determines what is more profitable to promote the business.
Page intents are another problem. For years there has been a tendency to look at search engine results, do analysis of competitors’ sites and use similar types of pages. But still in SEO, not everyone looks at the intents of what type of pages users want, and because of this, they lose the way to increase the relevance of pages.
Semantics need to be broken down by page type – whether it’s a listing, a detailed product card or the home page.
Level of query aggregation
The level of aggregation by query is important for prioritization, especially for young projects where this is the main way to understand where to go for queries and by which ones.
Client understanding of semantics
And, of course, you need understanding from the client, who needs to explain how he will benefit from the work you have done.As mentioned above – not always the client understands excel – you need to explain what kind of benefit you give him.
Breaking down the semantics in an understandable form for the client
Here are some examples of the breakdown of semantics on the example of a case in a sports niche.
Here’s an example of a basic breakdown of a little semantics in the “sports glasses” topic by category (type) based on the overall frequency of the tag.
Opinion of expert
Artem Bagnenko, leading SEO-specialist of ITECH.group:
This is where an SEO specialist cannot make the right decision without interacting with the client! When you already have an understanding of which category brings in how much traffic, you need to communicate with the client to prioritize. Only the client will tell you that, for example, “for swimming” is not the most marginal category, but “skiing” is the most marginal. And then you can understand what is more profitable: to get into the top of high demand with a less marginal product, or to bring in the top of a more marginal product with less demand. You can’t make the right choice without being immersed in the business!”
Breakdown by site in SERPs
Another example – the analysis of the positions of different sites in SERP (visibility analysis) in the same subject and its semantics.
There are two purposes to choose from: either to select sites for further analysis, or to assess the capacity of the topic and its leaders to make a promotion strategy.
Site selection is useful if you need to make reclustering, text analysis, etc. For such tasks is not suitable focus on sites that are in the top not because of good texts or LSI, but for other factors – the size, etc. Therefore, we analyze and exclude sites like Yandex.Market, Ozon, Goods.ru, which will not give relevant information.
Evaluating the capacity of the subject, it is important to immediately identify leaders and remove their positions. Because even with a small semantics for 7-10 thousand queries will be a huge number of sites. Remove positions for the entire pool of requests for each site is unrealistic.
This way, we get an estimated share of topic leaders, and we can look at references, of which it is worth selecting which elements allow these sites to stay in the top.
Breakdown by brand
A basic breakdown by brand is also very important, especially if the SEO specialist works with e-commerce. Understanding the structure of branded queries will help you and your client prioritize them correctly.
Breakdown by output in the contextual advertising block
It’s hard to succeed in promotion without providing yourself with maximum coverage throughout the search space and without understanding who you’re competing with in it. It’s helpful to understand which sites are frequently seen in contextual advertising, as context is actively present in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page, search engine rankings). This analysis will show how competitors enter the SERP and where they get their traffic from.
Opinion of the expert
Artem Bagnenko, leading SEO-specialist in ITECH.group:
“I recommend that instead of endless sheets of Excel spreadsheets, you visualize the results using Google Data Studio in a bright, clear and understandable form for the client. It’s very easy to do, without any macros that you write for Excel. Clients are extremely difficult to work with a huge array of obscure data in tables, and clear visualization greatly facilitates communication with the business on semantics, makes it more productive. Aggregate the data in a dashboard, and you yourself, as an optimizer or analyst, can work with it in a more convenient way.”
The 6 best tools for working with information in SERPs
The more information we can get from SERPs, the better the tagging will be. To automate the work use tools that can give the most necessary information in one place. About each tool in detail we write below.
Rush Analytics provides clear clustering: we see the strength of links, the degree of matching, the number of main pages for each cluster, highlighting who are the leaders in the topic. Separately shown are queries that did not get into clusters. There is quite a flexible setup, you can also get the relevant pages of your domain, which is also very useful for further work in Google Data Studio.
Pixel Tools gives a little less flexibility in clustering settings. This is due to the fact that the service has a large number of other tools in addition to the clusterizer, where you can get more information (though, for separate limits). Here we also get sane clusters, positions, main pages, although a smaller number of settings in the input can distort the information.
Keys.so is the best tool for completeness of information, but not the best clustering tool. You will get a lot of information on SERP (degree of aggregation, commerce), you can extract toponyms from the semantics. For clustering it is better to use other services.
Just-magic clusters semantics very well, including large volumes. It has a division by subject, which simplifies tagging: by the subject of the query you can understand which category the query belongs to. This is especially useful at the stage of site development, when there are no URLs to which semantics can be linked and tagged. The tool also takes positions and frequency.
Agsinkin.ru works especially well for small analyses. There is a flexible input, both soft and hard clustering works well. At the output we also get useful information such as positions, frequency, geo-dependence, but the relatively weak point is the strength of links.
Searchlab from Search Analytics Lab is one of the most comprehensive tools. It does quality clustering, shows the degree of matching queries, the number of main pages per cluster, highlights. It also gives the ability to work with those queries that are not included in the clusters, taking into account the links. This is a very useful feature because, for example, with a large semantics of 30-50 thousand queries during clustering, a very large part of the really important for the site falls into the non-clustered queries. Other tools do not allow you to deeply work with them. Searchlab provides information about the strength of links for non-clustered queries and the ability to distribute these queries to other clusters. Plus it allows you to re-clustering with other parameters for free.
The tool also shows topic leaders, provides an opportunity to get relevant pages for your domain. Here is very flexible functionality: you can use hard and soft clustering, not limited to the top 10, and take the top 30 to get more correlations. Searchlab determines the information content of requests, topics and intents, that is, it gives practically all the information you need.
Artem Bagnenko, Leading SEO Specialist at ITECH.group:
“Searchlab has a very useful function called “site exclusion. Above we talked about excluding marketplaces, aggregators, etc., which are in no way competitors for an ordinary site. In this tool we can exclude them and determine which sites we need for comparison. The clustering tool itself is similar to Rush Analytics, it gives a little more customization options at the input. Overall, I have high expectations for it and give it a rating of 9 out of 10.”
When comparing tools, keep in mind that it’s impossible to find a universal service, a “magic button” that will give you all the data about SERPs. So far, you still have to use several solutions to get all the information.
How SEO-specialist and the client to communicate effectively and mutually beneficial?
Google Data Studio dashboards can be used to establish communication based on data from cloud tools.
We’ve already talked about the need to use visual custom reports for reports, not hard-to-digest tables and uploads. A fairly simple dashboard (shown in the picture), built in Google Data Studio, will make the process of communication and cooperation with the client really convenient. Such dashboards clearly present all the information on the work.
They show queries by category, and the commercial content, Yandex and Google positions, URLs, and so on. The client really understands what you are doing, and sees which queries are ranked and which categories dominate in the semantics.
It often happens that the optimizer does not know something because they are not immersed in the business, and the client, after receiving and understanding all the data, gives great insights. Working with the client, it’s easier to tag semantics and put them on pages.
Opinion of the expert
Artem Bagnenko, Leading SEO Specialist at ITECH.group:
“Clients who have no idea how you work with semantics will sooner or later want to find a contractor who gives them answers to their questions. By giving detailed information and clear dashboards you give a cosmic increase in LTV.”
Google Data Studio is an easy to learn tool with an intuitive interface. Both optimizers and analysts can work with it. Which of them will make dashboards for the client depends on the specific project and the degree of the specialist’s involvement in it. We talked about how the SEO-agency builds a team and effective interaction with the client, here.
We load semantics and data into the tool and give the client the opportunity to look at cuts in margins, brands, money, and so on. In fact, the client gets an analytical tool of his own niche for which he hires an entire marketing department.
- In order to work effectively, the SEO specialist needs to immerse himself in the client’s business and focus on his priorities, not just on traffic.
- Tagging semantics is necessary to promote the marginal products and categories the business needs. You also need to pay attention to page intents.
- There is no perfect tool for dealing with semantics yet, but some cloud services have come close to this goal in many ways.
- Reports for businesses should not be formed in the form of heavy tables and arrays of data, but in the format of dashboards and widgets, where the client can see slices of comparison for certain categories.
- Mutual understanding with the client allows you to optimize the site in the right direction and give the business the results it needs. Clear reporting increases the professional value of the optimizer for the client.