Andy Capaloff
March 21, 2014

How To Lead Readers From Their Search To Your Solution

At the end of my article, ‘How Do We Find Our Way Out Of The Content Echo Chamber?’ I stated:

“Mastery of semantic search is surely key to finding the bigger audience.  The ability to naturally integrate our not so general knowledge into what the public is already searching for, will be key to claiming the new readers – people who might benefit from what we are saying or the services we are providing, but have yet to hear it.

More on that, later…….”

Well, later just arrived!

The definitive work in this area remains David Amerland’s Google Semantic Search.  However, it is certainly not impossible to gain more than a cursory understanding of the subject by employing contextual search to locate some wonderful pieces.

One such is 5 Ways To Unlock The Benefits Of Semantic Search, by Barbara Starr for Search Engine Land.

She shows an example of how Google built the engine and how a simple Google search ‘Flights from JFK to’ instantly causes your search to offer you various choices.  If you are interested in the process of how the internal aspect of this works, Barbara does an excellent job of explaining it.

She then goes on to say: “How might you use this information to optimize for user intent? Well, let’s say you are in the travel industry and you have offerings that would apply to someone traveling to [pick a place]… you might want to make sure your page content includes that destination”

So let’s extrapolate from this how Semantic Search might help you and I to get our content noticed by more people, expanding signups, customer base or whatever your goal happens to be.

buyer personaPerhaps Buyer Persona’s are no longer the flavour of the month for some people, but I’d suggest them as being a particularly helpful tool in this endevour.

Create a picture of the person you wish to attract with your content.  If you are like Jan Gordon, the founder and CEO of Curatti, and created your business around what used to keep you up at night, you could do worse than writing a short case study on yourself asking some of these questions:

  • What does this person need?
  • What is (s)he looking for?
  • What terms will (s)he search for and how?

Now try to include one or more of these terms in your articles and lead your readers from their search to your solution.  No, you don’t have to include entire phrases.  That would be a mess.  The most important thing you can deliver with your content remains quality.  If you can seamlessly include key search phrases while maintaining your usual high quality, the chances of your article being found by those you want to find it, will increase.

To use Bundlepost as an example: naturally, far fewer people have heard of it than have heard of Hootsuite or Buffer.  So If I was looking to grab eyes of people who have never heard of it, I would surely mention Social Media Scheduling and a couple of the more common tools, before explaining why Bundlepost offers so much more than other such tools and can free up so much time for its users.

Word of caution!  The more common the phrase you are writing, the more competition you will have.  So unless your site has a very highGlossy Robot with Magnifying Glass Google Page Rank – something that is unlikely if it is relatively new and/or doesn’t have very high traffic – don’t expect to mention something that the whole world is writing about, and show up on Google’s front page for searches on that phrase.

In an ideal world, I’d be able to show you a great example of Google finding a phrase within a specific article.  But as semantic search has so many variables, not least of which is your own search history, no two people will see the same results on a search.  You would simply not be able to recreate my results page because your search history is not mine.

Ultimately, it all boils down to this:

  • What keeps your customers up at night?
  • How is your content reflecting their needs?
  • How does your content stand out from that of your competitors?

Concentrate on these 3 things, and both the Semantic Search and Page Rank will follow


Images with thanks to

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Andy Capaloff

Andy Capaloff is the COO of Curatti. Prior to moving into the world of Content Marketing, Social Media Management and the day-to-day running of a Digital Marketing company, Andy spent over 3 decades in various aspects of IT. It is here that he honed his writing and technical skills, and his ability to ask uncommon questions.