Best Practice

What is a Semantic Core?

Simply put, your SEO semantic core is a list of keywords and phrases that are relative to your website structure, and grouped together based on a search engine user’s search intent.

Each  keyword cluster is targeted toward the search queries of a specific target audience, and is specific to an individual page on your website.  

Historically, a semantic core is documented in a standalone spreadsheet and then implemented on your website. It’s best practice to execute an on-page and technical SEO audit after the key HTML fields are updated.  

A semantic core has one entry per targeted URL. The main components of a semantic core are: 

1) Targeted URL 

2) Main or core keyword

3) Keyword cluster 

4) HTML Title 

5) HTML Description 

6) HTML H1 and H2 

7) On page content 


The first step before creating or updating your semantic core is conducting a thorough keyword analysis. Some SEO beginners mistakenly believe that they know which keywords to focus on.  A keyword analysis by a SEO specialist can be very insightful and result in increased traffic from search engines. For a quick refresher on keyword analysis, check out Every Business Needs a Keyword Analysis.  

After you have completed the keyword analysis, you will have determined your targeted URLs, main keyword for each URL, keyword cluster for each URL.   


The HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the standard markup language for documents designed to be displayed in a web browser. It can be assisted by technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages such as JavaScrip. - wikipedia

You can always view your HTML by right clicking on a webpage and selecting “View page source”

Search engines read your webpage’s HTML as well as the content on your webpage. The critical fields in regards to SEO in your HTML are: Title, Description, H1 and H2. These fields need to be updated using the main keyword and keywords from the keyword cluster.  


There is no industry standard format of a semantic core. If you Google “semantic core examples” you will see a lot of spreadsheets and various keyword tracking tools, which typically track keywords at the website level, and not at the page level.  

Keywords are the link between internet users and website owners.   After reading any number of articles on SEO, you may conclude that “keyword analysis”, “keyword strategy”, “semantic core, and “SEO semantic core” are the same and can be used interchangeably.  

A keyword strategy consists of an SEO program, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, business listings and citations.    

A Keyword analysis, as mentioned before, is required to create a semantic core. A quick refresher - the analysis determines the product categories, relative to the website structure, and the main keyword/keyword clusters for each targeted URL (website page).    

FYI - “Semantic core” and “SEO semantic core” are interchangeable, and mean the same thing. A semantic core aligns the results of the keyword analysis to specific web page HTML, and includes changes specifically the following HTML fields: page title, page description, H1, H2 headers, ALT image text.  


Any time you change your HTML, you should run an An On-Page and Technical SEO analysis.  Even if you make no changes, it is best practice to run the audit once every 3 to 6 months.

A detailed report showing each line item for the critical errors, warnings and notices is produced so that you, an SEO specialist, or a web developer can address them. Most SEO specialists have the backend capability to address on-page and technical SEO audit issues.  


Measuring the results of your SEO efforts takes many forms. From the time it takes to start seeing results to comparing the quality of your visitors, determining the success of your SEO efforts will require an in-depth look at the whole picture. 

Time. Search engine optimization is not a quick walk in the park. You won’t wake up the next day to find your web page ranking in the top 10 organic search results. It takes time, sometimes six to nine months before you start seeing some results, and a year or two to see great results.  But, if you do nothing, your competitors will dominate search engine results.  

Visitors from search engines. The most sure-fire way to determine the success of your SEO efforts is to simply measure your website visitors from search engines. With consistent SEO effort, this number should increase consistently over time. View your growth in time increments of six months to observe trends. 

Quality of Visitors:  Analyze the time visitors from search engines are spending on your website, the number of events occuring, and which pages are being interacted with. If you’re encountering a high bounce-rate from visitors from search compared to visitors from other sources, examine the search intent of the keywords driving  traffic. You may be attracting customers seeking something slightly different than what you’re offering. Having a high bounce rate can have a negative impact on your SEO score. 

Keyword Rankings:  Measure how your website ranks for your main keywords in each of your keyword clusters. The objective is to steadily increase the ranking of your keywords. Every three to six months, your keywords should be examined and potentially adjusted. If the traffic from search engines flattens out or decreases, you may want to adjust the keywords, HTML data, and content on your website with your new keywords.  

Keyword Density.  Your keyword density is the count of how many times each keyword is used on your website, and what percentage that word is used relative to the total word count on your website. Be aware of keyword stuffing! Keyword stuffing is using a keyword over and over in an unnatural way in attempt to boost your SEO. Search engines will penalize you for keyword stuffing.

“What is good keyword density? While there are no hard and fast rules for keyword density beyond always-relevant "don't keyword stuff" advice, many SEOs recommend using approximately 1-2 keyword for every 100 words of copy. That factors in to about 1-2% keyword density.  - Hubspot” 

SERP Competitors 

SERP competitors are web pages that are displayed in the top search engine results for your keyword. Examining your competitors' webpages lets you identify what competitors are doing to achieve a high rank. As you continue to analyze your competitors, you can start to get a good idea about what strategies are being used in your different market segments.

Cruxdata powers your SEO analysis using your semantic core, then integrates your competitor analysis, your Google Analytics, and on-page/technical SEO audits in an easy to use web based application. Easily manage a sophisticated SEO program from your desktop, tablet or mobile..  


“Off page” or “off site” SEO is everything that is done off of your website that helps SEO performance. The most powerful off-page SEO tactic is a process known as “backlinking”.  Simply, backlinks are links from other websites that link back to your website. The higher the domain authority of the website linking to your website, the more valuable the backlink becomes. The more valuable backlinks your website has, the more favorable your website becomes to search engines.  

A solid first step to generating backlinks is to create quality content consistently, and promote it on your social media platforms,email newsletters and other platforms.

Next, examine any current backlinks. Follow the links and determine why they linked back to your website. Are there similar websites you should contact to host your content?  

Then, examine the backlink reports of your competitors, find the sites that they have linked to, examine why they linked to your competitors, and finally contact them about linking to your content. If you do not have a blog, you should strongly consider implementing one, as your potential customers are interested in your knowledge, expertise and opinions. Cruxdata monitors the backlinks of your website as well as the backlinks of your top five competitors.   


Search engine marketing is a key aspect to growing almost any business online.   The online digital world is rapid evolving, the search engines are constantly changing their aolgorihtms, consumer are presented with an ever increasing array of opportunities on how to spend the time and money.  

Cruxdata makes it easy to get started and increment a simple to extremely sophisticated SEO program.     

Preston Derrick