SEO Tips & Tricks Podcast: Understanding Entity SEO Keyword Research

Table of Contents

Why do you need to know about Entity SEO?

Search engine algorithms are always changing, which can feel frustrating when you’ve just wrapped your mind around the last algorithm update! But don’t worry, in today’s episode of the SEO Tips & Tricks Podcast, we’re reviewing entity SEO and how to optimize your marketing strategy with this tool.

Let’s dive into Tim Jenning’s top tips for keyword research that focuses on entity SEO so you can reach your target audience better.

Please note that I currently have no affiliation with any of the tools other than I love to use them. —Tim

What to Listen For


Search engine algorithms get smarter and more advanced literally every single day. Yes, while there are major changes to algorithms a couple of times a year, they also have many slight changes every single day. And because search algorithms are constantly advancing, the way you do keyword research needs to change too!

Long gone are the days of simply looking up how many searches a keyword gets and forming a strategy based on those numbers. Search engines are well passed that elementary thinking for ranking a page in their search results page. They have moved on to a more advanced system of finding results that will meet the searcher’s intent. With that advancement, targeting a single keyword simply won’t work anymore. You must also be targeting Latent Semantic Keywords. 

Latent Semantic Keywords are all the keywords that are conceptually related to your primary keyword that gives the search engines a complete understanding of your content.

Here’s the best way I have heard to explain it and it comes from another SEO expert named Stockbridge Truslow – which is a pretty cool name if you ask me. Hahaha! But let’s say you want to produce a piece of content that is about Hero Sandwiches. The tool that you use will tell you how many searches a month it gets and tells you the competition level for Hero Sandwiches. If I then look at the keyword Submarine Sandwich – that is going to have a completely different search volume and competitiveness. 

BUT… what actually happens when you type those keywords in is that RankBrain and Bert and all those front end things go in and rewrite the terms a bit. “Hero Sandwich” is going to be rewritten to include “submarine sandwich” in the results. And depending upon where you are in the country or world, it might also rewrite to include “Grinder” and “Hoagie” and “Italian Sub” and various other regional names for what amounts to the same sandwich. That is “entities” and the knowledge graph kicking in – whether you want it to or not. 

So now you’ve got a tool that tells you, “Hey, you should go for “Hero Sandwich” because it’s less competitive. But in reality, no matter which you go for – at the core of it, you’re actually looking at search volume and competitive that is close to (but not exactly equal to) the SUM of all the different versions that your tool calls “related” but that Bert and RankBrain call the same. 

This is also compounded by the fact that the intent is vague… do you want to make a hero sandwich? To buy one at a store? Are you just looking to see what’s in it? Or maybe the history of it? Google also takes these possible meanings and intents into consideration and tries to give you a page that covers these topics. There’s maybe the local pack for restaurants, and maybe a recipe slider and so on. And then you have the 10 Blue Links that are the organic results- which Google is going to try to present you a fair mix of options too. So maybe it decides 6 of the 10 are going to be restaurant or places you can “buy a sandwich” – and 3 of the 10 are going to be recipe sites that teach you how to make the sandwich. And then 1 might be history or informational sites. 

Now… your keyword tool doesn’t account for any of this. It just counts how many pages are fighting for the top spots. Featured snippets aside, being a place to get a sandwich in my example above is actually twice as easy to rank for than to be someone offering a recipe. After all – same keyword, but only 3 recipe sites get to be in that set while 6 restaurants get to be. And worse, those recipe sites don’t care about location – so you’re competing against every recipe site in the world. For a restaurant, you’re competing against only the ones in a half hour or so driving radius. So now even if the tool reports “Hero Sandwich” as being able to be a fairly easy win… if you are a recipe site, it’s astronomically more difficult. And if you’re the only shop in town that sells Heroes, for a restaurant it’s infinitely more easy. 

So basically, the keyword tools can be a good starting point to get ideas of what people are typing in – but if you stop there, you’re not really doing effective “SEO” – entity based or otherwise. It’s just keyword research. Until you move to that next step, that next level, you haven’t even begun to touch the “O” part of SEO. 

It’s time to advance your keyword research skills and move on from the elementary tactics to the practical application strategies that will actually produce results for your website. So spend more time, put in more effort, and form a strategy that actually works to rank your content rather than just choosing the keyword that has the most search volume and least competition. Enter twine those similar keywords on your content and watch as your content improves in the search results rages. 

I hope that helps you not only gain more eyeballs on your website but also improves your business or organization. As always, if this sounds like a foreign language or you don’t have the time or desire to do what is necessary to rank your website, feel free to reach out and let’s schedule a time to talk. Let our team of trusted Search Engine Optimization experts do the work while you focus on what you do best – running your business! You can email me at or visit our website at

Have a great day!

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Picture of Timothy Jennings

Timothy Jennings

Tim is Soulheart's resident SEO expert as well as our Chief Happiness Officer. He has been doing Search Engine Optimization for almost a decade. He loves the competition aspect of SEO and is always staying on top of the latest trends. He's passionate about helping organizations grow by improving their chances of being found by their target audience.
Picture of Timothy Jennings
Post by

Timothy Jennings

Tim is Soulheart's resident SEO expert as well as our Chief Happiness Officer. He has been doing Search Engine Optimization for almost a decade. He loves the competition aspect of SEO and is always staying on top of the latest trends. He's passionate about helping organizations grow by improving their chances of being found by their target audience.

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