Last Updated on June 15, 2021 by Jake Sheridan
Entity extraction for SEO
Disclaimer: entities can be a complicated subject. This article won’t even skim the surface of them. In fact, it won’t even try.
The point of this short guide is to show you how you can quickly understand the entities related to your keywords/topics and then do something useful with them.
What is an entity (in SEO)?
An entity is a single, well-defined thing or concept that can be linked to the knowledge graph of search engines like Google .
As defined by Google, an entity is:
“A thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined and distinguishable.”
Why should marketers care about entities?
Without going too far down the rabbit hold: understanding and using entities should help content rank better because you are giving Google more data points to understand it’s relevance.
In plain speak:
adding entities = a better understanding of your content.
Less talk, more action:
How to extract entities with Google Images + Sheets
Before we get started, to use this process you will need:
- Scraper Chrome extension
- A copy of the Google Image Entity Extractor template*
- Ahrefs (or keyword research tool of choice)
*NOTE: please make a copy of the Google Sheets template. If you request access, you will be ignored 😊
The process is simple:
Here are the steps in more detail:
Step 1 – use Google images to search your topic
Search you topic in Google images. For this example, let’s use the topic of project management.
Step 2 – view the entities Google associates with your topic
Pay attention to the filters… these are the entities that Google associate with the topic:
Step 3 – scrape the entities
Now you want to right click on the entity and scrape it (using the Chrome extension).
Now Scraper will open up with the plain-text versions of these entities. Hit the Copy to clipboard button:
Step 4 – process the entities in the spreadsheet template
Now go the the sheet template.
First, you need to add in your topic to Cell A3 (the yellow one):
This will auto-populate the output column using CONCATENATE, but don’t worry about that for now.
Now copy in the entities sat in your clipboard. It should look something like this:
Step 5 – get keyword data from Ahrefs
Time to get some keyword data.
Copy the terms from the OUTPUT column and run them through Ahrefs Keyword Explorer:
Step 6 – view your results
Now you want to select Matching terms from the left panel.
This will show you keyword ideas that contain your target keyword or phrase:
That’s it! Now you have a list of keywords based on the entities that Google understands to be related to your topic.
Obviously this is just a super basic method of topic modelling and pulling entities.
But it is a nice way of understanding the keywords to target in a topic and/or subtopics.
If you want to learn more about entities and SEO, check out Entities: The Element That’s Missing From Your SEO Strategy by Georgios Chasiotis which acts as a great primer and overview of entities.
How SEO works in 2020: An in-depth inquiry into Google’s algorithm
It is essential reading (or is it viewing?) if you want to understand how Google understands content.
Specifically it covers how technical SEO considerations, backlinks, subject matter authority, search query deserves X (associations), and user engagement signals affect Google’s algorithm.
Still want more? Well this was supposed to be just a short article but fine! Here you go:
4 actionable tips for working with entities
Here’s a couple of different ways to play around with this data (and do something useful):
1. Filter in Ahrefs to find low comp/high traffic terms
What is a high search volume and a low difficulty score will depend on your niche a bit here. But an easy way to start finding useful keywords is to use Ahrefs built-in filters.
For the example above, I set it to only show keywords with a minimum search volume of 100 and a max difficulty of 30.
Have a play around, see what terms you can find.
2. Cluster your keywords
If you want work with all the keyword data here, but are feeling pretty overwhelmed, you can throw them into Keyword Insights for clustering.
Really loving @keywordinsights, a couple way’s I’m using it:
👉 process content keyword clusters in small batches
👉 quickly create site plans
👉 prioritize KWs to go after in new niches pic.twitter.com/n6bKGUEzU6
— Jake (@jsvxc) June 9, 2021
Keyword Insights is a new tool for grouping keywords and I kind of love it ❤️
Export all the terms from Ahrefs, upload the csv into Keyword Insights and the tool will work it’s magic (or natural linguistic processing + SERP data).
When processed, you will be able to quickly see which pages can rank for multiple terms, terms you can target with a single page, or which need to be broken into multiple pages.
3. Find FAQ content ideas
Back in Ahrefs again, you can hit the Questions toggle to see… well questions related to your entities:
Now you can go build out some dedicated FAQ pages around your topics or improve existing content with them.
4. Find affiliate keywords
Drop in affiliate money terms like ‘best‘ or ‘review‘ into the includes toggle and Ahrefs will show you commercial terms to go after:
There you have it, how to quickly extract entities using Google images, Ahrefs, a simple Google Sheets template and a chrome extension.
Happy entity extracting (said no one, ever).