Once the realm of overstuffed keywords, a shift has been occurring within search engine optimization standards.
Understanding and implementing topical LSI keyword usage is critical in 2017.
Enjoy my Guide to LSI Keywords.
Gone are “Paragraphs” of keyword filled content, stuffed meta tags that are made up entirely of strings of words separated by commas. They have all gone the way of the Dodo bird.
Google alone has made leaps and bounds in this area. They’ve developed their algorithms towards the processing of keyword topics versus relevant content.
So now, more than ever before, topics build search engine rankings instead of just keywords.
This progress has resulted in a new focus on quality content. Today, informative topic-based content built for humans is not only encouraged but mandatory for successful SEO.
While the concept of keywords is probably here to stay, as we move forward, topical SEO will allow a better focus on actual content.
This newest trend is good news for SEO experts and amateurs alike. Everyone who has been following SEO trends longer than the last five years knows that keyword use alone can be very limiting, especially since the Google Panda update shook the online marketing community several years ago.
When trying to attract a lead or sell something, you don’t want to have to worry as much about keyword placement. Topic-based SEO can provide a wealth of information to consumers. It will also offer a better opportunity to let the reader know exactly who you are and what you can do for them.
One major player in this overall improvement has been the recognition by Google’s search engine spiders for what is termed “LSI Keywords.”
Google itself has been touting the advantage of using LSI keywords and how they’ve become more critical even since 2015. What they haven’t done much of is let us know what exactly they are and how to go about using them.
That’s O.K. though; we’re going to take this opportunity to do just that.
In this article we’re going to discuss:
- What are LSI Keywords?
- How Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords work.
- Why LSI Keywords are essential for SEO.
- How best to use LSI Keywords in your content.
- How to find LSI keywords using LSI tools.
- How to implement LSI Keywords.
- Go into more detail on Topic vs. Keyword only Rankings.
What is Latent Semantic Indexing?
First, LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing.
Change began with an initial implementation of an algorithm by Google in 2004. The desire was to help the search engine deliver results that more closely resembled what the user’s search had requested.
The algorithm was a program that learned what synonyms were, based on the context of the word. Synonyms defined as a word having the same or almost the same meaning as another word. Also known as the contents of the list that comes up in MS Word when you use the Thesaurus.
It wasn’t just about keywords, though. The implementation of this algorithm was a game changer for Google’s organic search results. Google keyword searches didn’t just look at a single keyword on a web page anymore, or how much use the keyword got.
It started, instead, to look at everything the page said and did.
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords are words similar to the keyword/topic of a web page or site, as they relate to the context of the content around them.
How Do LSI Keywords Work?
It starts with the spiders. Lots and lots of spiders. And, no, this isn’t the beginning of a late-night Horror Film.
Google gains its information about your page and what’s on it by sending out, well, probably about a googol or so of micro-programs regularly. These mini-programs look at the content of a website and take the information back to the “nest.”
Fun Fact: 1 Googol is an amount equal to a 1 with a hundred zeros after it. To help put that into perspective, 1 Million is only a 1 with eight zeros after it.
As these spiders look at a page, they start by observing and recording the page’s keywords to identify its topic content. But, thanks to the new algorithms, it no longer stops there.
Since the algorithm update, Google looks at the other words on the page, as well as how they relate to each other.
Then the algorithm formulates together your business name, industry, and site to get a more accurate understanding of each page the site has. The advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) has even gone so far as to let Google understand a site’s context.
Understanding the site’s context means it can tell the difference between “Buck” a male deer from “Buck” slang for a Dollar, based on the words around it.
LSI keyword example of Apple the fruit vs Apple the computer
Why are Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords Important?
The initial implementation of LSI was in reaction to SEO’s attempts to “game” the system.
Until this change, it had become almost necessary to cram Meta keyword tags with keywords. Page content was often long sets of needlessly repeated keywords with no recognizable information or topic, inserted merely to scam Google.
Latent Semantic Indexing allows search engines to give credit to quality web page content.
By including semantically related phrases in your page’s SEO copy, you are giving Google a better understanding of your page, products, or services.
The recognition of which encourages website owners and their SEO specialists to create and maintain quality content.
In the end, Google is happy and your website visitors will be too. Quality content helps keep leads once they’ve arrived, and increase conversion rates. They are also very useful for blog posts.
How to Find LSI Keywords
There are a few different ways to find LSI keywords for your content. Here are a few of my tips and tricks.
If you have an in-depth knowledge of your industry or niche, you probably already know the different terms that will describe any one item, task, or product.
For example, let’s say you are a full-service accountant. In addition to the keyword accountant, you will probably also include in your content a description of your services that might consist of the words accounting, book-keeping, tax preparation, etc. All of this will probably be on your homepage somewhere.
This way you’re not only targeting the literal description of your title, but you include all the ways your audience may look for your service.
Industry knowledge can be a great place to start.
Google Auto Complete
By far the easiest way to find LSI keywords is to go to the Google.com search page, type in your main keyword, and see what other options pop up in the drop-down menu as enter a search query. Google will provide some best matching phrases or a list.
Additionally, once your input a search for your primary keyword, you can scroll down to the bottom of the screen and check the “Searches related to …” for a list of options that you can use. Take note though, use common sense when choosing which words to implement.
Online Tools To Find LSI Keywords
Necessity breeds invention. Once Google started looking at LSI keywords, programmers took that as a new challenge to overcome. And overcome it, they did. Some of these are paid tools, but you can always start with free Google tools.
Thanks to these incredible future-minded go-getters, there are now several free online tools available to help you create a list of LSI Keywords. With these tools, you may even discover alternative words that never would have occurred to you.
A few of SEO Tools include:
- Keywords Suggestion Tool
- LSI Graph- My go to free ultimate research tool
- Niche Laboratory
- Ultimate Keyword Hunter
- SEOPressor WordPress Plugin
- Google Keyword Planner
Keep in mind when using any or all of these LSI keyword generator tools; your results may provide some choices that won’t quite fit your current page’s content.
It will be up to you to decide what word or keyword phrase will best describe what your content is trying to say. Remember, your first priory when creating content is that is easy to read and engages your potential buyer or client.
How to Use LSI Keywords For On-page SEO
Latent Semantic Indexing is by no means as advanced as, say, neurosurgery.
In actuality, it is mostly basic common sense. Where Google did all the hard work, we get the “easy as pie” results.
Once you have found your LSI keywords, it’s a snap to implement them.
Here are my personal tips:
Suggested Guidelines for SEO usage are:
- Make sure your web page title matches the topic of your article. I.e., If the title of your site is “How to Groom Your Cat” don’t make your content about baseball, make it about grooming a cat.
- Don’t overuse your keywords in the content. Overuse can appear to spiders as stuffing and get you red flagged by the search engine.
- Start by replacing a few occurrences of your primary keyword with an LSI keyword.
- Use one LSI keyword for approximately every 200-300 words on a page.
- Check in occasionally with Google Webmaster Tools to see what keywords are ranking your pages. Then you’ll know what other topical keywords you can slowly implement.
Keep in mind; this is not a scientific formula for LSI usage or keyword density, merely a loose set of guidelines to help you get started.
If you aren’t sure how to measure “one for every 200-300”, a great way when using MS Word is to select a section of text. Then, look at the bottom of the window at the word count.
How to calculate keyword density?
If for example, you currently have 500 words in your document and you select a paragraph that has 78 words in it, it will display “78 or 500 words” in the bottom of the window. You can also Google “keyword density tool” for multiple online tools.
Even though we have mentioned in the list the possibility of overuse and its consequences, don’t spend too much time overthinking your content for a blog post.
If you have created explicit, high-quality content that flows and will attract readers, you’ve probably hit the bullseye and are all set.
Once you’ve had some practice, you’ll even start using LSI’s them without having to think about it. Soon enough, you’ll be a natural.
In the meantime, Google is ranking your pages higher in organic results, your visitors will have an even better experience when they find you, and you improve your online footprint.
Topical Writing is Now is the new Keyword SEO
Up to this point, we’ve focused on the LSI Keywords and how they’ve significantly improved the overall Google Search experience. Now let discuss in more detail the importance of Topical Search Ranking.
Topical rankings are what happens when Google combines primary keywords with LSI keywords and any other relevant terms its learned that users might use to start a search. And, it’s not going to go away.
Google has reported that they will continue to make advancements in identifying overall content on a page and how it relates to other content found on the web.
Their goal is to find and use all words and phrases that relate to your primary keyword, allowing users to locate your content over a broader scope of your topic.
The increased use of mobile and smart technology has all led to an ever-growing number of online users that will be searching more often in the future. Additionally, the evolution of language in informational and educational content to a more conversational style has already changed how user phrase searches when typed into the Search Engine.
On top of all that, the increase of “Paid” search results taking up the top of a results list has made top 5 organic search top rankings even more necessary.
Since Google has taken a stand against keyword stuffing and the over-use of optimization, Topic rankings allow you to focus more on themes through topic keywords. Rankings established like this creates the more natural results that they prefer. They are also easier for your audience to understand and enjoy.
Back when the focus was only on keywords, SEO strategy was quite restricted for website owners. It omitted a lot of what your target audience may have been needing. More than ever, it’s become essential to know what is meaningful to the audience that is doing the searching.
Then, you can create original content that can be informative and educational while still being fun.
Latent Semantic Analysis is the Future of Digital Marketing
When Search Engine Optimization (SEO) first began to develop as an essential marketing strategy, keywords were rightfully thought of as the end all be all by content marketing and SEO experts.
Standard procedure involved extensive keyword research to see where your current ranking was as compared to your closest competitor. Then you would evaluate how much traffic each keyword picked up.
Eventually, you’d find a handful of essential keywords to use in your marketing, selecting them based on their highest search volume with the lowest competition rating. Finally, you would begin placing the prized keywords into the meta-data, body content, and external links from your site.
Fortunately, thanks to Google’s LSI search abilities, you can focus more on the topic of your services or products, utilizing your energy and talent in a much better way by creating informative and engaging content than stressing over an impersonal list of keywords.
Topic-based SEO lets the owner and marketer focus on writing for a living, breathing person, not just for electronic spiders.
These spiders do still play just as crucial a role in the efficiency of an organic search as they’ve always done. The difference is, now the search engines ability to read more like a living, breathing person is the reason it works.
And, remember, keyword stuffing in your body content to the point where content flow becomes more tiresome for the reader is a good sign you may be in danger of being “red flagged” by the engine itself.
Now you know enough to get started on this new approach to Search Engine Optimization using Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords.
We’ve discussed not only what LSI Keywords are, but how they work, why they are essential, and how best to implement them. You can even have a custom list of keywords created for you from one of the many generators that are currently available. Then, you can begin to implement them into your website’s content right away by inserting them into areas you have placed your primary keyword.
After all of this, keep in mind that keyword-based SEO techniques will still be rooted in data. You will yet need to evaluate the search volume, monitor the competition, and calculate an ROI when deciding how to proceed with expansion or new products.
Keywords will probably always be the backbone of search engine optimization. But, now they should only be used as your guide to assist in your creation of great topics, appealing blog content, and as established anchor locations that will lead search engines to your website.
So, make sure you do your keyword research before deciding on your topics for a blog post or webpage.
Just don’t let those same keywords dictate the natural progression your content needs to take.
Remember to always keep your content as user-friendly as possible. Once you’ve got that in place, you should find your conversions and your ranking increase accordingly.
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