Why Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords Allow for Better SEO

Now that Google and other search engines punish keyword stuffing as a frowned-upon tactic, optimizing your content to attract traffic has become harder.

Top search firms, SEO content writers and SEO strategists currently employ Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), which allows them to determine what a page is about regardless of the frequencies of words present. You can use LSI principles to your advantage to achieve higher SERP placement.

Latent Semantic Indexing Details

In addition to accounting for changes in tense, pluralization, word order and the like, LSI also identifies synonyms for important phrases as well as verbiage that’s routinely used in conjunction with main subject words. For example, the keyword “professional sports equipment” is semantically related to the terms “fitness equipment” and “agility sports training.” “Affordable legal services” is pertinent to searches for “legal document review” and “legal advice.”

By including words that are legitimately associated with the keyword you’re targeting, you’ll let the search algorithms know that your text is appropriate to serve to people interested in that topic. Online marketing company New Media Sources conducted a case study and found that a new page using LSI techniques got 20 times as many hits as a similar page created at the same time that did not use such a strategy.

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How to Use LSI

You can tweak your website to include LSI keywords without making it sound awkward or artificial. Ultimate Keyword Hunter is a great resource and is available for free download merely by providing your email address. If you prefer a web interface, try LSI Graph although unregistered users are limited to three queries per day.

Before delving into these specialized tools, however, you should be aware that Google routinely provides valuable info every time you search the web. Whenever you start typing in the search bar – as long as you have autocomplete turned on – you’ll see a list of possible matches:

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Also, at the bottom of every search results page, Google provides a list of related keywords:

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You’ve probably been conducting latent semantic analysis every day without even realizing it! Though the help given by Google in this area isn’t as sophisticated as that offered by dedicated software, it still serves as a great starting point. Since the purpose of any adjustments you make is search engine optimization, this data coming straight from the horse’s mouth shouldn’t be discounted.

The development of latent semantic indexing is a phenomenon that allows writers and website owners to produce results that are easy to read while still being SEO-friendly. There’s no reason to try to cram in dozens of ill-fitting pieces of jargon: By introducing just a few carefully chosen LSI keywords, you can really enhance your search performance.

Posted in SEO
Grant Maddox

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Grant Maddox enjoys writing product descriptions, reviews, articles, and blog posts. He is especially conversant in poker and other gambling games and can contribute successfully to strategy articles and news items regarding such games. Grant can write compelling content while observing the rules of English grammar.

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39 thoughts on “Why Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords Allow for Better SEO”

  • Avatar

    Basically: just write naturally. Use synonyms. Think about the user rather than the bots. Bots like user-friendly content.

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    auntieemily says:

    This sounds like it could be a lot of work if one focuses on it too much, but it could also come about naturally…

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      I agree. It’s natural, at least for those of us that write in English as a first language. It’s not so easy for people who aren’t natural writers, or for those where English is not native.

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    Thanks for these helpful insights into LSI keyword strategy for higher SERPs ranking. I see that Google lists “LSI keywords WordPress plugin” in one of the examples. That might be a handy tool to have.

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    I agree with Anabelle. Write naturally and be yourself. Provide quality and of course use keywords and LSI words that are related to your content but with a natural flow. If you are providing great content, everything else should basically fall into place.

    • Avatar
      Doe Richard says:

      Very true, though I think the tricky part is balancing between the use of relevant keywords and avoiding sounding unnatural.

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    Doe Richard says:

    So, LSI is how Google and other search engines determine whether or not there’s keyword stuffing on web pages? Meaningless, repetitive use of keywords is annoying, anyway.

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      I don’t think that’s quite what LSI is. Google can already tell whether keywords are stuffed. LSI lets it account for semantically similar words and phrases, considering those when determining the topic of a web page.

      (A definition in the article would have been nice.)

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    This article gives me a little more to think about as I write content. While on the surface it seems like simple advice, many people creating content online aren’t following it. I’m happy Google is getting more sophisticated, now it means we don’t have to write some of the most boring, “make-sure-this-keyword-is-in-there-ten-times” stuff. Now we just have to convince the customers it is the right way to go.

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      I agree. Focusing on using LSI keywords makes for higher quality content, and visitors will stay on the site to read it. It improves SEO, too.

  • Avatar

    Grant, I like that you explain how to start using Google to find keywords and associations. That helps to understand the method much better.

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    Georgia Potts says:

    I’ve never felt like I needed to use a keyword tool in order to write with LSI in mind. Just thinking of related words is pretty simple, and it makes the writing flow better because you aren’t repetitive.

    • Avatar

      Few things kill the writing flow better than repetition. Sometimes you can almost feel it put a stranglehold on the sentences you’re trying to put together.

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    I’d heard of LSI but hadn’t really delved into what it was about. It sounds like a lot of common sense, and I suspect the natural consequence of LSI is an increase in the quality of content produce which, in turn, increases the quality of the search results. So win-win for everyone.

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    Jordan Glogau says:

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    Please try the service, its one of the only true LSI tools around, enjoy.

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  • Avatar
    Charlie Parker says:

    I don’t see what Google is doing as “punishment”—that makes it sound like a personal attack. They’re just preserving a more pleasant experience on the Internet by protecting users from useless content.

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      Agreed. There are still a lot of cases where awful websites come up on the first page of Google search results. Google is working on this all the time by improving algorithms. They also crowdsource reviewing of search results to help them demote spammy sites.

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    Charlie Parker says:

    Great run-down on LSI! It really is something I do every day as content creator. And thank you for the tools. I’m saving those!

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    I always learn something relatively new and genuinely substantial when reading anything written by you, Grant ! Thanks for the information. Although I engage in LSI quit naturally, I am interested to see what results some of the LSI dedicated programs can offer.

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    Amazing post Grant. Everyone should stop keyword stuffing and focus more on natural and better writing. LSI keywords can definitely help us do that. But I was wondering, what tools can you recommend? Would love to know your expert opinion. Thanks a lot!

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