Keywords were always an inseparable part of every SEO’s arsenal. However, in this day and age, they lost most of its value. Yes, they are still important during the research and planning process but when it comes to content, Google places emphasis on the article in general.
What caused this change?
Simply put, keywords became overused. People were stuffing their articles with them hoping to reach to the first page of Google. Keyword frequency became one of the main aspects of copywriting, completely overshadowing the quality information.
This system was LSI.
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Importance of LSI
Latent Sematic Indexing is a perfect marriage of computer science and linguistics. Given that computers cannot understand the human language and that same language had to be transformed into something completely different.
This is how we came to a concept known as LSI keywords.
What’s it all about?
Given that computers do not understand words, they had to be transformed into vectors. Within a virtual space, these vectors became interconnected. Their relationships became paramount for understanding human language.
Let’s say you use main keyword “Argentina”.
Within that same space, “Argentina” will have the central position. All other LSI keywords would surround it. Some of them would be on a shorter, some on a longer distance. These distances represented relationships. As the length increases, relevancy decreases and vice versa.
This enabled Google’s algorithm to finally understand words. Instead of focusing on one word or phrase and trying to find it within a corpus (body of text) Google now focuses on entire article and how it will answer user’s question.
Examples of LSIs
There are numerous words that can be connected to “Argentina”. The first thing that pops to our mind is “country”. This is in fact a description of the word and its closest LSI.
When writing about “Argentina”, you can expect to see keywords such as “tango”, “gauchos”, “South America”, “Maradona”, “Eva Peron” etc. However, this is only for general articles.
Here is another distinction that needs to be made.
Number and frequency of LSIs can indicate different things. So, if you’re using all these before mentioned keywords within an article, Google can presume that this is a generalized copy that describes the whole country.
But, if you only focus on LSIs such as “Maradona” and “Football”, this may indicate that the article is football oriented.
Every small change to number and frequency of LSI can emphasize different thing. That being said, these small changes will give you an advantage when trying to rank for certain keywords while lowering your position for others.
How to use LSI keywords?
Oftentimes, Google needs help understanding your content. You can help him out by focusing on certain LSIs while omitting others. This is how you do it:
- Use SEO tools
After keyword research, you are ready to find all the LSIs which Google expects to see within your copy. Luckily for us, there are a lot of tools on the Internet (most of them free of charge) which can help us with this task:
LSI tools are beginner friendly. All you have to do is to enter your main keyword into a search bar and one of these tools will provide you a list of all the related keywords. This is a great starting point.
- Check out your competition
The logic is simple: if a website is able to rank for a particular keyword by using a set of LSIs, you can also rank by copying these same LSIs. My advice here is not only to copy the keywords, but also check their frequency. Unlike LSI tools, top 10 articles can tell you how many repetitions you need depending on the length of the copy.
- Write a normal article
SEO experts are usually preoccupied with optimization. This can be a really bad thing when you write a copy. If you focus on LSIs and constantly think about them during content creation, your article will lose its flavor. You must never forget your readers given that their feedback is important as anything else!
- Adding LSI keywords
Best time to add LSIs is after finishing the article. Read the copy once again, see if some keywords are missing and make sure to add them. Another thing to note – if LSI keyword is close to your main keyword, this may indicate high correlation. So, if you are writing an article about “Laurel and Hardy” make sure to put these two together as often as you can!
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Using LSI keywords is not a process of building. It is a process of polishing.
Although most of you will create a nice, natural copy; you might forget some of these phrases. This can decrease your rankings severely.
To be on the safe side, make sure to add LSI keywords upon completing an article. It can only do you good!