What are LSI keywords and why do they matter?
Many operating in the digital marketing workforce have asked this question recently—and for good reason. LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, simply put is a method Google uses to make sense of a website's content.
As Google evolves, so does it's ranking algorithm. In order to implement content marketing strategies effectively in today's webspace, one must have a working understanding of what LSI keywords are and how they are used.
Where do keywords come into play?
For SEOs, paid search managers, bloggers, and anyone else involved with Inbound Marketing, keywords serve as the blueprint for their strategy.
Keywords are what SERPs (search engine result pages) are made of—they provide the answer to a searcher's query. These queries range from single word broad terms to multi-word long tail searches.
Google has dominated the search engine competition because it's known to produce the most relevant and authoritative results. These results are often considered synonymous with the truth. Showing up on the SERP will make or break a website's traffic.
How Google provides answers to questions has been an epic journey in and of itself. In the days of old, digital marketers could get away with abusing how keywords were indexed and retrieved. This process was commonly referred to as keyword stuffing. Shady marketers would trick Google by repeating their target keyword in the web address, title, header, meta description, meta keywords, ALT tags, and obnoxiously in the body. Some such marketers known as "black hats" would even spam their keyword in white font on a white background in the footers of pages. It feels spammy just describing those old tactics.
Keyword stuffing is over.
More than ever Google understands the meaning of web content. The LSI system cuts down on keyword stuffing. If a web's content doesn't make sense in context or feels spammy, sooner or later Google will drop the penalty hammer on it. This is because Google analyzes a searcher's intent.
What's search intent?
Couples in love know the feeling of being able to finish one another's sentences. Well, Google takes that to a whole new level.
There are three levels of search intent: transactional, informational, and navigational.
- Transactional - Users are looking to make a transaction.
- Informational - The searcher is seeking to learn something.
- Navigational - Search users are looking for something specific.
Let's take the word dog for example. How a user searches for the word dog can tell Google a lot.
- Transactional - Users looking to obtain a dog will search for terms like "dog shelters," "purebred dog prices," or "Doberman Pinscher puppies for sale."
- Informational - Those seeking information may search for "dog life expectancy," "how to teach an old dog new tricks," or "where is my dog?"
- Navigational - This search could look like: "who starred in Reservoir Dogs," "who let the dogs out?" or "2012 best of show dog." Google not only answers what a user wants but why a user wants it.
Searchers and marketers use multi-word searches for the same reason: to provide detailed answers for detailed questions.
I mentioned previously that Google strives to provide the most authoritative and relevant results. Marketers can use this tool to find highly relevant LSI keywords. Another method of finding suggestions is to type your search into Google and take note of the provided section: "searches related to keyword." While there are other means of compiling a solid list, these are the most simple.
Writing for human beings and web crawlers alike is a tricky and intensive business. Good thing highly trained, professional Inbound Marketing companies like Invoq Marketing Agency exist to help content development and SEO.