Updated: Feb 19
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords will be an important ranking factor for Google's search algorithm in 2019. In this article, we're going to explain why Google rewards sites that use this advanced optimization technique and we'll give you our strategy for finding the best LSI keywords for your website.
What are LSI keywords?
Latent Semantic Indexing is a fancy way of saying, "words that are often used together when discussing a particular topic." Therefore, LSI keywords are terms that are semantically related to your main keyword. For example, 'microsoft' and 'windows' are LSI keywords because they're commonly used in context when discussing topics related to computers or software.
They're important ranking factors because they help search engines determine page relevance and they provide clues about the quality of content on a given page. In fact, studies indicate Google's algorithm uses LSI in 3 of its top 200 ranking factors: (1) in content, (2) in page titles and meta descriptions, and (3) to analyze depth of content.
WhY does google use LSI?
Google uses LSI to provide a better user experience than other search engines. For search engines like Google, UX is determined by the accuracy of results for a given search query and the strength of correlation between content quality and page rank. So, it's safe to assume Google's algorithm is designed to rank sites according to how well they match a particular search and the quality of content presented to the user.
Latent keywords help Google determine the relevancy of web pages. Semantic keywords allow search engines to accurately match web pages with searches by providing clues about the intended meaning of words that may be found in other contexts. Consider the example mentioned earlier: the term 'windows' may be used when talking about construction, cars, etc. However, when the term 'microsoft' is also used, the topic clearly has something to do with technology related to computers or software.
Latent semantic keywords also help Google determine the quality of a given piece of content. It's well-known that Google rewards sites for providing high quality content. Google wants to provide users with the most accurate, comprehensive information possible. As a result, its algorithm is built to reward sites that cover every angle of the topic being discussed.
Because search engines don't have time to "read" every word of indexed content they use specific signals, called quality indicators, to rank individual pages. By relying on semantic indexing as a ranking factor, Google is able to discourage practices like keyword stuffing that lead to false ranking and encourage practices that strengthen the relationship between page rank and content quality.
How do I find the best latent keywords for my website?
There are several ways to incorporate LSI into your content, but this strategy has given us the best results.
It's called the LSI Graph, and it's a simple tool to help you find a ton of semantic keyword variations. Here's how it works...
Enter your main keyword
Finish the CAPTCHA
Here's a list of results for "web design."
how to make a website
professional Web Design
affordable web design companies
build a website for small business
small business website builder
And, you can click on any keyword in the list to get more specific ideas.
Here's what we got when we clicked "affordable web design companies":
low-cost website designing
cheap web design packages
affordable web design services
You can do this multiple times until you have a list of strong, highly relevant list of LSI keywords. We recommend having the list handy when writing content or updating page titles and descriptions. If you do, you'll end up with content that covers your topic from multiple perspectives, and Google will reward you with a higher ranking.