Driving more and better traffic to your website is a fulltime job, and even with plenty of effort, it can still be difficult to accomplish. As search engine algorithms become increasingly complex and content-specific, the old days of heavy keyword use have all but come to an end, but that doesn’t mean keywords aren’t important; it just means the types of keywords you need to utilize and the ways you need to utilize them have gotten more nuanced.
One such arena of increasing subtlety is in the realm of LSI keywords. Latent semantic indexing keywords can provide a real boost in traffic for your site — if they’re understood properly and used appropriately.
What LSI Keywords Are
Latent semantic indexing is the method by which search engines decide whether or not your content truly provides information related to the topic it claims to or if your content is just spammy nonsense. In order to do this, search engine bots index the words in your article, landing page, or blog post to find out whether or not they’re relevant to one other. So, if you’ve written an article about organic farming, the search engine will know that words like soil, compost, pesticide, growing season, water, mulch, weeding, and the like will all appear in an article that’s really about organic gardening. These words and phrases lend credence to your article, and they are known as LSI keywords.
From there, the search engines consider the keyword “density” of the words and phrases within your article to determine whether or not you should see more web traffic. So, a ratio is developed based on how many times certain words and phrases appear in relation to the total number of words. If you’re overloading your keyword phrases to boost your rankings for people looking into organic farming by including the phrase an unreasonable — and unreadable — number of times throughout the article, you’ll be penalized with lower rankings. However, if you have your phrase surrounded with a high amount of LSI keywords, you’ll enjoy a boost in rankings.
Which LSI Keywords Work
Determining the best kinds of LSI keywords to embed throughout your site and blog posts is largely based on the industry or field in which you’re writing and working. From there, according to Jayson DeMers, it’s best to start with your primary keywords. While it can be tempting to simply come up with synonyms for whatever your primary keywords are, doing so won’t help you with your search engine rankings at all. Instead, head over to the search engines your customer base is likely to use. (Google, Yahoo, and Bing are all essential starting points). Type in your primary keywords, and jot down all the suggestions the search box provides.
These are the best-related LSI keywords to your primary keywords, and you should embed throughout your content. Because they’re based on what actual, real people type into searches, and they’re the kinds of words that the search engines associate with your primary keywords, these words and phrases can improve your content’s rankings remarkably. Once your list is complete, perform a search with your primary keyword or phrase. At the bottom of the page, make a note of all the “Searches related to <your keyword>,” as these provide invaluable insight to possible LSI keywords as well.
Leverage Your LSI Keywords
The best way to leverage your LSI keywords is to write excellent, meaningful content with them, while ensuring that your primary keywords and phrases are scattered throughout. When it comes to this step, there really isn’t a shortcut you can take, unless you want to hire out the writing work. From blog posts to how-to videos, everything you post online should include relevant LSI keywords, and it should all be well written. While you’re trying to convince spiders and bots from search engines to rank your site up with the big boys, you still have to write for real people — especially because the search engines’ spiders and bots are getting more and more adept at determining what well-written, topic-specific content looks like.
Latent semantic indexing has been around for a while, but as search engines aim to close the gap between what their users search for and what they find, their importance is increasing. Do your homework and hunker down to improve your writing skills, and you can leverage your LSI keywords to improve your web traffic in no time.