It has been over seven and a half years since the first Google Panda update was released. All these years later, many people still don’t understand the impact of the change. Many of them don’t realize that Google completely change the scope of keywords. This has led to the development of latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, which play a very important role in SEO.

You need to understand the scope of this new type of keep word and how it plays a role in your search engine marketing strategy. Since most marketers still don’t understand it, you will be able to increase your rankings significantly. In fact, one study found that using LSI keywords is the most important way to increase rankings in 2018.

What does LSI mean?

Google has dominated the search engine marketing by providing customers with the search results that are most relevant to them. They began with their PageRank algorithm, which assigned more weight in the SERPs to websites with a large online footprint. The Google Panda update was the next major change that they made.

This new change made sure the content users saw matched the intent of their searches. Before this change, the search engine algorithms focused primarily on how well a webpage was optimized for a given keyword. It couldn’t factor for the context of a keyword, which meant Google users often received search results that were not very relevant.

For example, a user could be using a search phrase that included the word “apple.” This could relate to the fruit or the tech company. It would be impossible to tell without looking at other words in the string to determine intent.

If the user included words such as “health,” “banana” or “antioxidants” then it would be pretty clear that they were searching for information about the fruit. On the other hand, if they included the words “iPhone” or “Steve Jobs” then they were probably looking for information about the company. Google changed its algorithm to allow for these nuances.

This means that marketers must include topical information that provides additional context to optimize their content for semantic relevance.

How to identify an LSI keyword in your keyword lists

The concept of LSI keywords should be clearer now. But actually, identifying them in your keyword list is still going to be a challenge.

When you review your keywords, you need to see whether the general meaning of the base keyword is clear on its own. This is much easier for words that have few or no synonyms. Phrases that include the following words are probably not going to be LSI keywords, since they should have clear meanings without additional context:

  • Eldercare
  • Toyota
  • Automobile
  • Nike
  • Painting

Many other words are more ambiguous without additional supporting terms and need to be structured as an LSI keyword to ensure clarity. These words can include:

  • This can obviously be something you read, but it can also be a verb related to making a reservation for a flight or event.
  • Windows could be referring to the glass panes of a building or the operating system from Microsoft.
  • This could be referring to either the fruit or the color.

You can potentially get a lot more traffic by specifically targeting LSI keywords for SCO. LSI Graph is a good tool worth looking into. You can read more about it from this article on Entrepreneur.

What are the benefits of using LSI keywords?

There are a lot of great reasons to incorporate LSI keywords into your content. Here are a few:

  • You can rank better for long tail, LSI keywords. Since you understand the importance of semantic relevance, you can flush it out with relevant content built around these keywords. This is an optimization strategy your competitors probably aren’t doing.
  • You reduce the likelihood that you are content will be labeled as spam by search engines. If you optimize your content around them, the search engines will be able to tell that you are making it relevant to actual human readers, rather than the search engine bots.
  • You will have a lower bounce rate. This is because your content will be a lot more relevant to users, because you didn’t rank for keyboards that aren’t relevant to their search intent.
  • Your conversion rates will be higher. Again, this is because you are targeting keywords that are more relevant to the intent of the people searching for your content. This means that you can run shorter split tests for your landing pages, because you will be able to get a better sample size with a lower volume of higher converting traffic.

Start using LSI keywords today. You should notice a huge difference in the ROI of your search conversion rate.