If you’re reading this, we’re guessing you’re a digital marketer or business owner seeking to optimise their content marketing strategies. (And if so, you have come to the right place.) Straight off the bat, some of you may know what ‘LSI’ stands for. However, if you are among the many who are unacquainted with this acronym, fear not! This post will prove useful to you, whether you’re new to content marketing or you’re a seasoned professional seeking to sharpen your strategic knife.

In this post, we will give a breakdown of what LSI keywords are, how they work, and why they’re important for your content marketing strategy. This will involve taking a long look at the intertangled, codependent relationship between LSI keywords and Google’s search algorithm. It doesn’t make for a compelling love story, but it does give an insight into how your efforts can pay off. Read on to download the lowdown.

What are LSI keywords?

‘LSI’ stands for ‘latent semantic indexing’. If that reveal has failed to resolve any semantic mystery for you, then you likely aren’t alone. This is also why we’re devoting a few hundred words to breaking this down.

Latent semantic indexing is a computer program that, via intricate mathematics, learns to read context and detect synonyms. By far the most widespread example of this is Google’s search algorithm. Have you noticed these days that, if you type a keyword into Google, it will draw results from related keywords, too? Those related keywords, right there, are LSI keywords.

Are LSI keywords synonymous with synonyms?

Although LSI keywords can be synonyms, not all of them are. In fact, you’d be better off focussing on neighbouring concepts rather than alternate words for your keyword itself. To help you understand, pull up Google right now. In Google’s search bar, type ‘marketing’, or whatever word will aid your understanding.

As you type the word ‘marketing’, note the LSI keywords that appear in Google Autocomplete. Following the word ‘marketing’ are words and phrases like ‘plan’, ‘strategy’, and ‘internships melbourne’ (depending on your location, of course). If synonyms are more of the same thing, then LSI keywords cast a wide net and cover all related concepts. Google’s search algorithm is programmed to detect LSI keywords, which, in turn, will also widen your net as you’re searching the ’Net.

What is the history of LSI keywords?

From its 1998 launch until 2004, Google exclusively targeted exact-match keywords. And given the state of technology at the time, this wasn’t unreasonable. After infancy, however, comes maturity, and that which you know by rote you soon learn to spell. You could say that Google was at first a child interpreting the world through the literal lense of concrete reasoning, only to eventually graduate to the complexities of abstract reasoning.

For the first six years of its life, Google was indeed a child taking all words at face value. However, with age, it learnt to see the nuance behind the language. Through its algorithm update in 2004, it learnt to detect synonyms and context. Heck, it even learnt to understand figurative language, which is a cornerstone of abstract reasoning.

Pull up Google right now and search ‘how to make studying a piece of cake’. You’ll notice that, with a few exceptions, most of the results are about simplifying study practices rather than an actual piece of cake. In fact, Google recognises the idiom ‘piece of cake’ as a keyword. As a species, we have developed an algorithm so sophisticated that it could eat a child under 12 for breakfast. And, just to be clear, that expression was purely figurative.

So, how can I use LSI keywords to optimise content marketing?

Once you understand LSI keywords and their inner workings, it’s easy to leverage this knowledge. All you need to do is weave LSI keywords into the written content you create for your content marketing campaigns. If you’re having trouble conjuring up LSI keywords, you can use a keyword-generating tool, such as Ahrefs. Not only will this create keywords crucial for your campaign, but it will also show you which keywords are most popular on Google.

As you’re weaving your keyword-laden tapestry of words, don’t lay it on too thick. If your keywords aren’t finding an organic fit into your written content, their inclusion will sound forced. More to the point, clunky language will turn your readers off. LSI keyword inclusion is a smart balancing act. As a rule, if your writing does not emulate a regular conversational tone, then you’d be better off excluding the keyword altogether (or, at least, in this particular sentence).

Need a hand?

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you may want to take things a step further and recruit the experts. 121 Group is a content marketing agency that has a strategy for every aspect of digital marketing. Armed with innovative approaches and creative solutions, their strategies can optimise your digital objectives whilst staying true to your unique brand. LSI keywords are just one tool in their belt. Contact 121 Group today to continue this conversation.


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