What are LSI Keywords, and How Do I Use Them?

What are LSI Keywords, and How Do I Use Them?

Feb 2, 2024 | SEO, Web Development

If you’re wondering “What are LSI Keywords?” this post is for you. As you’re working to improve the Search Engine Optimization of your website, undoubtedly you are focusing your energy on finding ways to incorporate keywords into your site content. What many people don’t understand is the impact that LSI keywords have on helping search engines understand the meaning of your posts and pages. Latent Semantic Indexing understands that there are certain words or phrases that are related to a specific topic. So as you plan the architecture of your website and the supporting content, it’s important that you incorporate LSI keywords into your plan. Not only will this help to search engines understand your topics better, but it also helps you to create better content for humans, too.

Consider the case here at Inacom, where one of our primary lines of service are outsourced IT services. Creating a page that says IT services all the time doesn’t exactly get people interested in contacting you about IT services because it’s so forced and unnatural and spammy (see what I did there?). But what you can do to guide your content creation is come up with a list of LSI keywords to incorporate into your IT Services page(s).

A Sample of LSI Keywords

Here’s what I’m talking about:

  1. Primary Keyword:
    • IT services
  2. LSI Keywords:

As you can see, these LSI keywords are all topics that would be pretty commonly associated with a company that provides IT Services in various forms. And it just so happens that we have pages of content dedicated to many of these contextually relevant keywords. With this approach, we’re able to help search engines like Google understand that we have significant offerings in the IT Services space.

LSI Keywords as Service Pages

While we use separate pages for each of our services, it wouldn’t necessarily be a bad approach to create a single page for IT services and use these LSI keywords to build out your service page headings. If you’re just starting out on your content journey, it’s a smart play. You can always double back later when you have the bandwidth and improve on your website over time (and you should!).

How to Generate LSI Keywords

There are many different strategies that you can use to help you brainstorm LSI keywords. Here are a few:

  1. Use Search Engines:
    • Perform a search using the main keyword and observe the contextual search terms that appear in the search results and at the bottom of the page (related searches).
    • Google’s autocomplete feature also provides suggestions as you type, offering additional related keywords.
    • Ask Google questions and results will often uncover LSI keywords.
  2. Keyword Research Tools:
    • Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Answer the Public to find contextually relevant keywords and phrases.
    • These tools often provide suggestions, search volume data, and keyword difficulty scores.
  3. Thesaurus and Synonyms:
    • Consult a thesaurus to find synonyms and related terms for your main keyword.
  4. Industry Terminology:
    • Consider terms commonly used in the industry. For electricians, this could include terms like “rewiring,” “outlet installation,” or “electrical panel upgrades.”
  5. Customer Language:
    • Think about how potential customers might search for electrician services. Consider terms they would use, such as “emergency electricians” or “local electrician services.”
  6. Competitor Analysis:
    • Analyze the content of competitors or other relevant websites to identify terms they are targeting.
  7. Artificial Intelligence:
    • Our favorite AI tools like ChatGPT and Microsoft CoPilot rely on latent semantic indexing to hold conversations with us. Why not ask it what knows about LSI keywords for your topic?

Showing Contextual Relevance of Keywords

One popular strategy to create contextual relevance with your LSI keywords is to use the strategy of Pillar Pages. You might see this applied in a number of different site architectures.

The easiest way to “bolt on” pillar pages to a website is to create comprehensive guides (I have a Comprehensive Guide About Pillar Pages here). This is long form SEO content that seeks to educate web visitors about a topic. You’ll generally offer a high level discussion of the topic and create a number of supporting pages around the topic that go more in-depth.

You might also consider your service pages or location pages to be pillars, as well. You can describe your services and then blog about various aspects of your offering with a supporting link back to your service or area page.

Aligning Search Intent with Your Keywords

Within any detailed group of keywords, you might be able to determine search intent. Typical classifications include informational, navigational, problem-solving, community, and transactional. It’s important that your content and any follow-on offers align to get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Here’s a grouping of contextually relevant keywords for “WordPress,” and my Search Intent Type definition. As you can see, we have each intent type represented in the sample. You could use the search intent data to structure your blog post, build pillar pages, or classify where your content might align with the sales journey of your buyer persona.

Somebody seeking a review about WordPress themes might be a DIY type or somebody new to WordPress Development. They might be a likely target for a WordPress Training Course. But since they’re using Informational search intent, they’re probably not interested in paying for help right now. Perhaps you target them with a subscription to your blog (“Give me your email address and get notified of my new posts when they come out!”), or maybe they’d make a good listener for your podcast (Click here to join our next conversation on Apple Podcasts!”).

Contrast this with somebody searching for WordPress troubleshooting help. They’re probably trying to DIY things. If you can answer a simple question and provide some screen shots, you’re positioning yourself as a WordPress expert and their hero! They’re probably buying web hosting from one of the big guys, and their service is pretty bad. Maybe they’d be interested in your Managed WordPress service? They could get better web hosting and if they ever need an expert developer they’re already onboarded. You’re a natural fit for follow up services they don’t want to do themselves.

LSI KeywordsSearch Intent Type
WordPress themesInformational
WordPress pluginsInformational
WordPress hostingNavigational
WordPress tutorialsInformational
WordPress customizationInformational
WordPress securityInformational
WordPress SEOInformational
WordPress updatesInformational
WordPress developmentInformational
Best WordPress practicesInformational
WordPress installationInformational
WordPress troubleshootingProblem-solving
WordPress forumsCommunity
WordPress designInformational
WordPress e-commerceTransactional
WordPress maintenanceInformational

Note about Search Intent Types:

  • Informational: Users are seeking information or knowledge about the topic.
  • Navigational: Users are looking for a specific website or resource.
  • Problem-solving: Users have a specific issue and are seeking solutions.
  • Community: Users are looking for forums or community discussions.
  • Transactional: Users are likely interested in making a transaction or taking a specific action related to the topic.

Conclusion

Despite the fancy name, LSI Keywords are basically contextually relevant words and phrases that you commonly seem within a topic group that would naturally come up within a conversation or article around a given topic. Once you understand this, you can often generate your keywords with a brainstorming session. But if you use any of the specialized tools related to keyword discovery, you will benefit immensely by machine learning and how linguistic experts teach computers how to understand our language and how humans communicate.

Travis Fisher

Travis is Inacom’s Executive Vice President, tasked with assisting customers with their web based marketing initiatives. He’s kinda famous for his BBQ. He lives in Easton, MD with his amazing wife, two kids, and two dogs.

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