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Understanding Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) for Improved SEO Copywriting

Semantics are big deal to search engine crawlers. LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, is a method search engine use for information retrieval. In simple terms, LSI enables search engines to reference content (or certain words) that has similar meaning and context, although not exactly the same.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) Defined

In article about LSI by Arron Wall at SEO Book, he says that "Latent semantic indexing allows a search engine to determine what a page is about outside of specifically matching search query text."

To give you an example, after a search engine users queries "drunk driving lawyer," Google might reference indexed pages that are optimized for "DUI attorney". In essence, the queries are quite similar; however the semantics is slightly different.

SEO Copywriting with LSI in Mind

There are two way in which SEO copywriters can improve their content using the concepts of Latent Semantic Indexing: in the copy and in the anchor text

In-copy Keyword Variation

Keyword redundancy is typically a good thing when it comes to optimized web copy - to an extent. Sometimes repeating keywords too often can have a negative impact. Search engines are quick to spot spammy, keyword stuffed content, and often times they are quick to penalize sites with such horrendous copy.

Not only is overly keyword dense content risky for your rankings, but spammy copy is difficult and not very delightful to read. Choppy copy rarely converts visitors because visitors often bounce after struggling though the first couple sentences.

With Latent Semantic Indexing, SEO copywriters can still capture keyword relevancy without having to use the exact same words constantly throughout the copy. Rather, SEO copywriters can use synonyms and related keyword variations to mix things up a bit. For example, instead of using only the phrase "DUI attorney" throughout the copy, try using variations like:

  • DUI lawyer
  • DUI legal services
  • DUI law firm
  • drunk driving attorney

Most of these variations are common keyword queries used by the same audience searching for a "DUI attorney". So not only will mixing up your keywords help the readability of the copy, but also the rank-ability of the webpage. This is because the use of keyword variations (with respect to LSI) will help to make your pages more relevant on slightly similar, yet different search queries.

Anchor Text Variation

Similar to using keyword variations in the copy, SEO copywriters should employ the same tactics in the anchor text of their links. This includes both internal links as well as external links (backlinks).

Furthermore, SEO copywriters should keep the concepts of LSI in mind when using partial linking strategies (linking with only part of the whole keyword phrase.) This also helps to make a webpage more relevant on those close keyword variations.

Well there you have it - your SEO copywriter’s guide to improving content with respect to LSI.

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