LSI, which stands for latent semantic indexing, is an algorithm that search engines uses to determine the search intent of a given page. Learn more about it in our blog post. 

What are LSI keywords? 

At first glance, the term Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) sounds daunting and very technical. Rest assured, it is a search engine algorithm, but you don’t need a maths or computer science degree to understand its workings. 
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Dictionaries state that the science of semantics is concerned with the meaning of ‘entire texts or single words’. This is relevant as Google defines LSI as, “To return relevant results for your query, we first need to establish what information you’re looking for - the intent behind your query.” 
To put it more simply, LSI helps search engines find relevant content; this is important - the engines assess what the user is actually looking for. With LSI, you’re helping the super clever bots ‘identify similar meaning words in the content and understand more about the topic. 
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An example 

You use a generic term such as ‘new houses’ on your website, and then to make this term and your content stand out, you add terms that include insulated housing, housing estates, and family-friendly homes. This action will help not only the search engines but also rank you higher up the page with Google. Prospective house buyers will find your website due to these additional keywords. 
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How to find LSI terms 

Tracking down LSI keywords isn’t hard, and when writing your blog or website content, carry out your usual SEO keyword research. Then put this keyword in the search bar, go down the page, and find the wonderful ‘searches related to section. Using keywords found there, together with your SEO researched keyword, and your copy will be easier for the search engine to find; it’ll also carry more authority and add value for your users. 

Why is LSI important 

The jury is still unsure whether LSI is relevant to Google’s current search algorithms. LSI started back in the dark ages when computers had very little to index - compared to today - and SEO hadn’t developed. But using LSI won’t harm your copy and may help boost your posts and website. 
The better the copy, with the relevant keywords, included, and the more it answers the questions the user puts in the search bar, the more effective it is. 

Important points to remember: 

The better the copy, with the relevant keywords, included, and the more it answers the questions the user puts in the search bar, the more effective it is. 
You can never have too much research 
Always carry out SEO research and, at the same time, look for the clusters of words around your given subject that will be relevant. 
Hunting down LSI keywords 
Your search bar is your friend. When you enter a word into the bar, many related terms will appear; these are the words and phrases that Google has associated with your search query, which can be used for your LSI. 
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Do remember that Google hates copy that’s stuffed full of keywords and has little or no relevance to the given subject. Keyword stuffing, for the sake of it, won’t get you anywhere. 
In a result-driven economy, it’s vital that you understand why your website produces results, and how to convert casual browsers into active purchasers, which is why keyword research is so important. Combine this knowledge with understanding the user’s intent and you’ll understand how your website behaves and be able to attract new users and potential customers. 
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Search intent is the ‘why’ behind people’s use of search engines. This whole area can be divided into four main types: 
It’s a good idea to keep these categories in your head when you’re creating content and carrying out keyword research. 

Transactional research 

This mainly applies to eCommerce. A user wants to buy something - they want to perform a transaction. Using words such as buy, sell, value and marketplace should be used in any copy relating to sales. 

Navigational research 

This is relatively straightforward. The user knows where they want to go, be it a specific website or app, and the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) will spring into action and give all the results that are relevant to that particular query 

Commercial Intent 

This is best explained if you think of a shopper browsing in a store. They haven’t settled on anything specific, but they know, for example, they want to buy some men’s trousers at some stage. This is where your content has to grab the user’s attention. Review sites will appear when this type of search is made, as will ads for all types of online stores. 

Informational intent 

This is a broader context type of search. The user wants to find out more about roasting meat or how to write a blog post; this is where the ‘how to’ invaluable blogs, websites and videos play their part. 

In general 

You can build keyword lists from any number of tools, but, and this is important, always keep in mind why the user might be using a certain term in their query and carry out your research with this in the forefront of your mind. 


So many ideas are over-complicated; the general premise is that using LSI and understanding intent means you’ll have greater knowledge of your customers, what they want, and the words they use when trying to achieve their search goals. 
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If you’re interested in discovering more about either LSI or intent, why not contact us today? 
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