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What Are Latent Semantic Keywords?

How latent semantic keywords work

Content marketing and SEO continues to evolve and if you're not keeping up to date with the latest changes you could be doing your content and your site a disservice and even start to work against yourself. In addition, you leave opportunities for your competition to close the gap or extend their reach in organic search while you continue to ignore best practices.

As high-value users become harder to reach via paid marketing it will ensure that organic search becomes increasingly important. As competition heats up businesses and brands will need to look at adapting their content strategies and SEO. Content marketing is starting to become less of a direct selling tool and more of a storytelling experience if you're intent is to reach users and encourage them to convert. 

To assist this shift into a more customer-centric approach and increased competition for organic traffic, the continued influence of voice search we will see latent semantic keywords will start to play a more important role

What are latent semantic keywords?

Latent semantic indexing, sometimes referred to as latent semantic analysis, is a mathematical method developed in the late 1980s to improve the accuracy of information retrieval. It uses a technique called singular value decomposition to scan unstructured data within documents and identify relationships between the concepts contained therein.

In essence, it finds the hidden (latent) relationships between words (semantics) in order to improve information understanding (indexing). It provided a significant step forward for the field of text comprehension as it accounted for the contextual nature of language. Earlier technologies struggled with the use of synonyms that characterizes natural language use, and also the changes in meanings that come with new surroundings.

Why are latent semantic keywords important?

Latent Semantic Indexing keywords do not directly impact your search rankings. However, taking your time to meticulously choose LSI keywords can help in covering necessary information related to the keywords and phrases you originally targeted. In turn, this will help you get rankings for those relevant search terms and avoid keyword stuffing penalties.

If you are not using LSI keywords, it will be harder for Google to pinpoint the SEO correlations and overlap between the content on your website. So, instead of trying to use the same keywords and phrases repeatedly throughout your content, incorporating LSI keywords is critical for helping Google bots understand your messaging and its relevance to user intent. The goal is to incorporate them in a natural, conversational way. If used properly, LSI keywords will help website visitors find the answers they need as well as help Google better understand your content.

How to integrate latent semantic keywords into your site

When looking at the anatomy of a page you would naturally use your high-value exact match terms in key areas like the:

  • Page Title
  • Meta description
  • H1 - H3 Header tags

While your long tail keyword, variant keywords and latent semantic keywords (LSK) would be spread throughout your content as part of the natural flow of your writing. While long-form content would be a great way to include a few LSK's, you still need to be wary of keyword stuffing. LSK's work best when you have an overall content strategy that includes mid-funnel content and research and exploratory content. 

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on content marketing. 

Tags: seo , organic search

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