In recent years, SEOs have begun to debate the importance of Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords as a ranking factor. Unlike traditional keywords, which are often directly related to a user’s search, LSI keywords have a more indirect, contextual relationship with the main keyword. 

But the big question is: Do LSI keywords really help search engines understand the content on a webpage and match it to relevant user queries? How can it be implemented in SEO for eCommerce strategies?

This comprehensive guide delves into the ins and outs of LSI keywords and their application. We’ve also included practical steps to optimizing your product pages using it in your strategy. 

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What Are LSI Keywords?

SEO for ecommerce using Latent Semantic Indexing keywords
SEO for ecommerce using Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. Source: DepositPhotos

Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are search terms semantically linked to the main keyword you focus on in a piece of content. In other words, they are terms and phrases related to the primary keyword, providing additional context that helps search engines decipher the content’s purpose, relevance, and value.

The entire process works by associating groups of words, usually used in texts. This enables search engines to understand the context of the content on a webpage and match it to user queries. 

For eCommerce businesses, LSI keywords represent a crucial means of optimizing online stores for better visibility in search engine results. When properly integrated into product descriptions, blog posts, meta tags, and other site content, LSI keywords can enhance an eCommerce site’s relevance to certain search queries, boosting its SEO performance. 

LSI Keywords vs. Synonyms

One common misconception is that LSI keywords are synonyms. While it’s true that LSI keywords do bear a contextual resemblance to the main keyword, they aren’t necessarily synonyms. 

For instance, if your main keyword is “shoes,” some LSI keywords could be “footwear,” “sneakers,” “high heels,” or “jogging shoes.” Each of these terms provides a more specific context that enriches the search engine’s understanding of your content, but they aren’t just direct synonyms of “shoes.”

Boosting Your Product Page: A Four-Step Case Study on Using LSI Keywords

Understanding the strategic application of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords can significantly boost your product page’s SEO performance. This guide will walk you through this process, using a practical case study of an online shoe retailer as an illustrative example. 

Imagine you run an online store selling shoes. One of your category pages, let’s say for “men’s running shoes,” is struggling to rank due to high competition for your target keyword. You decide to incorporate relevant LSI keywords to improve your standing in search engine results.

Step 1: Research LSI Keywords

Your first step is to do eCommerce keyword research and identify appropriate LSI keywords. You utilize SEO tools, which suggest search terms related to “men’s running shoes.” From this, you identify several potential LSI keywords such as “men’s athletic shoes,” “running shoes for men,” “men’s sports shoes,” and “durable shoes for running.

Step 2: Incorporate LSI Keywords into Your Product Description

Next, you’ll want to revise your product page, incorporating these LSI keywords into your existing content. You update your product description, highlighting features of the running shoes, like their durability and suitability for sports activities. Ensure your keywords are incorporated naturally and contribute meaningful context to the descriptions.

Step 3: Use LSI Keywords in Meta Tags and Image Alt Tags

To give search engines more context, include your LSI keywords in meta tags such as the meta title and meta description. This will help with search engine interpretation and make the search engine results more enticing to potential customers.

Remember also to optimize your images. Include relevant LSI terms in the alt text of your product images. For instance, an image of the shoe in action can be tagged with “men’s athletic shoes for running.”

Step 4: Monitor Your Results

After implementing these changes, it’s essential to monitor how your page is performing. Use Google search console and other search engine optimization monitoring tools to check for improvements in your search engine rankings, organic traffic, and overall SEO performance. 

How to Find the Best LSI Keywords 

Example of Latent Selective Indexing keywords
Example of Latent Selective Indexing keywords. Source: Ahrefs

Finding the right LSI keywords to optimize your eCommerce content requires strategic thinking, understanding your audience, and using the right tools. Below, we will go into detail on how to do all of these:

1. Understand Your Topic and Audience 

Understanding your content’s topic and target audience is the first step in determining relevant LSI keywords. Analyze the subject of your content and break it down into its core concepts. This will help you generate a list of potential LSI keywords that go beyond the obvious and delve into more profound, specific aspects of your topic.

Think about the information the user would seek related to your core keyword and use that to guide your LSI keyword selection.

For example, if your core keyword is ‘vegan skincare,’ some potential LSI keywords might be ‘cruelty-free cosmetics,’ ‘natural skin remedies,’ ‘plant-based skincare brands,’ ‘animal-friendly beauty products,’ etc.

2. Use Keyword Research Tools 

Numerous SEO research tools can provide valuable keyword ideas into common search terms and their relevance to your main keyword. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush On Page SEO Checker, Ahrefs, and LSIGraph can help you identify related keywords that users frequently search for. 

For instance, if you input a keyword like ‘men’s shoes’ into one of these tools, you might find related keywords or phrases such as ‘men’s running shoes,’ ‘leather shoes for men,’ ‘men’s formal shoes,’ etc. 

3. Use Google’s Autocomplete

SEO for ecommerce: latent selective indexing shows popular keywords
SEO for ecommerce: latent selective indexing shows popular keywords

Start typing your main keyword into Google’s search bar and see what other keywords Google suggests. This is an excellent way to find LSI keywords, as these suggestions are based on the most common user searches. You can find a lot of relevant LSI keywords this way.

4. Look at the Searches Related to Your Main Keyword

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When you enter a query in Google, scroll down to the bottom of the SERP, and you will see a section titled ‘Searches related to…’ This section provides you with a list of searches that people often perform about your main keyword, providing you with potential LSI keyword opportunities.

5. Analyze Your Competitors’ Content

Look at top competitors’ websites that rank well in Google for your target keywords. Check their articles or product descriptions for recurrent words or phrases related to the main keyword. This could give you ideas for LSI keywords that you might have overlooked.

SEO for eCommerce: Best Practices for Using LSI Keywords

When using LSI keywords for eCommerce SEO, here are some of the important do’s and don’ts to remember:

Do’s 

  • Understand Your Audience: Take time to understand your target audience. Identify their potential search behaviors and intent, which can guide you in choosing relevant LSI keywords.
  • Use Keyword Research Tools: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or Ahrefs to find LSI keywords related to your primary keywords.
  • Use LSI Keywords in Various Areas: Incorporate LSI keywords in various parts of your website, including page titles, meta descriptions, product descriptions, and image alt text. If you have a blog post, you can also include your LSI keywords as anchor texts for internal links.
  • Implement LSI Keywords Naturally: Ensure that LSI keywords are incorporated naturally into your content. They should enrich the context and not disrupt the flow of your text.
  • Monitor Your SEO Performance: Regularly check your SEO performance using analytics tools. Adjust your strategy based on the insights gained from these analytics.

Don’ts

  • Don’t Overuse LSI Keywords: Avoid keyword stuffing. Overusing LSI keywords can lead to penalties from search engines and disrupt the user experience.
  • Don’t Force Unrelated LSI Keywords: All LSI keywords you use should be related to your main keyword and fit into your content naturally. Don’t force unrelated LSI keywords into your content just because they have high search volumes.
  • Don’t Neglect User Intent: Only choose LSI keywords after considering the user’s intent. The LSI keywords should align with what your audience is seeking.
  • Don’t overoptimize: While optimizing your content with LSI keywords is good, do just what is necessary. Content should be written for users first and SEO second.
  • Don’t Ignore Keyword Relevance: Always consider the relevance of the LSI keywords to your primary keyword, your content, and your overall business. Irrelevant keywords can confuse search engines and users alike, negatively impacting your SEO performance.

User Intent and LSI Keywords

Understanding user intent, or the reason behind a user’s search, is crucial in selecting LSI keywords that effectively enhance your content’s SEO. This involves understanding what information users seek when they input a particular search query and tailoring your content to meet these needs.

Here’s a detailed explanation:

Aligning Content with User Intent 

When users input queries into search engines, they typically have a specific intent. Understanding this intent is a crucial aspect of SEO, as it allows you to align your content with what users are actively seeking. For example, if a user searches for “how to install a showerhead,” they are likely looking for a step-by-step guide, not a sales page for showerheads.

By identifying the intent behind relevant search queries, you can select LSI keywords that match this intent and create content that meets users’ needs. This will likely lead to higher engagement rates, longer page visits, and a better overall user experience, all of which will positively impact your SEO.

Navigational, Informational, and Transactional Intent 

User intent is typically classified into three types: navigational, informational, and transactional.

Navigational intent refers to searches conducted to reach a specific website. For instance, a user typing “Amazon” into a search bar likely intends to navigate directly to Amazon’s website. LSI keywords for navigational intent might include brand names or specific product names.

Informational intent encompasses searches conducted to gain knowledge about a particular topic. For example, a user searching for “how to set up an eCommerce site” seeks information. Relevant LSI keywords could include terms like “step-by-step guide to setting up an eCommerce site” or “basic requirements for an eCommerce site.”

Transactional intent refers to searches conducted to complete a transaction, such as purchasing. A user searching for “buy winter boots online” likely intends to purchase winter boots. LSI keywords might include specific winter boot brands or links to sales and discount pages.

By understanding these different search intents, you can select LSI keywords that align with your users’ needs and optimize your content accordingly.

Improving Long-Term SEO Performance 

Focusing on user intent in your keyword strategy can significantly improve your long-term SEO performance. By consistently providing content that meets the users’ needs, you’ll likely see improved engagement metrics (such as lower bounce rates, higher dwell times, etc.) and build a reputation as a reliable source of information in your industry. This can increase your site’s authority and improve its rankings in organic search over time.

Try LSI Keywords for Product Page Optimization

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the concept of LSI keywords and their critical role in eCommerce SEO. As an eCommerce business, leveraging LSI keywords requires a conscious effort and strategic approach. 

The first step is to conduct comprehensive keyword research to identify relevant LSI keywords. Remember, LSI keywords should be used naturally, enhancing the content’s value without disrupting its flow. Monitoring your site’s performance and adjusting your LSI keyword strategy is vital to ensuring continuous SEO performance enhancement.

Keep reading our SEO guides to learn more about the latest trends and tips in the industry.

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