Avoid Keyword Stuffing with LSI

If we asked you to come up with a synonym for “attorney”, you could easily rattle off a few alternatives – lawyer, counselor at law, esquire or even barrister or solicitor, if you find yourself in the United Kingdom. As humans, we are able to understand the meanings of thousands of words and draw associations with other words and phrases that convey the same information. While the power of speech and the understanding of language was once reserved for the human race, the world’s leading search engines have taken major steps in developing algorithms that allow bots to better understand the context and relevance of website copy; this all in an effort to reduce web spam and low-quality search results.

For many years, legal SEO experts emphasized the need to include the exact keywords that your prospective clients were searching by in each page of content. This led to the unfavorable practice of keyword stuffing (which can now be penalized for violating quality guidelines). Luckily, there is another tool that allows you to better understand relevant phrases that the search engines will associate with your main keywords, allowing you to develop more diverse, and easily digestible, content.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) has become one of the most effective on-page keyword optimization strategies. In evaluating your website’s pages the search engines not only measure its quality and subject matter by the keywords but also by the LSI keywords used.

The LSI Graph is a free tool which allows you to identify associated keywords which are semantically linked to your main keyword. If you were to do a search for “bankruptcy lawyer”, you would find a long list of LSI keywords which includes the following:

  • chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • cheap bankruptcy attorney
  • chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney fees
  • how much does chapter 13 bankruptcy cost
  • average cost of filing chapter 7 bankruptcy
  • when to file bankruptcy
  • chapter 13 vs chapter 7 bankruptcy explained

When incorporated into your website’s copy, these keywords allow the search engines to better decipher the context of your content and index your site accordingly. If you are responsible for your firm’s content strategy, be sure to identify the LSI keywords for your areas of practice and naturally incorporate these throughout your copy; they can add value to a short piece like a blog post or a much longer page like that of a practice area overview.

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Dolores Obrien

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