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Making Money Online: Long Tail And Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords

Mar 3, 2008
If you want to get any kind of traffic to your website or blog, you must use keyword phrases in your content.

Is this the only way to get traffic?

No, but it's the best free way to attract visitors to your site.

Using a free or paid keyword tool, you will type in the word you want to target and see what results come up. Usually you'll get a long list of keyword phrases that you can use for your content. At first glance this list looks great, but are all these phrases really going to produce the results you want?


The next step in your keyword research education is learning about Long Tail Keywords and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. These are two additional elements to keyword research that you must know in order to get the maximum results from your efforts. This knowledge alone can put you miles above your less informed competition.

Long Tail Keywords

While doing your online marketing research, you will often come across discussions about long tail keywords. Okay, so what are they?

Long tail means, not so popular or low hanging fruit. Basically some keyword phrases are more popular than others. The more popular phrases naturally produce the most searches, and therefore, the potential for bigger traffic numbers. However, because of their popularity, every Tom, Joe and Mary will be using them in their content.

This means that the competition to rank well in the search engines for the most popular keyword phrases will be pretty stiff. So, what's an eager internet marketer to do?

Go for the low hanging fruit, of course. Yeah, this means you'll be giving up huge chunks of potential traffic, but your odds of ranking in the top 20 for those phrases are pretty slim to begin with so, why not give yourself a better advantage?

You can dramatically increase your chances of ranking in the top 20 results by using long tail keywords.

Here's how to look for these gems:

Lets use the keyword - mortgage.

You go to your keyword tool and type in - mortgage. You get the following results:

Mortgage rates = 9617 searches per day
Home mortgage - 1798 searches per day
Mortgage how much can I borrow = 298 searches per day
How low can 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates go = 19 searches per day

Okay, here's how you're going to analyze your results and quickly decide whether or not these keyword phrases are good choices.

Go to Google and do a search for each of the above keyword phrases - make sure you put them in quotation marks i.e. "mortgage rates".

By using quotation marks, you'll get an accurate picture of how many sites are using those exact same keyword phrases. The fewer sites using these phrases, the better your chances of ranking in the top tier of search engine results.

Here's the results of our Google search:

"Mortgage rates" = 51,300,000 competing pages
"Home mortgage" = 43,300,000 competing pages
"Mortgage how much can I borrow" = 16,500 competing pages
"How low can 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates go" = 0 competing pages

Mortgage Rates and Home Mortgage gets thousands of searches per day, but look at your competition. Wow. There's just no way you are going to rank well for those two phrases. The best thing to do is forget about them. Move on down the line to find some low hanging fruit.

Ideally, you want to find phrases that have under 50,000 competing pages.

Mortgage how much can I borrow has 298 searches per day and only 16,500 competing pages.

How low can 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates go has 19 searches per day and zero competing pages.

If your niche is mortgage and you put these two excellent phrases on your site, you will be in prime position to rank well. You may get less traffic for these, but these people are just as hungry for information as all those bigger traffic people. Using long tail keywords can result in getting highly targeted traffic to your site.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords

LSI is something that is fairly new on the scene. Google and other search engines are now taking LSI into account when ranking web pages, so this is something you need to know about.

LSI is basically a set of related keywords that are sprinkled throughout your web page content, or article, in a completely natural way. These words tell the search engines that your content has a high relevancy value to people looking for certain information.

Kwbrows.com is a good free tool that can help you find LSI keywords.

Let's find some LSI keywords for - mortgage.

Here are the results:

FHA, mortgage loan, second mortgage, mortgage broker, mortgages, interest, calculator, bank.

Using these words throughout your content, in addition to regular keywords, can result in higher search engine rankings for your website pages.
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