Hey bluey-gang! Hey fish-fans! Hey... reader!

I really want to look smart this week. I've gotta impress the boss - you know how it is - so please read along and let me tell you about a cool new concept I've been researching in the content writing world called LSI.

First, let's talk a little about blogging for SEO. I'll be 100% transparent, my dear sweet reader, many many blogs out there in cyberspace, including this one, exist primarily to increase a site's SEO. If you're posting blogs, Google takes notice of that. The way they see it, always having new "hot" content should give you a boost in the rankings. But, there's a lot of nuance to it. One that a lot of folks really obsess over is word count. You'll see article after article; video after video on this topic. "How many words do I need so Google doesn't get mad at me?!" "What's the best word count??" "How can I get more words!?"

I'll save you the Googling: 300. You need just 300 words on a page to give Google a signal that there's actually something there. Anything less and did you... really even make a blog post? I mean here I am at this point in the blog and I'm already at 200. I haven't even gotten to my main point yet!

And that's kind of the thing. Google wants to make sure you have something meaningful on the page. So really, it's in your best interest to go well beyond 300 words, if you can. A lot of studies have shown that longer blog posts rank better and get more engagement. So, write darn you, write! Content is KING!

Ok, so now that the "word count" diatribe is over, let's talk about something way more important which is WHAT you're actually writing.

Google isn't dumb. We may make fun of them (often) but they're not dumb. They're very smart and the algorithms they have take into account a lot of information. Content IS king. They like longer posts. But, why? I'll tell you - it's not because of length itself. Length doesn't matter, it's how you use it. Your blog I mean.

Google wants to know what the hell you're talking about. But remember, it's a robot, not a human. And something that robots are less good at than we are is understanding context.

If you're a blog writer, you probably understand that often you're writing in a very targeted way. You're targeting keywords that will hopefully get the search engines to rank your post for those keywords. It's pretty easy to understand. But if I tell you something ambiguous, how do you know what I mean? Say that I have a website and I tell you I'm a bass salesman. How do you know what I'm talking about? Do I sell basses - the fish - or do I sell basses, the musical instrument? And to that end, if I'm selling the instrument, what kind of bass? Bass guitar? Bass drum? Bass clarinet? What am I talking about?

That's the issue. In this case, the keyword is simply not enough. There's no way for the robots to know what kind of bass you're selling. How do we explain to Google what it is exactly that you're writing about? The key is in understanding something called LSI.

Ok, I've stalled long enough. What's LSI? Congrats for reading this far - it's related keywords. Yep, that's all.

LSI stands for "latent semantic indexing." Yikes! That sounds technical. And, it kind of is. But basically the idea behind understanding LSI is that you know only have to push keywords, but you also have to push contextual keywords with those keywords. Confused? Let's go back to the bass example. You want to make sure that everyone's fully clear on what you're selling. After all, a confused lead doesn't often convert to a customer. So, what do you say? If you're selling bass guitars, you might go into detail on what kind of strings it has, or something, or if you're selling a bass drum, you may recommend different types of mallets. Those topics will help Google solidify the context behind all the text it's trying to process. That'll help them get your page to the right people searching for the right thing, making your audience more specific and targeted, but giving you a boost in the rankings because you've done your due diligence in helping the robots get your page where it needs to be. That's SEO, baby.

I hope this gives you some thoughts on how you write content going forward. Still confused, or a little overwhelmed? At Blue Fish, we're experts at this kind of thing. Give us a shout at hi@bluefishds.com and let's get the ball rolling.

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