LSI Keywords: What Are They and How Can You Find Them?

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Originally published March 23, 2020

Google’s goal is to match user searches with the highest quality and most relevant content. Using LSI keywords in your content can help you help Google better understand what your content is about, and therefore help you rank better for your targetted search terms.

What Are LSI Keywords?

LSI stands for latent semantic indexing. This technical-sounding acronym is Google’s way of finding the relevant topic of a page. LSI keywords refer to terms or phrases that are similar to the target keyword of a page. These keywords help search engines define how relevant the content is to the search. This modernized semantic processing places importance on writing relevant, easy to read content and keyword searching.

Without LSI processing search algorithms would look for a single keyword on the page. For example, if the target keyword was surfing, only this single keyword would be looked for. Therefore, you would get better results by reusing the word surfing as much as possible. As search technology improves, words similar to the target keyword are just as important. 

If we take the keyword example of surfing, LSI keywords would be ocean, board, watersports and similar. Google will scan your page for the target keyword ‘surfing’ but also for additional LSI keywords as they explain the topic. When the search can find these LSI keywords, it can be confident your content is about surfing the sport and not mistaken for another context like surfing the web. 

Are LSI Keywords Actually Important?

If you’re using researched target keywords you may not see the point in using secondary keywords. But these are undoubtedly just as important and their value will continue to increase as search engines get smarter. 

Obviously, having your target keyword first is essential, but once you’ve decided on this LSI keywords should follow. As explained before they’re important because google will use them as confirmation your content is indeed related to your main keywords, therefore appropriate for the user’s search. 

How Can LSI Keywords Help with SEO?

LSI keywords can help traffic and increase Google rankings. They help as a user’s search will have a better chance of finding your content when the right keywords are used. 

1. Helps Google Determine Relevance

LSI keywords support quality content and helps Google make sure your content is of use to the reader. No one wants to end up on a page completely irrelevant to their search. LSI keywords and search algorithms are making sure this doesn’t happen and is only going to keep getting better. The better the LSI keywords, the more Google can find out the meaning of your content. 

2. Improve User Experience

The reader is always going to come first. This should be taken in mind when writing content. It’s got to be relevant and specific. Say goodbye to the days of keyword stuffing a post’s topic now builds search engine results. This encourages the creation of quality content. It also makes Google search a whole lot quicker and easier for the user. 

3. Carries a Heavier Weight Than Keyword Density

Keyword density refers to the number of times your keyword is mentioned in the written content. This number is measured as a percentage. Overuse of keyword can be heavily penalized as google now recognizes this as hard to read. 

By using LSI keywords you can safely add as many as you need without receiving this penalty. It’s a good guess to say that the importance of these keywords will increase as search algorithms improve.

4. Increases Your SERP Ranking

As Google now understands your content on a deeper level, it’s able to realize the context and give the user the content they are looking for. It means your content will now show up higher in SERP results and variations of the keyword search giving it a broader but more accurate result. 

How Do I Find LSI Keywords?

There are a range of different methods to hunt down LSI keywords. It’s important to note that these keywords are NOT synonyms. You can’t simply find words that mean the exact same as your keyword and repeat them throughout your content. LSI keywords take research but also common sense. Here’s a range of methods to find LSI keywords.

1. LSI Graph

LSI Graph is a free keyword tool arguably the most effective way to find LSI keywords. It gives you hundreds of keywords to use from their database which has a collection of over 30 million. Say you’re writing content about tea,  you simply enter the word tea. The LSI graph will provide you with the top-ranking secondary keywords.

You can then select the ones that are the most relevant to your content. For example, a post about tea you can see types and flavours are popular LSI keywords. You could focus on ‘types’, ‘100 types’, ‘black’ and use these within your post about tea.

2. Google Autocomplete

Google autocomplete is a quick and easy way to source semantic keywords. Simply type in your target keyword and the list of autocomplete options that drop down are LSI keywords. The suggestions are terms that users are going to search for when typing in your keyword that’s why they’re useful. This is a similar method to the LSI graph just not as accurate and without the statistics.

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is another handy tool for finding LSI keywords. It lists hundreds of keywords and common search terms. You can use these search terms and suggestions as your own LSI keyword generator. 

The Bottom Line

No matter which way you go about finding your LSI keywords they should be an important part of your SEO strategy. Incorporating these into your content will provide you with a wealth of SEO benefits. Stay on top of your SEO game and keep up with the ever-changing search engine results.

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