LSI keywords are something that many use, but most don’t know they are doing it. Very few marketers understand how these words and phrases can help in your search rankings.
If used correctly, you can increase the number of keywords you can rank for while at the same time making your content more readable.
What Are LSI Keywords?
LSI is short for latent semantic indexing, a term used to describe how search engines relate similar words or phrases to return search results.
If you want to know the science behind it, you can view more here. However, since we are marketers and not scientists, the only thing we really need to know is the simple definition and how it applies to SEO.
Here is what it looks like in search results (using the term “affordable article writer”):
In the image below, you will see how the search for “affordable article writer” turned up numerous webpages with a description of each underneath.
Within that description, you will see highlighted words other than our keyword phrase. Two that came up are “article writer” and “cheap article writer.”
Google has determined these phrases to be very similar in nature and as such returned articles containing these words. While our main keyword is “affordable article writer,” the other two terms are our LSI keywords.
So how can you take advantage of this?
Here’s an example of how to incorporate them:
When you get ready to write an article and you have a focus keyword, search for it in Google and identify the LSI keywords. Identify at least two that you can also use along with your main keyword (I’ll let you guess what mine are for this article).
Now it’s all about keyword density (more about that term later).
I typically like to use a keyword approximately two to three times in a 500-600 word article. So, in order to incorporate the LSI keywords, I will use my first keyword approximately six times (bear with me on this). Once I finish the article, I will replace at least half of my main keyword with the secondary keywords I located in my Google search.
Here is what it looks like:
- Write an article using a focus keyword approximately six times.
- When copyediting the article, replace 50% of those keywords with LSI keywords.
- The result is an article with the focus keyword and at least two LSI keywords.
Let’s look at it in action:
The image below shows an article that I wrote for my blog on Wikipedia editing.
The main focus keyword is professional Wikipedia editing. However, you can see how LSI was incorporated with the additional terms “professional Wikipedia editor” and “get paid to edit Wikipedia.”
Although you heard me mention “keyword density,” I find the term deplorable. You need to understand there is no correct formula for keyword density. What I am using here is only an example.
Isn’t LSI the Same as Using Secondary Keywords?
Yes and no.
You are obviously using secondary keywords as you are incorporating more than one; however, the ones you are using are chosen for you by Google.
Since Google controls how your content displays in search results, you will be a step ahead by using LSI than if you just pick random secondary keywords. Using secondary keywords that are not LSI can also be confusing for Google as it will not know the right place to rank your content.
How to Find LSI Keywords
If you don’t want to manually look through search results, there are a few easier ways to find them. The first is Google auto complete.
When you start typing in search, Google will suggest keywords that people are looking for similar to the one you are typing. From the above search, you can see that LSI involves adding the terms “example” or “definition” to the end of our key term.
Another method I like to use is Google related searches.
When you search a specific term, Google always provides suggestions at the bottom of the page. These should also be part of your LSI keyword strategy.
Yes, There Are Tools to Help
In addition to using Google, there are numerous LSI keyword tools online that can assist you.
One of my favorite tools is SurgeGraph (formerly LSI Graph) Keyword Generator.
Once you enter your main keyword, you will be presented with many semantically related words you can use in your content writing.
LSI Graph is one of the most widely used keyword generators in the SEO industry. If you have experience with other tools you are willing to vouch for, let me know know in the comments below.
Final Word on Semantic Related Keywords
LSI also helps you give both the reader and Google what they want. People will enjoy reading the content as it is not stuffed full of the same keyword over and over. Google will enjoy it as the content is quality and will likely rank you faster and higher for all search terms used.
In addition to making your content read better, LSI can also be incorporated into your link acquisition strategy. Obtaining backlinks to the same article from LSI keywords helps with link diversity and gets you away from repeated exact match anchor text.
What is your experience with using LSI keywords? What are your thoughts after reading this article?