The Most Comprehensive Guide For Finding And Using LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords popularly known as LSI keywords is not a new term for SEO experts and experienced bloggers. However, for those who are new to blogging fraternity, this may seem like an alien topic.
In this guide, I am going to explain in detail to you about LSI Keywords; its importance in SEO and how to find LSI keywords to use in your blog post.
What Are LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a mathematical technique that identifies patterns in the relationship between words contained in an unstructured collection of text. Keywords found using this technique are called Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords or LSI Keywords.
Too technical and confusing? Ok, let me simplify it for you.
LSI keywords are keywords which are “semantically” related or in simpler terms “closely” related to your main keyword. For example, the LSI Keyword for “SEO” would be “On Page SEO Tips” or “On page Search Engine Optimization Tips”
Sounds more like a Long Tail Keyword? Well, it is not. Let us understand the difference between LSI Keywords and Long Tail Keywords
Difference Between LSI Keywords And Long Tail Keywords
LSI keywords may seem similar to Long Tail Keywords, however, they are not the same. For a given primary keyword, its LSI keywords are a hybrid of Long Tail Keywords, its synonyms, and even acronyms.
For example, if your primary keyword is “Laptop”, your LSI keyword can either be “Best Laptop in India” or “Best Notebook in the USA.”
Please note that the former keyword is actually a Long Tail Keyword of our primary keyword while the latter replaces “Laptop” with its synonym “Notebook” to form a totally different keyword?.
From the above example, we can say that for a given keyword, it’s Long Tail Keyword is it’s LSI Keyword, however, vice versa is not always true.[Tweet “A Long Tail Keyword is same as an LSI Keyword, however, vice versa is not always true.”]
Use Of LSI Keywords By Search Engines
In yesteryears, Google used to display search results by matching the exact keywords. However, over the years, Google’s Algorithm has evolved to be smarter.
Google no longer looks for exact keywords. Rather it tries to decipher the intent behind the search and shows the results accordingly.
For ease of understanding, let me explain to you with an example how Google uses related keywords for displaying better search results. We will try finding “Top 5 Cellphones in India” and see what Google gives us back.
As you can see in the screenshot, neither of the results contain the keyword “Cellphone” as this term is seldom used in India. Rather, Google searched for related words which are “Mobile Phones” and “Smartphones.”
Also to be noted, I searched for the term “Top 5”, but Google was also looking for the keyword “Best” as the same has been bolded in both the results.
Let us take another example of the keyword “Iron.” Now, we know that when a person says Iron, he may be referring to any of the following
- The Iron metal.
- The iron mineral which is part of your body.
- Electric Iron device.
- The verb Iron, which refers to Ironing of clothes
However, depending on your search query, Google tries to decipher the intent of your search to display the right results for you.
Below are the results for the search phrase “How to Iron.”
Even though I never mentioned Ironing Shirt or clothes, Google deciphered the same as the search phrase contains the word “How to.” which can only be associated with Ironing of clothes.
Now let us see what we get when we search for “Repair an Iron”
As the search phrase contained the word “Repair”, Google knew I was referring to Electric Iron and displayed the results accordingly.
Importance Of LSI Keywords In SEO?
Now that you know how smart Google’s algorithm is, let us come back to the million dollar question: Why Are LSI Keywords important for SEO?
1. Maintain Optimum Keyword Density
We know keyword stuffing is a thing of past and you have to make sure to keep your keyword density in check to avoid Google penalty for over-optimization of keywords.
LSI Keywords help you achieve the same. You can use a combination of semantically related keywords to keep your keyword density under check.
2. Reduce Bounce Rates
Suppose you have a website which talks about benefits of Apple; the fruit. What would happen if Google ranks you for the keyword Apple iPhone?
It’s very much natural that people who visit your website will leave your website immediately, increasing your bounce rate. This is neither good for you nor for your reader. By using LSI keywords you can prevent this situation.
3. Increase Organic Traffic
By using LSI keywords, you are targeting more keywords which will make sure you appear in Google search results more often.
4. Target Wider Audience
Some keywords like “Cellphones” are Geography specific. By using the keyword “Mobile Phone” along with it, you can target much wider audience.
How To Find LSI Keywords
To find LSI Keyword, you first need to find a primary keyword using tools like Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and SEMRush. Once you have your primary keyword, you can use below methods to find LSI Keywords.
1. Google Related Search
This is the traditional method of finding LSI Keywords. You just need to search for your primary keyword on Google and scroll down to the bottom of the search results. You will see the related search queries as shown in screenshot below
As you can see, I had searched for “How to book train tickets” but Google also suggested a keyword ” How to book railway tickets”
Google does not show the monthly volume and CPC for each keyword beside the query as shown in the Image. However, you can get the same using Keywords Everywhere extension for your browser.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the most flexible yet underrated keyword research tool you can ever get. It helps you to find different types of keywords with small tweaks.
I’ve already discussed how to use Google Keyword Planner in my guide about Long Tail Keywords. To find LSI Keywords, there is just one small change. Unlike mentioned in the other guide, while searching for Keyword Ideas, you must make sure to keep the option “Only Show Closely Related Ideas” unchecked.
This will make sure GKP displays broader terms. Sorting out the relevant terms from the suggested keywords is a bit tedious but it can give you some unexplored keywords. But, I recommend using this method only if you are unable to find low competition keywords using other methods.
3. LSI Graph
LSI Graph is a special tool designed by SEOPressor for finding LSI Keywords. This is free to use tool which is mostly accurate with the suggestions.
It is extremely simple to use this tool. You just have to enter your primary keyword in the search box and click on “Generate” and it will give out a list of LSI keywords.
4. SEOPressor WordPress Plugin
SEOPressor is basically an On Page SEO Analysis plugin that checks your web page for various On page SEO Optimization Factors. Suggesting LSI keywords is just one of its many features.
It lets you enter up to 3 main keywords and suggests you LSI keywords based on these 3 keywords. It also checks your article for Keyword Density and suggests replacing a particular keyword with a related keyword to keep the Keyword Density under check.
Selecting LSI Keywords
The number of different LSI keywords you can use depends on the length of your article. Longer the article, more keywords you can squeeze in.
While selecting the keywords, most bloggers make the mistake of selecting the ones with higher search volume. I personally prefer using a combination of high volume keywords and some low volume keywords with an extremely low competition.
This method ensures that you start getting traffic to your blog almost immediately and if your bounce rate is low, you SERP will quickly improve for all the keywords you use in your post.
Also, it is very important to choose only the keywords which are 100% related to your article. Using unrelated keywords just because it is popular will result in higher bounce rates.
Placing LSI Keywords
Placing your keywords can be a little tricky. You must know which keywords are important and needs to be given more priority.
Also, the keywords should be used in a natural way. Search engines will not subscribe to your newsletter or use your affiliate links to buy products. Your readers will. And so you must use your keywords in a natural way.
I generally reserve my Post Title and URLs for a Long Tail Keyword which contains my primary keyword and has low to medium competition with a monthly search volume of at least 200.
For Meta Description, it is recommended to use LSI Keywords containing synonyms of your primary keyword as it can boost your search rankings. So if your primary keyword is “Samsung Mobile phone”, your can use keywords like “Best Samsung Smartphone in 2016” in your Meta Description.
For your post headings and content, you should only go with LSI keywords that you can place naturally in the text.
LSI Keywords are definitely a very important part of SEO and Keyword Research. They can greatly help you keep your keyword density under check. If used in the correct way, LSI Keywords can boost your search engine rankings and get you a lot of search engine traffic.
I hope after reading this article the concept of LSI keywords is clear to you. Do let us know your views about the article through comments below.