What are LSI Keywords?
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are the group of keywords that are conceptually related to the primary keywords. These keywords complement our primary keywords to make a piece of content more understandable for the search engines.
They can be synonyms, substitutions or simply related words. Google’s algorithm uses it to determine the relevancy of a page in relation to a search term.
We already know Google is constantly improving itself. It is shifting to provide more semantically matching type results rather than looking at keyword match instances.
What that means, having other complementary keywords in your content, you can telegraph a stronger message to Google about what your content really is.
What Are Some Good Examples?
The below table displays certain LSI keywords that can be used for the given primary keywords.
|Primary Keyword||LSI Keyword|
|Cat||Animal, Puppy, Liver, Pet|
|Apple||Fruit, Organic, Tasty, Tree|
|Apple||Iphone, Ipad, Steeve Jobs, IOS|
If you have noticed Apple repeated twice in the table.
It is consciously repeated to show apple can mean a fruit as well as a tech company or brand.
By including LSI keywords in our content we help search engines to understand what our content is about.
Let’s have a look at the following example sentence. The same sentence is written with and without using LSI keywords.
LSI Poor Content
“Apples are good and very important for us. They are expensive but totally worth it.”
Unfortunately, a computer program is not going to understand the intent of this type of content.
LSI Rich Content
“Apples are rich in Vitamin A as well as fiber and very important for our health. They are expensive if purchased organic.”
“Apples are good products in terms of the advanced technology they offer. They are expensive but functionally satisfying electronic products.”
Do you see the immense difference between LSI poor & LSI rich content? LSI rich content has definitely more Latent Semantic Value (LSV) which I believe is a Google ranking factor.
How can LSI Keywords Help Your SEO Rankings?
People doing SEO is so much focused on creating content by using keyword tools. They pick only a few keywords and create content around them. This type of approach tends to ignore all other related words since they don’t seem as viable keywords to include in the content.
Typical results they get with a “keyword-targeted content” approach is keyword dense but generic content repeating the same things over and over again. It is the type of content that doesn’t focus on using a rich vocabulary.
If we look at any piece of high-quality content such as research papers we will notice it is naturally rich in LSI keywords.
Using the word “dog food” in our content and repeating it multiple times with its long tail variations may work to take the # 1 SERP position.
However, Google is getting smarter and smarter every day. At some point, the algorithm will hit the content written to rank for 1-2 keywords only.
LSI keyword-rich content tends to rank for many different keyword combinations. Content developed around a few keywords will miss this opportunity.
Outsourced content will really unlikely include any LSI keywords. Most writers developing content writing generic sentences to fill out the ordered amount of words.
My edge in SEO comes from developing content not around a few keywords but rather around a “keyword cloud” that is meaningfully related to my primary keywords.
Funnily enough, I have seen some “SEO experts” claim LSI Keywords to be overrated. It is such an uneducated opinion to have.
In my opinion, keyword tools can really limit people’s creativity while placing them into a way of “thinking in a small box”. I use keyword research tools while developing my content. (Here is the list of my tools.)
However, I never let them dictate what keywords I should focus on my content.
“Keyword focus only” SEO approach is not what I want to practice.
I prefer including a “rainbow of keywords” in my content that is related to my primary keywords at different levels.
This approach does not only help the search engines to understand my content better, but also helps me ranking for many different keyword combinations.
Increases Our Content’s Novelty Score
It is no secret Google assigns every page on its index a novelty score. Content that is generic, lack of providing unique ideas and/or explanation to a topic is considered as uninteresting.
Writing a very similar type of content that everyone else before you brings no value. It simply increases the chances of your content being labeled as spam.
Using LSI keywords in content will increase its novelty score while decreasing the likelihood of perceived as spam.
Decreases Bounce Rates
People are very fast turned off from the content repeating the same words to explain a topic. It is no surprise they are going to bounce if they think your content is boring and repetitive.
Having LSI keywords will help us by making people engage with our content. More engagement with our content means lower bounce rates.
Increases Time Spent On Our Website
As we have already talked a decreased bounce rate will provide higher engagement and eventually will increase the time spent on our website.
Improves Blog Authority
If our content covers all details of a subject by using a rich selection of keywords, the authority of our blog is likely to rise over time.
How To Find LSI Keywords?
LSIGraph is a free website that lets you find LSI keywords related to your main keyword.
LSIGraph helps you to find out semantically related keywords to your main keyword. By using the tool you can enrich your content with the LSI keyword suggestions that make it contextually unique.
It has a trademarked formula called Latent Semantic Value (LSV)TM definitely worth checking out since it may give you a competitive advantage in your niche.
Where To Use LSI Keywords?
LSI keywords should be used in our content whenever possible. We certainly don’t want to force our content by stuffing keywords that could potentially push our content out of its scope.
However, once an opportunity has been presented, we definitely want to take the opportunity.
Are LSI Keywords Synonyms Only?
No, It is not. Synonyms are only a few words that are almost meaningfully equal to our keyword. While LSI keywords can be thousands if you spend a good amount of time for research and brainstorming.
For instance, “best places at Laguna Beach” can be rephrased as “best places at Laguna coast”. It is just using the synonym for the word “beach”. However, using “Sunbathing at Laguna Beach” can be a good example of the use of LSI keyword.
To find more LSI keyword ideas you can implement conventional keyword research techniques as well. It takes time to create a large list that is comprehensive enough to cover the entire topic.
However, it is totally worth it. Including LSI keywords in your content will significantly improve your SEO results.