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June 30, 2017

How LSI Keywords Can Help You Improve Your SEO

As a digital marketer, I’m constantly seeking ways to improve my own website’s organic traffic and that of my agency’s clients. If you’re the least bit familiar with SEO, then you must have heard that Google’s algorithm updates render techniques from five years ago completely obsolete.

Algorithm update after algorithm update, Google tells us that keyword stuffing and poor quality content no longer work.

What does then?

Well, great content (as I’ve said it in most of my articles here) and LSI keywords. Let’s expand a bit on the latter.

What are LSI keywords?

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. According to Search Engine Journal, LSI is “a mathematical method used to determine the relationship between terms and concepts in content”. Consequently, LSI keywords are those semantically related to your primary keyword.

They matter to Google because they help make its search results more accurate by learning what people are truly looking for. To both Google and readers, they point to relevance.

You shouldn’t, however, confuse LSI keywords with synonyms. Let’s look at an example.

If you’re writing a blog post related to Windows 10, your post should also contain references to previous versions (Windows 7), the company that released the operating system (Microsoft), maybe even Bill Gates and the Office suite.

Why? Because this comes naturally. Just like when I talk about LSI keywords, I mention Google, ranking, SEO, page indexing and so on.

This helps Google differentiate your blog post from an article about replacement windows, for instance. And it helps them return relevant results to their users.

How can LSI keywords boost your organic traffic?

Google still crawls your page and uses your primary keyword to determine what topic said page is relevant for. But the algorithm has gotten smarter. If the primary keyword is not surrounded by something extremely relevant to your topic, your ranking will be affected.

Here are just a few ways in which LSI keywords can help boost your traffic:

1. No more keyword stuffing

Your objective is to find the right balance between your primary keyword and LSI keywords in order to rank better. This way, you don’t need to repeat that same keyword ad-nauseam – a big no-no in today’s SEO.

This protects your website from becoming spammy. If you perform keyword stuffing, you will be penalized by Google. You can now write naturally and both search engines and readers will appreciate your content.

2. Reduced bounce rate

Following on the example above: if your article doesn’t contain words typically connected to the Windows operating system, someone looking to replace their windows may land on your page. Of course, they would immediately bounce.

By using the right LSI keywords, you make sure that you stay relevant and only get organic visits from people who matter to your business. If you think about it, you basically have the same purpose as Google: offering relevant results to users helps both of your businesses.

3. Rank for more keywords

This is basic math: the more keywords your page ranks for, the more visits you will get. And the beauty of LSI keywords combined with your primary one is that they boost each other’s value.

Using the right LSI keywords can help you beat your competition. It’s a puzzle game, but one that’s worth playing right.

4. Get lower PPC costs

If you’ve ever had to manage a Google AdWords campaign for more than a month, then you know how hard it can be to come up with new ways to reduce your cost-per-click or improve your CTR.

Enter LSI keywords.

When your landing page has the right type of quality and super-relevant content, Google will boost your quality score. The result? You will rank higher and your ads will be cheaper.

5. More time spent on-page by users

Offer your readers a smooth, seamless text that doesn’t seem forced in any way and they will keep on reading it. Throw keyword-stuffed articles with little informative value their way and they’ll leave within seconds.

How to find the perfect LSI keywords

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as writing naturally. Sure, when you write about Windows 10, you will mention Windows 7. But that may not be enough. Luckily, there are tools to help you with your LSI keyword planning.

1. Google search

That’s right, the plain old (FREE!) search. Just type in your primary keyword and see what else Google suggests for you (the autosuggest feature). This way, you know right off the bat what other terms Google considers relevant.

2. Google Keyword Planner

Also a free tool, this is where you should start your basic LSI keyword search. However, I only recommend it in combination with other tools.

Here’s why.

You have to remember that this is the tool you typically use to create ads. Paid ads. Google will recommend some keywords that may not help you rank, but would help them make a profit from your ads.

Since you are not planning to create ads, but use this tool to create a high-ranking page, compare the results with those from other tools.

3. LSI Graph

This is one of the tools I use quite frequently. It’s free and you can also download their WordPress plugin. You will get plenty of results to fuel your content strategy.

4. Keyword Shitter

Pardon my French! But I guess you’ll forgive when you take a look at this tool. Not only can you find LSI keywords with it, but you can also get some awesome long-tail keywords ideas. Bonus, you can download them.

5. SEMrush

If you want to get serious about your SEO and beating the competition, SEMrush is the way to go. This is a paid tool, but it will give you a lot of insight into your competitors’ keywords, as well as their backlinks – basically, all you need to beat them.

LSI keywords matter more than you think

The next time you hire SEO copywriters, make sure to ask them about their LSI strategy. If they shrug it off and say repeating the same keyword over and over again is the way to go, look elsewhere. They will never help you boost your organic traffic.


Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the CEO of Idunn, a digital marketing agency that helps clients all over the world with copywriting, social media marketing and marketing strategy. Follow her blog here:

24 Responses to “How LSI Keywords Can Help You Improve Your SEO

    Useful article for beginners. The example Windows 10 explains very well.

    avatar TechDais says:

    We often overlook importance of LSI keywords. Truly you have put up a great article for the benefits of website owners.
    Keep doing the good work.

    avatar Hubert BAZIN says:

    Thanks for that interesting topic. A pity that LSI graph doesn’t work in french !

    avatar Sweater Man says:

    Great article and worth reading as its most important now to look seriously at good keywords to implement into your website and articles due to the game changing with google updating their algorithm.

    avatar Revinfotech says:

    Latent semantic indexing is a concept that search engines like Google use to discover how a term and content work together to mean the same thing.

    In other words, in order to understand how LSI works, you need to understand that search engines are smart enough to identify your content’s context and synonyms related to your keywords.

    Yes, LSI based keywords help in quality traffic.

    avatar adan says:

    E-commerce is a cut throat business. You have to arm yourself with the proper know-how and the tools to make your site a cut above the rest.

    avatar youssef says:

    keywords boost your organic traffic

    avatar Bukunmi says:

    Worth reading about. LSI is what I have been using to rank especially low and medium keyword content.. using Google autosugest directly to rank for varied multiple keywords.

    avatar Ned says:

    Nice article, excellent. You explained everything about LSI keywords and also links to very useful tools. Thanks 🙂

    avatar Digital kora says:

    Hey ,thanks for the info about Lsi keywords in-depth strategy …I came to know about some new tools..I will use those tools for my website

    avatar Ketan Jawale says:

    Short and sweet…

    LSI is really useful if we use them in our content.

    I also like to suggest “answer the public” website which gives amazing insights.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    avatar John Celvin says:

    That’s some interesting information. And yes, these LSI keywords are easy to rank and gives best conversion rate.

    avatar E.carpio says:

    Thanks for the article. Good information as always.

    avatar Faisal Nouman says:

    Yes, LSI based keywords help in quality traffic.

    avatar alhamdan says:

    Very good at once.
    You think it’s better to use semrush or ahrefs?

    That’s a nice list with helpful tools to use in keyword research.

    Nice tips, thanks for sharing. Till date I didn’t hear about LSI keywords. But you have shared very valuable info.

    Terrific guidance to keywords researching based on LSI.. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information.

    avatar Angel says:

    Thanks for this.It’s very helpful for improving SEO.

    Hi Adriana ,

    Very Informative thanks for this amazing post on LSI and thanks for the tools listed, as i am new to digital marketing, this post helped me to understand more about LSI

    avatar Techmappers says:

    Yes, LSI keywords has really become very important in content marketing and SEO. Nicely explained article in simple ways.

    Very informative article, Thank you for the tips.

    avatar Rob Fermin says:

    very good explanation about LSI keywords

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