What Are LSI Keywords – And Why They Matter For SEO

What Are LSI Keywords – And Why They Matter For SEO

What are LSI keywords? Everyone seems to talk about them…

… And for good reason.

This is the way the search engines decide which pages are relevant to a given search query.

In this article, I am going to show you all the things you need to know about LSI keywords and to take advantage of them:

1. What are LSI keywords?

LSI keywords (latent meaning indexing) are words related to your main keyword. Many people think that LSI keywords are synonymous. But this is wrong. LSI are just words that are often found together because they share the same context.

For example, ‘apple’ and ‘itunes’ are LSI keywords because they share the same context and are frequently found together. But they are not synonyms.

Here are some examples of how LSI works.

Tell that your page or blog post is about cars.

You can write about any of the following 5 meanings of ‘car’:

  • Cars the vehicle
  • Cars the animated Disney movie
  • CARS, the Canadian Association for Rally Sports
  • CARs, the Canadian Aviation Regulations
  • (The) Cars, the American 1970s music band

How does Google know what the meaning of ‘car’ is relevant to your page?

Google will look for LSI keywords on your page to determine what it means:

If the word is found: ‘vehicle’, ‘use’, ‘new’, ‘buy’, ‘sell’, ‘dealer’, ‘repair’, then your page is probably about cars, vehicles

If the word finds: ‘Film’, ‘ movie’, ‘Made by’, ‘Guided and co-written’, ‘Motion Picture’, ‘Walt Disney’, then your page is most likely about Cars, Movie .

If you find the word: ‘Association’, ‘Rally’, ‘Sport’, ‘Championship’, ‘Canadian’, then your page is probably about the CARS, the Canadian Association for Rally Sports.

If you find the word: ‘Aviation’, ‘Regulation’, ‘Administration’, ‘Hawaii’, ‘Aerodrome’, ‘Airport’, then your page is most likely to be about CARS, Canadian Aviation Regulations

Why did Google start using the LSI keyword?

Good question!

2. Why does Google use the LSI keywords?

There was a time when Google had given the same solution for the relevance of a page with query search density.

As we all know, keyword density was badly misused and spammed.

That’s why Google moved away from keyword density and looked at LSI keywords.

The reasoning was this :

A valid page about ‘Apple Computer’ will probably have a host of other words that are related to Apple computer (like ‘apple store’, ‘apple iphone 5’, ‘apple new ipad’, ‘apple stock price’, ‘ Discount computer ‘).

On the other hand, a keyword-filled page about ‘Apple computer’ might only be a keyword.

That’s why LSI keywords provided Google a way of sorting sheep with goats.

But there is another reason that Google has started using the LSI keywords…

Latent Semantic Indexing helps Google better understand the meaning of a search query and the meaning of web page.

And it allows Google to improve between search results and matches that people search for in the search results.

3. Hummingbird and LSI Keywords

In August of 2013, Google introduced Hummingbird algorithms, sometimes called semantic algorithms.

Hummingbird algorithm focuses on synonyms and improves Google’s ability to understand the context of a web page.

Hummingbird is particularly interested in the searcher’s intentions.

While the previous algorithms focus on different words in a search query, the hummingbird sees each word in the context of the whole search query.

In other words, the Hummingbird algorithm is trying to understand the meaning – it helps Google to match the user’s search results.

But how does this help me rank higher in search results?

4. How can LSI keywords improve your ranking?

Here are three ways that the LSI keywords will improve your SEO:

  1. Google is now looking at the overall context rather than the keyword density. This means that your page will rank higher for your main keyword because Google understands your page’s context better.
  2. Let’s say you’ve reached the limit of keyword density on your page – now it’s a recurrence of your keyword and you take the risk of Google Penalty. With LSI keywords, you can safely add related keywords.
  3. LSI keywords are closely related to your main keyword – they are ‘keyword variations’. This means that your page is coming in search results for your main keywords as well as those keyword variations.

5. Where to Find LSI Keywords?

Here are some free tools to search for LSI keywords:

5.1 Google Search

Just type in your main keyword and Google will bold any of the LSI keywords related to your main keyword.

Here’s an example:

LSI Keywords

My main keyword is ‘Lavraza Coffee Machine’.

In the first search result, Google leads the main keyword, but it also creates an LSI keyword: ‘espresso’.

Go through each of the results and look for the keywords in bold…

… they are all LSI keywords and you should add them to your page

5.2 Google Auto Suggestions

As you start to type search queries in Google, Google’s auto suggestion function suggests many words people find, which are related to your search term.

These are LSI keywords – Google’s algorithms have recognized them as words that clustrate with your search term in the predicted pattern:

5.3 Google’s Search Related’

After typing in your search term, scroll down to the Google results page and you will see a title related to ‘Search.’

Here you will find some more LSI keywords:

  • Espresso maker
  • Cappuccino
  • A modo amio

Include them in your page too – they will help you to rank higher for your main keyword and will help you find you for related related keywords.

5.4 LSIGraph

LSIGraph, LSI is a free tool to generate keywords.

Simply enter your main keyword:

Then scan through the results to find LSI keywords to use on your page:

5.5 NicheLaboratory

NicheLaboratory is another free online tool.

Simply type in your main keyword:

NicheLaboratory will give you a list of related keywords.

You will need to use some human judgment to decide which of these really relate to your main keyword:

5.6 SEOPressor plugin

“Revolutionary Google-Emulation On-Page SEO Analysis” as SEO Styling SEOPressor plugin tells advanced LSI analysis.

There are two features that will help you with your LSI keywords:

  • ‘Progressive LSI Keyword Engine’ and
  • ‘Semanti Q density’ analyzer

5.7 Ultimate Keyword Hunter

Ultimate Keyword Hunter is downloadable software that specializes in finding LSI keywords.

It’s free but currently only available for Windows platforms.

6. How to use LSI keywords?

Till it seems natural and appropriate, sprinkle them on the whole body of your article.

Some of your LSI keywords will be synonymous with your main keyword – in that case you can substitute them for your main keyword.

Of course, you must have at least 2 or 3 instances of your main keyword.

But do not worry too much about the keyword density of your main keyword because the keyword density has been largely replaced by semantic indexing.

Here are the main places to use your LSI keyword:

  • page title
  • H1 and H2 tags
  • URL address
  • Meta tag
  • Images total text
  • First paragraph of lesson
  • Link anchor text
  • Last paragraph of text

7. What to Avoid with LSI Keyword

With your main keyword, try to avoid over-optimization of your page for any particular LSI keyword.

The greater use of LSI keywords will put you in the keyword stuffing area and Google will attract penalties.

I use each LSI keyword once on a page.


So what are the LSI keywords and how can you use them to rank higher in search results?

Use the Latent Semantic Indexing to avoid keyword stuffing.

When you do not repeat your main keyword anymore, use them to improve your SEO.

If you write any blog post of more than 1500 words, then you will essentially use LSI keywords, because LSI is all about – the natural detection (as opposed to custom) content

The main thing with LSI keywords is to keep it natural – use each one or two times and make sure it is not deprived of sound.

And then see your pages rising up through SERPs.