What Are LSI Keywords (And Why They’re So Important)

What Are LSI Keywords (And Why They’re So Important)


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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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.