Gone are the days when search engines like Google used exact match keywords to process search results. Google is using a ton of new generation methods like LSI keywords, RankBrain, voice search etc to provide highly relevant information to the searchers.
So what does it mean?
It simply means, you don’t need to stuff the exact match keywords to boost your organic rankings. Using relevant and contextual keyword phrases within your articles can also help.
Here’s where the concept of latent semantic indexing comes into play.
The best part is, you’re not only satisfying Google crawlers but you will also provide the best information to the users.
If you’re doing SEO for blogs for a while, you should already know the importance of keyword research. Hands down, finding the right keywords is the fastest way to get more organic traffic from Google.
But most people do keyword research wrong: they find either competitive keywords or too broad terms hence they don’t get much traffic even if their content is good. Using semantic keywords can fill that gap.
So let’s find out all the information that you need around LSI keywords so you can rank for multiple keywords from a single web page. Are you ready? Let’s jump into the details.
LSI Keywords: How to Find And Optimize for Semantic Keywords
Table of Contents
- LSI Keywords: How to Find And Optimize for Semantic Keywords
- How to find LSI keywords? 5 tools explained with tutorials
- The 2 BIG reasons you’re not ranking for a keyword
- How to use LSI keywords within your content for better rankings?
- How to get more traffic to your old or dead content with LSI keywords?
- How to create an LSI keyword strategy for better long term results
- How much time does it usually take to see better results?
- FAQs About Latent Semantic Keywords
- Final Thoughts On Semantic Keywords
Before we talk about how to do LSI keyword research to increase your search engine rankings, it’s better to first talk about what they are and benefits of using them.
What are LSI keywords?
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are the keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. They are NOT intended to be synonyms but generally are closely related words of a search query or keyword phrase.
In a nutshell, these keywords supplement the main keywords (or search queries) and provide strong contextual information to the search engines like Google.
These keywords can be
- Related words (to a particular phrase/word or topic or search queries)
For example, “Python” is a LSI keyword for “programming language” and “Apple” is a LSI keyword for iPad, MacBook, iPhone etc.
To put it simply, semantically-related keywords are used by search engines like Google, Bing etc to gather words with familiar meaning to give search engine users a better experience while they search.
LSI keywords examples
You can simply consider latent semantic keywords are synonyms for the keywords.
For example, “cute”, “adorable”, “appealing”, “charming” are all different words but they all have the same meaning.
- If your page contains the keywords like “red apple,” “shimla apple”, “apple cider”, “apple juice”, “apple calories” etc, then Google understands that your page is most likely about the fruit.
- Alternatively, if your page contains the keywords including “Macbook”, “iPhone XR”, “apple stocks”, “iPad” etc, then Google recognizes that your page is most likely about the company.
Did you get the difference?
So basically, search engines like Google simply look for the keywords that are frequently found together because they share the exact same context (as mentioned in the above 2 examples).
Have a look at the following illustration for a couple of examples for these keywords.
As you can see from the above example, these semantic keywords should match the overall context of a particular topic that you want to rank for.
What are the benefits of using LSI keywords?
So why target LSI keywords? What are the benefits of using them? Let’s discuss now.
- You can rank a single page for multiple keywords (with the help of LSI keywords)
- You don’t have to keyword stuff anymore if you’re using semantically-related keywords. You can still rank for a variety of keywords without keyword stuffing which also gives a better reading experience for your audience.
- They help Google search engine crawlers to better understand what your blog and content is all about.
- You can attract high quality visitors from search engines by using the RIGHT kind of relevant keywords. That means, you’ll not only get targeted traffic but also your sales will go up.
- You can rank better than your competitors who are only focusing on keyword stuffing within their content rather than using semantic keywords.
Above all, they help you boost your content’s credibility, decrease bounce rate and ultimately increase on-page time spent on your web pages.
How LSI keywords can boost your search rankings?
Previously, search engines approached a concept called keyword density to determine the relevancy of a page.
The major issue happened later with this approach was this: majority of the bloggers used to stuff their web pages with their target keywords to get first page rankings. It ultimately lead to bad user experience for searchers.
Here’s an example of keyword stuffing.
As you can see above, there’s no real value for searchers who are looking for information related to “product marketing” as the copy is completely filled with that particular keyword.
To overcome this issue, search engines started approaching smarter methods like LSI to provide the best experience to users. LSI method helps search engines like Google better understand the context of a search query and the meaning of a page.
That’s how it can rank similar and highly relevant pages because it improves the “relevancy” between what people search for and what they find on Google.
How to find LSI keywords? 5 tools explained with tutorials
So how to find LSI keywords? To find great semantic keywords, you need access to the right tools. There are so many free tools out there starting from Google autocomplete to LSI Graph to find related keywords. Let’s talk about each one of them so you can use whatever the tool that fits your budget or needs to do LSI keyword research. We’ll be covering 5 tools to find LSI keywords which are listed below.
- LSI Graph
- Google Autosuggest
1. Using SEMrush
Finding semantic keywords has been easier when you’ve access to an all rounder SEO toolkit like SEMrush. Hands down, it’s the #1 SEO tool used by around 3 million people worldwide.
Let’s so let’s first talk about how you can find latent semantic keywords with one of our favorite SEO tools called SEMrush. If you want to find the benefits of using this tool, here’s a detailed review of it.
Quick tip: Here’s a 30 days free trial (worth $99.95) where you can get access to all of the SEMrush features and build a list of relevant keywords.
Step 1: Enter a keyword of your choice on SEMrush and it will give you a list of all the phrase match and related keywords in its amazing tool called “Keyword Magic Tool”.
Step 2: In this example, let’s take “best fitness apps” as the keyword and SEMrush is showing the following results.
As you can see above, there are a lot of LSI keywords with decent KD (keyword difficulty) are showing up. Apart from that, you can also look for phrase match keywords along with their search volume, CPC and competition.
The key to picking better keywords is to focus on finding high value CPC and low KD (or search volume) keywords so you can increase your keyword rankings with less efforts.
Step 3: The final step is to evaluate your keyword metrics by analysing the competition and pick the keywords with less competition to grow your search traffic and sales.
So how much does SEMrush SEO tool cost?
SEMrush offers the following 3 pricing options.
Let’s briefly talk about each of them.
SEMrush PRO: This is the starter plan from SEMrush which offers you almost every feature you need ranging from keyword research to site audits and it costs you just $99.95 per month. It offers the following limits with this plan.
- Results per report: 10,000
- Reports per day: 3000
- Projects: 5
- Keywords to track: 500
- Pages to crawl: 100,000
- 50 profiles for monitoring and 10 profiles for posting
- Scheduled PDF reports: 5
- Cost: $99.95 monthly
SEMrush Guru: If you’re looking for branded PDF reports along with higher limits and historical data, this plan is for you where you can get the following features at just $199.95 per month.
- Results per report: 30,000
- Reports per day: 5000
- Projects: 50
- Keywords to track: 1500
- Pages to crawl: 300,000
- Social media profiles: 100 (for monitoring) and 30 for posting
- Scheduled PDF reports: 20
- Branded PDF reports
- Historical data
- Cost: $199.95 monthly
SEMrush Business: This is the advanced plan from SEMrush and you can get access to exclusive features like higher limits, multi-user management and so on at $399.95 per month. Here are the limits with this plan.
- Results per report: 50,000
- Reports per day: 10,000
- Projects: 200
- Keywords to track: 5000
- Pages to crawl: 1,000,000
- Social media profiles: 300 for monitoring and 50 for posting
- Scheduled PDF reports: 50
- White label PDF reports
- Historical data
- Product Listing Ads
- Multi-user management
- Cost: $399.95 monthly
Use this EXCLUSIVE link to grab 30 days free trial of SEMrush Pro (worth $99.95)
2. Using LSI Graph
Let’s now talk about how you can use a free tool called LSI graph.
How to use LSI Graph keyword research tool for finding LSI keywords?
Step 1: Click on this link to visit LSI Graph tool.
Step 2: Enter a keyword of your choice that you want to find relevant keywords.
In the above example, we used the keyword “apple” and immediately the tool will suggest you a ton of keywords which are relevant to the main keyword.
Step 3: That’s it, now you can easily build a list of all the useful semantic keywords and start using them within your content for better rankings (we’ll discuss this later in the same post).
How much does it cost?
LSI Graph tool offers you free suggestions for certain limit every day. If you want unlimited keyword searches, you should go for their premium plans that start at $27 per month where you can get various keyword metrics such as;
- Search Volume
- CPC & Competition
- Latent Semantic Value (LSV)
- Topic Classification
- Performing Content Analysis
- Search History and so on
3. Using Google Autocomplete suggestions
One of the easiest ways to find these relevant keywords is to use Google autocomplete as it is not only a free LSI keyword research tool but also gives you a lot of autocomplete suggestions that you can use to increase your search traffic.
Here’s how to use it.
Simply enter a keyword of your choice on Google search bar and Google will automatically start showing you all the related keywords that you can use to bring more traffic from Google to your sites.
In the above example, you can see that for the keyword phrase “Goa trip plan”, Google autocomplete is showing a ton of these relevant keywords that you can use within your content or landing pages if you’re dealing with a site which covers those keywords.
Apart from the Google’s autocomplete feature, you can also use Google’s another search feature called “Google related searches” that you normally find at the bottom of the search results pages.
Here’s how it looks like;
In the above illustration, you can see that for the same keyword phrase, Google related searches is showing a ton of useful and highly relevant keywords at the bottom of the search results page.
Likewise, you can use the above both free tools by Google to find a variety of semantic keywords to increase your search traffic and website sales.
4. Using Serpstat
If you’re looking for an affordable yet all in one SEO toolkit, Serpstat is exclusively for you as it offers you a wide range of tools to find ultimate keywords to outrank your competitors.
Here’s a step by step tutorial on how to use Serpstat to find semantic keywords.
Step 1: First things first. You need to get access to this tool (you can click here to activate 7 days free trial from Serpstat, which is exclusively available for Bloggers Passion readers for a limited time).
Step 2: Once you’ve setup your account, go to their dashboard and enter any keyword phrase of your choice from “Related Keywords” tab which is under “Keyword Research” section.
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, there are a ton of related semantic keywords that you can find using Serpstat keyword research tool.
It also gives you keyword metrics like search volume, CPC and competition in PPC to filter out your keyword campaigns.
Step 3: You can also click on the above related keywords (individually) if you want to get even more detailed and comprehensive semantic keyword ideas for your target keyword phrase.
Here’s how it looks like;
So there you go. That’s how you can find a ton of semantic keywords using Serpstat.
What’s the pricing of Serpstat SEO tool?
It offers you 4 pricing plans including Lite, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise. You can find all their pricing plans from here along with their features.
Let’s briefly discuss their basic plans so you’ll get an idea.
Lite plan costs you $55.20/m where you get limits like 4,000 queries per day, 10,000 results per report and 15,000 tracked keywords. You can audit up to 150,000 pages and it is suitable for newbie bloggers.
The standard plan costs you $119.20/m with limits like 4,000 queries per day, 30,000 results per report, cluster research and missing keywords, access to API, and 60,000 tracked keywords.
Click here to activate 7 days free trial from Serpstat (use code bloggerspassion)
If you’re looking for a free keyword research tool, Ubersuggest run by Neil Patel is the BEST fit for you. It’s absolutely free to use and you can get as many keyword ideas you want using this amazing tool.
Here’s how to use Ubersuggest to find relevant semantic keywords for any search phrase.
Step 1: Go to Ubersuggest tool and enter any keywords of your choice.
Step 2: Simply click on Related section to find all the relevant keywords to your target keyword phrase. Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, we entered “paleo diet” as an example to get semantic keyword phrases. Immediately when we clicked on the “Related” section, the tool is showing ius all the relevant keyword phrases.
Step 3: Pick your keywords selectively according to search volume and CPC. Ubersuggest tool gives you keyword metrics such as monthly search volume, CPC, PD (Paid difficulty), SD (SEO difficulty) to evaluate keywords.
Just make sure to find and target keywords with fewer searches and higher CPC for better results.
What is the cost of this tool?
It’s completely free to use. You can sign in with your Google account if you want to get even better features.
The 2 BIG reasons you’re not ranking for a keyword
Have you ever asked yourself why am I not getting first page results for the keywords I’m targeting even after publishing great content?
We’ve the answer for you. Here are 2 major reasons you’re not ranking for a keyword on Google.
Reason 1: You’re competing with authority sites
Competing with high authority sites which have more backlinks, better domain authority and site age can harm you more than help. Google trusts authority sites than newly launched websites. That’s the reason why targeting highly competitive keywords is not helping you in ranking on first page of Google.
If you really want to get first page results for a keyword, pick those keywords with less competition such as 200-500 monthly search volume, low keyword difficulty score and not the other way around.
Reason 2: You’re shoving the same keywords again and again
Keyword stuffing is one of the biggest SEO bad practices which can get your site penalized in Google search results. But still majority of the people (especially the people who are new to SEO) are depending upon keyword stuffing for better search rankings.
What is keyword stuffing anyway?
Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO strategy where you use the same keyword again and again all over your web page in order to get first page rankings.
Gone are the days where Google used to give top priority to the keyword stuffed pages, now Google is no longer is giving importance to those pages. In fact, it will get your site penalized if you’re overdoing it.
What else can you do then?
So what else can you do other than keyword stuffing to get better rankings for your keywords on Google search results? The answer is: start using latent semantic keywords.
Here’s a great video by Rand Fishkin on why using related topics can help you boost your SEO.
How to use LSI keywords within your content for better rankings?
Your job is not done by finding relevant keywords. In fact, your job starts when you’re done with LSI keyword research. The next important thing after doing keyword research is actually using those keywords within the content so you can bring more search traffic.
Here are some of the essential on page SEO elements where you need to insert your relevant keywords to get better SEO rankings.
Quick note: Make sure to insert your semantically-relevant keywords in the following places while creating your blog’s content to increase your search engine traffic quickly.
Blog post headline
Most people don’t know the importance of title tags and they often create headlines without optimizing them for any keywords which is a big mistake. Since title tags are considered as one of the biggest search ranking factors, you must know how to optimize them without hurting your readership.
It’s always better to come up with 3 to 5 headline variations for every blog post you publish and you can use free tools like Portent content generator if you want to come up with amazing title ideas just by inserting your main keyword.
Meta description is what people will read when they are looking for some information using search engines which usually comes under the title tags on search results. Make sure you’re using at least one keyword (which is primarily LSI keyword) to get better rankings. Don’t over optimize, just make it as readable as possible.
H2, H3 tags
One of the most effective ways to optimize your on page is to use as many subheadings as possible by using H2, H3 tags and sprinkle these relevant keywords all over them (with a variety of keyword phrases). These H2, H3 tags are weighed highly in Google search and they will also appear if they are optimized well for particular keywords.
Image alt tags
Google gives your image alt tags as much important as your content keyword optimization. So if you’re publishing a blog post, make sure to include as many appealing images as possible (at least one per each post) and use your primary keyword within the image ALT tag to better optimize your content.
Blog post URL
You should make sure your URL structure and blog post’s URL is short and sweet. More importantly your URL should have optimized keyword if you want better rankings. Your URL is what gets shown on both your site and on search engines search results so the better you optimize it the better results you can get.
Most experts say that you don’t have to worry about keyword density but it will definitely plays some key role. But don’t go overboard: to play safe, you can keep your keyword density under 1% (1 time in 100 words with lots of LSI keyword variations, without using the same keyword phrase repeatedly).
Internal linking helps search engine crawlers to crawl your pages deeply which is good for both SEO and your site’s indexing. So whenever you publish a new blog post, make sure to add relevant links to your old blog posts.
Similarly, also start linking out to other bloggers content which is highly useful and relevant to your blog’s topic. Later you can use blogger outreach strategy to get incoming links which is a great promotional tactic to get links, traffic and build relationships.
Length of the blog post
The length of your content really plays a huge role. Take our own blog for example: we have quadrupled our search traffic within 3 years after publishing detailed content with over 2000+ words.
So if you want to rank for these semantically relevant keywords, start spending more time and money on creating high quality long form of content (and it will also become easier for you to sprinkle these keywords if you’re writing long content).
Here’s a great video by Brian Dean on how to do on page SEO better.
How to get more traffic to your old or dead content with LSI keywords?
Here are few action elements for you where you can bring traffic from search engines by using relevant keywords within them.
Step 1: Find underperforming blog posts
Look for all the pages such as blog posts, normal web pages which are giving you less traffic or zero traffic from search engines.
You can use tools like Google analytics to easily find all your blog’s content which is not performing well. That way you’ll be easily able to find both top performing and underperforming content on your website.
Step 2: Start LSI keyword research for the underperforming keywords
Once you’re done with the research of finding your old and dead blog posts which are not sending you any traffic from search engines, it’s time to begin LSI keyword research.
You just need to take care of optimizing each and every blog post for 1 particular keyword and then start finding semantically relevant keywords around it.
Step 3: Update your old posts with semantic keywords
Now it’s time for you to start updating your old and dead blog’s content with new and fresh latent semantically-relevant keywords. The key here is to improve your overall content so you can easily include a ton of useful and relevant keywords to get more search engine traffic.
For example, if a old blog post (which is not at all sending you even 10 visitors a month) consists of 500 words in it with mostly outdated information. Either you can redirect it using 301 redirects to a page which is highly informative on your blog or you can simply start making it detailed with;
- More fresh content
- Better linking (internal links)
- Better headlines and on page optimization etc
The key here is to improve your overall content for your old posts instead of just stuffing it with relevant keywords.
Step 4: Build more backlinks
No matter how great your content is or how good your LSI keyword research is, it won’t help your content to rank higher in Google search results without backlinks.
Did you know that almost all the top 10 results for most of the keywords across all industries have at least 1 link pointing to the page? Yes, backlinks play a key role in getting top rankings on Google.
One of the widely used link building tactics by most SEO experts is that uncovering your competitors common backlink sources. You can use tools like SEMrush to easily find all the backlink sources of your competitors. According to top SEO blogs like Moz, it’s always proven that there’s a strong relationship between your Google rankings and links.
You simply need to enter their URL and SEMrush will automatically show you the backlink analysis of any website easily along with the backlink sources (from which websites they are getting links from). That way you can approach the blog owners to build links for your site too either by doing guest posting, blogger outreach, using skyscraper technique etc.
If you want to know more of such great link building strategies, read more from here.
Step 5: Monitor the results
What’s the point of doing LSI keyword research, creating in-depth content and building backlinks if you don’t track your SEO metrics? You’ll never know how your website is performing on search engines like Google without monitoring few important metrics right?
Here are some of the important SEO metrics that you need to spy on;
- Your keyword rankings
- Your keyword positions (are they going down or up?)
- Your search traffic for the keywords you’re targeting
You can use tools like SEMrush to easily monitor all your SEO metrics which are mentioned above or you can also use free tools such as SERPS.com, RankTrackr etc to track your keyword rankings on Google search.
How to create an LSI keyword strategy for better long term results
Let’s now talk about the most essential thing of all: creating an LSI keyword strategy. It is what you need if you want to find better performing keywords to increase your search traffic and overall website sales. Here are few of the important tips you can use to layout a solid keyword strategy to grow your SEO and build a profitable blog.
Understand your target audience search intent
Here’s an example that will teach you about your target audience search intent.
Search intent: “apple”
Matching LSI keywords:
- Apple store
- Apple iPhone etc
Irrelevant semantic keywords:
- Microsoft downloads
- Microsoft update etc
Always keep your main keyword in mind before doing LSI keyword research
There’s no point in doing LSI keyword research without targeting a primary keyword of your choice. So get to know what your primary keywords are before you start finding LSI keywords to grow your organic traffic.
Don’t shove your keywords within your content
Stop keyword stuffing. It is one of the bad SEO practices that can get your site penalized in Google search. Instead of shoving keywords, use them naturally and sprinkle as many long tail keywords as you can for better search rankings.
It’s not necessary to use the exact match keywords
Most bloggers use the same keyword phrases that they find while doing keyword research. It doesn’t give you good results when it comes to optimizing your posts naturally.
You don’t have to use the exact same phrase matching keywords either. Google is smart enough to know what your content is all about and gives you better rankings if your content is valuable.
How much time does it usually take to see better results?
This is one of the most interesting questions most people ask: how much time does it really take for LSI keywords to start sending you more visitors from search engines?
The obvious answer is: it depends on a lot of factors and even SEO gurus can’t tell you the exact time and duration of ranking for a keyword.
But here’s a better and detailed answer to give you understanding about how things work.
It will usually take 1 month to 4 months to start getting traffic from search engines to the content where you’ve added semantic keywords. It mainly depends on how less competition and difficulty the keywords you’re targeting.
Here’s a case study done by Neil Patel which gives you more clarity.
From the above illustration, you’ll notice that, to get top 3 search results for a keyword, it usually takes around 100 days (3 to 4 months) at average.
And one more important thing to take notice that, you’ll get faster results i.e more search engine traffic if you’re targeting LSI keywords with less monthly search volume (preferably 500 average monthly searches) and low keyword difficulty (with 40 or less). You can find keyword difficulty by using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush etc.
But if you’re targeting bit competitive keywords with bigger keyword difficulty score, it will take more time, depending on the following things;
- The number of backlinks you’re building to the page (blog post or landing page)
- The quality of your content (usually long form of content with more than 2000+ words ranks well in search engines).
So there you go. One can’t really tell you much time it will usually take the search engine traffic to kick in. It all depends on the important factors such as your backlinks, quality of the content, the keyword difficulty etc.
FAQs About Latent Semantic Keywords
Let’s now talk about some of the frequently asked questions around latent semantic keywords in SEO so you can better understand their usage.
What are some of the best LSI tools for increasing search traffic?
Here’s a list of some of the great LSO tools that you can use for finding semantic keywords in almost any industry.
- LSI Graph (freemium)
- SEMrush (premium tool which starts at $100 per month but worth every penny)
- Google autocomplete (completely free)
- LSIKeywords (freemium tool)
- Keywordtool.io (freemium tool and its free version is great as well)
What are semantic keywords?
Semantically related keywords are those words or phrases that are related to each other conceptually. For instance, for a keyword like “apple laptop,” some semantically related keywords could be: Macbook Air, Macbook Pro etc.
Why are LSI keywords important for SEO?
The biggest reason to use these keywords is to improve the overall quality of your content. Not only using these semantic keywords can improve the overall quality of your pages but they also make both search engines and your website users happy.
Here are some of the reasons why they are so important for SEO.
- Google can easily understand the relevancy and context of your web pages when you adopt to LSI
- They provide strong contextual information (and meaning) of a particular search query or topic
- They help you get higher search rankings and add more weightage when compared to keyword stuffing
- You can rank for multiple keyword phrases with a similar context or meaning when you start using semantic keywords (so more organic traffic to your sites from search engines)
Is keyword research still important in 2020?
Keyword research is the process of finding better keywords to increase your search rankings and sales. Yes, it is extremely important and still relevant in 2020 because it allows you to see the volume and competition for the keywords you want to rank for.
Above all, keyword research helps you find low competitive and highly profitable keywords to increase your overall search rankings, sales and conversions.
How to use semantic keywords within your blog posts?
Keyword optimization is extremely important and here are some of the prominent places where you can include your semantic keywords for better organic rankings.
- Page title
- Heading tags such as h2, h3 and so on
- Meta description
- Images alt text
- First and last paragraphs of body text
Browse more SEO Tutorials:
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- SEO Case Study: How Long It Took Me to Get Top Rankings on Google
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- Ultimate Guide to Increase Domain Authority of Your Website in 2020
Final Thoughts On Semantic Keywords
Finding semantically related keywords is the most effective way to optimize your blog posts naturally. Finding these keywords is not that hard when you have access to the right tools like SEMrush, LSI Graph etc. Just make sure to find out what tool works best for you and stick with it.
LSI relevant keywords are great for 2 reasons: they allow you to optimize your content for Google naturally and also help Google to better understand what your content is all about.
So what are your thoughts about semantic keywords? Do you have a strategy for doing LSI keyword research? If you’ve any questions, do let us know in the comments.