LSI Keywords for SEO: The ONLY Guide You’ll Ever Need In 2018
If you’re into SEO, 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. Here’s where LSI keywords come into play which helps you boost your search rankings by using relevant keywords.
Let’s talk about what are LSI keywords, benefits of LSI keywords and how to find them easily in this post.
Table of Contents
- How to Find LSI Keywords for SEO And Use Them To Rank Higher on Google
- How to find LSI keywords to increase your SEO and search traffic?
- How to use LSI keywords within your content for better rankings?
- How to create an LSI keyword strategy for better long term results
How to Find LSI Keywords for SEO And Use Them To Rank Higher on Google
Before we talk about how to do LSI keyword research to increase your search engine rankings, it’s better to first talk about what are LSI keywords and the benefits of using them.
What are LSI keywords?
LSI keywords are also known as “Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords” which are related to a particular keyword.
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, LSI 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 LSI keywords are synonyms for the keywords.
For example, “cute”, “adorable”, “appealing”, “charming” are all different words but they all have the same meaning. This is what we call LSI keywords.
In the above example, you can see that we entered a keyword phrase “best digital marketing companies” and Google is showing “digital marketing agency” in top 3 search results.
So what did you understand? Even though we’re using different words, Google is showing us highly relevant (and not exact match keywords) pages in the search results page.
That says the importance of using LSI keywords which is the main purpose of writing this post on LSI keyword research.
How to find LSI keywords to increase your SEO and search traffic?
There are so many free tools out there starting from Google autocomplete to LSI Graph to find LSI 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.
Using SEMrush to find LSI keywords
Let’s first start finding LSI keyword with one of our favorite SEO tools called SEMrush. If you want to find benefits of using this tool, here’s a detailed review of it.
Quick tip: Here’s a 30 days free trial (worth $99) where you can get access to all of the SEMrush features and build a list of LSI keywords. So get it and follow the below tutorial on finding LSI keywords using SEMrush.
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.
Step 2: In this example, let’s take “Long tail SEO” as the keyword and SEMrush is showing the following results.
Step 3: Evaluate your keyword metrics and pick the keywords with less competition to grow your search traffic and sales!
Using LSI Graph for finding LSI keywords
Let’s now talk about how you can use a free tool called LSI graph for finding LSI keywords.
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 LSI keywords.
In the above example, we used the keyword “apple” and immediately the tool will suggest you a ton of LSI keywords which are relevant to the main keyword.
Step 3: Enjoy! Build a list of all the useful LSI keywords and start using them within your content for better rankings (we’ll discuss this later in the same post).
Using Google Autocomplete for LSI keywords
One of the easiest ways to find LSI 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 (also known as LSI 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 LSI 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 as “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 LSI 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 LSI keywords to increase your search traffic and also website sales.
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 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 LSI keywords.
What are the benefits of using LSI keywords?
We’ve discussed above about why you’re not ranking for any keywords. Let’s now talk about how using LSI keywords within your content can actually help along with its benefits.
- You don’t have to keyword stuff anymore if you’re using LSI keywords. You can still rank for a variety of keywords without keyword stuffing which also gives a better reading experience to your audience.
- LSI keywords 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 LSI 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 LSI keywords.
Here’s a great video by Rand Fishkin on why using related topics can help you boost your SEO.
So there you go, the benefits of using LSI keywords are only increasing with Google giving more importance to better user experience in search. Let’s now talk about how you can find LSI keywords that increase your search engine traffic to your sites.
LSI Keyword Research Tools
As we discussed above, here’s a list of the awesome LSI keyword research tools that you can use for finding great LSI keywords.
- LSI Graph
- Google autocomplete
- LSI keywords
Let’s now talk about them briefly so you’ll get an idea about their benefits and features.
#1. LSI Graph
Hands down, LSI graph is the incredible LSI keyword research tool which is free to use and it is used by thousands of SEO enthusiasts worldwide.
One of the best benefits of using this tool is that instead of just showing you some synonyms for the keywords you enter, this tool actually shows you semantically related keywords to make your keyword research better to build targeted traffic to your site.
Here are some of the pros of using LSI Graph
- Free to use
- Gives you a ton of LSI keyword suggestions
- Widely used
- Considered as #1 LSI keyword research tool
- Limited access to only 2 searches a day (free version)
SEMrush is what we use here at Bloggers Passion for doing LSI keyword research, keyword analysis and many more. It’s one of the best tools for increasing your SEO rankings.
- Keyword research made easy
- Keyword metrics like search volume, related keywords etc
- Perform competitor analysis to find their best performing keywords and many more.
- Expensive tool which costs you $100 a month (but it is worth every single penny though considering the fact that you get access to a ton of useful SEO tools)
- Takes some time for you to get used to their features.
#3. Google autocomplete
This is the search bar that you use on Google which automatically gives suggestions while you type.
- Developed by Google itself
- Free to use
- Unlimited keyword suggestions
- Easy to use (just type and get results)
- No search volume or keyword difficulty score metrics (you’ve to rely upon other tools for those metrics).
#4. LSI keywords
Another great keyword research tool for finding LSI keywords and a great alternative to LSI graph tool as well.
- Find a ton of LSI keywords easily
- Free to use
- Easy user interface
- Not much accurate when it comes to showing keyword metrics
#5. Keyword Tool
This is one of the widely used tool by bloggers and SEO enthusiasts all over the globe for finding long tail keywords. If you’re looking to add some long tail keywords naturally within your content, this tool is perfect for you.
- Even with the free version, you can get up to 750 long tail keyword suggestions which is really good.
- Widely used keyword research tool
- Considered as the #1 alternative to Google’s keyword planner
- Free version has limited features
So why should you be using the above LSI keyword research tools?
The above tools are free (except SEMrush) and widely used and here are some of the great reasons to use them for LSI keyword research.
- Fast and easy
- Free to use
- Unlimited usage (there’s no limit on how many keywords you use unlike other keyword research tools)
The only drawback is that you don’t get any keyword metrics such as keyword difficulty score, domain metrics, search volume, competition etc using the above tools.
How to use LSI keywords within your content for better rankings?
Your job is not done by finding LSI 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 LSI keywords to get better SEO rankings.
Quick note: Make sure to insert your LSI 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 LSI 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 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 LSI 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 LSI 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 LSI 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 use the above simple step by step tutorial for finding LSI keywords for your old content too. You just need to take care of optimizing each and every blog post for 1 particular keyword and then start finding LSI keywords around it.
Step 3: Update your old posts with LSI keywords
Now it’s time for you to start updating your old and dead blog’s content with new and fresh LSI keywords. The key here is to improve your overall content so you can easily include a ton of useful and relevant LSI 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 LSI 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.
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 LSI 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 LSI 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 LSI 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 LSI 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 LSI keywords. It mainly depends on how less competition and difficulty the LSI 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.
Final thoughts about LSI keywords for SEO in 2018
Finding LSI keywords is not that hard when you have access to the right tools like SEMrush, LSI Graph etc. Just make sure what tool works best for you and stick with it.
LSI 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 blog is all about.
So what are your thoughts about LSI keywords? Do you have a strategy for doing LSI keyword research? If not, do it now using this tutorial and also let us know your views in the comments.