Keywords play a significant role in online content today. Without keywords, it becomes difficult for search engines to index and organize web pages on their SERPs. It also becomes difficult for human readers to fully understand the purpose of content. Basically, without keywords, online content loses its value.
If you’re a content creator, SEO expert, or site owner, you’re likely already aware of that. That’s why this article shifts its focus to another type of keyword - LSI keywords.
What are those? How do they relate to SEO? And how can you generate LSI keywords? In this article, you'll discover the answers to these questions. Let's jump right in.
What are LSI Keywords?
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords refer to those terms in content that are closely related to the article’s “main keyword.”
Sounds confusing? If so, consider what we mean by “main keyword” here. The main keyword is just as it sounds - the main phrase or term that you want to rank your content for.
For example, say you developed a web content that talks about the different types of dog breeds. Of course, in that scenario, your main keyword would be “dog breeds.”
So, in that case, LSI keywords are phrases that relate to dog breeds. Do synonyms come to mind? Yes, some synonyms may serve as LSI keywords. However, not all synonyms can be classified as LSI keywords.
That's because LSI keywords go beyond serving as mere synonyms for the main keyword. They also help to add more context to the main keyword. For example, an LSI keyword for the above content may be "dog breeds that don't shed." instead of "canine breeds." But why are LSI phrases important? Or rather, are they even necessary?
Are LSI Keywords Important for SEO?
To answer that question, we’ll have to first consider how Google’s search engine works.
When a user enters a query, the engine returns the pages that are most relevant to the user’s query. How? By matching the phrases used in the query with those in the web pages. For example, when you search “10 most popular cars in 2023,” the returning page will include this:
As seen in the image above, the pages all feature the keyword "cars." Now, that's the gist. But supposing you substitute the term "cars" with "automobile" or "vehicles," what would happen then? Of course, you mean the same thing. But will search engines understand that?
From the above image, results with the terms “cars” and “vehicle” both show up for the query “automobile.” This raises the question: How does the algorithm know that the three terms refer to the same thing? Yes, a popular conclusion by many is that Google uses LSI technology to identify phrases that relate to each other to provide users with relevant answers to their queries.
With that in mind, let’s identify two reasons why you should be using LSI keywords when creating online content.
1. It Helps Search Engines to Better Understand Your Content
As seen from the explanation above, it’s reasonable to conclude Google uses LSI technology. However, that fact is not officially confirmed yet. But regardless, inserting LSI keywords in your content will help the algorithm better understand what your article is about.
When you use LSI terms in addition to your main keyword, you also increase your ranking when a user makes use of those “LSI terms” instead of the “main keyphrase” in their query.
2. It Enhances Your Content Readability
Keyword stuffing is a major issue among SEOs. It’s a black-hat practice that not only harms a site but discourages human readers from clicking your page. Though intentional in most cases, keyword stuffing may also happen unknowingly. This happens when you use the same phrases too much in an article.
One way to get around this is by replacing some of those phrases with their LSI terms. By doing so, your content will be much easier to read and Google will always promote such types of content.
In short, LSI keywords are important because they help to improve your SEO. But how do you find LSI keywords? Well, you can make use of keyword tools. But you don’t even need to go down that route. Google itself offers features that you can take advantage of to generate LSI key phrases.
How to Find LSI Keywords (Top 3 Free LSI Keywords Tools)
1. Google’s Related Searches
At the bottom of every Google SERP, you’ll find a box titled “Related Searches. As the name implies, it shows terms or phrases that are related to the original query. These terms are available to help users learn more about the topic they are searching for.
For SEOs, this box is a haven of keywords. It helps users to identify other related terms they can rank for. In other words, LSI terms. For the search question "LSI keywords," these are the terms under the Related Searches section:
Here, you have "LSI keywords tool, LSI keywords benefits, and LSI keywords full form." These are not simply synonyms. The terms add more context to the main keyword. That's what LSI keywords are.
2. Google’s People Also Ask
The never-ending toggle menu on Google SERP is the People Also Ask feature. Like the Related Searches section, this feature allows you to explore more on a topic. They also allow you to find terms related to the original query. For the query, “LSI keywords,” notice what Google’s People Also Ask brings up:
3. Google’s Autocomplete
Perhaps the most effective of the three when it comes to LSI terms, Google’s autocomplete is a feature that SEOs can use to find LSI terms. You only need to type your primary keywords and see what suggestions Google brings to your screen.
Wrapping Up: The Proper Use of LSI Keywords
LSI keywords are here to stay. Yes, that’s regardless of whether it’s an official ranking factor of Google or not. And that’s because it adds more value to web content. Remember, the primary aim of Google is to satisfy human users. That’s why you have to create content that appeals to your human readers.
When using LSI keywords, ensure you don’t overdo it. That's because when it becomes too much, it’s no different from keyword stuffing. And when looking for keywords, the above 3 Google tools will help. But remember, the more natural the LSI terms, the better.
What does that mean? Simply create content that appeals to a human audience. Most times, you may even have the LSI terms for your main keyword at the back of your head. By doing all this, you’ll be making full use of Latent Semantic Indexing keywords.