What are LSI Keywords? And Why They Matter For SEO?

LSI Keywords: Details & Guidelines. The Complete Guide to LSI Keywords. What is Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and Why Does it Matter for Your SEO Strategy? In fact, LSI keywords help you to increase your organic search engine traffic and improve your ranking.
In order for your site to drive more organic traffic, optimizing your content for search engines and humans at the same time is necessary. Search engine optimization standards have faced multiple shifts along the years, and gone are the times when keyword filled content and staffed meta tags actually worked for boosted SEO. 

Google has implemented new algorithms, now processing keyword topics vs. relevant content, the progress resulting in a content quality upgrade. For successful SEO results, your content needs to be topic-based, informative and created for humans, not just overstuffed with keywords. 

Keywords use alone can be quite limiting today, new and improved SEO trends emerging over these last few years. Google’s search engine spiders recognize the importance of LSI Keywords, these becoming more relevant for SEO optimized content since 2015.

What Are LSI Keywords (and Do They Matter)?

But what exactly are LSI keywords? How can they actually help your search engine optimization practices? How can you effectively implement LSI? You might have a lot of questions on the matter, and the following details will clarify the subject for you: 

What Does LSI Stand For? 

First things first - what does the term LSI actually stand for? LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing. The term initially appeared when Google released and implemented a new algorithm in 2004, with the main purpose of providing users with results that resembled their search inquiry. 

The algorithm was based on a program designed to learn what synonyms were, analyzing the context of a word. By implementing this algorithm, Google meant to change its organic search results - an improvement was targeted here. 

Instead of looking at just one keyword on a site page, the search engine analyzed the entire content. 

What Exactly Are LSI Keywords Today? 

As suggested above, Latent Semantic Indexing is considered a mathematical method of identifying patterns in the relationship between the words of an unstructured collection of text. Therefore, the keywords that are found using this particular technique are referred to as Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords or LSI Keywords. 

A simplified explanation here would be word phrases related to your initial keyword. These can be substitutions, synonyms or related phrases, any word that is semantically correlated to your primary term. LSI keywords can also often be words that are frequently found in the same context. 

Example: When writing a blog post about “Windows”, LSI keywords, such as “Windows 10”, “Microsoft”, “Bill Gates” and other similar mentions can be necessary. Google will thus be able to differentiate your content from posts searches correlated to “home windows”, “window locks”, “window treatments” and so on.

LSI keywords, such as “Windows 10”

The same goes for any other major keyword. If you want to write a post about the company “Apple”, your page should include terms such as “apple news', ‘iPhone X’, 'apple stores' etc. This way search engines will know your content is referring to ‘Apple’ the company and not the fruit. 

LSI Keywords versus Long-tail Keywords 

Considering their similarities, without much expertise on the subject, you could easily mistake LSI keywords with long-tail ones. They aren’t, however, the same thing. 

The main difference between a long-tail keyword and LSI keyword is that the first one is meant to narrow down the scope of a Google search, while the latter actually broadens the scope with related phrases. 

Long-tails usually are lengthening versions of a frequently used keyword combination, whereas LSIs can be semantically related, without actually incorporated the main term into the search phrase. You want to use long-tails to meet a searcher’s intention, and an LSI to help search engines know what your content is actually about. 

Why Do LSI Keywords Matter for SEO? 

With Google’s algorithm updates, user searches can benefit from more accurate results. You will no longer be able to obtain the Google rankings you desire by relying on a few main keywords or on keyword density alone. Strategically incorporating LSI keywords in your written content has become critical nowadays, as far as SEO is concerned. 

Let’s revise the main advantages of LSI keyword use for SEO purpose: 

1. Allows Google’s Algorithm to Determine Content Quality and Relevance to Search Term 

The main objective of using LSI keywords is to actually supplement a more powerful contextual meaning and information to a specific topic. By inserting search phrases semantically related to your main keyword in your page’s block of text, you are helping search engines obtain a better understanding of the said site section, of your services, products, or company in general. 

Google aims to improve the match between what a user is searching and the results they obtain, and with the algorithm targeting these types of keywords, it’s easier to ensure that optimal match. LSI was created to help people find what they are looking for on Google, without being limited to the choice of phrasing used in their search. 

Nowadays, topics are what build a search engine result, in comparison with the keyword stuffing method used back in the day. Because Google values LSI keywords use, site owners and SEO specialists are encouraged to maintain top-standard content quality. 

If your site’s content is qualitative, and relevant to specific phrases, you will thus rank better, boosting site traffic. 

2. LSI Keyword Implementation outweighs Keyword Density 

Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword pops up in your written content being measured as a percentage. As mentioned above, there were times when Google analyzed a page’s keyword density and ranked it accordingly. The more keywords you added in a block of text, the higher your rankings would automatically have been. 

Well, since marketers started to misuse keyword “stuffing”, and a lot of spamming occurred, Google pursued some necessary changes. Today, relying on repetitive keywords can actually put your site at risk, being exposed to potential penalties. With LSI keywords, on the other hand, you are able to add closely related phrases and words, without fearing a penalty from Google. 

Use terms that make sense to site visitors, sound natural and are correlated to the main topic of your written content. 

Google has started to remove keyword density from its ranking factors, so that means LSI keyword implementation outweighs keyword density, remaining an effective SEO practice in 2019 and likely in the upcoming years. 

3. Increases Content Credibility 

One of your goals, when using keywords in your content, is to avoid being marked as spam. Terms semantically related to your primary keywords will increase your content’s credibility “in the eyes” of search engines. 

You will be getting more rankings, resulting in higher click-through rates, leading to better site credibility and authority. 

4. Decreases Bounce Rates 

LSI keywords use goes beyond the average SEO purposes. Preventing a site page from ranking for the wrong phrases and terms will also decrease bounce rates. 

When site visitors enter your platform searching for a specific topic, and come across irrelevant content, they will automatically close your website. 

Let’s say you want to write an article for your blog section about the Disney movie “Cars”. Without contextual keywords, a Google user searching for cars (vehicles), might stumble upon your page. The same term can easily refer to two entirely different topics.

LSI keywords use goes beyond the average SEO purposes.

Here Google will take LSI keywords, such as ‘3D computer-animated comedy film’, ‘Walt Disney Pictures’, ‘talking cars’ or ‘voice cast’, to differentiate your type of content from posts referring to autos. It removes potential ambiguity concerns.

Here Google will take LSI keywords, such as ‘3D computer-animated comedy film’

5. Increase On-page Retention 

LSI keywords stand at the base of meaningful, high-quality content – content quality is directly linked to user engagement. 

With these keywords, you can make the flow of your written content valuable and natural, and determine visitors to spend more time on your pages. User retention comes as a natural outcome. 

How Do I Use LSI Keywords for Website? 

So now you have some basic knowledge of what LSI stands for, why you need them for content quality and how they can help you meet your SEO objectives. But how can you actually use LSI keywords for your website? There are basically two important steps you need to take here: 

A# Finding the Right LSI Keywords 

1. Industry Knowledge

If you have been in the industry for a long time, you probably know the most common terms to describe a task, a service or a product. Industry knowledge is usually a good starting point in LSI keyword research. 

Using your expertise, think about all the different terms your audience might be using to find the topic you’re targeting. 

2. Google Autocomplete 

Possibly the fastest and easiest way to find LSI keywords is going to Google’s search page, typing your primary term, and checking out the options that appear on the drop-down menu. Google provides you with some of the best matches to your initial phrase. You can use these suggestions for starters. 
fastest and easiest way to find LSI keywords is going to Google’s search page

3. Google Related Searches 

Coming as an addition to Google autocomplete, related search will also provide you with some great pointers on LSI keywords. Just search for your primary term, scroll down to the end of the first page of search results, and you will come across related searches, as you can see in this screenshot: 

Google related searches

4. LSI Graph 

For more extensive keyword research demands, you have a wide variety of useful tools available, designed to make SEO easy for everyone. One of the most popular options here is LSI Graph. This tool helps you find alternatives to your primary phrase or term, returning multiple results. Using this resource, you can access a broader range of search terms. It’s easy to use and comes free of charge. 

5. Niche Laboratory 

Running a keyword through Niche Laboratory will provide you with a lot of useful information. The tool gives you an overview of your searched term, helping you find new ideas and topics based on your primary keyword. You can also access results on the most popular websites from your specific niche, and their keyword tags, meta description and so on. 

6. SEOPressor WordPress Plugin 

This is an On Page SEO Analysis plugin that will check your site for various optimization factors. Among the many features it has available, you also have an LSI keyword search option. You can type up to 3 main keywords, and provides you with a list of LSI suggestions based on your initial 3 terms. 

B# Implementation of LSI Keywords 

When it comes to searching, finding and selecting the best LSI keywords, tools are plenty. However, regardless of what method you’ve used to find the perfect matches for your topic, there’s still an important step you need to take here – implementation. 

Keyword placement is highly relevant for the quality of your content. Include the LSIs in the following: 

  • Page title – while your main keyword will, of course, take priority in your title tag, if it’s possible, use some highly relevant LSI keywords as well. 
  • Article headings – the header tags should contain LSI keywords that allow you to describe what each paragraph is about. Google pays attention to the content’s headings (H1, H2, H3), and LSI keyword will help you break down your written content into sections. 
  • Anchor texts – the text that links to another web page is called anchor text. If you want to make your anchors more reliable, switch from your primary keyword to an LSI alternative. Diverse anchor texts will prevent search engine algorithms from telling Google you are forcing certain keywords. 
  • First and last paragraphs – highly related LSI keywords should also be found in the beginning and end of an article. This will allow you to strengthen the message you are trying to convey through your content, and will also help you maintain the natural flow of the post. 
  • Titles or alt texts of images – when you’re uploading an image on one of your pages, renaming it is necessary for boosted SEO. Making the Alt Text descriptive with the help of LSI keywords will ensure natural optimization. 


These are the main factors you should be aware of when it comes to LSI factors and their importance. Using these types of keywords in your content will help search engine obtain a better understanding of your context, resulting in higher rankings for your website. Focus on improving the quality of your on-site content and make the most of LSI keywords.

Melanie Sovann
She born in 1990 in the greater LA area, is a seasoned writer and blogger, passionate about a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from technology to sociology. She is currently a writer and editor at Grab My Essay and loves every second of it.
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