How to Find & Use LSI Keywords to Boost Your SEO
Do you want to quickly and easily boost your search engine rankings?
Of course you do. As a marketer, SEO or content writer, you’ve likely implemented the classic tactics to rank. For example, you’ve done keyword research, implemented the technical components of on-page SEO and so on.
But, there’s a lesser-known SEO tactic that will boost the SEO power of your content even more. The best part? It’s easy and will take minutes to execute.
We’re talking about incorporating LSI keywords into your content. This blog post will show you exactly how to find (and use) them so that you rank higher in Google.
What Are LSI Keywords?
LSI keywords are keywords that are semantically related to your target keyword. They provide context and help to match your content with search intent so that Google offers up the most relevant search results to users.
Let’s assume your target keyword is ‘notebook.’ Is your content about paper notebooks, notebook computers or the romantic film, The Notebook?
By adding LSI keywords like ‘notebook laptop’ (keywords can be single-word keywords or contain multiple words) Google easily understands that you’re talking about notebook computers.
LSI, which stands for latent semantic indexing, is an algorithm that Google uses to determine the search intent of a given page. So, LSI keywords help Google’s algorithm determine the context of your content more efficiently.
It does this through three things: phase correlations, synonyms and volume.
This then allows Google to serve readers the content the content they’re looking for. This means that you also decrease your bounce rate and increase on-page time (which, again, boosts your SEO) in the process.
But, there are other benefits of LSI keywords.
Since LSI keywords are often long-tail keywords, they have a lot of potential to bring organic traffic to your site.
Further, by replacing an abundance of target keywords with LSI keywords, your content also becomes more readable. This then reduces your risk of Google penalizing you for keyword stuffing (while also increasing on-page time).
How to Find LSI Keywords To Boost Your Rankings
There’s more than one way to find LSI keywords. Whether you search through Google or use an LSI keyword generator tool, there are a variety of strategies to choose from:
1. Look at Google’s Related Searches
Have you ever noticed Google’s ‘related searches’ at the bottom of the SERP?
This method generates a great list of LSI keywords that people have actually searched for (and that Google considers to be very relevant) – all within seconds.
Here’s how to find LSI keywords using this method:
1. Begin by entering your keyword into Google search:
2. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the ‘Searches Related to’ section:
That’s all there is to it.
This method will also help you to rank for long-tail keywords that you might have missed elsewhere, such as Google Keyword Planner.
2. Use Google Search
You can also use Google search itself to generate a list of LSI keywords. You can do this in multiple ways:
1. First, you can use Google autocomplete. Simply enter your keyword into Google search:
Additionally, you can also enter your target keyword into the search bar and then scroll down to find the bold words (choosing, of course, the keywords that aren’t your actual target keyword).
Google finds these terms very similar to the one you originally searched for.
Keep in mind that you may need to scroll down the page to find them.
3. The LSIGraph Tool
The LSIGraph tool was specifically designed to generate a list of LSI keywords. The great thing about it is that not only is it simple to use, but it also generates an expansive list of LSI keywords.
All you need to do is plug your target keyword into the search bar and then click ‘generate,’ just as you will see below:
Wincher is a robust keyword ranking tracker that, while paid, offers an expansive list of LSI keywords to choose from.
Given that it’s lesser known than tools like SEMrush (see below), it is a great option to find underutilized LSI keywords that your competitors may not have discovered.
It’s also very affordable.
To use Wincher, sign in to your account. From your dashboard, select the ‘Keyword research’ tab. From here, enter your target keyword into the search box. Wincher will immediately generate a list of relevant LSI keywords to choose from.
While you will see Google Keyword Planner as a way to find LSI keywords below, many SEOs work exclusively with paid tools like SEMrush to do their keyword research. This is exactly why we’ve included it as another option on the list.
There are a variety of ways you can do this, but the best one is to use their ‘Keyword Research’ tool.
Start by entering your target keyword into the search bar and clicking ‘Try it:’
From here, the tool will generate a list of keywords. Select ‘Phrase Match’ from the menu:
Clicking on ‘View full report’ will give you access to a more exhaustive of potential LSI keywords to choose from.
6. Use Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a classic keyword research tool – one that many of you likely started out with and are familiar with.
While Keyword Planner is typically used for AdWords advertisers, it is still another option for finding LSI keywords. Of course, keep in mind that you will likely be using a lot of the same keywords that your competitors are using.
As always, you need to ensure you have an Adwords account.
To find LSI keywords, start by logging into your Adwords account. From there, click ‘Tools’ from the main menu and then click on Keyword Planner’ from the drop-down menu on the left-hand side:
Select ‘Find New keywords’ and then enter your main keyword into the Keyword Planner. Click ‘Get started:’
The Keyword Planner will generate a list of related keywords that you can add to your content.
How to Use LSI Keywords
Here’s how to implement LSI keywords into your content:
LSI Keywords Should Supplement Your Target Keyword
Above all, remember that LSI keywords should supplement your target keyword. They are not meant to replace your target keyword.
Do Not Keyword Stuff
Generally speaking, a lot of the same rules for target keywords also apply to LSI keywords. Along those lines, the first rule of thumb is to ensure that you don’t keyword stuff – i.e. add an excessive amount of keywords into your content.
If you add too many, you put yourself at risk of keyword stuffing and ultimately getting penalized by Google as a result.
Instead, choose the most relevant LSI keywords and place them naturally and relatively sparingly throughout your content. If a sentence with a target keyword reads awkwardly, remove it. The awkward placement of the LSI keyword will not help your SEO efforts.
In general, aim to include at least a couple of LSI keywords in your content. However, don’t overuse them.
LSI Keywords Best Practices
While you want to sprinkle LSI keywords throughout your content, there are also some optimal places to place them as well:
- Header Tags. Google pays extra attention to headings, so ensure that you use LSI keywords in your subheadings (H1, H2, and H3 tags). While you can use LSI keywords to guide how you break down your content, use them in a natural way above all else.
- Anchor Text. Anchor text is a great place for LSI keywords because they read naturally.
- First and Last Paragraphs. Just as you would with your target keyword, the first and last paragraph of your text is another optimal place to insert LSI keywords.
- Meta Description. Choose LSI keywords that are relevant and aren’t just synonyms of your target keyword. However, because the meta description should be enticing, ensure it’s readable and doesn’t include too many keywords. In general, aim to include at least one LSI keyword in your meta description.
- Title Tag/URL While you should ensure that you include your target keyword in the title tag and URL, you can also include LSI keywords in your title tag and URL. However, they need to be highly relevant to your topic. They can even be synonyms of your target keyword. In many cases, your LSI keyword may be a long-tail keyword. If so, it’s preferable to just include the LSI keyword in the title tag because it will help to rank for both your target keyword and the long-tail keyword.
- Image Alt Tags. All images should have alt tags; again, this is another optimal place for LSI keywords provided you don’t keyword stuff.
Lastly, remember that LSI keywords aren’t just synonyms (although they can be). In other words, LSI keywords shouldn’t just be keywords that mean the same thing as your target keyword.
A good way to think of it is that LSI keywords should capture your topic in its entirety. Of course, a good LSI keyword strategy should also include a sprinkling of synonyms as well, but this will likely come naturally anyway.
Wrapping It Up
Adding LSI keywords to your content is an easy way to boost the SEO of any page by helping crawlers understand your content and ultimately boosting on-page time.
While many SEO tactics can take hours to implement (ahem, link building), you can find and use LSI keywords in minutes.
Of course, while LSI keywords can boost your SEO, remember that the same rules that apply to target keywords also apply to LSI keywords. That means that LSI keywords should be placed naturally and relatively sparingly throughout your text. If you do this, you can make it much easier for Google to understand what your content is about, which helps your SEO efforts.