What are LSI Keywords, are they just Synonyms!?

When it comes to SEO all I knew about LSI keywords was that they were just synonyms of each other and I am sure most of you have the same understanding. I was wrong but I found out what LSI Keywords actually are. 

In this article I will help you understand what LSI keywords actually are and how they impact your SEO. 

What is latent semantic indexing?

Latent Semantic Indexing is a series of mathematical equations developed by Google to understand and evaluate the relationship between different keywords with respect to a primary keyword and it need not be just synonyms! 

For example: 

If your article consists of keywords such as iphone, ipod, ipad, and MacBook. Google search engine will understand that the article has something to do with Apple hence the above mentioned keywords are LSI Keywords of Apple but they are not just synonyms. 

It doesn’t mean that LSI keywords are not synonyms. LSI keywords include synonyms but they are not synonyms alone.

What are LSI Keywords in SEO?

A bunch of keywords that relate to a Primary Keyword in one or the other way, directly or indirectly are called LSI Keywords.

Are LSI Keywords Synonyms?

LSI Keywords might include synonyms but they are not synonyms alone. Synonyms are words that have exactly or nearly the same meaning as another word. For Example Synonyms of the word Men can be Husband, Gents, Boy.

Why are LSI keywords Important and How do they improve the quality of your content?

Keywords are one of the basic ranking signals that helps search engines understand your content and rank them. 

Hence you need to include relevant terms in your content so that you will rank for the target keyword. 

But including the exact keyword should be done only when it makes grammatical sense but if you just try to stuff the exact keyword in every way possible, your content will give bad readability and user experience.

Here is an example of how it would look if you stuff an exact keyword.

Keyword Stuffing
Source: https://themanifest.com/digital-marketing/how-use-latent-semantic-indexing-keywords-boost-your-seo

This process is called Keyword Stuffing. Back in the days website owners used to stuff the exact keywords to rank their website on the first page of google and it used to work!. But it did not make any grammatical sense and gave bad readability and user experience.

Hence in 2004 LSI was introduced and implemented in Google Algorithm where search engines were able to provide relevant results for a search query to its users.

For Example, 

Before the introduction of LSI if you searched for “Laptop under 50,000” google used to show only those pages which had the keyword “Laptop under 50,000” in their content. 

After the introduction of LSI google will also show results such as Laptops for Students, Office Laptops, Gaming Laptops, Laptops under 25000 for the query Laptop under 50000.

This helped Google to provide relevant search results to its users which improved the user experience.

What is keyword stuffing and its Consequences:

As discussed, keyword stuffing is about stuffing a target keyword or a primary keyword as many times as possible so that the content or the page would get ranked for such keywords.

Keyword Stuffing is now termed Black Hat SEO that means Keyword Stuffing is unethical and should not be followed by any webmaster to rank their websites.

In 2021, search engines have become more intelligent and it’s not easy to fool them. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines keyword stuffing will harm your website rankings and google also suggests webmasters to create information rich content and use relevant keywords that delivers better user experience which in turn will boost rankings.

Now Let us Understand how LSI keywords improve the quality of your content.

As we discussed, back in the day Google used to rank pages on the basis of a single keyword which is a Primary Keyword and that led to Keyword Stuffing. Now google has moved beyond targeting a page on the basis of a single keyword basically a Primary Keyword and Google now ranks pages for the relevant keywords as well. 

LSI Keywords
Source: Ahrefs

The above image shows how a content can rank for other relevant keywords along with the Primary Keyword

Hence now you are able to rank pages for multiple keywords that are associated with a Primary Keyword.

When you include relevant keywords in your content, you are now able to go in-depth on a particular topic and cover multiple aspects that are associated with it. This will give in depth knowledge about a topic to the readers.

How to find LSI Keywords and Include them in the content.

Step 1: Understand your topic well

Finding LSI Keywords is not complicated at all! All you need to have is solid knowledge about your topic. After knowing your topic well, brainstorm about the subtopics that are related to your Primary Keyword.

For Example, If your Primary Keyword is Diet plan for Weight Loss, sub topics or LSI keywords can be Supplements for Weight Loss, Calorie Deficit Diet, Diet to lose weight, Fruits and Vegetables for weight loss.

Step 2: Use Google Auto Suggest

If you are confused to come up with relevant  LSI keywords. You can use a simple and free tool called Google Auto Suggest.

Enter your Primary Keyword on Google search bar and it will fetch you relevant keywords.

Google Auto Suggest

Step 3: People Also ask.

Search your primary keyword on google and scroll down to people also ask section on Google Search Results. You can add these keywords to your list.

People also ask

Step 4: Related Searches.

At the end of Google Search Results you will find the Related Searches section. This will help you to come up with many more LSI Keyword Ideas.

Related Searches

Step 5: Add these Keywords to your content.

If you follow the above 4 steps you will be able to have a solid list of LSI keywords. Now you can include these keywords in your content. You can either include them in the H2 Headers and create a content around it or in the explanation and it totally depends on the LSI Keywords.

Step 6: Add LSI Keywords in Alt Text

Search engines cannot read an image like humans do. Search Engine uses alt text to read and understand the purpose of an image. Hence by adding your LSI keyword in the image, search engines can read and understand your image. This will help your image rank for LSI Keywords.

Add LSI Keywords in Alt text

Key Takeaways:

We discussed what LSI keywords are, why they are important, how to use them in your content and some of the misconceptions around them. Hence I always suggest you to include LSI keywords so that you can rank your content for other relevant keywords along with the primary keyword.

Always be aware of best practices so that you won’t fall into the trap of ranking the page for some short term gains and always think of the long term. That’s how SEO works!

Also Read this article to know about SEO Best Practices

FAQ

What is latent semantic indexing?

Latent Semantic Indexing is a series of mathematical equations developed by Google to understand and evaluate the relationship between different keywords with respect to a primary keyword and it need not be just synonyms! 

What are LSI Keywords in SEO?

A bunch of keywords that relate to a Primary Keyword in one or the other way, directly or indirectly are called LSI Keywords.

Are LSI Keywords Synonyms?

LSI Keywords might include synonyms but they are not synonyms alone. Synonyms are words that have exactly or nearly the same meaning as another word. For Example Synonyms of the word Men can be Husband, Gents, Boy.

What is keyword stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is about stuffing a target keyword or a primary keyword as many times as possible so that the content or the page would get ranked for such keywords.
Keyword Stuffing is now termed Black Hat SEO that means Keyword Stuffing is unethical and should not be followed by any webmaster to rank their websites.

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