Climb to the Top of Google with LSI Keyboards

Background shows a web of interconnected nodes. Text says: Climb the ranks with LSI keywords.

Ever wondered how you can boost your rankings on Google without reworking everything on your site?

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords may be just the ticket you've been looking for. These are semantic search terms you can use to optimize your on-page content, improve your search visibility, and crush the competition.

Read on to learn what LSI keywords are, why they’re important, where to find them, and how to use them in your content to gain a higher ranking on Google.

LSI Keywords: What Are They?

LSI keywords are keywords related to a page's main subject. These LSI keywords provide contextually relevant information that allow Google to better understand the meaning and purpose of your content.

Let's consider an example: the word blackberry.

Blackberry could refer to the fruit. It can refer to the many ways you can grow blackberries, prepare blackberries, and eat blackberries.

However, it could also refer to the tech giant and once-popular cellphone brand, Blackberry Limited.

So, how does Google know which type of blackberry you're referring to?

One way is with LSI keywords. As Google scans and indexes a page about blackberries, Google will examine secondary keywords and phrases to determine what type of blackberry the page is referring to.

If the page is about blackberry the fruit, it will likely contain words such as jam, fruit, and juice. If, however, the page is about Blackberry the company (or the phone), the page will likely contain words such as phone, device, and smartphone.

These words and phrases are LSI keywords: terms related to the main subject of the page. They're the "web" of words that surround your page's main keyword, adding context and giving it meaning to human beings.

What Makes LSI Keywords Important in SEO?

The good ole days of keyword stuffing are long gone and have been replaced by intelligent Google algorithms that can now determine the context of any page.

If you pay attention to LSI keywords, you can boost your content into better rankings. 

Google uses a relevancy signal to rank pages according to their contents. When you include several valuable LSI keywords directly related to your main keyword, Google gets the message and gives your content a higher ranking score.

But that's not all.

LSI keywords are also your vanguard against ranking for irrelevant keywords.

Still, there's more.

When you go into writing a new article with a pre-prepared list of LSIs, you can craft an adept article around these vital words and ensure you're covering the entire topic with robust information.

If you find your article is a little thin when it comes to including your LSI list, you can take this as a sign that your article could be weak and may benefit from more relevant facts or information.

Now that you know what LSI keywords are and why they're essential to phenomenal SEO let's learn how to mine them.

Where to Find LSI Keywords

We’ll start with the simplest way to mine LSI keywords, so finding them will never be a problem for you again.

Note: If you guessed it would involve opening your Google browser, you were right!

Google Search Box

Type your main keyword into a regular google search box and then peruse the suggestions in the dropdown bar below.

You'll see that not all of these terms will be relevant or useful, but some will be worth noting.

Collect these on your list of potential LSIs and move on.

Google’s Related Search Bar

You'll always see Google's related search bar at the bottom of the SERPs page. After you've completed the first step, scroll down to the bottom and have a quick peek at what appears here.

You'll see terms Google deems as related to your primary keyword in this space.

Grab whatever is relevant for your LSI list and move on.

Check the Search Results for Your Keywords for Bold Type

While doing steps one and two, you may have noticed that Google took the time to place certain words within the SERPs in bold.

This was no accident.

Google also deems these words related to your original term, and they're also worth noting and adding to your list.

Use Free or Paid Keyword Planners to Find LSI Keywords

Google gives us another free tool to find LSI keywords in the form of Google Keywords. You’ll need to have an Adwords account to access this tool, but you won’t have to worry about placing ads or spending money to use it.

Simply type your keyword into the search bar, and it will generate a list of compatible keywords that relate to your target word. Add these to your LSI word list.

By now you should have a nice list of sister words that related to your main keyword. These are your LSI keywords list. Let’s learn how to use them wisely.

Optimizing Content within Your Site to Include LSI Keywords

We’ve taken care of how to find and mine LSI keywords, and you now have a good list.

How can you use them to optimize your content?

Easy. Just follow these steps:

Update those Title Tags

LSI keywords are typically long-tail variations of target keywords. When choosing a keyword to place in the title tag, selecting an LSI keyword over your primary keyword will help you rank for more words.

Make sure Meta Descriptions Include LSI Keywords

Use one primary keyword and one LSI keyword in your meta description. Make sure it flows, sounds natural, and doesn't negatively impact your goal of making it easy to read and draw in a searcher's interest.

Drop an LSI Keyword into Image Alt Tags

You already know that any image placed in your content needs an ALT tag.

Reminder: ALT tags are the perfect place for one or two LSI keywords.

Again, it's essential to keep an organic flow and not to stuff in excess keywords that don't make sense to the image.

Always Place Most Relevant Keywords Upfront

Important keywords should always appear first in your content.

A good rule of thumb here is to place critical keywords within the first line of your text.

The following text should include the best of your LSI keywords, which will give you an excellent outline of what your content should be about.

Tip: Use your main keyword and LSI keywords in the first half of your article.

If your article is 500 words, your primary and LSI keywords should all appear within the first 250 words. 

Don’t Be Shy About Including LSI Keywords in Headers

Headings and subheadings are the perfect places to use LSI keywords.

Not only do they help you flesh out what your content will be about, but they also help Google understand what your page is all about.

If you encounter an LSI that is super relevant but doesn’t fit nicely into the body of your text, you can tie it into your article by creating a new heading within your content.

Anchor Texts with LSI Keywords Closely Matched to Your Main Keyword

It can be risky to optimize anchor text for a singular keyword.

Branch out by selecting different yet very compatible LSI keywords for anchor texts. In doing so, you'll be giving your content the chance to rank for various keywords, rather than just the one.

Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Really Important: Readability and Content Context

Adding LSI keywords with no context is a major mistake.

Head this warning and choose the placement of LSI keywords wisely, so they don't hurt the readability of your content.

Read it over carefully once your article is written to ensure keyword placement doesn't feel awkward or forced.

If there’s an unnatural keyword making a sentence confusing, edit it out.

Ultimately, readability is your end goal, so don't hang onto keywords that don't fit naturally into your content.

Conclusion: Using LSI Keywords Adeptly Allows Your Content to Climb the Ranks in SERPs

When you master using LSI keywords to optimize on-page SEO, your content stands a much better chance of performing well in SERPs.

This article supplies you with the tools and tricks to bolster your SEO strategy with strategically placed LSI keywords.

Did you find this information helpful? Are you seeing results? We want to know about your experience with LSI keywords and how you're making them work for you. Leave us a few lines in the comments below.

John Wickham

Author: John Wickham

About John Wickham

John Wickham is Senior Content Writer and Strategist at LinkNow Media. An SEO expert, he writes to empower small-business owners by giving them the information they need to market themselves. His love of the written word is matched only by his love of ancient history, as well as the semi-colon.