LSI Keywords are the best way to improve your rankings in a natural way. Google loves them, and we’ll examine exactly why they are so important for SEO.
So what are they?
Latent Semantic Indexing keywords are purely synonyms related to your target phrase. If your main term was ‘picture’, semantic search examples would be: ‘print, image, photo’ – and so on. They are used to make search engines’ work easier – and improve your page rank.
Since the Penguin update in April 2012 freelance content writers became dubious about keywords. After all, that’s when Google started penalizing sites stuffed with keywords. But we need to understand it’s the ‘keyword stuffing’ that gets frowned upon. That’s inserting the same phrase over and over again in order to rank better. In fact, your keyword density should not exceed 2%.
I still remember how frustrating it used to be back in 2009 to search for information. The sites that got top placement were full of keywords but delivered no valuable content. It took ages to find anything relevant. To change that Google developed more sophisticated search algorithms. It started using a mathematical formula called singular value decomposition to establish the relationship between the phrase and the websites content.
See, search engines want to get better
All are working hard to display most relevant content – and LSI keywords are part of the plan to improve the results page. These phrases let the bots know what your page is about – so it can determine whether it will match the term.
Let’s say you search for ‘a desk lamp’. You type it in and get a selection of websites fitting your query, based on related words found in the content. Pages with keywords like “desk light, table lamp, desk lighting”, are going to be nearer the top than the ones with more generic terms. By detecting LSI keywords – the related words – search engines know exactly what the page is about and decide if it’s going to match the query.
LSI Latent Semantic Indexing can also help you develop a natural, easy to read content – written for humans and preferred by search engines. Do you remember essay writing in school? Your teacher used to say: ‘don’t use the same word over and over, swap it for synonym’ – well, Google is a bit like that too. It prefers variety and natural writing style.
But how do LSI keywords improve your SEO?
If you have been previously penalized for keyword stuffing, semantic search can help you avoid crossing that red line again. You will improve your ranking while targeting the main term with related words. Your content will be easier to read and visitors more likely to stay longer, which adds value to your website. Content will be shared on social media and effectively attract even more traffic.
Ok, then, so how to find LSI keywords?
It’s easier than you think. Let’s start at the source: Google.
Autocomplete is a pretty smart feature. It suggests longer phrases as you type – based on what others are searching for. It can help you generate LSI keywords you haven’t even thought of – and the bonus is – people are already looking for these.
Another free keyword generator is the related searches section at the bottom of the page. These are top phrases looked for in the same category, within your region or country. This feature can give you even more selection for your desired term. My tip: log out of your Google account to get more general search results – otherwise they will be tailored to your personal preference.
Other LSI tools:
Ubersuggest – this free keyword generation tool gives you a comprehend list of related words in an alphabetical order. It collects the data from Google’s Autocomplete, related searches and a keyword planner. You can select all that you want and download for a future use.
LSI Graph – is a favorite of many, and I can see why. It is plain and simple, doesn’t overwhelm with tons of information and is completely free to use. Simply type your phrase in a search box and you’ll get a list of around 50 related words.
Soovle - great online keyword generator showing most popular search terms from seven major sites: Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Answers.com, Amazon and Wikipedia. It gives you comprehensive findings and adjusts the results as you type.
SEMrush – a premium site, but offers most thorough info. You can pick the target country (36 to choose from) and based on that you’ll be presented with terms searched in that region. The price per click is a great insight if you plan AdWords campaign. Related and phrase-match keywords show most prominent synonyms. It’s worth to note that a free account only gives you about 10 terms, while paid accounts consist of a full info.
How to make the best of your related terms?
Now you have picked the terms you’d like to use, it’s time to insert them in your website. Body of the text is not the only place. Consider:
Make sure that the text flows naturally and is written for people, not robots. The best way to test it? Read it aloud – does it sound like a casual speech? If not, change it – or ask freelance content writers to edit it for you for a small fee. This investment will pay for itself sooner than you think.