For some time now, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords have played a crucial part of on-page optimization. As such, every blogger should pay extra attention to them if he or she wishes to rank for a particular phrase.
It is no longer possible to reach highest position in Google by simply spamming a keyword over and over again. Due to Hummingbird algorithm, copywriter has to create natural sounding articles that will, not only allow him to be found, but also provide valuable information to the end-user.
What are LSI keywords?
Simply put, LSI keywords symbolize all the words and phrases that are semantically related to the main keyword we wish to rank for. This includes synonyms as well as the keywords that are in some way related and are likely to be present in an article (e.g., chocolate and milk).
What is the point of the LSI concept? Back in the day, Google ranked articles based on number of keyword repetition in comparison to length of the content (otherwise known as "keyword density"). So, if you were able to increase percentage of a keyword within the article (otherwise known as "keyword stuffing"), you were able to easily get into top 10 results. At one point, this flaw became so serious that Google had to take actions in order to save its SERP. This led to introduction of semantic search.
Unlike previous algorithms, semantic search ranks articles based on text meaning. In other words, it uses LSI keywords to find connections and establish what your article is all about. Based on this, it allows article to compete with other top competitors. Have in mind that this system is much fairer. You are unable to rank solely on your on-page optimization and some cheap tricks. In fact, by using LSI keywords, you are only ensuring that your article is visible to Google and that it can be properly presented to end-users when they type certain phrases. With this in mind, there is more emphasis on off-page optimization and how other people perceive your article.
Like any other system, there are certain pros and cons. Obviously, Hummingbird algorithm forces copywriters to create high-quality articles. This benefits readers as it gives them valuable information and improves their Internet experience. On the other hand, due to semantic search, articles will rank not only for the targeted main keyword, but also all other related phrases and synonyms. This can be seen as both positive and negative thing as it can lead to monopoly on certain phrases and related terms.
Finding LSI keywords
So, how do we find all latent semantic indexing keywords? No matter what you think, getting to LSIs is pretty easy. You do not have to be an SEO expert to recognize that these words should be an inseparable part of your copy. In fact, any blogger can use them without even thinking.
As previously mentioned, LSI keywords represent all the related terms and synonyms which should naturally be introduced into the text. So, as long as you are writing an organic text for your visitors, you will most likely add them no matter what. I recommend introducing them after finishing your article just so that you can add certain phrases that might have slipped through the cracks.
One of the best tools for finding LSI keywords is Google search engine. Whatever you type in Google's search box, you will always receive additional suggestions, which may help you finish your query. The thing most people do not realize is that these words can also be considered as LSI keywords.
Let's start from the top. When you start typing a phrase in Google search bar, program will give you 10 additional suggestions (Google instant search) which can help you out, as well as some popular websites that include this word or phrase. Just create a simple excel file and add LSIs starting with the 10 instant search suggestions.
By default Google shows 10 results per page. At the bottom of each results page you will be able to find the so-called "searches related to" words and phrases. They are always eight of them. Make sure you add them to the already existing excel file as they are the next stop in your LSI keyword research. You already have 18 great latent semantic indexing keywords.
Have in mind that this is usually not enough. These suggestions can be helpful but they only give limited lists based on entered root words. They cannot provide you with other semantically related phrases and synonyms. On the other hand, Google also bolds LSI keywords within META description (text positioned bellow URL). Again, this can give you some insight what are some of the LSI keywords used in text. Nevertheless, this is not a definitive list and you will have to use some other LSI tools that are specialized for this.
Nowadays, there are numerous SEO tools that can be used for generating LSI keywords. Among the most popular ones are: Ubersuggest, LSIGraph, Keys4up (my personal favorite), SEMrush related keywords and the SEOPressor plugin for WordPress.
Now, the great thing about LSI generators is that they are really easy to use. Most of them are pretty straightforward. In fact, in most of the cases, you will just have to enter URL of the website and directly type in your keyword which if usually in the center of the page. The tool will then generate a long list of closely related suggestions which you can use in your copy whenever it makes sense.
Remember, different tools will give you different results. In that regard, it is perhaps better to try out different generators until you find just the thing that will do the job for you.
No matter what, LSI was implemented so that certain SEO malpractices could be avoided. In general, as long as you are writing meaningful and lengthy content, with end-users in mind, you should stand a good chance to rank better in Google. Even with all the tools mentioned in this article at your disposal, you should always rely on your logic and common sense as your main resource.
Nikolay Stoyanov is a well-known Bulgarian SEO expert with over eight years of SEO experience. He practices 100 percent white hat SEO techniques and has a vast experience in keyword research, on-page optimization, SEO auditing and link building.