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Marketing Intelligence

How to Use LSI Keywords and Gain Authority Faster

by Limor Barenholtz , Director of SEO at Similarweb 5 Min.
August 25, 2021 | Updated September 18, 2022

Back in the day, to rank high on SERPs (search engine result pages), marketers used to stuff their content with as many keywords as possible so Google would think they were smart and knowledgeable on a specific topic. Good idea, right?

Well, things have changed. Drastically. 

Keywords are still a big part of the SEO puzzle but there’s much, much more to making your mark and soaring to new SERP. This is because Google (and other search engines, like Bing and Baidu) are constantly improving their algorithms.

Using related terms to your keywords, you can signal that you’re an expert. Keep reading to learn about how to use latent semantic indexing (LSI) to your advantage. 

X over keyword stuffing for LSI Keywords

 What are LSI keywords?

At this point, you might be asking yourself: “what are LSI keywords in SEO” and “why are they important?”

LSI keywords are keywords that are connected to your main keywords on a conceptual level. But they’re not synonyms (although it’s great to mix up your language throughout your content!).

LSI Keywords definition

It works like this: Google wants to know what your content is about. So, it looks for your main keywords as well as all of the accompanying related keywords (these are LSI keywords). This way Google can understand what your page is all about.

Here’s an example:

You’ve written a great piece of content about laptops. When Google scans your piece to determine its topic and value, it will scan your LSI keywords. These may include ‘memory’, ‘RAM’, ‘mouse’, ‘monitor,’ ‘keyboard,’ ‘bag’, ‘screen size’, ‘13-inch,’ ‘laptop case,’ ‘gaming,’ – you get the idea. 

When Google picks up on these words it understands a few things:

  1. What this article is really about 
  2. That you’ve provided a good amount of relevant information

After all, it would be pretty weird if an article about laptops didn’t mention those things, right? Like we’ve said, gone are the days of keyword stuffing as a means of teaching Google what your content is all about. 

Why LSI keywords are SEO gold

LSI keywords are important because they allow your content to rank higher by establishing authority. 

What is an LSI keyword in SEO? 

When you use LSI keywords, search engines can understand your content better. It allows you to signal to Google that your content is valuable and related. In return, you’ll be rewarded by creeping up the SERPs. Since that’s the ultimate goal of SEO, you’ll want to pay attention to the LSI keywords that you’re adding to your texts. 

A behind the scenes look at LSI keywords 

It’s actually quite complicated and not super relevant for SEO and content pros to understand the inner workings of what LSI is and how it works. 

We’ll break it down a bit here so you can get the basics. 

LSI is a technique related to language processing that has been around since the 1980s. The idea behind it is that when we search for certain words, we might actually be looking for something quite different. 

This is relevant for non-digital sources and things such as an encyclopedia and is also highly relevant for digital, online searches. 

So, LSI helps search engines understand what you’re really searching for. For example, if someone types in the search query “when do the clocks change?”, they may actually be referring to “daylight savings time”. LSI keywords (which are related-by, but not synonyms, remember?) would help bring the searcher to the right piece of content that would give them the answer to the relevant question. 

There’s a debate around whether Google actually uses true LSI methods in its search algorithm. The truth is, it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that using LSI keywords is an integral part of making a top-notch SEO strategy that brings in results. 

How to find LSI keywords – 1, 2, 3 

There are a lot of easy ways to search for LSI keywords. 

First of all, take a moment to think. Think about your content and the relevant phrases that come to mind when considering your main keyword. Why? To make your content as complete and well-rounded as possible, and cover all bases with the topic matter. 

Google itself is another great way to get info about potential LSI keywords. By taking a look at the autocomplete results, you’ll get a good idea about similar words and phrases that are related to your top keywords. And you can check out the “related searches” area at the bottom of the SERPs for ideas. You can even look at the Google knowledge graph for relevant searches which will also provide potential LSI keywords. 

Protein shake as main keyword and sub keywords around it for LSI Keywords

Similarweb’s keyword tool can also provide valuable feedback regarding your LSI keywords. You’ll be able to surface your keywords and get ideas from your competitors. By doing a little SEO and keyword research, you’ll get a feel for which terms are driving traffic to your competitors, allowing you to focus on boosting your content among these words specifically. This is a powerful tool and strategy. 

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What are the advantages of LSI keywords?

Using LSI keywords in your content is an easy and practical way to boost your website and content on SERPs and prove to Google that you’re a subject matter expert.

While we’ve taken a look at the search query “what are LSI keywords”, remember that using LSI keywords well simply means integrating additional keywords that are connected to your main subject matter into your text. This shouldn’t be difficult if you’re writing helpful, in-depth content that serves your audience well. 

Keyword Generator dashboard for LSI Keywords

Take the next step 

To identify the LSI keywords related to your primary keywords, you can use analytics platforms. 

Similarweb’s digital marketing suite allows you to optimize your LSI keywords with the diverse keyword research tools available. 

To generate ideas to create a more targeted SEO strategy and outrank your competitors on SERPs, you can access SEO tools and features that help you:

  • Identify the best performing and long tail keywords for organic and paid search
  • Uncover blind spots and growth opportunities across different GEOs  
  • Boost your display ads, affiliates, and media buying strategies
  • Deep dive into any website’s content strategy to improve your online performance

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LSI Keywords FAQs

What are LSI keywords?

LSI keywords are terms that are connected to your primary keywords on a conceptual level.

How do I find my LSI keywords?

You can find LSI keywords with SEO tools. Similarweb’s keyword tool allows you to discover related keywords, and what terms are driving traffic to your competitors.

Why should I use LSI keywords?

You should use LSI keywords in your content as it is an easy way to boost your website on the SERP, and to show the search engine that your site is an expert on the relevant subject.

How can I measure and analyze LSI keywords?

Use an advanced rank tracker tool like RankRanger. The tool allows you to monitor the pages that rank for a specific keyword and provides additional data to analyze why pages are gaining or losing ranks.

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