What is an LSI Keyword in SEO

If you’re new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO), you’ve likely heard a mention or two of LSI keywords. These keywords can net you a lot of bonus traffic AND help you to rank for your main keyword. In other words, they’re essential to any SEO campaign. Let’s break it down and identify what is an LSI keyword in SEO.

What is an LSI Keyword in SEO

LSI stands for “latent semantic indexing”. With regards to SEO, it’s really just a fancy way of saying that Google understands that related words have a connection with one another in context or meaning.

What is an LSI Keyword in SEO

“Apple pie recipe”, “homemade apple pie”, and even “homemade dessert” are all LSI keywords to one another.

If we were targeting “apple pie recipe”, it would be natural to use “homemade apple pie” alongside it.

Utilizing LSI keywords alongside your main keyword:

  • Makes your content read more naturally.
  • Reinforces the context of your content for Google, allowing it to more effectively index and rank your page.
  • Keeps you from overusing your main keyword without sacrificing or altering context.

Why Should You Care About LSI Keywords?

While LSI keywords help provide Google with more context as to what your content is about, that’s not the main reason to use them.

LSI keywords can be used to provide you with additional ranking opportunities for longer tail keywords.

Long/longer tail keywords are those which generally contain more words and are more specific keyword phrases.

Again, because of the lower search volume, long tail keywords are much easier to rank for.

With our “apple pie recipe” keyword, we can include longer tail LSI keywords which are still related to the main keyword and maybe even rank for them with the same article even though it’s not expressly the main keyword we’re targeting.

To be sure, “apple pie recipe” is still the keyword which we’re targeting on our page/in our title, main heading tag (see H1 H2 H3 SEO), and meta description (see how to improve CTR in Google search).

But in that same article, we might have a section devoted to “apple pie recipe ingredients” or even “cheap apple pie recipe ingredients”.

This fits perfectly within the context of the article, but that longer tail LSI keyword doesn’t receive enough traffic to devote its own page to.

By the same token, it also doesn’t have nearly as much competition associated with it.

We can shine a smaller spotlight on that keyword within the context of the main article in a few ways to help it rank, including:

  • Putting the longer tail keyword as a heading (an H3 would be appropriate) to open its own section.
  • Including that longer tail keyword in the text below that section when referring to it.
  • Including an image titled with and featuring the alt tag of the longer tail keyword in that section.

Google will find that longer tail LSI keyword on our page given the usage steps I just outlined.

With the competition being as non-existent as it is, just that usage can be enough to get our article to rank for that keyword, again even though its not the main keyword we’re targeting in it.

In Summary

As the image above suggests, LSI keywords make for low hanging fruit in SEO.

Make sure that when you’re doing your keyword research that you don’t end your search with your main keyword.

Make a list of related keywords which are only getting maybe 10 or less searches each month. Then, when you sit down to write your article, weave them in like I detailed above, and enjoy some low effort ancillary traffic and links along with them.

All of this will help you rank better for your main keyword, as well.

The other benefit of Google’s level of understanding of context is that over time, you’ll even begin to rank for keywords you don’t even expressly mention in your article.

It all starts on the ground floor, though, and LSI keywords are great ways to accomplish that.

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  1. Pingback: How to Use Keywords in Content Writing - Angry SEOer

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