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LSI keywords: what they are and how to best use them

LSI keywords are a crucial aspect of SEO.

keyword LSI stands for latent semantic index. You may have heard of it earlier when Google made headlines for its advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. If that all sounds complicated, you’re right.

But LSI keywords are now a big part of search engine algorithms, so it’s worth spending some time learning how to make them work to your advantage.

On this page, we’ll take a look at the process of identifying and implementing LSI keywords, and how you can use them to improve your website.

LSI keyword meaning

The notion of Keyword LSI I started with the Google algorithm. LSI was implemented in the Google algorithm in 2004 to help the search engine deliver more relevant results to users.

But it wasn’t just about keywords.

The LSI keywords made it easier for Google to understand the anchor text used in hyperlinks and groups of sites that link to each other.

With this update, Google search results have changed dramatically.

They were no longer just looking for exact match keywords – the algorithm could understand synonyms and context.

This means that Google doesn’t just look at a single keyword on your page and how often you use it. Look at everything on your page.

As Google crawls your page, it examines the page’s keywords to identify its topic, just as it has done for years.

But after the LSI update, Google started looking at the other keywords on your page as well. Their algorithm evaluates your business name, industry, and site to get a complete understanding of every page you have.

In fact, the Google algorithm can “read” a page to understand its context, which means that it is able to differentiate words based on the smallest details.

As Google reads, it ranks keywords based on that particular context so it can make sense of what’s on a page.

It’s almost exactly the same way a person reads, which is why LSI keywords have become such an important part of Google’s algorithm. After all, Google wants to provide the best possible search results to its users, even for terms that have never been searched for before.

That’s an incredible standard of quality, and Google wouldn’t be able to meet it without LSI.

Therefore, when Google crawls, it may see the terms “SEO optimization” and “SEO campaign” on the same page.

But since we use these terms interchangeably, Google will find that they are two ways of expressing the same idea.

So if you have a page that targets “running shoes” and you include the words “jogging shoes”, Google will understand that they are the same thing.

So when someone searches for “running shoes” on Google, your page may appear.

But when someone searches for “jogging shoes,” it might not show up. This is because “running shoes” acts as the “main” keyword on your page (for lack of a better term). So adding the context of “jogging shoes” helps Google understand your page better and may even help that page rank higher. But it won’t make your page rank perfectly for two different keywords.

With that in mind, the trick to LSI keywords is finding the right ones for your site and keeping a few best practices in mind while implementing them.

First, let’s see how to find these LSI keywords.

How to find LSI keywords?

You have a few options for finding LSI keywords in your industry. We’ll take a look at the two most popular methods below.

Method 1. Know your industry

The first requires the least amount of research, but relies on your knowledge of your industry.

When you know your industry inside out, you can naturally combine synonyms to boost your ranking.

For example, let’s say you’re a food service provider that specializes in catering supplies. You’re selling disposable plastic dinner plates, but you know your core audience isn’t searching for that keyword on Google.

Then, instead, add the LSI keyword that your audience searches for: “wedding plates”

You are targeting the literal description of the product in the text of your page and you are SEO optimizing your product in relation to how it is searched by your target.

When Google crawls your page, it will see your literal keyword next to “wedding plates” and infer they refer to the same product. And you’re not even Google’s only source of knowledge on this topic! It will learn from other places it has seen the phrase “wedding plates” and compare them to your page to get a better understanding of your product.

Then, Google can rank your page for “8” disposable plastic dinner plates “,” wedding plates i” and any other LSI keywords you want to add. Partner with the masters of ecommerce!

But your industry knowledge is only the first step in finding LSI keywords. No matter how well you know about your industry, a little research can help you uncover even more possibilities. That’s why you need tools.

Method 2. Use online tools

After Google started looking at LSI keywords, some programmers figured out how to automatically identify them.

Those programmers created free online tools that you can use to find LSI keywords that you might not have thought of otherwise.

It’s up to you to leverage these LSI tools so your business doesn’t fall behind the competition.

The first (and best) tool we recommend is the LSI Graph. To get an LSI keyword list, enter your page’s main keyword and you’ll get a list of related keywords to consider.

If we were creating a page for Ottobix about how internet marketing works, we might want to combine “internet marketing” with “how to do internet marketing”.

On the other hand, if we were talking about ways for small businesses to improve their marketing strategies, we could use the LSI keyword “Internet marketing opportunities”.

All of these keywords are appropriate for different contexts. The key is to determine which ones work best for the page you are creating. Even if you see an LSI keyword that doesn’t fit the context of your page, you can still write it for use on a different page, improving the overall SEO power of your site.

And that brings us to our next big question: How do you use LSI keywords?

How are LSI keywords used?

This article isn’t perfect – it’s no guarantee that you’ll rank for an LSI keyword – but it’s a general guideline to get you headed in the right direction.

By including LSI keywords in the text of your page, you help Google understand your page and increase the chances of improving your ranking, even if it’s just a little at a time.

Adding a few LSI keywords at a time also ensures that you don’t overload your page with keywords, to avoid “keyword stuffing”.

The best strategy for LSI keywords is to use them naturally throughout your text, just as you would the main keyword on a page.

No matter how often you use them, your priority on any page should be to provide clear, concise, and helpful information that encourages your readers to convert into paying customers.

You’ll probably end up using LSI keywords naturally in your text without even realizing it.

In a way, that’s exactly what you want. If you’re using LSI keywords without even realizing it, it’s unlikely Google will see your page as an attempt at keyword stuffing.

This means that you give your readers a better experience, Google ranks your pages higher the pages with better UX.

At Ottobix, we have a full team of copywriters who know exactly how to find and use LSI keywords.

Our team has helped clients become the top search result for hundreds of different keywords, and we’ve landed our clients in the top 10 search results for thousands more keywords.

If you want to improve your company’s ranking in search results, we’ll do the same for you!

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