What Does LSI Stand for and What Do These Keywords Mean?

scramble keyword pieces

What are LSI keywords?

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LSI keywords (latent semantic indexing) are keywords that are related to your primary keyword. They are not synonyms but homonyms (similar in meaning). For example, if a website is talking about Apple, how do search engines know if the website is talking about the brand or the fruit? This is where search engines look for latent semantic indexed keywords to figure out what the page is specifically talking about.

Search engines like Google have adjusted their algorithm to be aware of these LSI keywords and determine if they are of “good quality” or relevance. This is because they want to return the most relevant content to the consumer and not just the ones with the most matching keywords. Use these related keyword to get ranked on search engines for relevant queries.

Why/How Should We Use Them?

Simply repeating and stuffing your content with keywords or even with LSI keywords will surely get you penalized by search engines. Use LSI keywords to help you rank, but do not let them interfere with the quality of your content. When writing your content, your user should always be in your mind. Use LSI keywords to give more hints to search engines about your focus. For example, search engines know that ‘search engine optimization’ is the same thing as ‘SEO’ because they are semantically related. Using LSI keywords throughout your webpage makes the information flow naturally and gives more information about the subject. The more you use these keywords, the faster your content gets exposed to the consumers who are looking for it.

Where Should I Put Them (Naturally)?

HTML code

  • Title of pages and images
  • Header tags
  • Beginning and ending paragraphs
  • Anchor texts
  • Throughout the pages you want ranked higher
  • Meta description
  • PPC campaigns

Example of How to Use LSI Keyword Lists

Below is a text that was written naturally explaining “how to unclog a toilet without a plunger”:

STEP 1: Squirt generous amounts of dish soap or shampoo into the clogged toilet.

STEP 2: Add a gallon of very hot (but not boiling) water to the bowl.

STEP 3: Wait a few minutes and watch. The water should break up the toilet paper, and the soap should help it slide down the pipe.

Here is a visual graph of LSI keywords we got from LSI Graph of Twinword Ideas keyword tool.

lsi graph toilet example

Below is the same text, but enhanced with LSI keywords.

STEP 1: Squirt generous amounts of dish soap or shampoo into the clogged toilet in your bathroom or restroom.

STEP 2: Add a gallon of very hot (but not boiling) water to the bowl.

STEP 3: Wait a few minutes and watch. The water should break up the toilet paper, and the soap should help it slide down the pipe and clear your plumbing.

Relevance Test Results

Using text similarity technology, we can compare how related the before and after text to see how related they are to our topic.

The original text got a similarity score of 0.47 when compared with “how to unclog a toilet without a plunger”. The revised text including a few LSI keywords scored a 0.51. As you can see, using just only a few words you may have missed can boost your content’s relevance.

screenshot of text similarity tool

LSI Keyword Research Tools

Here are some free keyword tools that can help you get LSI keywords for your topic.

  1. LSI Graph – This tool generates keywords for your SEO needs with our free LSI Keyword Generator tool.lsi graph website screenshot
  2. Twinword Ideas – Keyword research tool for SEO and PPC marketing that can be sorted by search volume, relevance or user intent with filters such as ”know” and “local.” To learn more about how to conduct keyword research from this tool, check out this article on How To Do Keyword Research with LSIscreenshot of tw ideas

Start Researching!

You may already be doing LSI research without knowing but using a tool may be more helpful and give you detailed results for your primary words.

Now that you know what latent semantic indexing keywords are and how important they can be for a website, use one of these tools to get started!

Tell us your experience with your research! If you have any suggestions, questions or recommendations, feel free to leave a comment down below.

Mahum Ali
Mahum Ali
Marketer at Twinword, Inc.

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