The Importance of LSI Keywords for SEO Ranking: Definition, Optimization, and Benefits

A few years back, you only needed a high keyword density to rank on top of the search engine result page(SERP). However, this is no longer the case, as Google is smarter and can understand the content of a page. It uses closely related words to define the topic. If you want your page to rank well, you cannot afford to ignore Latent Semantic Indexing(LSI) keywords.

When you optimize the LSI keywords, you can improve your ranking on the search engines. In this article, we will define LSI keywords, explain their importance, and show you how to optimize your content using LSI keywords.

What Are LSI Keywords?

LSI are words closely related to a topic and are therefore considered semantically relevant. Derived from a natural language processing method developed in the 1980s, they identify the contextual relationship between words. Therefore, LSI finds the hidden relationship between words to help understand information.

The words defined here aren’t synonyms(words with the same meanings) but common words in that topic. For instance, if you are writing about cars, the LSI keywords can be road, engine, tires, cars, automatic transmission, and more. Therefore, LSI is key to how Google understands content or documents. Use semantic words and synonyms if you want higher on the search engines.

Importance of Using LSI Keywords

There are several reasons why LSI keywords are a must-use if you would like to rank better on the search engines. These include:

Better Ranking Signals

Using LSI keywords in your articles makes it easier for Google to understand the article’s main topic. This enhances the relevance signal Google uses in ranking articles.

 If you have many LSI keywords closely related to your main keyword, Google will consider it relevant for the search query. The page will be indexed faster and probably higher on the search engines.

Produce Better Content 

If you are struggling to add LSI keywords, it can be an indication that you are out of topic. Therefore, including LSI keywords can help you show quality in the content. You can also use our tips for using Semantic keywords for SEO ranking.

Reduce The Bounce Rate

Assume you rank for the wrong keywords on the first page. This will do you more harm than good. The reason is that your visitors will keep clicking back when they visit your page. A high bounce rate may result in Google penalizing your page.

When you use LSI keywords, it will be easier for the search engines to understand your content and, therefore, rank the right keywords.

How to Find  LSI keywords

There are several ways you can find LSI keywords for your topic. These are:

Use Google Keyword Planner

The Google Adword Keyword Planner is one of the best free tools for SEO ranking. While this tool was created for AdWords advertisers, it is generally instrumental in keyword research. You should start by creating an Adwords account if you don’t have one. Even if you are not paying for Google ads, you can still get valuable data on your keyword. Once you enter it, the tool will show a list of related keywords.

When you search on Google, the search engines will give you suggestions on related keywords at the bottom of their search page. This list can show the keywords that Google expects to see in your article, covering the searched keywords. While not all these suggestions will make sense, they can give a hint of the keywords you need to focus on. 

Use the Google Autocomplete Page

Like the related search, Google autocomplete can show you what people are searching for in that topic. To use this feature, enter your keyword on Google and don’t hit the search button. Check what people are also searching for. You will realize that the search engine marks the important phrases in bold.

Google Autocomplete feature will suggest LSI keywords

Use the Surfer Seo tool.

Surfer Seo is one of the best tools for creating content optimized for LSI keywords. Once you enter your topic, the tool will provide you with a list of LSI keywords for your content. As you continue writing, it will even give you a score on how you are fairing. You can aim for an 80% score. However, this is a paid tool, unlike the other tools on our list. But if you can afford it, it’s probably the best way to create content optimized for LSI keywords.

How to Optimize Your Content for LSI Keywords

Now that we have shared with you how to find LSI keywords,this is how to use them in your content to improve SEO performance.

Add LSI Keywords in Title Tags

Some of your LSI keywords will also be good longtail keywords for your articles. For instance, if you are writing on SEO, the LSI word “on-page seo” is a good addition to one of your title tags. 

Use Relevant Keywords at the Beginning

Out of your LSI keywords, you should ensure that the most important ones are included in the first part of your article. Include key LSI keywords in the introduction or first line if possible.

If you are only optimizing your anchor text for a single keyword, this may hurt your SEO. A good way of navigating the challenge is by using LSI keywords. For instance, if you write guests on different sites and always use the keyword “dentist” to link back to your articles, it can hurt your seo. Instead, you should use “dental services” in some of your links.

Use in the Meta Description

Another way to show Google what your content is about is by including the LSI keywords in the meta description. While this should not interfere with the flow of the article, it can also help draw the attention of search engine users.

Include LSI keywords in the meta description

Use in the alt-Tag

Ensure that you include alt tags with LSI keywords in all your images. Avoid keyword stuffing and use images that are related to the LSI keywords.


There is no doubt that LSI keywords can help to improve your SEO. It is also one of the best ways to improve your website traffic. You can include the above steps to find and optimize LSI keywords for SEO. However, always put the readability and content of the content first.  This will make it easier for Google and even readers to understand your content better. You will begin to see your articles ranking better on the search engines.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.