July 25, 2016

LSI Keywords Simple Yet Very Powerful

Sussex SEO Search Results Image

Some Of Sussex SEO’s Search Results Positions.
You Can Target A Wide Set Of Specific Terms Using LSI Keywords

Now I know for a fact that a lot of bloggers neglect or even avoid SEO and the term “LSI keywords” may be a turn off. So first and foremost, anyone can do some pretty good SEO without becoming an SEO expert.

I don’t claim to be an expert but I do pretty good for an ex plasterer and you can too with very little effort.

Hopefully you’re not battling a corporate giant for a major broad term. You’re probably battling other bloggers and Internet marketers.

Most of them don’t know or do much SEO and Penguin just wiped out a huge chunk of the competition in our niches. Penguin has made it a great time to be a blogger and a great time to follow some simple but solid SEO principles.

What Are LSI Keywords

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing but let’s not get complicated about this. In simple terms it is just how Google decides what your page is about. We all know about main keywords and anchor text links but these little guys are really important. Think about it, they are how Google decides what your page is about.

LSI keywords is basically just a term that has been coined for words that relate to each other. LSI makes a lot of sense too. If the search engine finds a page with the word trunk on it, how does it distinguish between tree trunk, elephant trunk or car trunk? It uses LSI.

Using Related Keywords With On Page SEO

Now we all know better than to stuff a page full of your main keyword but a good spread and mix of LSI keywords has quite the opposite effect. It’s not just good on page, it’s good off page too. When you write about a specific topic, a certain level of related words occur naturally. All you have to do, is read through your content and see where you can tweak and add them, without unbalancing your copy.

Using LSI keywords on page is pretty simple. I already done it here. I have a main keyword (LSI Keywords). It’s dotted around in my post and used in a few titles. I have used related terms like Latent Semantic Indexing, on page SEO, link building and search engine. Even related keywords is a related keyword and that was too. Hey, I’m still using related terms and the content still makes sense. It’s simply writing for the reader but with a little thought for LSI.

Using Related Keywords With Off Page SEO

All the same, rules apply with off page SEO. Mix up your anchors. Use LSI keywords as well as your main keyword. They will reinforce each other. You will score on a wider range of terms. You get more for less work. Get them on blogs that allow the use of KeywordLuv.

Get your keyword and LSI keywords in your comments. You don’t have to spam your friends to do this. If you look around blogs that I comment on, I bet you would find one or two like “from an SEO point of view……….” or maybe, “I have been relying on SEO for my traffic but having read this……”. With a little thought, you can use one or two keywords and still give value.

To finish up, I just want to share a few simple principles that have seen me through Panda, Penguin and I believe will continue to serve well.

  • Building Backlinks And LSI Keyword Image

    Get Maximum Value From Link Building

    Don’t set out to build thousands of links. Set out to build, good relationships and readership through link building. This is slow to start with but the links will start to build themselves. You will also get valuable social signals through relationships and for gratitude. You will show a natural growth in popularity. Just what Google wants.

  • Get the maximum value from the links that you do build. Post in the right places. Build relationships with key bloggers in a similar niche. How many to build will vary. I build an average of about 2 – 3 per day. In 8 months I had 17 000 links showing on Google Analytics. Post penguin and I now have 10 400. I started at one per day so I have probably only posted about 400 – 600. It’s not how many, it’s where and who.
  • Don’t worry about all the technical mubo jumbo. Take a sensible approach. Google simply wants to return good quality, relevant content to its users. Just provide it and tweak it. Keep to a simple common sense approach and always put your readers first. You are not playing in the big league. You don’t need to be a superstar.
  • Write for the reader, tweak for the search engines. You will get natural links through providing good content and building relationships. These links will supersede a few percent lost in the on Page SEO. Always write for the reader and tweak for some LSI keywords.
  • Don’t spam, don’t buy links or use automated link building methods. It’s just not worth it. What might work now, might destroy your blog/business in a heartbeat and at any time. Things are changing at the moment and it will always be a risky practice.

It’s not hard to do. You are just doing what you do every day with a little thought for LSI. Gradually you build a big bowl of related keyword soup. Related links surrounded by related text and all pointing back to your related terms packed content. They all reinforce each other and you start to rank for more and more. That’s a little ongoing traffic for each term for very little extra effort.

LSI, it’s how Google decides what your page is about.

It’s not just good on page, it’s good off page too. You should still structure your page around your main keyword though.

Got a question or something to add? Use the comment form below.


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  1. Bill Murney @ Small Business Website Club says:

    Hi Steve

    Another post with great advice that most people don’t even know about. As you mentioned the majority of bloggers, internet marketers and those that run a small business website are all in the same club i.e. they know very little about SEO and the use of LSI keywords.

    I have incorporated all your advice regarding keywords in my walks in tameside website and the result is front page of Google. The more you do it the easier it becomes.


  2. I think your first point is the most important… building relationships with real people over time. This is the long term approach that will yield higher returns in the end.

    Too many aim for the quick hit, the traffic and link spike to appease a client who expects “quick results”.

    You can never go wrong with relationship building, regardless of algorithm changes.

    • That’s exactly the point really Jeff. If you have to build links, why not build much more at the same time. Those relationships will build links for you. Like you said, this way you are building exactly what Google is looking for, genuine popularity.

  3. Google is very smart and it knows each and every tricks which we use so we should also understand Google.

    Any link obtained by providing content is recommended by Google so we should use this technique, we should do article submission (submitting fresh and quality articles to only top article directories) helps a lot.

    Blog posting is also good method of building links and increasing traffic to websites.

    • Hi Mary.
      You are dead right. Google is clever. Even black hat techniques that work today will most likely cause you problems at some point later.

  4. until now i don’t know about LSI. But yes i am agree with JEFF and you about long term relationship.

  5. Alexandre says:

    A very good page. It is very informative for a newbie like me.

    • Hi Alexandre.
      Glad you found this useful. There’s plenty more like it around the rest of the blog. feel free to indulge yourself and by all means share your thoughts in the comments.

  6. Hi Steve,
    I like how you made it simple for us to understand your topic. SEO is a bit hard for me to grasp but with your illustration, I understand a little more and now I also know about LSI keywords.
    I think your tips are also very sensible and I especially like this line: “Write for the reader, tweak for the search engines.” It shows us that we can achieve balance and not sacrifice one for the other.
    Thanks for this valuable information!

    • Hi Theresa
      I’m all for keeping it simple. I think that a lot of people are put off SEO because they think it’s really complicated. I suppose it can be but it’s the simple common sense things that bring most of the value. If you make basic SEO a habbit when you write your posts, you will rank for at least some keywords.
      Always write for your readers first though. Your blog is a bit like a business. You need to keep your existing customers happy and attract new ones.

  7. You just have to use the keywords that are presented in the Question’s title, for example we could use the term “keywords” on this page a lot and that somehow would work positively when it comes to SEO, however if we all spam the same keywords or terms it can do the opposite and it could be considered spam by search engines

    • Dead right Laura.
      The main keyword should be supported by a wide range of LSI keywords and not typed over and over again throughout the post. If you use WordPress, there are some good SEO plugins that help with on page SEO and keyword density.

  8. Hello there this is really an interesting article,I am not really familiar with the LSI, so i am just wondering if this is much the same with keyword research?

    • Hi Kate.
      LSI keywords work in conjunction with your main keyword. When you do any keyword research with Google adwords keyword tool it comes back with suggested keywords. This is like an instant list of LSI keywords.

  9. “Write for the reader, tweak for the search engines.” – I like this line so much maybe I’ll print it on a t-shirt.

    I’m hunting around for one post of yours to include in my blogger’s workshop next week. Hm… if you can suggest ONE in particular post (maybe tweet it with @leoraw so I’ll see it?), that would be great. Or any intro for bloggers post of anyone else’s posts (one by Sherryl to include ?).

    • Hi Leora.
      As always, lovely to see you here. Glad you liked my little line. Hope you agree, it’s really good advice too.
      Well I feel a bit odd being asked to pick one of my own posts. I think that the choice will depend on target audience.

      I’m going to make an assumption that it would be small business bloggers and suggest a guest post that I did for keepupwiththeweb.com. I don’t think there is anything difficult about the basic principles of SEO. I think it is something that you should make part of your routine and start to practice from the outset.

      If you are looking for more of a how to, I have a couple of pages that link several posts into a kind of WordPress DIY business website tutorial.

  10. Great articles for both on-page and off-page, I agree that we should avoid keyword stuffing in anchor text too and we should increase readership by building slow but quality links to our sites.

  11. I guess I am one of those people who are guilty of being ignorant on LSI keywords. Thanks to this post, I guess I have another trick up my sleeve.

    • Hi Archie.
      Glad you found some value in this post.
      Not just a trick up your sleeve Archie. A pretty powerful way to broaden your SEO, both on and off page.
      Thank’s for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

  12. Thanks for these guidelines, Steve. I’m just getting a handle on keyword use and was unfamiliar with LSI until you introduced the concept. Do you have any advice on KeywordLuv comments that end up in spam? My comments seem to be doing that, even though I write each one individually and put some thought behind them. Not sure what is causing that to happen.

    • Hi Leo.
      The only thing that I can see that may be causing that problem is leaving more than one comment at a time. I noticed that you did that here.
      I don’t have a problem with that because you are clearly leaving valid comments. Some people might take that as you only being in it for a link.
      Bloggers, we are a touchy bunch :)

      P.S. Glad you found the LSI keywords post useful. Used correctly, they are pretty powerful and will get your page scoring for a wider range of terms.

      • Leo@Accountant Salary says:

        Sorry about that Steve, I didn’t mean to do that. Feel free to delete one or the other. I’ll be more careful about searching for my previous comments in future.

        • As I said Leo, I don’t have a problem with that. All I ask is that people read the post and leave a valid comment. As long as the link is not to a bad site and people follow my comment guidelines, I’m happy.

  13. Great post. I really like the idea of lsi keywords, because it hopefully means an end to the ridiculous keyword crammed blog posts of the past. I’ve noticed an increase in rankings for some of our key terms, and I’m sure that it must be something to do with lsi.

    What I’m stuck on a bit though is how do I find out what Google determines to be a relevant term? Or, do I just continue to write blog posts that use natural language, and are aimed at the reader, rather than the spider?

    • Hi Richard.
      How do you find them? That’s a good question and fortunately it’s one that’s easily answered.
      Use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
      Put in your main keyword and do a search with the match type set to broad. Google will return the details for the main term and lots of keyword suggestions. The keyword suggestions are your LSI keywords.

  14. Ah! Thanks for that. I think I have come across that before, but to be honest, whenever I look, I think, “Oh yeah, these are words that I’d use anyway” But I suppose that’s the point!


  15. Hi Steve.

    I’m just re-designing my website for my performance management company. I was not familiar with LSI keywords. I plan to run my own blog so this kind of information is really valuable. It makes a lot of sense too.

    • Hi Sarah.

      Glad you found this useful. LSI keywords are well worth taking a little time to explore.
      Nice to see you here for the first time. Hope you can come and join in the discussion again.

  16. comment

    Hello Steve.

    I’m just learning about SEO as I run my own website for my car valeting business in Hailsham. I really like the idea that you use several related terms to target one term and that some of those terms are likely to score too.

    I have one question. Would terms like car valeting Hailsham and car detailing Eastbourne be seen as related terms?

  17. Hi Steve

    Never thought that I’d be practicing LSI, but I guess we all do naturally. It definitely reads a lot better than repeating the same keyword phrase all the time.

    By the way, never thought of counting inbounds using analytics as a tool – good idea and showed some interesting results. Thanks.

    • Hi Mark.

      Not sure if you have commented here before but it’s great to see a local man getting stuck in.

      I guess you are right. LSI keywords tend to come naturally when you write about a subject. Just a little thought and tweaking can really enhance a page or post.

      I use an SEO tool called Traffic Travis to keep an eye on things like inbound links but I find it can differ from the results shown in Webmaster Tools. It’s always good to get a broad view though.

      Thank’s again for taking a moment to share your views. It’s always nice to see local people here.

  18. Hi,I was looking for information on LSI keywords and found your page.very userful information you have there thank you

  19. Hi Steve.

    I found this article really helpful. I am just learning SEO for my personal trainer business. I am working on getting to the top of Google for the term Personal Trainer Maidstone.