In days gone by, all website owners needed to do in order to have their sites ranked highly by the search engines and appear of the first page of search results, was to include their keywords a number of times in the content of their site’s pages or posts.
Search engines were not smart enough. The major search engines such as Google, would crawl the site content and rank according to what was then called “On page” factors and some “Off site” factors. On page factors included as one of these factors the number of times a certain word was used throughout an article and became what was termed the “keyword density”.
The more often the “keyword’ appeared, the more likely the search engines would be to find it relevant and rank it accordingly.
For example: If a site owner was trying to rank for the term “fat loss” and he used it 6 times within a 500 word article he could be easily outranked by his competitor who used it 10 times within an article of the same word count.
This outcomes in a keyword stuffing content which results in millions of web pages that doesn’t make sense. To beat such issue, search engines started to fight those junk ranking results through LSI keywords method.
What are LSI keywords?
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which is the process that search engines like Google use to find out about the central theme and rank pages accordingly. Unlike keyword density methods, LSI-based search engines are gathering semantically related key phrases to weight up the final ranking of the corresponding page. For example, if your content is about losing fat from your upper body, then having a collection of those phrases:
upper body fat burning, lose upper body fat, burn upper body fat, and get rid of upper body fat etc. will be much better than stuffing the page with only one of them to get the search engine attention. Besides that your page will be a way better and offers a great reading experience.
Let us find out how Google search engine will respond to our example above to make sure that Google is giving more weight to the LSI keywords. Below is a snapshot of what Google might show us when searching for “lose upper body fat”.
I think it is more obvious now that Google search engine is not strictly sticking to our terms that we entered, but it has done a semantic searching instead. So, there will be no point of repeating the same terms again and again and bore your visitors anymore. Our next question to answer is “How to use LSI keywords and calculate their density?”
How to calculate the keyword density for the LSI Keywords
As we stated above, sticking to the old fashioned keyword density is an outdated method, as it is not used by search engines as it was before. However, it is still considered as search engine’s utility to detect the page’s topic, but there is no need to stick badly to the 2-4% percentage, as pages with less percentages have great results in engines these days.
Now, let us see how to calculate the keyword density of the LSI keywords.
Suppose you are after keeping your keyword density at a level of 2% to 4%, then you can still do the same on LSI keywords by considering all those related terms as one term.
Want an example? Here is one:
Presume your old page with 1000 words has the term “upper body fat reduction” mentioned 9 times to get a keyword density of 3.6%. Now, you want to use the following terms instead: “burn upper body fat”, “upper body fat reduction”, and “Lose upper body fat”. As a result, you need to mention each term at least 3 times to maintain the same density you had before.
To make it simpler, you can mention 2 to 3 of your LSI keywords per 100 words. This way you can guarantee that your page will not exceed the max limit of 4%.
For the equation of the Keyword density percentage you can refer to our previous post: Keyword Research – Explained!
Does LSI Keywords Improve Your Ranking in Search Engines?
Of course yes! Google being smarter than ever. It gives a better ranking to these sites that provide great quality content than those who are using the outdated traditional keyword stuffing technique. So, your site will stay safe with no concerns about getting Google Panda penalties.
Furthermore, with LSI keywords your readers will have better reading experience, which can be vivid from some factors such as a higher Time on Page (TOP), and lower Bounce Rate (BR). In other words, your readers will not get bored easily and will not leave your page and there will be higher possibility that they will move to another page to read.
The most important incentive for you is that you will have more keywords to target readers using this great technique!
What are the best LSI keyword Tools?
There are a plenty options you can go for to find your LSI keywords, some are free, others are paid. All you need to do is to pick the one that suites your goals. Here are some efficient tools that that you might need to consider:
Google Suggestions and Related Searches
This way is freaking awesome! Just type your keywords in Google search and you will notice a sort of Google suggestions popped down from the search bar as shown in the figure below.
Another favor Google will do for you is to let you get other LSI keywords in Google Related searches. Once you entered your main keywords and hit the search button, the search result of that keyword will show up. Then you need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the related searches.
One of the most reputable tools especially for the LSI keywords is LSI Graph. It gained its popularity from being web-based, simple and free.
As you can see, all you need to do is to input your key phrase and hit “GENERATE” to get a large list of LSI keywords.
Ultimate Keyword Hunter:
Ultimate Keyword Hunter is another free one. It is desktop based, so you need to go to their website and download the software.
To use this tool, you need to input a keyword that you want your LSI keywords to revolve around. Then, the keyword hunter will search the top 10, 20, or any number of top sites to collect all keywords that were used in these results. After that, you need to filter them to get the ones you find them useful to you. Still didn’t get it? We will explain it in details just carry on reading to the next paragraphs.
As you can notice above, we entered “Six pack abs” as keyword and configured the search to consider the top 20 sites for that keyword. Then, we want to be more specific on our search, so we let the program to return the keywords that were repeated 4 times in those top 20 sites. Once everything is configured, we started the parsing process. After the completion of the parsing process, we are going to have a list of the top 20 sites for our keyword (illustrated in the following screen).
At this step, all we need to do is to click Analysis link on the left panel. The program will start its analysis for a while. Then, we might need to show the analysis results by clicking on Analysis Result. See the following screen for the analysis results. The program lists different results on several tabs at the head of the main program window. We got 1 word (), 2 words (), …, 4 words (). Between the parenthesis you can observe how many keywords are collected in that category.
Now we had a list of all the keywords that were used by the top 20 sites. For me, I prefer to move to the “4 words” tab to get concentrated results. They will be LSI keywords and LongTail keywords as well, this way they will be easier to rank too!
Another awesome tool! Isn’t it?
Among the powerful internet marketing tools. It provides you with a huge database of keywords. In addition, it could suggest related LSI keywords that you might need. Unlike other tools that we previously explored, SEMrush will provide you with a search volume for each LSI keyword according to a selected country. Another important piece of information that SEMruch is going to display is cost per click (CPC). CPC indicates whether the corresponding keyword has commercial intent or not. The complete functional version of this tool is paid. However, the free version can be beneficial to you to some extent.
When SEMrush finishes its analysis, scroll down to the “PHRASE MATCH KEYWORDS” as shown in the figure above. Our main keyword got (509) matched keywords which contains exact terms that we have searched for. By clicking on one of those found keywords which is very close to our concerned keyword, more details will be displayed. In our case I selected “six pack abs workout”.
Now, we got a bunch of keywords with exact terms “six pack abs workout”. Actually, these are long tailed keywords, but the suggested LSI keywords can be found at the RELATED KEYWORDS section on the right.
With the free version, we were allowed to see only 10 keywords. To get the full report, in our case it contains (4194) keywords, we need to sign-up for a paid version.
Now you know some basic information about LSI keywords method. Therefore, a few things you might need to consider:
- There will be no excuse on sticking on using the traditional methods such as keyword density of the same term.
- Just remember! Google Panda penalties, could hit your site for keeping stuffing content with junk keywords.
- LSI keyword tools are not perfect. Meaning, these tools could generate some irrelevant results. Therefore, you should be carefully selecting the right LSI keywords.
If you feel that I have missed an important tool, just let me know it in the comments below.