Ultimate Guide: to Use LSI keywords to Rank Higher in Search Engines

Ultimate Guide: to Use LSI Keywords to Rank Higher in Search Engines

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”.

LSI Keywords Results

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.

Google Search SuggestionsAnother 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.

Google Related Searches

LSI Graph

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.

LSI Graph Keyword Tool

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.

LSI Graph ResultsYou have a long list of LSI keywords, isn’t it great tool?

 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.

Ultimate Keyword HunterAs 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).

Ultimate Keyword Hunter AnalysisAt 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.

Ultimate Keyword Hunter Screen Analysis ResultsNow 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.

SEMrush for LSI keywords All you need to do is to input the keyword that you want the LSI keywords for and hit the SEARCH button.


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”.

SEMrush Close Phrase Match

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.

semrush-phrase-related-keywordsObviously, we got some keywords that semantically related to our search keyword. To see the full list click on “View full report” button.SEMrush Phrase Related Keywords Full

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.

Bottom line:

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.

Hussain Omar has built his expertise as a knowledgeable and experienced SEO strategist, he’s the founder of Hustaw SEO, and the guy behind this blog. An addict to anything related to SEO, Search Engine Marketing, Internet Marketing, and Blogging.


  • John

    Nice article, thanks

  • This article helps me a great for building a site or niche sites for keywords building. I want to see regularly post on your blog with post. Thanks

    • Glad to know that it works for you Readoy. Try to focus on those commercial intent keywords.

  • Hey, great job with this post. It’s the best one I’ve seen on LSI mainly because you’ve made it really actionable.

    Normally, I just write and end up using synonyms along the way but I like that you added some structure around the concept.

    • Hey Doug,

      Thanks for the nice words you wrote about my post, you gave me real push to continue with this type of posts, thanks again for stopping by.


  • Nafisul Islam

    Great article Hussain! 🙂
    Really loved reading it through!

  • Really interesting and helpful post. keep updating 🙂

  • I never knew about that! Thanks for highlighting it so I can do better with my own website!

    – Elodie x

    • Great to know that it will help you in your next posts there, anytime Elodie!

  • I really needed that, thanks! I am a new blogger and I am still learning a lot of things! Ranking in search engines is a topic I wanted to learn more about, so your post is very, very helpful! Thanks again!

    • Welcome Rodanthi, let me know when you need help.

  • Excellent article Hussain! Given that LSI keywords can be exploited in order to achieve higher rankings in Google, do you think that there will be some other, better system in future?

    • Good question Nikolay! Even if there is a better system in the future, it is just a matter of time, and then any system can be exploited. To be on the safe side, you can always stick to the purpose of that system, the PERFECT SENSE, and that is what the LSI keywords came to help with. If your content is super great and making perfect sense, then, you have nothing to worry about. Thanks for stopping by Nicolay.

  • hi hussan,

    Your awesome guide will help many novice bloggers like me.

    Such a beautiful piece of content with an impressive layout.

    Before reading this post, I didn’t know about LSI graph, but now I have a clear idea about it.

    Thank you brother

    Have a productive week ahead



    • You are welcome Rahul. Great to know that it will help you in your next posts, thanks for stopping by.

  • Hi Hussain,

    You have shared a detail of LSI, and I’m amazed while reading it.
    I have read each and every word of this post and found it very useful in clearing my doubts.

    I also get the answers to mine question related to LSI and search ranking criteria of Google.

    This article is going to help all internet marketers a lot…..

    • Hi Pawan,
      Thanks for your nice words.
      I’m happy to know that the post answered your questions.
      Have a nice day!

  • Hi Hussain ,
    great guide for using LSI keywords,
    I am not very good in this and do not
    like much searching ,I use sometimes
    the Google suggestions 🙂 But I know
    for people who want to get ranked it is
    a very important to find good keywords.
    You explained it really good here.
    Thank you

    • Hi Erika,
      Glad you found my post great.
      Google suggestions is great way to do it too.

      Thanks for your nice words.
      And thanks for stopping by.


  • Hi Hussain,

    Whats the difference between LSI keywords & Long tail keywords?

    Your post is just fantastic.

    • Hi Asad,
      Long tail keywords are these key phrases that are more specific than the head keywords, while LSI keywords are those keywords that are semantically related.

  • Your post is awesome Hussain, this help us to create a microniche websites that helps to make more money. Thanks a lot

  • Thank you for sharing your wonderful .I liked the way that you wrote and presented this information.

  • What an amazing and well written article.

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