How LSI Keywords Get Your More Traffic From Google

LSI is a term associated with keywords and ranking on Google and other search engines. In this article, I am going to help you easily understand what it is and how to leverage it to get more traffic from search engines.

How LSI Keywords Get Your More Traffic From Google

What is an LSI keyword?

Firstly it stands for latent semantic indexing. But in layman’s terms, it is simply all the variations of your target keyword you are trying to rank for. When you create content and target 1 specific keyword, there are many ways it can be re-written and there are also synonyms of it too.

And all those other variations are what are known as LSI and are things things people can also type into Google to find your same article that was trying to rank for one keyword.

Here is an example of LSI: 

I had a post written a long time ago on a program called Survey Say. The main keyword I was looking to rank under was “Survey say” as it gets search traffic. I discovered this by running that keyword through the Jaaxy keyword tool. Here is what it showed:


But as I said above, that keyword can have SO many different ways it can be rewritten. And that’s exactly what Google knows. After writing an article on the Survey Say program, I discovered that there were LSI variations of it that were also ranking AND getting me visitors.

The following screenshot shows this (look at the green rectangles):


lsi keyword example

There are 4 green terms I highlighted there, and all of them are variations (LSI) of the Survey Say keyword I am targeting. Because LSI is working for me correctly, I am getting way more visitors through the other keywords than if I were just ranking for one.

What are the benefits of LSI? In short: More organic traffic.

Google is very smart at seeing what people type into Google and if there is more than one variation of a keyword being typed and you have an article ranking for one of those terms, it will also rank for those other variations and get you more traffic to your site from it.

Those 4 phrases above each have a large number of clicks: 244, 189, 179 and 74 and it’s 686 extra clicks overall!

Imagine if Google only ranked that article I wrote for just that 1 phrase? I’d get less than 100 visitors monthly for it alone, but I’d be missing out on several hundred extra visitors were it not for the LSI perk this search engine has. 

How does one leverage the LSI perk?

You really don’t because Google is smart enough to do this on it’s own. Your goal is simply to do this:

  1. Target a long tailed keyword that is getting visitors.
  2. Write high quality content for the long tailed keyword.
  3. Let Google take care of the LSI and figuring it out.

Don’t try to manually play the LSI game by writing up all the possible ways your main keyword is written because it will impact the reading of your content. Just write naturally.

Keyword competition is almost entirely eliminated thanks to LSI:

Keyword competition is still a very real thing, but with the LSI perk existing, you have SO many more ways of ranking for the targeted keyword you are going for.

Imagine chasing a keyword that has low competition but being unable to rank on the first page of Google for it no matter what you do. Well now that LSI is in the picture, you still might not rank for the main keyword, BUT you will have more options for that keyword to rank for under similar search terms and that way you’ll be able to get traffic from it.

Furthermore, if your content is really well written, the other search terms you’ll get rankings and traffic from will boost your article in the main keyword you originally targeted and help you rise even higher in the SERPS.

The 1 occasion where you should list out all your LSI keywords: 

This should only be done if you’re running pay per click ads. In those circumstances, you are creating ads and telling the ad network to put it up for the keywords you listed. For PPC, LSI doesn’t happen on it’s own. In that circumstance, you have to manually do it.

But the context of LSI isn’t really used for PPC. It’s used for organic rankings where it’s taken care off on it’s own (SEO).

Don’t forget to target long tailed keywords if you want the most out of LSI:

Targeting low hanging fruit or long tailed keywords is one of the best ways to get through that SEO door and get rankings and it’s also a great way to let Google see LSI variations.

For example:

If you target something like “weight loss”, can you imagine how many LSI keywords there are associated with it? I can’t, because it’s probably millions. So in those cases, LSI doesn’t help you.

However, with long tailed keywords, you are going for specific topics that already have lesser competition to worry about and while the LSI variations of long tailed keywords are in fact less in number, they are still very targeted and thus much more profitable.

Product review keywords are another great way to leverage the LSI perk and if you aren’t already writing product reviews on your site, do it, because LSI will boost up the rankings of that even further.

And remember, don’t try to influence the LSI game:

If I didn’t already make it clear, don’t try to input all the possible LSI variations of your main target keyword in your content. It will just make it worse for you. Quality content is one of the 5 major Google ranking factors and as long as you have it, the LSI will be handled, trust me on that.

41 thoughts on “How LSI Keywords Get Your More Traffic From Google”

  1. Hello there Vitaliy,

    I back you up on the benefits of LSI keywords on blog posts. I have used these myself and have seen the traffic increase significantly. I have also done a few experiments on using them without having a base keyword you are targeting in an article, and they have converted very well. So they are more than worth the mention in all articles.

    • Not only that, but they are also a way that Google sees value in your site. If people keep reusing the same keywords, it almost feels like they are trying too hard to plug them in. With LSI, people have more leeway and reach, and Google will only be happy to see that, so it’s a must use technique for SEO.

  2. Great advice here. I had the same question as your client so thank you for including this example. I see that there are some well established online magazines in my niche cranking out content with paid writers and I cannot hope to outrank them on volume. Its good to know that I can have LSI in my back pocket. You don’t directly spell this out but perhaps that is one reason to write organically. When you put things in your own unique terms you could raise your ability to hit an LSI term that more standard writers might not use.

    • When it comes to big competitors such as the sites you mentioned with armies of writers, you need to think beyond just LSI. It will help, but ultimately, those competitors can crank out content faster than you and odds are, their site will get the higher rankings. in this tough spot, the best thing to do is to see what the competitors are writing about and piggyback off that by writing your own version of that content (don’t copy it!). 

      Also seeking out content ideas from these types of methods will also go a long way. I assure you that a good marketer who knows how to find niche keywords will be able to rank and write content that big sites weren’t thinking of.

  3. Great post!

    There is some really interesting a useful information contained in this article. With so much “education” going around, it’s easy for a beginner to get caught up and overthink this topic. Sometimes, a little bit of knowledge is enough to either create extra and unnecessary work for yourself or just enough to hurt your site’s rankings without even realizing it.

    I recall the general principle in the past, Just as you mentioned, was to stuff as many instances of using the keyword into your article as humanly possible. The problem is that the search engines develop over time to the point that they could really be considered a form of artificial intelligence. Nowadays they will penalize you for doing that.

    Again, great post and thanks for putting it together!

    • Good point about people overthinking and that ruining their business Sherman! And about the other point you made on the search engines, you were referring to keyword stuffing, which yes, is a bad form of SEO.

  4. Vitaliy, this is a great article. It’s an eye opener and very informative too. Worthy keeping in mind next time I’m writing content. So which Keyword research tool do you use, or do you just use Webmaster Tools? Curious to know. I believe many readers have found this article very useful.

    • I initially use Jaaxy to find the actual keyword, then if it’s good, I use it in an article and let the index/ranking take care of itself, then I view the results of the ranking on webmater tools Jon, as it will display where and how it’s ranking.

  5. Hey Vitaliy! Thanks for writing the informative and entertaining article about LSI keywords. I understand the basics, such as a high number of clicks and low competition, but I’ve never seen the tool you used in the image. What value tells the competition? Also, great info on avoiding keyword stuffing.

    • Hi Jack, I referred to 2 tools in this article so I’ll mention both:

      1) I used Jaaxy for finding specific keyword data. And where it says “QSR” is where the competition number is listed. 

      2) I also used Webmaster tools to determine the actual times I had my website appear for a term or LSI terms on Google. 

  6. Very interesting article and very informative about LSI keywords. But I’m slightly confused at the end because you say that LSI keywords help with traffic yet you say don’t focus on LSI keywords. So if you’re not focusing on them how do you know if/when they are going to help you? What do you think about looking at Google’s own “related search terms” at the bottom of Google homepage when you type in your initial targeted keyword?

    • Hi Lain, the related terms option you talked about is excellent for brainstorming keywords, so by all means, if you can plug those other related terms into a keyword tool and get even better numbers, use it.

      Now as for not worrying about LSI, what I meant to say is that with regards to your main keyword target, Google will itself decide on what the LSI of it will be. The thing is, if you start to think too much into this and start writing every possible LSI variation of your targeted term, you risk impacting the quality of your content and possibly even keyword stuffing. To avoid any of that, just target 1 term, and let Google figure out the LSI.

  7. Hi Vitaliy,

    A great article regarding LSI keywords, this will be very helpful! It is great that articles we write often get indexed for LSI keywords.

    I believe one method of writing, is to utilize the LSI keywords in place of the main keyword throughout your content. What are your thoughts on this specifically?

    Moderation is of course the key, because keyword stuffing for main or LSI keywords is bad in any case. It is just good to mix it up naturally as we write…for example “online business” and its LSI as “internet business” or “online commerce” may come naturally as you describe and write about it.

    Cheers, Sven.

    • Hi Sven, yes I totally endorse this strategy. The thing is, your main keyword target should be in the title and intro of the post, from there, you shouldn’t go out of your way to write the targeted keyword too often and if it makes sense (contextually speaking) to use an LSI version of it, then use it, as long as it reads easy for readers, it will naturally lead to a better experience for them, and that naturally will help you with Google.

  8. This post really helped me out. I have never heard of LSI’s but was sort of aware of the concept of related keywords.

    I didn’t quite understand how they affected my page ranking for my target keyword, although I knew that my page might rank for keywords I hadn’t targeted, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the concept until now!

    This article cleared things up a lot for me. Just like your lady in your article I was seeing it more as a problem than an opportunity!

    Is there a way to research LSI Keywords when you are doing your keyword research – ie before you write your blog post/article?

    • There are some keyword tools that show LSI variations when you enter 1 keyword Susie, but honestly, just doing very basic keyword research and finding one term that gets traffic is enough, because once your site ranks for that, it will inevitably rank for it’s LSI variations. 

  9. I have learned something new today, thank you for that. LSI Keywords are an eye opener for us newbies and you have made it very easy to understand.

    I am building my own website and I would like to know roughly how long it takes after implementation of your keyword searches and write ups before you start seeing traffic?

    Thank you


    • Well it always varies depending on the niche, the targeted terms, how many comments you get, but the average amount of blog posts before you start seeing organic traffic is usually about 25-50. After 50, you can expect to see more page 1 rankings and much higher traffic booms.

  10. Hi Vitaliy, your discussion about LSI and keywords was easy to understand and the way you presented it clearly shows how valuable it is to use this technique on our blogs or our niche websites.

    Is this something we should do on every page and every post? Or should we be selective about it to avoid “overdoing” it as you mentioned?

    I have used keywords on my website, but not as much as I should because I get more concerned about the content.

    • Focus on the content and on one specific keyword Tomas. If the content you write requires you use a natural variation of the targeted keyword, then write it, but just don’t over do it.

  11. Thanks so much for this. I also have my own website and to be honest the Keyword Research is something that I have trouble with.

    The LSI makes sense to me now after reading your material..I can also see after reading your information here that I have made a few too many mistakes when it comes to selecting good keywords.

    Back to the drawing board I think! Thanks again.

    I appreciate it!


    • If you have trouble with it Chris, try one of the keyword hunting methods I use. Don’t overthink the problem with keywords in that you need to find the perfect one, you’ll only slow down your own progress, find ones which you can write about and get at least a little bit of traffic and let your content, Google and LSI take care of the rest.

  12. Vitaliy, I learned a great deal from this post, being new to internet marketing. lsi and keyword research are topics that I must learn a lot more about. Thanks for the info. Will try to implement this information to get results! I’m trying to learn as much as possible at the moment, so this information will certainly help.



  13. Great explanation, thanks for breaking down LSI, now it makes more sense. So I’ll be looking for those phrases that come naturally to the reader.

    It’s also a relief to know that Google is so genius and that one keyword could possibly reach others. I’ll continue to concentrate on using keywords in the correct context and writing quality content.

  14. Great article about LSI. I didn’t know there was a difference between a normal keyword and an LSI keyword. I, myself, am still learning how to tie keywords to my website so this article would be helpful in the future for me! I am more focused on social media marketing for the time being but I plan on expanding my visitor generation through search engines. So, how would I tie LSI Keywords to my website? Through Google Ads?

    • LSI can be used there Casi, but for the most part, it is used in SEO. You don’t actually have to do anything to let Google know about your LSI, continue targeting a low competition keyword and Google itself will figure out which LSI to use.

  15. Thanks for brilliantly explaining the relationship between a keyword and an LSI keyword. I view LSI as those words we would naturally associate with the central theme of an article.

    As a writer, I’m pleased that the smarter the search engines get, the more rewarding it is to write naturally. Once I have a keyword and a few related LSI words, I write for the reader.

    • Good point Gary, the LSI keyword concept does basically make writing a lot more free for people, especially those who worry about tagging their articles or trying to make sure their keywords get the best ranking possible.

  16. Great read! I have been struggling with getting my site ranked with specific keywords. I would spend hours toiling away at the keyboard trying different variations, and I don’t even use PPC.

    I will definitely keep LSI in mind next time I start posting. I think it will keep my mind occupied with just typing interesting content. Rather than spending all my time trying to come up with the perfect keywords to get my page noticed.

    Thank you for the enlightening read!

  17. This is great, I’ve learned something new today. Thanks for the post Vitaliy. I’ve also shared your post to my Google+ page. Or at least I tried, my computer can be sometimes finicky with the share buttons. I had no idea what LSI was beforehand. But now that I think about it, I do get a lot of clicks from similar terms to the keywords I try and rank for!

  18. Hi Vitaly,

    It is great to get an idea what an LSI keyword really is. I also gained a lot of value from this article. I will admit I am a bit guilty about adding tags with my keywords to my blog posts… it’s always just been a force of habit.

    Is it really hurting or helping my posts to add these tags containing my keywords on my website?

    Also, like you said, I tend to use keywords plus variations of it when I create a product/service review(product + review or product + scam), what does that tell Google?

    Thanks for the insight,

    • I don’t see anything wrong with adding a few variations in the content of your posts Diana as long as you just don’t overdo it. Regarding the tags, I also don’t see a big problem with that unless, again, you create too many of them. In my experience, just placing the targeted keyword and maybe 1 or 2 variations is enough and you’ll still get ranked for many more terms in time through the LSI algorithm.

  19. This is awesome stuff, I had no idea that targeting one keyword had the potential to reach so many others. Am I correct in understanding that you don’t really need to do a lot about LSI and just let Google sort it for you? I try to focus as much as possible on making good quality content

    • That is correct Dave, they’ll handle it for you. If you start writing your own LSI terms on your page, it may lead to a worse quality site. Stick to using one keyword in a correct context throughout your content.

  20. I really like the information on this page. I feel keyword research is so important to the survival of a site. One thing I did not know though is using many keyword phrases on your page to boost the rankings. That is genius. Can I get into trouble with Google if I use many keyword phrases on one page? Thank you for the information.

    • It can happen Will which is why you should use them only in places within your article/s where it makes sense. The more you write the keyword, the less quality your article will have.

  21. Vitaliy-

    Wow… this is great information to keep in mind when writing articles. I’m sure a lot of bloggers can benefit from this information, including myself. Many of us assume that we only get ranked for the keywords that we go after, and have no idea that google is working on our behalf (as long as the content offers a lot of value).


  22. It’s amazing to know how just one keyword term can lead to a page of your content getting ranked under several other terms 🙂

    I totally see your point when it comes to LSI and not trying to play Google. However, I do tend to enter between 3 – 5 other related keyword terms as tags for each post I create. Will Google be OK with me doing this?



    • Hi Neil, this should be OK. Most of the time you’ll have at least 2 versions of a keyword per article so 3 shouldn’t be a problem.


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