What Are LSI Keywords? Synonyms That Matter in SEO

Is it your goal to maximize the SEO potential of your long-form blog content? 

Of course, you want your blog posts to rank for as many high-value keywords as possible. The return on investment from this content strategy is incredible.

After all, organic search has the power to bring in 1,000% more traffic than organic social media.

So, how do you improve your chances of ranking? 

One of the on-page SEO best practices you may have been advised to follow is to optimize your content for LSI keywords.

That’s exactly what this guide will cover:

  • What are LSI keywords? 
  • Is there even such a thing as LSI keywords? 
  • How helpful is it to optimize blog content for LSI keywords? 
  • Does Google use LSI technology to index and rank web pages?

This article will answer these questions and more. Without wasting time, let’s get straight to it.

Table of Contents

Looking for Content?

Creating lots of great content — and scaling your content marketing — has never been easier.

With Content at Scale, you can add 1, 20, 50, or even 100 keywords that you want to rank for. Then, within minutes, CAS will write high-quality long-form blog posts for each keyword — from start to finish!

creating content in content at scale

That means everything: title, meta description, introduction, all the way to the conclusion, with minor human intervention. Just like THIS post! That means you can get content published daily to your blog for as low as $0.01/word.

Ready to try it out? Check out how simple it is to scale your content marketing.

What Are LSI Keywords?

Generally, LSI keywords are words and phrases that have a similar meaning to the main keyword. These keywords are semantically related to the main topic and help search engines understand the context of a web page. Google associates these keywords with your main keyword.

From that understanding, LSI keywords are search queries that are related to your target keywords. In other words, LSI keywords are other words people might use to describe a problem or the topic you are researching on Google.

For example, you’ll commonly find LSI keywords in the “Related” section of any Google SERP (search engine results page):

LSI keywords in google related searches section

However, there is also a second meaning when we talk about LSI.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing), also known as LSA (Latent Semantic Analysis), was developed in 1989 as a natural language processing (NLP) technique. The technology was patented by Bell Communications Research, Inc., but the patent has since expired. This original LSI was used exclusively for documents — not for web pages.

However, somehow the term “LSI keywords” came to be associated with using related terms and synonyms to optimize content for SEO. When we talk about LSI today, that’s what most people and SEOs are referring to.

The idea behind LSI keywords is that they provide additional context about what your content is about, allowing search engine algorithms to deeply understand a web page and better categorize it. This ensures the web page ranks for relevant searches.

Examples of LSI Keywords

A common example of LSI keywords would be the word “automobile”, which is another word for “car”. You could also consider the words “vehicle”, “sedan”, and “truck” as LSI keywords when the word “car” is the main keyword.

Another example:

Let’s say you’re writing a blog post about “dog training tips.” Common related keywords or LSI keywords for the topic might include: 

  • “puppy obedience classes”
  • “dog behavior modification techniques”
  • “positive reinforcement dog training methods”

How Do LSI Keywords Differ from Regular Keywords?

Regular keywords are single words or short phrases that describe the main topic of a web page. Search engines use these short phrases or single words to understand the main theme of a web page and its content. 

On the other hand, LSI keywords provide additional context and are more specific than regular keywords.

LSI keywords go beyond simply identifying what the page is about; they also offer information on related topics, helping search engines determine how relevant it is to certain queries. 

what are LSI keywords?

For example, if you have an article with “cooking” as your main keyword, adding LSI terms like “recipes” or “kitchen appliances” will give readers a better idea of what type of content they can expect from your website.

Unlike regular keywords which focus on one particular subject matter, LSI keywords provide more detailed information by covering multiple aspects within that subject area. 

This allows search engine algorithms to make connections between different concepts when ranking pages for certain searches – something that would not be possible with just regular keywords.

Using LSI keywords in blog posts provides writers with an opportunity to expand on their ideas without needing to add extra words. This makes them great tools for creating concise yet informative pieces quickly.

Why Are LSI Keywords Important for On-Page SEO?

There are many ways people might search Google for a topic. Using LSI keywords in your topic helps Google understand the true context of a search even when you use a less common word. 

Along with that, optimizing your pages for semantically related keywords helps Google understand not only what type of information you’re providing, but also how it relates back to other topics. 

Using LSI keywords can also help boost click-through rates from organic listings as they give readers more information about what the page contains before they click through to read it.

It’s important when optimizing for SEO purposes, though, not to just throw random related terms into your text. Instead, focus on those related keywords that accurately reflect what you’re talking about.

Does Google Use LSI Technology to Index and Rank Web Pages?

Google does not use LSI technology to rank web pages. According to them, LSI keywords don’t exist. The closest thing to LSI keywords you will get with Google is “related searches” that you see at the bottom of the SERP.

Why? Google simply doesn’t refer to related terms and synonyms as “LSI keywords” — even though that’s a popular way people refer to them in SEO.

Google Autocomplete is another Google feature that surfaces what can be described as LSI keywords. 

what are LSI keywords?

The reason why Google did not use LSI technology is that it was a patented technology. When the patent expired there was no sense in using the technology as Google had developed better technology that could accomplish the same goal as LSI keywords – understanding the contextual meaning behind searches.

As a technology, Latent Semantic Analysis is not scalable and thus is unsuitable to use for a large data set that is as dynamic as the internet.

That said, whatever you call them, LSI keywords are an important tool for optimizing content and improving on-page SEO. Understanding why they are essential is the next step in leveraging their power to boost your website’s visibility and ranking.

Where Can You Find LSI Keywords?

We have already talked about Google’s related searches carousel and autocomplete feature as sources of LSI keywords. But possibly the best way to understand keywords and identify those you can use in your content is to have deep knowledge of your subject matter.

When you become an expert on your topic, LSI keywords come to you naturally because these are words built into your expert vocabulary. This is one of the biggest advantages of writing content as an expert: The ability to use related keywords in a natural way.

Another great source of LSI keywords is your competition. Look at the words they’re using as their primary keywords when targeting similar topics. If they’re not similar to the words you’re using, those become LSI keywords to you.

If you write a lot of content and are pressed for time, you can use LSI keyword generators like LSIGraph. Premium SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs also have features that surface LSI keyword ideas.

Pro tip: When optimizing blog posts generated using the Content At Scale AI writer, there’s no need to fire up an LSI generator in a separate tab to find LSI keywords to add to your article. To your right is an Optimization tab that lists LSI and other related keywords the AI has already researched for you.

Once you have identified potential LSI keywords, use online tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Semrush to assess the relevance of each term based on search volume data and competition levels. 

How to Use LSI Keywords for On-Page SEO

LSI keywords are an important part of on-page SEO. They help search engines understand the subject of your content and its relevance to specific keywords, which helps position it high on the SERPs. 

When incorporating LSI keywords in your blog posts, focus on those that are conceptually relevant and use them in a natural way rather than forcing them in. 

For example, if you’re writing about “how to make money online”, consider adding alternative keywords such as “passive income ideas” or “side hustles” throughout the body text of your post without making it sound too forced or unnatural. 

Another way to incorporate LSI keywords into blog posts is by adding them to meta tags such as title tags and meta descriptions

When these phrases show up alongside your main keyword phrase, readers know exactly what type of content to expect when they click through – thus increasing click-through rates even further.

Another great way to use LSI keywords when writing blog posts is by including them in anchor text links pointing to other pages on your website. This helps establish topical relevance between different pieces of content while also boosting internal link signals. 

All in all, using latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords in both off-page and on-page SEO efforts can significantly improve both visibility and user engagement.

How to Use LSI Keywords When Writing Blog Posts

When writing blog posts, it is important to include both regular and LSI keywords. Long-tail LSI keywords are related terms or phrases that provide context for your content. They can be synonyms or related words that help search engines understand what your post is about. 

Optimizing for long-tail LSI keywords in your blog posts can boost their visibility in search engine results pages and make it easier for readers to quickly locate relevant information.

Use Natural Language

Using natural language when incorporating LSI keywords into your post is key. It helps ensure that the content reads smoothly and makes sense to readers. 

For example, if you’re writing a post about SEO best practices, you could use “search engine optimization” as well as “SEO” interchangeably throughout the text instead of just one term exclusively. 

This provides more context for search engines and makes your sentences less repetitive and thus easier to read.

Don’t Limit the Use of LSI Keywords to the Body Text

Incorporating synonyms and related terms in every piece of your blog post, not just the body text, is another effective way to optimize your content. Here are key places where you can and should use LSI keywords:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Headings
  • Link anchor text
  • Image alt tags

Particularly, optimizing page titles and meta descriptions is key for search engines to have a better understanding of what the topic entails, potentially leading to higher SERP rankings over time.

FAQs: What Are LSI Keywords?

How do I use LSI keywords?

Use LSI keywords liberally in your blog posts. The idea is to use an LSI keyword where you would have used your target keyword. This improves your content by preventing the overuse of your primary keyword and helps make it accessible to more readers. Add them to the metadata, headers, and body text.

How do I choose LSI keywords?

To choose LSI keywords, start by researching and understanding your topic. Research other sources related to your topics such as industry publications, forums, blogs, and competitor keywords for potential LSI terms. Choose those that make the most sense for your content marketing strategy and SEO objectives.

What is the difference between secondary and LSI keywords?

LSI keywords are secondary keywords in the sense that they are not the primary target for your on-page optimization. That said, not all secondary keywords can be LSI keywords. 

LSI keywords are secondary keywords that mean the same thing as the primary keyword. Other secondary keywords may mean something different than the primary keyword, only that they have to be topically relevant and expand understanding of the primary keyword.


LSI keywords are an important tool for on-page SEO and can help improve the quality of your content. They differ from regular keywords in that they provide more context to search engines by adding related words or phrases. 

By using LSI keywords, you can make sure Google knows exactly what your page is about without having to rely solely on exact match keywords. This will help ensure that your content gets seen by more people and ranks higher in organic searches.

When used correctly, LSI keywords can make a blog post stand out and increase its chances of being found through organic searches. With proper research into relevant topics, it’s possible to find the right combination of LSI keywords that will optimize your content for maximum visibility online.

Looking for Content?

Creating lots of great content — and scaling your content marketing — has never been easier.

With Content at Scale, you can add 1, 20, 50, or even 100 keywords that you want to rank for. Then, within minutes, CAS will write high-quality long-form blog posts for each keyword — from start to finish!

creating content in content at scale

That means everything: title, meta description, introduction, all the way to the conclusion, with minor human intervention. Just like THIS post! That means you can get content published daily to your blog for as low as $0.01/word.

Ready to try it out? Check out how simple it is to scale your content marketing.

Photo of author

About the author

Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an 8x author and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and presence that lasts online. As the VP of Marketing at Content at Scale, she helps marketers achieve insane ROI (3-10x their time back at 1/3rd the cost) in a new era of AI as a baseline for content production. She's been named in the top 30 of all content marketers worldwide, is the founder of Content Hacker, and recently exited her 100-person writing agency with a desire to help marketers, teams, and entrepreneurs find the keys of online success and revenue growth without breaking.

Join our list to see how to dominate any market, topic, or niche with content.