With Google’s algorithms becoming more and more sophisticated at making links in language to better understand user intent, it’s no longer enough to simply perform a basic keyword search for ideas.
You can optimize for a given keyword, sure, and if your site has enough trust and authority you’ll probably inadvertently rank for other search phrases you aren’t even tracking. That can be an automatic benefit when your other SEO is strong.
As we talked about in a recent post about creating city pages, including phrases related to your core idea but phrased like people look for them is much more powerful.
LSI Keyword Examples + Insights
LSI tools are also useful to guide your writing since they’ll give you insight into the kinds of things people are wondering about when they search certain topics. For instance, using LSI tools for searches related to “house cleaning services” revealed a bunch of queries related to pricing and checklists.
That told me 2 things:
- People like to know what’s involved in the process once they’ve hired a house cleaner (as well as pricing)
- People are searching those things as much or more than for a cleaning company itself, so any appeal needs to include those queries
Meaning that if I were to create a city-focused landing page about those services, I’d need to go beyond just talking about the competitive advantages of the company and its services. I’d need to go further than including social proof.
My content would have to answer search queries about pricing and, more importantly, checklists for homeowners to bear in mind in preparation for cleaning.
LSI searches related to injury attorneys reveals that a lot of people also look for data about what to do in a car accident to minimize liability, how to report things to insurance companies, and what to look out for in an auto policy when shopping car insurance in the first place.
Your typical service page for personal injury law probably doesn’t include any of those things, and it should. When a page includes chunks of content dedicating to these kinds of things, it creates two powerful benefits:
- The page now stands a chance of ranking for more types of searches since it clearly addresses several legitimate user queries surrounding the core topic. This can mean significantly more eyes on the page.
- Because the page is clearly serving the user by addressing popular queries, which is what Google is all about right now, the page will be seen as far more authoritative. This may mean the page can outrank a competitor’s related page even if that competitor has been around longer.
Think Of It Like a Keyword Variation Generator
There are a lot of keyword researching tools, starting with the most frequently mentioned of all: Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool. I also recommend Neil Patel’s UberSuggest tool as well, which can give you the same data without messing with an Adwords account.
These are good places to start, but the trouble is that the same high-traffic keywords are shown to anyone looking.
That means that you and potentially all of your competition are seeing the same ideas. If you’re all targeting the same keywords and using similar techniques, it’s going to be tough for anyone to win.
There’s some edge to being clever with the way you do keyword research with those tools that can give you a better list, but with how competitive everything is getting it’s best not to hope for or rely simply on being clever.
LSI tools give you some variation and can help you un-learn some bad habits you’ve probably picked up about only optimizing for the highest traffic keywords.
Are These Free Keyword Research Tools?
When you get into the realm of LSI keyword research, the answer is yes and no.
Many of them will let you use the tools for free a certain number of times. LSIgraph.com for instance let’s you run about 5 searches for free. This can help in a pinch for a project or so, and can show you some benefits of related keyword data in action.
(Not an affiliate link; this is an honest recommendation.)
However, LSIgraph still gives you more data as a paying member than it does for free.
Most of these tools are pretty affordable, and I’d highly recommend investing in them if you’re serious about using SEO to grow your business. And that’s whether you’re a single business owner doing your own marketing or if you’re an SEO marketer yourself.
At the time of writing this article, for example, LSIgraph has a deal for ~$50/year if you pay for the year up front. Otherwise it’s ~$25/month. Affordable in either case, especially for the ranking benefits of smarter keyword optimization.