How We Find Semantically Related Words for SEO

Table of Contents

Helpful summary

Overview: Semantically related keywords are essential for SEO, enhancing a website's ability to rank for key terms and increasing search visibility. These keywords, also known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, help search engines understand the context of content, improving relevancy and user experience.

Why you can trust us: We significantly increased Upscribe's organic traffic by 400% in just five months using tailored SEO strategies, such as incorporating semantically related keywords. This shows our proficiency in executing impactful SEO techniques for tangible outcomes.

Why is this important: Incorporating semantically related keywords into content helps search engines more accurately interpret the page's topic, leading to better rankings for those terms. This approach broadens a website's reach, attracts more targeted traffic, and ultimately, can lead to higher conversion rates.

Action points: We advise researching and integrating semantically related keywords into your website content. This should be done in a way that feels natural and enhances the reader's understanding of the topic.

Further research: To maximize the use of semantically related keywords, continuous research and adaptation to evolving SEO trends and algorithm changes are essential.

Need help in finding semantically related words for SEO?

To help you give your SEO strategy a leg up, here is the ultimate beginner’s guide to semantically related keywords, how to find them, and how to use them to your advantage to increase your website traffic in 2024. 

Although AI is becoming smarter (almost terrifyingly so), computers can still be a little dumb. Google will use algorithms to make suggestions based on our searches, both current and in the past. 

However, sometimes the systems don’t always have the same level of cross-referencing that humans can pick up on, and they need lots of guidance to understand us. For example, a person would be able to use context to know what was being asked whereas a computer may take your search very literally. 

A computer can’t read your mind (not in 2024, at least). That’s why search engines are programmed using mathematical algorithms to help them save us time and energy. One way the algorithms assist content publishers is to use words that are related to their main keyword in your website page or blog post. 

At Embarque, we’re an SEO expert used by online startups, including SaaS, freelancers, agencies, job boards, and marketplaces we recommend you can use these semantically related keywords, otherwise known as LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords, to tell the computer where to show your content in search and increase the number of eyeballs on your content! 

In this article, you’ll learn:

Let’s start! Or maybe you prefer a related keyword? Let’s begin! Let’s go! Let’s commence! Ok, maybe that sounds like we are about to initiate a new collection of SEO Avengers, but you get the idea. 

Why listen to us about finding semantically related words for SEO?

In a nutshell, our work with Upscribe led to a remarkable 400% surge in organic traffic within a span of 5 months. By tailoring a customized SEO strategy and strategically deploying high-performing keywords, we facilitated the creation of targeted content for Upscribe. 

Starting from a low point of 400-500 monthly organic searches, Upscribe quickly reached 700 in October 2022 and accelerated to 1,000 monthly organic searches by November 2022. Presently, the company enjoys robust organic traffic, reaching 1,779 organic searches per month in January 2023.

What are LSI and semantically related keywords?

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which counts for semantically related words that complement primary keywords in the SEO world. An LSI keyword is not necessarily a synonym to your focus keyword, rather than a word or phrase that, when used in the same context, gives search engines a better indication of what your content is about.

So, let’s say you’re a photographer. Your semantically related keywords could be:

All these LSI keywords are not synonyms. However, when used, per se, in a blog post on photography for weddings, they indicate in Google what this page is all about. Not only that, but readers can instantly identify how relevant this content is to their search query. 

Why do search engines need LSI?

Another example: suppose you are Googling for John Lennon from the band ‘The Beatles’. If you typed ‘Lennon Beatles’, you may end up with results for the legendary singer mixed in with some insect-related results! 

To avoid confusion, search engines had to advance their technology to use context to provide users with relevant search information. This is where LSI keywords come into play.

Search engines use complex mathematical algorithms to identify the meaning behind human text. However, we aren’t about to start teaching you how these algorithms work and how to decode them. We can teach you what you should know about the importance of semantically related words in your keyword mapping process. 

Put simply, search engines had to incorporate the polysemy factor into their content indexing. Polysemy simply means ‘multiple meanings behind a word’, which can be used to determine the context in which a word is being used. So, for example, the word mouse can be used to describe both the small mammal and a computer’s mouse.

Why Is LSI important for SEO's and businesses?

LSI keywords help potential customers and search engines determine what your website, business, and products are all about. As we’ve mentioned in our article on Trustrank, in terms of ranking content, Google places a lot of emphasis on:

In a nutshell, the more you target these semantically-related keywords through high-quality content, the faster you’ll rank for key terms. It’s what allowed us to rank first on a query that gets 17,000 searches with Scrumgenius in under a month. It’s what allows MentorCruise to rank on relevant queries related to mentorship in less than a day. Yes, under a day. That’s how powerful becoming a topical authority is.

Ranking for semantically related keywords increases click-through rates, improves your quality score with high relevance, and lowers your overall bid strategy. They are essential to incorporate into your content planning and SEO strategy. 

If you are unsure where to begin, we will give you a basic rundown on how to find and use semantically rated words in this blog post. Or you may prefer to have one of the Embarque expert SEO strategists on your side to help guide you through the process.

How we find semantically related words?

Now you know what semantic keywords are and why they are important to increase your search visibility. Let’s go over how to find semantically related words for your website. Here are your 9 steps to using LSI keywords:

1. Identify your primary keywords

Keyword research is infinitely valuable if you’re hoping for a successful SEO strategy. It’s vital that you first specify the foundation of core keywords that you’ll later expand on with semantic keywords. 

The best way to do this is to create a spreadsheet with your primary keywords that you’ll use to map topics and content across different channels. You can use keyword research tools like Ahrefs and SEO Scout to determine which high-volume queries you want to create content around. For instance, at Embarque, you’ll notice that we mainly post content around the following core topics:

2. Determine your supplementary keywords

Next you need to find similar words to your primary keywords that are still highly relevant to your content. It could be synonyms or thematically related phrases that are based on the same idea as your primary keywords. 

For example, you can use an affordable tool like Keywords Everywhere to find more keyword opportunities. Once you identify them, fill them in your spreadsheet. Here is an example of the Keywords Everywhere plugin on Google for a search for ‘Dentists in London’. You can see the suggested related keywords on the right handside of the web browser which you can choose to include in your keyword mapping. 

3. Do competitive research

Part of your regular SEO routine is competitor analysis. When analyzing your competitors’ SEO efforts, make sure you identify what semantically related keywords they are using and any gaps you could fill in.

You can use a tool like Ahrefs to compare your website with other competitors’ domains and filter those keywords that are not being used. Those are your top keyword opportunities.

4. Use auto-complete and make a list of what people are searching 

Auto-complete is an excellent Google feature that reveals popular searches similar to what you’re typing before you even press enter. It’s based on a pool of users’ searches which helps Google determine popular search queries for relevant topics.

So, for example, when searching ‘best laptops’ in the search bar, you get a bunch of suggestions based on what users also search. In this example, you could group the keywords ‘best laptops for students’, ‘best laptops for college’ and ‘best laptops for engineering students’, and write a blog post for prospective students looking to buy their first laptop when leaving home for college.

5. Peek at related searches 

Similarly to auto-complete, you can find at the bottom of your search results Google’s Relate Search feature that gives clues on what users are interested in based on your focus keywords. 

Here we see other relevant searches that might be useful to your overall SEO content strategy that didn’t pop up in the auto-complete search. 

6. Check the People Also Ask box

You’ve probably noticed that Google showcases the most popular questions users type in the search bar for you to consider clicking through. It’s a handy tool that helps you identify what users are interested in learning and allow you to answer these queries to provide as much have to the reader as possible. 

7. Keep an eye on forums and social media 

Anything indexed by Google is worth keeping tabs on. These are excellent resources to determine users’ search queries, whether it is forums like Quora or Reddit, social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, or knowledge bases like Wikipedia. 

For example, searching ‘apple laptops’ or ‘apple computers’ in Wikipedia offers various ideas or even semantically related words relating to your users search interests when searching to buy a new laptop. 

8. Use Google Image search suggestions

Google offers a feature inside its image search that’s an additional way of finding related searches and LSI keywords you can use in your content and image names. To use it, simply open the Image Search, type your primary keyword and click on one of the suggested alternative searches.

Use LSI keyword tools

LSI keyword meanings might be new and overwhelming to you. Thankfully, there are LSI tools to make this process easier for you. Some of our favorites are:

SEO Scout

SEO Scout is a cool tool that uses machine learning for keyword research. Simple enter a core query, and SEO Scout will show a list of variations around this core term. Saves you a significant time on research. For instance, the image above shows different keyword variations that you can have around the query countdown clock.

Search Console

Google’s Search Console is the most accurate keyword tracking tool that there is… and it’s for free! While most keyword research tools only provide search volume estimates, Search Console tracks these figures accurately as impressions. Understand which semantically related queries you’re ranking for and optimize your old content to rank higher and get more search clicks.


You can use Ahrefs to find content gaps by analyzing the keywords other results are ranking for. For instance, say you’re on the first page for the query SEO, and you want to rank for more related terms. In that case, you can go through each results keywords to uncover new topics you can include.

Semrush keyword magic tool

An all-in-one tool to identify semantically related keyword opportunities for your SEO strategy. Simply enter your keyword, get your results, filter them based on volume, search intent, or SEO difficulty, and take action. 

Prices start from $119.95 per month.


From primary to long-tail keywords, Ubersuggest lets you explore in its free version hundreds of keywords along with their volume, SEO difficulty, and competition top related articles. Export your keyword list, and you’re ready to go!

Prices start from $29 per month. 

Keyword Tool

An excellent tool that can be used for YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, or even Instagram. Generate more than 750 semantic keywords for your search terms in the free version or upgrade to the pro version for advanced results.

Prices start from $69 per month.


LSIGraph offers limited keywords along with top related articles in its free version. You can opt for a basic, premium, or agency package for complete semantic analysis for more advanced results. All in all, it’s an efficient SEO tool if you’re looking for something affordable to get you started.

Prices start at $27 per month. 

Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz lets you find your sweet spot to success by identifying, organizing, and categorizing semantic keywords. You can test it out with a 30-day free trial or opt for a paid package when you are ready. 

Prices start at $99 per month.


Keysearch is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides various features, including LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keyword research. Keysearch's LSI keyword tool assists in finding relevant terms that can enhance your SEO efforts. 

It generates a list of LSI keywords based on the primary keyword, displaying their search volume, competition, and trend data. This makes it a good LSI keyword tool as it helps users identify related keywords to optimize their content, improve search engine rankings, and attract more organic traffic. 

Keysearch offers 1 month free trial, but paid plans start at $17 per month.

Keyword Country

Keyword Country is a keyword research tool that uses artificial intelligence to help users find relevant keywords for their marketing campaigns. It provides data points such as search volume, trends, and cost-per-click, allowing you to brainstorm new keyword ideas and monitor your competitors.

Prices start at $49 per month.

Twinword Ideas

Twinword Ideas provides data on search volume, competition, and cost-per-click, which can help you create content that is more likely to be seen by your target audience. The tool can suggest keywords that are not only relevant to your query, but also related to the overall topic of your content. 

Additionally, Twinword Ideas offers the ability to track your progress over time, which can help you see how your keyword research efforts are paying off.

Prices start at $12 per month. 

Best practices for semantically related words for SEO

Content optimization

When it comes to semantic SEO, your website's content is key. Write in a conversational, human-sounding way, like you're talking to a friend. Avoid jargon and overly technical language that might alienate users. Mix up your sentence structure and length to maintain engagement.

Create a comprehensive content outline

When creating content, develop a comprehensive outline that covers all relevant, thematically-linked terms and topics. Integrate related keywords and synonyms smoothly throughout your writing. Don’t forget to also utilize subheadings and bullet points to enhance readability and break up your text.

Incorporate long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are far more specific than their short-tail counterparts. They often include additional terms that clarify your intent and provide valuable context for search engines. This allows you to target users who are closer to the point of conversion, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.

By virtue of their longer length and greater detail, long-tail keywords naturally incorporate more semantically related words and phrases. This inherent semantic richness helps search engines understand the true meaning and context of your content, ultimately improving your search engine ranking for those specific long-tail queries.

Optimize for featured snippets

To optimize for featured snippets, directly answer common user questions within your content. Employ clear, concise language to summarize key points. Format your content in a way that is readily understood by search engines.

Additionally, consider schema markup. This helps search engines grasp your content and entities like people, places, and things, potentially increasing your chances of appearing in rich snippets and featured results.

To see the strategy in action, explore our case study on how we ranked ScrumGenius to a featured snippet, gaining +17k traffic for a key keyword with 0 backlinks in less than 30 days. We began by crafting content that precisely addressed the keyword query and ensured Google's preference for ranking in the top 5 search results. The content was then optimized by increasing word count and using keywords with a difficulty below 15 (KD). Finally, using the ABS framework, we aligned our SEO content efforts to provide substantial value to readers and address our client's pain points.

Leverage schema markup

Adding schema markup is a powerful way to amplify your semantic SEO efforts. Also known as structured data, schema markup is a specific semantic vocabulary (code) that provides search engines with detailed information about your web page's content. This enables search engines to grasp the meaning and context of your content more effectively, leading to potentially higher search rankings and better organic visibility.

The good news is that implementing schema markup doesn't require coding expertise. Numerous SEO plugins are available that simplify the process, making it accessible to users of all technical backgrounds.

Enhance navigation and site structure for semantic SEO

A structured website with intuitive navigation is vital for both search engines and users. Search engines analyze content organization and user navigation ease, making optimizing your site structure and navigation a best practice for semantic SEO.

Here's how to implement this best practice:

Consistent monitoring of semantic SEO performance

Maintaining your semantic SEO strategy requires consistent monitoring and measurement. Tools like Google Analytics are invaluable in tracking your website's organic traffic and user behavior, providing crucial insights into how your keyword usage and content optimization efforts are impacting your search engine visibility.

Through regular monitoring, you can identify areas for improvement, such as missing related keywords or opportunities to enhance natural language usage within your content. This data-driven approach allows for informed adjustments to your keyword targeting, content optimization, and internal linking structure, ensuring your strategy remains adaptable to algorithm updates and future industry trends.

Semantic keywords checklist

To summarise, semantically related keywords are crucial for a good SEO strategy. 

They allow users and search engines to figure out what your website and business are all about and get your content in front of your potential customers. Therefore, the right SEO strategy should include semantic words inside your content to keep the environment around your focus keywords relevant.

To conduct a proper semantic keywords analysis and boost your overall internal and external SEO, follow these steps:

Now you know all about what semantic-related keywords are and how to use them in your SEO strategy. With the right strategy down, you’ll be boosting your SEO, increasing your sales, and scaling your business to reach your goals in no time!

Please feel free to reach out to a member of the Embarque team if you are interested in having a consultation with one of our resident experts in SEO to discuss how to improve your strategy in an instant. 

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