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How to use synonyms for better rankings in search engines


If you’re looking to improve your rankings in search results, synonyms are a great way to see the changes you want without spending too much on your SEO. A well-written piece of content with naturally included keywords and synonyms can expect to see significant results that last for the life of your website. Let’s get into the details.

What are keyword synonyms in SEO

Using keywords is essential to getting any piece of content seen by the people you’re targeting. Unfortunately, using one keyword too many times is considered keyword stuffing. Any site that does this is penalized in search rankings, which means you won’t receive the traffic you’re hoping for.

That’s where synonyms come in. Content that utilizes synonyms is much more likely to receive high rankings than content that doesn’t, which can have a huge effect on the inbound traffic going to your website. This is because content that’s filled with synonyms is considered more well-rounded, more comprehensive, and more customer friendly.

Even if you aren’t a professional editor, you can likely tell when one word has been repeated way too many times, right? If not, try reading the content aloud. If you find yourself saying the same keyword in nearly every sentence, it’s likely been used too much.

One important distinction you should be aware of is the difference between keyword synonyms and LSI keywords. Unlike keyword synonyms, which are words or phrases that mean the same thing as your target keyword, LSI keywords are words that relate to that target. Think of it like this:

In an article on how to prepare tea, a synonym might be something like “how to make tea.” On the other hand, an LSI keyword for that topic would be “how to prepare tea at home” or “how to prepare tea without a kettle.”

Now that you understand what role synonyms play in content, let’s discuss the advantages they give you over your competitors.

Advantages

Adding keyword synonyms to your content has many advantages, one of which is the potential to rank for multiple keywords. Google’s algorithm looks at content as a whole to determine how it corresponds with what people are searching for. The more comprehensively your content discusses a topic, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings.

Another advantage to including synonyms is that it gives you a leg up against your competition. How, you may ask? By making your content more visible. Many businesses don’t conduct research into keywords and synonyms before creating their content. That means there’s an entire field of content that isn’t getting found by people who search Google for synonyms and LSI keywords, rather than the keywords those pieces were targeting. This is where the advantage of ranking for multiple keywords comes in.

We’ve all seen the suggestions at the bottom of a Google search results page. Now imagine if your content showed up for all or most of those suggested keywords and phrases. Your traffic, and therefore, your leads, would be so much higher than if you only ranked for one!

Wouldn’t you want to see that happen for you and not your competitors?

Disadvantages

Although I would argue that keyword synonyms are a necessary addition to any piece of content that wants Google’s vote, it’s possible to take things too far. What I’m talking about is the potential for using synonyms so many times that you forget to even focus on the keyword you actually want your content to rank for. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s a risk to watch out for.

If you’ve determined that using keyword synonyms are right for you (and I hope you have), then keep reading. This next section will explain some of the best ways to determine what synonyms are best for you to include in your content.

How to find keyword synonyms

There are many ways to conduct research into keywords and their synonyms. Here are some of the best ones I’ve found:

  • Thesaurus.com
  • LSIGraph
  • SEO Keyword Research Tool

I would also recommend installing the browser extension called Keywords Everywhere. It allows you to view the search volume of each keyword you find using the tools above.

How to use keyword synonyms

Now that we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of keywords, let’s go over how to use them in your content.

The biggest aspect that I can’t stress enough is to include your keywords naturally.

Keywords and synonyms are critical to creating a comprehensive post, but if they aren’t naturally included, you’ll be penalized more than if you hadn’t included any keywords or synonyms at all.

So how can you include keywords while making sure they’re natural?

The trick is to read it aloud.

If you read something aloud and find yourself stumbling over the synonyms, they likely aren’t included naturally.

Another trick is to begin including synonyms gradually to see what works for your business and what doesn’t. Although synonyms are a great addition to most pieces of content, there are sometimes exceptions. If the topic for your post doesn’t have synonyms, it may not make sense to force any. Just use your best judgement, and you’ll be sure to have a great piece of content that receives the rankings you’re looking for.

The Final Takeaway

No matter how you’re currently utilizing keywords in your content, you can never go wrong with optimization. However, it’s important to always remember to keep it natural. Nobody enjoys reading keyword stuffed content, so the more you make your content customer friendly, the more search engines like Google will reward you.

Bojan Mijatovic Author

Bojan Mijatovic is a business consultant and an SEO professional. As a keen enthusiast in new technologies and all-things-business, he likes to write about industry insights, from social media and SEO, to growth hacking and productivity. He is also an avid Formula 1 fan.