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  • Keyword Stemming: Optimizing Your Site For Proper Keyword Variations

    Keyword Stemming: Optimizing Your Site For Proper Keyword Variations

    Keyword stemming is a sub-strategy of keyword research.

    Keyword research remains one of the most fundamental SEO practices.

    Keyword stemming allows businesses and marketers to seek the best and most appropriate keyword (KW) sets, enabling their websites to increase organic search engine traffic.

    • But, what is keyword stemming?
    • How does it relate to keyword research?
    • How can you use keyword stemming to optimize your site and pages for SEO dominance?

    With this in mind, here’s your ultimate guide to Keyword Stemming and how you can use it to enhance ranking on SERPs and traffic.

    Before jumping ahead, let’s find out what the term “Keyword Stemming” exactly means!

    What Is Keyword Stemming?

    A Guide To Keyword Stemming

    To put it simply, keyword stemming refers to the strategy or practice of modifying various keywords using variations.

    The variations might be in the shape of a suffix or a prefix attached to the base (root) keyword. You can also utilize pluralization of the word as it’s treated as altogether a different keyword.

    Google recognizes semantic meanings, i.e., context and user intents behind search queries. This technology has been present for a while and has improved considerably.

    It allows Google to determine KWs and their variations, understanding if they are utilized in the same context in the content.

    Benefits of Keyword Stemming

    The advantages of stemming in articles and blog posts are plenty. To begin with, it can enable you to rank higher for several related and unrelated keywords.

    KW stemming helps you seek synonyms for your targeted keyword, enabling you to draw organic traffic to the website. In addition to that, while adequately utilizing stemming, you can avoid:

    • Keyword repetition
    • Keyword stuffing

    Both things may get your website blacklisted on Google.

    Keyword stemming is critical when a single page is not quite ranking for the head or money term you want.

    In such cases, webmasters can use keyword stemming as a means of search engine optimization for a specific search query or phrase that may be a bit more long-tail.

    Apart from the brand’s services and products, keywords are also essential for a range of other things such as:

    • Content formulation
    • Social media marketing campaigns
    • Link building

    Remember, when choosing and tracking keywords for Google or other search engines, context is key.

    This is because variations to keywords (KWs) are treated as entirely different keywords.

    This is where keyword stemming is critical for ranking success for a given, specific search query.

    For instance, you may turn the KW into plural. In that case, you’ve generated another keyword for the search engine to monitor.

    While it can cause adverse effects on keyword rankings, utilizing these variations increases the chances of people finding your content quickly and smoothly. This unique strategy is popularly known as “Keyword Stemming,” a practice present for quite a while.

    How Does Traffic Arrive At Your Site?

    Let’s assume your targeted keyword is ‘Study tips for pupils.’

    The variants can be like: studied, studying, and studies for the base word ‘study,’ and for pupils, the variant pupil can be used.

    Search engines typically rank single pages for more than one specific keyword.

    Some pages and posts rank for thousands of words.

    How that traffic from search engines comes to your website is helpful to understand, so you can optimize your pages to get more organic traffic from more than just the same keyword.

    Now that you know how crucial keyword stemming is, how will you implement it?

    How To Perform Keyword Stemming To Enhance Web Traffic?

    Perform Keyword Stemming

    Keyword stemming transpires in two ways, i.e., from “Inflicted form” to “Stem form” and from “Stem form” to potential “Root form.”

    Let’s revert to the example mentioned above: ‘Study tips for pupils.’

    There’s an excellent chance that you’ll utilize the words ‘studied,’ ‘studies,’ ‘studying,’ etc., in your article wherever they are relevant and make sense contextually.

    Suppose you have written a blog post on the topic ‘Study tips,’ where you’ve employed the word ‘studies’ approximately three times, ‘studying’ five times, and ‘studied’ just one time during the entire piece of content.

    Here’s the benefit you’ll gain from keyword stemming:

    You’ll drive immense organic traffic from phrases including keywords such as ‘studies,’ ‘studying,’ etc. Of course, inflectional phrases must be related to the blog post/article.

    Remember, you can’t force inflectional phrases into your article; they must be:

    For instance, in the article ‘Study tips’, you’ve utilized the word ‘studied’ just one time.

    Wondering why?

    That’s because ‘studied’ (past participle and past of study) is less pertinent in this type of blog post or article unless you state some anecdotes.

    Examples Of Inflected Forms in Keyword Stemming

    Are you having trouble incorporating inflected forms in the article? If so, here are some simple examples to help clarify the concept:

    To add ‘studying’ for your targeted base word ‘study,’ write in the following manner:

    “Use your marks and grades to see how good you’re at studying.”

    Rather than using this sentence:

    “Your grades and marks can determine how good you study.”

    Here’s another example:

    To add ‘studies’ for your targeted base word ‘study,’ try writing sentences in the following way:

    “If you’re into studies excessively, it’s best to take a break to give the brain some rest.”

    Rather than using sentences like this:

    “Consider giving your brain some rest in case you study excessively without taking offs.”

    Nevertheless, here are a few things you should consider above all to gain higher traffic:

    • Don’t force yourself to spam inflected forms to attract organic traffic from various search engines. Doing this will destroy all your on-page optimization (also known as on-page SEO) efforts, eventually
    • Be natural and organic and utilize different forms of stem words wherever it contextually makes sense and adds up to the meaning

    When Should Businesses And Marketers Utilize Keyword Stemming?

    When appropriately utilized, stemming allows content to become more and easily searchable while using the variations of original KWs.

    Although keyword stemming can help you generate higher traffic, it can seriously affect your organic traffic when Keyword’s variants don’t fit entirely with your content.

    In fact, keyword stemming isn’t suitable for all types of keywords.

    So before you decide to use keyword stemming, make sure it’s an effective strategy for your content (including consolidating your content for SEO) and utilize it after considering certain factors.

    Nevertheless, here are a few factors that you should take into account when implementing keyword stemming:

    Does Keyword Stemming Fit In The Context?

    Though there are several things to keep in mind when it comes to keyword stemming, the most crucial one is to make sure the keyword variant you use should fit in the original keyword’s context.

    Changing context will defeat the entire purpose of stemming and cause your content to be inconsistent in voice and tone and may confuse users reading it.

    For instance, ‘footballer’ and ‘football’ are two separate things: football is a sport, and a footballer is an athlete. If you use both for the same context, chances are it might affect the content you will create substantially.

    Are The Variations Related To Original Keywords?

    While the example of the preceding keywords is somewhat connected, sometimes adding a suffix or a prefix to KW entirely changes the context and the meaning of the word.

    The primary objective is to employ variations that can help you gain higher organic search engine traffic and unfold more opportunities for the content to be searched online while still retaining the meaning and context of the original word.

    Keyword stemming also includes using LSI (latent semantic indexing) and entity keywords in the text body, including variations.

    This not only disambiguates your content, but it also allows your page to rank for many more keywords than just a few long tail stemmed keywords.

    LSI and entity keywords inclusions in your content are also some of the more important Google ranking factors.

    Tools To Find Keyword Variations

    Are you looking for keyword variations? There are many practical tools you can use to find our KW variations.

    It’s slightly different than performing basic SEO keyword research.

    In this case, you know the phrase or keyword you intend to optimize, all you need is a few variations.

    The following tools will assist you in creating a range of variations, giving you a greater probability of ranking in search engines.

    Make sure to choose interpretations that incorporate naturally.

    Without further ado, here are a few key tools to find keyword variations:

    Answer the Public

    With free and paid versions, AnswerthePublic.com is a great way of coming up with keyword ideas on the fly, including those in your keyword stemming strategy.



    SEMrush is one of the best SEO tools to perform keyword research and enhance SEO rankings.

    Using its “Keyword Overview” tool, users can place their keywords and get the complete picture of things they should know.

    It includes the number of people searching for a KW, whether it’s becoming unpopular or gaining popularity (trend), and more. It also provides a range of other related keywords (keyword stemming) you may wish to utilize.

    For example, SEMrush’s “Keyword Magic Tool” allows you to type in the seed KW (stem keyword) and generate various KW ideas.


    Niel Patel’s ‘Ubersuggest’ is a practical, free tool that provides keyword suggestions, search volume, keyword difficulty, and much more.

    Apart from viewing lots of related keywords suggestions, users can also see tables of the 100 best Google results against that specific keywords along with:

    • Backlink ratio
    • Keyword density
    • Domain score
    • Estimated visits
    • Social shares

    In addition to being able to check your website rankings, the tool shows content akin to your keyword, monthly visits, shares on Pinterest and Facebook, and backlinks.

    Are you looking for more keyword suggestions? Then, sign in to the Ubersuggest using your Gmail. This way, you’ll get more and better KW suggestions, day-to-day rank tracking, customized SEO suggestions, and more.

    In addition, it comes with the Chrome extension, helping you improve workflow.



    Like SEMrush, Ahrefs is an increasingly popular local keyword research tool offering a broad range of valuable features, including its popular backlink checker.

    Apart from providing you with various keyword ideas, the tool also offers multiple related keyword suggestions.

    In addition, you can utilize the Ahrefs for in-depth competitive research, allowing you to see keywords your competitors rank for so that you can write new content targeting keywords akin to those topics and subjects.


    It’s one of the most straightforward KW variation tools you’ll find on the internet.

    Karooya is a stripped-down search tool, providing straightforward variations and nothing more.

    Utilize the device for keyword stemming if you’re stuck and cannot think about common forms of a single, same word.

    Keyword Stemming Key Takeaways

    The internet remains the most prominent channel to reach people worldwide.

    About 4.66B people are active internet users. That’s 59.9% of the worldwide population.

    Think about it! You can easily reach more than half the world’s population online. How? Just by understanding effective ways to make content reachable to them.

    And keywords play an essential role in delivering the message.

    With the help of Google’s enhanced technology, Keyword Stemming is an effective strategy to improve web traffic than ever before.

    Just be aware that keyword stemming can quickly turn into keyword stuffing without policing your on-site search engine optimization.

    It’s a process requiring an optimized, efficient strategy to function better, and with this helpful guide, you can provide your organic search engine traffic a serious boost.

    Remember, websites can increase their rankings on SERPs with keyword modifications and variations, provided they are relevant and contextually organic.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter