Effective keyword clustering is the key to optimizing your content for search engines, ensuring that your digital presence is not only visible but also highly relevant to your target audience.
In order to do keyword clustering, you need to know how to effectively do keyword research. According to a survey, 36.3% of SEO experts say they allocate most of their time to keyword research, which eventually helps to rank higher in the search results.
So, imagine your website as a vast library, and keywords as the organized categories that guide users to the right section. It would make sense to have a good keyword clustering strategy in place, wouldn’t it?
If you’re not familiar with the term, you might be confused and wondering “what is keyword clustering?”
Now, buckle up and let’s dive into a crucial aspect of SEO strategy, aka keyword clustering, with this article.
What is keyword clustering in SEO?
Keyword clustering is the practice of organizing and grouping related keywords together.
This helps search engines understand the content on a website more effectively and when implemented, it can significantly enhance internal linking.
How does keyword clustering work?
Instead of focusing on individual keywords, you group them based on common themes or topics.
By doing so, you create a more organized and structured approach to your content, making it easier for search engines to recognize the relevance and depth of your information.
For example, “social networking” and “business social networking sites” are different keyword phrases but they both represent a common topic – searchers who want to know more about social networking.
Let’s look at this picture to understand the concept better:
So, basically if they have the same or similar intent, Google ranks these keywords on the same page.
This strategic grouping can improve your website’s overall SEO performance, making it more likely to appear in search results when users look for specific topics related to your content.
When you employ keyword clustering, you create content clusters that examine specific topics, making your content more informative and comprehensive. Before you start keyword clustering, you should already have a sufficient link building campaign through the synergy of content relevance and authority.
We all know that high-quality and comprehensive content tends to attract more backlinks naturally, because other content creators will be more likely to link back to your content according to its relevance.
It may sound hard but you can cluster keywords in a couple of minutes, using the right tips and tools, which we will provide you with shortly.
The benefits of keyword clustering
Keyword clustering offers numerous benefits in SEO. By grouping related keywords, it enhances website relevance, improves content organization.
This strategic approach not only boosts search engine ranking but also facilitates more targeted and effective content creation, helping businesses attract the right audience and drive more meaningful engagement.
With that said, here are some benefits of keyword clustering:
Higher organic traffic
How does keyword clustering create higher organic traffic?
Firstly, by clustering related keywords, you can create relevant and focused content around a particular theme or topic. This automatically helps search engines understand the context of your content, making it more likely to rank higher for specific searches.
Here’s an example of Keyword Insights – an AI driven content marketing platform that used keyword clusters to get rid of some content and had seen an increase of 110% in organic traffic almost instantly.
Keyword clustering helps prevent keyword cannibalization, a situation where multiple pages on a website compete for the same keyword. This can weaken the authority and relevance of individual pages.
By grouping related keywords and assigning them to specific pages, you avoid internal competition and ensure each page has a distinct purpose.
It helps you target multiple related long-tail and short-tail keywords instead of just one, increasing the number of appearances in search engine page results.
Keyword clustering forces you to think of better keyword clusters that are relevant to your audience, hence supercharging your content planning.
Basically, it makes it way easier to identify the less competitive, high-conversion keywords that can help strengthen your site’s authority and draw in more traffic.
It might be hard to start with a competitive keyword and become recognized. It is better to start off with creating subtopics that are related to your main topic.
Keep reading to learn more about how to identify core topics.
Keyword clustering encourages a more comprehensive coverage of a topic. Instead of creating isolated pieces of content, you develop a content hub that addresses various aspects of a subject.
Search engines favor comprehensive and authoritative content, making it more likely to rank higher in search results.
In fact, only 0.63% of those who search on Google click on results from the second page, so it’s essential to try to rank on the first page.
Before anything, make sure you are ranking for your niche’s top keywords, otherwise someone else will appear there.
Use keyword clustering which provides a flexible structure that can adapt to these search engine ranking algorithm changes.
By organizing related keywords into clusters, you create high quality content that is more focused, relevant, and in-depth. Search engines recognize this depth.
They understand the context and breadth of your content, because your keyword clusters signal them that your site is a valuable resource for a particular topic.
This strategic approach enhances the overall SEO performance, which increases the likelihood of your pages ranking higher in the search results.
So, when algorithms emphasize context, user intent, and topical relevance, websites with well-organized keyword clusters are better positioned to maintain or improve their rankings.
Achieving authority in your niche
Keyword clusters naturally facilitate internal linking, which attract a targeted audience interested in your niche.
Internal links pass authority between pages, improving the overall SEO strength of your site. They are hyperlinks that point to different pages on the same website.
Connecting related content within your website helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your pages.
Besides passing authority:
- Search engines understand your site’s structure – when you use internal links strategically, you signal that page A is related to page B which helps Google understand the context of your pages and their relation to each other.
- They help users navigate your site – it creates an effortless user experience. For example, a user lands on your website in order to find “how to build backlinks?”
You can include internal links to relevant pages or articles with the topic of “how to build backlinks?” to help them easily navigate.
So, as search engines increasingly prioritize authoritative and comprehensive content, keyword clustering becomes a strategic tool to solidify your position as an industry leader, driving credibility, authority, and trust among your audience.
6 Keyword Clustering Tips To Get You Started
Let’s explore six invaluable tips to master the art of keyword clustering.
Whether you’re an SEO professional looking to refine your techniques or a beginner wanting to understand this concept better, hopefully these tips will provide you with a roadmap.
It will help you optimize your content for search engines and deliver a more streamlined and user-friendly experience.
Understand Who You Are Writing For
Before you start clustering with keywords, you need to understand who you are writing for and what your audience is looking for. It is important to identify their demographics, goals, pain points, and search behavior.
You can do this by using various tools – conducting research, competitive analysis, surveys, and going through reviews. It will help you to understand your buyer persona and figure out what type of topics they would want to learn about.
A good example of a relevant tool might be using Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or just using social media insights.
If you have a picture of your ideal customer in your mind, SEO tools can help you with this. For example, Google Analytics tells you what words people use to find your website, and other tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs show you popular keywords.
These tools will definitely help you find both common and specific keywords that your audience types into a search engine.
Use Keyword Clustering Tools
Don’t forget to conduct advanced keyword research.
You can use the keyword researching tools mentioned to find your core topic and subtopics. The core topic should align with your business goals and address the most critical aspects of your niche, which we will cover later.
Start by finding and analyzing the ideal keywords that your website visitors enter into the search engines. For example, if your users want to know more about content creation, they would type out “best content creation practices” into the Google search.
Doing niche keyword research, first and foremost, will help you better understand your target audience and drive more organic traffic to your website.
There are three steps you can follow to do keyword research:
- Finding keywords
You can start by using keyword research tools, like Ahrefs. Then, identify your seed keywords.
The seed keywords meaning is basically a stepping stone to finding more keywords. They are usually short-tailed keywords, and are designed to sprout other keywords for which you can optimize your website.
So, here “content creation” can be your seed keyword. You can use Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator to find keyword suggestions.
Step 1: Enter your Ahrefs account
Step 2: Write the keyword you want to research
Step 3: Enter your target location
Here, it gives you multiple keyword suggestions based on “content creation.”
- Analyzing keywords
Now, it’s the time to pick the keywords that work best for you.
Take into consideration the global volume, aka GV of the keyword and the keyword difficulty, aka KD.
GV will show you how popular the keyword is, and KD shows you how hard it is to rank with this keyword.
You would want your KD to be medium or easy, and the Global Volume to be over 200.
In this case, you can use Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to analyze the metrics for each keyword։
Step 1: Enter your Ahrefs account
Step 2: Navigate to Keywords Explorer in the left upper corner
Step 3: Write your keyword
Step 4: Choose your target location
For example, if you search for “content creation” and the KD is hard; however the GV is more than 1000, you would not want to use this keyword, as it will be hard to rank higher in the search results.
KD is usually expressed on a scale from 0 to 100. So, the higher the number, the harder it will be to rank for the keyword.
- Targeting keywords
Lastly, you need to save your target keywords – keywords that your target audience uses and you want to rank for.
Targeted keywords are usually phrases, not just separate words. These keywords help improve the visibility of the content in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, “blog” is an individual keyword. However, “best blog titles that work” is a relevant target keyword related to “blog”.
These keywords are examples of terms someone might use when searching for information on content ideas.
When creating your content, it’s essential to naturally incorporate these keywords to make the content more relevant and discoverable for users searching for information on blog titles.
Ahrefs also has a feature that helps you find clusters by parent topic.
If you’re wondering how its able to cluster keywords instantly, view this Twitter post:
Start Building Your Keyword List
Start by creating a list of relevant keywords related to your topic or industry.
Use the tools mentioned before, like SEMrush and Ahrefs, or other keyword research tools to gather a comprehensive set of keywords.
You can make an Excel sheet, add and include a “Category” column. Now, you can start the grouping process.
You can have columns like:
- Keywords – It can be, for example, “content marketing,” “visual content,” etc.
- Volume – As mentioned, the GV of a keyword should be 200 and above. Include the volumes of each keyword to be able to compare.
- KD (%) – From 0 to 100, depending on the difficulty. Again, include the KD of each keyword to compare and see which is best.
- Category – In this case, the category can be “content creation” for each keyword.
- Number of results – You can also mention the number of results for every keyword in the last column.
For example, users might have searched “best content creation practices” more than 10,000 times, so you can write the number in the number of results column.
This number, of course, will vary depending on the keyword.
So, by doing this, you evaluate the importance and relevance of each keyword cluster. Keep in mind which keywords can represent core topics that are essential for your content.
Identify Core Topics & Subtopics
After you understand your audience and what they like and dislike, and make a keyword list, you can start identifying the core topics.
Pick one or more “seed” keywords. As mentioned, these are typically broader terms that encapsulate the main theme of the group.
Once you have your seed keywords, explore related concepts and subtopics. This involves expanding your keyword clusters by adding terms that provide depth and detail to the main theme. Consider synonyms, variations, and closely related terms.
Seed keywords basically serve as the foundation for building content around a specific topic.
For example, our seed keyword or main topic is “content creation;” its secondary keywords that can be used to create subtopics are “free content creation tools,” “trending topics,” etc.
This should be something that is highly relevant to your niche, your audience has demonstrated interest in, and has enough depth to generate multiple subtopics.
Another example, you identified that your audience is highly interested in “small business content ideas.” Now, you can start brainstorming subtopics that fall under this umbrella.
Here, your subtopics might include, “content ideas,” “content marketing,” “digital marketing,” “social media,” etc.
Collect as many keywords as you can. Make sure they are relevant keywords that revolve around your primary keyword or niche, and monitor their metrics (GV and KD) to include in your Excel sheet.
Organize Your Keywords in Groups
Now that you’ve got your list, it’s time to organize.
Group your keywords into categories based on their similarities. Maybe they are just related to the same topic or have the same intent.
The idea is to create clusters of keywords that can be targeted on the same page on your website.
Organizing keywords into groups after creating a keyword cluster list is a crucial step to ensure a structured and effective SEO strategy.
- Use Excel or Google Sheets – Based on the previously created Excel sheet, make another sheet to organize keywords systematically. Choose the best keywords for subtopics from the already made sheet.
- Create columns – For each thematic group, core topic, subgroup, and user intent category, create columns. This structured format makes it easier to manage and analyze your keyword data.
- Categorize keywords based on user intent – Distinguish between informational, commercial, transactional, and navigational intent.
This categorization helps tailor your content to the user’s specific needs at each stage of the customer journey.
- Informational – searchers just want to find information. E.g. “How to write engaging blog posts,” “How to use content creation tools effectively.”
- Commercial – searchers want to explore a specific brand, product, or services. E.g. “Premium video production services,” “Content optimization tools pricing,” “SEO content writing packages.”
- Transactional – they want to purchase something. E.g. “Content creation tools discount,” “Get a content writing course,” “Download content marketing templates.”
- Navigational – they want to find a specific site or a page. E.g. “LinkedIn learning courses,” “Hubspot content marketing guide.”
- Determine the type of content that aligns with each keyword or subgroup – For example, some keywords may be suitable for blog posts, while others may align with product pages or landing pages.
- Analyze how competitors organize their keywords – This can provide additional insights into effective keyword grouping strategies within your industry.
Begin by identifying your competitors, you can use the same SEO tools mentioned, to gather data on their keywords, rankings, and organic traffic.
- Plan your link insertion based on keyword groups – Link related content within your website to create a logical and user-friendly navigation experience.
Regularly Update & Refresh Content
Now that you have your keywords in place, periodically revisit and update your keyword groups.
As your industry evolves and user behavior changes, staying current with your keyword organization ensures ongoing SEO effectiveness.
Regularly updating and refreshing content is essential to maintain its relevance, improve search engine rankings, and engage your audience.
Here’s how to update and refresh content after keyword clustering:
- Audit your existing content
Start by conducting a thorough audit of your existing content. Identify pieces that are outdated, no longer relevant, or could benefit from additional information.
- Review keyword performance
Analyze the performance of keywords associated with each content piece. Identify keywords that have gained or lost relevance over time and prioritize updates accordingly.
- Check for new trends
Stay informed about industry trends, changes in user behavior, and updates in your field.
If you discover new keywords during your updates or notice changes in keyword trends, optimize your content accordingly. Update meta tags, headers, and body content to align with the latest keyword strategy.
- Improve user experience
Consider the user experience when updating content. Improve readability, update visuals, and ensure that your content is easy to navigate.
A positive user experience contributes to better search rankings.
- Update internal and external links
Check and update both internal and external links within your content. Broken links can harm your SEO, so ensure that all links are functional. Add new relevant links to reputable sources.
- Promote updated content
Once you’ve updated your content, promote it through your marketing channels.
You can share it on social media to maximize its reach.
- Establish a content calendar
Create a content calendar to schedule regular updates. This ensures that your content remains evergreen, and you can plan ahead for major updates or additions.
By following these steps and incorporating regular content updates into your overall content strategy, you can ensure that your website and your keywords stay current, relevant, and maintain a positive impact on search engine rankings.
In summary, keyword clustering is a powerful SEO strategy that not only helps search engines understand your content better but also enhances the overall user experience.
By organizing related keywords into clusters, and using the tips provided previously, you can create content that is more targeted, comprehensive, and ultimately leads to higher organic traffic.
Thank you for sticking around till the end!
Wish you good luck, higher ranks and more organic traffic! 😉
FAQ about keyword clustering
What are the most popular keyword clustering tools?
You may rely on tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, SEMRush or Moz.
What role does user intent play in keyword clustering?
It ensures that your content aligns with the specific needs and queries of users at different stages of their journey.
Can keyword clustering improve website ranking?
Yes, it can improve website ranking by signaling to search engines and the depth of content on a particular topic.
How often should I update my keyword clusters?
Regularly. As your business evolves, so should your keyword strategy to maintain SEO effectiveness.