Keyword clustering is a technique that can be used to improve your search engine optimization. By grouping keywords together, you can create content that is more focused and relevant to your target audience. Additionally, by using keywords in the right places, you can improve the visibility of your content on search engines.
But, how to actually do this in an efficient and useful way? Well, that's why we have written up this guide. Read the article below and find out how to make and use keyword clusters properly.
General Keyword Usage and Definition
Before we dive into keyword clusters, we need to be crystal clear on what keywords actually are.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they're looking for. All of the top inbound marketing agencies will tell you it's an essential part of any good SEO strategy.
Now, there are a few different, broadly defined types of keywords:
- Broad keywords are general terms that describe your business or service. For example, if you sell shoes, some broad keywords might be "shoes," "footwear," or "sandals."
- Modifiers are words that narrow down the focus of your broad keywords. For example, if you sell running shoes, some modifiers might be "men's," "women's," or "children's."
- Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases that describe what someone is looking for. For example, if you sell running shoes, some long-tail keywords might be "best running shoes for beginners," "running shoes for flat feet," or "running shoes for men."
You should aim to use a mix of all three types of keywords on your website and in your content to make sure you're covering all your bases and attracting a wide range of customers.
Don't stuff your keywords in unnatural places or try to fool search engines. This will only hurt your chances of ranking high in search results, and it could get you penalized by Google. Just use them naturally throughout your content to make sure you're covering all your bases.
What is Keyword Clustering?
Now let's talk about the meat of the article - keyword clusters.
Keyword clustering is a method of organizing keywords into groups, or "clusters," based on similarity. This helps SEM specialists and SEOs alike to better understand the relationship between different terms, and can be used to inform content strategy decisions.
There are a few different ways to cluster keywords. The most common method is to use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer, which will group together keywords that have similar search volume or competition level. This can help you to see which terms are often used together and can be a useful way to group keywords for content planning.
One way to cluster your keywords is to group them by topic. For example, if you sell clothes, you might have a cluster of keywords that relate to summer clothes, and another cluster that relates to winter clothes. This can help you to focus your content marketing efforts on the right topics at the right time.
Another way to cluster your keywords is by semantic groupings. This means grouping together keywords that have similar meanings. For example, if you sell shoes, you might group together the keywords "shoes," "sandals," "flip flops," and "slippers." This can help you to create more targeted content that speaks to the needs of your audience.
The Benefits of Keyword Clustering
You might be thinking - why go through all this trouble?
Not only does keyword clustering improve your website's visibility in SERPs, but it can also help you attract more targeted traffic. By grouping together related keywords, you can ensure that the people who click through to your website are actually interested in what you have to offer. This can lead to higher conversion rates and more sales.
So, what are the specific benefits of keyword clustering? Here are just a few:
Improved Visibility in SERPs
As mentioned above, one of the biggest benefits of keyword clustering is that it can help improve your website's visibility on search engine results pages. By grouping together related keywords, you can ensure that your website appears for a variety of relevant queries. This can help you attract more traffic to your website and improve your chances of ranking high in SERP's features.
More Targeted Traffic
Another benefit of keyword clustering is that it can help you attract more targeted traffic to your website. Using this system, you can ensure that the people who click through to your website are actually interested in what you have to offer. You can then expect higher conversion rates and more sales.
Keyword clustering can also help you better organize your website's content. By grouping similar keywords, you can create a logical structure for your website's content. This can make it easier for visitors to find the information they're looking for and can help search engines index your website more effectively.
Finally, keyword clustering can also help you improve your return on investment (ROI). Targeting a variety of related keywords ensures that you're getting the most bang for your buck. This of course then leads to saving money on paid advertising and can help you generate more leads and sales.
How To Create and Use Keyword Clusters
Finally, it's time to create clusters. The actual process greatly depends on how your team is structured, the niche your websites deal with, and the resources that are available to you. Perhaps you can delegate this task to an employee. Maybe you are proficient at using Google Sheets and can organize all of the data through date.
Whatever the case may be, the below guide sticks to a general, all-around principle that will definitely help you make the most out of keyword clustering.
Step One - Collecting Keywords
The first step in creating keyword clusters is to, of course, collect keywords. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most effective way is to use a keyword research tool. This could be something like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer.
Once you have a keyword research tool, simply enter in a seed keyword that describes your topic. For example, if you were writing about dogs, you might enter in the word "dog." The results will show you a list of related keywords, as well as some metrics like search volume and competition level.
You can also check what the competition is doing, try to figure out the keywords they use (most often found in titles), and gather keywords like that.
From there, you can start to collect keywords that you think would be relevant to your topic. Make sure to add these keywords to a spreadsheet so you can keep track of them.
Step Two - Analyze the Keywords
Now that you have a list of keywords, it's time to start analyzing them. The first thing you want to do is look at the search volume for each keyword. This will give you an idea of how popular the keyword is and how many people are searching for it.
You also want to take a look at the competition level for each keyword. This metric will tell you how difficult it would be to rank for a certain keyword. The higher the competition, the more difficult it will be to rank.
These metrics are shown through the usage of tools like Ahrefs, for example. It's very difficult to figure this out without dedicated keyword planning tools. Still, you can at least assume that if many popular and powerful sites have dealt with a topic centered on a specific keyword, that keyword will be difficult to rank for.
Step Three - Prep Work
Once you have analyzed your keywords, it's time to start preparing them for grouping. The first thing you want to do is remove any keywords that are too similar to each other. For example, if you have the keywords "dog," "dogs," and "dog breeds," you would want to remove "dogs" and "dog breeds" from your list.
You also want to remove any keywords that are too general. For example, if you're writing about German Shepherds, you wouldn't want to include the keyword "dog" because it's too general.
Once you've removed any duplicate or too-general keywords, you should have a list of around 30-40 keywords that are relevant to your topic.
Step Four - Keyword Cluster Grouping
Now it's time for the fun part: grouping your keywords! There are a few different ways to do this, but the most effective way is to group them by topic. So, for our example of German Shepherds, we might have groups like "Temperament," "Training," "Care," and "History."
Another way to group keywords is by intent. So, for our example, we might have groups like "Looking to Adopt a German Shepherd," "German Shepherd Training Tips," and "German Shepherd Care."
Once you have your groups, you can start to create your keyword clusters. Simply take each group of keywords and enter them into a spreadsheet, with each keyword in its own column. Then, give each cluster a name that describes the topic or intent of the keywords.
And that's it! You now know how to create keyword clusters that will help you organize your content and make it more effective.
Applying Keyword Clusters and Creating New Content
To make sure you're getting the most from your website, it's important to optimize it for your keyword clusters. This means creating content that is relevant to the terms people are searching for.
Here's a step-by-step guide to optimizing your website for your clusters
1. Make a Plan
You should have already prepared your keyword clusters in advance (from the previous section) and got some ideas on which are best for your niche. Now it's time to choose the ones you want to focus on.
Choose one core keyword, like our German Shephard example, and then add a series of articles revolving around this topic (training tips, care, diet, etc).
Then, make a content plan. How many of these articles are you going to publish per week? When do you intend to publish them? This can take weeks or months, depending on your resources, the cluster, and your goals.
2. Create Content for your Target Keywords
Once you've identified and grouped your keywords, it's time to start creating content around them. For each cluster, you should create at least one piece of content, such as a blog post or an infographic. Make sure to include the seed keyword in the title of your content and use the related keywords throughout the body.
This means creating blog posts, articles, and even product pages that are relevant to the keywords you're targeting.
Basically, applying the previous step into action.
Create content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. Make sure that your content is well-researched and informative, and provides value to your readers.
Optimize your title and meta tags for your keyword clusters. Include your target keywords in your title tag and meta description, so that search engines can easily identify your content as relevant to those keywords.
3. Keyword Clusters and Reoptimizing Old Content
Creating new content with kw clusters is not enough. If you want to maximize your results, you should also apply it to already existing content on your website. So, here is what you can do:
- Find your most important pages using Google Analytics or a similar tool. These are the pages that generate the most traffic and/or have the highest conversion rate.
- Take a look at the current content on these pages. Make a list of all of the keywords that you think are important to rank for these terms.
- Create a spreadsheet or document and start grouping these keywords together. You can group them by topic, product, service, etc.
- Once you have your groups, start brainstorming how you can further optimize your content to target these keywords. This may mean adding new sections, revising existing content, or even creating new pieces of content.
- Once you have a plan, implement it and track your results.
Keyword clustering is a powerful SEO tool that can help you improve your website's visibility in SERPs, attract more targeted traffic, better organize your website's content, and improve your ROI. If you're not already using keyword clusters on your website, now is the time to start. Implementing a keyword clustering strategy can help you achieve all of your SEO goals.
Rick Seidl is a digital marketing specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Communications, based in Portland, Oregon. He carries a burning passion for digital marketing, social media, small business development, and establishing its presence in a digital world, and is currently quenching his thirst through writing about digital marketing and business strategies for Find Digital Agency.