Keyword research has changed A LOT.
In the past, website owners used to stuff the same keywords in order to get first-page rankings on Google. It worked back then.
Does it work now? Not at all. So what’s the best approach to keyword research in 2023 and beyond?
If you’re wondering what is it and how to use it to get top rankings on Google, this post is for you where you’ll learn;
- What is keyword clustering?
- Benefits of keyword clustering
- How to cluster keywords to boost your search rankings and much more
So are you curious to find them out? Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Keyword Clustering: What Is It? Benefits & How to Do It Right?
What is Keyword Clustering?
Keyword clustering is grouping similar keywords that have the same intent.
Basically, a “keyword cluster” is a group of keywords that mean the same and can be targeted together on a single page.
For example, “WordPress tools”, “WordPress plugins”, “free WordPress.org plugins” and “best plugins for WordPress” are different keyword terms, but they all mean the same and represent searchers who’re looking for WordPress tools and plugins.
Another example: if you’re selling men’s shoes, some of the keywords you might cluster together would be “shoes”, “sneakers”, “loafers”, etc.
In simple terms, instead of targeting only one keyword, you’ll target multiple keywords that are HIGHLY relevant to each other.
Why Is Keyword Clustering Important?
So why is keyword clustering important? What are the benefits of keyword clustering? Let’s talk about them now.
Improves your website’s SEO: The main reason to use keyword clusters is that they can help you elevate your website’s SEO.
Whether you know it or not, Google rolls out A TON of updates every now and then.
With every algorithm update, Google gets smarter. It understands the searchers’ queries better. With keyword clusters, you’re helping Google to easily understand the “depth of your content”.
Also, keyword clustering helps you to better understand the relationships between different keywords so you can use them better.
Helps you find better keywords: While doing clustering, you’ll find a ton of keywords including related keywords, long-tail keywords, question-based keywords, and so on.
So keyword clustering helps you to identify new keyword opportunities that you might have otherwise missed.
Better keyword organization: Clustering your keywords make your keyword campaigns more organized and efficient, which can ultimately save you time and money in the long run.
Above all, you’re targeting multiple keywords. Instead of trying to compete with a single keyword, you will be targeting multiple relevant keywords page by page based on a collection of phrases for each topic.
It ultimately helps you drive targeted visitors from Google. So if you’re not already using keyword clusters, start doing from now to improve your website’s SEO strategy.
How To Do Keyword Clustering As A Beginner? 4 Simple Steps
So how to conduct keyword clustering if you’re just getting started? Here’s an easy-to-follow FOUR-step tutorial for you.
Step 1: Create a list of keywords
Your first step in conducting keyword clustering is to have a list of keywords.
We already discussed that keyword clustering is the process of creating a group of keywords that are semantically linked to targeting a page, rather than just focusing on one keyword. So you need an expanded list of keywords while getting started.
To create a keyword list, first, think about all the words and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for information related to your topic.
Second, try to choose keywords that are specific enough that they will generate targeted traffic, but not so specific that there is no one searching for them.
Here’s where you need access to the right keyword tools like Semrush.
Semrush offers an exclusive keyword tool called “Keyword Magic” which currently has over 22 billion keywords in its database.
You simply need to enter a topic or keyword that you want to target and it will instantly generate a ton of keywords.
Let’s take an example keyword “WordPress plugins”.
As you can see above, Semrush is suggesting over 126,000 keyword variations for the keyword term “WordPress plugins”, which is huge.
It also shows you various keyword metrics including;
- Intent (which shows the purpose of a search in a search engine)
- Search volume for each keyword
- The trend for the keyword
- Keyword difficulty (KD%) and more
Similarly, you can create a keyword list by analyzing the total search volume, average difficulty, and intent of each keyword.
By taking the time to create a keyword list, you can always make sure that your content is discovered by the right people and that you are getting the most out of your SEO efforts.
So what are you waiting for?
Step 2: Filter your keywords into groups (aka clusters)
Once you’ve created a keyword list that you want to rank for, it’s time to start clustering keywords.
The whole idea of keyword clustering is to combine a list of keywords that are extremely relevant to each other.
Here’s an example of keyword clustering (source: Bright Edge);
As you can see above, Let’s say your core term is “workout routines”, which is pretty tough to compete for.
So you’ll use a keyword like Semrush to come up with a list of hundreds of relevant keywords for the main keyword such as;
- Workout routines for muscle
- Workout routines without weights
- Workout routines with dumbbells
- Workout routines to lose fast
- Workout routines to get abs etc
These similar keywords can all be clubbed together to form a “keyword cluster”.
Now, you can simply take the help of Google Sheets to group relevant keywords from your keyword list.
Here’s a simple illustration of how we group similar keywords for every blog post we publish on our blog.
As you can see above, we always focus on a “primary keyword” along with a couple of relevant secondary keywords.
You’ll also see that we mention monthly search volume and KD% (keyword difficulty) for each and every keyword we target.
You can also follow a similar approach to group relevant keywords to form a “keyword cluster” for every blog post you publish.
Step 3: Create pillar content
Once you’ve grouped similar keywords, it’s time to start creating content based on those keyword clusters.
It’s important to create “pillar content” for every post or page you create on your website.
What is pillar content?
Pillar content is usually a long-form piece of content that covers a particular topic in depth. It’s usually between 1500 and 5000 words and is an evergreen resource that your blog readers can come back to again and again.
For example, a pillar article about email marketing might provide tips on how to choose the best email software, how to make money from email marketing, and how to maintain an active email list.
Here’s a good example of a pillar post on “content marketing”.
As you can see above, the above pillar content covered most of the things including;
- Content marketing basics
- How to use content marketing
- Examples of content marketing
- Best content marketing blogs
- FAQs around content marketing and much more
So if you are looking to provide comprehensive information on a particular topic, pillar content is a great place to start.
Here are some of the benefits of pillar content.
- By creating well-researched pillar content, you can establish yourself as an authority on a given topic
- Because pillar content is evergreen, it will continue to drive traffic and sales long after it’s been published
- It attracts more comments, social shares, and backlinks if you promote it the right way
How to create pillar content?
In case you’re curious to learn how to create pillar content around your keyword clusters, here are a few effective tips for you.
First, make sure you choose a topic that is both relevant and evergreen. You should also feel confident talking about that topic in detail. Then, take the time to do your research and structure your content in a way that is easy for readers to digest.
Learn how to write a blog post that satisfies both your readers and Google. Choose a great headline, create an outline, spend as much time as you can on writing and edit it using tools like Grammarly.
Learn the best blogging formats to make your posts go viral. There are several pillar posts that always work like a charm (such as case studies, your blogging journey, list posts, How-to posts, etc).
Above all, try to cover A to Z information about the topic you want to write about. Yes, it takes a lot of time to create such pillar posts but they often work in generating more traffic.
Step 4: Optimize your content
Once you’re done creating pillar content containing the keyword clusters, it’s time to start optimizing your blog posts or web pages.
The #1 thing you need to remember is to optimize your content for ANY keyword you pick.
Why? No matter how much time you spend on keyword research or keyword clustering, you won’t get first-page rankings without creating and optimizing your content.
So make sure to create and optimize your content that’s well-researched and helps your audience’s needs.
That being said, here are a few solid optimization techniques you can follow to optimize your content for keyword clusters.
Use keywords in prominent places: You must learn the art of on-page optimization to rank well on Google. Here are a few places where you can include your keywords to get better rankings.
- Title and meta description
- Header tags like H1, H2, H3, etc
- Within your content (multiple times)
Avoid keyword stuffing: The whole purpose of keyword clusters is to avoid using the exact same keyword. So avoid keyword stuffing and include other relevant keywords naturally within your content.
If you’re on WordPress, you can install an optimization plugin like Rank Math as it helps you where to put your keywords to properly optimize your content for your target keywords.
FAQs On Keyword Clustering
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about keyword clusters and keyword research in general.
Keyword clustering is the process of grouping together keywords that are similar in meaning.
Keyword research is the process of finding keyword terms that people enter into search engines like Google to find products, services, etc. In simpler terms, keyword research refers to finding keywords that people enter into search engines when they are looking for information.
Here are some of the best keyword clustering tools you can use in 2023;
– Semrush Keyword Magic tool
– Google autosuggest (free tool)
Semrush is one of the best tools for keyword research. Semrush offers an exclusive keyword tool called “Keyword Magic” which has a huge keyword database of 22 billion keywords.
Activate Semrush 30-Day FREE Trial (worth $119.95)
The best way to cluster keywords is to make a list of keywords first. Then, filter all the RELEVANT keywords into one cluster so you can target all those keywords on one web page. You can use tools like Semrush to easily find a ton of relevant keywords for any topic.
For instance, if your target keyword is “workout routines”. Then, you can combine similar keywords like “workout routines for weight loss”, “workout routines to get abs”, and “workout routines for muscle” into one keyword cluster.
Final thoughts on keyword clusters
Semantic keyword clustering is the KEY to your website’s SEO success.
No matter what niche you’re in, create a list of keywords, cluster those keywords, and create well-researched content around them.
What are your views on keyword clusters? Did you find this guide on how to do keyword clustering useful? Do you have any questions? Let us know in the comments.