What Is Keyword Clustering?

what is keyword clustering?
what is keyword clustering?

Keyword clustering is a way for content creators to organize their keywords more effectively with search engine optimization (SEO) practices in mind. Businesses can use keyword clusters to improve their web pages, clustering the keywords by theme and ensuring that the keywords on the page relate well to a core theme or topic. Grouping keywords by topic can be complex given the wide range of keywords that may be associated with a given topic, but with keyword grouping tools and a well-planned content strategy, it can be achieved for improved SEO results. 

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Create and Organize Pillar Pages for Your Keyword Clusters

Pillar pages and keyword clusters pair together to help you boost your SEO game. A pillar page is a high-quality piece of content that provides a thorough yet broad overview of a topic. The pillage page then links to more in-depth pieces of content that cover topics that were broadly addressed by the pillar page. 

Pillar pages help website owners connect topic clusters, and those topic clusters are represented by content that reflects keyword clusters. Search engines like Google view connected topic clusters and keyword clusters favorably because they’re a mark of a well-organized site and, as such, provide useful information that’s also easy for users to access. As you develop your site structure, you can identify the pillar pages and other pages you want to produce and assign keyword clusters to each to ensure that the content for all of your pages is optimized with relevant keywords.

Keyword Clusters Explained

Google, whose daily job is to answer search queries, views keyword clusters favorably. Although the undisputed king of the digital realm, Google certainly isn’t the first entity to group and index information. If you think about it, the idea of grouping keywords together around a primary keyword or topic is rather similar to the way libraries group informational books together. Plants, travel, poetry, cooking–all the books on a certain topic are grouped together.

Keyword clustering operates in a similar way. A piece of content is organized around a group of related keywords that point to a main topic. In the past, that particular piece of content might have focused on one keyword or possibly two or three, but clustering allows more relevant keywords to be highlighted, and they can lead to improved SEO and a boost in organic traffic.

Create a List of Keywords

Clustering keywords is not the first step in the content creation process. The first thing to do is to perform exhaustive keyword research. Create a keyword collection or a long list of keywords that you can work from to break down into smaller keyword groups. Ensure that your list of keywords includes long tail keywords as well as single keywords that reflect keyword variation. As you generate your keyword list, remember to address search intent. How relevant are your keywords to search volume and search intent? Some will be more important than others, but when generating your master list, you simply want to include as many keywords as you can.

How long should your list of keywords be? It might be 1,000 keywords; it could be 10,000 keywords. You can use keyword research tools to help you generate your keyword collection. In addition to third-party data tools, you can use Google Analytics for help producing your main keyword list. Don’t be shy about mining your competitor’s websites for keywords and keyword phrases too. SEO professionals will rely on multiple avenues to generate their master keyword list based on their use of tools that examine search intent and other keyword data.

Keyword Research: Segment into Keyword Groups

Once you have your exhaustive list of keywords, you should focus on highlighting some primary keywords and keyword phrases that reflect topics or are related to those pillar content pages you intend to create as part of your SEO content strategy. Each primary keyword you highlight will eventually become a keyword cluster with related keywords once you begin the process of keyword grouping.

After you identify a primary keyword, you can start to group other similar and related keywords around it to form your keyword clusters. Organizing keywords into clusters can be a time-consuming job for SEO experts, which is why many prefer to use an automated tool or keyword clustering tool designed to organize multiple keywords quickly. Often, these tools will group keywords that have semantic relationships or are closely related in other ways. For instance, they might be organized around a root word. 

SEO experts usually rely on spreadsheets to list their keyword clusters. Using spreadsheets, it’s easy to highlight ‘hot’ keywords as well as those with the highest search volume or other keyword data. Spreadsheets and a clustering tool make the keyword grouping process easier. Once you have your keyword groups, you can pair them with your content topics. 

Keep in mind that if you have a keyword group that's quite large, you can break them down into smaller groups to create content for related subtopics. Optimizing content with a single keyword is okay, but generating content with many keywords using your content clusters has the wow factor that you need to support your SEO strategy.

Create and Optimize Pillar Pages for Your Keyword Clusters

Once you have your keyword clusters, you can start creating content for your pillar pages and related content. In fact, after keyword grouping, you may have ideas for content that you didn’t even realize you should create. However, in the same way you examined your keyword list to find primary keywords, you’ll want to examine your groups to determine which have the potential to become great pillar pages. 

At this point, you can identify keyword groups that you can use for pillar pages as well as more in-depth content that you can link to your pillar pages. As part of your SEO strategy, you may be eager to optimize all of your content, including web pages related to your services or products. You can incorporate keyword groups into any content you publish from blogs to ppc campaigns. Optimizing your content with keyword clusters will support your overall content strategy. 

Create Pillar Content

To begin, you can apply your keyword clusters to your pillar content pages. These are going to be your high-level, broad topics that will help you position yourself as an authority in your field and locality. These pages showcase that you are an expert in your field, which is crucial to your SEO strategy. Pillar content created with cluster keywords can boost your ranking potential. Pillar content is focused on a core topic and you can assign a keyword cluster or possibly more than one keyword cluster to these pages. After creating your pillar content, you can work on your topic clusters that will link to your pillar content. 

Improve Your Keyword Clusters with Blog Content

Once you’ve created web pages, pillar pages, and topic content, you’ll want to keep producing relative content to support your long-term SEO strategy. SEO isn’t something you achieve and then sit back and admire. It involves ongoing tasks, and one of them is to continue to produce high-quality content. Publishing a blog post on a regular basis will support your SEO content strategy. Keyword clustering can form the basis of your next blog post. 

Why Is Keyword Grouping So Important?

Content optimization involves a myriad of tasks and measures that can boost your SEO ranking. Keyword clustering is simply one of them, but it's a big task, and it goes hand in hand with creating content for your web pages. Remember, your keyword clusters are organized around a primary keyword or topic. By publishing a substantial body of content that reflects the topics related to your business and industry, you can position your website as an authority–and that is a ranking factor. 

To improve your search results rank and earn more organic traffic, you can demonstrate to search engines like Google that you are a “thought leader” and an expert in your field–or at least a local expert, which is important for any local business trying to attract local consumers. 

But you might ask yourself, is creating content really supposed to be so mechanical? Is it really necessary to create keyword groups to address user intent? The truth is that SEO and digital marketing involve measures related to both people (searchers) and search engine algorithms. Yes, content writers must be mindful of search engine algorithms that are attracted to keyword clustering as well as to humans who will, hopefully if the SEO is working, read the content. 

On the other hand, keyword clusters demonstrate tremendous variety among related keywords. Weaving these keywords and phrases into high-quality content is almost an art in itself. Skilled content specialists understand why the keywords need to be included when creating content for web pages, so they can include them while still producing content that is, ultimately, written for humans–not just search engines.

How Can Keyword Clustering Be Implemented?

Using a keyword search tool and Google Sheets, you can start keyword clustering as soon as you have your keyword research performed. On the other hand, many companies entrust this task to their digital marketing firm who relies on its SEO experts to perform keyword research and related tasks like analyzing site architecture, performing rank tracking, and so forth. 

Once your SEO team has its master keyword list, it can start keyword clustering. The keyword clusters will be assigned to web pages that your content writers will produce. These might be location pages, service pages, blog posts, etc…In short, your keyword clusters support your content production process. When you create clusters using related keywords, you can also generate topic ideas for your web pages, which helps you grow your website and expand your online visibility. 

Stretch Creative features a team of digital marketing professionals and writers who specialize in creating enterprise-level content for businesses that reflect multiple industry sectors. Our team is adept at working with keyword clusters and other best SEO practices when creating web pages and other forms of digital content for clients. We can be the hinge in your content strategy, producing the high-quality content you need to improve your SEO and achieve your digital marketing goals. 

Keyword Clusters FAQs

How do you cluster keywords?

Keyword clustering takes place after you have a collection of keywords. You can perform keyword research to create a master list of keywords by using SEO tools, analyzing search intent, using Google Analytics, and performing competitor research. However, a keyword research tool makes this process go more quickly. After you have your list, you can start the keyword clustering process. Grouping keywords semantically around root words or grouping them by topic allows you to create keyword clusters. Again, you can use an SEO tool to help group keywords.

What is keyword grouping?

Keyword grouping is also known as keyword clustering. Keyword clusters are groups of related keywords. These groups are often organized around a primary keyword or keyword phrase. A keyword group usually reflects a topic, which makes it easy to pair with content to be produced. 

How do you use keyword clustering for SEO content?

Keyword clusters can form the backbone of SEO content pages. You can assign each keyword cluster to a piece of content to be written by your content specialists. Your writers will incorporate your keyword clusters into the content. Content containing keyword grouping is SEO friendly. Google is attracted to content that features keyword clusters, which means that if your web pages are optimized with these clusters, you may enjoy a substantial boost in search results ranking. 

What are the best keyword grouping tools?

While your SEO professionals may have their own favorites for keyword grouping, keyword research and keyword clustering tools like Contadu, SEO Scout, Keyword Insights, and KeyClusters remain popular with businesses. However, there are many online keyword clustering tools available. Since many are free, you can try various options to find one that you prefer.


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