With the rising competition in the online space, it has become more important than ever to rank high on search engines. A high rank in Google can drive organic traffic, improve sales, and boost revenue for your business.
But with so millions of websites vying for the top spots, how do you make your website stand out? The answer lies in keyword clustering, a highly effective yet often overlooked search engine optimization (SEO) technique. Through SEO keyword clustering, you can boost your search engine visibility and drive more traffic to your site in a short span.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the importance of keyword clustering, followed by a step-by-step process on how to adopt keyword clustering in your organization. But first, let us answer the most basic question -
What is keyword clustering?
Keyword clustering is a process of grouping related keywords together based on their semantic relationship (existing between the meanings of words).
This keyword grouping process helps in identifying patterns in the keyword list so that you can optimize your content and campaigns for search engines in a more effective and efficient manner. The goal of keyword clustering is singular - to group similar keywords so that they can be targeted with a single piece of content.
Let us understand it with an example.
Imagine a company that sells trekking gear. It wants to optimize its website and improve its rankings in search engines. They conduct keyword research and identify a potential list of keywords for users' search queries. The different keywords they identify are:
- Trekking shoes
- Best shoes for trekking
- Hiking shoes
Using keyword clustering, they group “trekking shoes,” “shoes for trekking,” and “hiking shoes” as “trekking footwear.”
By clustering the keywords in this way, the company can create a single blog post targeting all three keywords instead of creating individual blogs. This will help in avoiding cannibalization issues, where two or more of your pages are ranking for similar keywords.
Why are topic clusters important?
Topic cluster is critical for your website because it can positively influence the number of conversions your website receives. You can connect your audiences’ queries, pain points, and search intent together and tell where they are in the conversion funnel. You will also get a better picture of how to drive them forward. By creating valuable content around a central theme, you are addressing several pain points for the target audience without sacrificing your own keywords.
Also, when you identify the primary topics that are interesting for your audience, and create topic clusters around them, it makes it very easy for you to identify keywords related to those topics. This can be attributed to the fact that search engines like Google look at topic clusters as a solid collection of information.
6 reasons you should use keyword clustering
Here are some compelling reasons why you must adopt keyword clustering in your SEO strategy -
- Improve rankings for short and long-tailed keywords
Short-tailed keywords have a very high search volume, but they have a very high competition too, making it extremely difficult to rank on search engines for those keywords. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are very easy to rank but have a very low search volume. When you cluster short and long-tail keywords, the positives of both these types of keywords counter their negatives. In other words, you enjoy the best of both worlds.
- Increase organic traffic
When you are answering all the important FAQs of your industry on your website, there are high chances of you creating duplicate content. This can result in cannibalization, where different pages in your website are ranking for the same keyword. This will reduce whatever chances you have for improving the volume of organic traffic to your website. But when you cluster the keywords, you will not be covering the same topic again and again. Instead, you will cover all the sub-topics once (and exhaustively) within your niche. This will make you an authority in your niche, and Google will automatically reward you with more organic traffic.
- Get SEO results faster with keyword clustering
SEO is a long game, and it takes anywhere between 6 to 12 months to see any measurable impact on your website traffic. But with keyword clustering, you can achieve results faster mainly because your web page can rank for multiple keywords at the same time instead of a single keyword.
Even if one keyword is not doing well, the others can pull up your ranking in search engines and produce favorable results faster.
- Create more internal linking opportunities
Internal linking is the process of linking multiple web pages within your website. It helps searchers to navigate from one page to another without any hassles.
Interestingly, interlinking serves one more purpose. It helps search engines understand your website’s structure better. This is important because once Google crawls from a known page to a new page, it automatically improves the trust and reliability of the new page. This will improve the ranking of the new page.
The process of keyword clustering helps you address different related topics which can be interlinked together. Multiple related cluster topics make one strong pillar topic, in turn bringing a structure to your website.
- Build authority in your niche
Keyword clustering is one of the best ways to build topical authority in your niche. By using it, you portray your website as an authoritative source of information about a specific topic. When you group similar and relevant keywords and create valuable content around those topics, you are considered to be an expert in those areas. You are also making it easy for searchers to find all the answers to their questions about that topic on your website.
- Enhance the context of your content
By organizing similar keywords together, you are offering a clearer understanding of the main topics and the themes of the content. This is due to the creation of more targeted and relevant content that is aligned with the exact interests and needs of your target audience.
Also, through keyword clustering, you are revealing the relationship between different keywords, which can be used to improve the overall cohesiveness of the content, making it more meaningful and contextual to the visitor.
How to get started with keyword clustering?
Here is a simple step-by-step process to perform keyword clustering -
- Make a list of your keywords
Kickstart your keyword clustering process by compiling a list of all the keywords you think are relevant to your business or niche. The keywords can be a collection of terms and phrases that your target audience might search for in Google.
You can use keyword research tools like Scalenut’s Topic Cluster Generator, Google's Keyword Planner, or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to help you find relevant keywords.
For example, if you are running a sustainable fashion store, then your list of keywords could include:
- Sustainable fashion
- Ethical clothing
- Green fashion
- Recycled wool
- Organic cotton
- Segment your keywords into groups
Now that you have your list of keywords, start grouping them together into clusters. Ideally, it should be based on their relevance to each other.
For instance, you can group keywords related to a specific product or service together. Or you can group keywords related to a specific stage of the customer journey.
Continuing with the previous example, you can
- Group "sustainable fashion," "ethical clothing," and "green fashion" together. This cluster is clearly related to the overall concept of sustainable fashion.
- Group "recycled wool" and "organic cotton" together. This cluster is related to specific sustainable materials.
- Create a content strategy by identifying content gaps
In the next step, you need to use these clusters to find areas where there is a lack of content or where the content is not performing well. Use these gaps to create a detailed content marketing strategy that will address those gap areas and answer the questions of the visitor.
In the previous example, if you find that your current content does not have sufficient information on “how to style sustainable fashion,” or “how to care for sustainable clothing,” start creating a detailed content strategy that specifically focuses on these topics.
- Create & search engine optimize pillar pages
Start creating pillar pages that are search engine optimized for your keyword clusters. The content of these pillar pages should be not only comprehensive but also in-depth. Most importantly, they should provide value to the audience.
Optimize the pages for Google by infusing the groups of keywords that you identified in your keyword clusters. Make sure that the keyword density is at least one percent to have a measurable impact.
In the previous example, you can create a pillar page titled "Sustainable Fashion 101". This page should provide a comprehensive overview of sustainable fashion, the benefits of sustainable clothing, along with how to shop for sustainable fashion.
You can also create another pillar page talking about "sustainable materials.” This page should provide information about materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel and how they are being used in a sustainable fashion.
- Create blogs around keyword clusters and reinforce authority
The last step revolves around creating satellite articles or blog posts revolving around the keyword clusters. Like the pillar pages, these posts should also be SEO-friendly and offer value to your audience.
When you create multiple content pieces around your keyword cluster, you end up reinforcing your authority on that particular topic. You become the one-stop destination for your target audience to find any information they are looking for around that topic.
For the previous example, you can create blog posts on
- "How to Care for Sustainable Clothing," offering tips for washing, drying, and storing sustainable clothing.
- "Sustainable fashion on a budget," offering tips for shopping sustainable fashion on a budget.
Scalenut - Best Keyword Clustering Tools to Create Topic Ideas
In the previous section, we saw how to perform keyword clustering for your website. As you would have guessed, it’s not an easy process. It’s time-consuming and needs a lot of resources to accomplish the desired goals.
But what if there was a way to automate all the above steps? What if there was a tool that would take care of every aspect of keyword clustering while you focus on more mission-critical tasks?
Yes, it is possible with Scalenut, an AI-powered SEO and content marketing platform.
Scalenut’s topic cluster generator automates your entire keyword clustering and topic clustering process. It helps you build an entire content calendar, thanks to its ability to create LSIs and related keywords that can be used to create pillar pages and satellite articles.
If you want to take the automation one notch higher, you can use Scalenut’s Cruise Mode to automate your content creation. This tool can write the first draft of an article around any keyword of your choice. To know more about Scalenut, sign up for a free trial now.