Keyword Clusters: What Are They & How to Use Them

Last updated:
August 9, 2023

Keyword clusters play a significant role when it comes to building a search engine optimization strategy. Learning how keyword clustering works can be immensely helpful to SEO professionals, marketing teams, and business owners alike.  

This article will discuss key topics such as, what are keyword clusters? How do you use keyword clusters correctly? Along with a provided in-depth example of how to use keyword clusters in a blog article.

What Are Keyword Clusters?

What Are Keyword Clusters?

To begin, let's define keyword clusters. Essentially, they are groups of related keywords that revolve around a central theme or topic. For instance, if "vegan recipes" is your primary topic, your keyword cluster might include terms like "vegan breakfast ideas," "quick vegan meals," and "healthy vegan dinner recipes."

The importance of keyword clusters lies in their ability to boost your topical authority and ranking potential in the eyes of search engines. When utilizing keyword clusters strategically, you signal to search engines like Google that your content is a valuable resource on a specific topic. Correct usage of keyword clusters can significantly improve your search page rankings.

RELATED: How Search Engines Work: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking

Keyword Clustering Process: 3-Step Strategy

Keyword Clustering Process: 3-Step Strategy

Now, let's explore the process of keyword clustering. It may seem complex, especially when dealing with thousands of keywords, but it's more straightforward than it appears.

  1. Keyword Research: Start with a reliable keyword research tool. Ahrefs and SEMrush are popular choices, but there are numerous other options available. These tools will help you discover a wide range of long-tail keywords related to your core topic.
  1. Keyword Grouping: Once you've compiled your list of keywords, it's time to start clustering. A keyword grouping tool can simplify this process by using algorithms to group your keywords based on factors like search intent and search volume. Frase.IO and Keyword Cupid are two platforms that have a keyword clustering tool.
  1. Keyword Assignment: This is where the strategy comes into play. Instead of randomly distributing these keywords throughout your content, assign each keyword cluster to a specific H2 or H3 header. This approach not only enhances your search engine rankings but also improves the readability of your content.

For example, if you're crafting a blog post about vegan recipes, you might have an H2 header that says, "Quick and Easy Vegan Breakfast Ideas."

Under this header, you'll incorporate keywords from your "vegan breakfast" cluster, such as "vegan pancakes," "vegan smoothie bowls," and "protein-rich vegan breakfast."

Keyword Clusters Help Search Engines Understand And Index Your Content

Keyword Clusters Help Search Engines Understand And Index Your Content

Keyword clustering is more than a sensible optimization strategy; it's a powerful technique to elevate your SEO performance. When you assign keyword clusters to specific headers, you create a clear, organized structure that search engines appreciate. This helps search engines understand what your content is about and index it accordingly. It's akin to creating a roadmap that directs search engines to your most valuable content.

However, keyword clustering isn't solely about impressing search engines. It's also about delivering value to your readers. Grouping related content under relevant headers enhances the readability and user-friendliness of your content. Ultimately, providing value to your readers is the cornerstone of successful SEO.

RELATED: Search Engine Rank Reporting: How Search Results Are Ranked

Keyword Clustering Fundamentals: Incorrect Usage

Keyword Clustering Fundamentals: Incorrect Usage

While we've discussed the benefits of keyword clustering, it's equally important to understand how not to use keyword clusters. Misusing this powerful SEO strategy can lead to issues like keyword cannibalization, content silos, and even penalties from search engines.

  • Keyword Stuffing Should Be Avoided: One of the most common mistakes SEO experts make is keyword stuffing. This is when you overload your content pieces with keywords to manipulate your site's ranking in Google search results. Not only does this create a poor user experience, but it can also lead to penalties from Google.
  • Keyword Cannibalization Should Be Considered: This occurs when multiple pages on your site are targeting the same primary keywords. Instead of boosting your SEO, this can confuse search engines and dilute your ranking potential. It's crucial to ensure each page or blog content targets a unique set of relevant keywords.
  • User Intent Cannot Be Ignored: When creating your keyword clusters, it's essential to consider user intent. This refers to what users are looking for when they type a search query. Ignoring user intent can lead to a mismatch between your content and your audience's needs, which can hurt your organic traffic.
  • Content Silos Should Not Be Created: While it's important to create content clusters around specific topics, be careful not to isolate your content. Make sure to build internal links between related content to help search engines understand the semantic relationships between your pages.
  • Single Keywords Should Not Be Relied On: While single keywords or short-tail keywords can be part of your keyword strategy, they shouldn't be your entire focus. Long-tail keyword phrases often align more closely with user intent and can help you fill content gaps.

Keyword Clustering Fundamentals: Correct Usage

Keyword Clustering Fundamentals: Correct Usage

Now that we've covered the pitfalls to avoid, let's revisit the correct way to use keyword clusters:

  • Start with an Initial Keyword List: Use a keyword research tool to create an initial list of seed keywords. Then, expand this list using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console to include all the search terms that are driving traffic to your site.
  • Classify by Intent: Use intent classification to group your keywords based on the user's intent. This will help you align your content strategy with your audience's needs.
  • Create Topic Clusters: Group your keywords into topic clusters. Each cluster should revolve around a pillar topic and include related subtopics. You can use a keyword clustering tool to help with this process.
  • Plan Your Content: Use your topic clusters to guide your content planning. Each cluster should result in a piece of content that covers the core topic in depth, along with several pieces of cluster content that cover related subtopics.
  • Track Your Results: Use tools like Google Analytics to track the performance of your content. This will help you refine your keyword strategy over time.

RELATED: What is Blogging and How Does It Work?

Keyword Clustering Example: Fitness Blog

Keyword Clustering Example: Fitness Blog

Consider a blog in the fitness niche. You've done your keyword research and found a cluster of keywords around the topic "Home Workouts". The keywords might include "home workouts for beginners", "home workout routines", "no-equipment home workouts", "home workouts to lose weight", etc. Here's how you could use this keyword cluster in a blog article:

Title: "The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts for Beginners"

The title includes the main keyword from the cluster ("home workouts for beginners"), setting the theme for the entire article.

Introduction: "Are you looking to start a fitness journey from the comfort of your home? Our comprehensive guide to home workouts for beginners is just what you need. We'll cover everything from simple routines to no-equipment exercises that you can easily incorporate into your daily life."  

The introduction mentions "home workouts for beginners" and "no-equipment exercises", which are part of the keyword cluster. This sets the stage for the content that follows and signals to both readers and search engines what the article will cover.

Subheadings: "Benefits of Home Workouts", "No-Equipment Home Workouts", "Home Workout Routines to Lose Weight"

Each of these sections should be designed to comprehensively cover the respective keyword. The subheadings "Benefits of Home Workouts", "No-Equipment Home Workouts", "Home Workout Routines to Lose Weight" each target a different keyword from the cluster. This helps to structure the content in a way that covers multiple related keywords.

Body: "Home workouts to lose weight can be just as effective as gym workouts."

Throughout the article, naturally incorporate the keywords from your cluster. When discussing the benefits, you could mention how "home workouts to lose weight" can be just as effective as gym workouts. The body of the article incorporates various keywords from the cluster naturally within the content. For instance, the phrase "home workouts to lose weight" is used in a contextually appropriate way.

Conclusion: "...Start your home workout routines today."

Summarize the key points and encourage readers to start their "home workout routines" today. The conclusion reinforces the main keyword ("home workout routines") again, summarizing the content and encouraging readers to act.

Keyword clustering relies on the content being written in a natural way to prevent keyword stuffing. Search engines like Google use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to understand the relationship between different words and phrases in your content. When using a cluster of related keywords naturally, you're helping search engines make these connections, which can improve your visibility in search results.

RELATED: SEO Marketing for Dentists: Four Key Strategies

Keyword Clustering Develops Successful SEO Marketing

Keyword Clustering Develops Successful SEO Marketing

Keyword clusters are a crucial aspect of effective SEO. Remember, keyword clustering is a tool, and like any tool, it's most effective when used correctly. It requires time, effort, and a deep understanding of your topic, audience, and their needs behind their search queries. Nevertheless, the potential rewards - improved search visibility, increased traffic, and a stronger connection with your audience - make it well worth the effort.

Until our next deep dive into the world of SEO, keep clustering, and here's to your continued success!

Ready to take your SEO strategy to the next level? Partner with Twelverays. With our expertise and a strategic approach to keyword clustering, we can help you improve your website’s search rankings and visibility significantly. Let's take on your competitors together. Let's create content that not only ranks but also resonates with your audience. Schedule a discovery call today.  

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