What is keyword clustering?
Chris Taylor - Content Strategy and Content Marketing

Chris Taylor

What is keyword clustering?

When creating website content, it's important to focus on keyword clusters rather than individual keywords. A keyword cluster is a group of related keywords that are used together to attract targeted traffic to your website. By including a variety of related keywords in your content, you can make your website more visible in search engine results pages (SERPs). This will increase the chances that your website will be visited by people who are interested in what you have to say.

Keyword clustering is a technique used by SEO professionals to help organise and structure website content in a way that is both search engine friendly and user friendly. By grouping together similar keywords, it helps to create a clear and concise structure that can be easily understood by both humans and search engine crawlers. When done correctly, keyword clustering can help improve a website's search engine rankings and visibility.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that is used as a key to unlock a particular piece of information or knowledge. In other words, it is a word or phrase that is used to identify a specific concept, topic, or idea. In the context of search engines, keywords are the words or phrases that people enter into the search bar in order to find websites or articles that are relevant to their needs. In the context of online advertising, keywords are the words or phrases that advertisers use to target their ads to specific audiences.

What are insight keywords?

Insight keywords are those keywords that:

  • give you a deeper understanding of your topic.
  • help you uncover new insights and perspectives.
  • provide insight into what a user is thinking or feeling.

They are often used in market research and competitor analysis to understand what motivates a user or what they are looking for.

When you are doing keyword research, you want to look for those keywords that will help you dig deeper into your topic and find new information. These keywords can be used to identify opportunities and areas for improvement.

What are examples of keywords?

There are a few different types of keywords that can be used in marketing and advertising.

Some examples of keywords are:

  • Branded keywords: These are keywords that include the name of a brand or company. For example, "Nike shoes" would be a branded keyword.
  • Generic keywords: These are keywords that describe a product or service, but don't include the name of a specific brand. For example, "running shoes" would be a generic keyword.
  • Long-tail keywords: These are keywords that are more specific and descriptive than other keywords. They tend to be longer, and are often more successful in driving traffic to a website. For example, "best running shoes for women" would be a longtail keyword.

What is a group of keywords called?

A group of keywords is called a keyword cluster. 

A keyword cluster is a group of keywords that are closely related to each other and are used to target a specific audience or market. For example, a group of keywords such as "dog food", "dog toys", "dog breeds", and "dog care" would be considered a keyword cluster.

When used together, keywords can help to create a more comprehensive and complex understanding of a topic. By including a variety of keywords, you can ensure that all of the important facets of a topic are covered. This can be especially useful when researching or writing about a complex topic.

Why are keywords important in SEO?

There are a number of reasons why keywords are important in SEO. First, they help search engines understand what your website is about.

These keywords are used by search engines to index and rank web pages.

Additionally, keywords are important for helping users find the right information. When users type keywords into a search engine, they are effectively asking a question. The search engine then uses those keywords to find the most relevant webpages. If your webpage contains the keywords that the user is searching for, then there is a good chance that your webpage will be found and displayed in the search results.

You should try to include relevant keywords in your meta titles and meta descriptions. This should make your content more visible to people who are searching for those terms and could help to attract more targeted traffic to your website.

Finally, keywords are also important for advertising. 

What is a keyword cluster?

A keyword cluster is a group of related keywords that are often used together in search queries. If you follow a content plan, you can create high quality content for your blog or website using keywords that are related to each other. This will help to optimise your website for search intent.

The different keywords in a keyword cluster are used in different search queries, but they all have the same purpose of ranking the website higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). A single keyword can be a part of multiple keyword clusters, and each cluster can have different keyword phrases.

By organising your keywords in content clusters, you will soon learn to create higher quality content that is better optimised and ultimately valuable to your readers.

Why Is Keyword Clustering Important?

There are many benefits of keyword clustering. 

By creating comprehensive content using a group of keywords you build topical authority. Rather than going after a single keyword (like digital marketing) you would create lots of content that demonstrates your skills and experience at doing digital marketing activities. This gives you a better chance of ranking for a variety of keywords related to digital marketing.

You can target the search intent behind a search phrase. By grouping related keywords together, you can more easily target the searcher's intent. The purpose here is to increase your website traffic and improve your search engine rankings.

You can create a more comprehensive SEO strategy. You may already have a content strategy or a content plan, but you need to make sure that your website is properly structured. Keyword clustering enables you to create content that connects back to your business goals. By including a range of keywords in your cluster, you can ensure that your website is ranking for all the right terms. And of course, sprinkling keywords throughout your blog posts allows you to improve the internal link structure of your website. This makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl your site.

What Are the Different Kinds of Clustering?

There are different types of clustering, which can be classified into three categories: hard clustering, moderate clustering and soft clustering. You'll need to use a keyword research tool to group keywords using this method.

Hard Clustering

This is when a keyword clustering tool provides a list of keywords that are directly related to each other and point to the same URL. 

Moderate Clustering

The keyword clustering tool will recommend a group of keywords based on search volume, search results listings and matching URLs. However, the main difference between moderate and hard is that two random keywords (from the same group) may not share the same URL.

Soft Clustering

Once again the keyword clustering tool will generate a list of keywords based on search volume. The main difference here is that the keywords may not be related and may not point to the same URLs. 

Why is this important?

This helps focus your content creation on keywords that you can probably rank for. Your keyword research tool should provide you with a keyword difficulty rating. Use that to inform your content plan.

How do you do keyword clustering?

Keyword clustering is a technique used in SEO to help improve the ranking of a piece of content in search engine results pages (SERPs). The idea is to group together similar or related keywords into clusters, which are then used to target a single piece of content. This can help to improve the relevancy of the content for the given keywords, and ultimately help it to rank higher in SERPs.

How do you create a keyword cluster?

Before you get carried away and start grouping your keywords into clusters, you'll want to make sure that your efforts are not going to waste. Do you have a content strategy? If so, carry on. If not, find out why your business needs a content strategy. Presumably you'll have an understanding of the broad keywords your business is targeting. You could make this into a keyword strategy. 

Step 1: Make your keyword list

Start with your intended keyword or core topic. You'll need to use a keyword research tool or Google Search Console. The idea is to build an extensive keyword list (perhaps over 1,000). Remember, as these keyword variations are essentially search terms, you should also include search volume. If you're doing this manually, you would export your list of keywords into Google Sheets or Excel. 

Now that you have your keyword ideas based on actual search terms, you can start to develop a content plan.

Step 2: Segment your keywords into clusters

In other words, group your keywords into similar topics. However, as this could take a while, we'd recommend using a keyword clustering tool (more on that below). 

Step 3: Create and Optimise cluster pages

Your keyword strategy and your content plan is there to keep you focused on creating quality content and to fill any content gaps. You should always refer back to these, especially when you are creating cluster pages. I'd recommend you create content briefs for yourself or your team as these will help to optimise your content. Once you have your pages created, just check them once again to make sure they are relevant to your topic and meet the goals of your content strategy.

Step 4: Create a pillar page

A pillar page is a type of web page that is designed to be a comprehensive resource on a particular topic (high level keyword). Pillar pages are typically longer than your average blog post. They are designed to provide readers with a broad understanding of a given topic.

The secret to pillar pages is linking them to your cluster pages. These will provide more detail on a specific keyword. 

Pillar pages are an important part of any content marketing strategy. Pillar pages and cluster pages are designed to work together to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the topic at hand. The business goal is to use these pages to help to attract new readers and convert them into customers or clients. 

5 Keyword Clustering Tools that you can use for free

Tip: You might find that your favourite keyword research tool can also be used to create keyword clusters.

Answer The Public

You are restricted to a few free searches per day, but that should be enough for anyone wanting a free tool The benefit of Answer The Public versus the tools below is that you don't need to provide a keyword list. You start with your main topic and it will generate clusters and topic ideas for you.

Cluster Army

Cluster Army, keywords and long tails free classifier.

ZenBrief

According to ZenBrief their free tool "groups related keywords together based on an NLP technique. Under the hood, it leverages Google’s BERT system and vector quantization."

SEOScout

"Understand what your content needs to rank". SEOScout is another NLP powered topic search tool.

Umbrellum

Umbrellum was created by an SEO consultant to plug a gap in his toolkit. Its USP is that it provides a direct connection to the Google Ads API. This means the keyword cluster report will also give you search volume. 

What are topic clusters and why are they important?

Topic clusters are a way of organising your website content so that it is more easily found by search engines. By grouping related topics together, you can create a "cluster" of information on a particular subject. This will help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for those topics.

Are topic clusters different to keyword clusters?

Yes. While you can use keyword clusters on one page, and to build out your content, topic clusters are more strategic. It will also depend on the scale of your business and the size of your website. Your content strategy will determine the number of topic clusters your website needs.

It's perfectly acceptable to start targeting a few keywords and creating relevant cluster pages. But, as your site or business grows you will have to consider a website audit and probably a restructure.  For example, an Enterprise or Government organisation will almost certainly require a content strategy and topic clusters to provide an adequate user experience. 

How do content clusters strengthen SEO

SEO is the process of optimising a website for search engines. The goal is to rank higher in the search results for certain keywords or phrases. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can be used to track your website’s performance in the search results. This data can be used to identify keyword opportunities to improve your SEO.

If you see that your website is not appearing in the search results for certain keywords, you can take steps to optimise your site for those keywords. This might involve adding the keywords to your website’s content, titles, and meta tags.  

Keyword clustering is important for SEO because it allows you to group together similar keywords, which helps to avoid duplicate content. By clustering your keywords, you can also more easily target specific audiences with your content. This will help the search engine to better understand the context of the content and provide more relevant results to users.

Is Keyword Clustering Really Worth All of the Work?

Keyword clustering is a technique used by SEO professionals to group together similar keywords and phrases in order to target a specific searcher intent. By creating keyword clusters, you can more easily match your SEO strategy to the searcher's query and produce more relevant search results.

There are many benefits of using keyword clusters, including:

  • Improved organisation of information
  • Easier and faster scanning of information
  • Greater clarity and understanding of information
  • Improved search engine optimization   

While keyword clustering does require some initial work, it can be a very effective way to improve your SEO results. By grouping together similar keywords, you can ensure that your website appears in the search results for a variety of different queries. This can ultimately lead to more traffic and conversions for your business.

Keyword clustering is powerful because it allows you to group together a large number of keywords and get keyword insights that can help you improve your ranking. A cluster of keywords is simply a group of keywords that are related to each other. When you do keyword research, you may come up with thousands of keywords. But if you cluster your keywords, you can target them more effectively with new content. And when people search for those keywords, your content is more likely to show up in the search results. So if you want to get the most out of your keyword research, make sure to cluster your keywords.

How should you optimise your content now?

If you want to optimise your content, you should focus on creating keyword clusters. A keyword cluster is a group of related keywords that you can use to optimise your content. By creating keyword clusters, you can more easily optimise your content for the search engines.

Make sure you're including a variety of different keywords and phrases in your cluster. 

When creating content, make sure to include a variety of keywords that are relevant to your topic. This will help you attract more targeted traffic to your site, and it will also help you improve your search ranking. 

Use keyword research tools to find the most popular and relevant keywords for your niche. 

Create content consistently. Keep adding new and relevant content to your website or blog to keep your keywords fresh and relevant. 

Some tips for creating effective keyword clusters are:

  • Choose a keyword that is relevant to your topic
  • Keyword research tools help you to easily find related keywords
  • Use a tool to groups related keywords together 
  • Use Negative Keywords to filter out irrelevant keywords
  • Create ads and landing pages for each keyword cluster
  • Monitor your results and adjust your keyword clusters as needed  


By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to making the most out of keyword clusters. 

How do keyword clusters improve your digital marketing?

When you start developing a keyword strategy, you should be connecting this to your broader marketing objectives. Keyword clusters will provide many ideas and lots of content for your digital marketing campaigns. Done right, keyword clusters will form the backbone of all your digital marketing activities.


To optimise your website for SEO, you need to group your keywords into clusters. This will help you organise the content on your pillar pages and optimise your pages for search. 


For example, a cluster for a travel website might include the following keyword phrases:

  • travel destinations
  • cheap travel
  • travel deals
  • travel tips


Now that you have a proper structure in place, you can use digital marketing to drive traffic to those pages. It's important to understand that keyword clusters themselves won't make your business a success. However, combine this technique with your other marketing activities and you can be confident that you are on the path to success.

Conclusion

By taking the time to understand how keyword clusters work, you can unlock a world of potential for your website or blog. Not only will you be able to rank higher in search engine results pages, but you'll also be able to attract more targeted traffic that is more likely to convert into leads or sales.

So what are you waiting for? Start experimenting with keyword clusters today and see how they can help you reach your online marketing goals.