Keyword clustering is one of the best white hat SEO techniques you can add to your SEO or content marketing strategy. It’s an advanced method used in search engine optimization to segment target terms into groups that are relevant to each page of the website.
Normally, a keyword strategy involves one or two keywords to optimize a given content. However, with the development and updates in search engine algorithms, such simple tactics don’t work like they used to. Google has become far more advanced today, with an ability to understand user intent, detect multiple topics and index content accordingly.
What is Keyword Grouping?
Keyword clustering groups keywords that are similar to each other and fall under the same search intent. It’s an effective tactic that will allow your content marketing strategy to be more targeted. There are three common types of search intent namely: navigation, information, and transactional or commercial.
For example, “women shoes,” “women’s black shoes,” and “black running shoes for women” are all different keywords. But they all represent users who want to buy women’s shoes. Therefore, they all fall under the transactional category.
The process is similar to traditional keyword research — but on a bigger scale. Through keyword clusters or grouping, you’ll get insight into how keywords are related to each other, and what terms are used by audiences in the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
You can better assess which keywords to use whether a buyer is merely doing initial research, informational research, or they’re already looking to buy a product.
How to Map Out Keyword Clusters
Here’s how you can begin doing your keyword clustering.
1. List all keyword data
Keyword clustering will start with a lot of keyword research. Determine the root keyword that you want your website to rank for and then list all the related keywords, or similar keywords including long-tail keywords, and common topics that searchers are using with the keyword.
Use as many sources as possible. You can use the following for research:
- Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Analytics
- Existing target keywords
- Competitors’ keywords
- Google Trends
Compile all keywords until you have hundreds you can use, then remove any duplicates or repetitive phrases.
2. Have a workable list of keywords
Study your list, and you’ll notice that there’s a pattern on the search terms. You’ll see that though many will have the same root keyword, they will fall into different categories or serve different search intent.
- Content marketing strategy
- Content marketing services
- Examples of content marketing
- How to do content marketing
- Cost of content marketing
Here, “content marketing” is the root keyword, but the phrases all fall under different categories. If you look closely, “content marketing strategy” is an informational keyword, whereas you can list “content marketing services” as a transactional or commercial keyword. You need to determine the keyword variation to properly group them later on.
Analyze your list, keeping these points in mind:
- Choose phrases that are relevant to your business
- Choose phrases with a good search volume (You can target keywords that have a high search volume, but keep in mind that you must be capable of ranking for that keyword. It’s best to also include keywords with search volumes of 200-2,000 with low keyword difficulty.)
- Choose the ones that make strategic sense when it comes to content creation
3. Group and segment keywords
Now, it’s time to group and categorize the keywords. Earlier, we mentioned the different stages of the buyer’s journey. We’ll use this process to divide and group our keywords.
Here are the three stages of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness. Informational keywords will fall under this category since users at this stage are not yet aware of the products or services that you offer. They may not even be aware that they need them. Choose informational keywords that also address their pain points.
- Consideration. Keywords that nurture or will further educate your audience about your products and services should fall under this category. In this stage, users are already aware of what they want, and are looking for information that will assure them that they’re making the right choice.
- Purchase. These are your conversion keywords. Commercial and transactional keywords fall in this category.
You will have to analyze this carefully and decide which keywords you want to use for which purpose. You can also develop multiple groups. But be mindful of the keyword difficulty, search volume and how competitive the keyword is. The goal here is to reach more users, which you can only do once you’re able to successfully target the right keyword and rank for it.
4. Incorporate your keyword clusters into your content
First, organize your pillar pages or the main pages in your site. This way, they’ll contain the most important keywords or the root keywords that your website should be ranking for.
Next, optimize your blog according to category. You can update existing blogs or create new ones, it all depends on the keyword cluster you’re working on.
Your blog posts should link back to the appropriate pillar page. This method of internal linking will strengthen your chances of ranking for those keywords as well.
Basing your content production on existing keyword clusters is a more strategic approach that’s driven by data, rather than gut-feel or instinct. The process is easier to monitor, track and adjust, providing your business with a more effective SEO and content marketing strategy.
Better Keywords for Greater Visibility
It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing on your own or have professional help from a digital marketing agency. Well-written and thoroughly researched articles are essential to your content marketing arsenal. And the best way to optimize those high-quality articles is to apply keyword clustering.
The methodical approach does take time, requiring more keyword research and more content production. But in the end, it’ll allow you to provide the right type of content to the right type of users. And this will help you improve search visibility, giving you that competitive edge your business needs.
About The Author…
Itamar Gero is the founder of SEOReseller.com, a digital marketing solutions provider that empowers agencies and their local clients all over the world. When he isn’t working, he’s traveling the world, meditating, or dreaming (in code).