What’s Keyword Clustering and How it Can Help Your SEO

Over the last few years, online marketing has gone from having a new location to post advertisements, to building and connecting with new potential customers through creative content and platforms. One of the ways this has developed is through search optimization. Quite simply, when someone is searching for something in a search engine, we make sure they find us by specifically writing a few keyword targets into our content. As this technology has improved, we can become more specific in our searches and responses, and this is where keyword clustering becomes relevant. Taking advantage of this knowledge will take us from ranking among hundreds of other pages to 10-20 times the keywords, where we can see a huge improvement in traffic to our page. 

What are Keyword Clusters? 

If you have an online presence for your business or brand, you should have a good understanding of keywords. These are terms that you know people search for online to help them find you. So if you are a photographer, you want to mention “photos” in your content regularly so people can be directed to your page if they are looking to have photos taken. Now consider that another company selling photos of zoo animals will also use the word “photos” on their pages. You are competing with them and photo development companies and other photographers for their eyes on your business.  

Keyword clustering is including a group of terms, rather than single words. Using our above example, if you have a specialty, your keyword cluster becomes “wedding photos”, “outdoor wedding photos”, “Cambridge wedding photos” etc. Now you will not only reach a more specific audience but rank higher in the search as more words match the terms typed into the web platform.  

How to find Keyword Clusters 

First, you need to generate a list of keywords and variations, additions, and subtopics related to that main keyword. Next, you need to utilize a keyword tool. There are many free options online including Ahrefs Keyword Generator, Answer the Public , SemRush’s Keyword Magic Tool and many more. Search for one that will give you a few different metrics to measure such as search volume, cost-per-click, and subtopics or questions. You will want to use a spreadsheet to organize this information. SEO professionals will actually record this data for thousands of terms, but we recommend you start with one hundred. There are keyword grouping tools you can use, or just keep searching different clusters until you find the best options. You want to be left with a list of clustered keywords in priority order. 

How to Use Keyword Clusters 

Once you’ve got this list of clusters, you essentially have a plan you can use to build your content on your website. First, use your top clusters as foundational pages. These will act as the core topics on your site. Using our original example, you would have one page targeting “outdoor wedding photos” and one targeting “Cambridge wedding photos” if those were the top of your priority spreadsheet. For these pages, start by creating some long-form content such as articles that will investigate the topic more deeply. Then you reinforce the page with videos, carousel albums, or links to more content about that specific keyword cluster. As you continue to add more to your page, you can create based on the keyword clusters and eventually you create topic clusters. 

If you only sell one product or only have one main service, you will find that you may only have a few keyword clusters. If you have several different products or services, you will have a larger number of clusters and you can build around those to create pillar pages for each topic. You can add links to other pages, other resources, and supporting information which serves two purposes: first, it encourages new users to spend more time on your website and secondly helps the algorithms understand which of your pages are most important and where to direct your audience. 

Other Key Points 

If you are going to use this strategy, understand that it takes a lot of time, will be more work for your SEO, and will need to be re-assessed regularly. It cannot just be done once. That being said, it can make an immense impact on getting traffic to your page and keeping it there. The algorithms have been developed over years to not only understand how to direct the flow of traffic but also to recognize advanced users. This provides a secondary benefit because the algorithm basically “sees” you as an expert based on your cluster usage and helps rank you higher. The algorithm is trained to identify pages with rich keyword clusters and promote them. Search engines like Google want to ensure the user is getting the best experience so when you cluster, you point an arrow at your page that says “expert: this way”. 

Van Patter Group’s search engine optimization, social media marketing and website design aspects can help you implement keyword cluster practices into your webpage with a high level of skill. We would love to help you get your business ranking higher in search engines to bring more traffic to your offer. Reach out today to find out more about how we can help!