Keywords are the building block of any SEO strategy. It was common practice to optimize a webpage for only one or two keywords – but search engine technology has evolved. More standard practice is to optimize for a group of keywords with similar search intent – keyword clusters. The Google keyword cluster strategy involves ranking webpages for multiple keyword phrases that target the same intent.
Keyword clustering is the process of organizing keywords with similar search intent into a group. And then structuring the content on your site with those keywords in mind.
With a keyword cluster model, you can make your site more Google-friendly and drive impressive search engine success. This guide explains what keyword clustering is, why it is essential and how you can create keyword clusters.
What is A Keyword Cluster?
A keyword cluster is a group of keywords that target the same search intent. These keywords represent searches with similar user intent. Keyword clustering is the process of organizing related or similar search terms into a group and leveraging them to improve SEO. A keyword cluster consists of a core keyword and related keywords that you can target on a webpage.
Two users searching the internet for the same information, product, or services might not use the same keyword. For instance, if your business sells clothes for little girls, possible ways users might search for your products include:
- girl clothes
- trendy little girl clothes
- baby girl clothes
- girls’ fashion clothes
These search terms express the same intent – to purchase clothes for a girl child. Optimizing your website content for just one of these terms will mean missing out on several users looking for your product. With keyword clustering, you can get your webpage ranking for a primary keyword and other related terms.
Google ranks webpages for multiple keyword phrases, so optimizing your webpage around a number of similar keywords is important. Implementing a keyword cluster model will ensure that Google ranks your web pages for similar terms that your target audiences are using.
Google Keyword Cluster Strategy: Benefits of Clustering
A keyword cluster is a set of associated keywords or phrases with similar intent. The benefits of keyword clustering are as follows:
- Strong rankings and page traffic for long-tail keywords.
- Improved rankings for short-tail keywords.
- More organic traffic.
- Strong rankings for multiple keywords.
- Satisfying user intent.
- Faster ranking in the SERPs.
- More possibilities for internal linking.
- Increased content, page, and domain authority in your niche industry.
How To Create Keyword Clusters
Keyword clustering requires extensive research, time, and resources. It also requires a solid understanding of your audience and the search terms they’re using to find content, products, and services like yours. Here’s how to create a keyword cluster.
1. Do Keyword Research to Collect Relevant Keywords.
Keyword research is the first step to keyword clustering. Identify the core keyword you want your website to rank for. Then identify similar terms searchers are using, including variations of the primary keyword, long-tail phrases, and subtopics. How do you achieve this?
- Check to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for.
- Use a keyword tool to discover related keywords, subtopics, or questions searchers use to find products and services like yours.
- Brainstorm ideas and try out a few variations and combinations.
With extensive keyword research, you can put together hundreds to thousands of relevant keywords to attract traffic to your website. When building your keyword list, keep in mind relevance and intent.
You want to find keywords that bring the right searchers to your website, those who are likely to convert. Try answering these questions if you’re thinking of the kinds of keywords to add to your list.
- What are my products and services?
- What pain points can I solve for my customers?
- Why would a consumer pick my company instead of my competitors?
- What terms would I search for if I was new to the industry?
- What kind of customers does my business attract?
An easy way to document your result is by using spreadsheets. Some of the vital information to include for each keyword in your list are:
- Organic difficulty.
- Search volume.
- Cost-per-click metrics.
These metrics will help you determine which keywords are more valuable and have the greatest conversion potential. This way, you can identify which keyword should be the core keyword in your cluster.
2. Identify Themes
With an extensive keyword list, you’ll want to identify similar themes. You may observe the same words, phrases, or subtopics that people include in their search queries. These patterns offer you a way to cluster and form keyword groups. Some features to look out for are:
The keywords in a cluster must target the same search intent. Optimizing a webpage for different keywords will confuse the Google algorithm about what your page is really about. And if Google cannot gain insight into the subject matter on your page, the SEO efforts on your page will be wasted.
Search Volume and CPC
Search volume measures the number of people searching for a particular term. The core keywords in a cluster must have a reasonable search volume. They should also have a strong conversion potential in their cost-per-click metrics (CPC).
Long-tail keywords are more specific and usually have lower search volume. But make sure any long-term keyword you include in your cluster display a strong conversion potential.
Regarding organic difficulty, ranking factors like your site authority, backlink profile, and how established your website is, comes to play. If your site is new, it will be challenging to rank for keywords with a Keyword Difficulty score higher than your domain authority.
Using only keywords your site can easily rank for is best. You may consider combining high and lower competition to secure keyword rankings. In the long run, your pages can rank for those competitive queries as your site authority grows.
3. Assign your Keywords to Groups.
After identifying the themes and commonalities, it’s time to assign keywords into groups. Consider putting 3-5 keywords in a cluster; anything more than this might be challenging to optimize for.
The number of keyword clusters you create will depend on how many landing pages you have on your website. And whether you’re optimizing existing content or starting from scratch.
4. Create Pillar Pages for Your Keyword Clusters
A pillar page is a piece of content that provides a comprehensive overview of a core topic and links to in-depth content on subtopics. Pillar pages represent the most important themes in your content and introduce users to related subjects. It covers all aspects of a topic and provides a roadmap for organizing the content on your website.
Create a pillar page for each cluster optimized for a core keyword. Or optimize an existing page and convert it into a pillar page. The pillar page could be your category page on an e-commerce site or a landing page for a content site. Here are some tips for improving the ranking potential of your pillar pages.
- Write long-form content that explores the topic in detail.
- Create a clear structure and include your keywords in major headings.
- Add on-page elements, like jump links and carousels, to improve the page experience for the user.
5. Create Cluster Pages Around the Pillar Pages
Create extra content around the pillar to improve content authority and page ranking. Use relevant metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and CPC to select the core keywords in a cluster.
Create blog posts that target longer-tail keywords, questions, and subtopics related to the core keywords. Pillar pages and cluster pages these blogs link to form the topic clusters on your website.
The internal link profile on this content will affect how your landing pages rank in Google. Link your blog posts back to the appropriate pillar page to improve your chances of ranking for higher-value keywords.
A keyword cluster is a set of related keywords that target the same search intent. Keyword clustering is an advanced SEO approach that focuses on grouping keywords with the same search intent. A page that targets a group of keywords with the same intent has a higher chance of appearing at the top of search results.
The goal of keyword clustering is to satisfy the intent of thousands of searchers rather than just a few. Keyword clustering shows Google that your website is authoritative in your niche and contains relevant content.
Now’s the time to leverage keyword clustering to increase your click-through rate and page rankings on search engines. This guide on Google keyword cluster strategy is all you need to get started.
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