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What is Keyword Clustering and How Does it Influence Your SEO Content Strategy?

We’re all aware of Google’s continuous advancement in intelligence, yet many businesses are lagging behind in their approach to search engine optimization (SEO).

For years, website owners have focused on optimizing their pages with a singular keyword in mind. However, as Google’s natural language processing (NLP) capabilities evolve and its understanding of on-page content connections deepens, this approach is becoming increasingly outdated.

If we aim to have our landing pages rank for a multitude of keywords instead of just one or two, it’s imperative to enhance our on-page SEO strategy.

One effective method to elevate your optimization efforts is through keyword clustering – a potent tool that allows you to maximize the potential of every post without overloading it with keywords.

Let’s elaborate on what keyword clustering entails and why it’s pivotal for your SEO content strategy.

Topic Clusters And SEO Content Fundamentals

Before delving into the specifics of keyword grouping, topic clusters, and SEO, let’s first familiarize ourselves with some of the key terms we’ll be referencing in this guide.

What Is Natural Language Processing?

At its essence, NLP is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers to comprehend and interpret human language.

So, what does natural language processing really involve?

In simple terms, NLP aids machines in better “understanding” our words by dissecting the structure and context of our sentences, phrases, and words.

According to Google, NLP “employs machine learning to unveil the structure and meaning of text.”

Its applications are diverse, ranging from scrutinizing customer sentiment to automating document analysis and content categorization, as well as discerning financial data like receipts and invoices.

Think of it as Google’s way of “reading” the content on your website and making sense of it.

What Is an SEO Content Strategy?

If NLP serves as the technology that comprehends our language, then an SEO content strategy employs this understanding to elevate our page’s ranking in search results.

Every SEO content strategy endeavors to ensure that you’re targeting the right keywords for your business. This involves:

  • Researching potential topics and keywords.
  • Assessing keyword competitiveness and difficulty.
  • Crafting content optimized for those terms.

However, to propel your SEO efforts to the next level, it’s crucial to move beyond single keywords and begin grouping related terms into keyword clusters.

What Is Keyword Clustering?

This leads us to the main focus: keyword clustering.

Keyword clustering is a technique that involves organizing related keywords into coherent clusters.

This enables you to produce content that addresses both the original keyword and all its associated terms, thereby heightening the likelihood of appearing in a wider range of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Let’s say you’re aiming to optimize a page for the keyword “juicing recipes.”

By clustering this term with related keywords like “detox juice recipes,” “green smoothie recipes,” and “fruit juice smoothies,” you can create content that encompasses all these subjects within a single post.

Remember, creating SEO topic clusters demands more than just intuition and guesswork. You must possess accurate data from reliable tools to make this endeavor successful, such as:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Trends
  • Answer The Public
  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

Additionally, you can employ tools like Google Sheets and Excel to structure your keyword clusters.

How They Complement Each Other

NLP, an SEO content marketing strategy, keyword clustering – they may seem logical in isolation, but how do they synergize?

The concept is to generate SEO content that ranks for multiple searches as long as they are relevant.

In today’s landscape, crafting an effective content marketing SEO strategy necessitates a step back to analyze your keyword clusters. Similarly, keyword grouping would be ineffective without considering Google’s language processing methodology.

As demonstrated, these three elements coalesce to form a cohesive SEO content marketing strategy. While individually they might yield short-term traffic, when integrated, they provide your business with a enduring advantage.

Is It Worth It?

It’s undeniably labor-intensive. You’ll invest substantial time brainstorming and compiling keywords. The task of creating numerous pages and content for each topic cluster may seem daunting.

So, is keyword clustering a worthwhile pursuit?

In short, yes.

The longer answer lies in examining the metrics. Achieving top rankings in search engine results can lead to a notable upswing in website traffic and a corresponding surge in revenue.

The most straightforward approach is through long-tail keywords, which may have lower traffic but boast higher conversion rates and lower competition. A study by Ahrefs revealed that about 0.0008% of keywords receive approximately 100,000 monthly searches.

While this might seem like a modest figure, it’s actually quite promising. These keywords tend to convert more readily due to their niche specificity. Keyword clustering empowers you to target such search terms, offering a robust chance at ranking for them.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that NLP and keyword clustering are not passing trends; they’re enduring strategies. As their adoption increases, implementing an effective SEO content marketing strategy positions you ahead of the competition.

The Evidence

Consider this example of a multi-location dermatology practice group.

They undertook the task of migrating their main website to smaller micro-sites to rank for various service locations. Their objective was to excel in location-based keyword searches, including:

  • Cosmetic dermatology
  • Skin cancer
  • Eczema
  • Acne

As part of their SEO strategy, they concentrated on ranking for high-intent keyword searches like “skincare exam” and “local dermatologist.” This involved establishing SEO topic clusters to spotlight their services while gaining visibility in search results. Additionally, their SEO partners executed strategies like domain linking, link-building, and local citation management.

The results were remarkable:

Another compelling case study underscores the efficacy of content marketing SEO strategy, featuring a multi-location reconstruction and restoration firm.

They identified topic clusters for high-quality blogs, erected links for their location-based services, and optimized Google Business Profile listings, among other SEO tactics for heightened visibility.

Here are their outcomes:

These results underscore the significant payoff of implementing keyword clustering in your SEO strategy.

How To Forge An SEO Strategy With Keywords And Topic Clusters

Now that we understand the significance of keyword clustering, let’s delve into a concise guide on how to formulate an SEO strategy supercharged with keyword clustering.

Step 1: Assemble a Keyword List

Keyword grouping and clustering always kick off with a comprehensive list. This list should encompass a wide range of terms.

Initiate by cataloging all your services and products, then incorporate related terms. Don’t forget to include highly specific long-tail keywords for each niche you’re targeting.

You need not reinvent the wheel when it comes to keywords. Examine your competitors and discern what’s currently effective for them, where they excel in rankings, and how they leverage keywords. Take this insight and start constructing your own keyword roster.

A tool like Google Keyword Planner can help expand your list and refine your keywords further. Document and organize all your discoveries to maintain clarity.

For the initial stages, you might have just a hundred keywords, and that’s perfectly fine. Without expert guidance, this would be sufficient for identifying SEO topic clusters for your business.

Step 2: Cluster Your Keywords Into Groups

When forming clusters, two factors are pivotal: relevance and intent.

Relevance denotes how closely connected the keywords are to each other, while intent pertains to the type of

 search query being made.

Generally, there are four types of search intents:

  • Navigational
  • Informational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial

Scrutinize your keywords and identify patterns. Group them based on their relevance and intent.

Let’s revisit our dermatology practice example from earlier.

We can establish a cluster for cosmetic services, encompassing:

  • Laser hair removal
  • Botox injections
  • Facial fillers

We can also form another cluster pertaining to skin cancer treatments, encompassing:

  • Skin cancer screening
  • Skin cancer treatment

You can also build clusters based on intent.

For the dermatology practice example, we could create a cluster for informational searches (e.g., “what is skin cancer?”), navigational searches (e.g., “local dermatologists”), transactional searches (e.g., “skincare products”), and commercial searches (e.g., “microdermabrasion near me”).

Keeping unrelated keywords together on a single page can confuse search engines and potentially harm your rankings. Ensure that related keywords are grouped together to convey their collective meaning to Google.

Step 3: Identify Your Pillar Content

Your topic clusters serve as the blueprint for structuring your web content. They represent your website’s core subjects once you’ve successfully implemented your content marketing SEO strategy.

These core subjects are also referred to as pillar content or pillar pages, housing all pertinent content related to a specific topic.

For instance, you could establish a pillar page dedicated to your dermatology practice’s cosmetic services. This page would comprise comprehensive information about each service, such as laser hair removal, botox injections, and facial fillers.

You could also have another pillar page centered on skin cancer treatments, providing detailed insights into screening, diagnosis, and treatment options.

By adopting this approach, you mitigate the risk of keyword cannibalization and ensure that you’re producing relevant content for associated searches.

Furthermore, this aids in establishing your website as an authoritative source in your targeted niche.

Step 4: Expand with Blogs and Additional Content

The content creation aspect of your SEO content marketing strategy doesn’t conclude with pillar pages.

Now, you must complement your pillar content with top-notch blogs and supplementary content. The objective is to offer more comprehensive information on the subjects covered in your pillar pages.

You might generate a blog post on “the fundamentals of skin cancer” or “the mechanics of laser hair removal.” You can also craft videos, infographics, brochures, eBooks, and more.

Envision this SEO content marketing strategy as an intricate network of interlinked content pieces, with pillar pages serving as the central hubs. Each hub is flanked by supporting topics, providing detailed insights into the core subjects. This framework furnishes readers with a reliable and extensive source of information.

Step 5: Cultivate Backlinks for Your Topic Clusters

Google is a discerning search engine that rewards websites that invest effort. This means that naturally acquiring backlinks from authoritative sources can elevate your website’s rankings.

Internal linking assists Google in comprehending your website’s architecture. Concurrently, linking to external (preferably reputable) sources helps Google ascertain your website’s credibility. It also demonstrates to search engine crawlers that other websites value your content.

Infuse Your Content with the Right Keywords

With Google’s NLP, SEO transcends the mere inclusion of keywords in your content in hopes of ranking higher.

It’s about pinpointing the most relevant topics and constructing a content marketing SEO strategy around them. In doing so, you’re not just vying for the attention of casual passersby; you’re addressing an audience grappling with real issues and seeking authentic solutions.

At LeadsHouse, our team comprises adept content writers and SEO strategists who can set you on the right path. We develop tailor-made content solutions to keep your website poised for new visitors.

Reach out to us today for sustainable, long-term SEO solutions.


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