Gang Buster Keyword Clustering How to Optimize a Whole Article With a Keyword Cluster

If you’re a blogger, then understanding the ins and outs of keyword clustering is super important to the success of your blog: if you optimize for a keyword cluster instead of just one keyword, you can bring in much more traffic over time because now, your article will rank for a few keywords, not just one!

But first, let’s define what is a keyword cluster: a keyword cluster is simply a few semantically related keywords grouped within one article because they all make sense to cover in one article.

Instead of writing five different articles targeting each one of those keywords, if it makes sense for these five keywords to be targeted in one article, then you can target all five in one article and optimize the article for all five!

How to Optimize an Article for a Keyword Cluster

Let’s jump straight into how I cluster keywords in a group for one article and optimize it to get visitors on my blog from Google.

Step 1: Deciding Which Keywords to Group Together in a Cluster

analyzing internal linking

The first step in the process is deciding exactly which keywords to target in a cluster.

For this strategy to pay off, the keywords that you cluster must be semantically-related for the article to rank well for most of them.

For shorter articles (1000-1500 words), I usually cluster 3-5 keywords and find the keywords manually while I do keyword research.

Here are some keywords I found and decided to cluster into one group:

Example #1: “What Is Blogging?”

I envision this article easily being 3,000-5,000 words depending how deep you want to go with it. Here are a few keywords that could also be targeted in this article:

  • What is the purpose of a blog?
  • What is a blog example?
  • Can I make money from blogging?
  • How can I make money from blogging?
  • Monetization methods for a blog

Example #2: “Coffee vs Energy Drinks”

An article targeting “coffee vs energy drinks” as its primary keyword may cluster the following keywords within the same article:

  • Caffeine in Energy Drinks
  • Caffeine in Coffee
  • What’s in Coffee?
  • What’s in Energy Drinks?
  • How Much Sugar is in Coffee?
  • How Much Sugar is in Energy Drinks?

You can see how these keyphrases would naturally fit into this type of article.

Example #3: “Affiliate Marketing”

Here are some keywords I can target within this article:

  • What is Affiliate Marketing?
  • How Much Money Can I Make with Affiliate Marketing?
  • How Do I Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?
  • Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
  • Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

If you go through each example, you can see how every article in every example would contain the rest of the keywords within it.

It makes sense to cluster them.

For articles longer than 1500 keywords, I take additional time to do more keyword research so I can round out the article well.

There might be times though, when a keyword is better suited in its own article like “best affiliate programs for beginners” because in an article like this, you can easily come up with 10-20 beginner-friendly programs and would probably serve better in an article by itself.

For each cluster, you can dig deeper and find more keywords to target.

Keep one thing in mind though: the more the keyword is further away from the main topic (semantically), the harder time it will have to rank in the top spots in Google.

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Step 2: Optimize the Article With Your Primary Keyword First

building traffic for affiliate offers

Optimizing for your primary keyword is the easiest.  Make sure you are using it in your meta title, page URL, as well as the main Heading 1.

If you don’t have a tool, you’ll have to calculate the keyword density of the top three sites and make sure to take an average of them and not go over that number when using the primary keyword in your article.

But if you want the ultimate recommendation in tools, I do enjoy using so I can make sure my articles and well-rounded (but only after I’ve written the first draft) and it also monitors for overoptimization of keywords.

If you’re a beginner to SEO, then you’ll definitely want to check out the Essential On-Site SEO Guide for Bloggers and read it all the way through!

Step 3: Optimize the Article With the Rest of Your Keywords

keyword clustering

For the rest of the keywords, you can use them in their own sections, labeled as headings H2-H3, as naturally as possible and within regular text as suited.

Try to use these keywords 2-3 times within regular text in their own section if it naturally fits well in there.

Step 4: Optimize the Images With Entity Names

Can I Make $2000 Dollars a Month Blogging

Instead of naming your images with your keyphrases, you can use entities. For example, within the “What is Blogging?” article, you can name articles such as “CMS”, “WordPress”, “Publishing an article”, and so on.

You don’t need to hammer away at naming each of the articles the keywords you’ve chosen in the cluster.

Step 5: Once Published, Internally Link to the Article

the more content, the better

This step is extremely important in helping Google understand two things:

  • This piece of content is important
  • What this content is about

Once you have published the article, it’s important to create links from other pages or posts where it’s relevant for the reasons mentioned above.

I also like to include anchor text that contains all the keywords that the page is aiming for (the keyword cluster).  It lets Google know that that article is about all those keywords you’re using to link to it!

Confused about your keyword research? Check out the AP Keyword Research Blueprint here.

Is Clustering Worth the Effort?

Yes, absolutely!

Instead of writing one article per keyword, now you can cluster keywords into an in-depth article and have it rank for multiple keywords.  In fact, it can save you much more time if you learn how to do this properly and the fruits are sweeter in the long run!