If you are building and growing a niche site, it’s super important to understand how Google is evolving as a search engine so you can evolve as a blogger and give Google what it wants.

While keywords are super important, only optimizing for one keyword per article is an outdated practice.  What you want to learn is keyword clustering and why it is important to cluster certain keywords so your blog can soar high with traffic and revenue.

What Are Keyword Clusters?

keyword clustering

Keyword clusters are simply keywords that can be clustered or clumped together in one big article because they naturally fit into one article. The concept of keyword clustering involves grouping together semantically-related keywords that share a common topic or theme. This allows search engines to better understand the content of a website.

Before Google’s search engine evolved, you would create one article for each keyword without thinking about grouping them together. While that worked great years ago, it can lead to keyword cannibalization and hurt your blog.

Now, Google search is much more advanced and understands semantics and in fact, grouping related keywords that make sense to go into one blog post can result in your article ranking for dozens (or hundreds!) of semantically related keywords. Pretty cool, right?

Because of its understanding of semantics and how words relate to each other, Google now rewards bloggers for writing in-depth articles and targeting multiple keywords that belong in one article.

Let’s demonstrate keyword clustering with a few examples.

Keyword Clustering Examples

clustering process

Now that we know what keyword clustering is, here are a few examples to help you understand keyword clustering better.

Example #1: “What Is Blogging?”

In this article, we can write about what blogging is, but also include a few other keyphrases in it that can help round out the article well. Here are 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 Do I Make Money with Affiliate Marketing?
  • How Much Money Can I Make with Affiliate Marketing?
  • Pros and Cons of Affiliate Marketing
  • Best Affiliate Programs for Beginners

Someone who is learning about affiliate marketing will want to read the content you will create based on all those keywords within the article.

Where it makes sense, cluster the living fudge out of keywords!

Not sure what keywords you should target on your blog? Check out the AP Keyword Service where I deliver the keywords that your blog should be targeting!

How Can I Cluster Keywords?

power up

Creating a keyword cluster manually is the best way to do it but also a bit time-consuming.  However, done well, and you can create a masterpiece of an article that has the potential to outshine your competitors. As I mentioned, totally worthwhile but time-consuming:

Research Keywords and Create a List of Them

First things first: research your primary keyword and once you have that, the rest becomes easier.

Next, create a natural outline of how you will create the article.  List out the main headings you will create.

Open up your favorite keyword research tool and start researching keywords for those headings/sections you will be creating and make a nice list.

You may also open up the top two search results for the primary keyword you see and conduct competitor analysis. Make notes of the sections and keywords they are targeting and see if they will fit well into your outline.

There you have it! That’s it!

Aim for Keywords Your Blog Can Rank For

Aim for realistic keywords instead of keywords that receive high number of searches monthly unless you have an established blog that has existed for years and has a lot of content as well as backlinks.

If you’re not sure which type of keywords to pick, be sure to read the AP long-tail vs short-tail keywords guide as I break down which type of keywords bloggers should pick and why. If your blog or niche site is new, you’ll want to aim for long-tail keywords as they often go neglected and aren’t targeted by other blogs and niche sites, making it much easier to rank for and bring in traffic.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole With Keyword Clustering

This is the nerdy and fun part about SEO and while keyword clustering has tremendous payoff, I have to warn against going so far down the rabbit hole, that you start questioning each keyphrase that should or shouldn’t go in an article.

With that said, the easier you make your keyword clustering process, the faster you can get through the planning, writing, and publishing an article.

6 Best Keyword Clustering Tools for Bloggers

how many keywords can my blog post rank for

Here are 6 of the best tools on the market that can help you cluster keywords:

Do I Use Keyword Clustering?

Yes. For articles under 1500 words, I create a manual outline and target three main keywords per article.

If an article is over 1500 words, I will do more thorough keyword research and then use a keyword clustering tool like Keyword Cupid.

Keyword clustering tools are awesome to use but not a necessity for you to cluster keywords together.

In Summary

Keyword clustering is a smart strategy when you are creating long-form content and can help rank your articles for tons of keywords! Make sure to create smart keyword clusters where it makes natural sense to discuss it in a section within the main article.  Lastly, while a tool can help, they’re not a necessity: you can create a 15-30 minute manual process where you research the keywords you can cluster within one article, create an outline for it, and write and publish your article.

Make your keyword clustering process easy and not a tedious task and you’re well on your way. If you have questions, please ask in the Affiliate Phoenix Community.