Keyword clustering is a better way of structuring your website content to help you get found in search.
To get more organic traffic for your website, you’ve got to do a better job matching your content and keyword research around topics people are looking for.
Partly, this is because the way Google ranked searches changed to be more relevant to topics, rather than individual keywords.
Before this, SEO copywriting mostly involved finding a single keyword (with enough volume and low competition to be worth going after) and structuring your content around it.
Google’s 2015 algorithm change – RankBrain – moved this on by using past searches, matched with topics and phrases to provide the most relevant search results.
These results weren’t those bits of 500 word content matched around a single keyword.
How keyword clustering changed content structure
Before keyword clustering became a known strategy, the way content was structured was typically pretty convoluted.
A website would include the homepage and category pages, and then a blog page where new content and guides would be created and stored.
As more blogs were created, more pages were created.
But these pages weren’t given any kind of structure.
They would just add pages to the website’s architecture, with no links to any other pages.
Which made them difficult for search engines to crawl and rank.
Keyword clustering changed this by structuring website content around long form “pillar pages”.
These long form pages would be surrounded by separate pieces of cluster content, with links back to the main page.
What is a pillar page?
Pillar pages are a single long form piece of content around a particular topic.
This page would cover everything you could want to know about a particular topic.
For instance, we created this pillar page around SEO and content marketing.
A pillar page is usually between 3,000 to 6,000 words.
But they can be as long as needed to cover a topic well enough at a high level.
For instance, in our pillar page example, we cover all the issues around SEO and content marketing.
From running an SEO and content audit, to SEO website structure to content strategy and creation.
Creating your keyword clusters
Keyword clusters are pieces of content that focus on a particular keyword within your pillar page, and tackle it in much more depth.
For example, in our pillar page example includes a section on content creation and its importance to creating an SEO and content marketing strategy.
As part of our keyword cluster content, we created more in-depth blogs which covered in more detail the types of content to create for SEO, and tips for creating content like blogs and videos.
Linking your keyword clusters
The key to success for creating keyword clusters, is creating internal links between your pillar page, and your surrounding cluster content.
What you should do is include a hyperlink in your cluster content back to your main pillar page, which is what will create the internal link structure that search engines will use to crawl your website, understand the content, and rank it.
Creating your keyword clusters
Now that you have an understanding of keyword clusters, let’s have a look at how to go about creating them.
The first thing to do is to figure out the top challenges your customers have and then arrange these around some broad topics.
So for instance if your customers are having trouble getting organic traffic to their website, a broad topic could be content marketing.
Then within this larger topic, break it down into smaller themes that you can create your cluster content on.
These could be creating a content marketing strategy, SEO for content marketing, planning your content, best content for lead generation etc.
Why keyword clusters work
The key to creating content that performs for SEO is to make it relevant and authoritative.
By creating your main pillar page and internally linking it to a wider range of blog topics, your main page will meet the requirements of those search needs.
You should also include some external links to relevant resources elsewhere on the internet.
As Google crawls your website, it will understand that your keyword cluster matches the broad topic of the search a user is making and present you as the best result for them to go to.
Plus, once your main page starts to rank higher, your surrounding cluster content will also see improved results, because of the internal links you’ve created to your main page.
Overtime, as new trends emerge, you can add to your main page and create more relevant cluster content with links back to it.
By keeping your website structured around keyword clusters like this, you will make it easier for search engines to crawl your website, understand what your content is about, and rank you highly as a relevant and authoritative resource for searches your potential customers are making.
Interested in using keyword clustering for your website?
If you want to talk to a content marketing expert who can advise how your website could benefit from a keyword cluster strategy get in touch for a free content marketing assessment.