Google’s artificial intelligence – known as Rankbrain – altered SEO strategy in several ways. But one of the most influential changes is the concept of keyword clusters.
The artificial intelligence looks more at a searcher’s intent and less at the exact keywords the searcher uses. Because of this, keyword variations play a larger role.
And with that has come a new age of keyword stuffing. Some keyword clusters include more than a dozen keyword variations. Search engine optimizers feel strongly that every keyword from the cluster must be present in the article.
The problem is, these enormous clusters can make a blog look cluttered and as if all you’ve done is stuff the article full of them. Too many keywords in one cluster can mean a lack of readability, verbose content and a variety of other issues that make your articles not enjoyable to read.
So let’s take a look at how to avoid this new era of keyword stuffing and use keyword clusters effectively.
How to Use Keyword Clusters Effectively
First, let’s define what a keyword cluster is. A keyword cluster is a grouping of similar keywords related to the same general topic. These various keywords are basically variations of your target keyword. Let’s look at an example:
Hiring a freelance copywriter
Additional keywords within the cluster:
Hire a freelance copywriter
Freelance copywriter hiring
How to hire a freelance copywriter
Tips for hiring a freelance copywriter
Keywords that would not belong in this cluster include the following:
Freelance copywriter gigs
Copywriter per hour
However, if you look up the keyword freelance copywriter on Google Keyword Planner, you’ll see these are listed as a similar keyword. While they contain the main topic, these keywords are more focused on providing copywriters information instead of providing businesses information about how to hire a copywriter.
And this is the trap that some people fall into, trying to stuff together many keywords just because they contain the same topic area. But don’t fall for this, and make sure you’re creating keyword clusters that are focused and relevant.
Ways to Avoid Stuffing Articles with Keywords
Only use keywords where they naturally fit. The harder you try to make a keyword fit in a sentence where it doesn’t naturally belong, the more it will look like stuffing.
To avoid this modern keyword stuffing tactic, remember your goals of serving your customers. You aren’t serving the search engines, so don’t write just for them.
Focus your content on the needs your customers have and the problems they face. If you do this, you’ll naturally incorporate relevant keywords. It’s appropriate to make small alterations to match a keyword perfectly, but don’t make big alterations unless you want your content to look spammy.
When I read blog articles, I can tell you content that the writer added just to meet a specific keyword requirement. These sections stick out and sound unnatural. That’s the opposite of how you want your content to read.
Bridge the Gap Communication provides SEO blogging services to businesses looking to develop quality content based around an SEO strategy. Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you avoid the new age of keyword stuffing based on keyword clusters.