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. Plus, you might end up with 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.

What Is Keyword Clustering?

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:

Target keyword

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

Benefits of hiring a freelance copywriter

Keywords that would not belong in this cluster include the following:

Freelance copywriter gigs

Copywriting invoice

Copywriter per hour

However, if you look up the keyword freelance copywriter on Google Keyword Planner, you’ll see these are listed as similar keywords. While they contain the main topic, these keywords are more focused on providing copywriters information. They don’t get to the root of the original keyword which was aimed at 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 When Using Keyword Clusters

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.

Keyword Cluster FAQs

Learn how to use keyword clustering more effectively by reading up on these common questions and answers.

How Do You Cluster Keywords?

Start by building a keyword list. Then segment that master list into groups based on topics. Build out optimized pillar pages around that content and link back to it when it makes sense.

What is Cluster in SEO?

Content clusters are an SEO method where you organize content around a topic and a pillar page within your website. Pillar pages are in-depth detailed content that you link back to from other content pieces.

What Is a Group of Keywords Called?

You might hear keyword clustering called keyword grouping. But both terms refer to the task of bringing together similar keywords for one webpage or blog.