What is Keyword Clustering & Example of How to Do it for SEO

Last Updated: 27 Sep, 2023

Keyword clustering is a helpful SEO technique that enables professionals to define their SEO keywords more effectively. Instead of targeting individual keywords, this approach groups related queries into clusters. With Google’s sophisticated algorithms and neural matching capabilities, the emphasis has transitioned from individual keywords to the comprehensive intent underlying search queries. Through keyword clustering, you’re elevating your optimization strategy from merely targeting specific terms to capturing the essence of user conversations and their intricate search intentions.

What is Keyword Clustering?

Think of keyword clustering as the art of crafting digital bouquets. Instead of taking a singular flower (keyword) and hoping it stands out, you combine various flowers (related keywords) that complement each other and offer a richer visual and aromatic experience.

At its heart, keyword clustering is about combining similar, relevant queries into groups or clusters. Instead of grappling with each keyword individually, you’re addressing them collectively. And this isn’t just about making your life easier (though it does); it’s about resonating with the evolving algorithms of search engines, primarily Google.

In recent years, Google introduced the neural matching approach and the BERT update. With these, Google began comprehending a search query’s broader context. It wasn’t just looking at words in isolation but analyzing how different words, synonyms, and even prepositions combined to indicate unique intents and meanings.

To put it simply, Google matured. It stopped looking for keywords and started seeking answers. For websites and content creators, this meant one thing: It was no longer enough to just rank for a keyword; you had to provide a comprehensive answer. That’s why keyword clustering is becoming even more critical.

Keyword Clustering: How to Do it

Keyword clustering is about organizing and grouping related keywords to bolster your SEO strategy. Imagine it as categorizing books in a library—each shelf representing a primary topic and every book a nuanced sub-topic. Let’s navigate this using “Hong Kong Coffee Shop” as our research topic.

Step 1: Accumulate Initial Keyword Ideas

Begin your keyword research and clustering by brainstorming all potential keywords linked to a “Hong Kong Coffee Shop.” You might think of the following ideas:

  • Best coffee shops in Hong Kong
  • Coffee beans popular in Hong Kong
  • Top baristas in Hong Kong
  • Cafes with scenic views in Hong Kong
  • … among others.

Step 2: Pinpoint Primary Keywords

From this list, identify central keywords that could be major themes. For our example, standout primary keywords might be:

Primary KeywordsAvg. Monthly Search Volume
coffee shops Hong Kong700
coffee bean hong kong480

Step 3: Group Associated Keywords & Strategize Content Creation

Now, under each primary keyword, start researching and grouping related terms. Using these clusters, you can now formulate content strategies. Your content plan could look like this: 

Primary Keywords (+ Avg. Monthly Search Volume)Associated Keywords (+ Avg. Monthly Search Volume)Potential Potential Content Ideas
coffee shops Hong Kong – 700hong kong cafe – 1,000 best cafe in hong kong – 1,000 best coffee shop in hong kong – 1,000 good coffee hong kong – 1,000Café Guide: The 10 Best Coffee Shop in Hong Kong
coffee bean hong kong – 480coffee bean hk – 480 best coffee beans hong kong – 40 hk coffee beans – 30 fresh coffee bean hk – 10 buy coffee beans hong kong – 10Where to Buy to the Best Coffee Beans in Hong Kong

Benefits of Doing Keyword Clustering Strategically 

Keyword clustering, when executed with precision and strategy, can be the cornerstone of a robust SEO plan. It’s about transcending traditional keyword optimization to harness the power of grouped keywords, amplifying your digital footprint.

  • Comprehensive Coverage: By addressing a cluster of keywords, you’re covering a topic, ensuring users find everything they want on your page. If you can do it successfully, search engines will see you as an authoritative source.
  • Increased Long-Tail Traffic: By catering to multiple related keywords, you’re tapping into many long-tail search queries. These are often less competitive and can drive substantial organic traffic to your site.
  • Efficiency: Makes the daunting task of addressing a long list of keywords more manageable and comprehensive.
  • Improved Site Structure: By understanding the semantic relationships between your content, you can refine your site’s architecture.
  • Enhanced Visibility and Authority: Craft powerful content with a clear understanding of semantics, elevating your site’s stature in the eyes of search engines.
  • Maximized Ranking Potential: Increase your chances of ranking for many related terms unified by the same intent.

Tools for Effective Keyword Clustering

Before diving into the steps, let’s arm ourselves with the right tools. Here’s a concise guide to some of the industry’s best:

  • SEMrush: More than just a keyword tool, SEMrush offers a comprehensive suite for SEO professionals. Its Keyword Magic Tool suggests potential keywords and clusters, while the platform also provides competitive analysis, helping you understand and outpace your market rivals.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Directly from the search engine giant, this tool offers invaluable keyword insights. Ideal for those seeking data straight from the source, it provides keyword suggestions, search volume analytics, and bid estimates, presenting a holistic view of keyword opportunities.
  • SE Ranking: SE Ranking’s keyword grouper groups relevant keywords together and identifies outliers. This ensures a more refined and strategic approach to SEO, allowing you to optimize based on data-driven insights.
  • Ahrefs:  Its Keywords Explorer offers keyword ideas, search volumes, and difficulty metrics while also suggesting clustered keyword groups, making it a top choice for those seeking an all-in-one SEO solution
Screenshot 2023 09 27 at 16.03.22 What is Keyword Clustering & Example of How to Do it for SEO
Google Keyword Planner provides a multitude of keyword ideas for efficient clustering.

The Keys to Mastering Keyword Clustering

In SEO, keyword clustering is the key to cutting through the competition and boosting content visibility. It’s the strategic grouping of related keywords, enhancing both search engine rankings and reader engagement.

Embark on In-depth Research

Your journey begins here. Arm yourself with tools such as Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Google’s Keyword Planner. Dive deep and unearth terms that resonate with your principal keyword.

Thoughtful Clustering

Remember, every keyword related to your main topic might not be a perfect match. Some could deviate from the unique perspective of your content. Choose wisely.

Meticulous Content Creation

Keyword clustering is more about artful integration than sheer volume. Infuse your content with keywords organically, painting a picture as if you’re sharing an anecdote over a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Continuous Evolution

In the ever-changing realm of SEO, there are other options than stagnation. Periodically revisit and recalibrate your keyword approach, ensuring you stay ahead in the game and resonate with evolving user intent.


In the dynamic world of digital marketing, keyword clustering emerges not just as a trend but as a foundational pillar for effective SEO. By embracing this strategy, brands can transcend the limitations of single-keyword targeting, creating a more holistic and user-centric approach to content. It’s about understanding the nuances of search intent and delivering value that resonates. 

As search algorithms continue to evolve and user behavior becomes increasingly sophisticated, keyword clustering will undoubtedly be a crucial component in the toolkit of successful digital marketers. By mastering this technique, one can truly harness the vast potential of organic search, ensuring content doesn’t just reach the audience but also leaves an indelible impact.

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