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Why use keyword clusters for SEO

Updated on June 11, 2012

Searched word groups

What do keyword clusters have to do with search engine optimization (SEO)? You need to consider how people search using search engines. Not many type a single word, they want specific information and it takes more than one word to narrow their search. When you take this into consideration it now makes sense to use more than one word. This group of words you hope others will search is a keyword cluster.


Where do you find out how to create a keyword cluster?

The simple method is to type your main keyword into a search engine. Once you get to the page one you find look for other words which complement the message you are trying to convey. Once you find what you think you’re looking for search those words. This can either narrow the field or increase it.

Most blogging platforms suggest to keep narrowing your field down. If you can find searched words where the competition is below 5000 sites or blogs you’re chances of being ranked fast are very high. The simplest way to do this is with Google AdWords tool. Take what you believe is your keyword cluster to AdWords and type it in the box at the top. Below the box hit search. This will tell you how many people are searching the cluster you put in. Below you will see a list of clusters and what their competition is.

What you are looking for in AdWords.

You are looking at two different areas. You want to see how many people have searched the cluster you are planning to use, and to find which word might be changed to reduce competition. You want the highest past searches possible with the least competition.

Once you have chosen your title you want your keyword cluster in the title, first paragraph and last paragraph. In each case every word of the cluster should be within sixty five characters. They don’t have to be in any order and it is believed it is better if they are not. Use the words in the cluster separate in your content and make sure they are in sentences which make sense to the reader. It is the readers’ comments and shares which are going to make the largest impact on where you are placed by a search engine.

Other tips

One thing to consider is dating articles. There are people who search by date. This is especially so when a reader is looking for the most current information. A good way to date an article is in the copyright. It is one of the few aspects which only have to be in a blog or article once.

Something many people don’t consider however should is unique content. Writers have a tendency to use certain words or phrases which are specific to them. This helps because a search bot will find them. You don’t have to worry about optimizing these as you do it naturally. If people are searching them your blog will show up for their search even if they are used only naturally.

Less is better

It is better to under optimize than over use your keywords. The last Panda and Penguin changes were to bring under optimized blogs to a first page. Now if you use your clusters too much you will end up on page fifty instead of a page one. Your readers will determine how much value a search engine will give them. You are writing to the reader not the search engine. Interesting unique content will go further than overuse of keyword clusters in your search engine optimization (SEO).

© June 11, 2012 10:50 PM CST US Dennis Thorgesen for Lisech eMarketing, All rights reserved.


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    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Although at times I do use tools to find titles for my hubs for the most part I use what I was given. I put together a few ideas and search them. You don't always end up with highly searched terms yet I have ranked page one using this method. My most read article was created this way. I actually wrote a hub about that.

      They have some great tools for finding paying keywords now. In each case you have to pay to use the tool. The only one you can use free is Google AdWords. The more you use AdWords the better you get at it. I remember at first it took about three hours to put together a title which was highly searched with low competition. Now it can be done in a matter of minutes.

      I already have hubs written about this. Thanks for dropping by DrMark1961 and for your question.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      8 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Your comment on limiting the words in the title was interesting. Do you use the title tuner that Hubpages provides for you? It always tells you which words can be added (that are searched for) but never which words you have in excess. How can I find out so that I can do a better job tweaking my titles?

      I learned a lot from your article. Thanks.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Excerpt from the hub in progress "What I do know about Pinterest is businesses are using it with better success than other social media. It seems more people buy from links they find on pinterest than the leader in social media."

      The rest of the story will be in the new hub.

      vocalcoach, Thank you for your wonderful comments. Your questions inspired an entire hub.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I recently read somewhere that it is best not to use pinterest to link hubs to. I'm confused about that. You have provided such excellent information about using keyword clusters for SEO. I want to be clear about clusters. Suppose I write about how to sing. Would clustering be "How to sing, vocalise, increase your singing range, sing on key."

      That would be the title. As I understand it, I would also repeat it in the first and last paragraph.

      One more thing. When using adword key search, I've been using words that are the highest in scoring. If I'm getting this right, I should be looking for the lowest amount for less competition. Thanks so much for taking time to answer my questions. Voted up-[ more and sharing.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Thank you Brett and Au fait. Brett one of the things that helps is keeping titles short. It seems the shorter the title the quicker an article ranks. I try to keep them to an 85 character max. This makes the cluster shorter and easier to integrate into content. It also makes competition much stronger which in ways doesn't help.

      Natural search engine optimization is part of branding so it is something we have to keep up on. Although sharing what we learn causes more competition it also raises the bar for us. To be the best you have to constantly be improving.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      8 years ago from North Texas

      Sounds like good advice. I always use word clusters when I'm researching in order to be reasonably specific. Otherwise I could end up with a lot of info that doesn't apply to what I'm looking for.

      Voted you up and useful. Thanks for the info!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Good advice once again. I use keyword clusters (although sometimes tricky to fit into articles naturally), longtail keywords and many similar variants. You need to let the engines know what you are talking about, but at the same time too much repitition is bad. Varying your keywords allows you to gain traffic and reduce your risk of being blocked ... so long as you don't go mad with them.

      SHARED, up, useful and tweeting.

      Also added a link to you from my Keyword article, as I believe it was your original hub that introduced me to keyword titles ... for which I am grateful.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      moonlake Of the choices left the current consensus is Pin it is the best way to share, at least from a business standpoint. A higher percentage of people buy what they see on Pinterest than they do from Facebook.

      Twitter does work if it is used properly. It is harder now to share hubs on other social media however we still take the time to do it. I need to write a hub about it. People from other social media say they are having better results with articles they have posted in our Facebook group.

      I love hub pages. Comments and reading the articles of others often give me ideas for writing new articles. Since I have five platforms to write for ideas at times are hard to come by.

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      So much good information. Thank you, I also wondered why they tool off Google + and Stumble. Seems strange to me.

      Tweeting someones hub does no good for them I belong to Tweet but rarely use it.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      alocsin I have modified a few hubs using this method. They have also been used where they fit naturally in content and left out of the last paragraph. As much as possible though they are always used in the first paragraph. Using the keyword cluster there lets the reader know quickly what the article is about. I believe it is more important to write to the reader than the search engine.

      dwachira since these tips came from Google we consider them good. The most important tip is write to the reader. Their shares will be what helps you rank. This information came from a video Google put out to teach people what it going to work now. This was also brought to our companies attention by other sources who work with Google's people in an ongoing relationship. We really like that Google has taken the mystery out of SEO. What we considered the most important information is that Google + is part of the algorithm. It makes me wonder why with Hub pages new changes the ability to share there was removed.

    • dwachira profile image

      Danson Wachira 

      8 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      You have presented really good tips here about SEO, i must say using of clusters in the first and last paragraph is a new tip to me and you bet it, i'll surely try it.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      With a little tweaking, you can easily add keyword clusters to existing hubs and raise traffic and income. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Thanks PegCole, Since you can't beat Google it is better to join them. It may take longer than "Black hat" methods however using Google's rules you never have to worry about disappearing from search engines. You have to take your long term goals into consideration. We have found articles in obscure niches which ranked page one top slots and have been there since 2001.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Wheelin, These are really helpful tips on learning about SEO. You've given quite a few, easy to do things that can help in my hubs. Thanks so much for this explanation.

    • wheelinallover profile imageAUTHOR

      Dennis Thorgesen 

      8 years ago from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S.

      Thank you Melis Ann and Loi-Renee. We can't honestly answer your question Melis Ann. We purposely use abbreviations where possible and other words with the same meaning to keep keyword use down. We can't honestly answer how many people search by date however know we do because outdated information has very little value to us. Writing on Search engine optimization it makes sense to date articles. People who are searching should be searching for the most current information.

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      8 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      I wonder what constitutes overuse of a keyword. When writing about sunscreen for example, it's hard not to refer to it naturally over and over again! Thanks for the info on keyword clusters. I will try out this strategy in my hubs.

    • Loi-Renee profile image


      8 years ago from Jamaica

      A lot of great information here Dennis. I have never thought about using the copyright note to date the article. Thank you. Voted up and shared.


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