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Keyword Grouping: Why it's key & how to do it

by Tim Schneider

Keyword grouping has been around for a long time.

Keyword Grouping used to be done in Excel sheets, with SEOs using their judgement and search results to group relevant keywords into clusters. These groups give your website a more categorized look and help SEO specialist to optimize the website for best performance.

These days there are tools that make this process a lot quicker and easier.

Keyword Grouping: Why it's key           & how to do it

What is Keyword Grouping Exactly?

Basically, keyword grouping (or keyword clustering) is creating a list of semantically or search result related keywords that, once compiled, are distributed throughout pages in a manner that helps to drive paid or organic traffic.

For example, let’s say you have two similar search queries - “learn stock trading” and “stock trading for beginners”. Will you use them on the same page or on different pages of the site?

In order to answer this question, you would need to analyze competitors search rankings and figure out whether the pages that rank for those keywords are the same or similar. This can take hours, if not days, to complete manually (again tipping the hat to Excel files). And still there is a big chance that the grouping is not done correctly.

Why do you need Keyword Grouping?

There are a number of reasons to use keyword grouping.

Here are just a few:

  • Googles algorithms are smart and getting smarter constantly, so effective grouping helps your website appear more relevant to the search engine
  • You can save money on acquiring paid traffic on PPC campaigns by using compact ads groups to improve CTR and get higher quality scores.
  • Keyword grouping helps to enhance copywriting efforts and the quality of the content you are publishing on your site.
  • Keyword grouping helps avoid keyword cannibalization, structure your site correctly, and set the keywords your are targeting in your SEO efforts.
  • By automating keyword grouping you can save loads of time! What takes hours or even days can be done in minutes, and also save you from creating duplicate content.

Keyword Grouping Principles

Finding Rankable Keywords - Step-by-Step guide with keyword research tools

Like any SEO strategy, keyword grouping has a series of steps to follow in order to get the best results.

Keyword Research Tools Needed: Ahrefs/SEMrush & Optiwing

Keyword grouping usually starts with collecting a large dataset of related keywords for a certain niche, including long-tail keywords.

Use a keyword research tool to find a collection of keywords, for example we ran the keyword "Snowboard" through SEMrush's keyword magic tool.

Keyword Magic Tool Snowboard

Once our keyword report is ready, click on "Broad Match" or ("Terms Match" on Ahrefs) to see all results with our seed keyword in them.

We narrowed the results by including "best", "top", "review", and "reviews" and "beginner". As well as limiting volume to above 20.

This narrowed our list down to 4,711 keywords, we can use this list to create our keyword groups to help us decide how to optimize our content for the best chance of getting to the top.

Keyword Magic Tool Export

2. Create Primary Keyword Groups

These groups have to be created around your main products or services.

If you make and sell Snowboards, your high-level groups will be based on queries like “buy snowboard online”, “new snowboards” and “best snowboards 2023.”

We can use Optiwing to automatically group our keywords into clusters. This allows us to get an overview of which keywords are related to each other, based on live google SERP data that Optiwing automatically gathers for each keyword. Just upload a CSV file of your keywords directly from SEMrush or Ahrefs, or create your own.

Keyword Magic Tool Export

Then you can see which keywords can be targeted with a single article.

Keyword Magic Tool Export

3. Create Secondary Keyword Groups

Repeat this process for long-tail keywords or other subsections of your niche to create additional secondary keyword groups.

4. Categorize your keyword groupings into larger topical groups

These keyword groups can then be used in your content strategy to connect topically related pages, wether you use Silo, Content Hubs or a Pyramid linking structure, linking pages built around different keyword clusters can help drive organic traffic to related pages. As well as help create content to cover your niche in it's entirety.

All the steps listed above might be intimidating to do manually. However, it can be easily automated using a keyword research tools and our keyword grouper.

If you aren’t using a tool that finds related and similar keywords and then groups them together, you should be! All you would need to do is get a list of your keywords upload it into the keyword grouping tool. Then the tool does its magic and groups the list for you. It does this by searching for each keyword on Google and comparing the top 10 URLs for each keyword, if they share 3 or more top 10 URLs, they are grouped together.

Optiwing 1 minute demo gif

You can choose geolocation, device, and use any language you want.

Tips for selecting the best keyword groups:

Browse through your keyword list and highlight or save options using the following criteria:

  • High Volume: These articles will bring more organic traffic than low-volume ones.
  • Easy keyword difficult: Don’t waste your time trying to challenge industry titans. A low keyword difficulty, paired with high volume searches, is often easier pickings.
  • Relevance: Your chosen keyword must be relevant to your industry or niche. Relevance improves the user intent.
  • Marketing funnel: Finally, understand how the article aligns with your business goals. Is it at the bottom of the marketing funnel or the top of the funnel?

Ideally, you’d want to create articles for every keyword group. However, this can be expensive and time-consuming. So, I believe in prioritizing keywords. If a keyword is high in volume, low in difficulty, relevant to your niche, and aligns with your business goals, it’s should be your initial target.

What’s Unique About Optiwing’s Keyword Grouper

Optiwing’s Keyword grouper groups thousands of keywords within minutes using live Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) data

The tool automatically analyzes Top 10 search results and groups the search queries that match the same website’s URLs.

Unlike many competitors’ solutions, Optiwing eliminates identical duplicate keywords and groups keywords based on volume as well as search intent.

Grouping results are easy to quickly scan in the browser, or available to download as a Excel CSV file.

Bottom Line

It’s extremely important to group your semantic keywords correctly because it can tremendously affect the effectiveness and pace of your SEO efforts - now and in the future.

In order to avoid costly mistakes, we recommend manual and automated work when clustering if your topical core is not too large.

For the projects that require thousands of keywords, an efficient keyword grouping tool is an absolute must.

You can try Optiwing Keyword Grouper for free by creating an account for free, no credit card entry required.

Keyword grouping credits start at $4.42 per 1000 keywords.

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