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Serpstat updates 9 min read September 6, 2021

How to Group Keywords Automatically with the Keyword Clustering Tool

How to Group Keywords Automatically with the Keyword Clustering Tool
Eugenia Pisarenko
Eugenia Pisarenko
Customer Support & Education Specialist
at Serpstat

To compose the structure of a site correctly, distribute keywords for certain pages manually, draw up a content brief for writing articles to a copywriter, separate requests into commercial and informational — all these takes you a lot of time? Learn how the "Keyword clustering" tool can help you reduce spent time on these processes.

What is keyword clustering?

Keyword clustering is the process of grouping keywords in such a way that keywords in the same group (or cluster) are relevant to a particular website page.
Let's say you have a list of keywords: iphone 6s, iphone 7, bmx, mountain bike, road bikes and macbook. Here is what you'll get after clusterization the following clusters: {iphone 6s, iphone 7}; {bmx, mountain bike, road bikes}; {macbook}.

Why do you need keyword clustering?

Keyword clustering overview

How other keyword clustering tools work?

The most fundamental drawback of the majority of existing keyword clustering tools is that the clusters are formed based on the cluster's center — the keyword with the highest search volume. They find similar keywords which share SERPs results with it.

Here are some problems of such method cases:

1.Resulting clusters may contain keywords without a strong semantic similarity.
2.Too many clusters that could have been merged into larger clusters appear.
3.Parsing search volume data takes time, additional costs and sources.

How our keyword clustering tool works?

The aim of grouping keywords in Serpstat is to get clusters with the most semantically related keywords and not lose any of the keywords.

1.The tool doesn't set a cluster keyword center with the highest search volume.
2.The tool considers all keywords analyzing genreal URLs in SERPs.
3.The tool uses a one-level cluster hierarchy.
4.The tool checks the connection strength of all analyzed keywords according to your selected settings.

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What keyword clustering methods Serpstat provides?

To group keywords for your needs you may select two major settings: strength and cluster type. The number of clusters and the keywords similarity depend on this choice.

Strength and Cluster type

Strength

There are three types of strength — Weak/Medium/Strong.

1.By setting "Weak" parameter, keywords with minimum 3 common URLs in the top 30 search results will be combined into a cluster.
2.With "Medium" strength, keywords need to have 8 common URLs.
3."Strong" strength requires 12 common URLs in the top 30 search results for keywords to be in the same cluster.

Cluster type

1."Soft" cluster type means that a cluster can be created if at least one pair of keywords has common URLs in the top 30 search results (depending on the previous Weak/Medium/Strong strength).
Soft clustering
2."Hard" one requires all keywords in a cluster to have common URLs in the top 30 search results (depending on Weak/Medium/Strong parameter).
Hard clustering

After clustering is finished, some keywords can fall into the "Unsorted keywords" directory. These are keywords that have no semantic similarity to the topic of the analyzed keyword set.

An alternative solution here is to create separate pages for these keywords or move them to one of the created clusters if you consider they belong there.

What clustering method to choose?

You can choose any pairing of the settings according to your needs. The decision should be based on the semantic similarity of the objects from your dataset.

If keywords are initially closely related, for example, sneakers of different brands, you should choose "Strong"+"Strong" or "Strong"+"Weak" so that only the closest synonyms are combined into a cluster. As a result, you'll get lots of clusters to use for separate pages or specific categories.

In the case of various products and services, for example, you are collecting keywords for a multi-product store or medical center with a full range of health-care services, it's worth selecting "Weak"+"Weak".

How to use the "Keyword Clustering" tool?

1.Go to the sidebar menu and open "Clustering and Text analysis" tool.
2.Click on "Add a new project" button to start a project setup.
Keyword clustering dashboard
3.Enter a project name and a domain (if you want to run a Text analysis for a particular domain later).
4.Select the search engine, country, region and city (optional).
5.Select strength and cluster type.
6.Paste a list of keywords or import them from .csv or .txt files and click "Save". 
Add only keywords that don't contain:
  • Duplicates
  • Special characters
  • Search operators
  • Spaces at the beginning or at the end
  • Double spaces
  • Digits as keywords
  • Keywords longer than 80 characters
Keyword clustering settings
7.Make a cup of tea or coffee while waiting for the results :)
Keyword clustering status

After the keyword clustering is done, the project will look like this:

Overview of keyword clustering

Now, let's look through all the indicators and figure out what it all means.

Project navigation

Navigation through keyword clustering

In the left block, we see a list of clusters.

On the right block, you see all keywords within a selected cluster with additional information:

1.Volume — how often users type this keyword into a search per month.
2.Connection strength — how much this keyword is related to the cluster's topic (from 0 to 100%).
3.Homogeneity — the strength of connection between keywords (from 0 to 100%).
4.URL that ranks for keywords in the cluster. If you add a domain while creating a project, we will display the URL which suits the cluster's subject the most. If you don't specify a domain, you can add URL manually when launching Text analysis.
5."Show metatop" shows the list of major competitors in SERP for keywords from this cluster (the top 30). The higher a page ranks in the metatop, the more relevant it is to the cluster's topic.
Metatop by clusters

Tip: if you see that some keywords are irrelevant to the cluster or you would like to add more keywords to the specific cluster, move them around — use "Operations".

Cluster operations
Note: if you make manual changes, do not update the clustering project. Otherwise, the manual changes will be reset and the tool will cluster all keywords automatically again.

You'll also use buttons at the top:

1.Press the "TA" button to launch a Text analysis for some or all clusters.
2.Restart keyword clustering by pressing the "Update clustering" button.
3.Open the "Project settings" to change the current settings, but after that, you need to restart clustering for the project to get the updated data
4.Export the whole project or a certain cluster in various formats.
Export options

Time to try it out yourself!

Start a 7-day trial to test the Keyword clustering for free. Use this guide to help you along the way, and don't hesitate to contact our support team in case of any questions.

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Video tutorial

You may have a better perception of what keyword clustering is and how it works by watching the video.

How are credits spent?

Number of keywords * 5 = the number of Tools credits spent when creating or updating a project.

Example: 300 keywords * 5 = 1,500 credits spent.

Credits are not spent when you change Strength and Cluster type only.

Check how many credits you have left in My account.

My account

Use cases

Keyword clustering may be used for different goals by different specialists: SEO specialists, blog editors, content writers, marketing analysts.

Based on formed clusters, you can:

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