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08 Apr 2010

Three Ways Keyword Grouping Improves Your Copywriting

Keyword grouping—organizing your keyword research into small groups of tightly related terms—benefits your search marketing efforts at pretty much every level. Some of those benefits are more obvious than others; for example, keyword groups are essential for cost-effective pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, since close-knit ad groups earn higher Quality Scores.

It’s less obvious, but keyword grouping is also beneficial for organic search engine optimization (SEO)—it can even improve your copywriting! Here are three ways that grouping your keywords can boost the quality of your Web copy and your writing process.

Keyword grouping saves you time

It just doesn’t make sense to write a dedicated, full page of copy for every individual keyword. When they’re working from an ungrouped keyword list, that’s what writers tend to do (or attempt).
It’s much more efficient to write a page of copy (be it an article, blog post or other type of landing page) targeted to a group of related keywords. For example, imagine trying to write a separate page targeting each of these keyword searches:
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue review
Light Blue perfume review
Light Blue reviews and ratings
reviews of Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
These are essentially all variations on the same keyword (and there could be dozens more). The best approach to these keywords from a copywriting perspective is a single piece of content that incorporates all four phrases—for example, a blog post that aggregates links to online reviews.
The main keyword should be the one with the most traffic volume, while still being relevant. (In this case, probably “Light Blue review,” not “Light Blue” or “review” alone.) Use this keyword in as many key fields as possible, such as the title, URL and meta description. Include less popular variants in the body of the text, in subheads and so on.
Writing one page instead of four not only saves time, it prevents you from creating pages with duplicate, or largely overlapping, content that will compete with each other in the SERPs.

Keyword grouping leads to more natural-sounding copy

An added benefit of this approach—focusing on a group of related keywords rather than one at a time—is that your copy sounds more natural. We’ve all read an “article” on the Web that sounds like a robot talking, mechanically repeating the same three- or four-word phrase over and over. This is a turn-off to readers and doesn’t really please search engines either, as overdoing it can look like keyword stuffing.
When you have a short list of related keywords handy, you can vary the key phrase throughout the copy. This is probably what you’d do if you weren’t thinking about SEO, but rather aiming for style and clarity. You’ll end up with readable copy that makes sense to both humans and spiders.

Keyword grouping helps you capture long-tail traffic

When you’re targeting single keywords, there’s a tendency to focus on the most popular, high-volume terms (generally head and mid-tail terms). And that’s important, but you’re missing out on a ton of traffic if you don’t target long-tail keywords as well.
When you organize your keywords into semantically related clusters, you naturally end up with a mix of head, mid- and long-tail terms in each topical segment. By writing content for keyword groups rather than individual keywords, long-tail keywords are less likely to get lost in the shuffle or pushed to the bottom of your list. Using the strategy outlined above, you can write your piece in such a way that you rank for the primary keyword and capture traffic for a number of lower-volume long-tail search queries as well.
In short, better keyword organization can make you more productive while improving the quality of your output—and these are far from the only benefits you’ll see from adopting keyword grouping practices.
elisa gabbertAbout The Author: Elisa Gabbert is the Content Development Manager at WordStream Inc., a provider of advanced SEO tools and pay-per-click software for researching, organizing and grouping large numbers of keywords. WordStream also offers a FREE keyword research tool for conducting advanced keyword research and analysis.



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