With every core update, Google gets smarter.
So it’s key for SEOs to stay on top of best practices. This includes their keyword clusters and content silos.
Keyword grouping tools will save you loads of time, help you write relevant content, and attract more traffic. Ever since I’ve leveraged keyword clustering tools I’ve found that my content ranks for more terms, it ranks faster and I generally write more in-depth posts that website visitors actually read.
The results have been nothing but positive.
So in this article, I’ll quickly explain what keyword clustering is, why it’s important, and which keyword clustering tools are best.
What is keyword clustering?
Keyword clustering (also known as grouping) is considered an advanced SEO strategy that involves grouping related keywords based on semantics. The idea is to group keywords that have the same user intent into one piece of content. For instance, the following keywords could be grouped together in a cluster:
- Free copywriting tools
- Best copywriting tools
- Copywriting tools free
- Copywriting online tool
- What is the best copywriting software?
- Free copywriting software
The reason this is so important is that you can target many keywords in one piece of content, instead of trying to create one page per keyword. Using the example above it would make sense to create a single page titled “Best Copywriting Tools & Software” and include all the free and paid options. This way you answer all of the user's queries in one highly optimized post.
You can also build backlinks to just one post, making it stronger and more cost-effective in the long run. Here’s a visual diagram of keyword clustering from the Search Engine Journal.
Keep in mind that it’s highly likely your competitors are using keyword clustering tools to produce optimized content. To compete with them your content needs to be optimized in the same way and ideally match the user's search intent better.
Here are the 9 best keyword clustering and grouping tools to help you write better content
1. Key Clusters
Key Clusters uses real-time Google SERP data to create topical clusters in minutes. It seems to be one of the more accurate and simple tools to use. Similar to other tools, you can simply run batch analysis on an exported file from your keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush. Key Clusters then produces an easy-to-read Excel file with keywords grouped into accurate clusters. Creating relevant content is much easier from here.
Key Clusters have perfect reviews on Capterra which is no surprise given its pricing model. They run on a credit system, where you top up credits depending on your requirements. The other tools only offer a monthly subscription, which doesn’t make sense. Most of the time SEOs will run large batches of keywords in one go and then move on to write the content.
|The pricing model makes the most sense||Very basic tool compared to others|
|Credits never expire|
|Perfect Capterra reviews|
- Basic: $9 for 1,000 credits
- Starter: $19 for 2,500 credits
- Freelancer: $34 for 5,000 credits
- Entrepreneur $59 for 10,000 credits
- Consultant: $110 for 20,000 credits
- Agency: $149 for 30,000 credits
Keyword Insights is a keyword clustering and AI content briefing tool. This combination makes a lot of sense for generating the best content. The process is simple, you upload your keywords, and the tool groups them, based on the report, you can use the AI briefing tool to build an outline in minutes. There’s no need to spend hours doing keyword research, competitor analysis, and rewriting your articles.
Unlike any other tools, Keyword Insights have a bespoke “done for you” option which ensures you’re getting the very best output. It’s easy to see why they were the product of the day on Product Hunt. For anyone looking for a keyword cupid alternative I highly recommend Keyword Insights
|The feature combination is perfect for building relevant briefs||The output is formatted in a google sheet|
|Pay-as-you-go service based on your specific requirements|
Freddi Chatt, eCommerce SEO Consultant, says that “Keyword Insights is my absolute go-to tool for keyword grouping/clustering. The tool has evolved so much already in its short life, it is super easy to use and saves me over 10 hours a week on average. The input is easy, can they are soon to release new ways to get keywords into the tool, and the output makes it simple to map out your content or keyword opportunities”.
- Basic: $49/mo for 6,000 keywords
- Professional: $99/mo for 15,000 keywords
- Premium: $299/mo for 45,000 keywords
- Agency: $599/mo for 100,000 keywords
Note: There’s a pay-as-you-go option where you only pay for the features and keyword size you require.
Keyword Cupid is one of the most popular keyword clustering tools on the market. The software helps you build content silos using large inputs of data (i.e. keywords). Keyword Cupid claims to use neural network models to reverse engineer Google’s Knowledge graph in real-time. Even though this is a huge claim the reviews suggest it’s true.
I’ve had a Keyword Cupid account since February 2022 but haven’t explored every feature. The mind map tool stood out to me the most since I can interpret data better when it’s visually presented. If you’re looking for a keyword research and clustering tool that leverages machine learning to produce high-quality results then Keyword Cupid is a great option.
|Highly advanced keyword clustering software||The UI/UX is very old and boring|
|The more expensive plans come with the standard SEO tools you’ll likely need|
- $9.99/mo for 500 keyword credits and basic features
- $49.99/mo for 5,000 keyword credits + SERP Spy & additional SEO tools
- $149.99/mo for 20,000 keyword credits + SERP Spy & additional SEO tools
- $499.99/mo for 80,000 keyword credits and + SERP Spy & additional SEO tools
4. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is an all-in-one SEO tool that has a great keyword research product suite. One of the core features is the “Keyword Grouper” which is essentially a clustering tool. It’s a great starting point within the software since it helps you segment keywords and plan your SEO architecture.
The Keyword Grouper tool also recommends keyword variations through semantic suggestions, synonyms, and closely-related terms. Essentially, you’re able to build the most comprehensive piece of content that covers everything for the same user intent. This is very powerful and one of the key reasons SE Ranking is on this list.
|Auto suggests new keywords that meet the same user intent for each piece of content||Need to purchase access to the full suite. Expensive if you only need the keyword grouping tool|
|Ability to choose country, location, and language|
Here’s the pricing based on weekly rank checking and monthly plans:
- Essential: $29.40/mo for 250 keywords and 5,000 keyword checks
- Pro: $65.40/mo for 1,000 keywords and 20,00 keyword checks
- Business: $143.40/mo for 2,500 keywords and 50,000 keyword checks
Note: all plans come with other SEO tools including the competitor and keyword research suite.
5. Cluster AI (part of Content Distribution)
Cluster AI tool is a highly capable keyword grouping tool that can reduce your keyword research time by 90%. The tool is a part of the Content Distribution product suite which also includes Workello and Content Ops Framework. The team at Cluster AI believes most people do keyword research completely wrong. You can simply integrate your keyword research tool (think Ahrefs, Moz, Search Console, etc) and Cluster AI will handle the rest.
One thing that stands out to me is the case studies. There are three key case studies that prove how effective the tool is if you use it for over 12 months. The results are very compelling.
|All product features are backed up with real case studies||Lots of upsells to get you onto their other products|
|A lot of pricing options to help you get the best value for money||The platform is not intuitive (hard to use)|
|500 keywords free in the trial|
- Hobbyist: $39/mo for 1,000 keywords
- Consultant: $89/mo for 5,000 keywords
- Team: $179/mo for 15,000 keywords
- Team+: $249/mo for 25,000 keywords
- Agency: $389/mo for 50,000 keywords
- Enterprise: $699/mo for 100,000 keywords
Zenbrief is an AI writing tool that helps you produce quality content in record time. The tool researches your competitors and then applies the same NLP that Google uses. From here you’ll get accurate recommendations for improvements.
The reason this comes up as one of the best keyword clustering tools is that it’s an entirely free value add. You paste all of your keywords into a text box and then run the clustering tool. It produces very easy-to-interpret silos and clusters. This should give you a clear direction on how to create your posts.
|The keyword cluster tool is free||Not as advanced as other tools|
|You can write content using the topic clusters within the tool|
- Starter: $79/mo for 10 briefs
- Premium: $195/m for 30 briefs
- Pro: $295/mo for 50 briefs
Contadu is a European SaaS tool that provides NLP recommendations to improve your content. As you can imagine, this includes semantic keyword suggestions. Whilst the product suite doesn't have a dedicated keyword clustering tool there are two free ones. The first is the keyword mixer which provides all the variations of specific keywords (best, new, top, etc). The other one is a keyword clustering and grouping tool.
The keyword clustering tool is extremely fast. I’ve input hundreds of keywords and it’s grouped them together very quickly and accurately.
|Very quick keyword grouping tool||The keyword mixing tool isn’t intuitive|
|The basic keyword grouping and clustering tools are free||Need to upgrade the plan to get access to the NLP|
- Starter: €19/mo for 100 keywords and 10 content reviews in the NLP editor
- Freelance: €39/mo for 500 keywords and 50 content reviews in the NLP editor
- Business: €79/mo for 1,500 keywords and 100 content reviews in the NLP editor
- Agency: €149/mo for 5,000 keywords and 250 content reviews in the NLP editor
- Enterprise: €297/mo for 15,000 keywords and 500 content reviews in the NLP editor
8. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is one of the most advanced (and popular) AI writing and SEO tools on the market. The keyword clustering tool is far superior to the others on this list. The grouping tool goes beyond clustering and also aggregates the keyword volume, and difficulty and recommends other semantics to be included in these clusters. From here you can start writing content that has the best chance of ranking.
|A very comprehensive product suite||Expensive if you only want access to the keyword cluster tools|
|The customer support team can help you with any issues you face|
- Basic: $49/mo for 10 articles
- Pro: $99/mo for 30 articles
- Business: $199/mo for 70 articles
Note: If you’re only interested in the keyword clustering tool, the basic plan will suffice.
Frase is another AI writing assistant that helps you write better content in record time. Some of their clients include Coursera, Career Karma, and Talk Space. The core purpose of Frase is to take a single keyword and produce a high-quality draft quickly. You can simply input a high-level keyword you want to target and Frase will do all of the analysis. The keyword grouping and semantics happen once the AI software produces the brief.
Frase genuinely is the fastest AI writing assistant that considers topic clusters. They claim to produce full-length, optimized content briefs in 6 seconds. If you’re looking for a comprehensive tool that cuts your content workflow in half then I suggest reviewing Frase.
|The software produces briefs very quickly||Keyword and topic clusters are produced at the same time as the content brief|
|Identifies which content on your site can be enhanced|
Pricing dot points:
- Solo: $14.99/mo for 4 articles (great value for bloggers)
- Basic: $44.99/mo for 30 articles
- Team: $114.99/mo for unlimited articles
Start a 5-day trial for $1 (and get 60% off your first month!)
Which is the best keyword grouping tool for you?
This depends on your use case. A hobbyist blogger will have different requirements than an in-house SEO with a team of 15. It’s essential to understand your use case and which features are most important to you. Here are my choices based on user type.
Best keyword grouping tool for solo founders/bloggers: Considering I’m a blogger my choice would be Zenbrief’s free keyword cluster tool coupled with a Frase.io solo plan. This would allow me to do all my clustering prior so I know which pieces of content to prioritize. I would then leverage the basic Frase plan to help me go live with 4 quality pieces of content each month. If I required more briefs, I would simply upgrade.
Best keyword grouping tool for agencies: The best choice would be Cluster AI since the Agency plan comes with 50,000 keywords. If your use case is purely to produce a keyword cluster for your client's sites then this is the tool for you. It’s highly capable and reasonably priced for the access you get.
Best keyword grouping tool for enterprises: This is a tricky one. Some enterprise companies have thousands of ranking keywords and others have less than 100. For larger sites with less than 2,500 keywords, SE Ranking is a perfect option from a capability and price standpoint. If you need to track and group more than 2,500 keywords, I suggest Contadu.
Frequently asked questions
Are free keyword grouping tools any good?
Like any tool, it will depend upon your specific requirements. I have used the free Zenbrief keyword cluster tool many times and it has been great. Although it is very basic. Compared to a tool such as Surfer SEO, it does not stack up well. Surfer SEO reviews your content and suggests keywords to include based on Google NLP and other ranking articles. In some cases, it makes more sense to use an SEO tool that already has keyword clustering capabilities.
How do you build a topic cluster quickly?
According to Semrush, there's an easy way to do this.
Step 1: Work out the head keyword or topic you want to rank for
Step 2: Perform keyword research to find all the topics to write about
Step 3: Use a keyword grouping tool to identify the clusters
Step 4: Create a structured content plan with pillar content at the head
Step 5: Start writing content
Step 6: Internally link the pages, especially the pillar page
Does keyword clustering improve your SEO?
According to Rock Content, the SEO benefits of keyword clustering are very real. Through keyword grouping, you'll be able to build more comprehensive pieces of content which meet user intent better. And since your content is more thorough, it should rank for more keywords, eventually resulting in more traffic. Of course, there are many other ranking factors to consider and this practice alone will not guarantee results but it can certainly help.