SE Ranking COHORT WEEK 4 –Keyword Research


Episode Summary.


In this episode, we gain an understanding of the keyword research process and its role in creating valuable content for both search engines and the target audience.


Keyword research and audience research should tell you what to write. So, once you do it, you should have a good sense of what your outline will be. The keywords inform your key topic areas. 


Tara Struyk answers questions like;


  • what is the Purpose of Keyword Research?
  • should you always target the highest-volume keywords? and more



FCDC Cohort Sponsor.

Huge thanks to SE Ranking for sponsoring this content writing cohort and supporting the FCDC’s mission.


SE Ranking is a reliable SEO platform for solving any SEO task.


Here are some of the main SE Ranking tools and features:

  • Keyword Rank Tracker keeps track of your keyword search ranking in Google, Bing, and Yahoo for any location, language, and device.
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Teacher’s Profile




✍🏾Name: Tara Struyk

✍🏾What Tara Does: VP of Content at Janalta

✍🏾 Company: Janalta

✍🏾Noteworthy:  Tara is a writer and editor with several years of experience in online media. She specializes in writing about personal finance, real estate, and health and wellness. 



Connect with Tara;




Key Insights.


💡Understanding the Purpose of Keyword Research


Tara emphasizes the importance of understanding that keyword research isn’t just about finding keywords for search engines. Instead, it’s a form of audience intelligence that helps connect the right content with the right people. It’s about creating content that resonates with the intended audience.


💡Avoiding Highly Competitive Keywords


Tara advises against targeting highly competitive keywords, as they may be challenging to rank for, especially for smaller websites. She suggests focusing on longer-tail, lower-competition keywords that are more suitable for the site’s authority.


💡Balancing Keyword Competition


Tara discusses the misconception that you should only target high-volume keywords. She clarifies that extremely competitive keywords may not be the best choice, especially for smaller websites. It’s essential to strike a balance by considering the competition and business goals.



💡Challenges of Interpreting Search Intent


Tara Struyk acknowledges that interpreting search intent can be challenging, especially for broad or ambiguous keywords. Using the example of “topic clusters,” she explains that the intent behind such queries might vary significantly between users.


Search engines, like Google, may not always have a clear understanding of intent, resulting in diverse search results. She advises content creators to focus on keywords with more clearly defined intent for better results, particularly for those starting their SEO journey.




Episode Transcriptions.


Tara Struyk 0:05

Okay, so I think what I’m going to do is maybe just put it out to all of you first. You had a look at the homework, gave it a try. So what what came out of that? Like, what are you guys feeling? What kind of questions are coming out of that? Or what what’s your sense from having given that a try with SEMrush and the brief template?


Adanna Nnamani 0:42


Anybody, hello. Okay, so I got a little bit cold feet, some something along the way. But from the back. From SEM, rush, I really enjoyed the using sem rush because, like I told us the stats, even the data volume, and the rest of them still limited, like so you have to go on set to see the frequently asked questions to get a sense of what is going on. Then based on my target audience, I still had to structure it.


Like when I’m when I was doing this degree, the templates, the brief templates, I still had to go back and start re adjusting it. One by one, like, the more you write, the more you write on the templates, the more insight you get about your audience, oh, my audience wants like an expert in this, they don’t want generic stuff, you have to go back and start adjusting at the end, I think I litho.


Tara Struyk 1:51

Yeah, and I think you’re kind of you’re kind of getting getting there, right, because and I’ll talk about this one, I kind of get to what I saw in the in the homework. But the the point of the template isn’t so much to fill out the template, it’s the template is supposed to be a map for what you’re going to write. And that figuring that out. And this is actually a little bit of a harder search takes time. And it’s kind of like the most important thing that you’re going to do before you write something.


Because if you don’t 100% know what you’re writing about and who you’re writing it for. It’s just, I don’t know what you’re going to come up with, right? It’s, there’s a good chance it’s not going to be useful for for the person it’s designed for. So that’s what we’re trying to get to. So if it’s hard. That’s actually a good thing. Like, it should be hard. It should.


It’s kind of like going down a rabbit hole a little bit with keywords, because you kind of dive in and you you take them where, you know, you follow them where they go and try to figure out like, what can I deliver a value based on? What people are searching for? So it is it is a hard exercise? Anybody else?


Asir Muntasir 3:22

Hi, am I audible?


Tara Struyk 3:23

Yeah, I can hear you.


Asir Muntasir 3:25

Oh, so like when we start researching, what will we get as a start tech for the starting point where to get we get the primary keyword for content with?


Tara Struyk 3:35

That’s why I kind of struggled with that a bit, honestly, because it really depends. I mean, I think if you were writing for a kind of more sophisticated organisation that had an SEO team, you might get the whole brief. If you were saying maybe creating briefs, you might just have a topic area where you’re looking for keywords and topics of value. So there’s a lot of different ways you could come at it. And I wasn’t sure how to I wasn’t totally sure to be honest how to how to give it to you because it’s I think there’s a lot of different ways that you could end up doing this.


But I guess the key thing I wanted you, you guys to do is kind of dive in there and just start understanding the point of this data and the point of having a brief and what the brief is doing. So that you can create them but even if you’re receiving a brief when you’re getting an assignment, like understanding what that’s actually for, and what that’s telling you to do a bit better is going to is going to help you create that content. Does that kind of answer your question? Yes. And just texting. Yeah.


Because, you know, I’m thinking about you all as maybe a writer getting an assignment. But you could also be in a position where you know, you’re managing content or you Even if you are creating your own blog, say for promoting yourselves. Keyword Research is definitely useful there. And you’re gonna have to come up with the whole content strategy, right? What are you going to talk about? Where are you going to target it at? How do those pieces fit together? So I think there’s a lot of different areas where you probably be using this skill and how you use it as is going to bury. Anybody else before I kind of launch into the slides and what I saw there?


Tara Struyk 5:42

Okay, so there’s still going to be, obviously opportunity to answer questions here. So this is not the last chance.


Tara Struyk 5:49

Just get slides for you here. So just kind of based on what I saw, we’re going to kind of dig into keyword research a little bit more. So we’ll start with the homework. In terms of the homework, kind of the first section in the brief, is primary keywords, secondary keywords, and this is what I saw from almost everybody who turned in the homework, right looks familiar. You put in the primary keyword, you pulled the secondary keywords out of SEMrush. And that’s a good start. You know, you’re having a look, you’re starting to understand. But what I didn’t really get from anybody is like, what is this piece of content that you’re going to create? And this is the point of the brief?


What is this going to be about? Right? So that’s why we’re doing the keyword research is not just an exercise of pulling this stuff out of SEMrush. It’s like, we got to look at this data and other data outside of SEMrush. Or outside of the keyword research tool to figure out what we’re going to write about. Right. So the most important part I would say, of the brief is kind of the outline. Because the keyword research, the audience research, the brief itself is designed to create that outline, which is the map that you’re going to follow to make the piece of content that hopefully people are going to read and that’s going to rank well in search. So that’s kind of the point of what we’re doing.


I think everyone got really stuck in SEM rush and probably partly my fault, maybe because we didn’t cover all this enough. But you know, we have plenty of time to do that. And keep improving, that we didn’t you didn’t investigate enough other areas and really understand that audience. Right. So now you understand kind of some of the key keywords around that search. But I think the big thing is you got to kind of go deeper. So some of the places that you can look to start understanding, and I think Dan was starting to get there, right, you look in SEMrush. And this is kind of a good example, in that way is that there’s not that much in SEMrush, because it’s not a huge area.


So how can you really understand what you need to write for people or what you could write or what would be useful? So one place to look is when you search, and you should always look at the search results for any keyword that you’re considering. Is people also ask, so this comes from Google, right? Google generates this. And it’s literally other questions that people ask related to this query. And they would know. So this kind of gives you a sense of the search itself, how Google understands the search, and other things that people are asking. So these are good things to consider, including in your article in terms of building out that, that outline. So this is just more information that you can start gathering.


SEMrush has some information on this too, right? So you probably recognise this from SEMrush. And other keyword research tools always have this as well in some in some configuration, right? So it’s got keyword variations, which may or may not be very similar to the keyword itself. And then it’s got questions. So again, kind of like, people also asked, What are some of the questions? So again, you’re just kind of building this list building this idea of what this search is about what people want from it, in what you can include in your article.


So typically, I mean, one thing that that a lot of people will do is kind of take the topic area like topic clusters and build out a spreadsheet of sorts of all this and you can do this in SEMrush as well by adding these keywords and stuff you can add them to to a separate list. There’s a little button when you actually do I click the View keywords and you see the whole list so you can kind of separate them out. Or they’ll just pull the whole list and you’ll see that a huge number of them are related to each other.


Like they’re very similar topic clusters, SEO topic clusters. But if you look at them all, you can kind of see there some themes, right? Like, what are they how to use them, all these different kind of blocks. And you can look at people also ask and in forums as well, and kind of finding those pieces of information or like points that you need to cover in that article, and kind of pull those together.


Tara Struyk 10:45

So I’ll send you some guidance on how to do this after class. But one kind of other area that you can look at, and that was pretty interesting for topic clusters, is kind of looking at the sites that are the pages that are ranking for that keyword. So market muse was one of the top ones kind of first or second, depending on when you search. And so you can see all the keywords that their article on topic clusters is ranking for. So then it kind of gives you an idea of some of these other ones, right, and they had some that I wouldn’t think of on my own, like, they had topic clusters examples. And then they also had some keyword variations like content clustering, keyword cluster, just some variations of keywords that I hadn’t thought of that actually have some volume.


So again, like these are, you’re looking for points to include. And then also keep like keyword variations and things that you can sprinkle in just to help Google better better understand what you’re writing about how these terms relate to each other, and also bring in people who are searching for some of those related keywords. So that kind of the biggest piece of advice I have on the homework is just go deeper, like SEMrush is a start. And there’s more that you can look at in SEM rush. And I’ll send some resources on that. Some kind of instructions, there’s some really good articles online that kind of go through the process a little bit more step by step.


But dig deeper on those keywords and kind of use your creative skills to combine that data that you’re finding, and come up with that sort of outline of what you’re going to cover. Because that’s what you really need at the end of the brief, like, keywords are great, but if I give someone a keyword, they like we just don’t know what they’re gonna write about it. Right, what you want to figure out is, who are you writing for? And what is that? You know, what’s that direction that you’re gonna go with that? That’s kind of where we landed with the homework.


But I’ll give you guys a lot more opportunity to, to practice throughout the course, because I think this is one of the key key skills. Then the second kind of quick point I’d make is use the keywords that you find, right. So the other thing I saw is for people who did build an outline. They had their primary and secondary keywords, but I wasn’t seeing those in the outline. Right. So the reason that we come up with those keywords, is we won’t actually include them in h1 tags, h2 tags in the text. Because otherwise, why are they there? Right?


There’s some of the things that people are searching for directly, we want to make sure that they’re included in the content kind of sprinkled throughout the content. So that’s that’s the other piece where I think there’s a disconnect for you guys between the keywords and the outline and how those kind of fit together. So I’m going to try to find some good reading for that. So you can kind of dig in and understand that process more. And there’s a lot of different ways that I’ve seen people doing this.


So I don’t think there’s kind of one one way to get the job done. But that’s kind of what you’re looking to do is use the keywords to understand the audience and then make sure that that content is kind of focused around those keywords. Right. All right. So because there was I think some misunderstanding, I’m going to do a little keyword q&a, because I think this might be kind of fun, and you can put answers in the in the chat if you if you want.


Tara Struyk 14:42

So let’s give it a try. So first, kind of true false question. Keywords are just for search engines. What do you guys think? People think false. All right. So you are right So keywords can help search engines find your content, obviously, that’s why we’re doing it. But we’re using them to tell us how popular your topic areas how much someone cares about it. writing content that doesn’t have an audience is not going to drive traffic. Right. So you’re thinking of keyword research, think of keyword research as sort of audience intelligence that will help Google serve your content to the right people. I think there’s some misconception around that for sure.


That we’re just writing content for search engines, but really, the search engine is there to deliver content to people. So we’re just trying to connect, connect the dots, right, the right, the right content for the right person. That’s why we’re doing the research. Okay, so next one, you shouldn’t go after highly competitive keywords. What do you think True or False? False. Okay. Sorry, guys. So there we go. Okay. So you are right, false. So I think one misunderstanding of the competition metric is, it’s kind of there to say you can’t rank for this, don’t try to rank for this. It’s kind of a measure of how much work it will take to rank for that. So that’s going to mean the best content available on the topic. Lots of internal linking lots, lots of backlinks. And probably also, I did domain or site that is an authority in that space, or an authority overall.


So some of those things are out of your control, right, if you’re a writer hired to write one piece of content, for a smaller site, that highly competitive topic, it just might not be your best bet, because that that site might not just have, you know, the juice to get up there and compete with, you know, these huge sites that have done tonnes and tonnes of work in this area. And, you know, frankly, spent a lot of money trying to, to get that keyword.


If you get to be in charge of Content Strategy, or write a cluster or do something a little bit bigger than you might have a little more control, right? Build a strategy on how to rank that piece better over time. So that’s probably going to mean lots of supporting content on related topics, linking strategy within the site, and probably building External links as well. I actually use a, a plugin called SEO Quake that’s kind of useful for this. And when you run the, when you run the search query, you can kind of see the metrics of the other sites in the query complete, and you can compare them to your own, like how many backlinks kind of relative authority of the site and that sort of thing. So it’s a little, it’s kind of useful, you can run that through SEMrush as well, to kind of understand like, can I? Do I have the power to try and rank for this or or even what would it take? Right? Okay, so, next one.


Tara Struyk 18:09

So you should always target the highest volume keywords. What do people think true or false? Data says false, okay. And that is right, it is false. So this is kind of where the longtail keywords come in. Right? The problem with really high volume keywords is, like we mentioned, they’re often very competitive, especially if there’s a lot of business value or sort of money to be made around that keyword. But the other thing to kind of keep in mind is they aren’t that specific. And sometimes they’re so unspecific that Google doesn’t even really know isn’t really sure what people want. Like, here’s a high volume keyword that I have a little bit of experience in working on a tech site is AI.


Huge right now, right? There’s so much going on in the AI spied AI space in business. And 550,000 people, or 550,000 searches per month are or how happening around AI, according to SEMrush. But I pulled some of the results out for this search. And there’s all kinds of things. There’s a wiki page, there’s an AI company, there’s the 2001 movie called AI. The query is so broad that Google’s like hmm, I’m not really sure what what someone wants, right? So they’re giving them this whole bunch of things, companies news, everything. Typically, that’s not a search.


That’s not the best search to get into. I mean, for some of these AI companies, probably owning that keyword is is valuable, and I’m sure they, you know, spent a lot of effort and money doing that. But for the most part, it’s it’s pretty tough and I think that’s where you kind of need to look at the search results and say like, there’s probably something more targeted that I could, that I could get into in terms of what people are wanting in this area, and what the site that you are writing for, you know, the audience they want to capture and what that audience wants, like, do they want some kind of AI service? Do they want to just read information on AI? Are you writing about the movie, the politics around it, I mean, that’s, those are all really different audiences.


And there’s, you know, probably an infinite number of longtail lower volume searches in that, that would better target whoever it is that you’re trying to get at, right. So this bigger search might be a good place to start in SEMrush, or whatever keyword research tool you’re using. But that’s where you’re going to kind of start digging in this one would probably be pretty deep dive since there’s just so much here, figuring out where you’re going to focus where the audience is. All right. So next one is you can only target one piece, one key word and a piece of content, true or false. Everybody says false. Everybody is right on this one. So it’s best practice to target one keyword, typically one of the kind of higher volume ones of the set.


And then usually a few secondary keywords. A really good piece might rank for a lot of keywords. But you really can’t target specifically target more than a handful. So if you when you’re setting up that strategy, you kind of have to keep keep that in mind. Okay, then the next one. I think secondary keywords are a little bit confusing for people. So true or false. secondary keywords are just synonyms of primary keywords. Anybody? False? Getting a couple of falses? There, okay. Yep. also false. secondary keywords can be synonyms. Often they are. But there’s also a lot of other things they can be and there’s kind of there’s a broader way to look at them, I guess. So we’ll kind of dig into this a little bit more. So they can add more detail to initial keywords.


So sometimes the bigger broader keyword is just very broad, right? Let’s say you did go with AI, and that was the primary keyword, the secondary keywords might be how to how to use AI in business or something like that, like something that kind of hones in on that bigger keyword adds a little more detail, or I think one of the examples that gets used a lot is, you know, maybe you have your broader keyword is, is, you know, buying a car, and then the secondary ones are like, you know, are you going to buy hybrid or fuel, like some of some of these things that are going to fall under that and add more more detail to that, that are part of that broader search that people are looking for.


So they can be synonyms, but you want to kind of stretch beyond that. Because if you’re just landing on a bunch of synonyms, you still don’t have a lot to go on. That said, synonyms are kind of closely related terms, definitely want to make note of them and include them in your piece. There’s some case studies around keyword variation, like when we talked about topic clusters, and I think keyword clusters and content clusters or some of those other like direct synonyms, including those variations in the text. There are some good case studies around that being effective. Again, just kind of helps Google understand all these things are related. Then they all kind of mean the same thing. You can also include them in your h1, h2 and h3 tags, meta description text. So you kind of want to try to do that intentionally.


Typically, you want to specifically target one primary and one to three, secondary you want to rank for and then again, collect more in group to figure out to help you kind of flesh out the content, figure out what else to cover. Show that it’s comprehensive. Okay, so I’m gonna look at this query a little bit on topic. clusters and kind of dig into this with you. So I looked into it and did a little research myself. So I wanted to kind of understand the audience that’s looking for this. And what I found is that it’s largely beginner bloggers and business owners, or at least that’s the audience that, you know, I’m kind of looking at this, like, let’s give a little more information and assign this outright audience, beginner bloggers and business owners and then as an aim, let’s assume you’re writing this for business that sells tools and templates that help beginners map out a content strategy.


So this kind of helps you. Focus your template a little bit more, right? So audience, beginner bloggers and business owners writing this for business that sells tools and templates that helps beginners map out a content strategy, so that the topic clusters can see decent volume competitions, moderate. So as a smaller business, Could I could I take this on if I was writing this for, you know, not SEMrush, or Ahrefs, or one of these big 10 big sites that tends to rule the search results for some of these SEO queries. So I can look at competing site, right.


So here’s a competing sites for here’s the competing sites for the topic, clusters, query. So they’re in SEM rush to you can look at them on the search results themselves. And there’s some pretty big names here, right? Some big big sites. So if you’re working on a site that isn’t as authoritative on this topic, ranking and something like this will be hard, because you can see these sites have a lot of related content, lots of internal links, lots of traffic and backlinks. So for me, I’d be like, maybe it’s something that you could work towards over the long term on a site. In the short term, it’s going to be a little bit harder.


Tara Struyk 27:23


So the next thing I did is I wanted to better understand what searchers are looking at Reddit can be really useful for this because people throw in a lot of questions. As I mentioned, there’s people also ask, then there’s the related keywords. So kind of digging into that. And understanding that better, I could kind of see that the questions tended to stack into two categories. So people who were trying to understand what topic clusters are, and people who want to make one and are looking for instructions and details on how to build that.


So what to include how to link to it. Okay, interesting, right? So people really need specific information on on this query, and read it. And this and the internet in general seem to have a lot of beginners, right, we had the high level sites talking about this, but a lot of people searching it, I got the sense that they were fairly new in SEO, they’d kind of heard of this topic cluster, it’s a little bit of a newer search, a little bit of a newer topic over the last couple of years. So not super new, but new enough.


And they knew that it was maybe something important, and they’re trying to figure out, you know, how can I how can I do this? How can I incorporate this? Then the next thing I do is thinking about the audience. I start running some searches on related keywords, right? The topic clustering is, as I mentioned, a newer term. And what I’m thinking is that the searchers are kind of looking for an SEO content strategy, right. So I’m starting to look for keywords around that. And now we’re trying to starting to find some longer tail lower volume, little bit lower competition keywords. So a couple of things came out is SEO content strategy.


It’s got a good volume, probably better than clustering, and lower competition. So that could be a fit for my audience that could be somewhere that I could focus. And then templates. So this is something that actually a lot of the content that I saw on the topic didn’t include they didn’t have too many specific examples, and they didn’t have templates. And actually, in clustering, a template or a tool could be fairly used. Roll for kind of visualising that cluster, right? So that’s kind of where I started, started going with it kind of digging in and understanding. Okay, people who are asking for topic clusters are kind of beginners, and they want to know what they’re really looking for as an SEO content strategy. And a cluster is certainly a key part of that, or can be a key strategy in that.


And they’re kind of looking for help on how to do that, because they don’t really know. Or they don’t really know what they’re doing. So then I start looking at competitors for SEO content strategy. So when I look at this list of competitors, there’s HubSpot, their Search Engine Journal, there’s a draft one of these other bigger, but there’s some smaller ones in here too. And you can see how many referring domains and backlinks. So we’re seeing that there’s some smaller sites that are doing a good job of squeezing on to page one. So that makes me start thinking, Okay, if I focus a little more in this area, I have more opportunity to rank right.


So I know I think it was this year that asked like, where do we start with this? Now I’m starting to look at this a little bit more like on the content strategist. So if someone tells you, you have to write something, and topic clustering, you’re gonna have do your best there. If you are somebody trying to ask a question, or am I getting some background noise? Okay, I’m kind of figuring out what area to focus on for this audience that you’re trying to reach, right? Because again, now we’re looking at it like I’m selling some tools to help people build out their content strategy build out their topic cluster. So some options from looking at this is, topic clusters could be pretty hard to rank for. So I could target SEO content strategy and include topic clusters as a section. There were some in that search, there were definitely some some sites that did that.


I could focus my piece on topic clusters around templates and SEO content templates, or even focused my piece around SEO content templates. Useful fits the target audience had some competitive keywords that are a little bit easier to rank for. Could also dig into some of the related keywords like pillar and cluster or pillar content. They are lower volume. But they are still about topic clusters. And they’re easier to rank for. So kind of just going through that process. Digging Deeper, and kind of understanding that search is kind of what I’m looking for. And what I think everyone needs some more practice on.


Tara Struyk 33:25

So basically, with your, with your keyword research, it’s not just about pulling out the keywords and adding them into your topic. It’s it’s really a deep dive and following that topic around until you find those things that are valuable. So when a lot of you didn’t get to the outline part of the brief, so it kind of tells me that you didn’t follow that keyword far enough to really get a sense of like, what can I add in the topic that has value, right?


What is all this data, the search and the SEMrush? The search engine results. Any other research you can do around that audience? What is it telling me about what kind of thing I could write about? So that’s, that’s kind of it kind of a shorter one for today. But I’d like anybody to kind of jump in if they have any questions. And we can kind of dig in there a little bit. Hello,

Adanna Nnamani 34:32

I have a question. Yeah. Hi, Dennis. So we’ve put a SEO content strategy and I really didn’t think about adding an SEO strategy, but seeing it not I’m like okay, it’s a viable keyword also for four topics last but not my question is that, for example, now, you have a A SEO like embedded in your clothes will not have a cannibalization when you because my audience actually was trying to portray what I’m trying to portray in that article is that the article will be meant for social media and my shapes.


And if my website, it’s, it should have something like SEO strategy. Now my question is that if I’m putting that SEO strategy inside content cannibalization in my websites, like what I’m putting into this topic? Again, my question


Tara Struyk 35:54

there was some feedback. So I’ll try to understand you’re, you’re kind of cutting in and out a little bit. So you are asking if you write two things that are kind of like, overlapping or related, are they cannibalising each other? Is that what you’re asking?


Adanna Nnamani 36:10



Tara Struyk 36:14

It kind of depends, like, I think, ideally, if you’re writing to pieces, I mean, when you’re building out a topic cluster, like we’re kind of talking about clusters, all that content is related. But it’s probably targeting different keywords or different areas of that broader topic. So I guess, if we looked at SEO content strategy, as like the pillar, and then topic clustering as one coming out of it, you can certainly have a piece on SEO content strategy and have some content in it about topic clusters.


That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a broader a larger piece a more in depth piece on topic clusters. And actually, that would be a pretty common strategy, because what what Google likes to see is content that relates to each other content that links internally, right. So okay, I’m reading this piece on content strategy, it mentions a little bit about topic clusters. That sounds interesting. I’m going to click over to this other article on the site about topic clusters. And deeper, that’s actually a beneficial, a beneficial strategy, you don’t want to have a lot of things that are all targeting the exact same keyword, but sort of like related under that same cluster is is actually good. And you can think of it from the users perspective, right?


So when I read that, when I read about this content strategy, like digging deeper into some of these areas, be it topic clusters or keyword research or whatever, all these all these different parts of it. That makes sense, right? And Google likes to see that, as related research to, I mean, a really good example of sort of topic clusters that you can look at is even just Wikipedia, which ranks for practically everything, right? They have some very, very specific pieces. And then they have some broader ones that that link into those specific pieces, like that’s really clustering or kind of hub and spoke, depending on on how you look at it. But does that answer your question?


Adanna Nnamani 38:33

Yes, it does. Thank you.


Tara Struyk 38:38

Anybody else?


Catherine Gowon 38:43

Yes, Ma


Tara Struyk 38:44

Hi, Catherine.


Catherine Gowon 38:46

Yeah, good afternoon ma


Catherine Gowon 38:48

I’d really like to know, like the intent of why people are searching, and I’ve heard about Reddit a lot, and you use Reddit, but I don’t know how to get like the meat out of Reddit to know that, okay, this is all from be able to use the exact words they used to be able to communicate well, your copy and all that, like really difficult for me on Reddit.


Tara Struyk 39:15

I mean, it’s one tool that you can use. Intent is basically just understanding. So if I’m targeting topic clusters as a keyword, intent means understanding. So I’m the person typing topic clusters into the search engine. Why am I doing that? Right? So we looked at that search API. And when people are typing that in, like the intent is very fuzzy. Right? Or they might be doing that for hundreds of different reasons. It’s a hugely broad search. Right? So figuring out the intent of that is difficult. We don’t know the intent and Google doesn’t know the intent, right? So it’s just serving up this whole Miss mishmash of things. aims to try to like, catch the right, you know, answer for that person. So for something like topic clusters, it’s a little bit easier you’re trying to look at why is someone searching that?


So when I’m looking at Reddit, when I’m looking at the keyword variations when I’m looking at the questions, so I have this open on my computer on SEMrush right now, but people are people are asking like, what are topic clusters? How to create topic clusters? Why are your topic clusters important? How to use topic clusters? I mean, that gives us a sense of the intent right there, right? People have heard this, but they don’t fully understand what it means. They want to make one or they think maybe they can use that in their SEO strategy. So they’re there, they’re just asking those key questions like, What is this? I need to understand it better?


How do I create one? Why would I want to do that? And so, you know, I think the intent for that specific query is somewhere around there. Right? The intent of the person is to learn more about topic clusters so that they can potentially create one on their own site. Thank you. And I guess I would add to that, if the if you’re looking at a keyword where the intent is not clear, like AI, you probably want to dig into something longer tail less volume where the intent is more clear. Because yeah, it’s just, it’s going to be hard to rank on that keyword. And it’s going to be hard for you to to know what to produce for that person. Right. Yes.


Any other questions? So I think, for homework, I’d like to give this brief again, I really want to see the outline come out of the brief. So I think I’ll simplify. It’s a pretty detailed brief, and maybe I can simplify the template a little bit. Because what what we really want to get out of it is just understanding the search intent, and coming up with that outline. So I will, now that you have kind of gotten your feet wet a little bit in SEM rush, I’ll send some more kind of specific directions around audience and, like, who would who would you be writing this for?


I’ll send a template kind of simplified a little bit. And and I’ll let everybody kind of try this again. Does that sound like it would work? Okay, and is there anything else that I can do to help you like looking forward to next class in future classes? Is there anything else I can do to help you all kind of understand how to do this better? That too, if you have questions, you can slack me or, or anything? Anybody can? Slack me? Hello, Mama. Hi, Adanna.


Adanna Nnamani 43:20

I started the process using getting more insight on the audience through using Reddit. And seriously me personally, I find it really difficult and overwhelming. Using Reddit to get keywords or more insights, and I’ve seen that it’s really beneficial because, for example, you got SEO content strategy, I think, from Reddit, and also steam from SEMrush.


Was I love the way like the like the Reddit question that popped out, it really showed that okay, these people are also looking for content strategy also, and which can be tied to a topic cluster. So I would really love if probably one of the classes you’ll be able to walk us through how to also get insight and more understanding of a topic where to call by using Reddit


Tara Struyk 44:15



Adanna Nnamani 44:16

that’s my request. Yeah,

Tara Struyk 44:17

I mean, I think I’ve got a good resource on like, some of the ways that people do this. But as I mentioned, like, one of the things with keywords is you have to, before you can research sort of the volume around them, you have to know what they are. And thinking of that off the top of your head, especially if you’re not in that audience is sort of, you know, how are you going to do that right. So that’s where where I’m kind of looking and reading and looking in these other other areas just for related keywords that I can look up in SEM rush and look up the volume, right so I’m trying to figure out what’s out there what people are searching for related and that doesn’t always just come up under that one keyword.


Um, So that’s why I was saying a lot of people will create a spreadsheet of all of this and kind of filter through. So you know, you’ll have this long list, a lot of them will be very closely related, but you’ll kind of see these topic areas kind of jump out of that. So I can pull some resources on that and help help you guys kind of sort through that process because it is it is kind of interesting and useful to do that. I think Jade sola had a hand up


Tara Struyk 45:31

did you still want to ask a question?

jadesola kareem 45:34

Yeah. Hi. Yeah. And clarify for Itoro, that’s michael, that they all have access to the drive for them to access recording media and to share the link again, surpluses in the Slack channel now. Thank you, thanks.

Tara Struyk 45:56

Yeah, all the all the all the videos are there. And and the slides are there as well. So you can can look back at it.


Tara Struyk 46:10

Awesome. Okay. Well, I will send out some of the resources I’ve mentioned, I apologise for forgetting to send the agenda on Monday. So I’ll do that this week. And yeah, feel free to Slack me or message me anytime, if you have questions.


Otherwise, we’ll. we’ll see everybody next week. And I’ll send a follow up as usual around the homework and some of this other stuff that we that we talked touched on today.


Tara Struyk 46:43

All right. See everybody next week. Thanks for joining.


jadesola kareem 46:50

Thank you.


Asir Muntasir 46:51

Thank you. Thank you.