If you want to create content that ranks at the top of the search engines and drives organic traffic in 2021, you need to understand how to build topical authority and demonstrate topical expertise. No longer are you optimizing for single keywords, but for entire topics.
It all starts during the keyword research phase when you're searching for related keywords. They are so named because they are connected to your primary keywords and help give context and demonstrate the depth at which a topic is being written about either at page-level (or sitewide).
In this guide, we're going to walk you through several different ways to find related keywords and take a detailed look at using them effectively as part of your SEO strategy.
Specifically, we'll be taking a look at:
What Are Related Keywords?
Related keywords are variants, synonyms, or semantically related terms to the main keywords that you're targeting and trying to rank for on the SERPs.
In some cases, they'll be long-tail keyword variants. In others, they'll be alternative keywords that your audience uses to find businesses just like yours.
Finding and optimizing for these can help you to create content that ranks for a higher number of keywords (therefore putting you in front of more potential clients or customers). They build topical authority by helping search engines and users better understand the topics you're writing about and identify new opportunities to expand topic clusters.
If you're only looking at optimizing for single keywords on a page in 2021, you're running with an outdated SEO approach. You're likely missing out on tremendous opportunities to expand your site's keyword footprint, build the topical authority you need to outrank your competitors, and drive sales and conversions.
4 Ways To Find Related Keywords
Let's look at four proven ways to find related keywords to use as part of your strategy, diving into different tactics you can use to ensure you're not missing out on critical opportunities.
We'll assume that you've already got a list of main keywords (also known as head terms) identified and will use them as a seed list to find words related to these.
If not, you're going to need to identify the main search queries and keywords that people are using to find businesses like yours. Learn more about how to do this in our introduction to keyword research tutorial.
Once you've got your list of primary keywords to hand, let's look at how you can find related keywords.
1. Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
If you want to generate a list of potentially related keywords quickly, the Semrush Keyword Magic Tool is perfect for this.
Enter a keyword, hit search, and you'll see a comprehensive list of keyword suggestions.
This can be a great way to expand your initial keyword list with related queries, and keeping the results sorted by 'broad' match keywords is a great starting point.
But to further drill down into related keywords, not just those based on match type variants, change the filter to 'related' and see a list of keywords similar to your seed keyword.
2. Semrush SEO Content Template
Including related keywords within your site's pages is essential. Working these into a content brief for your writers can help ensure they're thinking about semantically relevant words when writing.
The Semrush SEO Content Template can help you to pull together a list of semantically related keywords to include.
Head to the tool and enter your main keyword(s) that the page is targeting and hit 'create SEO template.'
The tool will analyze your top-10-ranking rivals for each of the target keywords you entered and share critical recommendations.
One of these is a list of semantically related words.
Use these within your content to include the related keywords that those who already rank in the top 10 results on the SERPs are using.
You can also run your page content through the Semrush SEO Writing Assistant to see which related keywords you're missing and should consider adding.
See the 'Recommended keywords' block on the right-hand side of the tool...
3. Semrush Organic Research Tool
Competitor research is an integral part of any SEO strategy, but analyzing the keywords that your competitor's similar pages are ranking for can help you to find opportunities for related keywords.
The SERPs makes a great place to start with this tactic as you'll want to analyze the pages that already rank for the query. Run a search for a keyword and grab a list of the top ten URLs (more if you want to go deeper and find more keywords).
Head to the Semrush Organic Research Tool and make sure you've selected the 'Exact URL' from the dropdown next to the URL bar.
This will enable you to see data related only to the URL that you've entered, rather than the entire domain, subdomain, or subfolder.
Don't miss this step out.
Head to the 'positions' tab, and you'll see all of the keywords that this page is currently ranking for, plus its position on the SERPs.
In this example, the URL ranks for 410 keywords. Work through the keywords and expand your list of related terms quickly and easily, with access to metrics including search volume and keyword difficulty scores.
4. Using Google Autocomplete and Related Searches
Head to Google, enter your main keyword, and scroll right down to the bottom of the SERPs.
See that 'Searches related to [keyword]' list? It's a goldmine for finding related keywords, and it takes just seconds to build out your list of other related searches people are making.
But that's not the only way you can use the SERPs to find keyword ideas.
Google Autocomplete is another excellent way to find related search terms. Using this is as simple as entering a keyword into the search bar without hitting search.
How To Use Related Keywords When Creating and Optimizing Content
Once you've identified a list of related keywords, here's how you can use them as part of your content strategy:
Use them to build more substantial topical authority in your site's pages and posts and rank for a broader range of keywords.
If you want to rank at the top of the SERPs in 2021, you need to optimize for topics, not just keywords.
One of the most effective ways to do this, and build topical authority, is including related keywords within your content.
Doing this not only means that you're covering a topic in a much depth and detail as possible, but you should also expect to see the page rank for these long-tail queries as a result of doing so. If you've identified different ways people search for the same thing (synonyms) during your research, be sure to include these to ensure that you're not missing out on opportunities to rank whatever variants a user enters into the search bar.
Consider using these related keywords within your content at least once, but focus on writing naturally for the user rather than on keyword density. Write primarily for users, not search engines.
Use them to build out your topic clusters and come up with new content ideas.
And once you've launched your pillar page, you must continue to build out cluster continue to add depth to the topic.
Related keywords can be a great way to develop ideas for cluster pages, so long as there's enough that can be written about the topic in a standalone piece of content. In particular, look for keywords that have a search volume of 100 or more with lower competition (keyword difficulty score).
Using related keywords in this way helps to expand the breadth of your coverage of a particular topic. It enables you to go deep enough to build topical authority and position yourself as an expert in your niche.