When we talk about SEO, then there are unlimited practices that you can follow. After all, every marketer is giving their best to boost their online presence and get their content discovered on the top of searches on Google.
Irrespective of thousands of strategies, marketers are still not able to level up their brand reputation. This is all because they don't have a solid understanding of SEO.
Are you the one who is still struggling to create and streamline the content strategy that further helps you rank higher on Google? If yes, then let's talk about content cluster strategy as SEO is now moving to the topic cluster model.
All thanks to HubSpot. I owe the term of topic clusters to HubSpot. It is one of the latest and powerful ways to take your content marketing strategy to the next level. As per the analysis, it is found that after implementing the topic cluster strategy, organizations have experienced a 7-10 times increase in their organic growth in comparison to the past year.
If you are new to the term topic clusters, then no worries! By the end of this article, you will feel confident that this is the strategy you should not miss. Now, without any further discussions, let's learn more about content/ topic clusters.
What are Topic Clusters?
Topic clusters are basically the groups of all the web pages that are interlinked with one core pillar page. When all the posts link to a cluster post, it creates a content cluster on a specific topic. Organizing all your site content into clusters helps you analyze your site performance and allows search engines to understand the quality of content and distinguish the area of expertise.
In topic clusters, a single pillar page acts as the hub of various web pages or content pages that relate to each other.
Topic clusters are divided into three main components: pillar pages, cluster content or subtopics, and Hyperlinks.
Pillar pages are at the core of clusters. It acts as an authority page that further helps you rank higher on Google. Pillar pages can be your service pages or educational resource pages.
Cluster content is the subtopic content that focuses on longer-tail queries. Cluster content is related to the pillar content that indicates to the search engine that the primary topic is an authoritative resource to the pillar page.
Now, let's talk about hyperlinks. The entire topic cluster model is based on hyperlinks. The linking of all the content pages to the pillar pages and vice versa is referred to as hyperlinks. To interlink both the pages, you need to ensure that each page is highly optimized and error-free. Creating a linking ecosystem allows the search engines to understand which post needs to prioritize.
From my personal experience, after using the content cluster strategy, I have ranked my various pages from the third page of Google to the first page.
How Topic Clusters improve SEO?
By creating topics clustered in your system, you can-
Manage your Content Marketing Efforts
By creating topic clusters, you can easily identify which content type should be there on your blog page. Once you fix the main keyword, you can frame more blogs around the same.
Improves your Website Experience
Topic cluster is all about organizing your content and website architecture. Once users get to know about the same, then the probability of retaining visitors increases. People will prefer staying on your site and reading relevant content to know more about the respective topic.
Drive more Traffic to your Site
More people stay on your site, lesser the bounce rate, and more the traffic. If visitors will spend more time on your site, it indicates to the search engine that you are offering quality content, improving your rankings.
Here is the screenshot that clearly shows the statistics of the topic cluster report of blog pages. You can see how the organic traffic is increasing day by day.
Steps to create Content Cluster Strategy
To many of you, creating topic clusters might sound too challenging, but it's really simple. You just have to write great content around similar topics and link them together. For a better understanding of how to create content clusters, have a look at the below steps.
Step-1 Create Buyer Personas and map their Journey
The buyer's persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customers. It is one of the most crucial steps that you should take while producing content. If you know your buyer persona, then you can easily create content that catches their attention.
Many successful marketers create messages and campaigns according to their buyer's personas that further helps them to address specific pain points and offer the right solution. So, you can also create different customer profiles as per your industry. Once you know who are your target audience, you can easily guide them by providing the content they are actually looking for.
Step-2 Take a closer Look at keywords around Topics
Once you know your target audience, it's time to search for the keywords having the highest ranking. Always go for the keywords that are dominating other keywords verticals in search results.
Whenever you do keyword research, volume is not the only attribute you should look for. Make sure you take keyword density into consideration.
I would recommend you choose a broad keyword topic as per your target audience. It will help you to get a higher rank. For example, “videos” are too wide of topic cover. But if you keep “Explainer videos” as the main keyword, then it will surely leave spaces to create content. Like you can create cluster content on testimonial videos, kinetic typography videos, whiteboard animation videos, etc.
Step-3 Create Content for Cluster Pages
Congratulations! Most of your hard work is one! But don't be too lazy because execution is also important. Whenever you create topic clusters, I would recommend you to stay realistic and conservative.
Say if you have a new site or a site with weak domain authority, always begin with the most critical topics.
First, start writing the foundational content. Custer pages are the ones with which other pillar pages' content will be linked. Indeed, it's not so easy to write cluster content than pillar pages. Thus, you can also join hands with an agency offering content writing services.
You can perform additional research to know the queries and brainstorm new content ideas that will surely fill the gaps. For cluster pages, you can create guides, eBooks, etc. Long content will increase the chances to rank higher on Google.
Step-4 Create Content for Pillar Pages
Once your broad keyword and content is done, it's time to strategize subtopics and write content around the same. Make sure the keywords and content you create touch broader points. The deeper you go, the better you get.
So, whenever you create content for pillar pages, make sure you cover all the subtopics related to the main keywords because you never know what issue your audience will be facing. But make sure whenever you create content, never explain too thoroughly, instead, you can use CTA's to interlink with each other and build a strong presence on the internet.
Remember, once you start pushing readers to another cluster page, you can convert visitors into leads effortlessly.
Step-5 Optimize and Implement Linking Structure
Once the content for both pillar pages and cluster pages is done, it's time to link all your content together. To proceed with this, make sure you include a link to your cluster content on all the pillar pages.
Once you optimize the content, you can see the color of hyperlinks change, which indicates that your content is successfully linked with each other. If you add more blogs posts, you can include more pillar pages and link them to the cluster topic.
Step-6 Measure and modify Content
Tracking or monitoring your content is one of the most important steps in your content strategy. This step will help you better understand how the content pieces are performing and what needs to be updated.
Say if a specific cluster is performing extraordinary, so you can add more subtopics around the same to boost your website SEO. This step might take a lot of time at first, but once you start developing and implementing this process, you can rank higher in search results.
The Final Say
If your marketing depends on blogging, then you should definitely adopt a topic cluster model in your strategy.
Better the quality of topic clusters, the easier it becomes to understand the topic. Moreover, it also indicates search engines to focus on your content and rank higher on Google.
Happy Content marketing!!!