Take a look online right now, and you'll see that there's so much advice out there on how to improve your SEO content marketing. What you might not see is information on how to use topic clusters in your strategy. That's something you need to be paying attention to, as it can make a drastic difference on where you end up on the search results page.
Here's how you can use topic clusters to improve your SEO strategy, and bring even more traffic to your page. It's much easier than you'd think.
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If you've never come across topic clusters before, the good news is they're actually rather simple. The term was coined by HubSpot, who created them as a way of organising site pages to make them more user friendly.
As the name implies, using this technique means creating 'clusters' of pages on your site that all relate to each other. You'll have a main 'pillar' page, that acts as the main hub for that topic. All other pages related to the topic are linked back to this page, and to each other. That creates 'clusters' on your website, so the idea is a user can very easily find all the pages you have that relate to that topic.
So as an example, you may have a pillar page on your site that's all about digital marketing terms. A page that's related to that could be one on social media marketing, which is a type of digital marketing. As such, you'll be able to link it back to the pillar page, creating a cluster.
If implemented correctly, you should have several pillar pages on your site that all relate to different topics. They'll all be reachable via the homepage, making a clear path to the content that the user is looking for.
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This all sounds simple enough, but you'll want to see that you get a good result when you use this strategy on your site. Are you going to get the results that you want from the practice?
There are several benefits that you can get from using this strategy on your site. These include:
Making the website experience better: One of the ways that search engines rank sites is by the amount of time users spend on them. If they're not finding what they want, or they're finding it difficult to locate information, then they're going to click away quite quickly. If you want them to stay for longer, then they need to be able to find what they need, and quickly.
Topic clusters let this happen, as it's much easier to find everything that you have on that topic. The user can read any given page you have, and then move to another one as you'll have linked it from that page. As such, you'll keep them interested and reading for longer.
Better organize your marketing work: Topic clusters will benefit you, as well as your users. When you have everything together in a cluster, it's much easier to see what you have on the site, and where the gaps are. As such, you can work on filling them in. The more info you have on a topic, the better authority you'll be on it.
If you're looking to use content marketing to improve your business's growth, then topic clusters are a good way to identify what you've already done, and identify what you need to do next.
Help search engines crawl your site: When someone searches for a topic on a search engine, that engine will then need to crawl all relevant sites to see what's on them. Having a well organised site is crucial, as the better organised it is, the faster it will be able to find the info it's looking for. That will help you rank higher in those search results.
Get more organic traffic: Getting organic traffic to your site is another key part of improving your search engine rankings. It's something else that they are looking for when they consider where to rank you. Topic clusters really help you get those numbers high.
“When you have topic clusters, you're allowing users to move from page to page easily”
Says Linda Ireland, a marketing writer at UK Top Writers. “The more they move around the site and visit different pages, the more organic traffic that you're getting.”
You've seen all the benefits of using a topic cluster strategy in your own SEO, so now you'll want to put them to use. Here are some top tips to help you do so.
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Understand the components of a topic cluster: As you've seen above, there are three different parts to a topic cluster: pillar content, cluster content, and the hyperlinks that bind them together. You'll need to be sure that you understand them fully before you get started.
Your pillar content is in the 'center', and will be what all content connects to. Your cluster content are pages that relate to the content on the pillar page. You'll connect them together with hyperlinks.
Start with a topic: When creating your first cluster, you'll need to consider what your topic will be. You need a broad keyword to start with, as you'll be creating sub topics that relate back to it. However, you don't want it to be too broad.
Using the marketing example again, 'marketing' is too broad on it's own. If you use 'social media marketing', however, then you'll see that you can create sub pages on related keywords, such as 'Instagram marketing' or 'Facebook marketing'.
Create your cluster content: Now you have the keywords, you can start making that cluster content. There are tools on the market that can help you search for keywords that are related to your broad keyword, so you can create content that will be related and is what your users are looking for.
If you're creating a 'social media marketing' pillar, then related keywords will be something like 'How to sell on TikTok', 'Facebook marketing' 'Instagram sellers' and so on. You can create sub pages on each keyword, so you have plenty of content that centers on this idea.
Audit your existing content: Creating new content is always important, but you'll need to take a look at the content you already have available, too. There should be lots of ideas here that you can put to good use, saving you some time and energy as you create your topic clusters.
Before creating new content, search through your existing content to see if you have anything related to the keywords you researched. If you do, then all you have to do is hyperlink them in a natural way to your pillar content.
Start filling in the gaps: Once you've found all the pages on your site that can serve as content, you'll be able to see where the gaps are, and think about creating new content to fill them in.
Typically, you'll build one new page around one keyword. So, for example, if you don't already have a page that's built around 'Facebook marketing', then you'll want to create one now.
Make the pillar page: You have all the cluster content created, so now you're ready to start making the pillar page to tie them all together. This page needs to cover that broad keyword in a comprehensive way. Ensure that you have long tail keywords in there, as these will be the anchor text that you use to link to the other pages in your cluster.
Interlink your pages: the pages are now all in place, so now they need to be linked together. On each cluster page, include a link back to the pillar page. You'll also need to link to the cluster content on the pillar page. When you add new content over time, you'll want to keep the pillar page updated with links to it, too.
Keep an eye on the results: Now that your topic cluster is set up, you're ready to go. Make sure you're using tracker tools to keep an eye on your progress, and whether you're getting the results that you wanted.
Now you know just how those topic clusters work, you'll be able to get started creating them and getting better rankings on search engines. Give it a try and see how it boosts your website.