Everyone wants to rank on the first page of Google. For that, you have to do proper keyword research and follow all Google guidelines. This way, Google will view your site as more authoritative and credible than your competitors. The best way to achieve that is by Topic Clusters.
You’re mistaken if you think that Google will just look at keywords on a page and then rank websites. There are many things that are considered for a boost in search rankings. In topic clusters, Google also considers synonyms, relevant keywords, common queries, etc. This means that as an SEO professional, you have to improvise your content strategy.
However, it’s not an easy process. It is time-consuming and needs your attention. But once you perfectly implement it, the chances of becoming Google’s favorite are incredibly high and increase your online visibility.
If you also want to be Google’s favorite, keep reading because, in this in-depth article, we’ll discuss Topic Clusters for SEO strategy along with examples of topic clusters. It can increase your organic traffic and take your website to the next level.
What Are Topic Clusters?
Topic clusters are a content strategy approach that involves creating a core piece of comprehensive content, known as a “pillar” or “hub” page, that covers a broad topic in depth. This core content is then linked to smaller, related pieces of content called “cluster” or “subtopic” pages. They provide more specific information about subtopics related to the main topic.
The purpose of topic clusters is to improve SEO rankings and cohesive content strategy. It is done by signaling the connection between different pieces of content to search engines. Thus it enhances the user’s experience by providing a comprehensive resource on a particular topic.
But remember that every topic is focused on the pillar page’s main page. The information on this page is broad and includes general keywords, usually with high search volume.
Meanwhile, the cluster content is different.
It shares information on different subtopics and answers questions, and these are usually less popular. These keywords have less competition and are connected with primary keywords. This connection is known as a semantic relationship.
Let me explain it with an example. Suppose you are running a “Home Gardening” blog.
Optimize the pillar content of your page by using the best gardening services along with tips, services, and tricks on starting and maintaining a home garden.
Now under this page, you have to create more relevant clusters of content. Some of the examples of relevant searches are as follows.
- Choosing the Right Plants for Your Garden
- Soil Preparation and Fertilization
- Watering Techniques and Irrigation Systems
The cluster pages should provide precise information to the audience and link back to the main pillar page. This is helpful for finding specific gardening topics and increases your reach organically.
Do Topic Clusters Play Any Role in SEO?
Google wants to provide its users with the best, factual, and real information. That’s why they only prioritize websites that meet all the guidelines and prove their authority. That’s the main reason topic clusters are incredibly important, especially for a boost in search rankings.
With it, search engine bots can easily understand the hierarchy of the website. And ultimately, they’ll start viewing your website as an authority on the specific subject.
However, there’s one thing you should know.
Google has never openly mentioned any significance of topic clusters with respect to SEO. In Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it was clearly stated to design your website with a clear conceptual page hierarchy.
Either way, they are effective and play a role in SEO because just imagine you are reading a webpage about “best search engine optimization services,” and then you might stumble across terms like:
- On-page optimization
- Off-page optimization
- Technical Optimization
You can create blog content pages for these terms. By making cluster pages, you group relevant data. So, visitors who don’t have much information about such topics can easily understand them by checking cluster pages. Even search engines highly favor this topic cluster approach.
It helps build topical authority for your website by providing comprehensive coverage of a particular topic. It’s also helpful in the natural creation of relevant internal links.
What Makes Up A Topic Cluster Model?
If you’re considering implementing topic clusters on your website, you should know about this model. Many companies use this model in their content marketing strategy because old methods of focusing on keywords alone are no longer enough to rank on Google.
So what is the topic cluster model?
The topic cluster model is a content strategy framework that involves creating a central pillar page that comprehensively covers a broader topic.
Intent-based Approach > Keyword-based Approach
Yes, you have to focus more on an intent-based approach instead of running towards keywords only. The focus becomes one main topic which is the pillar page or blog article. Here are some other terms you must know if you want to use this strategy smoothly and effectively.
The most important page of your website is the pillar page. So make sure to write high-quality content in it that truly translates your brand values and mission. But these pillar pages aren’t powerful. They get their power from cluster pages.
That’s why most people use pillar pages as landing pages as well. If you smartly incorporate these pages, visitors are redirected to a relevant topic. That way, they spend the most time reading your content.
But how much content should be on pillar posts? How much is enough? 500 words? Or more?
You might be wondering this as well. Most often, pillar page content exceeds 2,000 words, and it’s longer than other pieces of content. But that doesn’t mean they don’t provide value. Instead, they are thorough, persuasive, and high-quality.
If you use cluster content properly, then you can effectively improve your search engine optimization strategy. Creating a lot of content (cluster) based on a core topic (pillar content) is known as a content cluster.
But you can’t just start writing content with no research. I’ve seen many writers suffer the consequences of this terrible mistake. So I’ll tell you something that you can do to avoid such situations. You should know the pillar page:
- Who is this for?
- What is the topic tone?
- Why are you writing it to increase sales, sign-ups?
To increase authority, think about how you can provide value to the reader. Would they be interested in reading more about this topic? What problem am I solving by writing it?
Think about your potential buyers and answer their common questions. It is an essential component of the content creation process and helpful in content planning.
Dive deep into the subject matter and position yourself as an expert. Ultimately, this aims to create a content cluster relevant to the main pillar page.
Benefits of Topic Clusters
Knowing what fruit you’ll get from your SEO efforts is important. That’s why I’ll list down some of the most important benefits of implementing topic clusters on your website.
- It helps improve your website’s search engine optimization by signaling the relationships between different pieces of content to search engines. It leads to better rankings for related keywords and increased organic traffic.
- The organized structure of topic clustering makes it easier for users to navigate your content. They can find comprehensive information on a specific list of topics, exploring related subtopics seamlessly.
- With a broader range of content on a topic, users are more likely to spend more time on your website, engaging with multiple pages and increasing their overall satisfaction.
- When search engines recognize the interconnected nature of your topic cluster, they may display multiple pages from your cluster in search results, increasing your website’s visibility.
Step-by-step Guide On Creating Topic Clusters Strategy
Not everyone has enough money or resources to spend on Google ads. And that’s why you should use these unpaid methods to increase your reach. Here’s a step-by-step strategy for creating a successful topic cluster strategy for SEO.
Decide Your Topic
The first step to creating a topic cluster strategy is choosing a topic. Your entire content cluster will be around this topic. So take your time. Do comprehensive research.
But you’ll find plenty of relevant topics. How can you find the perfect topic for your strategy? Here’s a perfect solution to this problem.
- Choose topics that are highly relevant to your brand.
- Check topics that performed well in the past.
- The type of content that’s already performing well.
Learn more about your target audience’s desires and problems and how you can resolve them. Start providing value to your audience, and in no time, you’ll start seeing positive results.
Never forget your competitors. You can learn a lot from them. Notice what topics they are discussing and how you can create inspired content.
Choose broad topics so you can create several pieces of content from them.
Let me explain it with an example. A company helps businesses grow by implementing growth strategies. They can create cluster content such as overall business growth for big, small companies and startups.
However, a company offering growth strategies for small businesses will only create content relevant to small businesses.
Make a Keyword List For Success
Do keyword research and make a list of the most important keywords. To be more precise, make a list of keywords through which you want your target customers to find you.
Be creative with it. I recommend trying all variations and checking;
- Long tail keywords
- Common search queries
Find all the terms that your target audience is searching for. You can use keyword research tools to find the most accurate search terms. They are key components that determine your search visibility.
But what if you don’t know how to do it?
Start by checking what your competitors are doing. Analyze terms for which they are ranking on top.
Furthermore, use a keyword tool such as Semrush or Ahrefs to find what your audience is searching for. You might find hundreds or thousands of keywords from which you can make incredible cluster content.
This can be a confusing situation.
You should ask yourself how crucial this phrase is for my brand and business values. Then check them based on search volume and traffic. This tip will save you from the anxiety and stress you might’ve to go through when deciding on a keyword phrase.
Now that you’ve all the keywords, you need to sort them. Most keywords will be similar or just synonyms. That’s why it’s important to group these keywords.
But you can’t do it in alphabetical order. Right?
There needs to be a proper system behind it. That’s why you should follow these strategies.
Semantic relevance in keywords refers to the degree to which a keyword or key phrase is contextually related to the content it is associated with. They are most similar to the original keyword. So whenever search engine spiders crawl your website, they give more information to them about your content. Moreover, algorithms in response determine where your content ranks in the search results.
Suppose you add unrelated keywords to one page because more keywords mean more chances of ranking. And even if you don’t rank for one keyword, you might rank for another. Right?
Wrong. Then what will happen?
The page will not rank, and it’ll hurt your authority. Also, search engines will be confused. It’s best to avoid such cluster topics.
If you choose a cluster keyword relevant to your business, but no one’s typing for it in the search bar, then all the SEO efforts will be in vain.
So remember your keywords must have;
- At least a reasonable number of searches
- Have high CPC (high conversion potential)
You can simply check search volume on Google. This will help you increase organic ranking I recommend using a paid tool for detailed keyword analysis such as Semrush or Ahrefs.
If you’re just getting started and thinking about target keywords with difficulty, anything above 50, then you are on the wrong track. You need to rethink your strategy.
Only target keywords in which your website has a high chance of ranking in SERPs.
Create High-quality Pillar Content
After planning content, you can hop to the next step: creating high-quality content. Use broad keywords in your content as it sets the foundation of your cluster content.
Develop a detailed, comprehensive pillar page covering your chosen topic’s main theme. This page is a central hub for your topic cluster and should provide an overview, context, and link to the subtopic pages.
The pillar content should be engaging and encourage visitors to explore further.
Identify Subtopics & Write
Now it’s time to focus on subtopics. You’ve already done all the necessary research, so that this step won’t be difficult. These subtopics should be closely related to your pillar topic and can stand as individual content pieces.
For example, subtopics might include “Baking Alternatives,” “Steaming vs. Frying,” “Nutrient-Rich Ingredients,” etc.
After understanding every topic, you need to start creating your content. You might be wondering what type of content you should create. I recommend writing:
You should give viewers what they are looking for. For “Baking Alternatives,” explain how to replace unhealthy ingredients with nutritious alternatives, providing recipes and tips.
Likewise at EchoFish for the main pillar page of SEO Services, there are various cluster pages where we provide value to our ideal customers.
Do Proper Interlinking
You’ve created content, but what’s next? What’s the building block which will hold all the content in one place?
It is interlinking.
It is highly valuable because that helps Google understand the relevance, importance, and relationship of content with respect to each other. Within your pillar and subtopic pages, include natural and relevant internal links.
Are these links important?
Yes, very much. Because through these links, users can navigate and explore related content. It helps search engines understand the relationships between your pages.
But there’s one thing that people often forget while interlinking. Your pillar content should remain on top of the linking hierarchy.
Because your pillar page is most important, it gives Google a clear idea that this page needs to be ranked.
But do you know how many clusters you should add?
It depends. The scope of your business, services, and products determines the number. You can also add links to product pages.
Optimize For SEO
If you want to increase organic search rankings, then you must optimize your website for all aspects of SEO. Use proper keywords and make sure your content has a high SEO score. Here are some tips to optimize your content and attract your ideal customers.
- Organize your content using clear headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to improve readability and signal the structure of your content to search engines.
- Ensure that your content is mobile-responsive, as search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. It also provides a better user experience for mobile users.
- Optimize your images and use alt text. You can use Converterzu to make your images SEO-friendly.
Keep your content up-to-date. As you learn new information or trends emerge, update your pillar and subtopic pages to reflect the latest insights.
Now your content is ready to be published. To increase search traffic and search engine ranking, you should also share it on social media. Especially platforms on which your audience is active.
The topic cluster strategy is an amazing content strategy. It is an ongoing process, and if done correctly, it can be the biggest asset for your business. Over time, Google will consider individual content pieces relevant to industry keywords. Not only this it will also regard your entire website as an authoritative presence in your industry.
That’s why at EchoFish, we help businesses increase their business growth with our expert SEO services. Contact us today for more details.
I'm a very hard-working, motivated, and committed individual with a positive attitude towards life and a passion for doing new things that help people.I love challenges in my career because they make you more robust than before when you overcome them.