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Apr 20, 2022

What are Topic Clusters & How to Use it to Improve SEO?

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What are Topic Clusters & How to Use it to Improve SEO?

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SEO fads come and go, causing a lot of buzz, but they eventually fade away. Do you recall LSI keywords? How about using the Skyscraper Technique?

Until recently, content marketers and top SEOs created content utilizing targeted long-tail keywords as a standard practice. The issue is that every time you publish new content, it competes with both your competitors' content and your previously released content.

When you use the Topic Cluster model, your brand becomes more authentic.

When content writers create a structure for their content using pillar pages and topic clusters, it results in a more organized approach to content generation. In this post, we'll go over the fundamentals of topic clusters and how incorporating them into creating your topic cluster structures can help your marketing approach.

What are Topic Clusters?

What are Topic Clusters?

A topic cluster is a grouping of related keywords likely to be searched for together by potential customers.

When you create a topic cluster, it allows you to focus your content around one or more specific topics without worrying about any competition from other brands.

HubSpot research detailed the topic cluster approach, also known as the pillar-and-cluster technique, in 2017. It helps streamline a company's content marketing strategy, whether B2B or B2C.

In a nutshell, topic clusters focus on a particular topic and provide several opportunities for internal linking to keep visitors on your site.

Your content cluster begins with a pillar page and contains connections to all of the connected topic cluster sites.

Several supporting blog pieces (or clusters) are planned, created, and published from this pillar post. These clusters explain sub-topics related to the pillar topic and link back to pillar content.

The topic cluster approach means that you have to treat your blog differently because it doesn't follow the traditional blog publishing process.

Using pillar-and-cluster content in an organized way shows Google that each page has a semantic relationship to the other pages.

Why do Topic Clusters Matter for SEO?

Why do Topic Clusters Matter for SEO?

Topic clusters can help you attract more targeted traffic to your site by focusing your content around a popular topic among your target audience. Furthermore, topic clusters can also help you create rich and engaging articles that are likely to be shared across social media platforms.

If done correctly, your site will appear higher in search engine results for the related keywords and potentially increase leads and sales.

In the last few days, Google revealed some big SEO news. First, they said they had found a way to help the algorithm figure out which parts of a page are most important. Secondly, neural networks were used to help them learn more about subtopics they were interested in.

Third, Google said in September 2021 that they now know how people usually search for certain topics.

Topic clusters enhance context

Now that Google knows what people usually search for, they can better understand the importance of context when ranking a site. This means that you will need to think about topics and keywords in relation to one another when planning your content strategy.

On-page SEO components such as the page title, URL, subheadings, sections, and sentences are interpreted by Google. However, Google uses the items on the pages that connect to your material and the anchor text of those links to get information.

As a result, subject clusters act as concentrated buckets of information. They aid search engines in deciphering each page's context, relationships, and hierarchy within a content family.

Content clusters help with keyword research

Topic clusters can also help you with keyword research.

Once you have identified the primary topics your audience is interested in and created a topic cluster around them, it will be much easier to find keywords related to those subjects.

This is because Google looks at the topic clusters as concentrated buckets of information.

Topic clusters can also help you with your branding and marketing efforts. By targeting keywords related to your content family, you’re more likely to attract readers looking for information on that specific topic. In addition, using relevant anchor text will help promote your site within the search engine results pages (SERP).

Topic clusters result in conversions

Topic clusters can significantly impact the number of conversions that your website receives.

You can tie your personas' inquiries to their pain areas and intents after understanding why and how they search. You'll be able to tell where they are in the conversion funnel and how to drive them forward.

Topic clusters allow you to create content around a central theme that addresses several pain points for various buyer personas at different stages of the sales funnel without sacrificing your own keywords.

How to Create Topic Clusters?

How to Create Topic Clusters?

Organizations may employ the pillar-topic cluster technique to streamline their content production and generate better material in less time.

The purpose of clustering your content extends beyond typical SEO methods to assist you in creating high-quality content. Content should be prepared, researched, and given in various ways.

Here are some of the best ways to create topic clusters:

Decide your core topic

The first step is to decide the main subject you want to write about. After that, think about how different aspects of this topic can be grouped.

This is a crucial step because it will be utilized to develop your pillar topic.

Brainstorming is required to generate content ideas. Begin brainstorming subject cluster ideas based on what fits into your business. Producing content ideas can be an effective strategy to generate relevant topics.

When you have some general ideas for topics, think about how you can use them to write high-quality content. It's important to think about your business's goals when choosing topics for your content.

Perform keyword research around the core topic

After you've decided on the core topic, it's time to do some keyword research. This will help you determine which keywords are most important for your business and which ones are most relevant to your content.

First, you will need to make sure you're right with the topics. It is a very important step to make sure you don't waste your time and get the benefits of writing good content. Look at your competitors and look at what they are writing about.

Using a keyword research tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs will give you a better insight into keywords that are relevant and close to the core topic.

Know the buyer persona and search intent

After you've determined the core topic, it's important to determine who will be reading your content and why. This information will help you target your content toward the right people.

You need to understand what type of buyer persona is looking for your product or service. There are a few different buyer personas that businesses can focus on:

-The Educated Consumer

-The Power Shopper

-The Newbie Buyer

-The Experienced Buyer

-The Influencer

After you know the buyer persona, you need to understand their search intent. This will help you determine what type of content will work best for them.

Outline the pillar and topic cluster structure

After you've determined the buyer persona and their search intent, it's time to outline your content's pillar and topic cluster structure. The pillar is a general umbrella that encompasses all of your content. This will help you organize your thoughts and develop an overall plan for writing good content.

A topic cluster is a specific area of focus that can be covered in depth within your article or blog post. It's important to be specific when outlining these topics because you want your readers to know exactly what they're getting into.

The topic cluster pages should go into the finer points of the topic. When you write the outlines for the clusters of topics, make sure you write about things that can link back to the pillar page.

These are the blueprints for each piece of content your team will write.

Create a content outline and theme

By creating your content outline, you will be able to create engaging, relevant, and valuable content without feeling rushed. This outline allows you to focus on the most important details in your article while disregarding less important ones.

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb with your topics, but make sure the article is relatable and aims toward building trust in all communities it impacts.

Write the H2, H3s, and the related questions in advance to ensure the writer does not face any problem writing the content.

Create a content outline and theme

Write and optimize your content

Now that you have the outline for your pillar and topic clusters, it's time to start writing.

Once you're finished with all of your content, go through it again and make sure everything links back to your pillar’s overarching topics.

After integrating your topic ideas from the ideation step, keywords, and outlines, you're ready to write quality content. You must ensure that your content is high quality in order to engage your target audience. They should be interested in learning more about your content themes.

Your competitors are writing about similar topics, if not identical, to yours; you must create interesting and unique content.

While creating the content, it is important to optimize it for search engines.

To follow the best practices for page optimization, you can use Scalent SEO Assistant for crafting the original content topic cluster. Scalenut helps in content creation by using various content writing templates.

Page title

When users search for specific keywords, search engines utilize page titles to choose which websites to show them. A page title is used to appear in search results so that readers may get to your website.

Your page title should be informative, catchy, and relevant to your topic. Verify that the following requirements are met:

1) The title must not be too long – between 60 and 70 characters is ideal.

2) The title must have a dominant keyword – it should appear first in most search engine results for this phrase.

3) Titles with multiple keywords are difficult to rank due to the competition for each word.

Page title

Structure your Header tags

Your web page's header tags are where you will include the title of your website and some basic information about who creates and manages it. When a search engine crawls your pages, they will see this information and use it to rank you higher in search results for certain keywords.

In HTML, header tags include components such as h1>, h2>, h3>, and so on. Headings are utilized to appear in search results and can be viewed as your website's first impression.

Structure your Header tags

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are a short, concise description of your website that appears on the search engine results page (SERP) when someone clicks on a link to your site from another website.

Meta descriptions are used to provide an overview of a webpage's content. Although this is not a direct ranking component, searchers utilize the meta description to understand what is inside the content.

Here are some pointers for writing a meta description:

  • The ideal meta description length is roughly 160 characters. On the other hand, Google allows up to 220 characters for desktop use.
  • Include keywords that are relevant to the content of your page.
  • Include a clear and simple call to action.
Meta descriptions

Image alt text

Image alt-text is a well-prepped description of the image that comes in handy when one cannot view the image for any reason. It is also used for SEO purposes. It's important to provide this information to aid accessibility and ensure a good marketing copy for social media posts.

Include keyword tags within your alt text so that search engines can automatically analyze it. Make sure the images used on your website are relevant and appropriate.

After optimizing the content, it is time to build strong linking.

Create internal links

Internal links anchor text to the related sections of your website. This makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for on your site, and can also improve search engine ranking.

Internal links are used to make your website look like a tree. Putting everything together in one place is the best way to keep things organized and connect them.

It makes it easier for search engines to find their way around your site and figure out how it's set up.

Internal links can be used to move around the site easily. You should always link your pages to pages that are important to the website, such as the home page.

By creating links with topics, you can build links and show search engines that the website author is knowledgeable about the topic.

FAQs

Q. What are the main components of a topic cluster?

Ans: A topic cluster has three main components: the pillar page, content clusters, and hyperlinks.

Q. What are pillar and cluster pages?

Ans: A pillar page is the primary or most important page on your website. It should be the first to appear in a search and act as your homepage. A content cluster is a set of articles on related topics connected by hyperlinks. These can include blog posts, product pages, directions pages, etc.

Q. What is a topic pillar?

Ans: Topic pillar is a page that discusses one specific topic. It can be the homepage of your website, or it might be a section with a heavier emphasis on one type of content (like recipes). This is important because it makes finding information about the site easier for users.

Q. What are hyperlinks?

Ans: Hyperlinks are links within your website that take visitors to other pages; both on your website as well as other websites. They can help people find the information they're looking for easily, and can also be a way to promote your website to other users.

Q. What are the common topic cluster mistakes?

Ans: The two biggest cluster mistakes are content flooding and siloing.

Conclusion

As a content marketer, you need to be on your toes at all times. By following a topic cluster model, you can ensure that your content is accurately targeted to your audience and more effective in capturing leads and driving conversions.

You can streamline your content marketing strategy and create more high-quality and relevant content that will help you capture more searchers at the top of the funnel.

By targeting related keywords around more specific topics, you can create cluster content pages that will help you reach your target audience more effectively. 

If you're ready to take your content marketing strategy to the next level, try out Scalenut Writing Assistant for free.

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