If you’re in the digital marketing game, there isn’t a day that goes by where SEO isn’t hot on your agenda—and for good reason!
Simply put, these days you don’t exist if you’re not on the front page of Google. To get to the front page, you’ll have to not only implement great SEO practices, but keep up and evolve those practices as time goes by.
One of these is the practice of using SEO topic or content clusters to build up your website’s page rank and get to that illustrious spot on the front page. In this post I’ll take a closer look at clusters and show how you can use them to help with your SEO.
What are SEO topic clusters?
In order to understand topic clusters, we have to go back to fundamentals. The whole practice of SEO is about targeting and ranking for the keywords your buyers are searching for. However, as anyone who has tried this knows, people search for the same thing in different ways and the most popular keywords are often the most contested. How do you ever succeed?
Topic clusters are a way to get around this challenge by publishing sets of high-quality, related pages that have similar content, but do not use the same individual keywords.
A topic cluster consists of two main parts. Firstly, the pages that host your main targeted keywords. These are known as “pillar” pages. Secondly, your website should also host pages that discuss topics that compliment and support the keywords and topics found on your pillar content pages. These pages are known as “Cluster” pages or cluster content. They are there to support the main goal of ranking for your targeted keywords on your pillar content pages.
How do topic clusters work?
Cluster content targets the less common, but less contested keywords. Because these keywords are less contested, you have a better chance at ranking higher for those keywords. This, in turn, generates visitors for those pages, boosting the overall ranking of your other cluster pages in search results.
In essence, cluster content pages add value and relevance to the more contested keywords by linking to your pillar pages and generating visitors to them.
As you gain more visitors to your cluster pages, some of those visitors will naturally click the links to the page with the keywords you want to rank for. Due to the way search engine algorithms work, those pages will naturally start making their way up in rank, closer towards the front page.
How can I implement my own topic clusters?
Begin by taking stock of which keywords you’re currently targeting and how contested that keyword is with the search engine you want to rank up in. Remember, topic cluster content does not have to be landing pages - they can be blog posts, pages where other content is offered or anything that can be hosted on your website.
How to Select Cluster Keywords
As mentioned before, your content cluster keywords should be the least contested keywords that relate to your pillar content. However, in order to find out what these keywords are, you’ll have to do a little keyword research.
Without going too in depth, keyword research entails finding the keywords you want to research on keyword apps that will show you how popular and contested each keyword is. The less popular the keyword is, and the more related it is to your pillar content, the better.
Here are some apps you can use to do keyword research:
For example, if you are targeting keywords in the digital marketing sector, chances are keywords like “digital marketing”, “marketing automation” and “online marketing” are highly contested. These keywords are usually dominated by huge corporations that have had a long time to solidify their ownership of that keyword.
In this example, you should build clusters around topics that are not as heavily contested. Such topics may include “email advertising”, “internet advertising”, or “computer marketing”. The key is to find keywords that are not as contested and create pages with content talking about those keywords.
Begin clustering today
Once those pages have been created, it’s important to link those pages to your pillar content pages. The more natural progression from the clusters to your pillar content pages, the better.
However, this is only the basic level of cluster linking. Another tactic you can use is to gradually link your topic clusters together, slowly leading towards your content pillar.
This is called funnelling. By linking your clusters and gradually leading towards your content pillars, you build up more of an audience and a wider appeal for keywords.
Learn more with Demodia
While topic clusters are an important part of good SEO practice, there is still a lot to cover and always more to learn. That’s why partnering with an expert in digital marketing is always a good idea.
Demodia is a digital marketing consultancy that specialises in helping B2B companies around the world get the most out of their online marketing assets like their websites. If you need help, guidance or just a consultant to ensure your digital marketing is performing at its potential, contact Demodia today.