Content is a critical component of all online businesses. It’s content that drives your website traffic and social media engagement. With the steady increase in content creation, Google’s search algorithm had to adapt to ensure people always receive the best search results. That’s why topic clusters are emerging as the best way of linking related content online.
Most websites rely on keywords and keyword phrases to show search engines the web page subject matter. But if a business has dozens of web pages about a similar topic, they end up competing for the search engine’s top spot. Google’s algorithm changes now prioritize websites with content structured by topic or focus into topic clusters. Central to each topic cluster is one core “pillar” page that acts as the main hub. There are also multiple content pages related to the main topic each linking back to the pillar page.
It may feel like a daunting task to keep your website content in line with Google rules, especially when the changes are so drastic. This newest SEO strategy creates a more clean and orderly arrangement of website architecture (see illustration provided by Hubspot below). Search engines will be able to scan all the content and identify the connections between the pages more quickly and efficiently. This new structure also makes it easy to pinpoint the pillar page as priority and assign it more authority than the others in the cluster.
Identify the pillar page first since it is the core of each cluster. Think about your customers’ main problems or pain points. Those are likely the topics that your customer will enter into a search engine, a lot. Choose 10 to 20 topics your business is an authority on. These topics need to be broad enough in scope to support multiple pages of related content.
Now that you’ve created pillar pages build out your research related subtopic pages with supporting content. Link each subtopic post back to the main pillar page to create a topic cluster using the same anchor text or page hyperlink in each one. For example, if the main topic on the pillar page is “condo amenities”, related pages could be: “bowling alley,” “movie room,” “gym”. Search engines will be able to identify the post as part of a cluster set.
Audit your existing content pages and try to regroup them around a focus. Find the main keyword phrases, then categorize your existing content pages into appropriate clusters. You may need to write some new content to fit into the topic cluster. Instead of trying to rank for particular keywords, use your copy to help you become the authority on a particular topic. The more posts you can include around that topic, the stronger the cluster will be.
Over time search engines will start to acknowledge the wide range of content associated with your clusters and reward your business’ site with better placement on the search engine results page. Your site’s navigation will also appear more intuitive as you move to the cleaner, topic-based structure.
While the focus is shifting from keywords and keyword phrases, this newest SEO strategy, topic clusters, still relies on great content. Though these SEO tips are still relevant in the topic cluster era, make sure your website is sales ready. Get a free 30-minute consultation and website sales assessment.