All You Need to Know About Making Great Topic Clusters
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All You Need to Know About Making Great Topic Clusters

Google has blessed us with helpful content updates and other tweaked and new policies that will eventually push you to revisit your content marketing strategies. Try topic clusters if you are looking for a practical but effective solution.

This blog enumerates the best reasons to start creating pillar pages and subpages and shows you a step-by-step guide on how to do it.

Power Up Content Marketing Strategies with Topic Clustering

What is a topic cluster? It is a group of articles focusing on a broad topic or keyword.

Some people, including marketers, confuse it with a content silo because they have similar meanings and ideas. However, they differ significantly in many ways:

  • Content silos usually revolve around a specific theme, category, or keyword. The Amazon website is an excellent example of how every large category, such as books or home improvement, opens to more specific related pages.
  • Topic clustering is a content marketing strategy focusing on a specific keyword or idea. Silos are related to technical search engine optimization (SEO), particularly in designing sitemaps.
  • While both are excellent at improving SEO, topic clusters seem more straightforward. This strategy is ideal for those still trying to build up their pages. Meanwhile, silos are great when you have hundreds of pages to organize.

Why Should You Do Topic Clustering?

Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners (DAP) cannot emphasize the benefits of topic clusters enough, especially for content marketing.

1. It Promotes a Higher Search Rank for Your Chosen Keyword

When search engine spiders visit your website, they are not only trying to check your page’s content. They “read it,” ensuring it aligns with your relevant keywords. Further, they follow the trail by hopping into your added internal links.

Topic clusters make your chosen topic or keyword more solid by letting you create a web of pages about the same thing. This means more internal links, making it easier for Google and other search engines to assess your website’s relevance.

2. Topic Clusters Offer a More Satisfying User Experience (UX)

Have you ever gone to a website where you needed help finding the information you sought? Bummer, right?

Topic clusters avoid that by ensuring that all the data your target audience needs is in a single place. They can get a general idea of the topic and click on the linked articles for more information. In the process, this group of copies satisfies Google’s helpful content policy.

3. Clustering Showcases Your Authority and Credibility

Search engines strongly value trust. Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines all point toward it.

And what better way to tell your audience that you know the subject intimately than by writing plenty of closely related articles about it? Using topic clusters is a clever way of showing that you are the go-to source for the most relevant information.

How to Do Topic Clustering: A Concise Guide

By now, you already know why the best content marketing strategies always include topic clusters. The next step is figuring out how to do it. (Hint: It is easier than you think!)

A typical topic cluster has three elements:

  • Pillar page, or the main page that discusses a keyword or topic comprehensively or broadly
  • Subpages, which expound the significant points of the pillar page
  • An internal linking strategy that connects these pages

Some marketers try to stick to a specific number of related pages or internal links, while others focus heavily on particular keywords.

Most importantly, the content structure makes sense, and the articles are valuable.

For this guide on creating a topic cluster, let us pretend that you are trying to promote green coffee in your coffee shop in LA.

1. Identify Your Topic and Keywords

It would help if you had a broad topic as the foundation of your pillar page. In this case, it can be as simple as “green coffee.” From there, you can identify related keywords that match the search or user intent.

What does this mean? People spend much time on discovery, looking for as much information as possible to satisfy their needs. In this instance, some may want to learn more about this type of coffee. Others may know something about it and want to try it in one of the cafes in LA.

From your seed keyword, your possible related keywords may be:

  • Green coffee bean extract
  • Green coffee near me
  • Caffeine in green tea vs. coffee
  • Best green coffee

You can use several keyword suggestions and planning tools to identify the best key terms or phrases to target.

2. Know Your Pillar and Subpages

You can already begin developing your topic cluster structure based on your generated keywords. With our example, it may look like this:

Pillar page: What is green coffee?

Subpages:

  • Where does green coffee bean extract come from?
  • Health benefits of green coffee
  • Caffeine in green tea vs. coffee: which is better for health?
  • Can green coffee help in weight loss?
  • Where to find the best green coffee
  • How to buy green coffee bean extract
  • How to make green coffee

To maximize SEO, the pillar page should have long-form content with a word count of at least 1,500 words. You can effectively cover the subtopics, incorporate several relevant and related keywords, and enhance the content value.

Subtopics can also be long, but they can also be short, at fewer than 1,000 words but not below 500. You should cover as many essential points as you can.

3. Link Them Together

Usually, the pillar page can be designed as a resource page where visitors can find all subpage links.

However, you only need to write some of the articles at a time before you start linking. Otherwise, you could rank better with your long-form content. Remember that it can take a while before you begin seeing results from your SEO efforts.

You may begin with the pillar page, followed by two subpages. Then, add more internal links as you create the subpages. This process works to your advantage, too, since it encourages the spiders to visit your website more frequently and update your indexed content.

You may need to create a topic cluster from scratch. Conduct a content audit and identify pillar pages and subpages you can relate to. You can also repurpose old content by adding new information, removing dated data, and improving UX with media such as infographics, videos, and images.

Summing Up

You can already apply topic clustering in three steps to your content marketing plan. But remember that this strategy is only as good as how you implement it.

As your website grows, consider working with a digital marketing firm that can help you identify the best subjects to tackle, keywords to use, and structures to follow.

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