What are topic clusters?

Popular search engines such as Google and Bing have started to move beyond simple keyword algorithms when it comes to determining search engine rankings. They are now looking to topic clusters as a barometer of a good quality content experience. Topic clustering has become the new modality by which you can achieve a higher ranking on a search engine results page (SERP), increased traffic and more visibility through a content creation strategy. Topic clusters still involve creating helpful content using carefully chosen keywords, but the content is organized in a particular structure and presented together with other pieces of content on the same topic.

Let’s examine how can you adapt your own content planning schedule (and perhaps reuse some of your existing content) to this new SEO strategy. A cluster is a collection of related pieces of content that can easily be grouped into the same category, that is a common topic.

Five or so different articles using the same structure and that analyze the same topic (gardening, for example) represent a cluster of topics. The key to a good cluster is how you organize the articles. You organize them by linking them to one another in a relatively closed loop. It is the combination of the linking, the titles and the structure that provides increased visibility and allows search engines to identify the grouping as a cluster. According to HubSpot, tightly connected content leads to increased traffic and accordingly increased lead generation.

Benefits of Clustering Your Topics 

  1. Improves SEO by increasing your perceived authority on an issue. Offers more value to your visitors by providing easy access to an increased depth of information.
  2. Your website can show up in the top search results a number of times as a result of topic clustering. Boosts the search engine results page ranking of each individual article belonging to the cluster. 

How to Create a Topic Cluster

So, now that you know the importance of topic clustering we will show you how to create a great topic cluster. Let’s go back to our example of gardening. Let’s say that you want to write about sustainable gardening techniques and specifically drought resistant gardens. You could structure your topic cluster as follows:

  1. The importance of creating a drought resistant garden
  2. Top 5 designs for a drought resistant garden
  3. Ideal plants to include in a drought resistant garden
  4. Best practises for maintaining your drought resistant garden
  5. A closer look at an award-winning drought resistant gardens

Once you have written your articles you cross link them in a way that provides your visitor with a navigation between articles that follows a logical flow. It is not important that all of the articles are published on the same day, but you should not introduce content on another topic until this cluster is done.

Clustering your topics into information pillars is a great way to get noticed by search engines.

If you would like further information about this subject or anything else related to inbound marketing please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are always happy to provide a free 30-minute consultation on ways you could improve your online marketing efforts.


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Topics: SEO, Inbound Marketing, Keywords, Blogging, Topic Clusters

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