Anyone who has tried to find content for their blog or website knows that it can be difficult to come up with high-quality and relevant content. Thankfully, there is a solution – a content cluster strategy. A content cluster strategy is a way of organizing your content in such a way that it is easy to search, navigate, and share. It also makes it easier for your audience to find the content that they are looking for.
Why is a content cluster strategy important for businesses?
Creating a content cluster strategy is important for businesses of all sizes. It helps create awareness for your brand, increases website traffic, and builds customer relationships. By identifying the topics that are most important to your audience and targeting them with the right content marketing strategies, you can create a consistent message that resonates with them. So, whether you’re looking to increase website traffic or create better content marketing strategies, a content cluster strategy is the way to go!
Why topic clusters matter to SEO?
Creating high-quality content is essential for search engine optimization. But it’s not easy it can be quite time-consuming. That’s also why topic clusters work well – competitors will often neglect them as it takes substantial effort. Content clusters allow you to focus on a specific topic/theme area and produce high-quality articles around that subject. This way, Google can understand the general website theme better, which in turn gives your website more accessible to rank for various similar terms. I.E. Google is a bot and you are making it simple for the bot to understand exactly what core substance the website discusses instead of purely interpreting or guessing. Plus, topic clusters are one of the best ways to create content at scale for your website. After the initial research, you have a blueprint/framework to follow and publish ongoing articles each month that contribute to an overarching topical theme.
Definition of a content cluster
By organizing content around topics into pillar and cluster pages, content clusters are an SEO technique that aims to improve a website’s structure and internal linking. It refers to carefully organizing your material vs having a lot of content that is not synchronized or linked. Below is a miro map I outlined for a client to explain the proper content cluster. You can see the pillar or main theme is NetSuite. Each cluster page still revolves around NetSuite but it is much more detailed. I.E. The cluster pages all link back to the main pillar page which is the starting point but as users learn more they can dive into each cluster. This was based on taking existing content already published and synchronizing it into one large resource guide for users.
Must-do’s for content clusters
Make sure each piece of content in your cluster is of the highest quality, and make it easy for readers to find the content they’re looking for by organizing it according to the subject matter. Technical blogs and images explaining exactly how to use or the steps involved should be relayed in the cluster posts. The pillar page can serve as a much more general piece of content, which you can view as a gateway or introductory that gets initial users engaged and the macro view of the theme.
Google RankBrain: Effect on Content
Google RankBrain has been the talk of the town for quite some time now. What is it? Essentially, it’s a search engine algorithm that helps your website rank on google based on machine learning. Machine learning (the capacity of machines to learn from data inputs) is used by RankBrain, to determine the most relevant results for search engine queries. Content clusters align with RankBrain because they are making it easy for the machine to learn substance and core topical themes. Instead of crawling various pages and predicting topics you are organizing and giving the machine a clear vision of the theme upfront.
Perform a thorough content audit first
The process of analyzing current content on your website to identify ways to get more and better organic traffic to each page is known as an SEO content audit. Which pages to keep, which to optimize, and which to remove are all elements of the audit’s goal. Once you’ve defined the best pages to keep, turn these into the cluster pages and expand upon similar topics for your content cluster strategy.
Establish pillar pages
Pillar pages are the key to success. Pillar pages act as a foundation for your content cluster, linking together related and high-quality pages to create a coherent message.
Pillar pages take longer to read than typical blog posts since they cover all aspects of the keyword you’re attempting to rank for. They are not as thorough, however, as the clusters. That’s what cluster content is meant to do, give a broad topic as a pillar and dive deeper into the subject with clusters.
Achieving success with a content cluster strategy
It can be hard to keep your content cluster strategy on track. Ensure you pre-plan accordingly with visual tools like Miro in addition to mapping out topics in an excel document as shown below. After you’ve done content audits and everything is fleshed out you are ready to hire writers and follow the defined content calendar. Keep in mind you will need an SEO to ensure the landing page has all of the fundamentals to rank.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common mistakes that businesses make when implementing a content cluster strategy?
1. Not having an overall strategy in place before starting to put content together. Businesses need to have an idea of what they’re looking for and what the end goal of the cluster is.
2. Not considering how they will promote the content. Businesses need to think about ways in which they will promote the content. This could include social media, articles on their website, or even mentions on external websites.
3. Choosing the wrong format. Content cluster strategies can be in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, or anything else that can be helpful to customers. However, businesses need to make sure the format that will rank. Professional SEOs will give proper guidance exactly how the layout should be in terms of word count, headers, images, code optimization, etc.
By understanding the importance of content clusters and content strategy, you can help your business to achieve success in search engine rankings. Make sure to read through the blog post a few times is anything doesn’t add up OR of course get in touch and see if we are a good fit for content marketing strategy and SEO consulting.