What Are Topic Clusters and How to Use Them to Boost Your SEO?
Topic clusters are an important part of the SEO process. Currently, your SEO success is determined by numerous factors including content, optimization, and link building. Texts published on your website should be of high quality. Moreover, you ought to avoid keyword stuffing and writing solely for search engine robots.
Table of contents:
- What are Topic Clusters?
- Benefits of Topic Clusters
- Examples of Topic Clusters
- How to Create Topic Clusters?
- What are Topic Clusters? The Takeaway
By creating a structured plan and implementing topic clusters you can effectively organize your content. Keep reading to discover how to create topic clusters and how to use them in your SEO strategy.
What are Topic Clusters?
Topic clusters are about building a collection of content around a given topic. Let’s assume you run a transport company. On your homepage, customers will probably find general information about your company and contact details. Additionally, you also have subpages with descriptions of various services, such as international moves, vehicle rentals, and more.
Another element of the site is a blog where you add content related to the services you offer (e.g. advise customers on how to prepare for moving out, how to properly organize packing, and how to secure precious items). A thematic cluster in such a case may include descriptions of particular services, e.g. the mentioned international transport services.
Such a subpage is your pillar page, meaning the center of your topic cluster. Around it, you build additional content that is related to the main topic, e.g., blog posts. Let’s assume that your pillar page is the mentioned international transport services. So, you can write texts like:
- How to prepare for an overseas move?
- How to secure things when moving abroad?
Since you know what topic clusters are, let’s move on to determining what the different elements of a topic cluster should look like.
Elements of Topic Clusters
A topic cluster should be well thought out so that it contains appropriate content and has the correct structure. What does this mean? First, focus on the center of your topic cluster, the pillar page.
When creating this subpage, observe the following rules:
- Create valuable content – remember that your content should serve the users, and they enter the site to get an answer to a specific question, to find a particular product or service. In this case, don’t focus on creating a text of a specific length. Instead, try to cover the topic.
- Attract users’ interest – make sure that your article structure is attractive. Headers, bullet points, bolded important fragments, and photos or video materials. Add a table of contents at the top of the article. A long block of text won’t attract users. See what else you can do to actually get people to read your blog.
Add a CTA (call to action) to inspire users to take action. You can place CTAs even multiple times in the content, provided that the article is long enough.
Once you have a pillar page, you can create related content, meaning topic clusters. Here again, remember to stick to important rules:
- Think about what kind of content is likely to interest users. What questions can they ask about your product or industry? On this basis, prepare a content plan for blog publications. Make sure that proposed topics are related to the pillar page.
- Don’t stop developing cluster content – problems and doubts of the internet users are constantly changing. Within a few months, completely new queries may appear among the searched keywords – keep track of what your target group is looking for and provide answers to these questions.
- Remember about internal linking – you can place links to thematically related blog posts and, of course, to your pillar page. Apart from bringing traffic to your pages, this will also improve your visibility in the search results.
Benefits of Topic Clusters
Topic Clusters Build Your Brand Image
There are many advantages of using topic clusters. Let’s start with the fact that going for valuable content is essential for building a positive brand image. Modern websites don’t consist only of advertising messages that are supposed to encourage people to use the services of a given company. The interested party can choose your offer based on the provided content and the extent to which it resolves specific doubts. Thanks to quality content people are likely to access your website and benefit from your services or products.
Topic Clusters and SEO
How are topic clusters related to SEO? Nowadays, such an approach is a standard if you want to be visible in the search results. First of all, valuable content is an essential element of an SEO campaign – the website content must be constantly expanded with optimized, high-quality content. Internal linking is also important – pillar page and cluster content contain links leading to pages within the cluster, which boosts their visibility in Google.
This visibility can translate into users coming to your site from articles they found in Google. Consequently, they’re likely to spend a lot of time on your site, provided that you offer valuable information that catches their attention. Also, if they read a few blog posts, they’ll contribute to decreasing your bounce rate and increasing the average web session time. These are also factors that have an impact on the visibility in the search results.
So, topic clusters are essential when running an SEO campaign. You may have already implemented a similar approach to content creation, but perhaps you weren’t aware that it has this specific name in the marketing industry.
Examples of Topic Clusters
Let’s say your pillar page is an article entitled: Vacations abroad. When writing it, you’ve exhausted the topic, answered all the questions asked by users (based on data from SEO tools), and doubts that came to your mind. Now, it’s time to create clusters, which are smaller articles that will address selected pieces of information related to the main topic. In this case, the clusters may look in the following way:
- Vacations abroad – what insurance to buy?
- What are the best vacation destinations for those who like sightseeing?
- How to prepare a first aid kit for vacations abroad?
- The first plane flight – how to prepare?
- How to pack a cosmetic bag for a trip abroad?
All articles should relate to your pillar page and should include internal links to that page. This will support your internal linking and will reinforce the pillar page.
Remember that topic clusters mean that you need to prepare a content plan. The topics of the articles must be well thought out. Catchy ideas and a good content plan are the key to success. Make sure that your topics are based on data concerning searched queries and their volume. Your job is to create content that someone actually needs.
How to Create Topic Clusters?
In practice, creating topic clusters is very similar to standard content planning and you can use the same tools to do it.
Let’s assume your pillar page is the aforementioned topic: Where to go on vacation? The easiest way to get suggestions on topics you can write about is to use Google. Type in the query and you’ll find suggestions at the bottom of the results:
You can also use tools such as https://keywordtool.io/ and https://neilpatel.com/pl/ubersuggest/. Both are based on the suggestions that Google displays to users when they type in a given query. The free version doesn’t provide information on the search volume, but still – it’s a valuable source of knowledge. You can group selected keywords and create additional clusters based on them.
Even the free version of keywordtool.io allows you to filter your results. Once you add the required word, the results will be limited:
Another tool that can help you is SEMrush. Use the “Keyword Research” section to access valuable data.
You’ll also get a lot of suggestions using AnswerThePublic, a free tool.
What are Topic Clusters? The Takeaway
With your topics already prepared, remember to analyze the keywords for each topic. Don’t create content without choosing the phrases you should use in your articles. With proper optimization, you can get much more organic traffic. When creating your content, remember about proper structure, use tables of contents, headers, or bullet points. It’s not about applying a given keyword a certain number of times – the text should be easy to read, and the phrases should be an integral part of it.