Topic Clusters Are Your Most Powerful SEO Weapon: Understand Why & How To Create Them

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Table of Content

Are you producing content for your website regularly? If yes, then it is important that you understand what topic clusters are, and how they are your most powerful search engine optimisation (SEO) weapon. 

So, let’s get started and talk more about topic clusters. 

What are topic clusters?

Topic clusters are groups of related content that collectively revolve around a specific topic and use a pillar page to link to and from each other. They provide contextual support for all the pages within a group. They offer numerous internal linking opportunities to keep readers hooked to your website. 

Your content cluster should mainly consist of these three things: 

  • Pillar: Also known as the core page, the pillar acts like a hub for a specific topic. It mainly consists of all your short-tail keywords and covers a lot of different elements of a topic on a single page. The pillar pages are usually broad and link to numerous topic cluster pages. 
  • Topic cluster: Topic clusters are in-depth pages that answer specific questions about your main topic, and also link back to the main pillar page. They focus on providing more information for certain long-tail keywords, relating to your main topic. To sum it short, they are informational pages. These normally consist of blog posts, or frequently asked questions (FAQs), which are generally interlinked between each other, and also link back to your pillar page.
  • Target pages: Target pages are generally linked to decision stage content pieces, and are focused on longer-tail keywords and answering questions. They generally contain product or service pages, where your customers can make purchases, and contact your business whenever they need. 

The reason you need so many different pages in your content cluster is because of your buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey refers to all the different steps your customers go through whenever they are intending to purchase your product. 

There are majorly three main stages in this journey:

  • The awareness stage: This stage is referred to as the point when the buyer realises that they have a need and/or have a problem, but haven’t figured out what type of purchase will fulfil/solve that yet.
  • The consideration stage: This stage is referred to as when the buyer clearly understands and defines their problem/need and starts the process of researching on various options available to fix/fulfil it. 
  • The decision stage: This stage is referred to as when the buyer has decided on the type of action they are going to take and are ready to commit. At this stage, the buyer would be looking for factors that set apart certain products/businesses and take an informed decision. They may refer to product reviews, testimonials, budgets, comparisons, etc. 

Topic clusters significantly strengthen your SEO. Let’s find out how. 

Why are topic clusters important? 

Topic clusters have been gaining popularity in the last few years, and have become an integral part of every business’s SEO strategy. Some even refer to topic clusters as one of the most powerful SEO weapons you can have.

Creating content that is filled with numerous different keywords, to rank on the search engine result page (SERP) is no longer the way to go about it. Search engines are now inclined towards topic-based content, which makes topic clusters a must-have tool in your SEO arsenal.

Here is a list of 5 benefits of topic clusters:

Improves SERP ranking

If you are creating topic clusters, it improves the SERP ranking for every piece of content that surrounds that specific topic. The majority of users nowadays, want to have the flexibility to be able to search less and find as much information as possible, and that is where topic clusters come in. When users search for general topics, instead of searching for specific keywords, it will provide them with relevant content related to that particular topic.

Increases authority

People on the internet are always looking for trustworthy and authentic sources of content, and if you are producing multiple pieces of content revolving around a particular pillar topic, it notifies the search engines that you are an authoritative and trustworthy source when it comes to that particular topic. 

To be able to do that, it is imperative that you start by focusing on one particular topic, and branch out from that, rather than creating random pieces of content that are targeted towards a specific set of keywords. 

This also gives you the option and freedom to link similar content back to your pillar page, also known as the core page. Search engines consider linking to be a sign of authority. That means, the higher the number of links your website has, the higher your chances of being ranked on SERPs. 

Links also allow users to explore more of your website, as with just a click, they are redirected to other relevant pieces of content you have created, related to that topic, and take them one step forward in the buyer’s journey. 

 Increases revenue

Using topic clusters can help you draw significant attention to your products and services, and eventually help you increase your revenue. Every business has certain products or services that act as its lead revenue-driving source. So, building content around that will help attract more potential customers to your business, leading them to make a purchase.

Answers alike questions

Another benefit of using topic clusters is that they can answer similar questions that your users may have around your topic. For example, if users are looking for tips on how to make their SEO strategy stronger, the search engine will provide them with related topics, without the need to search for specific keywords. This way, users find certain answers they did not know they needed to know.

Grows traffic to your website

Topic clusters help you provide your users with unique and valuable content that attracts traffic to your website, and increases your brand awareness significantly. So, topic clusters will help you generate traffic and eventually leads.

So, now you know how topic clusters can strengthen SEO, let’s have a look at how to create topic clusters.

So, this brings us to our next important question.

How does topic cluster strategy help Google algorithm understand?

The topic cluster strategy is a great SEO tool as it helps the Google algorithm to understand that your website and content have an expertise and authority on the particular topic that you are writing about.

This allows Google to trust the content on your website and improve its ranking when users are searching for information regarding your topic.

How to create topic clusters? 

Step 1: Pick a topic to build a cluster around

One of the first things that you need to do when you create your topic cluster is to pick a topic to build your cluster around. It is the same, as when you are creating any piece of content, you must choose your main topic, as well as all the subtopics you want to cover.

However, one thing to note when choosing your main and subtopics is that your main topic should be broad enough to talk about all the subtopics, and it should be narrow enough that you can discuss all the critical points comprehensively.

There are many tools available to help you by providing you with a list of topics and subtopics, based on your existing content. These tools also provide you with insights as to how many people are currently searching for these topics and subtopics.

This allows you to be sure about the type of content you are creating, and whether or not your audience will be able to find it. Simultaneously, it allows you to organise your existing content.

Step 2: Conduct a keyword research 

Earlier we talked about how search engines are shifting their attention to clusters from keywords. However, this does not mean that you should ignore keywords, because the majority of users use long-tail keywords when they are searching for certain products, services, or information online.

So, that being said, if you want to increase your ranking in the SERPs, you need to ensure that you are conducting thorough keyword research, and using the right ones.

There are many ways to conduct keyword research, such as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keyword research, or you can even use one of the many tools that are available to help you perform keyword research.

Step 3: Identify content gaps

Now that you have decided upon your topic and subtopics, and have conducted thorough keyword research, you would eventually realise that there are subtopics within your topic clusters that you haven’t created content for. You must fill these gaps, as they will increase your credibility when it comes to your particular topic.

Now you may wonder, how would you find content gaps? Well, one of the best and easiest ways to do so is by looking at questions being asked on Quora about your particular topic.

When you do so, you will find that certain questions have been repeated but haven’t been answered yet. Now, there is your cue. These would make the perfect subtopics that you should include within your topic clusters.

Step 4: Create a content creation strategy to fill those gaps

Now that you have identified the content gaps, it is time that you fill them. To do so, you need to create a content creation strategy that focuses on your brand value.

You need to ensure that you are mapping out your content, as it will ensure that you are creating content that matters to your audience. So, when creating content for your topic clusters, ensure that your content does not focus only on your call-to-action (CTA). Make sure that every piece of content that you create is filled with information your visitors will find helpful.

Step 5: Optimise your content for your audience and search engines 

As we all know, Google constantly updates its algorithms to ensure that it provides its users with the highest quality, relevant, unique, and helpful content. So, when you are creating content for your website, you should adhere to the fundamental SEO practices to ensure that it is easier for search engines like Google to find your content and show it up in their SERPs.

Another thing to note is that you need to ensure that the content you will be including in your topic clusters is something that your target audience is looking for, can relate to, and find helpful.

Step 6: Track and monitor your progress

One of the most important steps in the creation of topic clusters comes after you have made your topic clusters: tracking and monitoring your progress.

Content clusters can boost the traffic your website attracts, and your organic reach, but you must monitor the content that you are publishing.

This is done mainly because even after all the planning you have done, numerous things can happen that are not predictable by you, like some content will perform better than others.

You need to use several analytics tools to monitor the performance of each piece of content you create and publish, and determine whether or not you have reached your goals, and if not, then what can be done to rectify this.

Create your own topic cluster

Now that you have what topic clusters are, how they strengthen SEO, and even how to create your own topic clusters. So, it is time that you boost your website’s traffic and improve its performance, which will benefit you and your business.