The struggle is real. Maintaining good search engine visibility and keeping visitors on your page longer is getting harder by day, especially with the short attention span we’re dealing with today. While social media consumption is rising, our attention span keeps shrinking, coming to a whopping 8 seconds!
The goldfish effect leads to people only reading headlines, skimming through the text, and leaving our page. So, how do we fight it? Well, one way of dealing with it is by using topic clusters.
What Are Topic Clusters?
They are a group of related web pages that link to one core pillar page, related to a bigger topic that matters for your business. By organizing your website into topic clusters, you help search engines recognize your expertise and understand the relationship between pages. It’s also easier for a user to find the content they’re looking for as well as stay longer on your page.
How To Create A Topic Cluster?
The anatomy of a topic cluster consists of a pillar page, a cluster content or subtopics, and hyperlinks.
The pillar page, as the name suggests, is the base of a cluster. It’s the authority page you hope to rank for. Let’s say you’re in the pool maintenance business. Your pillar page should cover all the main questions your visitor might have on this topic.
The pillar page serves as an introduction to the main topic and helps you demonstrate your authority on the subject. They have an easy-to-use linking structure, which means that the visitors can easily navigate to cluster pages, finding more information on a particular subtopic.
Next, the clusters, or the subtopics – blog posts’ time to shine. These pages will focus on longer questions your visitors might have. In the pool business – that could be ‘knowing when to replace your pool liner’. You will then link that particular blog post to your pillar page with hyperlinks, and that way signal to the search engines that the pillar page is the authority here and this blog post topic relates to that.
A good way of understanding topic clusters would be thinking of a book. At the beginning of a book, you have a table of contents. That would be a pillar page. Each chapter of the book is a cluster page, a blog post.
Steps For Building A Topic Cluster
To create a successful topic cluster, you must know your content topics first. You know you want keywords – but which ones are the most critical for your business? Think about themes you want to cover, how can your readers benefit from your blog posts or products, etc.
Then, strategize your subtopics. They should be related to one another and focus on supporting the main theme. Next, you will map your existing pages into topic clusters and implement a linking structure.
You will then create a content strategy according to your topics, keywords and intended result and write the content pieces accordingly. If your website is new and your domain is still weak, it will take some time to gain authority and ranking. Stay realistic, patient and start with one or two most critical topics.
Don’t focus on selling right now. Here’s a great resource on topic clusters and how to create them.
(4/9)Your blog clusters should mirror your firm structure. For eg, if you offer SM and SEO solutions, you should’ve similar blog clusters. Utilize a solid hierarchy – topic cluster/sub-category/content piece – in overall structure, bread crumbs, & schema markup with interlinking.
— Aquibur Rahman (@AR_Bits) March 29, 2022
The Value Of Topic Clusters
By using topic clusters, you will be able to showcase your knowledge on certain topics related to your business, your website content will be more organized and accessible, and you will have better SEO.
They help you improve keyword optimization, improve your internal linking, have richer content and, ultimately, increase sales. And who doesn’t want more sales”