Make Sure Your Topic Clusters Aren’t a Cluster****
Your SERP rankings on platforms such as Google depend upon a litany of constantly changing factors. Recently, the factor getting all the indexing attention is mobile optimization—but the art of securing a strong SERP ranking is far more complex than making sure your site is iPhone compatible.
Know what else impacts your rankings? Organization. That’s site organization, technical organization, and, primarily: content organization. Recently, Google is encouraging creators to utilize so-called “topic clusters” to better direct consumer attention toward niche topics.
So what does niche content creation do for you?
- It helps you utilize (and dominate) hyper-specific keywords, and
- It ensures that, when done successfully, your content meets a previously-unmet consumer need.
Organizing niche content with these aforementioned “topic clusters” makes it all the easier for your target audience to find. Specific content partnered with crawler readability? That’s a guaranteed formula for search engine success.
What does the use of topic clusters look like in practice, though?
First Things First: Types of Topic Clusters
Three different elements make up what’s known as the topic cluster model. These include:
- Pillar pages: Pillar pages consist of your core articles. These pieces are long-form in nature and serve as hubs of information for your platform. They dive deep into the details of a specific topic, due to their length, and can be used as consumer resources in the end.
- Cluster content: Cluster content elaborates on one of the keywords you used in your pillar pages. These short-form pieces of content provide consumers with snapshot explanations of your keywords of choice.
- Hyperlinks: Finally, internal hyperlinks serve to take consumers back and forth between your pillar page and your cluster content. Without effective links, the topic cluster model falls apart.
Ranking with Topic Clusters
Now that you know the components, you can dive into the practice of using the topic cluster model. The steps break down like this:
1. Choose the topic you want to rank for: What areas have your consumers been interested in over the past?
2. Identify your keywords: You can use tools such as AnswerThePublic or Google AdWords to identify which keywords frequently lead back to work in your industry and which ones will generate you the most authority.
3. Review your existing content: How well are your cluster topics already integrated into your content? Can you go back into your existing work and rewrite some of the copy to make it more focused?
4. Create new content: Make sure you have long-form content at the ready or in the works during this process. You can compare old content to new content and better prepare your platform for widespread topic cluster model integration. With that long-form content created, you can then focus on creating the cluster pages.
5. Establish your link network: With clusters researched and content created, you’ll need to create a link network that guides your consumers from one to the other.
How Will You Cluster?
Utilizing the topic cluster model helps you better direct consumers’ attention. Not only that but your deliberate use of keywords – partnered with the creation of a hyper-specific reference network – allows you to rank better with search engines such as Google.
If it means more eyes coming your way, why not try your hand at deeper elaboration?
Image attribution: Tierney – stock.adobe.com