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    Topic Clusters

    A Topic Cluster SEO model focuses on topics instead of keywords. It does so for various reasons. First and foremost, it does so to improve your website structure. Moreover, it also helps google understand your content so that the search engine can rank it effectively, thereby improving your visibility on search engines.

    Our Topic Cluster guide will help you understand the basics as well as the importance of Topic clusters in today’s SEO-dominant world. It will also help you decide why you should also be utilising the topic cluster and not just relying on keyword strategies. A collaboration of these two can make for a powerful SEO strategy. We’ll also discuss how you can reap the benefits of the topic cluster model with the help of a well-planned topic cluster content strategy.

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    What are Topic Clusters?

    Topic clusters are defined as a group of content that is relevant to a central topic and are all linked to a pillar page. Let’s try to understand the components of topic clusters.

    Topic Clusters Revolve Around Three Components:

    • Pillar Page: The pillar page is long-form comprehensive content with a word count of over 3000 words. It is connected with cluster content topics revolving around the same topic.
    • Cluster Content: Each cluster is a topic relevant to the central topic. Each cluster is also focused on a target keyword, which can be used to link to and from pillar pages.
    • Hyperlinks: These are interlinks used to connect cluster content to pillar pages, making it easier for the crawlers to understand the content hierarchy.

    In order to understand this, let’s talk about the regular model of publishing content on a website’s blog.

    We’ll use capsicummediawork’s blog as an example.

    Published on the Caplog are the following three SEO topics that each target a set of separate keywords.

    A keyword SEO model focuses on ranking individual pages for specific targeted keywords.

    Keyword Centric Blog

    In contrast to keyword strategy, Topic clusters strategy targets topics. We’ll again use capsicum’s blog to understand how topic clusters are different from a normal keyword-centric blog.

    In this example, the central topic is SEO Guide, an exhaustive search engine optimization guide that focuses on all search engine concepts.

    Central Topic

    SEO Guide

    Now, let’s take a look at other blog posts that talk about SEO. Here’s a list of four blog posts about SEO. Now with the topic cluster strategy, these could be interlinked with hyperlinks to form a topic cluster.

    Cluster Topics

    Topic Cluster Blog

    Why Do We Need Topic Clusters?

    Personalised search is one of the reasons why topic clusters are needed. Personalised search tailors the search engine results to an individual. So, the search results for everyone who allows search engines to track their data are quite different from the generic results. This can affect an SEO strategy that focuses purely on targeting keywords.

    In addition, topic clusters also help websites create authoritative content focused on topics instead of targeting a single keyword with each piece of content.

    It is a very important content strategy, which is a part of a comprehensive SEO checklist that can help your website rank better.

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      Why should you Target Topics over Keywords?

      Topic Clusters Keep your Audience Engaged:

      Visitors are more likely to stick around and engage with your website if your website has a lot of content about related topics, especially if that content interests the visitors. As we have already established, following a topic cluster model ensures you cover a specific topic in detail through various blogs all connected to each other. This makes it easier to anticipate your audience’s requirements, and you end up giving them the answers they were looking for when they entered a search query.

      Improved Search Rankings and Increased Website Traffic:

      Suppose one of the topics in the cluster ranks well for a keyword. Then by association (interlinking and similarity), other related topics in the cluster also rank well. Since topic clusters tend to improve search rankings for the group of content, it leads to an increase in website traffic.

      Find out where your website is lacking and what’s keeping it from reaching its full potential by running an SEO Audit in Mumbai or other locations. Regardless of where you are located, we can help fix the issues that are keeping your website from performing its best.

      How to create a Topic Cluster Content Strategy?

      Pick a Broad Topic you Want to Rank for:

      Suppose the goal is to create a topic cluster for a sustainable clothing website. The central topic here will be sustainable clothes.

      It is a pretty broad topic, which you can use to write in-depth pillar page content. Moreover, it also leaves room for you to write several other blogs or articles about it.

      For the pillar page content, you could write a comprehensive blog about sustainable clothes. Since sustainable clothes is a broad topic, you can also write several other articles or blogs such as “The sudden rise in the popularity of sustainable clothes” and “Top sustainable clothes brands.”

      Use SEO Tools to Find Content clusters:

      You can use SEO tools such as AlsoAsked.com and AnswerthePublic.com to find content clusters. These tools provide you with a list of topics that users also searched for.

      We used both tools to find content clusters for the topic of sustainable clothes.

      The following image shows us the results for AlsoAsked, displaying several topics on which you can write individual articles.

      AlsoAsked

      The following results are obtained by using the tool, AnswerThePublic:

      AnswerThePublic

      Once you have shortlisted the topics, you can write the content for both the pillar page and cluster pages.

      Use Links to create a Content Hierarchy:

      Since interlinking is the third component that connects the topic clusters, the final step is adding links to relevant sections of the articles or blogs. Once they are published, these pages will form a topic cluster, offering search bots a clear hierarchical structure.

      While it’s necessary to connect each cluster page to the nucleus, which is the pillar page, it is also essential to link these cluster topics to each other.

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      Common Topic Cluster Mistakes to Avoid

      Flooding Website with Content that Targets Similar Keywords:

      Moderation is the key to creating a perfect topic cluster strategy. Content flooding, as the term suggests, is a phenomenon when a website is flooded with numerous blogs or articles targeting similar keywords. It means, all these blogs or articles will be competing for these similar keywords resulting in keyword cannibalization.

      How to Avoid Content Flooding?

      Use unique search queries for creating cluster page content. Make sure that search intent for each cluster page query is unique as well.

      Inadequate Interlinking Between Cluster Topics:

      Interlinking is one of the essential steps of creating a topic cluster. As we have seen many times, these links help search engines such as Google effectively crawl your topic clusters, improving their search ranking and increasing traffic to these pages. So, inadequate interlinking, also known as content siloing, can be detrimental to the website’s ranking.

      How to Avoid Content Siloing?

      The solution is quite simple, remember to add adequate links between cluster topics.

      Topic Clusters is a complex SEO term and can take a bit of understanding. Once you put the strategy to work, it will be easier to grasp its importance in ranking. At our SEO Company in Mumbai, we constantly explore such new SEO techniques to help our clients get a better exposure.

      Blog Author
      Nirav Dave

      Nirav Dave is the Co-Founder & Partner at Capsicum Mediaworks, an SEO Agency based out of India that specializes in all things Web Design & WordPress Development. He Worships WordPress and Loves to read anything and everything about this exceptional CMS.

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