In such a crowded space re-evaluating your SEO practices could pay dividends. If you want to improve your SEO then consider topic clusters to boost your organic traffic.
Quality content that ranks high in search results is vital for any content-focused website wanting to cut through the noise and be top of the search engines results pages (SERPs).
Over the years search engines have evolved. Where previously they displayed web pages that matched keywords, they now recognise connections across search queries.
Complex algorithms understand the topical context behind a user's search intent. This algorithmic understanding is important for Search Engine Optimisation. It relates the intent to similar searches and surfaces content that best match the user’s search query to the search engine results pages.
One approach that can contextualise topical content and improve SEO is topic clusters.
What are topic clusters?
Topic clusters are all about an organised SEO content driven architecture. Each cluster focuses on a group of related content pages that link together.
The topic cluster methodology includes three key elements:
- Pillar content: This is the main pillar content for your core topic
- Cluster content: These multiple content pages are related to the same topic. They surround the pillar content
- Hyperlinks: These bind the clusters. All topics in the cluster link together
Topic cluster interlinking, or ‘link juice’, sends a positive signal to the search bots. It tells them that the pillar page is the authoritative page on the topic. And if content is written to a high SEO standard then over time its ranking will likely improve.
Creating topic clusters
Content accumulates over time.
Content curation is just as important as content creation itself. Carry out a content audit to see which pieces of content need to stay (and be optimised) or to go.
Powerful SEO tools like SEMrush and Moz can help. Keyword research, topics, how you rank against your competitors, backlinks and more are great indicators of your website’s SEO performance. At Codehouse, we use these tools to help you plan and curate optimised content for your website.
Following your content audit, you’ll have a clearer understanding of where your website’s content sits in the SEO landscape. You'll then be ready to integrate your topic clusters with your content strategy.
To see whether your topic clusters are making an impact, you should measure their performance.
There are many tools that allow you to do this. Whichever you use, be sure to benchmark. Some measurement options include, but are not limited to:
- Google Analytics. Create segments representative of your clusters
- Google Tag Manager
- Google Search Console (and Bing, Yandex and Baidu)
- SEMrush Position Tracking tool
- Moz Rank Tracking tool
- Sitecore Analytics (if you run a Sitecore website)
Maintaining topic clusters
Content needs to be nurtured. Implement a regular SEO review process that suits your business. Whether monthly or quarterly, you’ll see how content is performing and identify new topic clusters.
At Codehouse we apply the topic cluster methodology to our SEO practices. For example, following a content audit we identified, created, and applied topic clusters to our own website content.
Over time we saw an increase in ranking around targeted keywords within our clusters. We even achieved a couple of Google snippets in the process.
Learn more about content and SEO:
- 10 SEO tips for your Sitecore website
- What is schema mark-up and why should it be used?
- Content migration: A part of your content strategy
If you want to move forward with your SEO strategies try topic clusters. If you require more guidance on how to get started, then get in touch with us. We can help you plan and effect the right strategies.