In today’s online space, website traffic and authority are crucial to the success of any business or individual. One effective way to increase both is through the use of topic clusters. Topic clusters are collections of related content that are organized in a way that makes it easier for users and search engines to find and understand your content, leading to better search rankings and authority. In this article, we will explore the 7 steps to creating a successful topic cluster strategy.
Step 1: Choose a Core Topic
The first step in creating a topic cluster is to choose a relevant and focused core topic. A good core topic should be neither too broad nor too narrow and should target informational intent. To choose a core topic, start by brainstorming relevant topics and narrowing them down to one that is the most relevant and focused. For example, if you are a health and wellness coach, a good core topic could be “Healthy Eating Habits.”
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Here’s a link to our detailed article Building Effective Topic Clusters
Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is essential in creating a successful topic cluster. It helps you identify the relevant keywords and topics that your audience is searching for. Tools such as Ahrefs and Frase Analytics can be used to conduct keyword research. A good approach is to start with the core topic and identify related keywords and topics that can be included in the topic cluster. For example, for the core topic “Healthy Eating Habits,” related keywords could be “Healthy Recipes,” “Nutrition Facts,” and “Meal Planning.”
Step 3: Map Out Pillar Page and Topic Cluster Structure
The pillar page is the centrepiece of the topic cluster, and the topic cluster is built around it. The pillar page should be a comprehensive guide to the core topic and should cover all related subtopics. The topic cluster should include all the related content, linking back to the pillar page. Tools such as Frase Topic Planner and Ahrefs Parent Topic can be used to visualize the cluster blueprint. A good example of a pillar page and topic cluster structure is shown below:
- Core Topic: Healthy Eating Habits
- Pillar Page: Comprehensive Guide to Healthy Eating Habits
- Related Subtopics:
- Healthy Recipes
- Nutrition Facts
- Meal Planning
- Content: Articles, Videos, Infographics, etc.
Step 4: Create a Content Project Plan
A content project plan is crucial in ensuring the success of the topic cluster strategy. It helps to ensure that the content is relevant, high-quality, and consistent. Tools such as Trello can be used for project management, Frase for content briefs, and trusted writers for content creation. The content project plan should include the following:
- Content Type: Article, Video, Infographic, etc.
- Title: Title of the content
- Keywords: Relevant keywords for the content
- Deadline: Deadline for content creation
- Assigned to: Assigned writer, editor, etc.
- Description: Brief description of the content
Step 5: Publish Content and Optimize for SEO
Publishing the content is only the first step; optimizing it for SEO is equally important. Optimizing the content for SEO involves including relevant keywords in page titles, headings, and internal links. This makes the content more discoverable by search engines and users. A good example of optimized content is shown below:
- Title: 10 Healthy Recipes to Boost Your Energy
- Heading: Healthy Recipes to Boost Your Energy
- Internal Links: Links to related content, including the pillar page
Step 6: Group Existing Pages into a Topic Cluster
The topic cluster strategy is not only for new content but can also be applied to existing content. Grouping existing pages into a topic cluster helps to maximize the potential of the content. To group existing pages, start by identifying related articles and linking them together to create a cohesive cluster. For example, if you have an article on “Healthy Snack Ideas,” you can link it to the pillar page on “Healthy Eating Habits” and other related subtopics, such as “Healthy Recipes” and “Nutrition Facts.”
Step 7: Measure Results
Measuring the success of the topic cluster strategy is essential in ensuring that it is working effectively. Tools such as Google Search Console and Ahrefs Webmaster Tools can be used to measure traffic trends and rankings. It is essential to keep an eye on the traffic trends and rankings to ensure that the topic cluster strategy is working effectively. If there are any issues, it is important to make adjustments accordingly.
Give these 7 steps a go.
You’ll see your website transform into a traffic magnet in no time.
As always, run small tests before going all in.
Few technical aspects related to creating a successful topic cluster strategy that you should know about
- Internal Linking: Internal linking is a crucial aspect of a successful topic cluster strategy. Internal links help to connect the different pages within the cluster, making it easier for users and search engines to navigate the content. To optimize internal linking, it is important to use relevant anchor text and link to related content within the cluster.
- Site Architecture: Site architecture plays a critical role in the success of the topic cluster strategy. The site architecture should be organized in a way that makes it easy for users and search engines to navigate the content. This involves creating a logical hierarchy of pages, using descriptive URLs, and optimizing the navigation menu.
- Content Creation: Creating high-quality, relevant content is essential to the success of the topic cluster strategy. The content should be optimized for both users and search engines, with a focus on providing value and solving problems for the target audience. This involves using relevant keywords, including visuals and multimedia, and formatting the content for readability.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO is an essential aspect of the topic cluster strategy. Technical SEO involves optimizing the website for search engines, including optimizing the site speed, implementing structured data markup, and optimizing for mobile devices.
- Analytics: Analytics play a crucial role in measuring the success of the topic cluster strategy. By tracking metrics such as traffic, engagement, and conversions, you can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize the strategy.
In conclusion, topic clusters are a powerful tool to increase website traffic and authority in the online space. The 7 steps outlined above provide a framework for creating a successful topic cluster strategy. It is important to choose a relevant and focused core topic, conduct keyword research, map out the pillar page and topic cluster structure, create a content project plan, optimize the content for SEO, group existing pages into a topic cluster, and measure the results. By implementing these steps, you can create a successful topic cluster strategy that will help you stand out in a crowded online space and achieve your business goals. In case you don’t have the time to execute the above 7 steps for your business, you can reach out to us. We provide fractional SEO services and can help you at any stage.