Topic Clusters: What Are They & What Do They Do?

by | Jan 27, 2021 | SEO

Struggling to get good search engine visibility with your website content? Want to keep site visitors on your webpages longer? You can achieve both by utilizing topic clusters on your website. Let’s break down what topic clusters are and how they can be used to improve your digital marketing efforts.

What Are Topic Clusters?

Topic clusters—also called content clusters or hub and spoke pages—are a content marketing tactic used to improve a website’s search engine optimization (SEO). With this tactic, you create in-depth landing pages that cover topics related to your business or subject matter expertise. This can help you target a wide range of relevant keywords while also organizing website content in a way that makes it easier for site visitors to find and consume. Though topic clusters can consist of many pages and subpages, there are typically two main parts: pillar pages and cluster pages.

Pillar Pages

The first level of a topic cluster starts at the pillar page. This hub page serves as a high-level introduction to the main topic and allows you to demonstrate your authority on the subject at hand. Pillar pages also include an easy-to-navigate linking structure so that site visitors can continue through to cluster pages, where they can then learn more about specific subtopics within the main topic covered on the pillar page.

Cluster Pages

Stemming from pillar pages are cluster pages. These spoke pages allow you to expand on content subtopics and categories within the main topic in order to showcase your subject matter expertise, provide more thorough information, and build keyword density throughout your website for relevant search terms. Think of pillar pages like an introduction and table of contents in a book and cluster pages like the individual chapters.

What’s the Value of Using Topic Clusters?

Using topic clusters on your website is helpful in showcasing your knowledge, organizing your website content, and providing useful, easy-to-find information for site visitors. But that’s not all content clusters can do for your website. They can also have positive impacts on SEO, sales efforts, and more.

Better Keyword Optimization

Topic clusters allow you to improve keyword optimization on your website. Because pillar pages and cluster pages allow you to break down a broad topic into narrower subtopics, you can target a wider range of keywords and phrases. For example, if your main topic is “catering services” with catering as the main keyword, you can build out cluster pages that then cover more specific catering options around keyword variations like event catering, wedding catering, and corporate catering. Having these keyword variations built around the main keyword strengthens your overall keyword usage, which, in turn, can help your website show up in search engine results whenever someone searches for catering services.

Stronger Internal Linking

By utilizing the pillar page and cluster page structure, you can improve internal linking across your website. Internal linking is exactly as it sounds—it’s links that go to pages within your website. Connecting top-level pages (i.e., those typically found in your website’s main navigation) to deeper pages (i.e., those that may not be found in the main navigation) makes it easier for search engines to find your content, understand the hierarchy of these pages, and spread link equity. Additionally, with more pages linked together, you’re more likely to keep site visitors clicking through to more webpages, which is also a positive SEO signal.

Improved Sales Funnel

With a well-designed content cluster, you can take a customer who lands on your website from an awareness point to a consideration point and finally to a conversion point. In other words, you introduce information to them, then lead them to more specific information, and then drive them to a point where they could make a purchase, send a message, fill out a form, or call you for more information. You can even spread this sales funnel approach out over the course of multiple pages so that the sale lead-up doesn’t feel forced.

Richer Content

One of the best parts of creating topic clusters for your website is that it allows you to develop high-quality content. Rather than building a single “information dump” webpage, you can break up information into more digestible pieces, which makes for a better user experience for your site visitors and gives you more room to dive deeper with certain subjects. Not to mention, the better and more thorough your content is, the more likely you’ll become an authoritative resource, which can help you gain backlinks for your website.

Want to try using topic clusters on your own website? Hurrdat can help you develop a content strategy with high-quality copywriting, SEO best practices, and more. Learn more about our Content Marketing services!

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