Content Strategy 101: All about keyword clusters

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A common goal for content creators is ranking high with organic search. This goal, however, has a few sets of hurdles you must overcome. And these challenges are always changing. Prospects are constantly altering their way of searching and search engines are conforming in hopes of better understanding them.

Keyword Clusters for SEO Impact

Content creators have recently been switching from writing to keywords to developing content based on content clusters. Instead of just relying on your keywords, this new method allows for your content to be found by the specific topic and subtopic you’re writing about.

What Are Topic Clusters?

Topic clusters are structured like a diagram around your main topic, which is also called the content pillar. Outside of your pillar you will have your subtopics, also known as cluster content. These subtopics should target a variety of subjects that are interrelated with your pillar. A good idea is to take the long-tail keywords around your pillar and turn them into cluster content. The main topic is connected to your subtopics by a series of hyperlinks, creating a way for prospects to explore more of your content.

In terms of SEO, HubSpot states that keyword clusters can improve your search rankings. The more interlinking you do within your posts, the higher placements and views you’ll receive in search engine result pages (SERPs). Utilizing topic clusters will also help you establish credibility in the subject you’ve chosen. You will seem more knowledgeable to prospects by having subtopic content to support your pillar. This helps Google give your content a higher ranking.

Should I Still Use Keywords?

At this point in the article, you might be wondering if keywords are still beneficial. The answer is yes.

When figuring out the best SEO strategy, you shouldn’t think of it as keywords “or” topic clusters. Instead, think of it as keywords “and” clusters. Using keywords alone might not be the best strategy for optimal search rankings, but using them with topic clusters is a great combination.

Spencer Powell at Inbound Educators believes that people will continue to search for keywords and ask questions. Even though search engines are changing their search methods, you can still rank for keyword usage. Powell goes on to suggest that if you think about searches in terms of topics, you will have a better opportunity to hit your targets.

Creating Your Own Topic Cluster

There is no right or wrong way to develop a keyword cluster. Everyone can create one in a different way. However, there are some important ideas you should keep in mind.

  • See what problems your Buyer Personas are facing.
    By analyzing the needs your Buyer Persona’s have, you’ll see exactly what types of main topics you should focus around. You can find this type of information by distributing surveys or conducting interviews.

  • Perform a content audit
    A content audit is a process that involves reviewing and analyzing all of your current content. It will let you assess all of the content you currently have, then, you can organize and evaluate it based on performance. Doing this will help you determine what potential pillars and subtopics you may have hidden in your arsenal. You might even already have all of the content needed for your cluster.

  • Use your findings to develop your pillars. 
    The similarities between the content you already have and the data from your persona research make a perfect guideline for identifying your content pillars. Make sure you pay attention to the broad topics, as they leave the most room for expansion.

  • Perform keyword research to find your subtopics.
    Now that you’ve found your pillar, it’s time to see what subtopics are optimal. The ideal method for this is to do keyword research. This will allow you to see what exactly your personas are searching for and which ones are ranking the best.

Do you feel like your business needs to improve its SEO impact? If so, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help out. Or download our eBook that's filled with more helpful content marketing tips.

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