What are topic clusters and why are these important? [Free Template]

What are topic clusters and why are these important? [Free Template]

Have you been adding a lot of content to your website for a long period of time and still struggling to attract a decent amount of traffic? Pause for a little time and take a deep breath, all the work you have been doing might be going into vain just because you do not have a content strategy and are not working towards a goal.

Just adding more and more content on your business website might not help you rank in Google. This is when the topic cluster comes into a role to improve business website visibility. So, today let’s talk about what topic clusters are and how you can implement it in your content strategy.

A topic cluster is a group of related web pages that are linked to one pillar page.  Arranging your web pages into a cluster helps Google to know your business boundary and understand the link between the contents. Instead of focusing on one broad keyword, you’ll have a few related topics which will increase Google’s trust on your website.

Moreover, the topic cluster can be a big support in a content strategy to get a top position in the search engine result page (SERP) for specific keywords. 

A topic cluster is a combination of three elements:

  1. Pillar page
  2.  Cluster content
  3. Hyperlinks

What is the pillar page?

A pillar page is the epicenter of a cluster that serves as an authority page and based on the broad topic related to the business. It consists of 3000 to 5000 words length which covers the overall aspect of the topic. In other words, the pillar page summarizes specific topics on the surface including every subject matter related to the topic.

In fact, the pillar page contains the content about the product or service offered by your business. While choosing a topic for your pillar page ensure that you select a broad topic so that you can cover every detail of your business or product.

Let’s say you’re a yoga teacher and want to rank for “Yoga for health”. So your pillar page should have in-depth information about the core topic answering all the possible questions that the searcher might have on that topic.

Your pillar article might have the title “ Yoga for Health – An Ultimate guide to remain healthy”. And you might want to cover most of the topics related to yoga and its effect on one’s health.

What is Cluster content?

Cluster content, also known as subtopic pages, are linked with pillar pages and deals with topics relevant to the pillar page. This element focuses on specific long-tail keywords. Unlike the pillar page, it discusses in-depth on the subtopic.  Typically, cluster contents are in the form of a blog post which should answer completely to the searchers’ query.

Continuing the same example, you can create cluster content on “yoga for back pain” to help the reader who is suffering back pain. While writing content on this topic, you should be answering all the questions that readers might have.

What is a hyperlink?

Hyperlinks are important in the topic cluster as it connects subtopic pages with the pillar page. Doing this you’re telling the search engine that pillar page is the authorized resource of the subtopic.

When linking internal links with every cluster content to the pillar page, you’re letting Google know that all content is related. This means you are signaling Google that your website is trustworthy for the topic “Yoga for health”.

Cluster Topics Structure
Cluster Topics Structure

How can the topic cluster improve your search position?

Google is getting better at providing accurate search results, thus publishing relevant content in an organized way will give knowledge to readers and improve visibility. Once you structure the topic cluster you’ll start getting massive traffic than before.

Here are a few ways the topic cluster can help improve your business website:

Quality content

As the topic cluster has pillar page, cluster content and hyperlink connecting the pages, thus you’re able to provide adequate information to the readers on the broad topic through subtopics. This encourages readers to stay on your website for more information related to broad topics.

Improve the authority of the website 

It’s obvious that when you provide valuable information on the broad topic through subtopics, you’re letting Google know that your website has quality information related to the topic. Therefore, topic clusters have a huge impact on improving your website authority.

Enhance visitor experience in the website

If the website visitor wants to read more about the related topic, they don’t need to search in the search engine because they can click on the internal links to get more information. A topic cluster can be the factor that can build trust in your visitors.

Impact ranking

As you create internal links it motivates people to move from one article to another with the intention to get deep knowledge, which is why they stay longer on your website. This notifies Google that people find your website valuable, thus improving your ranking.

How to create a topic cluster?

Consider the following steps below to improve to the structure of the topic cluster:

  1. Identify the core topic
  2. Figure out subtopic
  3. Map the existing topic
  4. Link the web pages
  5. Improve the content

Identify the core topic

The first step is to create a pillar page. While creating content for this page you should talk about the core topic of your business. If your business offers service or sells products, describe completely about your business offering. Try providing value to your readers by discussing benefits or the solution related to the core topic.

Figure out subtopic

Now when you have a core topic for your website you need to specify the subtopics. Your subtopic should be a complete solution for that specific topic. You can identify the subtopic by scanning your audiences’ questions related to the core topic.

Map the existing topic

Mapping your existing topic can reduce your load of creating subtopic pages. If you have existing content that can link to your pillar page will maximize the number of content on the topic cluster. It might take time to list out the existing relevant content to the core topic but this will surely reduce the stress then creating the content.

Link the web pages

As mentioned above, creating a link adds value to your pillar page and helps build authority on that page. When building links, go through each subtopic page and add links from each subtopic page to the pillar page. Furthermore, you can also create links from one subtopic to another subtopic as this can also play a role in improving posting in Google.

Improve the content

After implementing all the steps, now you need to continuously evaluate and improve your content to earn the search authority. You can conduct keywords evaluation as well as topic evaluation to analyze the performance and make necessary changes accordingly.

Conduct Keyword research

Whether you’re creating a pillar page or subtopic page, you need to take keywords into account. Keywords are the factor your content will rank in the search engine result page. You can conduct keywords research with the tools available, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, BuzzSumo. You may also use Quora to know which subtopics (related to core topics) people are engaging, recently. You can use the KGR method to find easy keywords if your website is in the initial stage. 

Other than these, you can get a keyword suggestion that Google suggests. Google suggests is the section on Google which provides search recommendations when you search queries in the search box.  You may also look for LSI (Latent semantic indexing) keywords which you can find at the bottom of SERP.

What is the purpose of creating a topic cluster?

A website that has disorganized content will create difficulties for the search engine to crawl through your website and display your content on SERP. Moreover, readers may also find a problem while browsing for related topics. If you don’t have a cluster topic, your content might go missing as Google won’t find it.

Using a topic clusters, the reader can get complete information regarding the searched topic. If your content is able to solve or answer all the questions of the searchers then there is a high probability that readers will develop trust on your website. This indicates that readers stick to your website for the information regarding your product or service offered by your business.

Additionally, more you educate your readers regarding your product or service, you’re increasing the number of traffic and lead to your website.

Also, when one of your content in the topic clusters performs well, other content also does better in terms of ranking. This means you don’t just get traffic from one content, you get from other content too.

Final Thoughts

Implementing a topic clusters on your website is indeed intimidating when the website already has a bunch of content. However, you can successfully execute this, if you spend time identifying the content that can be linked to the pillar page.

Your effort to improve rank will pay off only if you are able to implement the topic cluster on your website in a structured manner.  Also doing effective keyword research and creating relevant content can improve your position in Google.

 Download your free copy of  Topic Clusters Template.