Content marketing is being used to leverage business growth and increase brand awareness. By creating consistent content, you increase your company’s likelihood of converting prospects to buyers and buyers to fans. Companies can build trust and drive growth through continuous content marketing efforts.
According to ABG Essentials, content marketing has a 6 times higher conversion rate than other forms of digital marketing, making it an invaluable tool. Younger generations are particularly skeptical of marketing efforts. They can easily see through shallow practices and ploys. By producing quality, value-driven content, you can build brand awareness, establish credibility, and encourage a reputation of reliability.
True content authority will act as its own growth engine, converting prospects to customers and customers to loyal fans.
It seems like every week there’s something new in the world of content marketing: a new dizzying algorithm, a new groundbreaking strategy, a new trendy acronym.
So how do we create content that is up-to-date with Google’s latest updates and effectively gets our businesses in front of the eyes of our target audience?
Here’s the foolproof strategy: content clusters.
Content clusters, also known as topic clusters, are one of the best ways to get your content optimized for search engine crawlers.
Check out our beginner’s guide on how to create topic clusters, including what they are, how they work, and the best ways to use them to your advantage.
What are Content Clusters?
So, what are content clusters anyway?
Content clustering or topic clustering is a type of marketing strategy that organizes a company’s content around different pillars/topics to help bots and users see the bird’s eye view map of what problems and questions a business addresses.
Through content clusters, you build groups of related blog posts around different topics, solidifying yourself as an authority on different parts of your business. This establishes your business as a more trusted and reliable source on a subject. To continue gaining that trust and meeting different needs, you should be building content clusters.
Topic clusters improve rankings and traffic. It is no longer enough to sprinkle keywords into posts and hope it gets ranked. Search engines want to provide the most relevant and valuable information to its searchers, and content clusters will help differentiate yourself from others as an expert in your area.
Topics Clusters Examples
Need some topic clusters examples?
To start, think of content or topic clusters as a spider web or a web diagram: in the center of the web is your main subject or content pillar. The pillar is usually pretty broad and relates to the service you provide, then from the center of the web, it spreads out into more specific subtopics.
For example, let’s say you are a consultant on improving communication processes. You want to be known as an authority figure in regards to your internal company communications service. So you write blog posts on how to keep employees engaged through communication, or the best ways to address your boss in an e-mail, etc.
The overarching subject is internal communications but you have a web of topics under that umbrella that touch on the overarching subject. You have started to create your content cluster! You can even build out more clusters from the subtopic blog posts and keep the web going.
Now, how do you show these connections to the search engine crawlers?
This is where linking becomes very important.
Internal Linking in Content Clusters
Linking is one of the most important aspects of content cluster architecture. Just writing a bunch of random blog posts won’t get you on the first page of a search engine’s results.
Here’s how it works: Internal linking is when you place links into your blog post that come from other blog posts and pages from the same website.
We’re gonna go back to our example on communication services to explain.
Let’s say you write a post about what formalities to use when e-mailing your team. Your post might also have a short section on what formalities to use with your boss. You can then write a more extensive post specifically on how to communicate with your boss and link it in the overarching pillar on communication you wrote covering all team members.
You have created a connection here! Now that you have an internal link connecting the two blog posts, crawlers are more aware of the topics and related topics you have expertise in.
This helps list you as the top reference when someone goes searching for any information on internal communications processes.
How to Create Content Clusters
I know what you’re thinking — creating and implementing content clusters seems like a difficult task. If you follow these steps though, you’ll be an expert in no time.
1. Plan Your Content Pillar
First, you need to plan out a large piece of content and then figure how to get the most out of every section. Breaking down pillars into small, consumable pieces means more content to disseminate to your audience.
For example, if your company sells an internal communications service software, you might create one 10,000-word pillar about “How to Optimize Communications Within a Company for the Biggest ROI.”
This way, you show that not only do you have authority on this topic, but you also have the solution: your research-backed software.
Find topics that would best relate to the product or service you want to promote. From here, you will branch out to subtopics.
2. Think About Subtopics
Subtopics are what make content clusters work. Brainstorm subtopic ideas for blog posts that relate to your main subject. Use keyword research to help get you there.
For example, using the keyword research tool Keywords Everywhere, I searched for “amazon advertising.”
From the list of related keywords that displayed, I selected the one at the top of the list: “amazon display ads.”
From this list, you can narrow down a few topics to build around your keyword “amazon advertising” that are more specific.
These include topics like:
- Amazon Ad Sizes: How to Create Your Marketing Plan Accordingly (20/month)
- How Can I Display Amazon Ads on My Website? (20/month)
3. Start Writing!
Content clusters and their benefits do not just appear out of thin air; you have to build it up. One post isn’t going to put you on the front page of google results. As you continue to write and post you can link to more of your content. Be sure to keep these content optimization techniques in mind to maximize the effectiveness of your strategy.
4. Don’t Forget to Link
When first starting you can link to an external website since you probably don’t have anywhere to link internally. Even though external linking is not as good as internal linking for building content clusters, it is still beneficial for building a positive reputation as a reliable source.
Additional Takeaways to Build Content Clusters
Keywords are still important. While keywords are not as heavily weighted as they used to be, they are still crucial for SEO content. Always try to include keywords in your posts in the best ways possible.
Remember, It’s Not Only About Clusters
As beneficial as content clusters can be, it is nothing without good writing and layout. You can make as many posts on subtopics as you want and link them all together, but if you don’t provide high-quality information that answers the searcher’s questions, they’ll click away from your posts very quickly. So remember to write with the reader in mind.
Creating pillar content like this isn’t going to happen overnight. It will take time, dedication, and strategy to achieve your goals. Content clusters are an investment and it is wise to have a plan before you start.