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What Is a Topic Cluster? And Are Topic Clusters Really Good for SEO?

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Question: What is a topic cluster?


Answer: To put it as simply as possible – a topic cluster is a group of posts or pages that are closely related to each other.


Ready to learn more about topic clusters and if they are really good for SEO? Continue reading and I’ll give you the low down on the issue.


What the “Experts” Are Saying About “What is a Topic Cluster?”


Now – calm down because I know you’re going to see some of your favorite SEO in the list of quotes below and you’re going to wonder why experts are in quotes.


It’s purely because – what is an expert anyway? lol These are the people that most people believe know what the heck they’re talking about in this arena – mkay? 😉


Thoughtful & Helpful


Mimi An posted on Hubspot that topic clusters are a more thoughtful and helpful arrangement.


I do have to say this is definitely true.


Since Google is very much about user experience, the fact that topic clusters help with UX is enough to see they are going to help your website in one way or another. We all know that UX signals have some sort of pull in the search engines.


Shared Topics & Subtopics


Stephen Jeske from MarketMuse calls topic clusters content that has a shared topic and shared subtopics.


Truthfully, I think this makes a little more sense and is a more helpful definition of topic clusters.


It’s like everything about dogs and to go even deeper everything about show dogs or hunting dogs. Obviously, the show dogs and the hunting dogs are the subtopics. The site doesn’t have the overarching topic of pets or the dogs could be the subtopic and the show dogs could be the sub-subtopic.


The more helpful and in-depth your site is regarding the content you provide, the more helpful it will be to its user as long as your site navigation is easy to use.


Topic Clusters – A Part of the SEO Shift


Mariah Anderson posted on Impactbnd that topic clusters are part of the shift in SEO due to voice search and other developments.


RIGHT ON Mariah. B-)


Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing your content full of your primary keyword over and over again in hopes that you would get a top ranking in the SERPs. Now if you want that first-page ranking – you’re going to have to work for it.


Topic clusters are the smartest way to be working your way to the top of the SERPs.


The CoSchedule blog hints that topic clusters are the future of SEO and content strategy. If these titans haven’t convinced you by now that topic clusters are a good idea for your content marketing and SEO strategy – you might be in the wrong place.


If you want to learn more about topic clusters and how to create them — keep reading.


How to Create Topic Clusters


If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you likely have enough content to create a topic cluster. You just need to do some restructuring. If you don’t have any blog content then don’t worry about it because you can start without any bad habits.


The idea is to create a massive pillar page. This pillar page is going to be a Goliath of a page that provides massive value. This post is usually going to be at least 2,000 words long and I have seen many pillar posts that have gone much deeper than 2,000 words.


Your goal with a pillar page is to give in-depth information on the topic as well as the overall eagle’s nest view. When people leave this page – they should have a pretty good idea about the topic.


Once you have your pillar page created it is time to move on to the cluster content. Remember those subtopics I was talking about above with Mariah and those other folks? Okay – now it is time to figure out what subtopics you’re going to go more in-depth on in other posts.


These blog posts only need to be 500 or more words long. Once you get these posts completed, you want to link them back to your pillar page content. Let’s say that I have a pillar post about how to get traffic to your website. (I do)


What do I do now?


I then create closely related content that can link back to this page and be helpful to the reader. Chances are if you’re interested in learning about topic clusters then you want to learn how to get traffic to your website. The post gives you 11 expert tips and is massively valuable.


The more high-quality posts that I interlink (point) to this page, the more Google and other search engines get an idea about what this page is all about. You can do the same for your website with the topics you’re creating.


Now that you know your answer to “What is a topic cluster?” – What do you do when you need great content and you simply don’t have the time to create it? No worries.


I’m a content and digital marketing strategist and can help you with your content strategy as well as full content creation processes. Simply contact me today and we can work out a plan to set up your topic clusters and overall content strategy.


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