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Search Engine Optimization

Using topic clusters to improve SEO and build authority

By October 4, 2021November 23rd, 2021No Comments

Let’s face it. Getting a website to rank well on Google can be tricky, especially if Google has a hard time understanding what your website is about. If the content you publish doesn’t revolve around your specific area of expertise, even your most optimized page could end up collecting dust.

Structuring your website content using topic clusters and pillared content could be the key to boosting your visibility in the search results and generating organic traffic. With a topic cluster content strategy, you’re telling Google:

  • What your website is about.
  • How your content is organized.
  • What topic each page is covering.

What are topic clusters?

Topic clusters are groups of related content that revolve around a central topic. Subtopics branch from the top-level pillar page to create internal linking opportunities that keep readers from leaving your site.

What exactly does pillared content look like? Let’s break down the topic cluster strategy to see how it works.

The Pillar Page

The pillar page is your hub for a specific topic. Most pillar pages are much longer than other pages on your site. They typically serve as an all-inclusive guide to a broad subject area with internal links to and from related subtopics.

For example, our Digital Advertising page is an all-inclusive page that broadly explains to our clients how we use cutting-edge digital advertising strategies to capture and engage our clients’ target audiences. From our digital advertising pillar page, we have internal links that take you to pages covering subtopics within the broader topic of digital advertising. For example, our digital advertising page links to topics such as:

Each page on your website should be fairly specific, rather than trying to cover two or more unrelated or loosely related topics. Combining unrelated information makes it difficult for Google to determine what you’re trying to tell readers. Centering your website around pillared content eliminates this problem by pushing you to be more mindful of the specific topics you’re discussing on each page.

How many pillar pages should you have?

There is no rule of thumb for how many pillar topics your website needs, but the subtopics linked to your pillar page must be directly related to it and cover narrower topics within that category. For example, we have pillar pages for other topics like website design and content marketing. Organizing our website in this way helps Google and our visitors understand what our website (and business) is about.

Subpages

Subpages are more in-depth pages that answer a specific question within a broader topic. For example, visitors reading our digital advertising page might want to know more about how we craft our clients’ display ads.

We’ve included an easy-to-follow internal link from our digital advertising page to our display ads page. This gives our readers an easy next step while making it easier for Google to understand our site structure, as well as our business.

What is at the core of any SEO strategy?

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel by making mind-blowingly unique content, but Google will reward you if your content is consistently valuable, organized and written in your brand’s unique voice.