Are you looking to create topics that rank for thousands of keywords?
To be able to get organic traffic.
To rank higher on search engines.
To improve your domain authority.
You may wonder if there’s an SEO strategy or not.
Well, there’s a lot more into this.
Today, Leanne Wong is going to teach you a process to create topic clusters to rank for thousands of keywords. She is a guru when it comes to SEO so this post has got golden nuggets for anyone who wants an SEO approach.
With 3.5 billion searches done everyday, organic search traffic is one of the largest and most valuable traffic sources to grow your blog and business.
Content is the foundation of search engine optimization – articles that serve users’ queries tend to rank better on search results.
But how do you optimize your article for SEO?
By targeting specific keywords?
To rank in Google today, we have to create contextually rich content.
After Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update, it was able to understand the relationship between words and topics.
Google doesn’t just crawl billions of web pages for individual keywords. It’s ranking algorithm is looking for words with related meaning – semantic context.
In this post, I’ll share with you a high-value approach to creating content that’s optimized for search results.
We’ll learn a step-by-step process to create semantically rich content through topic clusters so you can rank for thousands of keywords in your niche.
Using topic clusters, we can create contextually rich content optimized for Google’s semantic search, and rank for thousands of keywords in a single piece of content.
So you no longer have to create individual posts for each target keyword you want to rank for. Instead, you can create one post targeting various sub-topics and keywords in the same topic.
It’s an SEO strategy that optimizes content for semantic search. This shifts the focus on topics instead of keywords to get more blog traffic. I got the idea of topic clusters from Hubspot’s research article and started to simplify the concept further in order to apply it.
How does semantic search work?
In layman terms, semantic search is Google’s attempt to understand searcher intent. Google wants to provide users with more accurate results by understanding what they meant when they typed in a search query.
A single query can be searched for in many different variations. You can’t guess it all.
But you can create a huge piece of article that answers every possible question in that topic.
When Google finds your site, it will crawl and analyze your page content – looking for a thematic relationship within your body content and then evaluate how well it can answer a search query.
The more comprehensive your content is, the more keyword variations and sub-topics you write in that single post will help build that thematic relevance.
How does this affect blogging?
This meant that Google would rank pages that best matched the user’s intent and context, instead of pages that have the highest density of individual keywords.
Content has now shifted from targeting exact-match individual keywords to a focus on topic relevance and semantic context.
The more comprehensive and semantically rich your content is, the more contextually relevant your content is to answer a given search query.
To shift your content focus from keywords to topics, you can use the concept of topic clusters.
What is a topic cluster?
Refresh: A topic cluster is an SEO strategy that focuses on topics instead of keywords. By optimizing your blog post around a topic, you’re essentially creating contextually rich content.
The concept of topic clusters originated from Hubspot, which used the concept of pillar and cluster pages to organize content.
First, create a pillar page that will cover a big topic comprehensively. Think about it as a gigantic blog post, like an ultimate guide that can umbrella 15-20 mini-topics.
Second, create those 15-20 cluster pages that will each be about 1 mini topic.
Simply put, pillar pages are your ‘trophy’ pages that you want Google to notice. You want to give them the best chance to rank. The topic cluster pages are the cheerleaders that all point to the trophy page.
For example, if you want to own the term, “Pinterest marketing”
Step 1: Create big topics for your pillar pages
- Pinterest for business
- Pinterest analytics
- Pinterest visual strategy
Big topics are gigantic pieces of content. (e.g, ‘The Ultimate Guide to using Pinterest to grow your business).
This pillar page should be able to answer every possible question when somebody searches for X keyword.
Ask yourself, can you create 15-20 smaller blog posts under that pillar page?
Related: The Pinterest SEO Guide For Bloggers
Step 2: Create an umbrella of cluster topics from your pillar page
Pinterest for business
- Brand building with pinterest
- Find client leads with pinterest
- Email list growth with pinterest
- Analyze traffic performance
- Measure pin performance
- Analytics tools
Pinterest visual strategy
- Color & font combination
- Pinterest graphic dimensions
- Pinterest graphic templates
Step 3: Internally link all cluster topics to the pillar pages
The last step touches a bit on technical SEO – internal linking.
All your cluster pages (under same pillar page) will link to that pillar page. This chain of clusters tells search engines your content pages are related to each other.
How does this help with rankings?
The more internal links a page has, the more link juice it acquires. In the eyes of search engines, the pillar page with tons of link juice via internal links will be considered more important, and that pillar page will perform better on search results.
Essentially, by linking all individual topic clusters to your big pillar page, it boosts the strength of that pillar page.
When you have a group of 15-20 cluster pages linking to a pillar page all in the same big topic, this builds a semantic relationship between content pages through links.
This is a content focused approach to writing content that maximizes the ranking ability of a single piece of content.
What do you think of this topic cluster strategy, friends? Leave your comments below!