Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge factor in digital marketing. But with search engine algorithm changes, the goalposts shift, and brands need to keep up with these adjustments to prevent low rankings. This blog/article highlights an SEO strategy, the topic cluster model, that could be just the tweak you need to better your position in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Search has become more conversational, so long-tail keywords should reflect that. With advances in machine learning, AI, and NLP, voice search is also starting to change the SEO game, and longer queries are becoming more significant than individual keywords.
There’s so much content out there, and search engines have to be able to crawl their way through the internet’s vast depths to give you precisely what you want a second after you ask for it.
You need to check Google’s boxes, and right now, their algorithm doesn’t look too kindly on content with a surfeit of irrelevant internal links. Sprinkle latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords into your content, but avoid keyword stuffing like the plague because Google and Bing do.
You don’t want content on your website to compete with other similar pages on your site. That’s where Google-friendly topic clusters come in. The topic cluster model involves selecting topics you want to rank for and creating pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks connecting all of them, which we outline below. Algorithms like RankBrain recognize the semantic relationships when you arrange your content by topic and reward you for it. Aim to dominate specific topics and not just keywords. Brainstorm and research your audience’s interests and pain points and develop content around these ideas.
Pillar pages serve as the beginning of an information journey. They are your topic pages that mention all the relevant areas you want to cover without diving deep. They internally link to more specific, fleshed-out cluster content, which links back to the pillar page for ease of navigation. This interlinking is very important for your SERP ranking. Pillar pages are broad but not so extensive that they can’t cover all sub-topics on one page. Consider whether your pillar page could provide between 20 and 30 cluster offshoots.
Cluster content addresses specific keywords. So if your pillar page speaks to scuba diving, it can branch out to cluster pages that cover scuba gear, scuba safety, etc. The structure makes sense to your target market and guides them in a user-friendly manner. As a whole, your blog architecture will convey topic authority to search engines which will help you boost your ranking. Leads will find your pillar page and then branch out to relevant thematic content that makes them likely to convert.
We’ve been assisting small to medium businesses with their digital marketing needs for two decades, so you can count on our expertise to level up. Request an SEO analysis or a free consultation, and we’ll show you just how we can help your company improve its KPIs.