What are topic clusters?
A topic cluster is a set of content semantically organized around a core topic that links out to subtopic content. Your core topic article, also called pillar content, should be optimized for a main keyword. Then, aim to create five or more subtopic articles that are each optimized for a long tail keyword that includes the core topic keyword. Make sure all content in the set is hyperlinked together to create a topic cluster.
Why topic clusters are an effective SEO strategy
Search engine algorithms constantly evolve as technology and user behavior changes. Recent advances have boosted topic cluster content in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Machine learning technology enables Google's search algorithm to understand the intent behind a user query. A popular example of this is how Google provides featured snippet answers at the top of search results to directly answer questions, even if a search query is not typed in a question format. Google recognizes when sets of individual pages are all about a related topic and is more likely to pull a featured snippet from a source with more authority on a particular topic.
Additionally, technology and user behavior changes are leading to a drastic increase in voice searches. Users searching by voice tend to use longer search queries, known as long tail keyword searches, much more often than when they type their search query. To take advantage of this trend, it is best to have dedicated content tailored to specific long tail keywords. As your subtopic articles begin to rank for long tail searches, it will also increase the SEO of your core topic content for the main key word.
How to create topic clusters
- Review your current content and target keywords to outline your core topics.
- For each core topic, create a pillar content page that gives an overview of the topic and creates a foundation to link out to related subtopic articles.
- Do keyword research to determine the long tail keywords for each main keyword in your target list.
- Hyperlink all content in each set together to create a topic cluster.
Topic clusters in MindTouch
MindTouch is designed to automatically create content in a way that follows the Topic Cluster model. The MindTouch structure creates a natural hierarchy and taxonomy that optimizes content organization for navigation and content relationships. The default navigation also includes many internal links between articles, which as been shown to lead to higher placement in SERPs.
Read more about the MindTouch Building Blocks and how to build brand awareness with the MindTouch structure.