4-Step Process to Improving SEO with Topic Clusters

4-Step Process to Improving SEO with Topic Clusters

Search engine algorithms have evolved to prioritize websites with topic-focused content in recent years. While some websites have been slow on the draw in adapting to the change, embracing topic clusters is a must if you want to outrank your competitors.

A successful SEO strategy hinges on understanding your audience and the content they’re looking for. You’ll also need to get a handle on how your website content is interconnected. Furthermore, you’ll need to know how to prioritize this content and assess its impact.

If the idea of topic clusters is new to you, getting to grips with this concept can seem daunting. However, it’s an invaluable approach to SEO that can overhaul site architecture and enrich your content strategy. Below, we’ll outline a simple 4-step process for improving SEO with topic clusters.

1. Search Intent: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Understanding search intent is crucial if you want to make use of topic clusters. No user is the same, but search history can be a useful tool for determining what your audience is looking for.

Analytical tools can use keyword queries to discern search intent. When you refine your findings with top-tier content produced by subject-matter experts (SMEs), you’re in a prime position to outrank competitors. You can plan high-quality content that appeals to the specific needs of your audience.

Using Search Intent to Create Topic Clusters

Creating topic clusters is easier than you think. To get started, you only need to consider the keywords your audience has been searching for.

Consider the kind of queries your audience has been using. Do these terms suggest a high level of awareness? Are they searching to make comparisons and weigh up their options? Once you define search intent, you’ll be able to determine where they sit in the sales and marketing funnel.

Next, take a look at your keyword footprint. How competitive is it? What does your pay-per-click performance look like? This audit will quickly reveal new ranking opportunities. At this point, some keyword research is in order.

Once your research is complete, use your findings to create a master keyword list. Approach this as a dynamic document. This master list can be used to better position your content to specific audiences.

2. Why You Need a Master Keyword List

Once you’ve created a master keyword list, it’s easier to identify content gaps on your site. You can now focus on bridging these gaps with content that directly ties previously published content with newly created material.

If a reader lands on your site, is the content available to them convincing? If it’s not, don’t expect readers to stick around. As well as being engaging, your content should include sufficient backlinks to provide readers with all the resources they need to continue. Furthermore, your content should convince readers that you’re a more authoritative voice than your competitors.

You can enrich your pages by turning to your master keyword list. Use your list to outline and develop a range of related themes that will captivate your readers and encourage them further in their journey.

3. Using Topic Clusters to Create Content

You’ll need to be meticulous when selecting keywords from your master list. You don’t want to reach for a long list of loosely connected phrases. Instead, you’ll need a variety of core phrases and secondary terms to develop rich topics and relevant subthemes.

These themes are what your topic cluster strategy will be built upon. In simple terms, content clusters turn broader topics into smaller, more manageable information.

Creating Content Clusters

If you want to minimize bounce rate, your landing pages need to be captivating. Sometimes, well-written content isn’t enough. To make your content more appealing, you’ll need to lean on compelling visuals, statistics, and user-friendly lists.

Focus on acquisition pages first. After all, these pages are what lead to conversions. Identify as many possible sub-themes as you can, then create content-rich articles that can be attached to these acquisition pages.

Once you’ve created new content, you can start connecting them with backlinks. If you’re creating a page for vacation package deals, you can integrate pages on travel insurance.

Next, consider the content you can spin off from your primary theme. There’s a wealth of information you can provide to your readers around the topic of vacations and travel bookings. Each time you introduce a new theme, you’ll be able to identify new subthemes to steer further content.

Even if the content is written well, avoid publishing reams of text. Your content needs to be visually appealing, so enrich it with relevant videos and visual aids. Look to source infographics or create your own.

Adopting this approach will quickly populate your site with rich content. However, it also has the added benefit of bolstering your brand. The more content you put out, the more defined your tone of voice becomes. This naturally builds rapport with your audience and establishes you as a brand to be trusted.

4. Key Metrics and Analytics

Another way of bolstering SEO is to determine which pages your readers are spending more time with. All the usual metrics can be assessed here. Consider things like page views, conversion rate, impressions, and time spent on page.

Once you’ve identified your most successful page content, you can look to replicate it. If you notice that some pages have become barely read backwaters, a refresh might be in order. Look to bridge any cluster gaps for quick gains.

Sometimes, poorly performing pages might not be ditched entirely. If your pages have lost all their relevance, don’t be afraid of redirecting them to more valuable ones. This will improve the overall site structure, making for a more accessible user journey.

Topic Clusters: Getting Started

If your site is already extensive, choosing a topic to create a content cluster around can be difficult. However, don’t let a sprawling archive derail your efforts.

A good way of identifying topic clusters is to consider the core issues your readers have. If you’re lacking user insights, think about carrying out audience research with interviews and surveys. Secondary research is also useful. Research out to the online community to gather as much data as possible.

Once you have your findings, segment key issues into broad categories. You can then use keyword research to map out subtopics. All new content should be properly researched. Use industry insights and updated statistics to bolster your articles.

Simply posting your new content isn’t enough. To determine the success of your topic cluster efforts, you’ll need to measure the impact of your content. If it’s not working, don’t be afraid of adjusting. You may need to refine your approach several times before topic clusters start paying off.

Make Topic Clusters a Key Part of Your SEO Strategy

Don’t approach topic clusters as a one-and-done initiative. For best results, topic clusters should be an ongoing endeavour. A topic cluster framework should be a dynamic resource that is referred to for as long as your website is live.

Enriching your content with industry-specific keywords is all well and good, but the search engine landscape is constantly evolving. If you want your site content to remain competitive and establish yourself as an industry-leading authority, topic clusters should be at the forefront of your SEO strategy.