Topic clusters are the latest buzzword for SEO. What are they and how can they help my web traffic? Before you start to panic it’s yet another thing you need to be worrying about, let me reassure you. You may be doing this anyway.
Let’s take a look, find out what topic clusters mean to you and see if you need to tweak your approach to organizing your blog.
What Are Topic Clusters?
If you’ve followed the Hatch A Blog approach you’ll be familiar with using key topics on your homepage to clearly illustrate the purpose of your blog.
What do I mean?
If you look at the homepage on Simply Hatch, I have three key topics – start blogging, find some customers and make money blogging. If you look at my categories, I have a fourth, home business aka using a blog to promote your small business.
These are my key topics or “pillars” of my blog. Topic clusters are basically about building your posts around these pillars.
This YouTube clip by HubSpot is an excellent illustration:
Pick A Key Topic And Build Your Cluster
Take for example my lifestyle blog, Love Life Be Fit. I started with a lot of key topics for this blog. Six main categories, fitness, healthy eating, lifestyle, mindfulness, adventure, travel plus five sub topics of running, yoga, hiking, climbing and cycling.
It was way too much and I’ve dropped quite a few. I’m now down to seven in total which is still a lot. By using topic clusters I can boost my authority for different keywords and give Google a clearer idea what my blog is about.
Take for example the keyword running. It’s a massive keyword. I have no chance of ever ranking for it.
But if I make my running page my pillar, and make sure all posts about running link back to this pillar content, it will help me rank for running related keywords.
Here’s an illustration:
So I can link my post: “How running changes your body” back to my pillar content. This will give Google a clear idea my post is about running and builds some authority for my post. It will help boost my ranking for this long tail keyword.
NOTE: It’s best to place your links near the top of your post, preferably in your introduction.
Benefits Of Topic Clusters
With topic clusters Google will view your posts as a group. When one post starts to do well, it will drag up the ranking of all group posts.
Your visitors will also see the links. If they’re interested in one post about running, there’s every chance they will want to read all other running posts.
The links will encourage exploration of your site, reducing your bounce rate (when visitors just read one page then leave) and increasing the time spent on your site.
Lower bounce rates, increased time on site improve ranking on Google and in turn lead to more visitors.
Topic clusters are quite simply linking all posts about one key topic back to your pillar content. This can be a designated post or page.
Place you links near the top of your posts for maximum effect.
If you’re unclear, comment below and I’ll try and answer your questions. In the meantime I have some linking to do!