Topic Clusters: The Key to Creating A More Effective Content Marketing Strategy and Boosting Traffic

Feb 1, 2019 -- Posted by : emily

Technology is constantly on the move, and it's becoming a more essential part of our daily lives. As the way we use and interact with our devices change, so does the way we are using search engines. People expect their tech to be intuitive - to know what they're thinking before they think it, so it's important for web content to keep up. Traditionally, an SEO content strategy focused mostly on creating keyword-dense content, but these techniques can't be counted on to draw in the traffic they once did. However, if you take a look at how people are using search engines and what people are looking for when they make a query on Google, you can adapt your strategy to fit their needs. If you feel like you have a great website loaded with helpful content, but still aren't getting the results you need, read on.

Creating Search-Engine Friendly Content

Digital marketers and media pros already know SEO content strategy basics. It used to be all about knowing which keywords your audience was looking for and working them into your content in the right density, then the traffic would start to arrive. However, the way people use search engines is changing, and the keyword-focused approach isn't working like it used to. Some digital marketers simply try adding more content with more keywords, however, it's not that easy. While creating great content is still key, getting the rankings you want will take a few more steps. Instead of searching for "restaurants in St. Louis," a user might instead ask "where can I get BBQ?" So while "St. Louis restaurant" may have formerly worked as a keyword, it won't anymore.

Google and other search engines have complicated algorithms that are used to determine how pages should be ranked. These algorithms carefully examine the content on the page to see whether it seems relevant and helpful for the person searching. After all, a search engine's goals are to deliver the right content to the person who is searching. So, on your end, focusing on topics rather than keywords helps to make you seem like an expert in your industry. Search engines love this type of content and will rank it highly.

Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

Transition Your Site from Keywords to Topics

If you already have a great website in place, you don't have to completely throw away the keywords you're working with. You can use your keywords as models for your topic clusters and pillar pages. When you're building content pages around a central pillar page, you can focus on more specific variations on your already existing keywords. So if you've built your central pillar page around a topic like "How to get in shape," your content pages might include "How to get in shape if you hate exercise" or "How to get in shape if you work long hours." As you can see, you're still focusing on the phrase "how to get in shape," so your keyword research hasn't been a waste.

If you organize your site with topic clusters around central pillar pages, it becomes clear to search engine algorithms that your site has tons of in-depth knowledge about your pillar topic to offer visitors. The search engines will rank your site higher because of the structure of the pages and the links. Think of it as an outline. Each bullet point (pillar page) can have sub points (content pages). This not only helps your SEO, but it makes your site user-friendly and easy to navigate. Visitors to your site will be able to find what they need quickly and easily, leading to great user experience.

Taking a look at the site you already have, think about your main focus. What are people looking for when they come to your site? What are the keywords that used to work well? You can use these as a basis for your pillar topics and then go into more detail on each content page. A page that already ranks highly can work as a great pillar page, and then aim to create at least five content pages below it.

SEO strategies need to change because people are changing the way they use search engines. Search engines need to be intuitive, provide relevant information and answer questions, especially with the rise of voice search options. Topic pillars and content pages work as a way to organize information in an easy to digest way so that people can find what they're looking for. Don't get left in the dust with an ancient SEO strategy. Let fishbat guide you out of the website clutter – contact us for more information on how you can improve your content marketing strategy and keep your business ahead of the game.

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