SEO cluster, content cluster, topic cluster… You may have heard many names, but they all deal with the same concept. For some time now we have been seeing how the way we search through Google has changed, either because we consider it to be an intelligent search engine or because there is a boom in voice searches.
The fact is that people are no longer searching by keywords, we are doing semantic searches, and we are entering complete phrases. And this is what the content cluster strategy is all about, adapting your website, ordering your content, and creating an architecture that will give you a good positioning.
What is an SEO cluster or content cluster?
First of all, you must understand that this content strategy also influences the architecture of your website. As we have seen, there is a trend in which SEO strategies are starting to focus on topics and less on keywords. Therefore, when we talk about SEO clusters, we are talking about a way of ordering and structuring the content on your website by associating it with the main topic through internal linking.
Once this is assumed, to better understand the clusters we will use two main concepts: the core topic or main theme, which will form the pillar page and the subtopics or secondary topics. The core topic will be composed of 2-3 words, while the subtopics will focus on long-tail terms, which will expand the information of the core topic.
As we can see in the structure of the image, the core topic will link internally to all its subtopic pages and vice versa, from those subtopic pages there will be a link back to the core topic. It is recommended to use the same term when creating the hyperlink to help the Google algorithm understand the structure.
Example of a clustered structure
Let’s take an example, imagine you have a website or blog about a guide to Milan. When you enter it, on the home page you will find the core topics: “what to see in Milan”, “where to eat in Milan”, “where to sleep”, etc.
If we access one of these pillar pages as “What to see”, within it we find different subtopics that we can access such as “top 10”, “monuments and tourist attractions”, etc.
In addition, we can see that the pillar pages that used to appear on the home page now appear on the left side in the form of a menu, making navigation even easier for the user.
How to use SEO clusters on your website
You already know the theory and now it’s time to apply it to your website or blog. If you’re still a little confused about how to get started, we’ll explain the most important steps so you don’t forget anything.
- The first thing you should do is to identify your core topics and create, in case you don’t have them, pillar pages about them. Think about your website, what you offer and the needs of your users, at the end you will find the most important generic topics.
- You should also identify or create subtopic pages that you will include within each pillar page. The names of these pages will be longer and will expand information, they will go deeper into different aspects of the pillar page. You must take into account how people search through Google. For example, “top 10 things to see in Milan” “cheap places to eat in Milan”, etc.
- You should use images with text on the home page to link to the pillar pages. They are understood as calls to action or CTAs, which creates better visibility of your content and makes it much easier for the user to navigate your website.
- Create internal linking as appropriate: Home should link to pillar pages and vice versa, pillar pages should link back to Home. Pillar pages should link to subtopics and again, vice versa, subtopics should link to pillar pages. Remember to use the same words in the hyperlinks to help Google recognize your structure.
- Review the URLs of your pages, so that they are ordered through SILO architecture. That is, first the pillar page and then the subtopic page with the long-tail keywords. “example.com/what-to-see/top-10-things-to-see-in-milan”. “example.com/where-to-eat/cheap-sites-to-eat-milan”.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not everything has to be followed to the letter, you can adapt certain actions according to your type of website. For example, if you have a WordPress blog, you can take the categories as core topics and generate articles directly within them that act as subtopics or generate subcategories. Also, many people establish internal links between different subtopics of the same pillar page to reinforce the page’s authority.
In conclusion, if you manage to create a strategy with topic clusters, you will create a clearer structure on your website that will help both the user in terms of usability and navigation, as well as Google when it comes to positioning your website. An SEO strategy in which many claims to have had more success in terms of positioning and time of visit on their websites. And you, have you already tried it?