An SEO strategy is essential for seeing the highest return on investment from your content. What makes for an effective strategy changes in tandem with Google's algorithm updates. The latest iteration of Google's ranking methodology has favored internal links between pages on a single website. Content clustering is - therefore - an SEO strategy that is likely to help improve rank results and page impressions.
What is Content Clustering?
Clustering is a specific way to structure content in order to develop a clear relationship between pages. A content cluster has one pillar page, which is similar to an overview page that provides substantive, broad-based information about a topic. Linked to that pillar page are several subtopic pages that go in-depth into a particular area. In a content cluster, sub-pages link to each other, and back to the pillar page.
Why Does it Work?
Clustering is an effective SEO strategy because it provides a structure that Google bots can easily understand. Because of how pages are connected to each other, bots can scan the pages more quickly than with a traditional keyword strategy. Importantly, the structure also alerts the search engine that there is a relationship between the content pages. Therefore, it tells Google that the pages provide distinct, relevant information on a particular topic that is easy for users to navigate.
How to Create Content Clusters
Content clustering requires a different approach than any other SEO strategy. Obviously, it is essential to plan out an entire cluster in advance. That means choosing appropriate pillar topics and many subtopics -- perhaps a few dozen for each pillar. At the same time, content must still be relevant. Each page, whether a pillar or a subtopic, should stand on its own, and provide more value than a simple keyword change from one page to the other.
Start by identifying relevant topics. These could be services you provide, or subjects relevant to your industry. It often helps to link those topics -- which your brand will soon become known for -- with keywords that have a quality search volume. Then create some pillar pages for those central topics. Remember, you can use your existing content to do this. In some cases, you may just have to rearrange your page structure. In other cases, you'll have to refresh or combine content in order to create some lengthy, substantive overview pages that make effective pillars.
Then, create subtopic pages. Develop the finer points addressed in your pillar pages in a more in-depth manner. You may want to create new content for the subtopic pages or repurpose existing content. What is particularly interesting here is you can use the subtopic pages to really focus on what your business does better than anyone else. This is one way you can make your website content superior to that of your competitors.
Once you've got your content and know the structure, don't forget the internal links! Those connections between subtopic pages and back to the pillar page are what makes the clustering SEO strategy particularly effective.
Want an Extra Hand?
Content clustering may sound simple, but it can take a lot of time. Thankfully, you don't have to execute this content overhaul all on your own. CWS' content creation team can help you implement a unique and effective SEO strategy.
Let's get the ball rolling with a FREE SEO Audit!