Let me suggest a better way to create SEO-Friendly Content: Topic Clustering. Not only does it save you time, but it showcases your expertise and helps you extend the reach of your material.
For the past four years, since the unveiling of the Google Hummingbird update, there have been great discourse surrounding topics over keyword optimization. That is because Google is getting better at understanding the searcher’s intent. The search itself becomes more and more efficient by adapting to the needs of the user. So if you haven’t yet, it has certainly become time to update your SEO strategy and Topic Clustering is where it is at.
SEO – 2017: How Does Topic Clustering Work?
To answer this question, it is important to understand how search engines weigh content. Instead of creating a blog post and optimizing for specific keywords, content marketers and SEO experts should be adjusting their web content for specific topics. These topics create clusters that each relate back to a big idea/core topic.
For example, I’m writing a post about “online reputation management”. To do that, I would create a long post describing what online reputation management is. The longer the post the better. Once I have my long article written, I can then create a list of subtopics that are connected to the core topic by simply searching for the core topic using Google Instant. Once you have compiled the list, write about each sub-topic and link the subtopics to the core topic content.
Before topic clustering
This setup makes it harder for search engines bots to access all the pages speedily. Further, many businesses that invest in web content, such as blogs find themselves with dozens of web pages that cover similar topic areas. All these pages end up competing to get recognition.
Image Source: Matt Barby
Topic clusters re-order the website layout to look more like what you see above, where clusters of content that cover a topic area link to a central page. By linking all internal content within that topic on a core topic page, search engines can scan all the content and understand that there is some kind of relationship between the pages’ content without any difficulty.
Source: Matt Barby
SEO – 2017: Benefits of Topic Clusters
Saves Time: You will save time on research. The research you do will apply to all pieces of content in the topic cluster. You will also cut down on writing. As you write each piece of content in that topic cluster, you will be able to do so in the least amount of time.
Showcases Your Expertise: Writing one great article is not necessarily going to make you an expert in one subject. But if you can create many high-quality content page that stem from a single core topic, you are on your way to becoming a thought leader and an influencer.
Helps You Reach More Readers: Your readers do not read 100% of your content. By creating a topic cluster, you ensure that most of your readers will read at least one piece of content in the cluster. And if you do it right, you can leverage topic clustering to reach new readers.
SEO – 2017: How do Topic Clusters Impact SERPs?
HubSpot’s Anum Hussain and Cambria Davies did an experiment on topic clusters in 2016. Their initial topic cluster experiments found that the more interlinking they did, the better their placement in search engine results pages (SERPs) was. Impressions (or views) also increased with the number of links they created.
What’s important is to ensure that you are creating content that humans want to see and read, as opposed to content that is designed solely for bots to pick up. Do not forget, search engines are pretty smart. In most cases, they don’t require you to even mention a keyword in the copy of your content to understand that the content you just posted is relevant to their users.
Shifting your focus to building content on a keyword-by-keyword basis and moving to owning topics is going to help you create better content, increase your visibility in the search engines and provide a much more positive experience for visitors.
Looking for ideas to better organize your blog posts and make them more visible? Contact our SEO Company in Toronto for a free analysis today. iRISEmedia is a Toronto Digital Marketing agency specializing in SEO and Social Media marketing. We will peruse your current content marketing strategy and offer suggestions on how to improve it for SEO, social media and PPC advertising purposes.