If you’ve been posting on your blog for a while, you probably have a significant amount of good content for your visitors. But can they easily find all the content they need? To keep things simple, you can consider creating topic clusters. Topic groups, or content hubs, will help your visitor and search engines find all the content related to a particular category in a more convenient and logical way.
Without a logical plan, your content can become repetitive and very sprawling, making it harder to navigate your website. Ultimately, you end up with several web pages and blog posts that cover similar topics.
What are subject clusters?
Topic groups are groups of content organized around a specific topic. Each specific topic has a page that provides an index or table of contents. The main page, sometimes referred to as the pillar page, is an overview with links to the many other pages covering aspects of this topic. In addition, the more in-depth content links to the pillar page.
By creating this linked structure, you make it easy for your visitors to find all the information on a particular topic. Plus, this uniform link structure allows search engines to crawl your pages quickly.
What makes a page a pillar?
A pillar page can be a main page on your website or a detailed blog post that resides in your website navigation. It should be focused on your target topic and the content should be of high quality and comprehensive. Your pillar pages should cover the main areas of the topic completely but at a high level. This allows you to link to other website content related to that topic that goes more in depth. These detailed articles should also link to the pillar page. This cross-linking allows the content to form a cluster that helps the visitor find all the information they need.
The topic cluster model also tells search engines that your pillar page is an authority on the topic. By linking all of that topic’s content to one page, you are signaling search engines that your content has significant coverage and depth around the topic.
Benefits of topic groups
Organizing your content into clusters has benefits for you, your visitors, and search engines. These include:
- A more organized website with content that completely covers one topic across multiple articles.
- Better user experience and conversions from visitors to leads. Well-organized content sends a strong message to visitors that your business is the expert. You can get more engagement on all posts in the cluster.
- Improved SEO that helps your blog become an authority on a particular topic. Bundling your content allows you to optimize not only the main keyword but also many long tail keywords that can help drive additional traffic.
- More comprehensive content better suited to your audience. This increases the perceived value of the content for your visitors.
- A streamlined content marketing strategy focused on topics relevant to your target audience.
How to start reorganizing your content
Creating these topic clusters will require some planning. The implementation of thematic clusters will certainly take some time. Here are some tips to get you started.
Start with a content audit
You need to know what content you have and whether it needs to be updated or removed. A content audit will help you determine what content you have, if it’s still relevant, and whether you need to update or delete it. Eliminating old content that is no longer relevant is the first step in streamlining your content.
If you have a WordPress site, install a plugin called WP All Export. You can export your blog posts to a custom CSV file. You can choose the data to export, including date published and modified, title, full content, keyword, categories, SEO title, meta description, permalinks, all taxonomies and fields personalized.
Once you have the content info spreadsheet, use it to organize your posts. Hope you have used strategic categories in your blog which are similar to topic groups. You can use it to sort your content and start the grouping process.
Align your content with customer needs
Your ideal customers have problems that you can solve. What do they want to know that you can help them with? Use this information to build a strategic list of topic groups you need on your website.
Your content should address these issues so that your audience sees you as someone who understands them and can help them. If your content doesn’t match the way you help your customers, you might need to rethink your content.
If you are not sure, do a keyword research to define the topic more in depth. Use tools like Answer the Public to give yourself a list of questions related to your topic.
If your topic group is about remodeling, Answer the Public has 76 questions you can use to write content. For example, one of the questions is “What remodeling increases the value of a house?” You can easily turn this question into a blog post in the Reshaping topic group. Keep in mind that you can break a cluster into more granular topics like kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling. It will help your visitor even more if they are focusing on a particular renovation project.
Map your content in your strategic clusters
Go back to your content spreadsheet and organize your existing content into your strategic topics. This will allow you to see where you are missing out on content. If you have a cluster that has multiple articles of recent and relevant content, start there.
Create your pillar page and link to your existing content. If there is an area of this topic that you don’t have content to link to, you have found a gap in your content. Filling in the gaps in content adds to your credibility.
Determine what to do with content that doesn’t match
If you have content that doesn’t fit into any of your strategic topic groups, you need to have a plan for what to do with it.
Is it still relevant to your business? If so, this can form the basis of another cluster that you can populate with additional messages. You might have only written a few articles on this topic, but now you can add it to your content strategy. If it is no longer relevant, eliminate outdated or irrelevant content.
All content is strategic
I use this phrase a lot when speaking with small business owners. The content you spend time writing should add value to your web presence and help attract your ideal customers. Using topic groups is a great way to organize your content and make it relevant. Without this type of organization, you risk straying from the topics that are important to your business.
But take it one step at a time. You can’t rearrange all of your content quickly. Start with your most important topic and organize it. Then keep working on others until your website becomes a quality expert information resource.