Content Cluster Strategy: How to Improve Your Blog's UX & Search Performance

Content Cluster Strategy: How to Improve Your Blog's UX & Search Performance

Content clusters is a new strategy that puts topics over keywords. Check out what a content cluster consists of and find out how to turn your blog into a library.

How do you plan content destined to increase organic traffic to your website? Most companies pick out keywords with a nice search volume and target this keyword in a piece of content. 

In other words, their SEO-driven content strategy is focused on keywords. This strategy leads companies to create more and more content that will most likely underperform. 

In this blog post, you'll discover a better way to build your SEO-driven content strategy.

What's a content cluster strategy?

Content cluster strategy is a way to plan and organize your content based on topics, rather than keywords. This "topics over keywords" strategy was explained by HubSpot in 2017.

Imagine your website was a library. If your content strategy was based on keywords, your library would look like a warehouse with random book chapters lying here and there. Whenever you had a visitor come to your library to read something, you would just give them one chapter. If they wanted to learn more about the subject of this chapter, you would have to spend a lot of time trying to find a related chapter, and there is a big chance you don't even have it. 

Now let's imagine your content strategy is based on topics. In this case, your library would have shelves with books organized by topics. Every book would include all the information a reader wants to know about a given subject. And if they wanted to read something else, they would find a book about it in your library. 

Which of these two libraries would attract more people?

Of course, the one, whose content strategy is based on topics.

It works the same way on the web. By organizing your content around topics, you improve the user experience for your readers, and the search engines can easily scan all of your content because they understand that there is a semantic relationship between your articles. As a result, they would rank your content better.

How do you create content clusters?

Content clusters consist of three main components:

1. Pillar page

This is the biggest and the most extensive piece of content about a given topic. It serves as the “hub” of your cluster. 

For example, let's say we want to build a content cluster about how to start an ecommerce business. Our pillar page can be an article called "How to Start an Ecommerce Business: A Step-By-Step Guide"

This article will explore the topic in great depth and will answer every question that a reader who searches for "how to start an ecommerce business" has.

It will be broad enough to be an umbrella for 20-30 posts linked to and from this pillar page. These 20-30 blog posts are cluster content, the second component of content clusters. 

2. Content clusters

Cluster content consists of related topics or long-tail keywords. For example, if our topic is how to start an ecommerce business, subtopics may include: 

  • Types of ecommerce businesses
  • Best products to sell online
  • Ecommerce platform comparison
  • Ecommerce marketing strategy

And so on.

3. Internal links

The third and last component of content clusters is internal links. Think about them as the glue that holds your clusters together. Your content pages that are related to one topic must link back to the pillar page and to each other. This linking action signals to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic, and over time, the page may rank higher and higher for the topic it covers.

Now when you know how to build content clusters, here is what you need to do next:

  • Audit your existing content pages and group them by topics
  • If needed, create pillar pages that capture all the key aspects of your topics in single pages
  • Link your content clusters related to one topic to the pillar page about that topic and to each other
  • Identify any content gaps within your clusters and come up with new content ideas to fill them
  • Keep an eye on your library, make sure it's always organized and up-to-date.

Before you go, make sure you also check out my blog post about how to map content to each stage of the marketing funnel. You can combine both approaches: content clustering and stages of awareness to create a winning content strategy.

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