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It also means that you will be able to adapt to the changing rules of Google, who no longer respond to you merely stuffing articles with keywords, but reward a more thoughtful, orderly arrangement of pages. Search engines are now aware of which pages to prioritise. As people pose more complex queries into search engines, they are clever enough to recognise the link between queries. Recognising search intent has been one of the major changes with Google over the last few years and content clusters address this to give you a higher ranking.
The choice is yours.
So, what are you waiting for! Have you had any experience using content clusters on your website? Why not tell us about it in the comments section on this article?
What is a content cluster?
Using content clusters carefully organizes a website’s internal linking between web pages according to the different levels of the site’s hierarchy.
In the last few years, content clusters have generated large amounts of hype among SEO experts. But used as a strategy, it’s one that’s also rarely followed to the letter because content clusters need to be well organised.
Likewise, if you enter all the ingredients required for a good inbound marketing recipe, Google will give you Plezi. 😉
And what do you need to know to get it into place when, as a busy marketer, your plate is already full?
The idea is that by adopting good internal linking practices AND optimizing the topic areas covered by your website, you should be able to increase the number of keywords you’re ranked on by search engines.
Links between pages and websites pass on popularity. We used to talk about “PageRank”, which provided an indication of how “important” a web page was. The higher it was, the more that page could help another website to rank well by linking to it.
Content clusters for busy marketers.
A content cluster draws its power from only linking those pages which are related to a specific topic. For example, if we talk about “ buyer personas ” in the content cluster we looked at above, we won’t link to another page on our website about that topic.
It means using different levels of web pages to carefully organize your content according to how relevant it is to a given topic.
And finally, it’s difficult to always adhere to a content cluster structure. It means not only publishing a certain amount of content for the cluster to be truly effective, but also foregoing possibilities for internal links on your website (see the “buyer persona” example above).
In SEO, the concept of topics is related to the meaning of words that people enter into search engines. In practical terms, this means that search engines try to guess what topic internet users are looking for information on when they enter certain keywords.
An introduction to topics.
… and more. Your Pillar page will need to broadly cover each of these points, so that you are able to link your cluster content on to it. Each cluster content can then speak on that subject in detail. It means that you are no longer reliant on keywords, as such, but that it is topics that will help various search engines recognise the importance of your content and your online presence.
Here on the left, for example, is the structure of Plezi’s website (which is not fully structured using content clusters) compared with a website on the right that is:
Content clusters are an SEO strategy designed to optimize a website’s structure and internal linking by organizing content around topics into pillar and cluster pages .
Let’s say that we want to rank for the term “Lead Nurturing” for example. You need to make a review of all your pages that discuss lead nurturing and group them. Then, if need be, you can create a pillar page which goes into the key aspects of this topic. for example:
So, are they just a buzzword to casually drop into a conversation to show you know your stuff when it comes to SEO and digital marketing, or do they really deliver results?
Over the last few years, Google’s engineering team has directed its focus towards natural language processing and a deeper understanding of how on-page content interrelates.
Because they share semantic relevance. These searchers are all looking for a product that helps with scheduling interviews.
Whether you include keywords that have higher organic difficulty will depend on your site authority, backlink profile, and how established your website is.
What Are Keyword Clusters?
So how do we level up our on-page optimizations to match Google’s technology?
Then, identify all of the variations, long-tail phrases, and subtopics of that keyword that searchers are using.
This is an outdated practice, especially when we know our landing pages often end up ranking for hundreds of keywords anyway.
You also give Google’s content signals the rich content clusters they’re trained to identify and promote in search results.
Keyword clustering is the answer.
The pillar pages for your keyword clusters should incorporate on-page SEO best practices. One of my favorite strategies is to use a content optimization tool to help you optimize your content more effectively.
A Closer Look At Two Keyword Clusters.
There are a few different ways to document your keyword research, but the simplest solution is using spreadsheets.
High CPCs, strong search volume, and relevant search intent are what makes a keyword valuable for your brand.
Now, here’s a second cluster:
The core keywords in your clusters should have a reasonable search volume (otherwise you optimize for nobody).
Step 2: Segment Your Keywords Into Groups.
Neural matching helped Google understand synonyms. BERT helped Google understand those tricky prepositions.
Search Volume And CPC.
This is because they respond to Google’s two biggest superpowers: Natural language processing and unmatched indexing.
Keyword clusters are groups of keywords that represent searchers with similar purchase intent.
The below image is an example of keyword research for a software platform that helps businesses recruit, interview, and hire employees.