Honestly, in the past, when it comes to SEO, you mostly talked about backlinks and external SEO, and the role of content was less considered. But in the last 4,5 years, with the changes that have taken place in Google’s algorithms, the role of content has gradually become more prominent so much, so that today, in order to increase the traffic to a site, we have to pay most of our attention to content. There have even been different types of production strategies.
Currently, one of the best strategies for creating content that is of most interest to SEOs is the TOPIC CLUSTER model. the correct implementation of the cluster topic on the site will make a commotion in your traffic! In this article I want to tell you everything you need to know about this content model. From the details to the techniques, I have typically learned experimentally. Be with me:
What is a content cluster model ?
If you are familiar with the world of content production on the site, you know that we have different models for creating content. Evergreen content, Skyscrapers, etc. I introduced all of them in seasausage.com.
But perhaps I can say that the best of these models is the content cluster model or cluster topic.
As the name implies, this model is a cluster and detailed lighting mode. This means that if it already produces content, each with a separate and independent article, you must create content in the cluster thread that is in the form of columns and subcategories.
As a digital marketing article is a column article and what are email marketing articles, what is content production, what is internet advertising and… as a subset of this column article and between them there is a regular internal link flow.
Do not worry, in the following with more detailed examples and more explanation, I will work make a food production specialist to become a cluster specialist. Let me start here:
What is a pillar page?
Pillar Page is the principle of cluster house. In fact, Pillar is the main pillar of any cluster thread. As I said, we are talking about a cluster food model. In fact, in the middle of this cluster, there is a pillar or column material.
For example, if you want to have a cluster of content with topics such as checking the quality of the carpet, reputable carpet brands, the difference between 700 and 1200 combs, you need one of these columns:
Carpet Buying Guide:
In the past, if we were to write content with the word carpet buying guide, we would probably go to the skyscraper model and write a full, 5,000-word article. An article that covers all the topics around and delves into each of them. But today, when you talk about the cluster topic, we write the same content with about 1-to-2-thousand-word texts! Why?
Not exactly all the sub-topics and details are covered in this content, but this time, if replaced, if there is any amount of text below, instead of delving into the sub-categories, write a summary and give the audience a preference. See the article for more information.
As your prize in the carpet buying guide article, we will talk about 800 words about reputable carpet brands, about 200 words of text about writing, and then by giving an internal link, we will tell the audience that for more explanation, refer to the reputable carpet commercial article.
So, by now we understand that
- Pillar Page is comprehensive but not very deep content.
- This article gives you a brief overview on each topic.
- Then we give an internal link to the sub-topics.
Now let’s go to the topics:
What is a cluster page?
Let me say this first: We call this whole content model a cluster topic or a cluster content model. Now part of this model is known as a cluster, a content cluster or a cluster page. So do not confuse this part with the content type of the cluster topic and know that the cluster is part of the whole strategy.
But what are cluster content pages? These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use. In fact, if we consider the article on buying carpets as a pillar page, the contents will be topics such as: reviewing the quality of carpets, reputable carpet brands, the difference between 700 and 1200 carpets, and….
These are articles that each cover a small topic and a subset of the main topic and answer all the different questions about it. Note that we link to these pages from both the Pillar content and the Pillar content from these pages.
Let’s understand the subject with a better example…
I will continue to fully explain the steps of writing a cluster topic, but another example in between can help you learn better.
After researching keywords, I found that my audience searches a lot of words to reach the pages of one of the customer’s site. I singled out a bunch of related words. These were:
- Ways to lose weight,
- Slimming with suction action,
- Slimming with exercise,
- Slimming with nutrition and diet,
- Slimming with pills and medication
Well, now that I know what my audience want, and of course I know the subject itself, I know that the main and most searched topic among these words is the phrase “ways to lose weight.” The following topics are the same as the words slimming with exercise and…
Now I am writing a 3,000-word article on different ways to lose weight and in it I will briefly explain each of these issues such as weight loss with exercise and… Then I tell the audience to go to each cluster content and link to them for further reading. In addition, I give a link to Pillar from each of the contents of the topic.
As you can see, the content of Pillar is a searchable word with a general theme. But clusters are articles with lower search, less credibility, and less popularity that are written around original content.
Remember, the pillar page was by no means an incomplete, short piece of content. In fact, this content explains all the necessary sub-topics to the audience, but does not delve into any of them, and suggests that you go to the minor content to read a deeper article.
How many words does Pillar contain?
I always face such questions in all trainings (questions that need a fixed numerical answer) and I always say that there is no fixed number in SEO. How many words your Pillar content contains is definitely up to the keyword and the topic. For example, if you are going to create a pillar with the theme of “SEO”, then a content of 1 to 1500 words will probably be useful to you. But if Pillar’s keyword is the word “internet business,” you should probably write content of about 2,000 to 4,000 words. Why? Because you can teach the subject of SEO with a short article and Internet business with a relatively long article. Pilates largely avoids high impact, high power output, and heavy muscular and skeletal loading.
How to link in the content of the cluster topic?
Most of the time when I talk about cluster topic content, a lot of people ask me how do we do internal linking between this content?
In general, the main procedure is to give the pillar and main content to the cluster and partial contents of the internal link, and then the contents of the cluster to give the internal link to the main content. But that does not mean there are limits. This means that you can even create internal links between clusters and link to them. In addition, you can even give an internal link from the content of your pillar or cluster to other contents, pages and products of your site. So do not limit yourself to these.
Skyscraper content or topic cluster?!
Until recently, two years ago, skyscraper content was a very valuable and high-quality content. Skyscrapers mean long, deep content. For example, a content about a carpet buying guide that explains all the details in depth. In this way, there was no need to write other minor content.
Skyscraper is still a very valuable type of content for many audiences. But at least I’ve been to the cluster topic for a year or two, and I happen to get good feedback both on my site and in other projects. Now I want to answer the question why cluster topic is better than skyscraper?
Normally, when you use a skyscraper, you have a valuable and rich article, which is very likely to be ranked on the main keyword. But the problem is that unfortunately these long articles have little power over their extra words. This means that your carpet buying guide article may reach the front page on the same word and get a lot of clicks, but it is unlikely that it can rank on words such as reputable carpet brands, carpet difference of 1200 combs and 700 combs and… This way you will probably lose traffic to these words.
But the content model of the cluster topic, given that it has a separate and dedicated article on each word, will most likely rank well on each and increase your site traffic.
Important points about clusters
Before I talk about the benefits of clusters and topics, let me first explain a few important points about them:
- A cluster topic is a type of content that does not apply to every keyword. In fact, there are some words on which it is better to write ordinary content or skyscraper. Which? Those words that have a lot of search, but are not subcategories
- When finding keywords, gather all your senses so that you can find Pillar words and create a cluster thread with them. The more pillars you have, the more clusters you will definitely need to create, thus enriching your site content.
- The flow of internal links between articles on your site is not going to go spammy. This means that you are not going to link to several pages in each line of content and annoy the user.
- Remember that there may be several cluster topics on each site.
- Basically, clusters that are linked from different cluster topics and are common to all of them, are named with the phrase Bridge. These are, in a way, important content of our site.
Advantages of clustered content
Well, let’s go and see how cluster content has an advantage over other types of content. After this topic, we will go to how to implement this type of strategy.
1_ Become the king of Google
Based on my experience in SEO for the past few years, I dare say that the internal link is much more powerful than you think. First see the image below:
In fact, this image is the result of an experiment conducted by HubSpot, which proved that improving the site’s ranking in Google is directly related to the number of internal links on the site. In addition, Ninja Outreach, by launching an internal link building campaign, found that it was able to increase its site traffic by 40%.
As you can see, the internal link is one of the most important details in a cluster content model. Internal link that is given from the Pillar contents to the clusters and vice versa, as well as the internal link between the contents of the cluster. The presence of these internal links will eventually increase the power of the pages and ultimately improve your SEO. This is why the content of the SEO cluster topic has a powerful and often placed on the first pages.
2_ Reduce costs
Most of the content in your cluster is content that has low competition and long keyword. That’s why they rank in a short time. Once one or more of the clusters are ranked, the rest of your site pages will be ranked and SEO more easily. In this way, you SEO your site with the lowest possible cost and sometimes even with the lowest backlinks.
3_ Deal with bounce rate
Bounce rate is one of the most important SEO factors. Bounce rate is created when a user enters your site and leaves for any reason in the shortest time. But what does the cluster topic have to do with bounce rate?
In fact, one of the most important ways to reduce bounce rate is to create an internal link. When the user enters the other pages of your site by clicking on the page links, its bounce rate will also decrease. Due to the fact that there are many internal links between clusters and pillars of this type of content, most users click on these links to read partial or general articles, thus reducing bounce rates.
4_ Remove content nodes
If you have a website, you probably know that after a while, it becomes really difficult to produce and manage content. I mean, when you lose content statistics, you do not know what content to write now, and you do not know what you have already promised your audience in site articles that you will produce in the future.
Well, Topic clusters, due to their simple and understandable structure, help you to easily manage content and help you to know what content to write and avoid clutter.
5_ Be a friend of the audience
And last but not least, the headline made you read this article. In fact, with the help of this content, the audience can access the content they want without being confused. With clusters, audiences no longer have to deal with incomplete content or multi-thousand-word content that is difficult to find. In this way, it can be said that clustering topics help you to become a credible reference and source.
How to run Topic cluster
Finally, we come to the part where we talk about the middle ground. In this section, I want to teach you step by step the implementation of the cluster topic on the site. Be with me:
1_ Find the words
In fact, the first step is one of the most basic steps in the whole SEO site. In this step called keyword research, you need to find all the keywords that users are searching for to reach your site and your site pages.
To find these words, we use keyword research tools as well as competitors’ sites and …
After finding the word list, you need to find the main topics or the pillars and the minor topics related to them, i mean the clusters. You can even write them on a piece of paper so you don’t forget. For example, write the article “Computer Case Contents” as a Pillar article and what is a hard drive article, what is RAM, what is power, and what is a topic.
About categorizing these words:
After finding the keyword pillars and clusters, ask yourself if these words can meet my audience’s needs or should I find other words to have a comprehensive clustering topic? If necessary, look through the rest of the words and find the rest.
Also, ask yourself about each pillar, is it a word with sub-themes or not? The word of choice may not be appropriate for building a pillar and you can replace it with a skyscraper content. For example, the word “bilingual SEO” is a word that is better to have a skyscraper content than a pillar because there are no specific details around it.
2_ Content production: Cluster or Pillar?
In the next step, content production begins. The question that arises here is: should we write the contents of the pillar first or the clusters? I have two scenarios for this question, each of which you can run:
1_ Write the contents of the pillar, then after publishing each cluster, go to the contents of the pillar and give a link to the cluster. It is best to add between 100 and 300 words of new content to Pillar each time to make it more powerful.
2_ First write the contents of your cluster, after you have written all of them, write the contents of the pillar and link the clusters to it.
I often use the second solution myself, and of course when updating internal links, I update the clusters with content.
3_ External link building
Finally, you can start the process of building backlinks for your cluster topic. Basically, to build or buy backlinks, we try to give most of the backlinks to Pillar content. Why? Because they also transfer credit to clusters and upload those pages with them.
As a final word: I remind you once again that we are not going to limit internal linking in clustered content. Sometimes we even link all the topics in our site clusters. In some cases, we even connect to internal links between our different clusters.
Well, we come to the part where we talk about the middle ground. In this article, we first understood what a cluster topic is, got acquainted with Pillar and clusters, and learned various details about them. Of course, I’m sure you still have questions about this type of content. So I am waiting for you in the comments section.