The Relevance of Content Clusters for your SEO Strategy

It is just as important as the content on your website to give this content a logical structure so that users and search engines can easily find their way around, even today. So-called content clusters help to achieve exactly that.

We’ve been hearing for years that content is king. But in order for quality, useful content to reign supreme on your website in 2023, you need to give it a thoughtful layout. That’s because quality web content absolutely needs the right structure to succeed.

And it’s the Content hub (topic cluster) that provides an effective way for you to structure and interlink content on your site. This makes it easier for users and search engines to navigate.

What is a Content hub?

The basic idea of a Content hub is based on a system of related articles that are hierarchically arranged.

The main topic (pillar content) is at the centre of the cluster. This main topic is then divided into further supporting content, subtopics, each focussing on one or more aspects of the pillar. The content at each level is connected by internal links to make it easier for users and search engines alike to recognise connections.

This creates a logical content structure that consists of three main parts:

  1. The first element of the Content Hub is the so-called pillar page. This is the central page that presents the main topic and provides insight into the issue at hand. The goal is to have this page appear in the top positions in search results, most often for general short-tail keywords (e.g. “plant soil”).

    For this reason, it should be the most comprehensive in terms of content, but at the same time, it should only contain the main summary from each detailed subtopic. For more detailed information, the pillar page links to the individual cluster pages.

  2. The pillar page is followed by the so-called cluster pages, which are dedicated to the sub-topics in great detail. They allow a given topic to be elaborated in more detail and to comprehensively cover all its components. They aim to cover as much of the long-tail as possible.
  3. The third core part of the Content Hub is internal links, which link the content together and create a path for users and search engines.

Proficio Content Hub Model

How is Content hub beneficial for SEO

Wondering what using this strategy will do for your website from an SEO perspective? There are several benefits and they are definitely worth considering.

Better structured content

Content hub gives structure to web content while establishing a clear hierarchy. This helps users and search engines to better navigate the web and makes it easier to find answers to their queries.

Hierarchised, structured and relevantly linked content is easier to understand and can also contribute to users visiting more related pages on the web.

A clearly defined content structure will also help you plan your content for the longer term. You will no longer jump ad hoc from one topic to another when creating content.

Instead, you’ll follow a clear, organized content plan.

Why are content clusters important for SEO?

  1. Comprehensive coverage of a topic and therefore improved visibility in search engines: By mapping content in detail, you increase your chances of ranking in Google or Bing search results for a wide range of search queries.
  2. Better understanding of your subject area: Search engines favour websites that are experts on a topic and provide detailed, original content. Content clusters help to structure your content, take all aspects into consideration and establish your website as an authority in your field.
  3. You can read in detail why authority is particularly important for Google rankings in our article on the topic of E-E-A-T. In summary, it can be said that the search engine will show your website at the top of the search results if it classifies your content as high quality and recognises you as an authority in your subject area.

    Content clusters contribute significantly to the authority of your website by signalling to the search engine that your domain has comprehensive information on a specific topic. Through the internal links, the search engine also recognises connections and the level of detail of your content.

  4. Improved user experience and internal linking: By linking from the pillar content to the subtopics, you create a well thought-out internal link structure. This improves navigation on your website for the user and can lead to your target group spending longer on your site, which in turn can have a positive effect on your ranking in the search results.

How do you create a content cluster?

Do you want to apply a content hub strategy to your website? We’ll show you how to do it step by step.

1. Identify the main topic, your pillar content

The right topic is the basis for success - so choose wisely. Take the following factors into account and your chances are good:

  • Brand relevance: Is the topic you have chosen relevant to your brand? What do you want to be known for in the industry and among your target audience? If the content on your website is related to your product or service, you can also use it for lead generation.

  • Niche: Make sure that the topic you choose is not too general and is as relevant as possible for your target group. However, the main topic should be sufficiently broad so that you have enough sub-topics that you can incorporate into your cluster.

  • Search queries with an information focus: Concentrate primarily on topics that serve as a source of information for the user whose main objective is not to sell your product.

  • Competition: What are your competitors writing about? Don’t be afraid to be inspired. But also remember to pick up on content that your competitors don’t cover or only partially cover.

  • Search volume: There is little point in writing about topics that your target group is not searching for. Analyse relevant keywords and prioritise your content creation according to how much volume certain terms have.

2. Define subtopics, supporting content

Once you have defined an overall topic, it’s time to add subtopics from which you can create individual cluster pages. Of course, you can also use existing content on your website for this. The only important thing is that you check and update it.

Inspiration can also come from the competition or from ChatGPT - so help your creativity in finding topics!

Try asking the AI what other questions people might have about the topic or what other subtopics are related to the topic. From what the AI can generate, it’s easy to filter subtopics based on search volume and your own preferences.

ChatGPT answer for question around "plant soil"

Add keywords for each subtopic and view monthly search volumes here too. You can use a tool such as Marketing Miner or the Keyword Planner for this.

Concentrate primarily on areas that have a certain potential for traffic and are useful for your target group.

The result of this process is a list of subtopics, each of which represents a page of the content cluster.

TIP: Don’t try to create a subpage for every specific topic that only ten people a month search for. We recommend that you combine such topics into multiple searches.

3. Create a clear structure

Group all topics into categories, and establish their hierarchy and interrelationships. The structure should be simple and clear so that users can navigate it easily. It should also put the subtopics in context with each other.

The ideal content cluster structure should be designed in such a way that it is easy and intuitive to navigate.

All subpages and information should be available in a few clicks.

At the same time, we recommend to arrange the structure in such a way that it can be easily modified and possibly extended in the future. The clear layout will also give you clarity on what topics you have covered and which areas you can expand on.

When creating content cluster strategies, we prefer to use a tool that helps us to visualise the relationships and elements. Miro, for example, works very well for this!

SEO 07. 07. 2023