All about SEO and topic clusters
Topic clusters and pillar pages have been a talking point among SEO professionals during the past few years. This article dwells deep into how topic clusters and pillar pages can be utilized in search engine optimization and content marketing.
A pillar page is known to be a lengthy site comprising thousands of words. However, this page should not address all sub categories in a comprehensive manner but rather include articles that support the pillar page, that is cluster content.
Pillar pages refer to a piece of content regarding any topic that is exceptionally comprehensive. To put it in perspective, let's pick social media as one of many possible pillar page examples. In such a situation the pillar page would be a thorough and informative article regarding social media where each and every area relevant to the topic is addressed.
Therefore, a pillar page is known to be a lengthy site comprising thousands of words. However, this page should not address all sub categories in a comprehensive manner but rather include articles that support the pillar page, that is cluster content.
As per our example since the pillar page is about social media, the supporting articles should discuss various subcategories of the topic more deeply. Good examples of supporting articles could be topics like social media in marketing, Instagram stories, Facebook advertising etc. The image below taken from HubSpot presents how a pillar page and its supporting articles are linked to each other.
How to benefit from pillar pages and topic clusters?
Thorough planning of the topic clusters and pillar pages is the key to success. The smoothest way to this is by planning the clusters and enlinking before writing the content.
What is valuable to note is that oftentimes the site already includes former content related to the topic that has not been linked to the pillar page systemically. Consequently, a pillar page can be constructed, after which linking internal links can be done.
1. Start by conducting a keyword research
A keyword research helps to generate ideas to the pillar page and to articles supporting it. In addition, keyword research is useful in understanding what type of information people are searching from Google and what phrases they use for it. Keyword tools can be utilized in keyword research. Ideas for keywords can also be found by checking the suggested keywords provided by a Google search.
2. Plan the pillar page and supporting content based on keyword research
If possible, it is a good idea to construct the pillar page before creating the supporting articles. A well-comprised, thorough piece of content on the pillar page smoothes out the process of writing the supporting articles.
3. Link the pillar page with relevant articles
It is essential to enlink the content correctly with internal links in order to the pillar page and topic cluster to receive the maximum visibility.
Internal links are valuable for both search visibility and user experience. Internal links allow the user to navigate from a piece of content to another. Naturally, this increases the time spent on the web site which is a positive sign towards Google.
4. Check that the pillar page is available within one click from the front page
Make sure that the pillar page and other major pages are within one click from the front page when it comes to the inner hierarchy of the web site. By doing so it is easier for the user to find important pages, therefore gaining as much internal link juice as possible.
Pillar pages in WordPress
A Yoast SEO add-on in WordPress allows to tag content as cornerstone content, making it easier to organize internal linking of the web page. Read more on Yoast SEO blog.
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