SEO Cluster: What is it Google does not stop updating its algorithm day by day, week by week, and month by month, refining it and making it more and more demanding.
Structured data, BERT, EAT, quality and original content, authority, trust, popularity, content structure, semantics…etc., getting organic traffic becomes more and more difficult.
It is no longer enough to publish anything on a web page and wait for Google to be the one to show it to millions of people in a matter of milliseconds.
It is no longer enough to write any content and expect Google to love it and show it to thousands of people without further ado.
The exact keywords no longer work as such. Google prefers semantic phrases and entities.
Having an outdated website where the new Googlebot cannot correctly read the page’s content does not improve things.
Google is no longer so interested in your PC web version, preferring to focus on tracking the mobile version and, from there, decide what position you deserve.
Content marketing works, not just any content, and not even if it’s poorly structured. I have already talked in this blog about SEO factors and the understanding of natural language by a search engine.
Online stores fight for informational queries with blogs or newspapers, and Google must determine what the user wants to find, whether it is information or purchase. (There is a patent for this).
The organic results “coexist” with other rich snippets, such as videos, images, news, maps, and podcasts… not counting Google’s Ads.
Even many web pages with very, very similar content use practically the same title, so…how does Google determine which page is the most relevant to the user?
All this makes the content marketing of many web pages fail. A great daily effort is made to create content to “like” Google, but the number of organic visits does not increase.
So SEO experts have had to research and try different things to get effective content strategies to rank high in organic search engine results.
What is a CLUSTER?
A cluster when we talk about SEO:
The cluster is the sum of all the small vectors or pieces (post) that deal with a topic individually and are perfectly interconnected with each other and the pillar—resulting in a greater potential in the rankings of the pillar theme.
A cluster is based on creating a single “pillar” page that acts as the main content hub for a general topic, and around it, several content posts related to that same topic are created, which connect to the pillar page. and each other.
it may sound new to you, but in reality, it has been around for a while; what happens is that it is unknown to most web page owners.
The same thing happens with semantic terms, co-occurrences, or lexical terms within a web page.
People in the SEO world have been applying it for a long time with great success. However, most web page owners still think of “keywords.”
We are at a disadvantage if this is the case.
To get out of this loophole of static visits from our Google Analytics, we need to create exactly what a search engine wants and do it the right way.
For this reason, today, we will learn in this tutorial how to create a cluster of topics to boost the ranking of a website.
Steps to create a cluster of topics in a blog
# Step 1. Find a topic with a high volume of searches we want to rank.
To make it easier, I want to make a 100% practical and very current example, such as the issue of IRPH clauses in the lawyer sector.
This legal profession sector is in an interesting moment since a CJEU ruling is about to come out (March 3) that can cause a flood of potential clients for law firms.
So, let’s see if this “topic” can be valid to create a cluster of topics around it, assuming that we are a law firm.
With a monthly search volume of 40,500 on average (and possibly increasing from March 3, 2020), it is a good candidate to create a topic cluster.
# Step 2. Create a cluster page
After finding our main theme, the next step is to create a page (and not a blog post) with a slightly special design to differentiate it from a traditional post.
Elements that a cluster page must contain:
- A general description of the subject of more than 300 words.
- A series of posts (articles or chapters talking in-depth about each subpoint). The ideal is to have more than ten related articles.
- An author of the contents with biography included. Ideally, the author should have Twitter and Linkedin accounts where they can verify that they are an expert on the subject.
- Calls to action to convert users into potential customers.
Let’s look at an example:
Visually, the top of the page might look something like this:
We remember that it is important that the author’s biography of the content appears on this page.
It is fully aligned with Google’s EAT quality policies.
# Step 3. Create the content related to the cluster or pillar
We need to create a series of articles related to the content of a pillar page, which in our example is the IRPH.
As I have mentioned, the idea is to have more than ten articles talking in-depth about the subject. They can be 15, 20, or more.
The more articles we create and from different perspectives, the better to rank higher on Google. Including the originality of the content (as indicated by Google itself).
Examples of content about IRPH:
- Steps to follow if you are affected by IRPH
- How to calculate the IRPH of your mortgage and how to claim from your bank
- How to face your bank for the IRPH
It is necessary to take into account detail at the content level.
Not all content has to be in text format, but you have to think about what type of content can be more interesting for the user.
An example can be when we explain how we can calculate the IRPH. Maybe for this keyphrase, the user prefers to see an example explainer video, so we need to create that video and include it on our “pillar” page.
What are the URLs of this cluster, then?
We will see this point since it can also be of interest at the technical SEO level and can be understood more easily by a search engine bot.
# Step 4. Link all subtopics to the pillar
This positioning method and others are that we can perfectly control internal linking. There are only internal links (internal links) between the content that belongs to the cluster, in our case, the IRPH.
We must make sure that only articles related to the cluster are linked and avoid creating links outside this system.
This internal link will give contextual value to the main topic and give importance to the user; navigation is always related to the main topic.
The internal binding of post and pillar can have a view such as the following:
In addition, the main page of the cluster must contain, as we have commented at the beginning, all the related articles linked within it.
It may be done from the side, like the image below, or they may all be linked across the page.
# Step 5. External links or external links to the cluster
Once we have the internal work of the cluster, known as SEO On Page, we have to apply another key step: getting external links for it.
If we want our topic cluster to rank very high and get that high volume of traffic anticipated, we will need external links, also known as backlinks.
The backlinks will be the ones that give “authority” in Google to our cluster and will be key to indicating to Google that we are “strong” on this issue.
This step is crucial because without it, it will be very difficult to achieve the high goals we have, and our efforts may not have the desired results.
The backlinks to the cluster:
- We will need external links to the cluster or pillar from newspapers mainly.
- We will need external links to the posts created around the cluster, from thematic blogs or those touching on that topic.
Here the typical question may arise: okay, but how many?
The answer is simple, quality and quantity in balance. You can get the same approximately during a fixed period such as a month.
The topic we have touched on here about the IRPH may last several months. Therefore, must obtain the external links throughout that time and while new content is generated.
Google crawls trillions of web pages daily, so excelling with content isn’t easy. We need to give signals that we are experts on a topic, that we know how to organize it correctly on a website, know how to offer it to users without getting lost on the web, and know well what users want.
Then the search engine will reward us.
If we do it in another way (more disorganized), it is almost certain that we will see more traffic drops in our Analytics than increases.
I hope you liked this SEO positioning method that big brands are already applying and that.