Content marketing continues to evolve and is one form of marketing that is gaining in popularity each and every day. More companies are realizing that if they don’t have a strong content marketing strategy they are missing out on a huge opportunity. One recent development in this form of marketing is the content cluster. Before we get into why this strategy has proven so successful, let’s first define what a content cluster is.
What Is A Content Cluster?
A content cluster is a content marketing strategy where you create a “cluster” of content around one overarching topic. Take a look at the image below, you’ll see that in the middle there is one overall category. This is considered your main topic. On the outside of that, you’ll see additional content linking back to that initial category. The goal of a content cluster is to create a bank of thorough content about the overarching topic.
But, it’s not enough to simply create a bunch of content on one topic. In order for this marketing approach to be successful, you must create comprehensive content and implement a well-planned internal linking strategy.
Related: What Is A Content Cluster?
When we speak of an internal linking strategy, we mean that every piece of content in that cluster needs to not only link to the overall category page, but also must try and link to all of the other content in the cluster. In the image above you can see that there are link icons on each line connecting the pieces of content to one another. This step in the content cluster approach is essential in order for your content to make an impact.
What Does A Content Cluster Do?
Now that you are aware of what a content cluster is and the basic strategy behind it, we can dive into what a content cluster does. Here are three things that a content cluster strategy can help your brand achieve.
1. Build Authority
One of the most important things a content cluster does is positions your brand as a thought leader on a variety of topics. If you implement the content cluster strategy, your brand will have a wide range of in-depth content which will then show the search engines that your brand is authoritative and trustworthy on those topics. But, remember, this shouldn’t just be any content. The content you write needs to align with your brand and be relevant to your target audience.
Related: Benefits of a Content Cluster
For example, a great place to start is to build content around your main products or services. Start with your main navigational pages and create a bank of content around each topic in addition to the subcategory pages under the main page. The more content you have on your site about these topics the better those pages will perform.
To even further the success of this content you should link all of the same topic content together and link to the main navigational page you are trying to support with that content. Not only is this content strategy great for readership, but it also shows the search engines that you are an authority on that topic because of your comprehensive base of content.
2. Improve SEO Rankings
One of the main goals of the content cluster strategy is to help support SEO efforts. By choosing the appropriate keywords to go after in your content, write in-depth content, and execute a strong internal linking strategy you can help boost your brand’s SEO. However, simply creating a comprehensive bank of content is not enough, it is essential to create and implement an organized internal linking strategy in order for your cluster strategy to be successful.
Related: How Content Cluster Benefit SEO
A proper internal linking strategy includes choosing the right anchor text to link as well as linking to relevant content plus the main navigational page your content was produced to support. By doing so you can help push your keywords ranking higher as Google uses internal linking to understand what a particular web page is about. On top of that, by linking to a page with specific anchor text you are increasing your chances of ranking for that specific keyword on that page.
Additionally, the content cluster strategy aligns perfectly with many of the Google ranking factors. For instance, Google ranks sites higher when they have content that provides value. In addition, Google looks more favorably at sites that have long-form articles. When creating your content cluster, it is recommended to have at least four long-form articles in each cluster.
Ensuring that these articles are long form is important because the content needs to be comprehensive and bring value to your audience. So, by employing a content cluster strategy, you can not only position your brand as an authority on a variety of subjects, but also help support SEO efforts.
3. Deliver valuable content to your audience
Lastly, a content cluster will help deliver valuable content to your audience. Because of the in-depth keyword process that takes place before the content cluster is written, your content will be relevant to your target audience. The whole point of a content cluster it to produce a library of comprehensive content on a wide range of topics that connect with your brand and audience.
Related: How To Create A Content Cluster
Additionally, when you execute an internal linking strategy you are guiding your readers to other content on the subject as well. This keeps them on your site and brings value to them. By continuing to produce comprehensive content on a variety of subjects, your readers will stay interested and continue to seek out your brand for information.
All in all, this relatively new content marketing strategy has proven successful for many brands. Not only does Google look favorably on the content cluster strategy in terms of keyword ranking, but you are providing excellent content to your audience.