Content Collections Rank Advantageously: Topic Clusters
The shift continued from standalone content pieces ranking well in search to collections of content ranking in search results. To achieve this, digital marketers should create content in topic clusters to capture traffic.
Topic clusters are collections of content that relate to one central subject. Each topic cluster comprises of a central piece of pillar content and a supporting cluster of content.
Pillar content is the foundation of your topic cluster. Pillar content is long form authoritative content, meaning you will need to invest well over 2,500 words to establish a pillar. Pillar content should be viewed as a subject resource.
The supporting cluster of content is developed naturally to answer queries arising from the pillar content. The cluster content can be the natural next step to support the pillar for further subject exploration.
Topic clusters begin to exist when a pillar article links naturally to the cluster content and vice versa.
Formatting your content plan in this way provides benefit to the website owner as authority is passed from each article in the link effective strengthening all your articles.
The relationship between the pillar and the cluster is symbiotic. Each can benefit from the positive rankings of the other so long as the interlinking strategy adopted makes sense and the linking is natural.
From a search engine perspective when a topic cluster is adopted correctly, user engagement metrics will signal Google that people are engaging with your content and only leave when their questions are resolved. Google is then more likely to serve your content to additional user which in turn raises your rankings in search results.
Example of a topic cluster
The image above demonstrates a topic cluster example where a building company wants to rank for a search such as “best roofing materials” To drive traffic to their website, the company then develops a pillar article title “The ultimate guide on roofing materials”
The supporting cluster would then explore topics naturally arising from the pillar, answering both broad and niche questions in detail which in this case included; “Best roofing material for Australian conditions” and “Roofing material X 5-year review”
As seen by example, a websites blog can branch off into several pillar content pieces with their respective supporting clusters. There is no correct quantity of content to aim for. To gauge what your website should create to be competitive, check what your competitors are doing in your industry.
Video Content Is the Fastest Growing Preferred Marketing Medium
The trend continues to show video content is demanded by consumers. If your business wants to stay ahead of the curb, video content development is crucial.
From an organic standpoint, YouTube remains the third most visited website on the internet after Google and Facebook and shows no signs of slowing down. Niches including the “how to” videos have continued to grow up 70% year on year.
Facebook clearly recognises the increasing importance of video. In May 2019, Facebook unveiled a new design that gave more prominence to photo driven stories as well as their video-on-demand site and included new tools to facilitate video content.
Friends can now use Facebook messenger to take part in simultaneous texts and video chats that let them see each other’s reactions. The next natural step will likely be the ability to opt in or have video content preferences and an even more micro level.
Short lasting stories such as those used in small groups across Instagram and Snap Chat have been catalysts for this trend.
A business should jump at any opportunity to create content in the form of video as the content remains the most engaged, shared and arguably the easiest to digest across almost all platforms.