Content Clusters

Content Clusters: an SEO technique that establishes rankings and thought leadership for your website’s important keywords.

The concept of Content Clusters is simple.You create strong cornerstone content for an important keyword, develop strong content for related keywords, and link the related keywords to your corner stone content.

The basic steps

  1. Choose a keyword that’s important for your website. Use tools like Google Trends or Google Adwords Keyword Planner to identify the keywords that people search for when they need your goods and services.
  2. Choose related keywords based on your target customers and their path to purchase. If you offer Sports Medicine, you might choose “sports medicine for athletes,” “Sports physicals,” and “sports medicine doctor.”
  3. Write and publish your cornerstone content. Use the Yoast SEO plugin to help you with this. If you check “cornerstone content,” Yoast will prompt you to make this post longer and to avoid using the keyword again in the future.
  4. Map the related keywords to your existing content — you may already have posts for some of those terms. You may need to update these posts, add keywords, or optimize them for search. It makes sense to use the posts you already have, though. They may already be showing up well in search.
  5. Optimize existing content and write new posts as needed.
  6. Link spoke content to the hub content. Use that important keyword as the anchor text when you link the posts. Make sure your keyword sounds natural when you create your link. Note that you can’t link to content until it’s published. That’s one reason it’s important to publish your cornerstone content back in step three.
  7. Schedule new spoke content out. You could publish a dozen posts at once, but it’s more effective to publish fresh content on a regular basis. Your Content Cluster will be more effective if it appears in a series of related posts. We use a tool called Edit Flow to schedule content visibly on a calendar.
  8. Find your baseline rankings using tools like ManageWP or another rank checking tool. The important thing is to use the same tool, so you can see the improvement over time.
  9. Monitor your rankings. You want to see a steady rise in your rankings. Keeping track will help you know where you should allocate resources and when you’re ready to add another Content Cluster.
  10. Keep working on it! Update and improve content, request links, and share via social media and other platforms. All effective SEO work is a marathon, not a sprint. Give your content time to move up.

The slides

Download the slides from my WordCamp Fayetteville 2018 presentation on Content Clusters:

Content Clusters

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