How you can Begin Your Content material Cluster Technique
When you think of content clustering, what comes to mind first?
Yes, we didn't think of internal links and pillar posts either. Clustering sounds like chocolate and nuts, but is actually a content marketing strategy that can be used to achieve better rankings and conversions.
When clustering content, pillars are used to achieve conversions. We learned the pros and cons of the content cluster from Aja Frost, the senior content strategist on the HubSpot SEO team. Thanks to Aja, we have been able to increase our own conversions through content clustering and are confident that this is a strategy you should know.
For each column post in your cluster strategy, create multiple cluster posts that are linked to it. This creates a content cluster on a specific topic and all links to the larger pillar. The pillar bears the weight of the team and is so impressively designed that it increases your conversions. The cluster posts serve to get more views on this pillar post and to improve the ranking in Google.
Let's look at an example that we can all leave behind – puppies. An animal rescue could create a pillar titled "Everything You Need to Know About Adopting a Dog". Then they could create cluster posts on "What to buy when adopting a dog?", "Where to adopt a dog", "How to adopt a dog" and "What type of dog to adopt". (This example assumes these are all high-level keywords.)
Each of these cluster contributions is linked to the larger pillar contribution "Everything you need to know about adopting a dog". This pillar is called to action, for example to show pictures of dogs that the shelter has for adoption – because who can resist puppies ?!
In this way, you create a content cluster that drives conversions across your pillar posts.
If this is a good idea for your marketing strategy, here are the 5 steps to start your own content cluster.
# 1: Choose your pillar themes
Your content cluster strategy begins with pillar contributions around which you create content. A pillar contribution can be, for example, content marketing. You then publish content that supports this pillar contribution. (For example, an article on content clusters 😉.)
To find out what your pillar topics should be, look at the keywords that are best for your business. You want terms that are searched frequently and correlate directly with your products.
For example, if you are an interior designer, consider keywords such as "interior design for kitchens", "decorations for bathrooms" and "exterior design". These keywords would be your pillars, and then you would build your cluster content around them.
# 2: Find out your cluster post topics
Once you know what your pillar post topics are, you will find out what content can be grouped around each post. For example, our interior designer can create content clusters such as "decor for small kitchens" and "kitchens with marble accents" around their pillars for the keywords "interior design for kitchens". Each of these clusters can point to the pillar post as a comprehensive contribution to everything someone needs to know about interior design for kitchens.
At DigitalMarketer, our pillar has everything you need to know Content marketing includes content clusters such as:
For each of your pillar posts, you want to create at least 3 related articles that reference it.
# 3: Write your pillar post
Now comes the fun part! Write your pillar on pen (or outsource it). Since your content clusters refer to this post via internal links, you want to make sure that it is extremely valuable content and an excellent representation of what your company has to offer through its products.
For example, we want our post “Everything you need to know about content marketing” to be just that – everything you need to know. We don't want to sell you by not keeping the promise of our headline or writing a below average article. Your column post will drive conversions, so you want to make it one of your best contributors.
Since pillar posts are usually longer than your cluster posts, make sure you structure them so that they are easy to read.
Use headings (H1, H2, H3, and H4), bold and italics, bullets, pictures, emojis, and everything else to break down the entire text into something that is easier to read. You can find instructions on how to do this in our article on the content marketing pillar.
# 4: Write the cluster posts that surround it
When your first pillar is ready, you can start writing the posts that accumulate around it. These do not have to be as long as the pillar and are usually more niches. You can still use the same structuring strategies (headings, boldface, italic bullets, etc.) to ensure that these posts are interesting and engaging to read.
You want at least three cluster posts and you need to make sure that they all have internal links to your pillar post for this topic. For our contribution "Everything you need to know about content marketing", we would like to link the word "content" or "content marketing" in our cluster posts 1-3 times via hyperlink.
You can still create hyperlinks to other posts (and even cluster posts for other topics) in your cluster post, but you want to make sure the link to the pillar post is there – that's the whole point 😉.
And just like that you have your own content cluster.
We cannot appreciate this strategy, and we have to thank Aja Frost from HubSpot for showing us the content marketing strategy that is now achieving rankings and conversions.