Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of Content Strategy

By | August 7, 2019

“Somerville restaurant.” You know, it wasn’t long ago that you’d type some broken search term like this into Google. Now of course, you simply ask, “Where should I go for dinner?” That’s because you assume search engines are smart enough to recognize intent. But does your SEO strategy reflect this changing search behavior? Meet the topic cluster model: an SEO strategy that focuses on topics — as opposed to keywords — to improve your site’s architecture, make it easier for Google to discover related content, and ultimately, boost your search engine visibility. Consider how the average website grows. You start with a homepage and a blog. You decide to target a keyword, but learn that there are more than 1,000 long-tail variations of that term, meaning you’re stuck writing post after post to capture the search traffic. And in the end, your site becomes repetitive, bloated, and disorganized. In the topic cluster model, each grouping covers a single topic. You have one larger piece of content — we’ll call this the pillar — that broadly outlines the topic, and a defined group of cluster content focused on specific long-tail keywords. The pillar links to each cluster page, while the cluster links back to the pillar, each time with the same hyperlinked keyword. That way, when one page performs well, the entire topic cluster gets a boost. It’s all about helping web crawlers make connections. Topic clusters signal to Google that there’s a semantic relationship between the content, and more importantly, that you’re a trusted authority on the topic, worthy of a top spot.

16 thoughts on “Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of Content Strategy

  1. William Stavers Post author

    ok, but the music was distracting and made it hard to concentrate.

  2. ContentCollective Digital Solutions Post author

    @WilliamStavers You know what they say, "if it's too loud…You're too old." Just playing with you. Great content Guys & Gals

  3. Andrea Lean Post author

    Helpful video! Great explanation. However, at 0:33–there's a typo. Visability –> Visibility.

  4. Vivekraj Rajendran Post author

    We have come to expect great content from you guys. while the advice is good, the typo and video quality are not what is expected from Hubspot

  5. Nana Hinsley Post author

    Keep the Keyword tool..don't retire it. The topic clusters are fine, but the Keyword tool still has merit. Your analytics within the cluster tool directs you to the keywords used for each page. We will miss ranking opportunities, Conversion opportunities, long tail opportunities, etc. The keyword tool is a pivotal reason our website does exceptionally well. Like you say in your meta description, "Rise to the Top Of Search Results and Outrank Your Competitors. Define your keyword strategy".

  6. SoftTek Solutions Post author

    One of the best ways to make your content visible is through native advertising. This is a way to expose your content marketing strategy to a larger audience, so that there is better traffic on your website, leading to more conversions. The strategy of content marketing in native advertising through blogging and article writing etc. is to tell the story behind your brand and not merely focus on selling your products or services. To know more about content marketing strategy do visit our website:

  7. Mark Travers Post author

    When you consider the acceleration of voice search this approach makes total sense, especially when you consider the resulting URL structure. Thanks for this!

  8. Success Automated Post author

    Hi @HubSpot ! This is a great video! Thank you for the visual. What would be an example of the same hyperlink keyword, where the entire cluster could get a boost if one page performs well?

  9. LimeSurvey GmbH Post author

    Loving the topic clusters structure. Will be trying to implement this on our website blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. Jean-Christophe Lavocat Post author

    Great tutorial. That's the method I'm trying to evangelize among our team and customers.

  11. Oz_pïïmëëntïnhäs_ofc Jp Post author

    Sony um da um ps4 pfvr meus pais não tem condições de mim da um, é meu sonho ter um ps4 pfvr eu tenho 14 ano😭😭

  12. Mathias Weber Post author

    Great video, great content, just a quick question: with which software do you make these kind of nice explainer videos? thanks

  13. samuel mignot Post author

    Hey guys, got a question. Should the clusters being internally linked ONLY to the Pilar page OR does it hurt to have the clusters linked to each other as well as with the pilar? thanks

  14. WSI Connect Post author

    Topic clusters is an absolute must learn skill for content and digital marketers.


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