How to Start Your Content Cluster Strategy

Mindlessly posting any content, even useful and interesting, is a dead-end in today’s marketing system. To systematize and optimize the content on the site, it is necessary to implement a cluster system strategy. A cluster system is a long-term way of organizing content on a site that can increase its relevance, behavioral characteristics of readers, and improve its perception by search engines.

What is a content cluster?

A content cluster is a special method of organizing pages on the site. It is based on the principle of the root (pillar post) and cluster posts linked by hyperlinks. The pillar post acts as the foundation for the thematic content cluster. It should answer most of the general questions on the topic, while the cluster page covers a more specific topic and contains a keyword request. Hyperlinks connect pillar topics and content clusters. 

Cluster strategy’s posts should be like a series with the constant appearance of new seasons and look from a fresh angle on the topic. The organization of clusters is a signal to search engines that the content includes more detailed information on the topic. Cluster setup also signals search engines that the topic has a related continuation, which means the content will unfold deeper. This will improve their overall position in the search.

The major steps to starting the content cluster strategy are: 

  • figuring out the list of pillar and cluster post topics;
  • writing the appropriate and valuable content for the brand clients;
  • right usage of internal links and keywords.

Create a list of pillar post topics

Topics for pillars posts should not be too wide and not too narrow in order to combine several pages of the content cluster. For example, compared to the topic “social networks”, it is better to choose the topic “Instagram promotion” for the pillar post. Then, the copywriter or the marketer makes the content that supports the pillar post about “Instagram promotion”.

To define the pillar topics, the marketer should figure out the keywords that work best for the brand. For example, he can start the research with keywords from Google Planner or Google Trends, write potential keywords and phrases for each topic, and then highlight the words that have the highest search volume. As a result, the marketer will get the message on the pillar topic and plan the themes for posts.

For example, if you are an event coordinator for business events, then your keywords would be “business events”, “coordination of team buildings”, “organization of business breakfasts”, “corporate events” etc. These keywords will be the topics for pillar posts, and the content cluster will be created around them.

Create the cluster post topics

After defining the pillar topic, the marketer goes to the point of figuring out the content cluster topics. Each of the clusters should be a wide answer to the possible questions from the clients or visitors of the site. The pillar post is, for instance, “organization of business breakfast”, then the cluster topics can be:

  • “What is a business breakfast?”
  • “5 crucial steps to making an efficient business breakfast”.
  • “Why is business breakfast so popular today?”

We recommend making about 3-5 related cluster pages that will head to the pillar post “Organization of business breakfast”. Next, the marketer needs to make a content plan for the coming months. After the start, this plan needs to be adjusted in accordance with the results.

Creating the pillar post content

As we mentioned before, the cluster posts point to the pillar through hyperlinks, so that the content of a pillar text must be essential and valuable for the client. The pillar content represents what the brand can offer to the customer, its features, and the persuasive reasons why the client should choose the brand service or product. Thus, it is important to pay great attention to the pillar post content and make it maximum beneficial for the brand.

Often, the pillar post is longer than the content cluster, so better to structure it appropriately. Using headings (H1, H2..), splitting the text into several parts (such text is easier to read), various fonts and images are very helpful in making the content to drive conversions.

Make the cluster posts that surround the pillar content

Compared to the major pillar text, the clusters are usually smaller. However, the same writing structure (using headings, images, the text splitting, etc) can also be used for the cluster posts. The crucial point is to include the internal links in the cluster texts that point to the major pillar content, so that is the sense of the cluster system. For example, for the post topic “Organization of business breakfast”, we hyperlink the word “business” or “business breakfast” 1­–3 times in the cluster posts.

Thanks to clusters, the brand can fix weak links in content and make it more meaningful for readers. The brand will work not on quantity but on the quality of the posts’ content.