Updating Your Keyword Strategy: Topic Cluster, Pillar Page and You

Updating Your Keyword Strategy: Topic Cluster, Pillar Page and You

The one constant with digital marketing is that it’s always changing. Google once answered searches with results that contained the exact phrase searchers used. As search queries have changed and Google’s algorithm has become more sophisticated search results have become more reliable and more targeted.

Google reads more into search terms than we type out which means our results are often more along the lines of what we want than exactly what we searched. Google also takes into consideration our geographic location and past searches to make its results more relevant.

As search results have moved beyond the exact phrase entered SEO companies have found less value in targeting a variety of keywords that are virtually the same. In the past we might have written an article on managing diabetes during the holidays and targeted the following keywords:

  • Diabetes and the holidays
  • Managing diabetes during the holidays
  • Christmas and diabetes
  • Christmas holidays and diabetes
  • How do I manage my diabetes during the holidays?

We thought of how someone might search for the information in our article and we targeted our keywords around those terms. While these terms are still important, today’s search for any of these terms will show many of the same general pages.

Instead of including multiple variations of the same keyword in one article, the latest SEO and content marketing trends focus on creating multiple pieces of quality content centered around one keyword theme. Using the above example, a medical practice might identify “diabetes management” as the overall theme for their new keyword strategy and write articles for their blog on the following topics:

  • Diabetes and the holidays
  • Fourth of July recipes for diabetes
  • Who’s at risk of diabetes
  • What is pre-diabetes
  • Symptoms of diabetes
  • Diabetes and eye disease
  • Diabetic foot care
  • Nutrition and diabetes
  • Benefits of exercise for diabetics

The diagram below shows how a topic cluster for Diabetes Management might look. 

diabetes management topic cluster


What does this mean for your blog?

For companies, medical practices and non profits who have a stock of great content on their website, this new method just means connecting all the related pieces of content so it’s easier to find on your website. Over the coming months, we’ll be working with our clients to assess the major content topics on their blogs and creating what HubSpot calls pillar pages for those topics.

>>Find the steps to create your content audit.<<

Pillar pages are blog posts with longer form content (usually well over 1000 words) that talk in a general sense about a main topic covered in your blog. Using the example above, a pillar page could give general thoughts about managing diabetes and then link out to each of the articles already on the website about the topic. Those articles in turn would link back to the pillar page.

These links back and forth between content help search engines to determine that your website is a top source for information on the topic covered. It also keeps your article on diabetes symptoms from competing with your article on diabetes and eye disease in search results.

Our goal

As always, our goal is to stay up to date on digital media trends and how that affects your marketing. We want your website pages to rank high for the appropriate search terms so your website traffic and ultimately your customer past increases.

If you’re writing your own content but need a little help with the content audit, creating topic clusters and building a pillar page, let’s talk. Click below to request a call with our content specialists. We’ll review your website and social media to provide you the best idea possible about moving forward on your own or with us as your guide.