2019 Marketing Trends — SEO & Content Clusters
With the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI), search engines are becoming increasingly responsive and smart. Google is answering questions directly on results pages and voice guided searched are becoming more and more popular. In fact, by 2020, over 30% of all searches will be conducted without using a screen, says a report by Gartner. Marketers need to adapt to this change in the way people search for and consume content. And, this has resulted in the growing use of content clusters.
What are Content Clusters?
To expand online visibility and increase traffic, marketers try to find ways to establish the site as an authority on related topics. This can be done effectively by gaining an understanding of content clusters.
With Google continuously learning to understand the natural language, SEO has changed radically over the years. It has become more important now to think of concepts rather than using exact keywords or phrases. So, marketeers need to focus on a topic modeling strategy in which a “cluster” of content is created around one topic. Organising your content into clusters, instead of having heaps of disjointed posts, helps search engines understand how the different pages are related. This develops your site’s authority around a topic rather than a keyword, leading to increased visibility and much higher returns on your content marketing investment.
Embracing the content cluster approach has enabled marketers to transform content creation and organisation and better align a brand with the most relevant topics.
Get the Contentworks team to help you unleash the power of content clustering.
Factors Affecting Content and SEO Strategy
AI is gradually impacting all aspects of our lives. Google introduced RankBrain in 2015, which uses machine learning to process a large chunk of search results.
AI for search engines aims to increase the efficiency of search results by adapting to user behavior and aligning data relevancy to queries. With the increasing use of AI, the ranking on the results page will differ based on the query. It will be impacted by factors such as location, favorite website, search history and experiences of other users on the same page.
Voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home as well as voice search powered by the operating systems of mobile phones has changed the way users conduct online searches. The faster and more accurately you provide a solution to a query will determine whether people use your products and services and could have a strong impact on brand awareness and loyalty.
With the growing use of voice search, search engines are focusing on understanding conversational sentences. So, marketers need to move away from targeting fragmented keywords and focus on long-tail keywords and natural conversational language.
How to Use Content Clusters to Promote Your Brand
Audience experience will become more important than ever. Companies are already focusing on making it super easy for visitors to navigate through different sections of their websites and find what they’re looking for. What we need to focus on now is making it more convenient for visitors to consume all the content related to their area of interest. This can be done by creating content clusters.
So, let’s say your company offers organic health and beauty products. A visitor who is interested in skincare should be able to easily navigate to all pages related to skincare. Using the content cluster model, you would create a single skincare page that will become the main hub of content for all topics related to skincare. Ensure that this pillar page links to all content related to skincare and, in turn, all the content pages must have a link back to this pillar page as well as to each other. Such linking of related content not only makes it easier for people to navigate through all relevant pages, but also signals to search engines that the hub or pillar page is an authority on the topic. Over time, the rank of this page will continue to move higher on the search engine results page.
Tips for Effective Content Clustering
Mechanical keyword optimisation is not just ineffective, but also can adversely affect your online marketing endeavors. The need of the hour is to create unique, interesting and engaging content on related topics. Here are some tips that may help your content clustering endeavors.
High Quality Content
Once you’ve identified the core topics, ensure that the content is informative and interesting. Steer clear of jargons and use a conversational tone. It helps if the content digs deeper into the topic and provides useful insight and takeaways, rather than content that merely skims the surface of the topic.
Having your content published on third-party sites with authority on the topic helps immensely. You can provide links to these pages on your main pillar page.
Given the declining attention span of target audiences these days, marketers can focus on snackable content. A long piece of content can be overwhelming, especially for those reading on their phones. Structure the content into smaller segments with clearly labelled subheadings. This helps readers eyeball the content and focus on parts most relevant or interesting to them.
Choose the Topic for the Hub Page Wisely
The topic that becomes the pillar around which relevant content is clustered needs to be chosen such that it can be explored in different areas, perspectives and parts. The more versatile the topic, the greater scope you’ll have to expand around it.
Don’t Abandon Keywords Altogether
Keywords are still important. Do your keyword research to understand what’s trending and build content around topics that more people are interested in. Although content quality shouldn’t be compromised to incorporate keywords, your content marketing strategy must consider them as one of the parameters.
Think Long Term
Content clustering won’t have immediate results. Creating the pillar page and dozens of subtopics related to that can take time. Even if you have the budget, creating a whole lot of content and uploading all that in one go may not give you the maximum RoI, as Google loves fresh and topical content.
Need a powerful content clustering strategy? Contact the Contentworks team.