As trends continue to move towards mobile, search engines have changed to accommodate search terms we now use. Keywords lost their importance in favor of topic-based content. Most questions (queries) posed to search engines nowadays ask about a topic rather than a keyword. This caused influential search engines, like Google, to change their algorithms to favor topic-based content, called topic clusters.
Your team of topic experts
As an HLM client, you already benefit from this topic cluster approach. As SEO practices have shifted, we’ve tripled our team of industry certified strategists specialized in website writing, UX and SEO. Our content experts have implemented a new way of linking related content under the topic clusters model – thinking in terms of the topics you want to own, not just keywords. We focus our efforts on topics that are highly relevant to your challenges and goals.
Your success is our success. That's why HLM built a team of uniquely qualified experts to optimize your content by writing concise, benefits-driven copy to drive more traffic and increase your conversion rates.
So what is a topic cluster?
A topic cluster is a group of interlinked web pages built around one piece of pillar content targeting a broad topic, linked to several related but more narrowly-focused pages. Here's a great video explanation:
Search engine semantics
Keywords ruled for many years because they comprised of only one word or a short phrase that search engines could easily search. Keywords act as shortcuts summarizing an entire web page. Search engines have fundamentally changed the way they provide results when a user searches. Search engines, like Google, became “smarter” and can now index an entire web page’s content to answer a question (query) or search an entire subject (topic). Thus, keywords alone are no longer as valuable for SEO.
In the past, a search engine would only show results that included the exact phrase someone searched for. A search for “plumber in Michigan” would only show results for “plumber in Michigan.” As technology progressed, search engines became better at semantics and understanding what the user wanted. They began showing maps to businesses, product results with prices and links to purchase them and great videos on Youtube. Searches became centered around what the user intended to do with the information, rather than just matching the exact search words.
Beware of SEO companies claiming “We Get You Ranked #1!
Ranking is important, but a great SEO strategy takes into account not only what the user wants, but how they are asking for it. This is the topic cluster approach.
Users search many variations to get exactly what they want, exactly how they want it. Answer the Public is an amazing tool that shows how users search for topics. A search for “marketing” returns this matrix of long phrases that users are searching to find marketing-related information:
This is a daunting list, but illustrates how one word can be used in hundreds of different ways. Imagine how many opportunities would be lost if you only focused on one of these keywords!
Neil Patel, Founder of KissMetrics, discusses this in his past SEJ Summit discussion on “queries vs keywords.” Patel explains that a single topic can drive many different query variations:
The example above shows that, while skinny jeans may be the target, there’s actually a number of different queries that relate to the topic. A great SEO can research these and optimize for them, driving more than just a single keyword’s worth of traffic, but potentially hundreds of different ones.
Content is king at HLM
As SEO experts, we look at visibility across a topic, as opposed to a specific keyword. Through building content within topic clusters, we’re able to capture a large amount of search traffic across an ever-increasing pool of relevant keywords/phrases. Our SEO topic-driven strategy drives important metrics like website visits and user interactions.
If you’re with a company that promises big rankings but delivers little traffic, contact High Level Marketing for an SEO strategy that actually works!
About High Level Marketing
At High Level Marketing, the primary goal behind everything we do is educating and empowering small business owners like you to understand your options in an effort to make the best marketing decisions that will help grow your business. We develop effective digital marketing campaigns that drive traffic and convert leads. Stop losing leads to your competitors…