Topic Clusters and The Voice Search Revolution

Posted on October 1st, 2020

This article focuses on customer preferences for voice search and Google’s preference for topics over keywords.  It also delves into the growing evolution of natural language search as well as the importance of local business listings and website speed.

Growing Popularity of Voice Search Programs

Voice search programs such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, voice dialing, speech-to-text and others, enable users to speak into a device to initiate a search query and generate results.  Voice-activated speaker owners use voice search to access customer support, personalized tips for an easier lifestyle, information about upcoming events and information about store locations, their hours of operation, deals, sales, and promotions. 

Voice search is popular because it is very fast and it helps to improve ranking on SERPs.  Business organizations should therefore optimize their local search and ensure their local listings and locations are accurate. They should have mobile friendly websites with excellent website speed. Voice search should have multilingual versions and natural language content strategy.  Every website should ideally have an answer box or featured snippet that provides concise and direct answers to user queries using natural language keywords.

What Do You Understand by Topic Clusters?

Keyword based SEO and dull content are being replaced by contextual and specific searches with long search phrases using voice search devices.  SEO strategy now emphasizes topics rather than keywords.  A topic is a broad concept whereas the keyword is only a part of that concept.  An example of a topic is Managed IT Services and that of keywords is Healthcare IT, Technical support, and so on.  Topic clusters that consist of multiple interlinked articles and website pages featuring one umbrella topic has become quite popular.  The building of a solid architecture on websites has become important to help search engine spiders to easily find your content and improve your rankings for the specific topic.

Topic Cluster Models use deliberate site architecture to link together URLs, so that you get better search engine visibility and searchers also find their information from your site more easily.  The components of this model are pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks.  There is a central pillar page that is linked to all the specialized articles within that topic.  The pillar page offers a call to action in order to increase the brand business through leads and sales.  It is a valuable inbound link for all the content in that topic cluster.

Benefits of Using Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

There are many benefits when you organize content using topic clusters and pillar pages.  The main benefit is of course the improvement in SEO rankings; even if one page gets a positive ranking, all the cluster links will also benefit with elevated rankings.  Users get all the information they need from the different links in your own website without having to go to different websites.  They will see you as a trusted source of insights and go-to-authority.  All this is important for your sales and support teams to convert leads to sales by educating prospects and answering their questions.  The internal linking structure helps Google to understand the relationship between the pages, the value of the pages, and its relevance.

Creating The Perfect Pillar Content

In order to create the perfect pillar content, you must be sure of who your ideal audience and customers are, their likes and dislikes, their demographics, and their goals and interests.  You then have to figure out how to cater to their needs with the help of suitable content.  Google Analytics can help to determine what kind of posts have the most views and thereby guide you on the type of content that should be available on your website.

How Do You Create Topic Clusters?

Topic clusters are created by identifying subtopics within the pillar content and exploring those in detail.  Once the topics are ready, the next step is to incorporate keywords that have a medium search volume and low competition so that you get the best chance at a good rank.  Finally, you have to link to pillar content within your topic cluster, so that keywords drive traffic to the topic clusters.

The topic cluster model is of great benefit to websites as it helps them to have a clear site architecture.  It also helps them to create site content that is favored by search engines and also to adapt to new trends, such as voice searches.  This model, if executed correctly, is extremely helpful to site owners and visitors. 


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