Webinars and Office Hours

[Webinar] A Topic Cluster Case Study (with Real Examples and Data)

Cierra Loflin
September 9, 2022

Welcome to our webinar on topic clusters with George Chasiotis, Managing Director of MINUTTIA. MINUTTIA is an organic growth acceleration agency for B2B SaaS companies. Today we looked at their strategy for creating topic clusters for their clients. In this webinar we talk about: 

  • The topic cluster structure which consists of hub and cluster pages
  • George's process for creating a topic cluster which includes keyword research, optimization, crawl efficiency, and monitoring
  • Results from the topic cluster MINUTTIA created for Viral Loops on how to do a product launch
  • MINUTTIA's content creation process and structure for each hub and cluster page
  • MINUTTIA's tech stack
  • and much more! 

Watch the webinar replay or read the transcript below and follow along with the slides here.

Transcription

Jimmy 0:00

Okay. Cool. We're live. Hey everybody, George. Hey, how are you? Really excited for the webinar today. Um, George, I'm gonna, I want you to, uh, do an intro of yourself for folks who are, are not familiar with you your company, Minuttia and who potentially missed the last webinar we did together, which was back in May. Just anecdotally, some people said it was the best webinar they have ever been to. And actually that was not just one person. I had a number of people say that. So really excited to have you back.

Just one or two quick housekeeping things. Please feel free to use the chat or the questions feature here in Livestorm to ask questions. If it's okay with you, George, I would say, um, we don't have to save all questions till the end. Like if someone has a relevant question in the middle of a slide, I think that it might be good to just jump in and answer that. Um, and then feel free to use the chat just to say hi, where, where are you from? Are you freelance?
Are you in house? Where do you work? What kind of work do you do? Um, it'd be nice just to, just to see everybody in there. Um, and I will stop talking. I'll get outta the way here. George, will you please intro yourself and tell us a little about Minuttia and then also, maybe could you give a quick overview of what we're gonna talk about today?

George 1:07

Yeah, sure. Of course. First of all, thank you very much for hosting this webinar. And thank you to all of the people who are joining us today. I can see some people I already know here, and I'm glad to see them. Hello, Mary. Hello, Rosemary. Hello, Mariana. Thank you all for joining us. I guess that it makes sense for, for me to start sharing my screen, since we have a slide, you know, about me and, and so on. Yeah. Let's do it and then get right into it. Can you see my screen?

Jimmy 2:14

Yeah.

George 2:14

We are good. Um, yeah, first of all, introductions. My name is Geroge, I'm the managing director at Minuttia. We are an organic growth acceleration agency for B2B companies. Uh, we help, uh, B2B companies accelerate organic growth through, uh, data driven content marketing and SEO. And today we are going to talk about topic clusters. I know
this is a topic that it's, you know, very appealing, uh, and sounds very interesting, like topic clusters. We want to do that, or we have done that. Um, the truth is that what I'm about to say today is what we have learned through the process of creating a topic cluster for one of our clients. Okay. And because as we all know here, hopefully, uh, content marketing and SEO are both very opinionated fields, let's say, and everyone has their own
opinion as to how to do things. Um, just a disclaimer, that the process that I'm going to share with you is not right or wrong. Uh, it's just a process that has worked tremendously well for us. And hopefully it'll work well for you. If you know, you are going to implement it on your website, client website and so and so forth. Okay. So having that set, uh, said, let's get right into it. Let's start with the definition of a topic cluster.

Now, a topic cluster is a set of pages, a collection of pages that cover one main topic and semantically associated subtopics. Okay. The main goal when adopting a topic cluster model is to achieve sufficient coverage, which means that we need to cover as many subtopics, uh, that are connected to the main topic as possible. Uh, and at the same time, try to provide a great user experience because at the end of the day, and, you know, based on recent changes
on, on Google's algorithm, uh, such as, you know, the health of content, one, I would say that the direction that we are heading towards is experiences and not as, not as much, you know, including keywords or entities or words, uh, on the page to make it, let's say you optimized and check all the boxes and, you know, SEO best practices.
Okay. Now the typical topic cluster structure, which is not something that you don't know is that we have, what's called a hub page, which, you know, you can also, uh, it's also known as a pillar page or pillar pillar content. And then what we have is, uh, underneath that hub page, we have what we call cluster pages. Okay. You can call them, uh, also, uh, and refer to them as, uh, content clusters. So this is the typical structure of a topic cluster. Now, what is the process of getting there and achieving the ultimate goal of, you know, uh, that a topic
last and the objective that a topic last, uh, wants to, uh, to, to meet. So we have, once again, based on our process, we have four steps.

The first is to conduct keyword research. And the reason why you, you need to do
that is because you have to identify all the subtopics that we mentioned earlier that are, uh, connected semantically associated and belong to your main topic. Okay. And we will see exactly how that, you know, looks, uh, based on our case study second, for the pages that you're going to create. Uh, you need to make sure that you have optimized, uh, the content for a search audience. And this applies both to the hub page and the cluster pages.

Okay. One thing that's extremely important when it comes to topic clusters and, you know, our experiences, I would say, um, indicate that this is indeed a very important thing is crawl efficiency. Okay. In other words, how easy it is for search engine crawlers, like Google bot, for example, uh, to crawl the content on your topic. Last but not least it's great creating the content and getting it out there. The truth is that they perform. So you need to make sure that you perform regular maintenance, let's say, and updates to these, uh, pages. And, you know, this may be either your hub page or your, your, your cluster pages to make sure
that the content performs well, uh, at all times the reason why this is important is because we shouldn't assume that because we have visibility and sufficient coverage after, you know, creating a topic cluster and getting the content out there that this will be, um, this will continue to, to rank and perform, uh, at all times.
Okay. And the same things that apply to a blog post, like you have to revisit it, you have to update it. You have to maintain it to, to make sure that it's properly optimized at all times. The same thing apply to, uh, your hub page and your cluster pages. Okay. Now let's share an overview of the, the topic cluster that we created.

Um, so first of all, this is for one of our clients, uh, Viral Loops which is a referral marketing software. And what we did is that we created a, a topic cluster that was targeting the topic of product launch. Okay. Why? Because product launches are, um, close to the products capabilities as we can all understand. Um, and so this was an important topic that we wanted to get visibility for on behalf of our client. Now, the number of pages that we
published was 16. Okay. We're not talking about hundreds of pages or, uh, thousands of pages or anything like that. And this is not to say that you shouldn't create, uh, and you shouldn't try to cover as many subtopics as possible. I'm just sharing what we did and how, you know, what we did worked for us.

Okay. Uh, the number of keywords that this topic last as a whole, uh, has visibility for is around 2000, you know, depending on when you will see it, we have a screenshot here from Ahrefs. Um, the number of keywords in positions, one to 3, 136, based on, you know, when we, uh, got the data. I mean, if you check it now, uh, probably the number will be
different. Uh, the number of organic visits that the topic cluster both half page and all the cluster pages bring on a monthly basis. And this is by the way, an estimate by, by Ahrefs is 3,400. And whether or not we did link building for this topic cluster, no, there, there was no active promotion whatsoever. Okay. Which means that basically we published the hub page, uh, we published the cluster pages and that was it. The performance came, um, just through great execution and obviously, uh, great planning, uh, to begin with. Okay, so this is an overview.

And once again, the topic in our case was product to launch. Um, one thing that's extremely important, and I know that it's not clear, uh, in many cases, uh, and this is why we are going to, to publish a blog, was about it on our blog. Um, in a, in a few weeks, is this, this battle let's say, quote unquote, uh, between topics and keywords. I would say that in general, uh, something that we can all agree on is that topics are different than keywords. And at the same time, what we need to understand is that keywords may be, um, relevant, let's say a few years ago, but as Google gets more and better understanding about concepts, uh, topics, people, uh, locations, and so and so forth and connects all these dots, um, in its knowledge graph, I would say that we have to start, um, approaching organic search and, you know, content for a search audience, um, through topics. And, you know, there are subtopics and keywords rather than just go after keywords.

Okay. Uh, so four points that I have to make here, uh, so that we can, uh, uh, grasp it and, uh, move forward, uh, topics. Aren't the same as keywords. Okay. We, we already, uh, explain that and we will see what this means. In our example, uh, in a minute topics usually consist of several keywords and here, what I want you to keep is that obviously when we have a very broad topic, um, we will have many, uh, subtopics in some cases, hundreds of subtopics that are included and are semantically associated to that main topic. Okay. Um, another thing that it's, it's kind of a, you know, a whole discussion and debate nowadays, uh, is regarding keywords that you can find in Ahrefs software. The truth is that when it comes to
online data, we have to accept that, you know, nothing is perfect. Even the data that you get from Google search console, it's not perfect. Okay. Uh, you will see that there are many discrepancies between Google search console, for example, and Google analytics. So don't expect that all keywords or all, all subtopics, uh, that you need to cover for a specific, you know, uh, topic cluster will be reported in Ahrefs software. All I'm trying to say here
is that use, obviously you have to use a keyword data provider such as Ahrefs, for example, but you should also do, you know, go beyond that and do additional research in order to try to identify the things that, you know, an SEO software may be missing and rest assure that there are such things okay.

Um, last part, at least, and this point brings me to the next slide keywords that belong to a topic as per our let's say, uh, way of perceiving things and understanding them and trying to, to put them into, uh, a context that we can, you know, agree on, um, are either a phrase much a term much, or, you know, what we call semantic, uh, keywords. Okay. Now let's see some
examples based on our topic, plaster our case study. First of all, we have phrase match. These are keywords that contain the exact words of the topic in the exact order they are written. For example, we said, remember, topic cluster, the topic that we have, the main topic, product launch. So we have a phrase match, product, launch checklist, okay. Term match. These are keywords that contain all the words of a topic in any order. So in any order, we need to have the words, both product and launch, and you can see a keyword that includes both these words in any order, uh, is how to launch product. Okay. And last part, not least we have keywords that don't belong to any of the, uh, two, uh, categories that we saw phrase much and term much, uh, but are semantically associated with our main topic in our case. And this is where things, you know, get tricky. And most people, uh, I would say, lose their, lose their way, uh, in our case, this would be coming soon landing pages. Okay. Why?
Because coming soon landing pages are in, you know, in one way or another connected to, uh, product launches. Okay. So I would say that in general, it's easy for you to find keywords that belong and subtopics that belong in the first two categories, like either a phrase match or a term much, I would say that you can do that through, uh, an SEO software, like Ahrefs easily using searching 10 modifiers. And please stick with me until the end, because we
will give away, um, a, a list of modifiers that will help you with that. But here is where things get tricky. And here I would, I would say that it's also where you can easily understand and tell, uh, when the person who has conducted keyword research, uh, really understands, for example, the jargon of this specific industry or software category or whatever. Okay. Uh, but once again, you need to have all these three, uh, keyword categories, let's say keyword types, uh, in order to be able to, um, you know, construct a topic cluster that have chances of
getting visibility and, you know, getting you the, the results that you, you crave for. Okay. Now, in our case, um, we, I would say we we've chosen the, the easy path, the easy way. And, uh, our work was heavily based on phrase match terms, for example, product launch, uh, marketing plan, uh, product launch, plan templates, product, launch strategy, and so on and so forth. Uh, we had one term match, uh, keyword how to launch a product, which is actually one of the, uh, pages that we published. Um, maybe it was the, the last one that we have published and we haven't covered any semantic terms yet. So I would say that in general, this is work in progress. Okay. Uh, but we have chosen phrase much mostly because obviously this was easiest, the easiest way for us to, uh, to go. Um, and also it was easier for us, uh, to identify these terms, you know, as I mentioned through a, an SEO software, uh,
and release one page after another, okay, now we discussed keyword research and I will be giving you two templates, uh, towards the end of, of the presentation that you can use, uh, for conducting keyword research, uh, for topic clusters or, you know, whatever, uh, research you, you want to, to do.

The second point that we discussed and, you know, mentioned this part of our process was conduct optimization. Now, when it comes to conduct optimization, and once again, everyone has their own opinions and, uh, interpretations about how things should be said and so and so forth. But when it comes to conduct optimization for us, the best practices are for
essentially, we are talking about content briefing, okay. We are talking about con creation, which, you know, I would say that con briefing obviously is a part of content creation, uh, content quality, which is once again a part of, uh, content creation. And this thing content quality becomes increasingly important, uh, as Google evaluates content, not just by counting the number of, um, the frequency of words inside text. Uh, but by being able, trying to, and
being able to understand whether or not the writer of this, this piece of content actually, uh, knows what they're talking about. Okay. And last but not least something that's, I would say for most of us content marketers and SEO professionals kind of neglected, which is user experience. Okay. I would say that user experience is one of the things that, uh, are not as saturated as, you know, creating content for a search audience and are tremendously
undervalued when it comes to SEO. Okay. Now our typical content creation process, as I mentioned, you know, it includes content briefing and ensuring content quality, uh, looks like this and look like this for this exact process, uh, project that we are discussing. So, first of all, we selected the keyword. We, we identified this keyword as part of the topic, and we said that, okay, this is something that we need to have, uh, in this topic cluster, then we did what's called search intent classification, which is something that we are going to discuss
in detail in our next webinar, if I'm not mistaken, uh, with Superpath when we are going to, uh, essentially break down everything about content briefing. Okay. The topic of the next webinar is content briefing. Uh, after we classify search intent and get an understanding of what is Google's expectation for that specific keyword for that specific page that we are going to create, then we need to say that, okay, we need to define the con format. Like,
is this going to, is this going to be a list post? Is this going to be a how to guide or what is page? Okay. Uh, and obviously to do that, we need once again, to understand what's, you know, Google expectation for, uh, the keyword that we have selected, then we need to create our outline once again, more on that in our next webinar, uh, with Superpath next month, uh, we need to come up with this information, like title meta description and so on. Um, then we need to review the outline to make sure that, you know, everything is in order. Everything is, uh, as it should be so that we can then work on the first draft after we have the first draft ready, uh, there is an internal review for us, and I'm just breaking down the whole process. Okay. Uh, it may help you in your own way of, you know, creating content, doing things. Uh, so we have an internal review and we come up with a second draft. That's great. Once again, internal review. And then after the internal review, we have what we call content quality review, which as I mentioned previously becomes increasingly important. This includes things like, you know, checking for plagiarism, uh, making sure that there are no typos, uh, grammar errors or whatever. Uh, and also ensuring that there is a, a logical flow when it comes to the information on the page. And so on. So forth, we have the final draft and after the final draft, we are ready to publish the page. Okay. So this is the creation process that we followed and that we follow pretty much every time that we create a piece of content, uh, for our
clients. Now, how were the pages that we constructed and created, uh, looked like. So I don't know if this is, you know, a great, uh, representation, uh, of the page that we created, I guess, that it makes more sense to visit the page after we finished with the webinar, just so you can see how it actually feels like. Um, but the elements, uh, that are important for me to serve with you, uh, were the H one heading, which is essentially, you know, the title of the page, and this is for the HubPage. Okay. We have some, uh, minor changes,
um, compared to, to the cluster pages. So we have the H one heading, we have the table of contents that you can see here on the right of the screen with all the chapters that we, uh, will be covering, or that we cover in this topic cluster, we have an introduction, uh, then as you can see here, one of the, one of the fir the first things actually after the introduction is the, what is, you know, topic, uh, in our case, what is a product launch? Um, then we have a chapter overview, uh, which means that for every chapter that we have included, um, in this hub page, uh, we are going to share an overview. We are not going to get into, you know, too much detail because this is something that we will do on the cluster page. Okay. Uh, so we have a, a chapter overview and here, my advice would be for the HubPage, you don't have to go deeper than, you know, H three, uh, keep things simple and use H twos for, you know, the, the main headings and H threes. I would say you may even not have to use them. Uh, but it's up to you don't go deeper than H three. It doesn't make sense because that would mean that you went deeper than you should, uh, in the overview of the chapter. Okay. And if you give the answer here, then the question is why should people visit the cluster page to get even more information about, uh, that sub subtopic? Okay. Then we have something that in our case hasn't been materialized, but we have tried it in other, uh, for other clients and
it has worked tremendously well, and we definitely recommend it below each, you know, chapter overview, make sure to add a call to action, besides the internal link that you are going to add somewhere in the text and you are going to place it naturally, we highly recommend adding a call to action as well. Uh, just so you can prompt people from the hub page to the cluster page. Okay. You can of course add some media, like screenshots, graphs and videos, but the same thing applies, uh, as we mentioned about, you know, not going as deep in your hub page, you don't want to share, for example, if one of the, um, subtopics that we have here, let's take an example. Uh, let's say, yeah. Product launch checklist. Imagine if we were giving the checklist in the hub page, it wouldn't make sense. Like why should someone visit the cluster page then? Uh, so screenshots, graphs and videos. Okay. But you
should try to satisfy the intent of each, uh, chapter and keyword behind the chapter in that cluster page. Okay. Don't go so much in depth here. Uh, and last but not least an author box, which to be honest, I'm not so crazy about it. Like, it's, it's completely optional. And I would say that for topic cluster specifically, we wouldn't recommend it as much, even though in our case, in, in our client's case, there is an author box at the bottom of the page. So this is the layout of the hub page, the cluster page layout. Now, uh, we have bread preps, uh, which
help for navigation purposes, but also that's just an assumption. Uh, they also help Google in terms of what we called earlier, crawl, crawl efficiency, and we will, you know, discuss a few things about that. Uh, in a minute, we once again have the H one heading, we have a table of contents. Uh, we have the introduction when in most cases it makes sense, but when it makes sense, uh, and if it makes sense, we have a, what is, you know, subtopic in this
case, for example, this is the page about product launch marketing plan. So what is product launch marketing plan? Okay. Um, then when it comes to heading selection here, I would say that it makes sense to go deeper than age three. So it makes sense to have age four headings here, because you know, this is the point of the page. You have
to dive deeper into it. Um, then we have media, uh, and, you know, besides media, the, the, one of the most important, uh, points here is, you know, to connect it to what I mentioned previously about the HubPage that if you have any assets that need to be there gated or UN gated, this is the place to, you know, to place them. Um, so if, for example, you have a template that you want to give away. The cluster page is the place to, uh, give this,
uh, asset away. Okay. Not the HubPage once again, here, it makes sense to have some frequent last questions, if you want to dive deeper into, uh, into things. Uh, it also makes sense for, excuse me, navigation purposes, to have a previous and next, uh, chapter button at the bottom of the page, just so people can, you know, click on the next one if they want. Um, and also I would say that this can also help in terms of keeping people on the page and
on the, on the cluster more okay. And author box, which once again is optional. Okay. Uh, do we have any questions so far? Um, just so I can clean my throat a bit.

Jimmy 26:54

Yeah, yeah, we do. Um, and if you're gonna get any of these shorts, just let me know and, and we can hold off on them, but there's some interesting ones in here. Okay. Um, Jill asked, did you create and publish the 16 related content pages all at once to send a strong signal to search engines? Or did you publish them individually as you created them?

George 27:11

The second, uh, the latter, um, we, we didn't publish them at once. And in general, this is a, a question that we often get when it comes to, you know, how are we going to do it? Do we have to wait until we have, I don't know, 30 pages and publish them at once, because here in this case, we talked about 16 pages. Imagine if you are creating something, I don't know, 50 pages, 100 pages. And once again, that's just my opinion. Uh it's it's, you know, it doesn't mean that it's right or wrong. Uh, I would say that you don't have to wait, like start publishing content and add, uh, more pages as you go. Okay. And this will happen inevitably, because I would say that, you know, you will do keyword research and you will identify some, uh, subtopics and keywords for your main topic. Moving forward. You, there is, there is no chance, like you will identify more subtopics as you get more knowledge about this topic. And also as you uncover more ways of, uh, you know, more topic subtopics that are associated with it, you will want to add more pages. So it doesn't make sense to, to wait. And I would say that you have to be flexible, like, uh, you can, you can add content as, as you go.

Jimmy 28:36

Got it. Um, do you wanna do a few more questions right now? Some of these are really interesting and they, they cover things that you've touched on already.

George 28:44

Uh, I don't know, whatever works.

Jimmy 28:47

Why don't we do, why don't we do two, maybe two more, and then we can save, uh, some of the rest for a bit later. Let's do, Dana asked a question about domain rating. So it looked like viral loops had a DR of about 77. How does that affect your strategy? You know, would you, would you treat this differently if the DR were 50 or 25?

George 29:05

That's a very good question. And it's the same question I got in our, uh, webinar with clear scope. I would say that in this case, obviously the domain helps. It's also, you know, uh, one of the most popular referral marketing software, uh, in the world, which also helps. And at the same time, it had some visibility for not for the main topic, but for semantically associated subtopics, which also helps. So I would say that in this case, you know, we, we had everything that we needed to, to perform, uh, and we were setting ourselves up for, for success in a way. But my understanding and, you know, having worked with obviously domains with lower domain rating, and let's not forget, we didn't build any baling. So whatever for this topic, cluster domain rating is one thing. But you know, this exam means, and domain rating is a, is a, is a metric that, um, I would say, has to do with the, the
whole site, not with a specific section of the website or specific pages, uh, on that section of the website. So domain domain rating is one thing. Um, I would say the rest, and obviously we, we had many, um, things that could help us in this case. The rest is great execution and, and planning, um, because you need that, uh, besides the, you know, having a, a high, uh, DR. But to answer your question, if we would do something differently, no, uh, we, we wouldn't do anything differently. Like, it's great to have a website that has a high DR. Um, but you know, this, this wouldn't change anything in our process.

Jimmy 30:49

Got it. Okay, cool. Um, some of these, some of these other questions coming in are related to execution. So I think why don't we pick up with the slide that we can come back to these in a few minutes?

George 30:58

Yeah, let's do it. So, uh, here we are going to talk about it's time to talk about crawl efficiency, and I want you to keep this Google is search hands in. Okay. And for efficiency purposes, it makes sense for Google to, in our case, for example, it'll crawl 16 pages in total. So if Google understands that, you know, as I'm crawling these pages, it seems that these guys are doing a good job when it comes to, uh, topics, uh, subtopics that are connected to, to product launch. So if I'm going to rank them for product launch checklist, for example, why
shouldn't I rank them for product launch marketing plan, for example? Okay. So for efficiency purposes, it's always a good practice and always recommended to make Google's work. If you know what you are going after is organic visibility, organic traffic, and so on, so forth, as simple as possible. Okay. This means that you have to keep things simple when it comes to your URL architecture, uh, you have to try to, uh, have a strong, uh, internal link linking profile. And here, let just say something because I hear this very often and, and it's, it's important for me to, to share my, my thoughts with regards to internal linking. I
know that you hear a lot that internal linking matters and, you know, giving internal links passes on link juice from one page to another. Great, but based on my experience, uh, working with many different websites on many different industries, I would say that internal linking matters. Yes. But when we are talking about very big websites, because imagine in this case, if we include, you know, three internal links, uh, with natural and
unbiased anchors, uh, from three of the pages, uh, to one of the cluster pages in this topic cluster, okay. What impact would these three links have? I mean, it's better than nothing, but I would say once again, that internal linking matters. Yes. But for bigger websites, because imagine if you have a website with thousands of pages. Okay. And you add, uh, internal links, I dunno, through the footer or something, uh, in bulk, um, in all these tons, thousands of pages for a new page that you have published, this will have an impact.

Yes. Um, significant or no, I don't know. It's always case specific, but all I'm trying to say is that internal linking matters. But as I see it in high, higher volumes. Okay. Uh, so internal linking yes. And natural and unbiased anchors. Now the most important thing for me, uh, that I would like to, to communicate and share with you, uh, regarding URL structure is once again, the URL structure that we have used and that we generally use in such cases, uh, right or wrong, you will, you know, uh, you, you are the ones to, to say, um, and you can feel free to use it. It has worked tremendously well for us. And I hope the same for you. So the URL structure that we, that we choose and that we go for, um, is heavily dependent on the type of keyword as we, as we saw earlier. So let's start with phrase much.
Okay. Let's say that we have a phrase, much keyword. How are we going to structure the URL that we have for this keyword phrase, much, you know, product launch checklist. So we have everything under the hub page is under product launch, which is a sub folder. And in our case, if we are talking about the phrase match, as you can see, what we do is include just the, the word or the word separated by hyphen, um, besides our topic, which is product
launch. So in our case, we will have product launch slash checklist. Okay. Simple as that, uh, term match, which is the same as semantic, how to launch a product here, we have product launch. That's great slash how to launch a product, which is exact match and the same applies to semantic, like coming sum logic pages. If this was a page, which I guess more, most likely it will be, uh, that we have, uh, as part of the, this topic cluster, then the URL
that we would pick and choose, uh, would be product launch slash coming soon landing pages. Okay. Uh, as simple as that, what you need to keep in mind here, once again, for efficiency purposes, thinking like a search and, and zoom is that while the search engine crawler is here in the product launch page, it has, it already has a sense, and it has a context of what the page is all about. So the, the, the search engine crawler at this point thinks,
okay, I'm on a page that talks about product launch. That's great. Let's move forward through this internal link or through this, you know, call to action with the internal link to the cluster page. Uh, and this is checklist. Okay. So product loan checklist, this is in a nutshell how, you know, things are, let's say in terms of, uh, how the crawler, uh, perceive the content on each page. And once again, this structure has worked well for us. Uh, hopefully, uh, it will work well for you as well. Okay. Um, the last point that we made was regarding content
monitoring, um, content audit, you can call it however you like. Uh, two things that I will say here, I will not say many things about that. Um, the first is that we had a webinar that I will link here, uh, with clear scope a while back regarding content audit. Uh, of course, since then our processes and understandings of how things work have, you know, improved. Uh, and we also have an upcoming webinar with super path, Jimmy, if I'm not mistaken,
this is in, um, November, uh, that you obviously, you are more than welcome to, to join, uh, where we will be discussing, uh, content audit and, um, you know, regular content monitoring and maintenance of your content to make sure that as I mentioned previously, what you have achieved and the, the visibility that you have and everything that you have built, uh, is something that you will maintain because, you know, you have to get, for example, rankings, if that's what you care, uh, about, um, that's one thing you also have to maintain them. Okay.
Uh, so this is something that, uh, you can, if you are interested in getting more, uh, in depth into that, you can watch our webinar with clear scope and you can, um, we would be glad to have you in our webinar, upcoming webinar with, with Superpath. Okay.

Jimmy 38:02

Now we'll make sure we share out the landing page for that when we publish this.

George 38:05

Yeah, that's great.

Jimmy 38:05

Is now a good time to ask a couple questions? We had three or four people ask
questions about internal links.

George 38:12

Let's do it.

Jimmy 38:14

Um, let's just run through these, uh, Bryce asked, you mentioned natural and unbiased anchor texts. Can you explain what you mean by that?

George 38:21

What I mean by that is, for example, if you want to link back either through a cluster page or through your hub page, and this applies by the way, what I'm saying now for, um, internal linking and link building in general.

I would say that, you know, the, the typical way that we would do it is let's say that we want to, to link back to the product launch checklist, uh, page we as con marketers as a professionals, we know that, excuse me, the, the target keyword here is product launch checklist, but, and you know, what we would naturally do is that we would
have the, we would choose the anchor text, uh, product launch checklist. I mean, you don't have to do that, uh, anymore in order for Google to understand what this page is all about. And also in order to, uh, let's say help it, quote unquote, perform better. Uh, first as I mentioned, previously, internal linking works, but for, you know, hundreds, if not thousands of pages, then you will see real impact. Um, and second your anchors and your anchor selection in general. And this applies to both internal links. Once again and back
links doesn't have to be an exact match. Okay. Uh, so in this case, it could be something like, uh, a useful checklist, uh, for launching your product launches for launching your new products. Okay. Or anything that doesn't sound like I'm trying to insert, uh, the target keyword here. Okay. Not that this is bad to do or wrong or whatever. Uh, of course, excessive use of exact match cortex is never good, but I would say that once again, Google is way smarter than just, you know, uh, crawling your anchor text to understand what the page is all about, and that's rank it for the target keyword and, uh, it's associated keyword. So try to be as natural as possible and try to, uh, fit, I would say internal links, uh, in the, in the, in the body of, of a page as naturally as possible. Um, yeah.

Jimmy 40:39

Um, another, another two follow ups on that. Um, Brandon asked for cluster pages, would it help to have links to related content, for example, other posts on the topic or similar posts? I think he was asking is, should you link outside the cluster? And then also related to that, someone asked a question, um, I think in the chat about, um, one way, verse two, a links, should you link from, uh, hub to hub to cluster or hub to spoke to hub? Like how
should you think about going back and forth between pages within the cluster?

George 41:13

I would say that when it makes sense, first of all, from your hub page, you obviously, um, you obviously will link back to your cluster pages okay. From your half page, because this is how people or visitors will access those cluster pages. So, you know, you have to have links there either, as we mentioned through internal links inside the text, and as we recommend in our case, we haven't materialized that unfortunately, uh, through call to actions. Okay. Uh, so Hub Page definitely cluster pages. You have internal links through your, your breadcrumbs,
definitely. Um, and if, once again, it makes sense to link back to your hub page, inside the content in an unbiased way, feel free to do so, but you already have one through the BR breadcrumbs. If you're going to have a breadcrumbs, which you should, we, we definitely recommend it because we have seen it, you know, that, that it can have a positive impact. Let's say now, if you have to link back to other pages and blocks, block, post, whatever,
uh, and from other pages to, uh, cluster pages, I would say the answer is yes. Uh, when it makes sense, why not? You know, if it, if it contributes to, uh, a better experience, not, you know, once again, not purely from the lens of, uh, we want to rank for keywords and satisfy Google and so on and so forth, but does that really add value if the answer is yes, you should definitely include, uh, internal links, uh, you know, in your, in your cluster pages.

Jimmy 42:52

Awesome. Uh, we do have more questions, but onto new topics. So I think maybe best to jump back into slides and we
can come back to these.

George 42:59

Yeah. Because we have three more slides if I'm not mistaken, so we can cover all questions, uh, in the end. Okay. So, uh, what are the tools that we use, uh, in, in, uh, you know, in the creation of, of topic lasts and content in general, and here, let me just say, uh, a quick disclaimer, Ahrefs is the sponsor of our, of our podcast. We use it either way and I would recommend it either way, but I just want to be, you know, completely transparent with you. Um, so when it comes to keyword research, obviously Ahrefs, and especially you are using search intent modifiers, which you should, and I will share with you a template for that. Um, you know, Ahrefs is a great tool to go in there. Uh, and with, um, with one of their, uh, keywords, Explorer, uh, reports try to find keywords, uh, that either, you know, uh, term match or phrase much as we saw earlier, um, also surfer, uh, is a, is a good tool
that you can use and definitely Google. Um, I would urge you if you're interested in this topic, and if you're interested in keyword research in general, I would urge you to watch our webinar, the webinar that we did with, uh, clear scope a while back to two months ago or something like that. I go in, um, detail about how you can think about using Google and, uh, websites like Reddit, for example, to identify, uh, further subtopics that you should
cover as part of, of your topic cluster, which as I mentioned earlier, are not going to chances are they are not going to be reported in, um, keyword data providers, such as Ahrefs. Okay. Uh, we use spark Toro for audience research and trying to understand, get an understanding of, you know, how, um, like get as much in depth as we can about our audience, how our audience, uh, behaves online, what websites they visit, publications, they, they read.
And so and so forth. These are all, uh, this can all be a gold mine for you that you can later use for, uh, you know, conducting keyword research and find topics that, uh, people are interested in that may not be so obvious in the beginning, um, that you should cover as part of your, um, topic cluster, also something that's, I would say, tremendously undervalued talk to your customers and, uh, try to, uh, to understand, you know, the ultimate source of truth, uh, especially if you're a SAAS company, are your customers, so you have to talk to them.
And here, uh, we use zoom, uh, to record the calls we use aro, uh, for transcription of the calls, uh, type forms for customer service. And if you want to get really in debt, you can use a tool like man to, um, analyze things like customer reviews that you have in, uh, review sites like G2, Cera, and so on, or even customer support tickets, uh, that you have, uh, that could also be a gold mine in terms of identifying, uh, subtopics keywords, things that your customers are interested in and so on and so forth, uh, when it comes to conduct optimization, uh, our project management software is AANA. Um, we use Google talks. We have slide for our knowledge base to make sure that all writers and, you know, people who are involved in a project have everything they need in order to perform at their best in terms of knowledge. Okay. So for knowledge base, uh, we use clear scope for conduct optimization and making sure that, uh, we add an extra layer let's say of optimization, uh, in our content, uh, Grammarly to make sure that there is no plagiarism or anything that would get us in trouble, obviously, uh, and mock flow, uh, for Mo things up for, uh, our designs to create, uh, beautiful graphs, illustrations, and so on and so forth. And loom is a tool that we use for con briefing. Uh, when it comes to con monitoring, you can use Ahrefs and, uh, clear scope. And in our case, I mentioned that we didn't use, um, we didn't promote the content, or we
didn't do any league building or anything like that. But if you do, and, you know, you should do, by the way, uh, you can use a tool like, uh, responder, which is, is an outreach software for this purpose. Okay. Two slides. And, you know, we can, um, we can get to some, some questions, um, with some things that you need to pay attention to.
And I would say that these things apply generally, not just for, uh, you know, topic lasts, but common creation, uh, in general, I would say that creating long form content, the first one, uh, isn't enough. Okay. Uh, this myth of it has to be 2000 words. I would say that you have to go, we have to get away from, from this. And we have to understand that, no, it doesn't have to be, uh, 2000 words because of a correlation study that was conducted, you know, some years ago on what drives rankings. Okay. Um, definitely more in depth and comprehensive content, I guess, uh, would work, uh, well, and, you know, would give a positive signal overall, but we shouldn't, you know, be confused and think that, uh, Google, the only thing that Google examines let's say on a page is the number of words, because this is this isn't true. Okay. I think, uh, you know, and I have many examples that, that prove that, that Google, uh, has gone beyond that and what it, you know, mainly cares about nowadays and, you know, this
will become increasingly important in the future is great experiences. Okay. Um, and of course, you know, words is, is one thing you need to make sure that the conduct you have produced satisfies what, you know, why people came on the page, uh, on the first place. Okay. Um, you shouldn't rely on search volume alone when making decisions on what pages to create search volume is just one metric. Uh, and regardless of which tool you used to get it, uh, I would say that this shouldn't be the sole determinant of your choices and
decisions. Like if it has a search volume, yeah. We will include, uh, a cluster page on the cluster, or we will include, uh, a page on our blog or whatever. Uh, I would say, especially if you are interested in creating building, sorry, topical authority, if you think you believe after your research that the subtopic is indeed semantically associated with your main topic, then you have to create a page about it. Even if there is no, uh, search volume or whatever. Okay. And I give great examples about that guys, uh, in the webinar that we did with, with clear scope, if you're, you know, interested in topical authority and all these, these interesting things, you can feel free to, to watch it, uh, back links. Aren't everything. Obviously, uh, we have proven that with this case study, uh, this case study doesn't include any active promotion of the content or building. As I mentioned previously, the fourth point we, we discussed that a bit internal linking matters, but for topic clusters and websites in general, I would say, uh, for, uh, with more pages. Okay. I would say that in this case
study, we, we didn't pay as much attention to, um, internal links or anything like that. And, you know, pages perform, you know, if we had a topic last with 200 pages, yeah. Things would be, uh, the stakes would be, uh, higher let's say, and it would make sense for us to pay a bit more attention, uh, on things like internal link. But once again, in general, uh, internal linking matters, but for higher, uh, volumes okay. Uh, three points, more, uh, the URL architecture you'll come up with plays a very important role, uh, and can have obviously a very positive impact on performance. And what I will say here, which is something that we see very often, uh, try to keep things as simple as possible and try to think about in a never green way. Like, what's the point in our case of, for example, of having, um, three sub folders and then, you know, a cluster page while we can have keep things simple and have just one sub folder product launch, that's it, uh, and cluster pages under that. Okay. You have to
think, even if you work in a company right now, you have to think, okay, how will I live? Because at some point you may leave that company. Okay. How will I leave something positive and evergreen, uh, behind me so that the next person who will replace me or come after me, or whatever will find something that they don't have to change. And especially when it comes to URL structure, things can get really messy, really easily. So I would say, try to, um, take an evergreen, uh, let's say a route and don't overcomplicate things. Um, one thing that's connected to what, you know, the question that we had earlier about, uh, the domain rating of the website, um, obviously when you have visibility for a specific topic, um, or, you know, keywords around that topic, this obviously helps. Okay. Because this is, uh, aligned with how Google helps. Like, if you are talking about, if you are Healthline,
for example, and you are talking about mental health, of course, if you are going to publish a piece of conduct about mental health, I will definitely consider it. And most likely I will give it a position in the search results, the reason, well, I know that you are a source that can talk about this specific topic. So all these things matter. Okay. But this isn't to say that if you have a website that's, you know, in zero, no, no visibility, no, uh, nothing, uh, that you can't get, uh, greater results. The only thing is that you may have to wait a bit longer. Okay. Uh, that's all, uh, and last but not least when doing hing keyword research, you have to go to think outside of the box, um, and brainstorm con ideas that, uh, EO software don't report. Um, and once
again, I highly recommend that you watch our webinar with clear scope, uh, about that, uh, where I serve, um, more, uh, things, very interesting things around how you should think about keyword research, because the, the problem with keyword research is that something that's, let's say highly, uh, commoditized. Everyone thinks that they can do keyword research, but I can assure you that there are many, many, uh, levels on top of what you think,
um, is possible when it comes to keyword research. Okay. Um, and that would be all.

Jimmy 54:15

Awesome. Thank you, George. And I link to the, um, the topical authority webinar you did with clear scope in the chat, and we'll make sure that any links that you mentioned while we were talking today, I'll make sure our in the blog posts that we put together, um, that we'll, uh, share the recording with also, um,

George 54:31

That's great. Uh, and two things, sorry, Jimmy. Two things. Um, yeah, we, we will also be sharing, as I mentioned, uh, two templates search and 10 modifier template. Okay. And keyword research template. And, you know, uh, both of them have a video inside, uh, created by myself on how to use them. If you have any further questions after watching the video, you know, something doesn't really make sense or whatever, feel free to reach out. And, um,
even I'm not as responsive on LinkedIn, for example, I will try to get back to you. Okay.

Jimmy 55:03

Awesome. So we, we can email those out to folks who registered, um, do you wanna try to get through a couple questions? We have, we have some good ones in here. Um, the, uh, let's see, where do we start? Where do we start? Okay. Benjamin asked you have 16 articles in your topic, cluster 2,500 words per article 13 steps to produce each article. How much time did it take to produce each one?

George 55:30

Um, I don't know. Quite, quite frankly, that's, that's not a question. Uh, I can answer accurately because it depends in some cases, for example. And even though it's a great question, I really value the question. It, it really depends. The answer is, in some case, for example, we, we had to create a, I don't know, a checklist or a template or a, or something more complex. It's not the same as just creating something that has, you know, just
merely text. So the answer is, it depends. Okay. But at the same time, uh, you know, we are an agency, this is our work, uh, meaning that something that may take more time, uh, to someone else, this is our bread and butter. Like, this is what we, uh, live and breathe every day. So, uh, we have our ways of, of doing things and, you know, moving faster without breaking things.

Jimmy 56:21

Got it. That makes sense. Um, another one from Daniel, he asked what part of the funnel are topic clusters best for top, middle or bottom?

George 56:30

In my experience top this, isn't got it to say that, you know, they can't work for, uh, bottom, but like the examples that I have in mind that we have worked on and, um, that I can think of right now, I would say top.

Jimmy 56:48

Got it. Um, is there a maximum this from Brandon? Is there a maximum, uh, recommended quantity of articles in a topic or cluster?

George 56:57

No, because this is, this is a great question, but think about it like that. Let's think about something very broad, uh, as marketing. Okay. There are a million things that we can talk about when it comes to marketing, really. And if you think about all the categories of marketing, let's say, or types, or however you wanna call them, like content marketing, like, um, surgeons in marketing, like whatever, like there are so many things while if we talk about something that's more niche, let's say, then things will be a bit more limited, obviously. Uh, so
I would say that this heavily depends on, on the topic that you're going to, uh, to cover, um, on how, and this is kind of an advanced concept, but you know, how developed, uh, the topic is and how, um, developed the way people search for, and, you know,
kind of think about that topic is meaning that let's, let's take the example of the topic of conversational marketing. Okay. Which is a term that, uh, drift started evangelizing and promoting back in approximately 2015.Would it make sense for them back then their go-to market strategy to be, you know, let's build a topic last on conversational marketing and build, you know, a topic cluster based on what topic. Exactly. Since this is a topic
that people, you know, it was an undefined, uh, category. It was a, an unexplored let's say, um, topic. So I would say that the number of pages, uh, cluster pages heavily depends on the, um, uh, the depth of, of the topic, how broad the topic is.

Jimmy 58:52

Got it. Cool. There are a few more questions, but I know we're running out of time here. Um, maybe folks can, can follow up with you, George and slack or email with additional stuff. Um, we'll be sending out the recording, the slides, uh, the templates, and any links mentioned here today. Uh, we'll get that out. If not this afternoon, it'll be first thing Monday. Um, George can't thank you enough for doing this. You know, how to deliver a webinar
as good as anybody out there. So we really appreciate you taking the time. Uh, we have two more of these. This is a series of three webinars. There's two more. So we'll of course, be in touch over slack and email, uh, and social media, letting folks know when those are we'll have one in October and one in November. Um, and, uh, yeah, lots of, lots of good feedback in the chat here. So again, George, thanks so much. We really appreciate you.

George 59:38

Thank you. And the, the team at, uh, Superpath for, you know, because if we know how to deliver a webinar, you know how to host a webinar. So thank you very much. And thank you to all of the people who, who joined us and, you know, stayed with us until the end. Uh, looking forward to hearing your comments, you know, messages, whatever. Uh, I will try to answer as many of those as possible. And, uh, looking forward to the two more webinars we have until the end of the year. Uh, real excited about those as well.

Jimmy 1:00:08

Awesome. Well, thank you everybody. Hope everyone has a great Friday and a nice relaxing weekend. Take care.

Want to learn more? Here are some more resources from George:

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