The One Thing That Can Completely Change Your Blog Performances!!
Lifestory of a blog: A blog gets written, the blog is shared on a few social sites, it gets a few claps, a few shares as well. The blog is happy.
But, then a few days pass, and everybody forgets about the blog. The blog is waiting there silently to be read & to be discovered. But tragedy persists. Nobody finds the blog while searching for things the blog has covered. And, slowly the blog dissolves into the lonely world of oblivion 😔. The blog is sad!
More often than not blogs fail to create a sustained impact and give dividends in the long run (Note: however it gives cumulative dividend if someone keeps writing valuable pieces on a consistent basis).
So, how can we write blogs that will still give us dividends 1 year down the line, and will help us/our brands establish domain authority amongst the broader audience? The key to that lies in: creating a cluster of contents rather than writing contents that sort of float as singular contents (something commonly known as Topic Cluster Pattern). What do I mean? Let me elaborate.
Imagine, company “X” helps Bangladeshi Startups raise funds. Now, “X” is trying to establish domain authority through blogs. So ideally they would want people to find their blogs whenever they search “Fundraising in Bangladesh” or even “How can I raise funds in Bangladesh”. So they make a list of blogs they can write:
- Angel Investment in Bangladesh
- Bangladeshi VC scene
- How to Create a Pitch Deck
- How to Get Your Financials Right
- Due Diligence for Bangladeshi Startups
- Legal Aspects for a Bangladeshi Startup etc.
So, they write about 7 Blogs in 7 Weeks, they share the blogs from their social accounts. A few likes, few comments, few shares here & there. But they discover they are not appearing on search results. They wait. But the wait is a never-ending one. Their blogs are not coming up on search results even after 1 year. Let’s zoom out a bit and analyze the scenario: so, essentially they are missing out on all those potential clients who are searching for something similar to “Fundraising in Bangladesh” on Google.
The reason behind this is that since 2015 Google has drastically reshaped its algorithm favoring topics over keywords. Which gave clusters or a set of related contents branched out from a Pillar Content (a broader content covering all the elements of the topic as a summary) preference over other types of contents.
Let me elaborate: In the case of company “X” the contents although thematically similar were floating around like discrete contents without any interlinking or any umbrella content that captures the essence of all these contents as a broad overview.
So, instead, if they wrote a Pillar Content titled: “Complete Fundraising Guideline for Bangladeshi Startups” as a broader summary of 7 different blogs on: Angel Investment, VC Scene, Pitch Deck, Financials, Legal, Due Diligence, Valuation & Dilution, etc., and linked out to 7 bigger blogs, it would have worked way better impact-wise. Visually it would look something like this 👇
Note that the pillar content will have all the 7 contents linked out/branched out from different parts of the pillar content. So, if someone wants to know more about Angel Investments while reading the Pillar, he/she can click on the link to read the more detailed blog written specifically on: Angel Investments.
✅ ✅ This adds 2 specific values:
- Users can find everything they need to know about a topic under one unified umbrella with the option to go into the details. So, Users’ experience wise, this is significantly better (and Google will do anything to give its users a better experience).
- “By linking all internal content within that topic to a pillar page, Google can easily scan all the content and understand that there is a semantic relationship between the pages’ content. The cluster setup also signals to search engines that there is real breadth and depth in the content, which gives the pillar page more authority on the topic. Algorithms like Google’s RankBrain reward this orderly linking with higher search placement” -Hubspot
So both from a subjective and technical perspective the topic-cluster is significantly better than the unconnected contents maintaining no topic architecture.
Now, with time if the company/writer starts spreading the contents in their social channels, and if their contents get a few organic shares & tractions based on the values they provided inside the contents; their blog will start appearing in search results.
2 things to keep in mind here:
- There is no alternative to “Value”. If contents fail to provide value and answer what the users are actually looking for, then no “Architecture” or “Topic Cluster” will work.
- It is important to specify the cluster someone wants to lead. And, it is equally important to identify the pillar that can serve as the summarising piece for all the linked contents of the cluster. Is the pillar content something people will search for, is it solving the information need of the users on a broader level?
But while doing these, we should not be impatient in expecting results from this approach. Like all good things, even the topic cluster will take time to find its way up into the top 3 results of Google Search. But, once it does, it can bring anyone more leads than any other outreach or lead generating activities.
Imagine, A company is working with SDGs, and the first thing that pops up on Google when donors search “SDG in Bangladesh” is a “pillar content” that the company wrote on SDG. Inside the pillar content, donors find 17 subsequent hyperlinks leading to 17 articles covering different aspects of SDG activities in Bangladesh. This Topic Cluster will give the company an authority status in this domain in the eyes of the donor, and this can be game-changing for the company.
Now, there is one big irony in this blog. It does not follow the same Topic Cluster pattern it preaches 😅. For that, keep an eye on my Medium to see how this blog becomes part of a bigger Topic Cluster and demonstrates what it preaches.
Until next time…