Content marketing is a widely popular subject but tough to master in the fast changing digital environment. A vast amount of websites now feature their own blogs and try to produce as much content as possible as some marketers believe that the more content they publish, the higher the website will rank.
However, if the site structure is poor, adding tons of content will not help the search engines to find and rank your content. You have to rethink your SEO strategy to increase your content ROI. Our friends at AccuRanker have made a detailed overview of how HubSpot maximized their content ROI by implementing a topic cluster SEO strategy.
HubSpot Example – Too Much Content Without Structure
HubSpot is known for producing high quality content but they ran into the problem of having too much content while not having a strong content and SEO strategy. They were particularly impacted by search queries that have become more conversational, which require more complex search algorithms to analyze phrases. If you are producing content at the speed that HubSpot does, you really have to constantly re-evaluate if your content strategy is performing for organic search.
Topic Cluster SEO Strategy
When growing your content and blog you need to determine if it is easy for the reader and search engines to find the right content in your website. HubSpot revamped their content strategy by reorganising their content into topic clusters. They also took the overall site architecture and internal linking in consideration.
A full audit of their blog content led to reconstructing the overall structure, grouping the content by topics, further segmenting content along cluster lines and completely revamping their internal linking structure. Leslie Ye, Senior Executive Communications Strategist at Hubspot, explains how HubSpot implemented the topic cluster strategy in this video.
The next step was to track the impact of the new topic cluster SEO strategy by evaluating the content ROI and tracking organic rankings. HubSpot´s SEO team had a large volume of data to analyze so they organized data by segmenting and filtering keywords according to the topic clusters within AccuRanker. Each topic cluster had a set of primary keywords and semantically connected keywords to track and monitor the fluctuations and overall progress of the keywords.
Adding tags to keywords enabled HubSpot´s SEO team to evaluate the performance of each topic cluster on a daily basis. In addition to tagging all keywords that belong to a specific topic cluster, they took the segmentation to the next level by adding a second tag for the primary keywords of each cluster. The content team could easily identify which topic clusters had a poor performance and needed attention to increase their value to get better rankings. Using Tag Cloud feature in AccuRanker, they were able to track multiple metrics associated with the performance of each topic cluster.
The metrics used to evaluate performance of the keywords apart from the keyword rankings were search volume, share of voice, cost value, average time spent on the URLs the keywords in each tag point towards, average load time, how many times a URL has fulfilled a goal in analytics, and revenue (attributed by Google Analytics). Scheduling daily reports helped keep track of the keyword performance, and creating alerts for specific keywords helped monitor if a specific keyword had a significant jump or drop in rankings. They also monitored where their pages were found on featured snippets to qualify the validity of the linking structure. In-depth data and feedback on specific areas were crucial for content improvements.
It can, of course, take time for you to see big results and maximize your content strategy ROI, but implementing a topic cluster strategy like HubSpot can help you see really impressive results. Within 6 months of implementing the topic cluster strategy, HubSpot saw an increase in average rank from position 50 to position 24, and their share of voice doubled, reflecting their dominance in the marketplace. When seeing the success of the topic cluster SEO strategy in the English blog, HubSpot has now also implemented it for their international blogs.