Topic clusters are a strategy for search engine optimization and content marketing. The approach — organizing a site’s content around topics and subtopics — can be effective if you choose the right clusters.

“Years ago, people posed fragmented keyword queries to search engines to find answers to their questions. Nowadays, most are comfortable posing complex questions to a search engine, and they expect an accurate and timely result,” wrote Mimi An, in a 2017 HubSpot report.

“Searchers who want a specific answer also use many different phrases in their queries. And now search engines are smart enough to recognize the connections across queries. Algorithms have evolved to the point where they can understand the topical context behind the search intent, tie it back to similar searches they have encountered in the past, and deliver web pages that best answer the query.”

Topic clusters are an SEO and content marketing strategy. Each cluster is organized around a pillar page with many subtopic pages. <em&gtSource HubSpot.</em>
Topic clusters are an SEO and content marketing strategy. Each cluster is organized around a pillar page with many subtopic pages.

Source HubSpot.

Thus, marketers can develop topic clusters that use internal and external links to demonstrate expertise in a particular topic. That topic should be something that is general, but not so broad that your business will not be able to rank for it.

Your topic should be encapsulated in very few words. Think about phrases like “vegan shoes,” “electric bikes,” or “beard grooming.”

This can be more difficult than it sounds. If I asked you to come up with five topics for your business, could you do it?

What follows is a process I’ve used to create retail topic clusters.

Step 1: Identify Target Customers

Your business may already have customer personas or a series of customer profiles. If that is the case, start with these. If not, do a bit of work to identify your target customer.

Who are those customers? How old are they? Why did they buy a product from your business? Why do they want or need your products? How did they learn about your store or your products?

Your research could take a few forms. You may…