Through the years, searching trends have evolved as technology and search engines have improved tremendously. In the past, if a Florida contractor was searching for a shop to repair a generator in his area, he would have had to be very specific and his search would have looked something like: “Fort Myers Florida Generator Repair Shop”. Now, he could type “Where can I get my generator repaired” and Google is smart enough to know his intent and provide very targeted search results in his location.
To account for this shift in behavior, B2B search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving to match new searcher intent. Although the strategy behind keyword research is still relevant, optimizing a page for one keyword, is a technique of the past and topic-based SEO is on the rise.
The topic-cluster model involves grouping a set of related content around an overarching topic, or “pillar” page. The sub-pages cover more targeted topics and link back to the main topic. Linking each sub-page to the pillar page signals to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic. Over time the page is likely to improve rank as more and more content gets created and you prove to search engines that you have relevant content to answer the questions that people are searching for.
It sounds more complicated than it is. Here is a visual of what a topic cluster might look like:
For further explanation, watch this video from HubSpot explaining this new topic-based SEO methodology, simply:
A pillar page covers the big picture, or a broad overarching topic and the sub-topic pages take an in-depth look at more specific topics which are connected to the pillar page by interlinks.
In simple terms, the pillar page covers a high-level topic which targets a relevant keyword with volume. Think about the words that customers use when they are talking about the problems your products and/or services solve and organize them into “buckets”. For example, a pillar page topic that one of our prospect customers would search for is “B2B social media marketing”. The content is educational and ungated so that it can be crawled by search engines and discovered by prospect customers. In addition, the page follows all on-page SEO best practices including 1% keyword density, a user-friendly URL which includes the keyword, a clear title with an H1 tag, and more.
The shorter content pieces with in-depth topics closely-related to your pillar page will be your sub-topic pages. These topics will answer specific questions about the core topic covered in the pillar page and should target high-value keywords with search volume. A pillar page should have 6-8 sub-topic content pieces.
To continue with the example from above, some sub-topics of the B2B search engine marketing pillar page are:
This new strategy accounts for the shift in searcher behaviors and search engine algorithm updates. But, there are a lot of other benefits to this new SEO approach. Here are a few:
Whether you need to organize your existing content into topic clusters, or you need to come up with new ones, HubSpot’s new content strategy tool is extremely helpful. Not a HubSpot customer yet? Or don’t know how to use the different keyword research tools? Let us do the do the dirty work and help you with all of your B2B search engine marketing needs. We are a HubSpot Certified Partner. To learn more about how we can help, request a free consultation.
For a step-by-step plan to develop a solid B2B content marketing strategy, take a look at our guide.