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How to choose the right topic clusters for your SEO content strategy


Table of Contents

The key to your SEO content strategy, of course, is choosing the right topic clusters for your organization. Because just like the scientists who brought back the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, just because you can make a topic cluster about something doesn’t mean you should.

That means you’ll want to choose topic cluster topics – validated with keyword research using tools like Semrush or Answer the Public – that relate directly to the products or services you sell. For example, if you are a technical recruiter, “technical recruiting” would be a great candidate for a topic cluster subject. 

🎙️ HubHeroes Podcast: Topic cluster strategy crash course

The key to picking a great keyword for your topic cluster subject is to keep it big and broad, with a meaty amount of website traffic to back it up. This is different from how you’d go about selecting a keyword for a blog topic. 

Here, let’s look at two examples:

  • Website redesign is an ideal topic cluster keyword – it’s broad with lots of website traffic.
  • HubSpot vs. WordPress is much more specific, making it an ideal keyword for a subtopic in your website redesign topic cluster.

What do I mean by “lots of website traffic” for a topic cluster keyword? 

Well, it depends. You don’t want to go after keywords that have hundreds of thousands of searches per month – those are too broad, to the point where it’s hard to tell who’s searching for it and why; more than that, they tend to be highly competitive, which will make it hard for you to rank.

For instance, as much as I am a man who loves a quality hoodie, we actually wouldn’t want to write that topic cluster:

According to the screenshot above of data ye ole Semrush, the high volume and the steep degree of difficulty would make it a less than ideal choice for me. In a perfect world, the keyword you choose (if you have access to this kind of data through a more robust tool like Semrush), you’re looking for approximately 50% or less in keyword difficulty.

On top of that “lots of traffic” is a relative phrase. 

Depending on how niche your industry is, the “big broad” keywords will only have hundreds of searches per month, rather than thousands; and your supporting subtopics in that case may have tens of searches per month, rather than hundreds. This is common in a lot of highly regulated industries, B2G, companies with a regional or local footprint, and so on.

“George, my head is spinning, this is a lot to take in!”

I know, it can feel overwhelming at first. Just remember to always bring it back to the humans you serve, and you’ll be just fine:

  • What do YOU, as humans, do or sell?
  • Based on that, what online conversations do you need to own?
  • What do the humans you serve want to know about those topics?

Then, let the data take you from there. 


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