How to plan a Pillar and Cluster Content – A complete guide

 Tired with planning good content and not getting the absolute solution for your problem?

Readout this guide to plan your content step by step. This will give you a clear insight to plan your content strategy.

How to plan a Pillar and Cluster Content - A complete guide

Content marketing is completely dependent on a good content strategy. Marketers are ready to pay a higher amount on content planning but still, sometimes they fail to rank. There are various factors for ranking on Google’s SERP page. But, the major part is taken care of by the content on the web page as the content is the king of SEO activities. This content can be divided into Pillar content SEO and Topic Cluster Content SEO. In this guide, we are going to see the details of this division on the basis of different parameters.

Why it is Needed?

It is commonly seen that people are making mistakes in the planning stage and ultimately it affects the end result. So in this topic, we are going to discuss how to plan the content clusters exactly which will give you higher ROI.

Let’s start with the overview 

Drafting a plan

Dividing content into Pillar and Cluster content

Drafting a plan:

Drafting a content plan

Drafting a Content plan includes the following things:

 

Let us start the discussions in more detail. Drafting a content plan and mapping your content by thinking in all the perspectives helps you to understand in a better way to plan your content strategy. The following checkpoints give you an idea to start your content strategy.

 

1.Competitor Analysis

Competitor Research is a must-do thing before heading towards content writing.

Extensive competitor analysis in terms of content, services, traffic is a necessary factor of content planning. Read more about competitor analysis in 7 ways to know Your Competitors – Strengths And Weaknesses.

Here we will take an example of the mattress.

Suppose I want to build a site that gives the mattress comparison, reviews, brands, and its quality, etc. which can be said as an affiliate portal for the mattress.

So I will do the competitor analysis for the “mattress” term. Maintain the excel sheet with the competitor analysis. Add a minimum of 10 competitors to the list with the keyword research with search volume and traffic per page, etc.

2.In-depth Audience Research

Getting into the reader’s skin and understanding from their perspective can be a game-changer for the plan. By making an in-depth Audience Research from the customer’s perspective, you will come up with many common keywords that are frequently used by people.

Ask these questions to yourself.

  • What kind of people need your service?
  • What type of keywords can they use?
  • Where are they located?
  • What kind of information are they looking for?
  • How frequently do they need your service?

3.Keyword Research

Once you are done with the audience research plan, you will be able to come to a conclusion 

What kind of keywords they are using very regularly to opt for your kind of services? 

Which Keywords matter the most for getting ranked?

Which keyword has a Higher search volume?

Apart from searching from keyword analysis tools, you can also search for keywords manually by typing in Google.

4.Selecting the Topics for Articles

Only after getting thorough research for keywords, should you be planning for your content.

Selecting a proper type of content clusters for your site depends on the service you provide.

Read my 8 things you should know about Crafting Your Content Plan blog which will be helpful to decide what type of content you should choose according to your needs of the business.

5.Drafting the Content 

Plan Pillar and Cluster content for Higher ROI. Starting with this division, we need to have the above data handy which has all the competitors, Keywords Analysis, Traffic to the competitor’s pages, etc. 

Pillar contents are the main content and the topic clusters are the subtopics under Pillar Content. If you already have an understanding of main topics and how they get into the details of sub-topics then you are well equipped with content writing. Remember you have to plan the pillar content and topic clusters SEO accordingly so that every page rank with certain keywords.

Drafting the Main information and going further into detail by maintaining the flow of information is an important factor of content writing for SEO.

Main content i.e. Pillar content has to be linked properly with the cluster content without disturbing the flow of information. Writers have to be very much conscious about maintaining the flow and interlinking of the content. 

The interlinking doesn’t mean only providing the links but also the brief information about the main content into the cluster one. This continues the flow of information that is readable and relates to the main topic.

This helps the user to understand more context and details of the subject which he is reading about. 

This is how the create engaging content. Because if the user typed the search query and he found the information to be very useful, creating an inquisitiveness to read the topic in more detail, that means he will stay for a longer time on your site. 

And this is very much important for SEO to create engaging content clusters so that the traffic increase. This is a good sign for Google.

In the same way, you have to plan your content cluster SEO for higher ROI. When you are creating engaging articles, you also have to prioritize your content with the articles by observing that the type of articles your users are engaging in mos

6. Divide the content into Pillar and Cluster Content.

There are usually three types of articles.

Awareness 

Engagement (Informative)

Conversion (Related to purchase)

These articles are broadly divided into three funnels

  • Top Funnel
  • Middle Funnel
  • Bottom Funnel

Content FunnelingSome articles are made for creating brand or business awareness. Those come under the awareness category in the Top funnel. Usually, a user is aware of the brand by typing queries for the basic information of the site.

E.g Again we will continue the same example of the mattress. If the user is typing the query 

“ What is Air Mattresses and what are the benefits of it ?”

With this query, if the user lands on your site, he will get the required information and he will be aware of your site and maybe he remembers your site for a month or so.

Now if the user is suffering from back pain and is looking for the mattress to buy for back pain then he will search with the query related to his problem i.e. back pain

“Good mattress for back pain “ or Spring mattress vs. Air mattress

That means the user is planning to buy this mattress. Now the articles that are written for this funnel have to be informative and compelling. This type of article come under the middle funnel where the user made up his mind to purchase a mattress.

If your content is successfully engaged, then chances are higher that the user will reach the bottom-funnel where he will purchase the mattress. 

To purchase the mattress, he will land on a conversion page. Now this page should also be descriptive according to the need of the user.

As this page is dealing with the conversion, you have to mention the discounts for the product. The statistics of the product like a number of people who have benefited from your service/product. Reviews of the product. Top 10 air mattresses etc. This kind of information builds the trust of the user for the product and he will buy it. 

If you closely observe the above scenario, you will come to know how your content clusters should be planned with the pillar and topic cluster contents. This will definitely build the traffic on your web pages.

Let’s see how to create a pillar content and topic clusters and map them into the Top, middle and bottom-funnel.

Pillar and Cluster ContentIn this scenario, Air Mattress is Pillar page content and the topic clusters are user guide for Air mattress, benefits of the air mattress, comparison among two variety of mattresses, reviews and ratings, brands and discounts on the mattresses.

Plan your content in the top funnel, middle funnel, and bottom-funnel accordingly.

Sometimes, the content which comes under middle or bottom-funnel can be exchanged. It all depends on the business type and priority. You have to categorize them according to your priority and then start working on it to attain a higher ROI.

Hope this information helps you to build your content plan in a smart way to engage the users.

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