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What makes top medical websites like WebMD and Mayo Clinic different from other sites in the industry? Aside from their high-quality content, these med sites are structured so that users and readers can easily find the information they need.
Well-crafted pages allow readers to dive deep into content and help them make crucial health decisions. Great pages are perfect for medical SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a collection of strategies that can help rank websites higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). An optimized website will catch more attention and get more traffic. SEO helps your site rank along with top sites.
Introducing Topic Clusters for Medical SEO
There are numerous SEO strategies available, but one of the most overlooked on-site SEO tactics is the use of topic clusters. Marketers must learn to develop better topic clusters that lead to better SEO. Let's dive deeper into this strategy and know how you can benefit from it.
Topic Cluster Defined
Using topic clusters for SEO is not new. It is a group of interrelated content or assets around a specific subject. A topic cluster supports every page in the group and has three parts.
1. Pillar Page
The pillar page is high-level content that covers a specific topic. This page links with in-depth issues and branches out to subtopics.
The pillar page talks about a vast topic. For a medical website, it can be skin disorders or reproductive health. And within your pillar page, there is cluster content that talks about specific keywords. Cluster content can be acne for skin disorders, while reproductive health can be natural birth control methods.
Starting pillar pages may seem simple, but you must take time to research the best topics that you want your clinic or practice to be famous for. Consider how your pillar page can give the best value. You can create pillar pages that answer questions that your audience might ask.
A pillar page must be longer than your average blog post, usually around 2,000 words. The content must be helpful, comprehensive, and well-researched.
2. Cluster Pages and Internal Links
Cluster pages cover a particular subtopic. Each one talks about a minor search-volume keyword. Internal links are placed carefully in the middle of the pillar page and the various cluster pages.
The first one to introduce topic clusters was WordPress. More than a decade ago, SEO experts found this strategy very productive. As more and more marketers realized the value of topic clusters, HubSpot decided to further enhance this strategy in 2017.
Today, topic clusters continue to improve SEO. But it has become less popular as new and more appealing tactics have gained more attention.
How Do Topic Clusters Help With SEO?
Topic clusters are all about interlinking various cluster pages with each other. These pages provide very detailed coverage of your subject. Because of this, your visitors can easily find answers whenever they look up something on the internet.
In short, topic clusters improve website organization through a well-defined structure to present a better, more efficient user experience.
The way people search for topics has dramatically evolved. Topic clusters benefit SEO because these help websites adapt to these search changes. For instance, instead of using "pediatricians San Diego," people now use longer search terms such as "which hospitals in San Diego specialize in pediatrics?"
The terms are longer and more conversational, similar to how people use voice search programs such as Google Assistant and Siri.
As the internet becomes more and more crowded, it becomes harder for people to find what they are looking for. But with the help of long-form searches, search engines can quickly move through all the useless data and locate the information that users need.
Topic clusters can:
- Help web pages rank higher by producing high-value answers.
- Make web pages look and feel more organized. This enhances user experience.
- Prevent your web pages from competing through a topic cluster model.
- Improve keyword organization and increase organic traffic.
How To Make Topic Clusters to Enhance SEO
Now that you know the importance of topic clusters, let's find out how to create clusters to boost website optimization. Here are the best strategies for your online medical website:
1. Selecting the Best Topic That Works With Your Cluster
Start selecting a core topic to prepare your topic cluster. It must be relevant to your medical practice and valuable to your patients and clients. Avoid guesswork because it can lead to costly mistakes. Use your buyer personas and take note of their needs, pains, and the terms they use to locate your business.
2. Choosing the Right Keywords
To develop your topic cluster, choose your pillar page core keyword. It must be one with high search volume. You can use an SEO tool to help you find the best keywords. When selecting subtopics, choose those relevant to your marketing campaign goals.
3. Creating a Solid Structure for Your Topic Cluster
Outlining your pillar and cluster pages ensures that you have considered the length of your pages and the overall arrangement of your topics. Take note of your subtopics and create backlinks to these to highlight important information.
While creating your outline, consider your primary and secondary keywords, headings, and subheadings. Keep to your word count and choose high-ranking medical sites for reference.
4. Time to Produce Your Content
Now that your outline is ready, you can produce your content for every page of the topic cluster. Create engaging, original, and naturally sounding content. Always put value ahead of everything when writing your content. It would also help if you used videos, images, infographics, tables, and charts in your content.
5. Launching and Interlinking Your Cluster Pages
Once your pillar and topic cluster pages are ready, you can now launch them. Marketers publish pillar pages by placing them on the root domain while the topic clusters are part of its subdomain. You can also include blogs that are part of your website by adding a pillar page for these and adding subtopics to create individual pages.
The next part is interlinking your pillar and cluster pages. The pillar page must link to all your cluster pages. Every cluster page must link back to your pillar page. Every cluster page must relate to one another.
Pillar pages and topic cluster pages can enhance your medical SEO campaigns when properly used. This strategy can help you build website authority and claim your top position on SERPs. Invest in these tactics, and you'll have an organized and optimized website in no time.