10x Content / Topic cluster development challenges we see tend to repeat themselves in different organizations… Here’s some that come to mind.
- Misunderstanding of topic cluster concept as a content structure – stuck in the serial, unrelated blog post workflow, despite the low resulting traffic.
- Unwilling to tap a domain expert for the creation of the content, rather assuming that one can Google the info they need.
- Requirement for immediate ranking or ROI. Disbelief in the long term economics and competitive advantage of organic rank.
- Vague cluster topics chosen so there’s insufficient sub-topic opportunity for supporting cluster documents.
- Cluster topics chosen “intuitively” even when they do not align with readers day-to-day pain points and information appetite.
- Internal corporate language varies from search demand but alignment to them in content is considered “off brand.”
- Cluster content “solves for the company” rather than ‘for the user” Obvious helpful content and links are disallowed because it doesn’t “sell” the client’s own offering, resulting in low trust in the content.
- Cluster content too sparse, rushed, boring, leaving better versions of the same topic exist online already for Google to keep ranking.
- Unwillingness to update older content to support the cluster, such as adding links or pivoting the focus slightly.
- No measurement framework for understanding clusters’ ranking impact or ignoring provided reports.
- Inadequate time allowed for impact in ranking to be observed – cluster projects defunded prematurely as a tactic that “doesn’t seem to work.”
- Inadequate efforts on link building to pillar or to supporting docs. Expectation that the cluster program is an on page only effort.
- No repurposing of content to PDF, video, podcast, etc. to squeeze maximum value out of the cluster creation process.
What’s your topic cluster challenge? How have you made it a success?