What are Topic Clusters for Health Industry Blog Content? A Quick Introduction

What are Topic Clusters for Health Industry Blog Content? A Quick Introduction
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Some call it a content library. Content can be arranged in ways that offer the reader, various vantage points on a topic. Unfortunately, finding what you need on a website is not easy—it's a challenge. Some of the solutions are links to relevant articles towards the bottom. Part of constructing a content strategy is organizing information in a way that is accessible, one that steps through relevant material in a way that inspires and provides insight. But how?

Topic clusters are a simple way to arrange information, but they can be really challenging to understand and use. They are a rather new approach to arranging information on a site that is relevant, trusted, and authoritative. One of my clients was just starting out with their blog. The ideal customer was defined and we had a good idea of who we were targeting. The problem was that I wasn’t clear on how to establish the site as an authority.

So, I researched the topic and looked at what we call topic clusters around the search term. SEO takes time, it’s like a plant that you water, while providing the right conditions and analysis for it to grow.

The client’s blog started to rank after 7 months of building the foundation.

Do not let this put you off. Topic clusters aren’t that complicated to understand, and you can use my framework to organize them to a large extent (I’ll cover this shortly).

Here’s everything you’ll learn in this guide:

How to create a topic cluster

How to identify a topic cluster

The Anatomy of a topic cluster

Topic clusters in healthcare

Topic clusters and pillar pages

Creating topic clusters with a template

What is a topic cluster?

Topic clusters offer the reader a broad range of topics centered around their search intent. The resulting search may bring back a variety of types of content. They include:

Resource Articles

Comparison Pages

Use Case Pages

List Posts

Interviews

Guide Posts

Case Studies

FAQs

How to create a topic cluster

Be unique and different. Much of the content on the web looks the same. And it makes sense, content writers are trying to rank using methods that work. If a list article is a format that ranks and you follow this approach, the article should stand out.

One of the ways to do this is to approach the topic in a novel way. It’s a bit of intellectual property that is involved and the ideas presented should give an alternative view or insight. Try not to add ‘mirage content’ or content that can be read somewhere else.

How to identify a topic cluster

Identifying topic clusters can be achieved using a few different tools and techniques. Ahrefs or SEMRush and Keywordtool.io are 3 of the most trusted tools on the market. But, what if you don’t want to pay for access to these tools? Well, there is hope.

You can use our friend Google to identify topic clusters. Let’s use the search query, ‘the best stethoscopes’ as an example. While searching, I may look at the types of articles that are ranking—list or guideposts, how to post, and posts comparing various stethoscopes.

Here is an example of a comparison post that we wrote for a client that ranks #1 for nailfold capillaryoscopy optilla (a type of scope).

When I search Google, it brings back the following results:

Scroll down to the section, ‘People also ask’, and you should see several relevant questions, related to our search term.

If I scroll down to the bottom of the page, I see the following under the section ‘Related Searches’:

These are terms people are searching for under stethoscopes.

The Anatomy of a topic cluster

The anatomy of a topic cluster is uniform. Titles, h1, h2, and h3 tags improve rankings. It’s also a good idea to use diagrams when appropriate, figures, bullet points, videos and these may link out to a stand-alone post.

Here is an example of titles, h1 and h2 tags that can be used in a post:

<title> What is Telemedicine Software? Everything You Need to Know </title>

<h1> What is Telemedicine </h1>

Write 1-5 sentences on the topic. Something digestible, short, and sweet.

<h2>Examples of Telemedicine Companies </h2>

Write 1-5 sentences linking out to another page (/telemedicine software/examples)

<h2>What to Look for in a High Quality Telemedicine Software </h2>

Topic clusters in healthcare

The field of healthcare is ripe with opportunities. With the massive change and advances that I have seen over the last year, content is one of the most scalable assets that can impact business outcomes.

Topic clusters can be designed to center around buyer personas or use cases. A medical device company may need to educate its customers, making them aware of the latest advances available.

A simple sales cycle involves a process. Generally, speaking the three phases of purchase include:

Traffic: paid or unpaid organic traffic

Conversions: content that nudges the reader to purchase

Fulfillment: a deliverable that aligns with a topic cluster i.e. whitepaper, email copy, long-form content, case studies, comparison posts, list and how-to posts, webinars, slide decks, Facebook posts, and more.

Deliverables should consist of high-quality content that reflects the voice of the business—it’s part of the brand and it can bring in leads and sales for years to come.

Topic clusters and pillar pages

Pillar pages are posts that act as a resource for a prospect. You really don’t know where they are in the sales cycle and it could be an initial impression (Top of the Funnel), where awareness is the first step of the warm-up process. Ideally, the goal is to provide value and to solve the problems that a client may have.

Pages can be arranged in an order, leading the reader to find what they are looking for.

Topics are RELEVANT and may act to strengthen a business case. Put yourself in the mind of the reader. How can I provide value? It may be a next step, a new insight, or that piece of the puzzle that makes things click for the reader.

Examples of pillar pages that may work as topic clusters for a content site are:

ai.com/the ROI

ai.com/ultimate guide

ai.com/data management plan

ai.com/getting buy-in from stakeholders

ai.com/examples in remote care

Conclusion

A library of content serves an important purpose, it can lead to traffic, conversions, and fulfillment (a new client). With that said, there are many forms that topic clusters that can be repurposed to become a part of the larger sales funnel. I have outlined a system for content marketing but there are many strategies where the situation of the client is taken into account.

Contact me to get help with your next project at the following email address:

support@victorgerardphillips.com