Topic clusters: How home and garden brands get the most out of their content

Last updated: April 11, 2023

Aaron Rudman-Hawkins

Aaron Rudman-Hawkins is a dynamic digital marketing expert and a driving force behind The Evergreen Agency's success. With a passion for technology and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving digital landscape, Aaron has become a trusted name in the industry.

Read Aaron's bio here

Each and every ecommerce brand will be familiar with the importance of its content strategy. It needs to be robust, watertight and comprehensive, with realistic deliverables, SMART goals and the best possible chance of success.

This guide will cover:

Tackling the minefield of content marketing

Marketing teams are constantly aware of the need to spend their time, energy and resources wisely, in order to leverage the best possible ROI. Not only do marketers need to develop an achievable content plan, but they also need to ensure they take an approach that’s easy to digest, garners results and is understood at every level of the business.

What if we told you that a proven process exists to help you do just that? It’s wonderfully straightforward, and, when done right, can streamline your entire content process.

Read on to learn more about how topic clusters work, and how you can utilise them to rejuvenate your content process from the ground up.

Topic clusters: Why didn’t anybody tell me about this before?

Topic clustering is a recognised strategic framework that enables ecommerce brands to strategically map out, analyse and scale their entire website content offering.

Topic clustering works by grouping all of your information-led content (blogs, resources, articles, infographics, case studies) into clearly defined topics and subtopics.

How-tos, user guides, best-of-the-web guides, beginner guides, you name it; these all fall into your content offering, and it’s all needed in order to map out, organise and categorise your content comprehensively.

Aaron says…

“Implementing topic clusters for your content strategy is not only a win for your customers, but it’s a win for your website’s organic performance, too. A straightforward website structure helps search algorithms navigate your website, identify key pages that drive growth, and champion rank-worthy content in the SERPS.”

Topic clustering will enable you to:

  • Deliver data-led results for your internal stakeholders.
  • Identify key opportunities for growth, and consolidate low-performing content
  • Create a better online experience for your customers
  • Create a website that search engines can navigate with ease
  • Set SMART goals based on hard metrics
  • Benchmark your existing content offering and evaluate how your product-led content is doing

If you leverage topic clusters properly, you can create a comprehensive strategy where every single element adds real value.

Over time, you can truly reap the rewards of using this method. When implemented properly, you will be able to: 

  • Position your brand as a leading online resource in your field
  • Appear in search results for a wider range of topics
  • Rank for high-volume keywords for entire topics
  • Build topical authority by covering entire topics in depth
  • Become a leading online resource in your industry
  • Increase direct, referral and organic traffic to your website

Aaron says…

“Topic clusters can also greatly assist with ideation and inspiration too, and immensely simplify the process of coming up with content ideas that have traction. Brands can use topic clusters to identify niche subtopics or angles that go beyond the basics. It’s this level of innate understanding that will set you apart from your competitors, and it’s what customers will come back for.” 

How to create your topic clusters

Step 1. Determine the topic categories to include in your topic map.

These need to cover topics of value for the reader, and have real relevancy to the products you sell.

Step 2. Categorise your existing content into the topic categories 

Be succinct and identify the key topic areas – these should be in line with your product categories as much as possible 

Step 3. Import performance data for all of your existing content

This provides a benchmark to work from 

Step 4. Map out current content performance 

Gain invaluable insight into the best performing topic areas, and topics with opportunity  that need work

Once you’ve mapped out your content into defined clusters you will be able to: 

  • Identify the content topics that are driving the most value
  • Identify any topics that aren’t adding value
  • Identify core topic areas to build out and improve
  • Identify any topic areas that are missing content altogether
  • Identify topics and subtopics that offer the most opportunity for future content pieces, and plan this into your upcoming strategy

How topic clusters can help you increase product sales

By physically visualising and identifying where and how content sits on a website, brands can better understand the journey their customers go on before purchasing a product.

Using the topic cluster framework can simplify this process for marketers, enabling brands to catgorise and organise their content streams on a mass scale. By grouping content in this way, brands can better pinpoint the subject areas that garner the most traction, bring in the most traffic, and make them the most money – not just from page views and keyword data, but from an entire topic level.

Now – scale this approach so that your topical content covers the entire buyer journey, from initial consideration and casual browsing to a final purchase.  From how-tos, to user guides, to product reviews, comparisons, and everything in between – build out a content strategy that covers every base. You’ll soon find yourself with an organic online monopoly, simply because you’re giving customers exactly what they’re looking for.

The better you understand your customers and assist with their pain points, the more customers will trust you. The more a consumer trusts a brand, the most likely they’ll make a purchase from them.  It’s simple stuff, but it’s reflective of how every consumer behaves, including you.

So, how do you build trust?

By creating content that answers relevant search queries

By providing helpful information that comprehensively covers a topic in detail

By demonstrating your expertise and understanding of that topic to the reader

By providing helpful advice, knowledge or information about your topic in a logical manner

What does this prove?

It proves that you know the topic (and therefore your product or service) inside out.

It enables you to catch users at every part of the sales funnel.

It enables you to build proven topical authority that’s recognised and rewarded by Google.

For more digital marketing insights and advice on scaling an ecommerce brand, check out our Growth Marketing Hub. For more information about our digital marketing services, get in touch! We’ve been helping businesses grow since 2013 and we’d love to get to know you.


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