Did you know that SEO first started in the 90s? Back then, there were approximately 45 million people using the internet. Today, about 3.4 billion internet users are inspiring a massive SEO industry. In the beginning, SEO was like the wild west with very few rules or oversight. However, over the years, search engines have improved their algorithms to provide users with better results. With this in mind, looking to the future and predicting trends ensures that your motorcycle SEO efforts stay on track for optimum search engine performance.
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SEO Strategy You Know
In the past, SEO focused on individual pages and linking strategies as separate efforts. Each page would focus on a single keyword, optimizing it for that specific targetted word. This evolved into targeting longer keywords. Instead of a single word, it would be a phrase or question. Strategies evolved again from a single long tail keyword to multiple keywords in each post. It also could be targeting a full sentence, typically one that asks a question. This evolution happened for several reasons.
- Searchers entering more sophisticated queries
- Search engine evolving algorithms
- Increased competition for simple/common keywords
- Increased use of voice commands like Siri, Google, or Alexa
To look at this from a partial standpoint. At the beginning of SEO, motorcycle companies may have targeted the keyword “motorcycle muffler”. This would have evolved into targeting the keyword “full system motorcycle exhaust” or “aftermarket slip-on motorcycle exhaust.” Then this would have evolved into targeting a grouping of keywords surrounding motorcycle exhausts or a complete sentence, such as “How to install a slip-on motorcycle exhaust?”
Shift Towards Topic Clusters
Top-ranking websites have a new approach. Instead of a spider web or random page linking, websites have a focused linking strategy for website pages and blog posts. With the topic cluster approach, you create a pillar page. Think of this as a page that is overarching and authoritative. Then multiple pages or blog posts link to the pillar page. Think of the pillar page as a building pillar. It is the hub of the content cluster supporting the rest of the related content.
Over time, the pillar page becomes a source of authority. This helps it to rank better in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In addition, the overall website design looks cleaner and is better organized. This enables website visitors and search engine crawlers to navigate the site easier.
So, how would you apply this to your motorcycle SEO strategy? Continuing the motorcycle exhaust example, the first step would be to create the pillar page. This would be a general information page about motorcycle mufflers. Then there would be several pages with more focused information that link to the pillar page.
Creating a Topic Cluster
The pillar page needs to have a broad and generalized main topic. The broader the topic, the more focused content pages you can have linking to it. If your topic is too narrow, then you limit your ability to establish a strong topic cluster. For example, motorcycle muffler is a broad topic. Slip-on sport bike motorcycle mufflers is a narrow topic.
Choosing a Pillar Page Topic
Coming up with your pillar topics is easy if you have existing content to audit. Look for core problems that your buyer personas have. You can do this by reviewing customer feedback, tracking customer questions, doing a survey, or reviewing search queries on your website. You can look to online communities for outside supportive data if you don’t have a lot of internal data.
Look for broad topics within these core problems. This can help guide you to effective pillar page topics. Then you can create focused pages that directly answer your target audience’s core questions.
Create Supportive Pages
Once you have the pillar page topic, you can create the linking page topics. It helps to create sub-categories. Then you can focus down your pages, so they directly answer a specific question. For example, you could have subcategories for Full System, Slip-On, Dirt Exhausts, and V-Twin Exhausts. Then under each sub-category, you can write about top brands, best models, how to buy, install, maintenance requirements, and so on.
Track Your Topic Cluster Structure
You aren’t done after writing your pillar page and linking your focused content pages. You need to track the performance of your motorcycle SEO efforts. This lets you know if your new content is performing the way you hope. Tracking is how you find out what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps you’ll find out that you missed a key category. Or that you wrote about a popular topic and can expand on it.
Track the Build Structure
When building the topic cluster, it can help to make a visual. This makes it easier to see how the pages link together and relate to each other. It also gives you a visual roadmap of what your website will look like. You’ll be able to see missing linking opportunities. It will also ensure you have a true topic cluster structure.
Track the Performance
As you start creating pages, track them on a spreadsheet. This ensures you have a database of content created. You can review your spreadsheet for optimal linking opportunities as you write new content. When creating your tracking spreadsheet, include this type of information.
Plan Your Future Motorcycle SEO
The best approach for a successful motorcycle SEO strategy is to always look to the future. If you depend on old and outdated SEO strategies, you won’t get the results that you hope for. In some cases, it can actually have a detrimental effect on your website’s performance. Looking to the future, focus on creating topic clusters when creating your motorcycle SEO content. This ensures your website has the right content in the right structure for search engine algorithms.