Creating and optimizing content about multiple topics can help many types of business achieve its goals and objectives.
What is a multi-topic website? Well, you’re on one right now.
Search Engine Journal produces content based around multiple topics – including search engine optimization (SEO), paid search (PPC), content marketing, and social media marketing – for SEOs and digital marketers.
Basically, a multiple topic website (or blog) is one where you model content around specific needs in multiple niches/verticals to engage with and educate your audience.
The key to success when writing about and optimizing on a variety of topics?
Creating an effective multi-topic content strategy that keeps people interested in your niche topics.
Here are some strategies to help you produce consistent and fresh content that ranks for its respective topical keywords and helps generate more leads.
The Risk of a Multi-Topic Website
Most successful publications typically utilize guest posts and on-staff writers to consistently curate content to cover a wide range of topics important to their vertical.
This is why most experts recommend focusing on a narrow vertical when your website is in its infancy.
Keeping a theme across all of your content helps position your website to rank for targeted keywords.
Producing a multi-topic website could have your website driving impressions for a wide variety of searches. As a result, your click-through rate may increase, but what effect will this have on your conversion rate or your other core user signals if not properly optimized?
If your topics appear completely irrelevant to your core message, then this could be problematic for your branding and difficult to maintain. Furthermore, you don’t want to integrate irrelevant topics into one category and have them compete for the same keywords.
Depending on your resources, you may be sacrificing a segment of your audience that won’t get fresh content regularly. A shared heterogeneous content distribution channel may also alienate audience members who aren’t interested in reading other topics you choose to write about.
Stretching your bandwidth too thin may show itself in your content. This discredits your brand authority instead of building it. An inconsistent blog won’t create authority as easily and increases the difficulty of acquiring links back to your content.
On the other hand, does restricting your content marketing strategy to a small niche segment prevent your business from scaling?
Covering multiple topics on a single blog is manageable, but it depends on two factors: quality and consistency.
Before undertaking this complex method, map out the ROI you’ll receive by increasing your reach and stretching your bandwidth.
You must also produce a domain name inclusive enough to cover your range of topics. Otherwise, it may confuse or deter people, which will prevent it from gaining traction.
A multi-niche blog allows your website to rank for multiple keywords, but it’s important to start small. Focus on one or two topics entirely until you gain a big enough following to scale.
Decide which campaigns best contribute to your ROI or receive the highest engagement with the lowest competition and build authority on those. Once you reach critical mass, you can begin promoting new topics you wish to market on existing blogs.
Wikipedia covers hundreds of thousands of topics and ranks highly for almost every single one of them. How do you emulate this strategy? Wikipedia is successful because it provides quality content for each of its topics, meta-tags to categorize content, and a sophisticated internal linking structure to keep topics organized.
If you’re producing multiple topics under a single blog, separate them by category.
Apply your individual keyword research campaigns to each of your topics and optimize your structured data to reflect each fresh piece of content.
If you don’t have the resources to optimize every piece of content you post, create one or two rich snippets for each category. Insert some blog tags on posts to organize your content and enhance user experience.
Consider hosting multiple blogs on your website with clear links to separate each blog categorically. Your UX will benefit from utilizing navigation and search bars for regular visitors to easily find the topics they want to read about. Insert some image widgets on your blog’s home page to create consistent visual themes and color schemes across each category.
Segment your content based on your audience. The same ideas resonate in PPC where landing pages and ad copy is optimized for each audience segment.
All meta tags for each topical niche will have to be optimized accordingly to help each web page rank for their keywords. Simply inserting branded descriptions and titles isn’t enough.
One idea you may have thought of is simply creating subdomains that focus on each particular topic. This idea will work for an established company that mainly focuses on retail sales.
In terms of organic SEO, this idea could hurt your rankings. Subdomains and subdirectories can divert traffic from your main domain and any backlinks to your subdomains will affect authority passed over to your main domain.
Hosting subdomains is also more expensive and requires more bodies to continually fulfill the blogging requirements for each topic. This also means expanding your keyword strategy and your analytics to track the progress of each subdomain.
This strategy really depends on your resources and your knowledge on topics that may be irrelevant from each other.
Your website navigation strategy is important to your UX. If your website hosts multiple topics, you’ll certainly have your hands full.
Include the link to your home page in a branded logo or under a company name. It’s common practice to have a link to the home page from the logo, so you can rest assured most users will be familiar with this format and feel free to use it on your own site.
The same practices can be applied to other high-ranking web pages in your information architecture. Place these links in your footer and provide clear anchor text so users know what they are clicking on.
With multiple domains comes multiple contact pages and duplicate content. It’s key to place “nofollow” tags on duplicate content throughout your subdomains.
Depending on your desired conversion, it’s ideal to link to a conversion page on your main domain to maintain the key performance indicators important to your organic SEO.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to find the right balance.
How should your link building strategy reflect your focus across multiple topics or domains? While promoting a subdomain for exposure may seem like a good idea, you should try to acquire natural links pointing back to your home page for inbound leads.
If you host your blog(s) on a single domain, then your backlink strategy will again come down to prioritizing which blog posts you wish to promote.
Deep links to your blog posts should be relevant to the content they’re being linked from. RankBrain and Google’s AI have made it incredibly difficult to leverage what can previously be manipulated in the system and promote content on a website irrelevant to your niche.
Promote each of your topics equally and then research which topics are performing better than others. Analyze which content pieces are receiving the best social and user signals. You may find that some topics will receive more attention than others as your website begins to scale.
Is a Multi-Topic Content Strategy Right For You?
In layman’s terms, extending your focus to tackle multiple topics and niches will create more competition for your business and could reduce your ROI if unsuccessful.
Scaling your business to expand its focus to different niches means hiring new employees strictly dedicated to covering that niche.
Following SEO best practices, I recommend creating multiple blogs for a single domain in order to acquire backlink authority that will promote your website as a whole.
It’s certainly possible to rank for multi-niche keywords and it requires the same strategy. Your rank will ultimately depend on creating consistent quality content for each niche and promoting them equally.
Prioritizing your linking strategy and which topics you wish to share on social media will be the most difficult part of your multi-topic strategy. Search for some blogs that use these strategies and decide which is best for you.
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