Defining a target topic for your cluster
Defining the cluster topic is one of the most important decisions you need to make each time you create a cluster. The topic should be clearly defined and distinct amongst all of your other topics - but most importantly you need to ensure that Machined understands the context you're coming from.
Don't be tempted to use keywords or article titles in place of the topic - this will lead to a badly formulated cluster with low variance in the articles.
The best way to define your topics is using the hierarchical approach.

Hierarchical Approach

"Chess Strategy for King Protection" -> "Chess > Strategy > King Protection"

Why is this Necessary?

Our platform thrives on specificity. The more detailed and structured the topic you provide, the better our system can understand the context and create comprehensive, SEO-optimized content clusters.
By defining your topics using a hierarchical categorization or 'breadcrumbs', you help the system to:
  1. 1.
    Understand the Context: By outlining the broader category and then narrowing it down to specifics, the system gets a clear picture of the topic context.
  2. 2.
    Create Relevant and Targeted Content: A breadcrumb approach ensures that the content created is highly relevant to the specified topic, making it more engaging and valuable to your target audience.
  3. 3.
    Formulate Well-Structured Content Clusters: The hierarchical structure informs the system of the relationships between broader and narrower topics. This helps the system organize content clusters much more effectively and limits cannibalisation between other clusters.
  4. 4.
    Improve the SEO Strategy for the Content Cluster: Breadcrumb navigation is a useful tool for SEO. It provides more keywords and context for search engine crawlers, potentially improving your content's search engine ranking.

How to Define Topics Hierarchically

Defining topics using a hierarchical or breadcrumb approach is simple.
There are tools like Nichely that will help you uncover countless subtopics deep within your niche and let you export a list of topics already formatted hierarchically. Amazing!
If you prefer to define your topics manually, here's how:
Step 1: Identify your Broad Category - Start with the broader subject of your content. For instance, 'Chess', 'Dogs', or 'Motherhood'.
Step 2: Narrow Down - Think about a narrower subset within that broad category that you want to target. For example, from 'Chess', you can narrow down to 'Strategy'.
Step 3: Get Specific - Within that subset, identify a specific topic you want your content to focus on. Continuing with the same example, within 'Strategy', we can focus on 'King Protection'.
So, the final hierarchical topic would look like: "Chess > Strategy > King Protection"
Here are some more examples:
  • "Dogs > Walking > Leash Control"
  • "Motherhood > Postpartum > Anxiety"
Tip: You can go as deep as you need to ensure your topic is specific and relevant. However, remember to keep it understandable and meaningful to your audience.
By following this approach, you'll be creating a clear roadmap for our system to generate accurate, high-quality, SEO-optimized content clusters for your specified topic.
We're excited to see the great content you'll create!

Further Reading

Here is some further explanation...
The topic and the hierarchy has nothing to do with keywords - you should completely forget keywords exist for the sake of defining a topic. This is because the cluster is not tied to any particular keyword, it is tied to a more generic thing called a topic. In fact, in the auto-pilot, we find keywords for the cluster by analysing the topic definition and audience, so the hierarchy (if you specify it) matters a lot, let me explain a bit below...
Think of the hierarchical definition of a topic like the categories on your site, or the breadcrumbs you might see to navigate them. For example:
  • Travel > Family > Beaches or
  • Chess > Strategy > King Protection > Castling
As you can see, they are not tied to specific keywords, they are simply sections of knowledge that you can write multiple related articles about. Notice that there is no set limit to the hierarchy, its not necessarily 3 levels, it can be 2, 3, 4, 5 or more depending on how you partition your knowledge space on your website, it's up to you.
The way you order your categories can also be important, especially in what the AI writes in the articles, for example:
  • Travel > Family > Beach Holidays is a travel website with a subsection for families with a cluster about beach holidays
  • Family > Travel > Beach Holidays is a family website with a subsection for travelling and a cluster about beach holidays
In each case, the AI will write the article from a slightly different perspective, knowing what the topic hierarchy is...
Another things to mention is the audience:
For the chess example above - you would get very different keywords based on who your audience is, so if you define the audience as Beginner amateur chess players vs National Masters level chess players you will get very different keywords from the auto-pilot and very different content in the articles...