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How To Set Up HubSpot's SEO Tool (With A Walkthrough)

7/20/19 9:57 AM

Trying to gain web traffic, convert leads, and grow your business without content marketing is difficult. But, content marketing without a quality SEO tool and keyword research is like taking a shot in the dark every time you go to blog.

Odds are you won't hit anything you're aiming for.

Whether you already have HubSpot, or you're considering pulling the trigger on getting it, you need to know how to utilize its SEO Tool in order to get your blogs ranking highly and garnering the traffic you need to meet your goals.

Schedule a call with our CEO to find out if HubSpot is right for your business goals.

We're going to give a quick rundown of what it is, why you need it, and how to set yours up.

Let's dive in.

What Is HubSpot's SEO Tool?

HubSpot's SEO tool is a way for you to group logical keywords and topics together in your content to improve SEO and SERP ranking.  (SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization" and SERP stands for "Search Engine Results Pages")

With this tool, you'll pick a primary topic and then group supporting sub-content around it that Google's algorithms find more appealing. This provides important signaling factors that search engines will likely rank you higher for. 

This strategy, also known as "topic clustering" works kind of like a map. Think of your primary topic (often a pillar page) as the big city everyone want's to go to, and the roads leading there are the links from your sub-content (often blogs, videos, and infographics).

The more roads leading into the city, the more people are going to be able to come to it. 

Why Is HubSpot's SEO Tool So Important?

Search engines rank content on approximately 200 different SEO factors, three of which are extremely important:

  1. Site expertise
  2. Site authority
  3. Site trustworthiness

The SEO tool in HubSpot works to cluster your content together to have a positive effect on all three of these ranking factors. With one simple strategy, you can take care of 3 major SEO ranking signals, as well as experience the inherent benefits of a carefully articulated, planned out campaign.

So, say you own a janitorial service in Atlanta, GA, and you want people who need cleaning services to come to your site. You could set up your topic cluster with the primary topic "cleaning services in Atlanta" and then support that with sub-content using related phrases (aka "keywords") and topics. 

With all of that linked together you'll produce content that Google can understand more easily, see your expertise or 'authority', and lead to high ranks on SERPs.

Click here to check out Neil Patel's SEO scan to see just how badly you need to implement Topic Clusters.

Let's look at setting up your SEO tool now.

How To Set Up Your SEO Tool In HubSpot

1. Research a primary topic

Select a quality topic to base your primary content on with great pain point research.

Say you sell mufflers, and your ideal buyers are small business auto-supply shops. It's wise to research their pain points with local shops (cold calling, interviews, and basic networking would be great methods to start with), and then research keywords based off their needs.

Then, when you've found a great keyword with high search volume and low competition, go and plug it into your primary topic section within HubSpot's SEO section under Marketing>Planning & Strategy>SEO.

Pro-Tip: When selecting a primary topic, aside from finding a perfect keyword, try selecting a topic that is broad enough to write about in depth. For instance, social media marketing is a very broad topic that can be broken down into smaller chunks and would be perfect for that.

2. Select subtopics

Next, break down your primary topic into sub-topics. Remember though, it's important to make sure those subtopics are still based on the pain points of your ideal buyers.

3. Verify Keyword Research

So, you've got your topics? It's time to get great keywords for them so your content ranks high. You can do this two ways, by plugging them into HubSpot's SEO tool or using other keyword research tools.

While we love HubSpot, it's not primarily designed to research keywords. Using another tool can provide added insight to improve your content's performance further and bring in additional website traffic. One great option that's easy to integrate directly into the HubSpot SEO screens is to connect your Google Search Console account.  (Not sure how to do that?  Get in touch with us and we'll walk you through it!)

We also highly recommend using SEMRush (try their freemium account) or Ubersuggest to ensure you're getting quality keywords that will perform well.

4. Upload Topics Into HubSpot

From there, you're able to insert your topics into your brand new topic cluster. It's fairly simple, and we walk through it later in the blog.

5. Create Needed Content

Now comes the fun part - writing. Your sub-topics will primarily consist of blogs, but don't forget to write quality blogs that are built to convert leads and nurture them.

Here are some tips to ensure your content looks its best for search engines.

  • Include multimedia (images, videos, infographics, etc...)
  • Include backlinks and inbound links if you can. Google loves these.
  • Keep it simple. Remember these are pointing to the long, pillar page. Don't write an essay.

6. Link Everything Up

Last step, simply insert links between your blogs and the pillar page.

If you've planned it out well, the topics should be closely enough related, so finding organic places for your links should be fairly easy.

Pro-Tip: Don't forget, link your blogs to each other as well as your pillar page. The more roads you have that connect, the easier it is for users (and search engines) to get where they're trying to go.

Walk Through

Assuming you've got your topics and keywords with relevant authority, relevance, and quality, we'll jump right into plugging them in.

Log into your HubSpot portal and navigate to the SEO section (Marketing>Planning & Strategy>SEO).

Topic cluster marketing section in HubSpot
Topic cluster SEO section in HubSpot

From there, click "add a topic" in the top right corner.

Topic cluster SEO section in HubSpot

Then, add in your topics (i.e. your researched pain points and keywords).

Topic cluster add topics in HubSpot

You'll notice at the bottom some suggested topics to add. Those are optional.

Topic cluster suggested topics in HubSpot


Select your primary topic, and the Topic Cluster page will appear.

Topic cluster primary topics in HubSpot

From there, you're able to add your subtopics.

topic cluster page in HubSpot


Once those are done, all you have left to do is write your content, link it together, and you're good to go!

Final Thoughts

With Topic Clusters at the core of a content strategy and campaign, you'll be able to see your content rise in the search rankings, as well as funnel visitors to your conversion offer and convert them to leads.

Just follow the steps outlined here to set up your Topic Clusters efficiently and easily.

Need help setting yours up, finding the right strategy, or simply taking the load off of your plate? Contact us for a free marketing assessment and plan.

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Chase Hubner
Written by Chase Hubner

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