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Building Topic Clusters With MarketMuse

5 min read

Ditch those pivot tables and spreadsheets. Stop the agony of sorting through thousands of questionable keyword phrases, trying to figure out what supporting pages to create.

Topic cluster research is easier than ever with a MarketMuse premium subscription. Just follow this simple 3-step process.

  1. Enter the main subject of your topic cluster that you want to research.
  2. Look over the terms related to the cluster and add those which interest you to your inventory, if they’re not already there. We’ll check for current coverage and create some personalized metrics for these topics. In addition to predicting your likelihood of success, they’re helpful for prioritizing your work.
  3. Look in Reflect to see what is covered and what needs improvement.

Let’s examine this in a little more detail.

Step 1 – Enter a Subject To Research

The first step is to enter a subject into the research bar. This phrase will be used as the overall guiding theme of your topic cluster. That subject could be completely new or have been previously covered on your site. 

The choice is up to you because, as you’ll soon see, MarketMuse shows you existing content that covers topics within the cluster. You’ll want to take that insight into consideration when building out your cluster as you may already have the content. All it needs is a little updating. 

Step 2 – Decide Which Topics to Incorporate Into The Cluster

Whenever you see a topic of interest, click on the gray + to add it to your inventory. If the + is green, it’s already in your inventory. Let’s look at each tab in a little more detail.

Topic Model

If you were to create a page on the subject, the model shows what topics you would want to cover. If you’re creating a cluster, these are the pages you want to create.

MarketMuse topic model showing a list of topics related to the subject including volume, cost-per-click, trend number of variants, and suggested mentions.
MarketMuse topic model

The topic model helps you create a cluster that dives deep into the subject. We include monthly search volume and cost-per-click (CPC) data to help you prioritize content creation.

Representation of a deep cluster with circles, representing topics, connected to each other. There are few topics at the top level but more down towards the bottom.
Deep clusters have many topics that connect further outwards from the main topic.

By the way, the topic model is created using MarketMuse patented topic modeling technology. It analyzes hundreds, in some cases even thousands of pages, to create a list of 50 semantically related topics mentioned by experts when discussing the subject.


Keywords from this list provide wonderful opportunities for building out a wide topic cluster. Each term can be its own page and the keyword data (volume, CPC, and trend) helps in deciding which ones to include.

Representation of a wide cluster with circles, representing topics, connected to each other. There are many topics at the top level but fewer down towards the bottom.
Wide clusters have many topics connected at the top level, but few topics at deeper levels.

Remember, when you add them to your inventory, MarketMuse will generate personalized metrics based on your coverage of the topics and your success in search.

This tab shows a list of highly relevant keyword phrases. Specifically, these terms contain the words used in the phrase entered in the research bar — though not necessarily in the same order. 

List of keywords related to the main subject. Includes volume, cost-per-click, and trend data.
MarketMuse Keywords.

For example, if you enter “content strategy” into the research bar, all the items in this list will contain the terms “content” and “strategy” but not necessarily in the same order, and they could be separated by other words.


The Questions tab typically reveals up to one hundred questions that people typically ask when researching the subject. Use the search volume and CPC data to help prioritize your content creation.

A list of questions related to the main topic plus volume, cost-per-click, and trend data.
Marketmuse Questions

You may also discover situations where you can combine multiple questions into one page to possibly draw more traffic.

Step 3 – Use Reflect for Insight Into Your Existing Coverage

Understanding your existing content is a critical step in turning cluster research into reality. Reflect shows all the topics in your inventory for this cluster, which pages cover those topics, how well they rank, plus Personalized Difficulty and Topic Authority.

MarketMuse Reflect showing list of topics long with search volume, number of relate pages, top ranking page, personalized difficulty and topic authority.
MarketMuse Reflect

It’s a great way to make sure you’re not creating new content for pages that already exist. And, it can help identify existing pages in the cluster that could use a little updating.

Bonus Step

Link the pages in your cluster together with the help of Connect. If offers internal linking suggestions along with appropriate anchor text.

MarketMuse connect showing a list of linking suggestions including URL and anchor text.
MarketMuse Connect

Learn More

Check out our knowledge base article Getting Started With Keyword and Cluster Research which includes a video showing how to do this in MarketMuse.

What you should do now

When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:

  1. Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
  2. If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
  3. If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Stephen leads the content strategy blog for MarketMuse, an AI-powered Content Intelligence and Strategy Platform. You can connect with him on social or his personal blog.