Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Published June 28, 2022 by with 0 comment

4 Keys to Understanding and Creating a Pillar Page

Not only is this article going to teach you how to use pillar pages on your website and blog, but it is also an open example of a pillar page.  The steps we will cover in this article include:

Topic Cluster

Formatting a Pillar Page

Using SEO on Your Pillar Page

Putting Your Pillar Page to Work

The concepts around digital marketing and content marketing are changing constantly. It can be hard to keep up with all of the trends but it is essential that you keep up with all of the important changes. It is very important for your business to determine what fads are worth the time and money to get involved in and which ones don’t suit your business needs or are just too far-fetched for your business to be involved in. 

Getting involved in some content trends can be beneficial for your website and blog. They can help you get noticed by people who previously haven’t seen your content. However, between these trends, something has to keep your blog and website at the forefront for readers and this is where your pillar pages come in.

What is a Pillar Page?

So, what is a pillar page? What does a pillar page do? What is a pillar page’s purpose? Most importantly, why do you need pillar pages? 

So, what is a pillar page? What does a pillar page do? What is a pillar page’s purpose? Most importantly, why do you need pillar pages?

The best way to think of a pillar page is to think of it as brainstorming, outline, or mind map. It has a central theme with a bunch of offshoots. A pillar page is an umbrella that has an overarching topic with several other topics under it. 

Pillar pages are also intensive SEO strategies also. They serve multiple purposes, like addressing a full topic in one pate. This is extremely helpful for a blog or website’s target audience who is looking for answers on a specific topic. It is a great way to infuse keywords and phrases into your website and help provide structure to link to other pages. Basically, it is a way to meet the high demands of SEO without watering down your other content, while still providing important information to your readers.

Today’s consumer wants to chat with you. They want to be able to ask real questions and get very specific about topics they are looking for. A pillar page helps them wade through all of the noise and information overload and get straight to the point. Pillar pages also show up more often in voice searches because they are typically labeled as very specific topics.

In fact, according to Ahrefs, around 64% of searches are 4 words or longer, which makes pillar pages a dynamite SEO strategy; much more powerful than a blog post. But why is a pillar page such a great SEO strategy?

The quick answer is that search engines have gotten savvier. They are getting better at displaying content that a user wants.

Blogs are often written on a singular topic, but you aren’t necessarily able to put in all the SEO-rich keywords and phrases and subtopics within it. Pillar pages act as a topic cluster. You have a broad main topic, and since the pillar pages are longer, they allow you to bring in several more specific related topics and keywords into the page as well.

Bottom line—you need and want pillar pages to enhance your SEO strategy. You’re able to use the model to link URLs on your website more efficiently, help searchers find information more easily, and hopefully gets more pages on your site ranked by Google.

Here is where information could be written about the technicalities, algorithms, and thought process behind the topic cluster strategy—but you’ll need to be awake, so you can learn how to create pillar pages.

The First Point to a Pillar Page: Topic Cluster

HubSpot says it best: “Topic clusters help more pages rank to give searchers better answers.” You see, at the core, while content is a way to rank and be found, its ultimate goal should be providing answers and solutions to your target audience. Everything should be written with that audience in mind—including your pillar pages.

A topic cluster is choosing your main topic, which should be one that can be broken down into several subtopics easily. Think of it as a way to explore a topic in-depth.

For example, let’s take Content Marketing (which the audience here is obviously interested in). Within that very broad topic you can form a cluster of topics—or subtopics—like:

  • Types of content marketing
  • Creating your content marketing strategy
  • Target audiences
  • Buyer personas
  • Creating content
  • SEO
  • Content’s role in inbound marketing.
Even more, you can use subheadings and formatting to answer questions, so that readers who are skimming still get the information they need.

Finding your topic clusters is more straightforward than you think. You have endless tools and data at your disposal. Inspiration is already there. Following are some strategies you can use:

  • Look to your blog – What posts are successful and tie in together? Which posts have you said, I’d really like to go more in-depth on that topic?
  • Answer FAQs – If you have your FAQs broken down into categories, using those categories may be a great way to create a pillar page. Another way to think of it is as your customer’s pain points. Your pillar page should address each of those main points thoroughly.
  • Can you link it? – A pillar page works ideally when you can link to cluster content. If you are doing a pillar page on content marketing, you’ll want to be able to link it to your well-written, in-depth post about buyer personas.
  • Can it act as a guide, or topic 101? – Pillar pages serve well as a topic 101. They are comprehensive pieces of content that also give a general overview of content on your website. While you’ll touch on a cluster of topics in one place, you’ll also provide ways for your audience to go as deep into a subject as they want (via hyperlink).
Deciding what to put on your pillar page should be about organizing content in a way that makes it easier to navigate. Approach it with the intent to filter out vague search results. In essence, you are answering your audiences long-tail search queries. In fact, use questions and long-tail keywords as subtitles. For example, how do I create a content strategy?

Another approach is to determine the topics you want to rank for as a business. For example, if your business’s specialty niche is helping businesses harness the power of their accounting software, create a pillar page about the hows, whys, and benefits of using a software consulting firm that teaches your staff how to fully use their QuickBooks. Address the pain points, like how long it can take to navigate software you aren’t familiar with, and how that time can transition into a loss of profit for the company.

3 Other Important Keys to Creating the Perfect Pillar Page

After you have developed your topic cluster and it’s ready to go, you need to address logistics for your pillar page. Your pillar page will need to be like every other piece of your business, unique. While there are some basic pillar page basic rules, your audience will need an individualized approach and only you know what they’re looking for.

Here are the basic rules and keys that will help you get started on your pillar page.

How Long Should Your Pillar Page Be?

In general, pillar pages are long. They tend to be between 2,000 and 3,000 words each. To determine how long you want your pillar pages to be, you will want to take a few things into account. Things you will want to take into account are the topic and how in-depth you want to go with the topic, which means that each pillar post will range in length but you will want to keep them around the same length for uniformity. Determine how what will work best for your audience and your topic, or you can go with your gut after doing some research about your topic.

Formatting Your Pillar Page

Everyone approaches pillar pages differently and there are a lot of people with varying opinions. There are some industry standard points of a pillar page we all have agreed on, even though an occasional dirty glance is thrown around from time to time. Here’s what we have agreed on.

Introduction – Whether you approach this as an introduction or an overview, it is important. It will let your audience know what they can expect to find in your article and why they should stick around to read 3,000 words…which is a minimum of 10 minutes.

  • Visuals – Using large blocks of text is something we have left in the past and it is because of what readers demand. They want photos, graphics, charts, graphs, and more. You will want to add things to break up text but don’t use so many images that the page is overcrowded or overstimulating. Balance is a huge factor and you will need to ensure that it still looks clean, crisp, appealing, and easy to read through or skim through to find information.
  • Support – Using support text and formatting will enhance your pillar page. Add in quotes and citations, highlight text, places to add links and subtitles. Take time to polish the page and make sure it’s engaging. 

SEO and Your Pillar Page

Something that is commonly overlooked when it comes to SEO is the importance of long-tail keywords. Your pillar page SEO will be based on topic clusters and long-tail keywords and key phrases. To develop the list of keywords and key phrases you need to brainstorm where your content is going and what is important inside that content.

Something that is commonly overlooked when it comes to SEO is the importance of long-tail keywords. Your pillar page SEO will be based on topic clusters and long-tail keywords and key phrases. To develop the list of keywords and key phrases you need to brainstorm where your content is going and what is important inside that content.

The way I approach this brainstorming session is to ask myself ‘What are my readers and customers looking for’? Maybe your readers are looking at ‘how to create a pillar page.’ Look at the topic clusters and pull in keywords and phrases from related blog posts.

Use SEM Rust or even just Google Search. Here, you can find out what people are looking for based on the main question, key phrase, or keyword. Here’s an example. If you type in “how to create a pillar page,” Not only do you get the results, but you also get a box at the end of the results page called “searches related to how to create a pillar page,” I just did this and I found:

There are some weird results but you get the point. Another great place to look is the “people also ask,” or look into the Google search box to see what other phrases are being highlighted because this is what people are asking. 

These are the results I found from the Related Searches.

Putting Your Pillar Page into Play

So where does your pillar page go? Well of course it goes on your website! How you present your pillar page depends completely on your strategy.  Some websites file it as a guide in their blog but you could even create a tab for it. I plan to file this as a blog post under guides because it is going to link to a page I have already built a navigational tab for.

The number of pillar pages you create is completely up to you and how many topics you have. It will also depend on how you want to organize them. You should never approach pillar articles loosely though. Each article should have a solid plan and you should make sure to put a lot of thought into it. Look at the architecture of your website and cluster the topics to group into pillar pages. Think of these pages as the cornerstones of your content.

Final Thoughts

Your business should have the goal of staying at the top of the list in your niche and to do this SEO is extremely important. Now, more than ever, it is important to stay present in an online in an online world that can be difficult for readers and consumers to navigate. Not only does it help them find information they are looking for easier, but it also prevents them from getting information overload. Pillar pages allow them to find information that an audience finds valid and that is well organized. It also let’s your website stay ranked in the everchanging market.



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