Consumer dynamics evolve throughout time. They shift unexpectedly just when you believe you have a good grasp on the market and how buyers in your market segment behave and engage with businesses like yours. This alteration has a cascading effect across all of their touchpoints. People, for example, switched from text-based to voice-assisted searches in a flash. People can now dictate and command search terms for results thanks to the introduction of virtual assistants and devices.
Customers are becoming wiser at the same time. They want to enjoy in-depth, immersive experiences right from the minute they decide to purchase a product or avail a service.
They research their issues, watch YouTube videos, listen to related podcasts, and then approach a company for help.
As a result, users are increasingly using complex search phrases (both as commands and as texts) to find solutions on the internet. Today, the most common search is for ‘vegan almond milk near me,’ rather as ‘grocery stores near me.’
While marketers used to spend hours researching keywords and ranking for competitive phrases, the landscape has evolved, and we now need to focus on something more important than keywords: subjects.
We’re shifting away from ranking for keywords and toward ranking our pages for certain themes. This is why we must comprehend the importance of pillar pages and pillar content. This is the path that will help you improve your rankings for themes and issues in which you are an expert and position yourself as an authority.
Let’s get started by delving further into this.
What is a Pillar Page?
Let’s start with some background information. Previously, the construction of a website or blog was rather straightforward.
- You already had a website.
- There was a blog post on the website.
- And you wrote about a wide range of topics here.
With the introduction of pillar pages, this organisation has completely changed. A pillar page functions as a hub or key theme, concept, or topic for cluster pages. Consider how a single topic or issue can be broken down into several pieces.
Cluster pages are subtopics that branch out from the pillar page and include thorough explanations, walkthroughs, tips & tricks, best practices, and more concerning the major topic.
If social media marketing is the pillar page, it will branch out into cluster pages such as Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, LinkedIn marketing, Twitter marketing, and more. These pages are further subdivided into specific subjects with extra information or content ideas on topics like as marketing tools, analytics, increasing followers, understanding algorithms, and so on.
The pillar page provides a comprehensive summary of the issue at hand without being overly informative or detailed. It’s more of an orientation phase, during which consumers gain a rudimentary understanding of the topic they’re seeking for before moving on to topics of increasing complexity.
The Anatomy of a Pillar Page
A pillar page is made up of three main elements:
- The key topic you wish to focus on or rank for is referred to as pillar content.
- Supporting content – these are pieces of content that use long-tail keywords and complex search terms to delve further into the topic.
- Hyperlinks – these connect both the pillar and supporting information, forming a topic cluster. This hyperlinking method informs search engines that the pages are linked, allowing you to drive traffic to certain pages and establish yourself as an authority online.
A pillar page is usually quite long – far longer than your typical blog entry.
It easily exceeds 2000 words due to the fact that it must cover a wide range of topics as part of its cluster pages.
A pillar page, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t focused on highlighting keywords. Instead, it focuses on a single topic or theme. Cluster sites, on the other hand, feature keywords and content pieces built specifically for search engines.
Why are Pillar Pages Important?
You’ve probably heard as a content marketer or SEO professional that you should write for your audience, not for search engine crawlers. While this is compelling, it isn’t entirely accurate. Take any piece of viral content you can think of, and you’ll see that it’s both technically and creatively sound. Both crawlers and readers are satisfied since there is a balance between the two.
Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages of pillar pages.
Pillar content not only aids search engines in understanding the structure of your web pages by utilising well-organized topic clusters, but it also aids in increasing user engagement. A pillar page properly displays itself to visitors and allows them to study themes of their choosing.
So, whether a novice or an expert visits a topic cluster, they have the option of learning about a topic from the ground up or jumping right to more detailed topics.
Longer Sessions and Retention
Your visitors will spend more time on your website if you have a well-defined content structure. They can walk through the topics in order without having to switch to a different page or getting lost in the process because the topics are hyperlinked.
Furthermore, because visitors have willingly opened a topic, the organisation of themes in a pillar page assures that the bounce rate is low.
Google Loves Pillar Pages
The fact that pillar pages are nicely structured or clustered is one of the main reasons why Google likes them. The interconnection enables the search engine to evaluate your subject matter expertise or authority on a given issue, letting you to rank higher in search results.
Different Types of Pillar Pages
Let’s have a look at the various types of pillar pages now that we have a good concept of what they are. This will give you a good sense of the best way to go about developing your pillar content strategy.
The Guide Page
A debate about a topic is started on a guide page. It is designed for complete novices who want to learn about various topics and concepts. The guide page begins with a central topic and gradually expands on it to provide in-depth understanding.
A guide page could be as straightforward as a 101 article or as complex as a thought leadership or technical article. You can use guide pages to build ultimate authority and gain maximum credibility.
When you start a discussion from the beginning, it demonstrates your understanding of the subject, and when you add a storey to it with your thoughts, facts, figures, and personal experiences, you create a fulfilling experience for your visitors and readers.
B2C consumers in the early phases of the buyer’s journey will benefit from guide pages. They’re also great gifts if you’re looking for strategies to generate leads.
The following are some examples of guide pillar pages:
- The ultimate guide to Twitch: All you need to know
- An ultimate guide to Git and Github
- Master Google Sheets and become an expert and more
You don’t have to include the phrases ultimate or guide in your title for your guide page. It’s more of a framework than a method of titling.
The What is Page
When customers come across something intriguing, timely, or popular, they want to learn more about it. They are enthralled by the potential topic and want to devote time to learning more about it.
What is the keto diet, for example, or what is faux meat, and so on.
These are fascinating topics, and as a marketer, you may capitalise on clients’ desire to learn more about them by publishing a captivating topic cluster. Take the first example: your pillar page could be what is keto diet, and you could break down your supporting content into ideas like:
- Keto diet myths and reality
- Keto diet food plan
- Keto diet recipes
- Keto diet benefits and more
Businesses can utilise this strategy in a variety of ways to boost organic traffic to their website or blog and get people interested in their brand. A well-written page will pique a reader’s interest and make them want to learn more about the subject at hand. They would either go on to the next item or purchase your product or service.
Using our keto diet as an example, you could appeal to a visitor’s desire to learn more about the keto diet by directing them to the benefits page. You might explain what the keto diet entails and dispel some myths and misconceptions.
Once they have a firm grasp on this, you may provide a URL to take them to the keto diet, demonstrating that it is both practical and feasible. It’s all about the flow, and the more unified your topic cluster is, the more readers you’ll get.
In terms of establishing credibility and authority online, a “what is” page is similar to a “guide” page.
The How to Page
People are constantly searching the internet for solutions to their problems. People consistently type ‘how to’ in their search terms for everything from finding a date to fixing something on a spreadsheet. Offering insightful articles or information about fixing a real-world problem to your target audience is a wonderful method to lead people to your website.
A ‘how to’ page, unlike a ‘what is’ page, does not start from scratch but rather tackles client pain points. You make a list of the issues they’re having, show them the consequences or what they’re missing out on, and suggest possible solutions to their problems.
Generic workarounds, tips and tricks, or even your product or service could be the answer.
Creating how-to pages is a great method to establish authority and generate online loyalty. People will return to your resources for more information or to see if there is any new content on the same topic as a result of the insights you give in your article.
Some of the finest topic ideas for how to pages, based on our social media marketing pillar page example, are:
- How to Get More Followers on Instagram Despite the Algorithm
- How to get 10,000 Instagram followers from scratch
- How can you come up with great captions for your social media posts?
- How to use hashtags to enhance engagement and attract new followers
A pillar page, as you should know by now, declutters your website or blog and makes it easier for users to digest your content. While the notion of a pillar page is simple, its implementation necessitates a methodical approach. You wouldn’t get SEO benefits or good visitor experiences if you built core content blindly. You’ll need a strategy in place for both of these things to happen, and this section lays out one for you. Let’s have a look.
Find Relevant Topics and Content Ideas
The first step in developing a pillar page is deciding on a niche or section. It will be much easier for you to identify your specialty and begin developing pillar content if you are a technical person or have subject-matter expertise.
If you’re new to blogging or content marketing, though, take your time to pick a topic and then begin building your online authority. Remember that you should either be passionate about or have credible experience with the topic or concept you chose.
You can utilise tools like SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Buzzsumo, and others to come up with content ideas, viewpoints, and perspectives once you’ve decided on a basic theme or issue.
Explore websites or blogs in your niche to see how they’ve established their pillar pages to get more ideas on how to do it. Consider how you could offer additional value to a similar structure to make it stand out.
You also don’t have to limit yourself to one pillar page. You may have several of these, each with content clustered around it.
Do Extensive Keyword Research
Once you’ve decided on a topic for which you want to rank, begin developing a list of keywords for which you want to rank. This is where you create well-researched, insightful, and keyword-rich blog articles or content pieces, which is standard SEO.
You might defy traditions by using additional visual elements, films, and charts into your content presentation.
You can utilise tools like Google keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and others to conduct keyword research. To appear directly to visitors, employ long-tail keywords and specific search phrases. More ideas can be found under the People Ask For area, as well as autofill recommendations and more.
Keep in mind that supporting content should be in-depth and as varied as feasible in relation to the major theme. As a result, don’t skip a beat.
Build your Pillar Page
Nearly 75 percent of the deskwork has been completed, with subjects finalized and keywords collated. This should have given you a good notion of where to go from here. The following stage is to create a solid pillar page with a defined structure.
Here’s how it works so you can understand it better:
- Prepare a strong introduction to the issue you’ll be discussing or addressing. It could be a consumer pain problem, a simple definition of a topic, the promise of a satisfying takeaway at the conclusion, or something else entirely, as we’ve explored. In the first few minutes after reading your introduction, a visitor should be able to assess the worth of your core content and decide whether or not to stay on your page.
- Explain why you are qualified to tell your experience or offer your knowledge. Explain your professional experience, domain authority, and more to your visitors, and assure them that you have all of the necessary skills and experience levels to become an authority on the subject. Give your readers a visual flow by linking your supporting content.
- Arrange your content in a logical, sequential order rather than haphazardly. A person interested in learning how to increase their following should be given a gradual exposure to algorithms. You can’t put this as the first chapter and expect them to lose interest before they even begin. Understand your audience’s demographics, learning curve, and issue competence.
- At the end of each piece of content, do not include CTAs to your products or services. The idea isn’t to directly promote your brand. Recognize the subtlety.
- Collaborate with your design team or sit down to generate images or creatives that compliment your theme and make it easier to understand. This gives your visitors a better experience.
Creating a pillar page isn’t difficult. There are numerous examples available on the internet. All you need is a clear aim and a visual representation of the desired outcomes. You could map out your content marketing strategy with these two.
Creating a pillar page is the greatest method to learn more about them. So, keep these suggestions and pointers in mind as you begin to build your pillar page and, eventually, your online authority.