Why is a Pillar Page Important for Your Marketing Strategy?

Posted by Jenna Britton

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Jun 12, 2018 12:50:06 PM

SEO is always changing again and again. You think you get it, then BAM!...the Google algorithm changes.

Knowing the best strategy to optimize your website pages and blogs can be challenging. Learn the best practices when it comes to building searchable content for your website.


What is a Pillar Page?

A pillar page is an all encompassing page that covers a specific topic in-depth with high-quality content created around sub topics. You can kind of think of it like a book with supporting chapters. Pillar pages help organize your website and blog content structure.

There are two common types of pillar pages: 

THE 10X CONTENT PILLAR PAGE

This is a page with information about a core topic created with your own content. It works best if you have a an eBook you have already written that can be broken into sections on a webpage. You also offer the content as a download in addition to the pillar content. Some users will prefer to download a PDF to read your content at a later time.

According to a study by HubSpot, 90 percent of website visitors prefer to read from a PDF as opposed to a website page.

RESOURCE PILLAR PAGE

The resource page organizes internal content with outbound links. It can be seen as a bookmark-able reference page. Resource pillar pages are not as long as 10x content pillar pages. they consist of shorter descriptions with links moving the user forward.

The advantage of having a lengthy web page is the fact that Google and other search engines will index your web page due to longer time spent on the page, which can help your overall SEO. Pillar pages are longer than most blog posts because they cover all aspects of one topic you are trying to rank for. (And by ranking, I am referring to where you show up on a page when a user searches on Google.)


Google Algorithm | Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In recent years, our search behavior has shifted to searching more conversationally versus simplistically. According to research by Ahrefs, the keyword length distribution is usually 5+ words. People are trying to sort through junk and spam by searching more detailed queries. The update to Google is designed to better understand the searcher’s intent.

keyword-length-distribution

Source: Ahrefs long-tail keyword study

So do keywords still matter?

The answer is yes. However, your strategy needs to alter by focusing on overall topics you want to be known for. Stray from matching exact keywords to your pages and focus on long-tailed keywords or phrases. This allows you to become a trusted authority online worthy of ranking a top spot.

There are three main elements to a pillar page:

  1. Pillar content (your pillar page)
  2. Cluster content
  3. Hyperlinks

 

Topic Clusters

Source: Hubspot

 

Let’s break it down:

  1. A pillar page (or your pillar content) covers content broadly with links to internal and external site. This is your core topic, which should be a term that is two to four words in length.
  2. The cluster content is referring to topics instead of keywords that address specific questions your customers may be asking related to the core topic of your page.
  3. Each page should contain around six to eight subtopics.

How to Build a Pillar Page

Start by brainstorming topics you want to rank for. These should be broader terms that will act as the core topic allowing you to link and develop content centered around this. Think of your buyer personas and what types of questions they may have about a topic.

Research the topic more if you need to. You want to be seen as the thought leader in this topic, so you need to know the ins and outs. A pillar page is meant to have a long shelf life. Don’t choose a topic that may be a trend and irrelevant in a few months. You most likely already have an abundance of blog content to utilize.

Develop the table of contents (or in essence, the chapters of your book). Once you develop the sections, write the content for each, and plan where to link accordingly.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the length of some pillar pages. Focus on a section at a time once you map out a plan. Consider adding visual elements such as pictures or icons for each section. Any way to break up the information for viewers to digest it easily will engage them more and most likely keep them on the page longer. (Google will take these longer page view times into consideration and value your site as a credible source on this topic.)

Consider these elements when creating a pillar page:

  • Visual elements
  • Clear headers to divide each section
  • Internal and external links to blogs/website pages
  • Consider formatting the content into a downloadable
  • Include jump links to each section
  • Add a back to top page button
  • Update and maintain your pillar page
  • Promote your pillar page

Here is an example of a 10x content pillar page for a healthcare client:

HOW TO START A RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER – click to view the full page 

10x Content Pillar Page 
Many pillar pages provide the option of downloading the content as a PDF version so they can read and reference the topic at a later time. This also gives you the opportunity to turn visitors into leads.

Creating content of real value is more important than ever.

With the ever changing algorithm and behaviors of humans, there is a lot of opportunity to explore and discover with building pillar pages.

If you aren’t sure how to tackle an SEO strategy utilizing pillar content, IAM can develop a marketing plan to help your business be found. Get started with our 90-minute marketing blueprint meeting with our entire team:

 CONTACT US 

Jenna Britton

Written by Jenna Britton

Jenna is a West Virginia University graduate with dual degrees in Graphic Design and Advertising. She specializes in print design and hand typography. Jenna previously worked on projects with clients such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Bruegger’s Bagels. Jenna also has global experience from completing an IMC study abroad program in China for a month. In her free time, she enjoys baking, going to the gym, and watching movies.

Topics: Strategy, Google SEO, marketing strategies, Google algorithm, SEO strategy