With every update, marketers have something new to add. SEO is a vast field, and there are several facets to it.
Each has its importance, and you cannot skip a single step. When starting your website, know that keywords and placement aren’t the primary concern. The content pillar page also comes into the picture.
There are many other elements, such as
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Outbound links
- Guest posts and more
Back to talking about how important it is to have content pillar pages that change how your website looks and how it ranks, we will talk about it in detail so you can learn from it.
- What are Pillar Pages?
- Importance of Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages for SEO
- How to Create Pillar Pages that Improve SEO?
What are Pillar Pages?
The pillar pages are not just there to give direction to your website; there is much more to it. We will get into the details, but first, let’s address the direction aspect of the content pillar pages.
Usually, a website is a cluster of blog posts. As we explore the website’s topic, the content blurs some lines around the target subject. Creating a pillar page gives a central viewpoint to the content, like tree branches and roots.
From an SEO perspective, creating pillar pages is a great internal linking strategy. It can function as a directory, or as a page that connects the content cluster. Furthermore, the pillar pages are built around many topics that are compressed into one broader topic.
For instance, your website has several blogs about Facebook and Instagram marketing. You can interlink all the blogs to a “content pillar” page of digital marketing.
Not only does it give direction to your website, but it also builds the authority of the website.
Informational content is vital to building website authority. The content pillars talk about various aspects and tertiary aspects, interlinking with another blog that discusses that topic.
Importance of Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages for SEO
Build Topic Clusters for Content Pillar Pages
Let’s begin this discussion with topic clusters. These small sections in your blog make way for several topics, which you give much-deserved attention to and explain in great detail. It has many names, such as
- Topic hubs
- Content hubs
- Pillar hubs
- Hub and spoke content
So the next time you see these names, you will know they all mean the same thing: topic clusters.
These are important for many reasons. First, it gives you the liberty to discuss a topic in great detail without detracting from it. Also, you can utilize those long-tail keywords, which are great for website SEO.
What’s more, you can give your undivided attention and provide all the information to readers. These pages are a great place to incorporate the FAQ section too.
Improve the Website Structure
As you take on and discuss topic clusters, you are constantly making your site more crawlable by Google bots. The more bots that come to your site, the faster pages get indexed and ranked. As a result, the site ranks and moves up on the SERP.
There is an easy way to make your site crawl. Try to build a structure so that each page is three to four clicks away from the homepage. This is a very important aspect of technical SEO and helps build great website architecture.
Better User Experience
When you have worked on certain topic clusters that interlink to the pillar page, it gives comprehensive information to the reader.
A group of related pages that fall under one umbrella term automatically forms a group. Hence, when someone searches for a term, they get what they are looking for and all the information surrounding the search term.
And the benefit of interlinking cluster pages to a pillar post is that the user can find everything in one place.
The person visiting your website will stay on the website longer than intended. The longer a reader stays, Google ascertains the website gave a better user experience which equates to the website’s rank improvement.
Target Competitive Keywords
Broad keywords are extremely difficult to rank for in SERPs but are critical for a website. We can also use the content pillar for SEO with those board keywords, targeting them in cluster pages. Those cluster pages interlink to a content pillar page.
Since all these efforts are making the content pillar page strong, it ranks due to all the SEO we have been doing subtly using broad keywords.
With the effect of pillar page ranking, the strength of the pillar pages is passed to cluster pages due to interlinking. Soon you will notice that these cluster pages are improving in ranking.
Works for Website Reputation
As discussed earlier, Google analyzes the user experience. It also does an excellent job of providing the reader with accurate information.
A website is rewarded with good rankings on search if it aims to provide accurate and concrete information. If otherwise, the websites will inch faster toward the sandbox.
The service has worked towards building an environment that provides accurate information from an accurate source. Knowing SEO doesn’t mean an SEO expert can write about anything under the sun. Only a concerned person with knowledge can give the information.
Hence, Google’s ranking system works on some foundations: authority, trust, and expertise. As you continue to add pages, if they approach the information as an expert, they will be quoted on other websites (aka external linking), gradually increasing the authority of the website.
How to Create Pillar Pages that Improve SEO?
Create a Road Map
First, you need to determine what you want your website to rank for. Pick a starting point—a topic you can then extend into multiple cluster pages. But it is important to stick to the core topic and work on content strategy.
The core topic should cater to topics your target audience would search for. Meanwhile, it pertains to your business too.
Traditionally, a website tackles many segments of a certain topic. But the best practice is to pick one topic and work on building authority around it. When you find yourself at a point where there is not much left to expand, move to the next topic cluster.
When things are clear with a road map, it provides a great user experience. However, if you are working on several cluster topics at a time, it can confuse your target audience.
Research the Keywords
After you have an idea of the topic, use various tools on the internet to your advantage. The research should be repeated after a certain time as search parameters change.
Keep track of how many searches are made in a month (search volume), the competition around these search terms or keywords, and the potential of ranked keywords as it dictates the effort needed to rank them on your website (keyword difficulty).
Group Keywords into Cluster and Content Pillar
For best results, let’s go back to the drawing board. After keyword research using online tools, you end up with a long list of keywords. First, divide them into primary and long-tail keywords.
As you sort these keywords, you will see these groups, giving you a better idea for creating cluster pages that interlink to a content pillar page.
On-page SEO is the Most Underrated
A successful content pillar for SEO is optimized with all on-page best practices. Besides optimizing the placement of keywords, use them in the meta description, headings (h1, h2 & h3), and image alt-text.
The targeted keyword should be subtly and naturally placed at the beginning and then throughout the content. This practice should remain the same for all cluster pages interlinking to the content pillar page.
For any website to rank, two elements are riding on it: bots and user experience. While you use all the best practices of SEO for content marketing, you also need to consider the user experience.
User time on your page helps rank the website in the long run. You may get the page on top with perfect SEO, but if the user finds no value in the page, Google will quickly start disregarding you.
For users to have a better experience, dig deeper and go to great lengths to explain the subject you are tackling on the content pillar pages. Don’t be scared of crossing conventional word limits. Take your precious time to cover the subject.
Promote the Page
Now that you have created a masterpiece, it’s time to share it with a relevant audience. Invest your time in promoting it on social media and through paid ads. It’s unfair for the page you have worked on for so long not to reach its audience.
A content pillar page is a great way to give a road map to your website. Not only does it give you a guide, but it is also great for SEO.
While targeting and utilizing primary keywords in the content pillar page, you can address other broad and long-tail keywords in cluster pages that link to the pillar pages.
This way, you can cover the subject in great detail in cluster pages, building authority for your website. If you present strong interlinking on the pillar pages that lead to cluster pages, the user will stay longer on your website. As a result, Google will rank the website based on user experience.
You cannot survive in the dynamic SEO world without having an effective SEO strategy. To rank in top positions, the website should be optimized for search engines to read and rank. And content pillar pages are key pages and best that support your SEO strategies and keep you updated. Know how these content pillar pages improve your SEO and affect the website performance and implement strategies.