Using Pillar Pages To Elevate SEO Rankings
Dominating search engines is about establishing authority, expertise, and reliability in your niche. And one of the best ways to showcase these traits is through a pillar page.
This article answers three of the most common questions about pillar pages:
- What is a pillar page?
- Why should you create one?
- How do you make a pillar page?
Let us answer these below.
Before we define a pillar page, let us talk about two online marketing concepts: content marketing and topic clusters.
- Content marketing is creating and promoting content to attract, engage, and convert an audience from prospects into customers. Basically, it is anything you publish online, from your ads to e-books, white papers, infographics, videos, social media posts, and emails.
- Topic clustering is a collection of articles that discuss a central theme or topic.
Now, how do these two relate to each other? Content marketing is a tried-and-tested search engine optimization (SEO) tactic. When done right, it elevates your rankings by ensuring you rank for your chosen keywords and get clicked.
Meanwhile, topic clustering is a formidable content marketing strategy. It supports your bid to show the likes of Google and Bing that you are an authority in your niche.
- Pillar page
- Supporting pages
All these work like a hub and spoke. In a cluster, the pillar page is the centerpiece, providing the most comprehensive discussion about a keyword or topic.
The supporting pages are individual articles that further explain major points on the pillar page. Then, you have the internal links that connect these related pages to one another.
The benefits of SEO are massive, especially if your page appears first in the search results. People instinctively click on it, believing it provides the best answer to their question or a solution to their problem.
And if you are doing good content marketing, you can transform these visits or clicks into leads and revenues.
But as the competition heats up and more users demand a better search experience,search engines become more carefulabout the websites that make it into the database and how they appear on the results page.
This is where a pillar page comes in handy. It helps search engines rank you higher by:
- Enhancing the user experience (UX). For example, people can get answers right away when they visit the page. They simply click on related pages if they need more information.
- Demonstrating authority, expertise, and reliability on your specific topic. Your pillar page can now function as a go-to reference for your audience.
- Supporting your link-building strategies. If any of the links in the cluster receives a good rank, it can potentially pass the “juice” to the others.
- Making it easier for spiders to crawl and index your pages. The topic cluster structure helps bots understand the relevance of your chosen keywords to your niche. Adding links also guides the crawlers on where to get additional information.
At this point, you know that a pillar page is one of your secret sauces tosucceed in SEO. Now, let us discuss the three-step process for creating one.
When writing a pillar page and making a topic cluster, your chosen keywords are everything. Select them well with these tips:
- Think of the phrases or terms your audience will likely use when searching for a solution or information about your product.
- Perform thorough keyword research. Many platforms can provide you with detailed analyses for specific terms or phrases, as well as possible topics for the pillar page and cluster. As a piece of advice, choose a keyword with medium competition and a search volume that does not fall below 500.
Remember, the pillar page functions as the hub for the topic cluster. You should consider other related articles when designing a pillar page outline.
Here is an example of a topic cluster outline:
- Content brief. This one-liner explains what the pillar page is about and why it matters. It also touches on the target audience, tone, angle, and other key aspects of the content. This is not your introduction. It simply guides how you write the content.
- Introduction. It informs the reader what they can expect from the pillar page.
- Body. You can then break down the broad concept you have introduced in your first few paragraphs in the body. Here, you list the key points, which you can expand into supporting pages. Once you are done with the supporting articles, link them to the related parts on the pillar page.
- Conclusion. End with a few-sentence summary of what the pillar page is about. Add a call to action as well to encourage your readers to click the supporting articles for more information.
After you have created the structure, fill it with information. The question is, what do you include on the page, and how do you write it properly?
- Be extensive. A typical pillar page is no less than 750 words. The broader the keyword or topic, the longer it should be. This way, you can create several types of supporting content to make a cluster.
- Show off your expertise. Back your claims with statistics, studies, and visuals. These can include graphs, charts, photos, and videos. Provide a deeper insight into the subjectthrough interviews with industry leaders.
- Check the links. If you are already linking to the supporting content, ensure that these links work. Errors can diminish the user experience, which could potentially hurt your rankings.
Pillar pages are one of the most important elements of a topic cluster strategy. They can improve SEO rankings, build website authority, and generate more organic traffic.
For these reasons, you should get them right. This article already shares three ideas on how to get started. But to supercharge your cluster and avoid keyword research mistakes, tap the expertise of a digital marketing firm with years of experience writing and promoting content.