To our parents' dismay, none of us turned out to be engineers or architects, but like you, we're pretty familiar with a pillar's purpose. They offer a baseline structure to support a large building or home. Pillars might not seem like something marketers should care about, but they are. Believe it or not, building pillars and SEO (search engine optimization) are similar. To build a structurally sound website and increase rankings and visibility online, marketers turn to pillar pages to illustrate expertise in specific topics. Pillar pages serve as the basis for in-depth content and cover all aspects of a particular topic you're trying to rank for.
Let's jump into what's relevant about informational pillars and how they help attract organic traffic to your site.
What is a Pillar Page?
According to HubSpot, a pillar page is "a comprehensive resource page that covers a topic in depth." This long-form page answers questions regarding specific topics but links to subtopic pages on your site, offering high-quality "cluster content" that is more in-depth. The performance of your website can be significantly affected by pillar pages.
What Are the Benefits of a Pillar Page?
We want to ensure you understand that creating effective pillar pages takes time and focus. Once you have a pillar page, you will realize the benefits are worth the effort! If you can effectively utilize pillar pages, you should experience the following effects.
Faster Content Creation
Your pillar page will aid you in future content creation. It will make it easier to find subjects and topics to cover while helping you write faster because of the singular focus and shared research.
Improved Quality Content
Creating a pillar page requires strategy and planning. By taking the time to think about each piece of content you make, you'll improve the overall quality of your site. This will increase your chances of being considered an industry expert by search engines and your peers.
Increased Organic Traffic
You can't conjure up organic traffic. Think of pillar pages as stepping stones to direct more organic traffic to your site. Creating pillar content that answers visitors' questions will benefit your overall marketing efforts.
Everyone wants better SEO. It's one of the main reasons businesses implement a pillar page strategy. Pillar pages will improve your overall site structure, making it easier for search engines to determine your expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T) and choose the most appropriate URL for a given search query.
How Do Pillar Pages Drive Organic Traffic
Pillar pages are an excellent place to start if you want to drive more organic traffic to your website. Organizing your site contents around a pillar page with supporting topic clusters will make it easier for search engines to scan your website. Remember, they rely on web pages that display expertise to find answers to visitors' questions.
How do you perform online searches? Most people likely start with a broad topic (e.g. computer games) and then dig deeper into topic clusters (e.g. most popular computer games for kids). This common way of searching is a boon for sites that utilize pillar pages as:
- It increases the chances of revisiting your website in the future.
- It encourages the visitor to spend more time on your website.
- It makes the visitor more engaged with your content.
Steps to attract organic traffic with pillar pages
If you don't know where to begin, creating a pillar page strategy can seem like a task in itself. We want to give you some strategies to help through four steps you can take to build an effective pillar page to attract organic traffic to your website.
Step 1: Choose a Topic
The first step is to focus on topics. Look at your target persona and find out what they are looking for, which will determine how broad to make your pillar page. Your topics must be fundamental enough to allow subtopic creation on short-form pages or posts. You can use your target figures’ main points as your starting point for brainstorming to save time.
Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research
We discussed keyword importance in previous posts, but you can refer to our post about on-page SEO for a quick reminder of keywords. With a topic on hand, it’s time to complete your keyword research. Your keywords will cover different aspects of your selected topic, and you can use these to build your working titles.
Step 3: Draft Your Pillar Page
Now comes the fun part. All you have to do is create some good old-fashioned content. It just needs to be a little longer than usual. HubSpot industry experts recommend you consider including the following components within your pillar page:
- A definition of the topic or term you're covering in the first section.
- Topic-specific keywords in each subheading.
- A bulleted or numbered table of contents.
- Content that provides an overview of the subtopics discussed on the pillar page.
Step 4: Produce Additional Content
Finally comes the creative part — content creation! Create your pages or posts based on specific keywords within the topic cluster you developed earlier. Don't forget to link them to your pillar page, as it will help create a streamlined reader experience while ensuring your content ranks higher in SERPs.
We hope this grounding in pillar pages has been helpful. Check out our other blog posts on everything you need to know about SEO, web design, branding and more. Call our Alley Kat Web Consulting experts today for your free needs assessment. Don't forget to check back for updates and posts answering all your digital marketing and web question