The Importance of Pillar Pages and Content Clusters
You don’t have to resort to spending all of your money on PPC campaigns and attempting risky black hat SEO techniques like keyword and link stuffing, cloaking, and using invisible text to drive up your standings in the search rankings. By using a technique that revolves around developing pillar pages and topic clusters for those pillar pages, you can raise your SEO game according to a long-term strategy that evolves along with your content.
The End User Rules the New Era of SEO
As a result of the constant barrage of new content being created on a daily basis, Google was forced to release multiple updates over the past five years in order to serve users better. One of the first of these updates was the Hummingbird Algorithm update that was a turning point in how inbound marketers would develop content. Instead of relying on search queries, this update focused on phrases used by searchers. A few years later saw the emergence of Google’s machine learning based RankBrain AI that finds pages based on past search history corresponding to similar themes and keywords. When you create content that gives value to your target audience, you have a better chance of driving up your search results. But how do you do this alongside your current blog posting efforts: enter pillar pages.
Why Pillar Pages are Key to Your Content Strategy
A pillar page, also known as a content pillar, is a web page that covers a broad topic in depth with links to and from subtopics of the major topic. For example, if you sell an email marketing service, you might have a major trunk or pillar that talks about getting leads. A few branching subtopics could include retargeting email campaigns on social media, email newsletter best practices, and metrics tracking for email marketing. Identifying these separate subtopics and linking web pages that discuss them back to the main pillar page will help you rank higher for “email marketing” because you are aiding both the experience of the visitor as well as the search engine’s functionality.
How to Create a Pillar Page
Depending on how you wish to structure your site, you can make one of two pillar pages: a resource pillar page or a 10X pillar page. A resource pillar page that offers links to both internal and external resources both solves for the user and can generate inbound links from the external resources you use on the page. Develop an outreach strategy to let those resources know you are linking to them and they are likely to link back to your own resources. The 10X pillar page only includes your owned media and is best developed in the form of an ungated PDF or eBook. By clustering like themed content about a certain subject and links to subtopics of that subject onto one page, you can satisfy the search engine content requirements as well as the needs of the user. The trick here is to give users the option to download all of the content from the webpage as a consolidated PDF guide in return for their email address.
By utilizing pillar pages in your SEO strategy, you have one more structural tool in your SEO arsenal that doesn’t rely on cheap black hat tricks or breaking the bank with PPC. Take advantage of the new Google algorithms to provide the most value to your own target audiences while raising your SEO game at the same time.
For any other questions on this and other SEO strategies and tactics you can use for your online campaigns, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.