Pillar Pages: How SEO Topic Clusters Enhance Your Website
Content marketing is an essential piece of a website with great SEO value. There are many different types of content you can include in your digital marketing strategy, all of which have unique strengths and play different roles for your business and target audience. One type of content that has the potential to hold great value are pillar pieces, also known as pillar content for SEO.
At Blue Compass, we have found great value and success from utilizing pillar pieces for our own website and our clients’ sites. With our insight and examples, we want to show readers the substantial worth that can come from these long-end content pieces so you can use them to your advantage.
What is pillar content?
A pillar page is a long-form piece of content created completely around one main topic, service or product related to your industry or business. It usually includes SEO topic clusters that give in-depth information and resources about the chosen topic. Pillar pieces are typically 2,000 words or more in length, and they can significantly improve organic traffic through strategic SEO efforts.
While the primary goal of every content piece is to help readers find the helpful information they’re looking for, pillar pieces are also excellent tools that can guide users to related pages on your website. This helps improve your site’s behavior metrics and potentially lead them down a path to convert.
How Pillar Content Can Improve SEO
Pillar pieces create great opportunities to boost SEO and help your website establish a top position on search engine results pages (SERPs). Pillar pieces and topic clusters can:
Maximize Link Building Efforts
The foundation of a great pillar piece is SEO topic clusters. Your pillar page should link to and from the other topic-related pages on your website that cover the various top clusters within the main idea of your pillar piece. This will establish a strong SEO connection and create an easy-to-navigate site structure.
Establish Website Authority
Because you have multiple pages related to one industry-based topic on your website, Google and users will view your website and brand as a useful resource. When you create content that covers all of Google’s check boxes — expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) — Google will give you primary real estate in SERPs. This may lead to many additional benefits like higher rankings, additional brand visibility and more organic traffic.
Boost User Behavior Metrics
A pillar page is a great way to influence users to spend more time on your website by learning all about the subject of your long-form content piece. With so many links to related topics, users will find it useful to jump from page to page on your site, increasing page views and pages per session and establishing strong SEO signals.
Increase Social Sharing
Pillar pieces cover a broad topic on just one page of your website, creating the ultimate source for that topic. If planned and well-written, users will find your pillar piece useful and likely share it with others via social media or other avenues. Pillar pieces also give your company the opportunity to build effective social campaigns around the topic.
The 3 Types of Pillar Content
There are a few different types of pillar pieces you can choose from depending on your industry, the topic you want to cover and how you expect your target audience to view the content. They are:
- 10x content pillar page - A 10x pillar page is a single page on your site that covers the main topic of your brand and its subtopics. This type of pillar piece is the most common. It acts as a guide containing your own proprietary content which focuses on your main topic along with subtopics. Our experts implemented a 10x pillar page for a pest control company, specifically about bed bugs. They wanted to educate their audience on the pest, so we created a pillar page that’s a complete guide to bed bugs. From their appearance and behaviors to how to get rid of them, readers can use the page to learn more about the company and bed bugs, and to navigate to other bed bug related pages on the site that go into more details on specific bed bug topics.
- Resource pillar page - Resource pillar pages are very similar to 10x pillar pages in that both have the same purpose to provide information on a main topic and its subtopics. But, 10x pillar pages provide in-depth information, while resource pillar pages are a collection of links and resources with only enough content to support them. Each link and resource of a resource pillar page is related to the same topic and subtopics, and can be internally or externally focused depending on your goal.
- Product or service pillar page - If your business offers multiple products or services, this type of pillar piece might be the most beneficial option for your website. It allows you to create a pillar piece around a particular product or service your brand offers, and to provide your audience information and easy-to-access resources about that product or service. Our content marketing team created this type of pillar page for a heating and cooling company. The company sells many different products including furnaces, air conditioning systems, heat pumps and more. By creating a pillar piece entirely focused on answering common questions and concerns about air conditioners or furnaces, we were able to give their target audience valuable information about regularly-searched topics for that particular product.
How to Write a Successful Pillar Page
Like all things SEO, there are best practices to always follow when creating a pillar piece:
- A pillar piece should be 2,000 words long or more
- Include a TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) section that links to your most important sections
- Break your SEO topic clusters into “chapters” or sections that covers a main idea
- Include buttons or quick links that let readers jump from chapter to chapter
- Implement strategic backlinking and consistent anchor text for keywords you’d like your blogs to rank for
- Encourage your readers to click around to your other resources to learn more about specific topics and increase pages per session
Content Marketing Specialists in Des Moines
Do you want to learn more about pillar pieces and SEO? Simply reach out to our experts at Blue Compass. Or, see how our content marketing team can help you write and implement top-notch pillar content on your website. We’re happy to help!
Our team of digital marketing experts in Des Moines have created many successful pillar pages for our clients. After implementing, our clients saw their websites move up in SERPs and more importantly, received more business! Check out what one of our clients had to say after publishing a pillar page on their site:
“The commercial pillar piece that Blue Compass developed for my business has been a proven winner. My website had been very good at attracting residential leads, but not much from the commercial side. Our commercial leads have increased dramatically since implementing the commercial pillar piece. This addition has given us the ability to target specific commercial types of customers and give them practical information. Plus, the feedback I have received from my customers is that it is easy to use and helpful.”