Hands up if you love fantastic user experience, a targeted audience, and strong search engine rankings! Well, it looks like you have come to the right place because it’s time for you to build some kick-ass content pillars.
Content. It’s that thing that we know we need to do more of and do well, but we just don’t have the time, money or resources to do so. It’s 2019, content rules and it’s time to make time if you want to be seen and heard. In saying this, there is no point in creating amazing content if it isn’t housed properly. Enter content pillar pages.
What are content pillars?
To put it simply, a pillar page is a sub-page of your site that is home to content that covers a particular topic. Pillar pages can have the answer for everything including, but not limited to, general inquiries, resources, and details on a core topic. It’s best practice to leave the topic quite broad so that you have wriggle room to include loads of helpful supporting materials.
Topic clusters are then used to organise the content within the topic into easy to find, very searchable keywords related to the topic. These are then all hyperlinked back to the pillar page. So we have content pillars, topic clusters and finally, content.
Content pillars are not just a place to house written content, they can also include video and image galleries, resources including case studies or links to other useful sites, eBooks and more - the options are endless!
Why are content pillars important?
Not only will pillars strengthen the structure of your site and make it more user-friendly, they will also help to improve your overall search ranking. By identifying keywords and topics within the page, this will assist Google to drive traffic to your site.
What to keep in mind when planning content pillars and topic clusters?
If you’re ready to get the ball rolling (yay!) there are a few things to think about in your planning so that you can make your pillar page as strong and efficient as possible.
Ranking - First, work out which topic or topics you want to rank for and find out if there are is a high enough search volume for the topic. Of course, choose topics that are super relevant to your key audience and your business.
For a quick way to find what people are searching for, use this hot tip. Type your topic into Google, or preferred search engine and the autocomplete function will show queries based on past searches. This gives you a little insight into what your audience is looking for. The same applies to the related searches found at the bottom of the page. You’re welcome.
Keywords - After you have determined which search you are wanting to rank for you will need to work out the keywords to use in your copy. Keep it simple. Your head term (i.e. page header or page name) should be to the point and be broad enough to cover what is within the topic clusters. Look at keywords that have a high search volume, these are more likely to capture your audience. The same rule should apply to your topic cluster headings, but narrowing these down to specific aspects of the topic.
Content strategy - It’s vital to align your content pillars with your content strategy to ensure you have really great content to support these pillars. Take a look at the new content you are planning to create, as well as utilising your existing content (to save you some time and work), to help decide on the appropriate topic clusters. Remember that your content should be informative (and captivating), think of it as a tool to turn visitors to your page into customers.
Audience - Think about your customers or clients when building a page. What are they looking for? Can they find the answer easily? What will bring new visitors to your site? Also, remember that your pillar page needs to be super user-friendly and easy to navigate. Having amazing and helpful content isn’t going to be of use if nobody can find it. Heartbreaking!
Promotion - If they know about it, they shall come. It’s not a must-do, however, a great way to kickstart the page visits is to utilise your social channels (big or small) to promote the super relevant, well-planned content that you now have housed on a pillar page.
Although it will take a bit of time to come up with a plan and strategy, pillars are a great tool to give your site the extra boost you might need to gain more leads and convert visitors on your site. And remember, you can adjust these over time so don’t panic if you don’t get this spot on the first go. Rome wasn’t built in a day... yes, we know you were waiting for a pillar reference.