The world is online and the days when someone would head down to a library to look for answers or find information is a thing of the past. Now, people can find what they are looking for in seconds by simply reaching into their pocket, unlocking their mobile, tapping the internet and searching away. It's very rare we don't find the answers straight away.
Now, if you're a brand that has a website, this provides amazing opportunities to drive high-quality traffic to your site. The only downfall is you are competing against millions of other people, creating content to grab the attention of the unknowing searcher. So what can you do? Here's the answer - create amazing pillar pages!
Keep reading to find out why you need to be creating pillar pages to engage users and boost your SEO.
What are Pillar Pages?
A pillar page is a hub of helpful information relating to a specific keyword, also known as a topic cluster. Pillar pages comprehensively cover topics with links to separate in-depth blog posts about specific areas of the topic in discussion. Every blog around that topic will also link back to the pillar page.
Your topic: Helping online stores (e-commerce businesses) get found on Google with SEO.
Your pillar page title: SEO for E-Commerce Businesses
1. Technical SEO
4. Google Business Profile
Again in the example above. These could be broken down even further, but each topic, blog and resource will link back to the SEO for E-commerce Businesses pillar page.
Pillar Page vs. Landing Page
It could be argued that landing pages serve similar content to pillar pages. However, there is one massive difference between the two.
Put simply, a pillar page uses SEO to attract traffic and educate them on a particular topic. On the other hand, a landing page attempts to convert visitors into customers with highly sales-focused information about a product or service.
Make sense? Here's an example of a pillar page and a landing page so you can tell the difference:
Reasons why Pillar Pages are Good for SEO
Pillar pages do a lot more than help with user experience. They also massively help with SEO. They do this by:
5 Pillar Pages Best Practices to Boost SEO
Let's get started.
1. How Many Pillar Pages Should You Have
Are you wondering how many content pillars should you have on your website? Here's what the stats say:
According to a survey completed by Databox, most content marketers said they had fewer than five, with 20% saying they had between 11 and 20 pillar pages on their website. That said, the more comprehensive pillar pages you have on your website, the more traffic you could get.
But remember, great pillar pages are:
Pillar posts tend to be much longer than average blog content. While there’s no set recommendation, most pillar pages on the web are usually around 2,500 - 5,000 words. But remember, they aren’t just long; they’re comprehensive.
2. Choose Your Type of Pillar Pages
There are 3 different types of pillar pages you can use. However, it's worth noting that pillar pages can sometimes combine all three.
The "Guide" Pillar Page
A guide pillar page aims to be the ultimate source of information on a topic. A guide style pillar page, also known as an “ultimate guide”, helps establish your authority in a subject matter or field, builds your brand, and establishes trust with a specific demographic by providing comprehensive information.
Guide pillar pages gain a lot of attention and high traffic volumes, attract backlinks and sometimes boost sales or lead enquiries.
The "What is" Pillar Page
People constantly ask, "What is...?" when they want to know more about something that interests them. You can develop a pillar page that answers their questions to grab their interest. This type of page is a must-read resource that connects to other cluster pages and provides more information about a subject.
Having a "what is" pillar page that serves as an extensive introduction to a topic, a highly valuable stand-alone resource that connects to related cluster pages, and expands on various aspects of the topic in greater detail, can be a very successful way to drive organic traffic to your website.
"What is" pillar pages are similar to guide pillar pages besides the user intent. The difference is that "guides" are for people who know more about the topic and delve deeper. In contrast, "what is" pillar pages focus on searchers or top-of-funnel users, entirely new to the topic in discussion.
The "How-to" Pillar Page
A "how-to" pillar page explains how something is done rather than what it is. How to pillar pages are great for helping your target market solve issues or find new methods to boost their performance or processes by providing them with the detailed information they need. When creating "how to" pillar pages, you should look to effectively address your buyers' pain points and provide a lot of helpful information.
Pro tip: Include step-by-step illustrations or flow charts amongst detailed text to help explain.
3. Identify Your Pillar Content Subtopics
Before you begin writing away, try to identify your main pillar content topic. Here are some tips for identifying pillar content topics:
Once you have identified a few key topics, next, you should brainstorm ideas for articles around those topics. These will be your subtopics.
Other ways to do this is to use keyword research tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to identify main keywords you would like to rank for. Next, you can use the platforms to find related search terms which can be used as subtopics.
4. Include a Table of Contents
One thing I've noticed about some websites' pillar pages is that there is sometimes no table of contents. This makes it hard for the user to navigate the topic and find the relevant pieces of information they are looking for.
Remember, an important part of SEO is user experience, so make sure your pillar pages are easy to find and use. Make sure they're well organized, and all the information you need is easily accessible. If you can make it easy for people to find what they're looking for, they'll be more likely to stick around and explore your site further.
5. Ensure Your Pillar owns the Most Link Equity
Pillar pages are incredible drivers for traffic when up and running! However, to get your pillar pages to be a powerhouse on search engines, you must ensure your internal website links of relevant content all point to it. Remember, you need subtopics (cluster topics) that detail a particular point or specific about the chosen topic.
Now you know the importance of pillar pages for helping you to gain authority, attract visitors to your website and improve your website's structure, it's time to get writing! Remember, write for humans and not Google! The whole point of pillar pages is to help users find the information they are looking for. (Related: How to Manage a Website Redesign Project (Without Losing Traffic))