You may have heard the term pillar content thrown around a lot during content strategy meetings. Although it’s a term that most content marketers are familiar with, the method for creating a successful pillar content strategy is much more unfamiliar which is why we have created these easy-to-follow steps for creating your own.

Here, we cover the four simple steps to creating a pillar content strategy and the most frequently asked questions about how to create a pillar content strategy, including:

  • What is pillar content?
  • How do you create pillar content?
  • What are the benefits of creating a pillar content strategy?
  • How long should a pillar page be?
  • How do you choose content pillars?

What is Pillar Content?

Pillar content is often referred to as ’10x content’ as your goal is to create a blog or webpage that is, in theory, 10 times better than the existing top-ranking content.A pillar content page often contains valuable and in-depth information regarding a certain topic, such as a detailed guide which meets the user’s search intent.

For a pillar content strategy to work, the pages needs to appear authoritative to rank highly on search engines like Google. Therefore, a pillar content page is generally quite long to ensure the full topic is covered in great detail.

HubSpot perfectly demonstrates what a pillar content strategy is with this diagram.

4 Simple Steps To Creating a Pillar Content Strategy

A pillar post needs to be detailed to cover a range of information on certain topics, but it also needs to be expandable to create supportive content. These expandable and relevant supportive pieces of content will link back to your pillar post blog or page, and vice versa, to create a solid internal linking system. Again, this is to help tick off another key piece of criteria – links – that Google uses to decide which order to rank content in. For further advice on creating quality SEO content, take a read of our blog on writing SEO-friendly content.

Step 1. Decide on the topic

  • Choose an overall topic which is plentiful in information and has the opportunity to be easily expanded from varying angles.
  • If you’re struggling to come up with any suitable content ideas, we recommend using Answer The Public – an easy tool that offers a range of topics to work from.

Step 2. Create a topic cluster map

  • In a similar fashion to a mind map, map out your first tier of additional content.
  • Then, create topic clusters of further content pieces that could also fall under a similar theme surrounding this additional related content.
  • Now you’ve created a topic cluster map which identifies multiple posts to expand from and link back to the main pillar content piece.

Step 3. Write the main pillar content

  • Once you have finalised the main pillar topic, the first tier of sub-content and the extra content pieces in clusters around them, you can then start to write your main pillar post.
  • For now, you can highlight or map where you can link from the main pillar piece to any expanded content pillar blog posts.
  • This method is beneficial as it helps you to identify where links can be added in at a later date.

Step 4.  Create the extended pillar content

  • After that, you can create all the extended content, ensuring that you link back to the main pillar content in every single pillar post blog.
  • This allows for the pillar content strategy to slowly build up, helping your content pieces  under that pillar topic to really thrive in terms of rankings.

Benefits of the Simple Steps to Creating a Pillar Content Strategy

In short, a pillar content strategy is beneficial for creating organic traffic to your website or blog in the following ways:

1.Helps all pillar content related posts rank higher on Google

The main and related linked posts under one pillar content strategy will help to show your authority on these topics. This will lead to  higher rankings across the board, allowing you to dominate the topics on Google

2.Helps you to improve your overall internal linking system on your website

Once you have a pillar content strategy in place, you can adopt the same internal linking principles with your other pages. This method ensures that you link to your internal blogs and pages within all your content. As a result, you’ll strengthen your internal linking system and it should help you to boost rankings across the board.

3.Improve user experience on your website

With a clear internal linking system, your site users can flow through your blog and website pages in a much more orderly fashion. The linking system allows users to find the information they require easily by taking them to relevant pages.

4.Reduces bounce rate

With a pillar content piece, you want to attract the right audience to ensure you capture their attention and provide an answer to their search query. If you can provide the answer is a clear and detailed way, while answering other related questions as well, the user is less likely to click off your page in a hurry. The user may also move on to the extended pillar content you’ve provided.

How Long is Pillar Content?

Without going too overboard and writing a book, generally speaking, the longer the word count the better. If you’re unsure, aim for around 5000 words initially. Google really values long-form content – according to SEM Rush, content of at least 3000 words gets three times more traffic and four times more shares!

As previously mentioned, the main pillar content page or blog needs to showGoogle that you are an authoritative source. Hence, the piece needs to be fairly long to cover a range of areas on the topic that you’ve chosen as your first tier of extended content.

How Do You Choose Content Pillars?

Before creating a content pillar strategy, you should consider the following points:

  1. Your business’ niche
  2. Which keywords you want to appear for in the SERPs
  3. The likeness of you appearing as a featured snippet

And that’s where we come in. At Zelst, our team of content specialists can help your business be seen and get found organically on Google.

If you have any further questions on the simple steps to creating a pillar content strategy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. For further advice on all things SEO and content, why not take a look at our blog?