You may have heard the term pillar page or 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 pillar content strategy.
What is pillar content?
A pillar content page is a blog or website page offering valuable and in-depth information regarding a certain topic. The content is generally quite lengthy as the full topic needs to be covered in detail for a pillar content strategy to work, and for the page to appear authoritative on search engines; which is on the criteria checklist for Google when deciding which pieces of content to rank highly.
How do you create pillar content?
However, although the pillar post needs to be detailed and cover a range of information on a certain topic, it also needs to be expandable so that supportive content can be created. 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 the Google uses to decide which order to rank content in. For more tips on how you can write quality SEO compatible content, then check out our previous post.
Creating a pillar content strategy:
1. Decide on an overall topic which is plentiful in information and varying angles you can work with, but that can also be easily expanded. If you’re struggling to come up with any suitable content ideas, we recommend using Answer The Public; it’s an easy tool which offers a range of angles to work any topic from.
2. In a similar fashion to a mind map, map out your first tier of additional content. Then, create clusters of further content pieces that could also fall under a similar theme around this additional related content, so multiple posts are now surrounding the first tier of additional content identified expanding from the pillar piece.
3. 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/map where you can link to any expanded content pieces extending from the pillar piece, so you know where links can be added at a later date.
4. After that, you can create all the extended content, ensuring that you are linking back to the pillar content in every single piece for the strategy to slowly build and allow all your content under that pillar topic to really thrive in terms of rankings.
How long should a pillar page be?
As previously mentioned, the main pillar content page or blog needs to show to Google that you are an authoritative source and, therefore, the piece needs to be fairly long to cover a range of areas on the topic that you’ve highlighted as your first tier of extended content. If you’re unsure, aim for around 5000 words initially. Without going too overboard and writing a book; generally speaking the longer the word count, the better.
What is so beneficial about pillar content?
In short, a pillar content strategy is useful for creating organic traffic to your website or blog in the following ways:
- Helps all pillar content related posts rank higher on google:
The main related and linked posts you will create in one pillar content strategy will show your authority and dominate the information given on that particular topic and related topics, which means higher rankings across the board.
- Can help you 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, ensuring that you link to other blogs and website pages within all your content to help you boost rankings across the board.
- Improve UX on your website:
With a clear internal linking system users of your site can flow through your blog and pages in a much more orderly fashion, taking them to relevant pages and allowing them to find what information they require easily.
If you have any further questions on developing pillar content strategies, and how Zelst could do this for your business so you can be seen and get found on Google organically, then please contact us. Alternatively, keep reading our blog for more great content and SEO strategy tips.