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Pillar Pages: Why You Need Them and How to Create Them

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Pillar Pages Why You Need Them and How to Create Them

Do you want to make the most of the content on your website? Of course, you do!

Pillar pages help you do just that.

This guide explains what these often misunderstood search engine optimization (SEO) powerhouses are and how they could benefit your business.

What Is a Pillar Page?

A pillar page contains content that comprehensively covers a broad topic. A pillar page (often referred to as hub and spoke content) is a piece of content that combines a wide array of relevant subtopics (spokes) and organizes them in a single location (hub). It demonstrates the subject matter expertise of your organization for the broad topic.

Pillar page content should be easy for readers to navigate. They have to be able to learn a topic at a high level. They must also be able to click on relevant resources for a deeper dive into different topics.

Think of a pillar page as a choose-your-own-adventure through your online content.

Topical Authority: The Basics

If you want to win the games of search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing, you don’t want to create content about random topics. Instead, your mission should be to build topical authority with every new piece of content you develop, whether it’s a blog, pillar page, eBook, video, whitepaper, infographic, or anything else.

For instance, if your business offers contracting services, you shouldn’t publish a blog article about holiday recipes — it simply confuses Google. It’s more beneficial to your brand, SEO, and, most importantly, audience if you cover topics related to contracting.

Going further, covering as many relevant topics related to your type of contracting as possible, you build a foundation of informational and helpful content that communicates to Google and other search engines that your organization knows a lot about contracting which conveys authority.

The more content on your site that ranks for critical search terms related to your type of contracting, the more searchers will view you as an authority on the subject. They will make it a point to return to your content when they want more information about contracting. The additional traffic provides ongoing opportunities to make sales.

Pillar Pages + Blogs = SEO Gold

A properly developed and organized pillar page is a crucial way to demonstrate to your website visitors and search engines that you have — or are working toward — topical authority in a specific area. Blog posts allow you to achieve topical authority if they cover a broad array of relevant subtopics in great detail. The pillar page linking to the topics organizes content into an easy-to-use package.

Content Mapping: The Basics

Adding a pillar page is an excellent move if you’ve got a lot of existing blog content about a particular topic. It’s an ideal way to repurpose and repromote content and get fresh eyeballs on it.

Note: You can develop a pillar page with new content. However, it will take more research, planning, and time to complete.

Either way, content mapping is an essential component of building pillar pages.

Content mapping involves understanding your target audience and what they want to achieve when visiting your website, and delivering branded educational and sales content that meets their needs. The scope of content mapping can include all your content or the material related to one or more pillar pages.

Content mapping for a pillar page is as important as choosing the correct keywords for your business.

When starting your content mapping process, ask yourself:

  • Which blog posts generate the most interest from new and returning readers? Check Google Analytics to determine this.

  • Which blog posts garner repeat visits? Start by figuring out which pages earn the most newsletter subscriptions or have the highest newsletter subscription rates, which shows that they make people want to sign up for access to more of your materials.

  • Which posts are most respected by authoritative sites? These are the pages with the most high-quality backlinks and referring domains and you can find this information through a tool like Moz Pro.

You should also check out your competition before investing significantly in content. You don’t want to create materials or build a pillar page that’s similar to theirs, which will be unlikely to overtake them in search.

Once you understand which of your content performs best and where there are opportunities to rank highly in Google and other search engines for your target keywords, you can start building your pillar page. Structure it in a way that tells a story that coherently connects to your repurposed and fresh content. It should deliver value to visitors while also encouraging them to check out the additional material.

If you get it right, your pillar pages will demonstrate your business’ thought leadership to prospective customers and to Google.

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