The truth is that no matter how great your content is, you'll eventually experience content…
Pillar pages are capable of providing a comprehensive take on a subject and assist users with effortlessly finding the information they require. While other factors can also affect page rank, having optimized and organized content can have a satisfying experience in getting users onto your website in the first place, and ensuring they stay around for a longer time. That can eventually lead to them being sold on your product or services.
Every year Google manages to update its search algorithm to a whole new level. Each update manages to increase the way people can find content online on subjects that may interest them. Each new update means that content creators and marketers have to become aware of what’s been improved and what they can do to take advantage of said improvements.
The search algorithm manages to reward websites that satisfy user queries and offers an improved user experience with higher ranks in the resulting searches. It leads to better content performances, including improved visibility and more clicks.
Usually, the better your website matches and answers the searchers’ questions on the subject, the better a website will rank for that search term. That is why structuring your content around pillar pages and topic clusters can play a vital role in your overall ranking.
That is why, for this article, we shall be going over what you need to know about pillar pages in 2021.
What are the pillar pages?
Pillar pages have become one of the most effective ways for content creators to get their website out there. With recent updates done to the search engine algorithms that aim to improve user intentions and the rise of more conversational search queries, pillar pages have become the best method for businesses and content creators.
The purpose of pillar pages is to cover the broad aspects of a subject on a single page. The start of this all is the creation of topic clusters, which are organized structures that help direct search engines to every single one of your related content on the chosen subject.
The way this works involves selecting a broad subject you want to rank for, developing content based on specific keywords related to those subjects, and then interlinking every one of those subjects to each other and the pillar page.
Google wants to understand what your website and content is all about, so it can hand over information to searchers. By pulling this off, Google’s crawling bots will be able to understand your content and information, which allows them to rank you.
Making pillar pages and topic clusters will heighten your search engine rankings and give you a greater probability of appearing on search engines because you have developed a single entry point on a subject that answers these questions that people are searching for.
Since pillar pages are capable of covering a broad subject that points to more in-depth content you’ve made through your site, they are much longer than typical blog posts. They should be capable of answering questions a visitor may have about a topic.
Once a person has clicked on your site in the search engine, it takes them to the pillar pages. They now have access to click on a variety of resources on the topic that you have linked to your pillar page content. This access to additional resources should take these individuals further into their journey to make a purchase.
A fantastic example of how pillar pages work would be HubSpot’s “Instagram Marketing” page, which manages to cover every aspect of their Instagram marketing content in a single page. It comes packed with links to downloadable guides, individual blog posts, videos that go into detail on each subtopic, from analytics to strategy implementation to the various types of posts supported on the platform.
Types of Pillar pages
If you are interested in using the pillar page strategy for your own content, then look at the three main types of pillar content that you can create.
The 10x pillar page
A pillar page that will become the most valued pillar content you create for your website because they are interlinked with the main issues your brand solves for customers. Pillar pages will typically be about a specific subject that you want your brand to be known for because you can provide a solution related to the topic at hand. Several characteristics you can expect for a 10x pillar page include:
Completed pillar pages with authoritative guides/resources about a topic.
The idea here is to answer every one of these questions a potential searcher may have, can include the design or visual elements, and tend to be quite lengthy. These pages will usually be broken into segments or chapters, all found on a single page.
Pillar pages have all the text on the page.
While you can pair a pillar page with some downloadable resource, a defining characteristic is that every one of that information is placed on the page so the searcher can find it and access it without needing to fill out any forms. Implementing the information on the pillar page not only boosts the user experience by making your brand a go-to resource but also assists the page to rank for critical phrases and keywords. It’s also vital to not hide the text behind some type of form or user interface.
Bi-directional links are included in pillar pages.
Pillar pages should answer the question as much as possible but still have some links to other pages on your website, such as blog posts and resources. These other pages must also be linked back to the pillar page, boosting the connection between the two for both the search engines and searchers.
Piller pages will have an extensive shelf life.
Usually, a blog post may capture a current trend or seasonal interest, but in the case of pillar pages, they are made to have an extensive shelf life. As the foremost part of your brand, it should be capable of standing its ground. It will also play a role in assisting your content with a ranking over time, as you garner links and brand awareness. Furthermore, it’s recommended that pillar pages have sticky navigation that can assist the reader in jumping ahead or seeing where they currently stand. That improves user experience, raising the chances that the searcher will post your content on social media pages.
Resources pillar page
Resources pillar pages are quite different from 10x pillar pages. They are mostly optimized for versions of a usual resources page you’ll see on some website today. It’s optimized to increase the satisfaction of the user and the search engine, making it easier for the bots to understand them and spread them.
Resource pillar pages can be found at the top-level navigation of the website.
Similar to pillar pages, you want the resource pillar page to be on the top part of the navigation system. It will ensure seamless navigation for your visitors to discover the resource pillar and does not hide it under various links. Since the searcher already knows what resources and libraries are, your resource pillar page should be something similar.
They are not just typical resource pages.
Traditional resources pages will usually contain a list of available resources that requires access through a form to get to the hyperlinked texts. Resources pillar pages differ from their presentation and include hyperlinked text and a thumbnail image, making them much easier to see on a page. Furthermore, they have a short description, which allows the reader to be aware of what the resources are before even clicking it. Along with improving the visitor’s reading experience, this allows search engines to better understand resource pillars, allowing it to rank for several critical keywords and improving your overall SEO.
Here’s a fantastic example from Helpscout with their custom acquisition pillar page.
The benefits of Pillar pages
The process for the creation of pillar pages is not just merely compiling loads of content. There is a semblance of strategy here that requires some competency in SEO and content creation. The content your area creates is not only for SEO purposes but also for your user’s benefit. It is critical that you achieve a balance and, that balance needs a strategic approach to gain the most significant benefits and see a huge success.
Think of it this way there are millions of people searching through the internet daily. According to statistics, over 3.5 billion Google searches each day, accumulating to 1.2 trillion searches per year. While 93% of internet experiences are with Google, reports have revealed that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of a search result. It should also be noted that most searches are four words minimally and are not always just a line of keywords. They are conversational sentences that could potentially have a phrase or two.
Pillar pages have introduced another opportunity to utilize keywords throughout your website and handle the questions or sentences searchers may be looking for on Google related to the topic. Let’s go over the benefits you will see if you managed to incorporate pillar pages properly.
The benefits behind pillar pages are two-fold. Pillar pages will help with the organization of your content, which enhances the whole user experience. Your audience will seamlessly navigate your website to find what they are searching for.
Additionally, users can use the pillar page as a guide to everything available on your website and use the links to explore every content.
The convenience and ease of a well-organized website ensure the searcher has an overall positive user engagement. Moreover, Google graciously ranks sites using pillar pages since the online content is well organized and more manageable to understand.
Google will need to crawl through tons of content to implement accurate search results. Plus, Google’s algorithm is always updating because of emerging changes in search behaviors and searcher preferences.
Improvements in technology have caused a transformation in the ways people conduct online searches. Voice search has become increasingly popular and convenient for people to search, although this new change has led to a change in Google’s algorithm that emphasizes conversational search phrases.
Furthermore, Google has vastly improved its search algorithm to return specific results that prevent users from needing to explore through a ton of generic results. Pillar pages have made it much easier for Google to access what a website is all about and rank them.
Better Content quality
Pillar pages are capable of benefiting far more than just SEO. Pillar pages are known for vastly improving the quality of content because of the amount of planning that goes into making them. Covering a topic requires you to perform a gap analysis, then create the necessary content to fill in the gaps. That allows you to have a more comprehensive detail of the content. It also makes it much simpler to ensure the core message is lined up throughout the content.
Quicker content creation
While it will vary from person to person, content creation results will be much quicker when developing a pillar page from scratch. This singular concentration and shared research will lead to extensive writing on a single subject matter, making it much easier to break down the topic into several bits of content.
As you can see, pillar pages are some of the most effective ways to bolster your website’s overall search engine ranking. They provide your website with the content required to attract potential customers and improve your brand. It also ensures that the overall experience of your reader is top-notch, allowing them to look at your brand favorably.
Google algorithm continues to improve in ways that most people would not expect, but pillar pages are capable of lasting longer than most other trends, making it a crucial part of anyone’s content marketing strategy.
Regardless, pillar pages have proven to be highly effective, and it comes down to whether or not you are capable of investing time into making one.
Putting together a pillar page requires a lot of research, planning, and time. If you are interested in adding more pillar pages to your content assets, then please feel free to contact us and we’ll take good care of you 🙂