In our piece about blog posts we answered how you can optimise for search engines to read your content.
Pillar pages are an excellent way to take this optimisation one step further.
Pillar pages are comprehensive, ungated guides to a particular topic; these hubs act as a medium to drive traffic to other relevant content through hyperlinks.
But why do search engines think pillar pages are so great? Pillar pages are designed with an optimal format that search engines can easily read, understand and trust. As pillar pages are comprehensively written and linked, search engines will recognise your site as valuable for answering queries and direct more traffic to you.
Take a look at the 7 steps below to find out how you can start building your pillar page:
1. Start with a core topic – This should be something broad that can act as a main theme that be explored more deeply. This topic is the subject for your pillar page and the term you will be aiming rank for in search engine results.
If you need inspiration for choosing a topic, research the key words that your potential customers are searching with that link to your product or service offerings. Creating this content ensures that it’s educational and entertaining for your audience whilst remaining relevant to your business.
2. Next, identify clusters - Clusters are relevant subtopics that support your core topic but are strong enough topics to drive interest in their own right. Start with searching your existing content database, you may have pieces that support your core topic that can be repurposed. After exhausting existing content assets, list any possible related subtopics, this will act as a future resource for generating content ideas.
3. Create all the subtopic content – It’s easiest to create any content as blog posts as they will be easier to repurpose into different formats in the future, such as infographics, videos or e-books.
4. Repurpose subtopic content into a downloadable format - Assemble your content into downloadable narrative format that will educate your prospects by exploring your core topic in an immense level of detail. When we find a useful resource, we naturally want to take the information away with us to hang onto for when we will find it useful, enabling your readers to download your content will add value and delight your prospects.
5. Create your pillar page - Your pillar page should include all of the information in your downloadable package but reformatted to suit a webpage format. You can form your pillar page by reformatting consideration stage media like white pages or e-books.
The most essential element of a pillar page is using hyperlinks throughout for ease of navigation, this should start with a clickable table of contents that navigates to a specific section and ‘back to top’ links. These elements are essential for user experience, preventing your audience getting frustrated with inaccessible content.
6. Use your pillar page as fuel - Your pillar page should be a showcase for all the relevant content that you own. Use anchor text throughout the page to link to any other related content that you think will educate and entertain your audience. These additional content offers will progress visitors through the buyer’s journey and if relevant to them, will keep them coming back.
Your pillar page should also act as a doorway that invites visitors to engage with you further, for this reason you should include a number of call to action statements to create a conversion path to guide people through the sales funnel.
7. Update and edit! – Your pillar page should be a work in progress, if you want to build something worthy for a top spot in search engine rankings, you will need to continuously develop your offer into something more comprehensive. Monitor where traffic is leading from your pillar page to determine how your prospects are interacting with your content and what you should produce more of to meet their needs.
To find future content generation areas, dig deeper into your subtopic blogs, can these be expanded further into their own pillar pages? The more educational your content is, the more your value will increase in the eyes of your prospects.
Consider a multimedia approach by adding infographics, animations or video formats of your content in your pillar page. Our tastes for content consumption are changing, with a 2019 study published by Forbes finding that 91% of consumers prefer interactive and visual content formats to text based or static media, moving with the pace of changing tastes will you put you ahead of competitors.