You can always count on Google to keep you on your toes. Ever since it’s conception, Google has been relatively secretive regarding the way the search engine operates. With a few hints and trial and error, marketers have caught on to some of the techniques Google uses to rank content.
We all know about keywords and SEO (if you don’t, you’ll find a detailed explanation here), but those are yesterday’s news. While keywords are still relevant, it takes a lot more than that to rank in the number-one spot today.
Enter pillar pages. It’s a concept you might be unfamiliar with. While the concept is somewhat still in its infancy, the best way to ensure the success of your inbound marketing initiatives this year is to incorporate pillar pages into your strategic process. Why? Keep reading to find out.
What’s a Pillar Page?
Great question! In order to explain this concept, it’s easiest to think of your website as an actual web. Right now, your blog posts are probably keyword focused. You might write about everything and anything—whether or not it’s entirely related to your business. From a search engine’s perspective, this can be confusing. Nothing is connected. Nothing is linking to one another.
Still thinking of your website as a web, imagine if you had one main webpage of information—the pillar—that linked to and from topic clusters. Any additional pages you posted on this topic to further elaborate on key concepts would link back to this knowledge-filled page. Google would recognize the quality of information on the page and see all the linking from relevant blog posts, helping to showcase your page’s authority and credibility. This is a pillar page.
A page that provides visitors with a comprehensive view on a topic, which links to various related information, is how marketers are achieving results on Google in 2018.
Creating a Quality Pillar Page
There are six steps you need to take in order to create a flawless pillar page:
- Start with a plan. You can’t dive into pillar pages without a strategic plan of attack and hope for the best. Creating a properly executed page takes a significant amount of time and planning to get right. Start by establishing your key concepts and relatable keywords.
- Get creative with your topic clusters. Now that you’ve established your main theme, you can start planning your clusters. These are blog posts that pertain and further explain, linking to your main topic and other blogs in that same cluster. Need help? Check out a topic cluster creation template.
- Get writing. With your bare outlines established, it’s time to start the writing process. Get detailed and utilize chapters/headings to create organization.
- Get editing. While the editing process might not be your favourite, it’s an important step. This helps your content flow seamlessly, making answers easier to find on your pillar page.
- It’s all about the aesthetic. Ok, not really, but it makes the page much more enticing for audiences. When a page looks terrible, it makes the reader question the integrity of your website and information. Enlist the assistance of a design team and give your information the flare it deserves.
- You’re a marketer, so advertise! By promoting your pillar page content, you’ll help initiate the link-building process.