Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy with enormous potential. But if you don’t have the impressive, landmark content necessary to anchor your strategy, you could end up falling short of reaching your goals.
One of your best assets in pursuit of better content and better search optimization is the pillar page – but what exactly are pillar pages in SEO and how do you use them properly?
What Is a Pillar Page?
A “pillar” page of your website is so named because it serves as a piece of foundational, landmark content – extremely well-researched, well-written content that comprehensively covers a specific topic.
For example, let’s say you have a blog about running. You might have various blog posts about what kind of shoes to wear, the best way to eat before a marathon, and how to join a running club. But a piece of pillar content might be something bigger and much more detailed, like “how to start running.” This pillar piece of content might include pieces of information from all the other blog posts we mentioned, and will likely touch on countless other smaller subjects as well.
Why Are Pillar Pages Valuable?
Why are pillar pages so valuable for your SEO strategy?
- More links:
Pillar pages are capable of performing many times better than ordinary pages when it comes to attracting backlinks. People want to reference in-depth, valuable sources so the more comprehensive and detailed your piece is, the more links it’s probably going to earn.
- Reputational benefits:
This is also your chance to show off your thought leadership and earn some reputational benefits. People are going to judge your brand based on all the content you produce, but your pillar content is going to carry much more weight.
- Content direction:
Organizing your content strategy around your pillar pieces is also a great way to solidify better direction for the future of your SEO strategy. If you have a dozen pillar pieces forming the foundation of your website, you can create a constellation of smaller blog posts to support them and expand upon them.
How to Create Pillar Pages in SEO
So how exactly do you create pillar pages in SEO?
- Choose your partners:
To start, choose your partners. While it’s certainly possible for a lone individual to create a pillar page from scratch, it’s much easier to have a coordinated team of professionals working together on the project. Your chances of success are also much better if you work with people who are skilled and experienced in this area. For example, you might hire a Chula Vista SEO agency to help you plan, write, and eventually publish your pillar pages.
- Choose a topic:
Next, choose a topic for your first pillar page. For pillar pages, it’s usually valuable to focus on something broad and somewhat generic – something with tons of appeal and ample room for expansion on individual points. If you have any major competitors, look to their websites for inspiration. Otherwise, consider surveying your target audience to figure out what they’d like to see covered.
- Consolidate what you have:
If you’ve been practicing content marketing or SEO for a while, you probably already have some content that’s at least somewhat related to this pillar topic. You may or may not want to keep these individual posts, so scrutinize them carefully and consider consolidating them or absorbing them into your finished pillar piece.
- Do your research:
Your pillar content isn’t going to do you much good unless it’s well-researched, so before you draft a word of content, spend a few hours researching the subject (at minimum). Ideally, you’ll also have original research to present in the body of your content. Keep your sources so you can reference them in your finished material.
- Outline the ultimate guide:
Next, focus on the outline. It can be overwhelming to write a truly in-depth, comprehensive piece of content on a given subject, even if you’re an expert in that field. But it’s much easier if you create an outline first. What are all the components of this topic that you’ll need to cover? What’s the most logical way to organize this? Once finished, you can treat the pillar piece like many smaller, individual blog posts stitched together.
- Fill in the blanks:
With your research done and your outline completed, you should have no trouble filling in the blanks and fleshing out the piece.
- Edit, revise, and collect feedback:
After you’ve finished a first draft, take the time to edit and revise it, then collect feedback from other professionals in the industry as well as selected examples of people in your target audience. Is there anything that needs to change or be updated?
- Audit and update regularly:
Hopefully, you’re already doing a regular content audit for your website. If you are, use it as an occasion to reread your best pillar content, evaluate it for accuracy, and gauge whether it’s a good idea to update the piece. Even if the content itself is evergreen, there will likely be specific sections or claims that need updated based on new information available to you.
Creating and publishing pillar pages is one of the best ways to boost your SEO potential, though it can be difficult to plan, write, and effectively update these pieces of content. Work with a professional, or a team of professionals, to maximize your potential results.