What is Pillar Content?
If you’ve searched for anything online over the past few years, you’ve probably seen many websites offering ‘The Ultimate Guide To…’ whatever it is you’re searching for.
This is not an accident.
In fact, it’s a deliberate strategy a lot of companies use to grow their online reach and search engine results.
Thanks to digital marketing exploding over the past few years, the approach to ranking well on Google has changed and evolved.
Pillar Content (sometimes called cornerstone content) is a long-form article that is generally more than 500 words up to as long as 10,000 words. Pillar content is very practical and has ‘how-to’ lessons throughout. In essence, it is evergreen content and offers real value and insight to the readers.
In this article, we’ll look at how to use content pillars to improve your SERP rankings, and attract more visitors to your site.
How to Choose Pillar Content For Your Business
It’s imperative to choose topics that you want your website to rank for, and that you also have a lot of knowledge depth in.
You will need that knowledge to create a long, exhaustive article focused on one specific topic or theme.
The good news is that pillar content can then be turned into many smaller pieces of content to fuel all your marketing channels.
Pillar content pieces can easily be broken into blog posts, infographics, videos, emails, social media updates, and more, to attract different viewers through different marketing and social media channels.
Why Do You Need Content Pillars?
Content pillars help your business website get found in search. If you can create pages that serve as the go-to resource for others and contain valuable information that hasn’t been published elsewhere, you’ll boost your rankings and establish your brand as a leader in your industry.
Content pillars also support and reinforce your content plan. By creating a large piece of digital content, you can create multiple subtopics in support of the core pillar topic.
Blog articles written around long-tail keywords act as the supporting content for your main content pillars. Depending on your industry, this can add up to a lot of extra pages that can link to your pillar content piece.
These additional web pages can then be integrated with the content pillar webpages with internal links.
Keyword Research and Topic Clusters
Rigorous keyword research is critical to creating a robust cornerstone page. You must start by figuring out what people are searching for around your specialist areas of interest and expertise.
That core topic for your pillar content should be a broad term that is between 2-4 words in length, is industry-specific, educational, and supports your products or services.
Ideally, the keywords you choose should be educational, so it relates to the awareness-stage of your prospect.
Be sure to perform extensive Google searches on the keywords to determine what already exists out there.
- Identify 5-to-10 broad topics of relevance to your business
- Around each of these topics, create a cluster of related longer tail topics
- As you develop each subtopic into a distinct piece of web content, you can then link back to the core topic.
From Interest To Trust
Pillar pages should always answer questions that a searcher might have about a topic. If you can capture their attention at the interest stage, you are more likely to build brand trust with them.
Once a searcher clicks on your pillar page, they are more likely to click on links to more specific pages on your site.
The greater the time spent on site, the more Google will rate your site as valuable in the search results.
Pillar content can take a lot of time and effort to research and create; however, the investment can be worth it. It helps you grow your keywords in Google, but it also helps position you as the authority in your industry.