The pillar page is the foundation on which the grouping of topics is built. A pillar page covers all aspects of the topic on one page, with room for more detailed information in more detailed cluster posts that link back to the main site. Even though it is a simple concept, 44.4% of businesses have less than 5 pillar pages on their website.
Pillar pages generally cover a certain topic, and cluster content should discuss specific keywords related to that topic in detail. For example, you could write the main page about content marketing – a broad topic – and a clustered content section about blogging – a more keyword-specific content topic. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that 40% of marketers link their pillar pages to less than 5 blogs, which can affect their Google ranking as a pillar page needs at least 16 pieces of shorter content linked to it for the best possible results.
Pillar pages are longer than typical blog posts because they cover all aspects of the topic you're trying to evaluate, but they're not as detailed. This is for cluster content. You want to create a pillar page that answers questions about a certain topic but leaves room for more detail in subsequent related cluster content. AI content marketing can assist here, but that is a topic for a different day.
What is a pillar page strategy?
When it comes to your pillar page strategy, there are many things that need to be considered.
Pillar pages are designed to contain all the information you would normally cram into a single page or blog post in multiple white papers or ebooks. The advantage of having all your information in one place allows visitors to get answers to their questions quickly and efficiently. This is valuable because the way people search for information on the Internet has evolved, causing search algorithms to evolve as well.
To meet this need, pillar pages are essential. They form a hub of all your business-related content, making it easier for potential customers to find. This requires a solid strategy to ensure that the content is relevant, accurate and up to date.
Pillar page vs landing page: Is there a difference?
While there are many differences between landing pages and pillar pages, let's look at the three most important distinctions.
In short, a pillar page uses SEO to get traffic and educate them about a certain topic. The landing page tries to convert visitors.
The pillar page design often looks like a long article. You'll often find large chunks of content (remember, these are around 3,000 words) with headings to make them easier to read. You may also notice a set of links to other similar articles in the sidebar.
On the other hand, landing pages are usually light on text. They may have some graphics, icons, and small pieces of text that try to convince visitors to convert. They usually have a form to enter your name and basic contact information.
A pillar page almost always satisfies the buyer in their awareness phase. This is a long page with a wide range of information to educate visitors about a certain topic. While it can and should contain some information about your product or service, it should be primarily educational.
However, a landing page can be designed to suit any stage of the buyer's journey, from awareness to loyalty.
So when do landing pages and landing pages exist on the same website?
Some companies have achieved good results by having their information on the landing page and the call to action (CTA) above the border and a pillar page below the border. This allows visitors to take action without scrolling too far and gives the site incredible SEO value.
The benefits of pillar pages for B2B brands
It's no secret that pillar pages always require time and effort to maintain and ensure their effectiveness. However, the benefits of pillar sites are more than worth the time and effort involved. Here are just a few of the benefits that come from a thoughtful strategy with pillar pages and subcategories.
Performance of SEO
If If you use pillar pages, Google will appreciate that all your content is organized by keywords and has an internal linking strategy that helps users find relevant content quickly. As a result, the algorithm identifies your website as reliable and ranks it higher.
While we cite SEO performance as the main benefit of an effective landing page strategy, it's easy to say that user experience can be even more important. We all remember visiting websites where we couldn't find the information we wanted to find. It wasn't pleasant at all and the visits probably didn't last long. Most of us don't want to waste time searching for information that should be easy to find. A big advantage of pillar pages is that they make it very easy for your visitors to find the information they need, as well as quickly find relevant blog content and information about that topic or column.
Most of what we share here is about why pillar pages are good: how Google sees and ranks your pillar page content, and how it makes it easier for visitors to use and trust your site. However, organizing your blog content offers and more around these pillars has intrinsic benefits for your business and your marketing team. Organizing your content in this way makes it easier to generate new topics and ideas, create a strong internal linking strategy, and quickly identify potential gaps.
4 steps to create a pillar page strategy for B2B brands
People no longer search using keywords or vague phrases. Time is precious, so they ask Siri or type into a search engine, “What's the best pillar content strategy?” Google has advanced to the point where the algorithm can guess what you're looking for, and complete your query with minimal effort.
So how do you create pillar content and create a pillar content strategy?
1. Choose a topic
As we mentioned before, you want to focus your pillar page on one topic. Think big picture, not keywords (yet). However, it’s also important that they don’t get too big. For example, the topic of sales can be very broad – there’s simply too much information about sales in general to cover in a pillar (or even a website) and doing so could mean your page and site spirals out of control. Instead, focus your attention on a topic like "Inbound Sales”.
Pro tip: Pick a topic that you're already ranking on the top three pages of Google for an extra SEO boost.
2. Keyword research
Despite what you may believe, keywords are not dead - you still need them to succeed in your pillar content strategy. Look at your topic and subtopics and roll up your sleeves for keyword research. High search volume keywords under each subtopic will help you structure your site and what topics to cover to create a comprehensive guide.
Pro tip: Your keywords should contain a combination of long-tail keywords and related phrases to maximize organic traffic.
3. Select subtopics
Next, you need supporting elements to make your content pillar strategy successful. Subtopics are designed to add value to your topic and assist your visitors in getting the answers they need. You'll want to make sure that you have content available on these topics, such as blogs, that can be linked to your pillar page. Continuing with our example from above, some of our subtopics might look like this:
- Common inbound sales myths
- Inbound sales on phones
- What is inbound sales methodology
4. Start creating
Gather your research and start developing your content. You can also shred, recycle, and recover content from an old ebook and adapt it to your updated keyword research and topics. When you write, make sure you have internal links under each subtopic that link back to the website page or blog post so the reader can find out more information if needed. Additionally, linking to your content will allow you to rank higher in search results.
Have you got a B2B pillar page strategy?
If you haven’t already considered it, or if you haven’t been paying attention to it, it’s time that you get started. It’s an impressive tool when it comes to improving your site’s SEO and attracting new customers. The results will speak for themselves.