Search engines have changed considerably lately and, as content creators, we need to keep up. They reward sites whose content is organized by topics, as search queries become more conversational and longer. A great way to optimize your website for SEO is to create a pillar page: a comprehensive guide on a broad topic that leaves room for more in-depth information.
The ultimate aim of pillar pages is of course, providing information and solutions to readers, but they are extremely important for SEO too. But how do you make sure your pillar page has a high ranking on search engines? There are three main points to implement:
Having hyperlinks on your pillar page is essential: they are one of the crucial ranking factors and search engines love them. They can be:
- Internal: Use your pillar page to link all your relevant content on the topic (ie. blog posts). This will not only make your pillar page look more useful and comprehensive to readers and search engines alike, but it will also drive traffic and allow you to organise your content by different topics (“topic clusters”);
- External: Make sure you include external links too. These can be to someone else’s posts, sites or resources;
- Inbound: These are the hyperlinks that direct back to your page from someone else’s site. Once your pillar page becomes the definite guide on your topic, people will start using it as reference and this will give search engines (and visitors) proof of your expertise.
2) Keyword intent, copy & structure
Because of the way search engines work now, it’s vital to avoid “keyword stuffing” and write good, informative content. Rather than counting how many times you use a word, Google is checking what your intent behind that word is. If your pillar page and relative subtopics offer valuable, relevant information, you’ll rank higher, even if you don’t repeat the keywords numerous times. Always remember that humans are your customers, not search engines. Don’t be afraid to include different type of media to educate and delight your visitors and potential leads: videos, images, pools, infographics etc. are all useful when integrated to quality copy.
Pillar pages can be very long, so it is important to divide them into paragraphs and include useful features such as a “back to top” button. Offering an e-book/PDF download of the page is also good practice: your visitors can take the content with them, read it on their own time and come back to it later in exchange of some of their data (name, e-mail address…)
3) Topic authority
Once you have written quality content, make sure you keep up with the good work. The more you write about a topic, the higher each related post will rank. Keep it updated and consistent. You don’t know what else to write? Invite a guest blogger, comment on the latest news in the industry… the possibilities are endless! Visitors and competitors will soon see you as an expert on the subject, hence the “topic authority”. And this will get you more inbound links: the circle begins again.can help you plan, write and organise your content and create an effective pillar page. today to find out how we can assist you in growing your business.