What is a Pillar Page and How can it Skyrocket Your Digital Footprint?

Reading Time: 17 minutes

The digital marketing maestros, SEO titans, and content experts used to swear on getting their pages ranked for a particular keyword. Well, that ship has sailed, and so has the “let’s work on one long-tail keyword and get the job done” approach.

Search engines like Google want to make peoples’ lives easier by giving them what they want. And that is making technology smarter – good ol’ crawlers analyzing every blog with a fine eye – ensuring that only good ones make it to the glamorous page one.

Not just that – people are asking questions through voice search (about 71% of them), making it a conversational affair. 

Now that the search engines are offering people what they want – they expect your content to do the same. Every blog strategy should be updated on those lines, but a single blog can’t answer all questions (or a whole question) – which is why you need pillar pages.

But What on Earth is a Pillar Page?

A pillar page is a page on your website that provides a sweeping overview of a particular topic. Generally known as the first step to providing your searchers exactly what they are looking for, pillar pages cover a particular question, topic, or problem from a bird’s eye view.

For instance, a pillar page can have all the information about Football as a sport, but to know more about the attack and defense strategies of the sport, you’ll have to dive deep into its sub-topics.

And these sub-topics, are called topic clusters. TMI? Let’s break it down:

Pillar pages are really exhaustive blog posts since they have everything about the topic that you’re trying to rank for. But these topics aren’t covered in depth. Now, this is where topic clusters come in.

HubSpot’s topic cluster model effectively organizes a site’s content pages using a cleaner and more deliberate site architecture.

Since pillar pages leave scope for more explanation and you want your readers to stick to your content, the topic clusters will answer all their questions in great detail. Without a pillar page – it’s utter chaos without direction.

But a pillar page is nothing without its strike partner, which is why both need to be in top form to keep scoring.

Why Topic Clusters are Crucial for Pillar Pages to Work

The semantic relationship between topic clusters and pillar pages serves the best of both worlds to your audiences and search engines. While the pillar pages answer questions from a drone flying 40ft high in the air, topic clusters organize your website into different subjects.

These topics don’t just answer questions in form of conversation long-tail keywords, but they also address a user’s search about a particular subject in whichever way it is framed.

Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of Content Strategy 

By answering these specific, more pressing questions, topic clusters cannonball into research-based insights – while the pillar content shows the way to these blogs through hyperlinks. And when these two pages get together, it’s a tango session your audience can’t help but notice.

How the Pillar Page helps Your Digital Strategy with Topic Clusters

When done right, a pillar page linking down to its relative cluster topics can give your audience all answers to their single thread of questions in one place. But that’s not the only advantage, there’s more:

Link Building 

A survey on Twitter by Gael Bratton cited Link Building as the most challenging SEO task for digital marketers.

Building links scales up the integrity of your website and pillar pages directly support this case. An ideal pillar page presents plentiful opportunities to link internally and with external sources, helping build its search engine rankings.

Search Engine Optimization 

The comprehensive information overload keeps the search engine Gods very satisfied with your website. Playing a crucial role in improving its ranking, most pillar pages grab hold of conversational, long-tail keywords that can be answered through many blogs in the pillar’s shade.

More Traffic

A pillar page often builds high authority and attracts traffic, spreading it evenly across its relative topic clusters.

A website can boost the visibility of its pillar pages and increase incoming traffic by linking right. When your audience stumbles onto your pillar page, they must find (a) answers to their questions, and (b) a detailed explanation of topics to back up the initial explanation.

Better User Experience 

Pillar pages offer users a single place to access information on a specific topic, making it simpler for them to find what they’re looking for. This enhances user experience as your audience finds your website to be the place for their problems.

Content Roadmap

You can think of many topic clusters that will delve further into subtopics or related topics before posting the main content on the pillar page. This roadmap makes content development seamless and objective rather than shooting blanks on keywords for each blog.

Now that a lot is riding on it, how do you choose the right pillar page topics? Here’s the answer:

How to Choose Pillar Page Topics?

Choosing a pillar page topic involves moving beyond tacky keywords. Start by listing down the topics (not keywords) that you want to rank for and brainstorming blog ideas based on specific keywords related to the very subject.

Below is a list, but here’s what it’s about – addressing your audience’s interests, challenges, and core personas. Begin with a broad topic and churn out related blog posts for cluster content.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing pillar page topics:

Identify your target audience: Consider who you are trying to reach and what topics they might be interested in.

Conduct keyword research: Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to find keywords related to your industry or niche.

Scrutinize industry trends: See what problems your target audience is facing and what they are searching for solutions to.

Look at competitors’ content: See what types of content your competitors are producing and what topics they are covering.

Determine the topic scope: Make sure the topic is broad enough to allow for multiple subtopics but narrow enough to cover it in depth.

Align your business goals: Choose a topic that aligns with your goals and will help you achieve your desired outcomes.

Remember – your pillar page should engage the audience while answering their questions so that they click on it in the first place. After that, you can let its sidekicks do the trick.

Ready to Strengthen the Pillars of Your Digital Footprint?

The new age of the internet is all about humans and humanizing everything digital. With AI taking over for good, the only thing that separates your content from others is its personal touch and how it solves your audience’s problems. Your digital footprint can scale to amazing heights by planning its pillar page right.

Of course, the pillar page must be complemented with topic clusters that leave no stone unturned for the intrigued clan of your audience. Just keep your focus on solving their problems rather than nefariously fluffing your content and your digital footprint will take off in due time.

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