When it comes to SEO, you may have heard the term “pillar page.”
But what is a pillar page, and how can it help with your website’s ranking?
In this post, we’ll define what a pillar page is, and explain how you can create one for your own blog.
We’ll also share some tips for optimizing your pillar page for better search engine visibility.
What Is a Pillar Page?
A pillar page is a page that provides general information about a broad topic, all featured on the single website page.
This single website page will cover all aspects of a subject to include some general information, that will then link out to more in-depth blog posts covering the specific subject in more detail.
Think of a pillar page like a table of contents, and the blog posts that are linked from the pillar page, like individual chapters.
Example: if your readers want to learn more about Email Marketing, and they stumble across two different websites discussing the topic, which site do you think would help end their search?
The 1st website has a few blog posts, “What Is Email Marketing,” along with 2 additional blog posts, “Top Email Marketing Tools,” and “Best Email Marketing Practices.”
The 2nd one has a single pillar page about Email Marketing, which covers related topics – ALL, on a single page.
- What Is Email Marketing?
- Email Marketing Best Practices
- Top 6 Email Marketing Tools
- Benefits of Email Marketing
Which website do you think the audience would prefer? The first one with 3 blog posts cluttered randomly on the website or the 2nd one with all relevant information organized on a single blog page?
Using the example above, “Email Marketing“, when your reader visits this pillar page, it will give the reader the opportunity to cover general information about the subject of “email marketing” all on one page.
Then, if the reader comes across information they’d like to know more about, they would click on a link that would lead them to a more in-depth blog post for the particular subject they wish to learn more about.
Of course, you as the blogger, must create these more in-depth articles for your readers, but it doesn’t hurt to start with a pillar page and build from there.
This practice doesn’t only provide value to the audience, but Google also rewards information that’s easy to find, gives the reader the information they are looking for, and all in one location that branches out to more in-depth information.
A pillar page is your chance to organize your content to make it discoverable, valuable, and readable.
Different Types of Pillar Pages
Pillar pages can take up varying forms, and each company uses a different format to gain recognition. Nonetheless, they are generally divided into three types.
- Service and Product Pages
- Valuable Resources
- 10x Pillar Pages
Let’s Start with the Services and Products Page
As the name suggests, these pages feature the list of your services and products on a single page. This makes it easier for the audience to find a particular product and choose a specific service.
For instance, it allows the audience to browse your catalog on the go comparing the features, rates, and functionality.
Anything making the buyer journey easier is worth investing in, and product and service pillar pages are no exception.
These pages typically combine resources and links on a single topic. It usually focuses more on links than information and provides a selection of subjects that are accessible for the user to explore for more information.
Essentially, a solid back-linking strategy is a must to make resource pages more efficient. Otherwise, it’ll be challenging to rank them.
10x Pillar Pages
The idea of 10x content has been around for a while now and was coined by MOZ in one of their Whiteboard Friday editions back in 2015.
They weren’t talking specifically about pillar pages but rather about all types of written works being “10 times better than highest ranking” when it comes to search engine rankings!
The content you produce should be significantly better than anything that’s currently performing well in searches.
It’s not an easy task, but it can definitely pay off with increased traffic and rankings for your site!
These pillar posts feature in-depth information about a specific concept, topic, or idea. Simply put, it acts as a topic anchor that binds the whole subject.
How to Create a Pillar Page?
Any step that makes it easier for your visitors to access information on your website is a win-win for you. Adding quality pillar pages can hook your audience, and they’ll keep visiting – as long as you keep adding valuable pillar pages.
So, whether you run a blog as a side hustle or own an eCommerce business, organizing content on a single website page will boost engagement and sell your products.
Investing time and effort in pillar pages is a part of customer experience. Businesses that value customer experience drives 4-8% higher revenue than those that don’t.
If you’re from the former category, here’s how you can approach the strategy that benefits your site visitors – and you.
- Define the topic – Before diving into the details, consider defining the primary topic. For instance, if you want to write on Digital Marketing, describe what it is and what it entails. A concise definition can help you land a featured snippet in Google.
- Pay attention to the keywords and content – Make sure you include the keywords on the title, subheadings, body, meta description, and URL. Besides, the content quality should be good enough to captivate the audience and keep them from leaving.
- Do not forget to add internal and external links – from credible sources – Adding internal links directs your readers to more information – added value. The same holds true for credible external sources. Besides, using the latest stats adds more authenticity to your content.
- Keep content precise and direct – The rapidly moving world calls for relevant and to-the-point information. Nobody likes skimming through unnecessary information. Not only does it sound monotonous, but it may cause visitors to abandon your website forever. So, provide them with a logical overview of the subject.
- Remember, promotion is the key – The story doesn’t end after you create a pillar page. You cannot expect the audience to dash to your website with this single step. Make sure you promote your pages through third-party guest posting, internet influencers, designing shareable infographics, and staying active on social media.
Pillar Page Examples
Now that you know what a pillar page is, it’s time to check some inspiring examples for motivation.
We’ll look at some of the best pillar page examples to see how they implement – and benefit from – this Best SEO practice.
Typeform: Brand Awareness
Typeform creates an aesthetically pleasing pillar page and complements it with the perfect tagline: “Brand awareness: nearly everything you need to know.”
While the bold and striking theme is enough to grab the audience’s attention, the brand kept it functional by making it navigable.
For instance, you won’t feel confused about where to look for information. Instead, the contents accessibly appear on the side. Besides, it is readable, clear, and understandable, which is a plus.
The Atlantic: Population Healthier
Pillar pages also offer a great way to assemble and build sponsored content with a co-marketing partner, and the Atlantic is living proof. It collaborated with athenahealth to form a report on US healthcare.
While it doesn’t compromise on color scheme, the content is impeccable. It features a story about a historical building located in Massachusetts. We all love stories, and there isn’t a better way to intrigue visitors than starting content with an enticing story.
The Atlantic follows up the story with an interactive and informational report about US healthcare. But as you keep scrolling, you’ll also see a plus sign on the left side.
You can click on it to display additional information.
GatherContent: UX Design and Content Strategy
GatherContent takes convenience to a whole new level by allowing you to download the pillar page. While we’ve discussed pillar pages merely as SEO builders, GatherContent shows they can be lead generators, too.
How? Visitors are required to enter their names and email addresses to download the file. So, while “A Guide for UX Designers” sounds appealing enough – for a UX designer enthusiast – to read right away, a visitor may want to read it later.
Fortunately, they can download the long form and open the document of subtopics about UX design and read it at their convenience.
Why Add a Pillar Page to Your Website?
This question can be answered in two parts.
First, pillar pages help organize your content. This makes it easier for visitors to browse your website and consume the content. It’s a good idea to include videos, informational images and infographics on your pillar pages.
Second, using topically relevant content is a good SEO strategy. But the question remains, “How do pillar pages help you rank?”
There is a lot of clutter on the internet; given the ever-growing digital population and 44 zettabytes of online data, the cluttered information confuses Google’s algorithm.
Google prefers explicit websites with hyperlinks conveying sense. So, one simple reason Google ranks one site over another is that it spots what the website and content are about.
Of course, if the search engine isn’t clear about your content, it would never rank your site.
When every article you write about content marketing links back to a pillar page that discusses content marketing, Google will recognize what the content is about, consequently ranking you better.
Besides, the more information you’ll have regarding a specific topic, the higher the chance of ranking on Google.
So, investing time in building a pillar page enhances the likelihood of ranking on Google and pleasing your visitors alike.
Your quality blog content and traditional SEO practices may help to a certain extent, but you need to go the extra mile to gain recognition among the 1.7 billion websites.
Google keeps shifting its ranking factors due to changing search behavior. So if you want to outpace your competitors and upgrade your eCommerce game, do not forget to make pillar pages as part of your content strategy.
Anything that resolves your visitor’s pain points and satisfies the Google search algorithm is worth investing in; try it today and see for yourself!
If you are struggling to come up with blog post ideas, be sure to use all the resources at your disposal, and follow the link.