Pillar Content for Your Website: Creating a Strong Foundation for a Successful Blog

You know that sinking feeling when your blog post gets about as much attention as the awkward kid at an 8th-grade dance? Yeah, it’s no fun. But what if I told you there’s a secret sauce to turning your website from a ghost town to the place to be? That secret is pillar content – aka the big, beefy posts that make up the framework of your blog.

You see, without some seriously epic posts, your blog’s foundation is as shaky as a house of cards. These robust pillars are what give your blog weight and authority. And without them, you’re just another voice in the cacophony of the internet.

The great news is, pillar content isn’t that complicated, and we’re going to break down exactly how to craft content that keeps them coming back for more. So, grab your keyboard—it’s time to turn your blog into the main stage.

Understanding Pillar Content

What is pillar content?

Pillar content, sometimes referred to as cornerstone content, is a comprehensive and in-depth piece of content that serves as the foundation for a specific topic or subject area on your website. These extensive articles provide both depth and breadth to the subject, covering various aspects of the topic in high-quality and relevant content. Think of pillar content as the central hub around which other associated information revolves.

Importance of Pillar Content

Creating pillar content is essential for solidifying your position as a knowledgeable expert in your field. By providing valuable information in a clear and neutral tone, you establish trust with your readers and encourage them to explore other related content on your site. Pillar content not only supports related articles, it also helps improve your site’s overall search engine optimization (SEO). Well-crafted, comprehensive content increases your chances of ranking higher in search results, drawing more organic traffic to your website.

Creating an Effective Pillar Content Strategy

Steps to Create a Pillar Page

To create a successful pillar page, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a topic: Pick a broad topic related to your niche that you want your pillar page to rank for. The topic should be relevant to your audience and offer value.
  2. Conduct keyword research: Identify the main keywords and related long-tail keywords that are relevant to your chosen topic.
  3. Create subtopics: Break down your main topic into smaller, related subtopics. These subtopics will be the basis for the cluster content that links back to your pillar page.
  4. Write in-depth content for each subtopic: Create in-depth, valuable content pieces for each subtopic, which will later link back to the pillar page.
  5. Create your pillar page: Write a comprehensive, well-structured piece of content that covers all the important aspects of the main topic. Include internal links to your subtopic content to establish a strong content cluster.
  6. Optimize your pillar page for SEO: Make sure your main keywords and related keywords are included in the pillar page, make it mobile-friendly, and include relevant meta tags.
Examples of pillar content and its spinoff content.  Pillar content is Mastering the Art of Social Media Algorithms and blog ideas around that pillar are posted around it.

What to Include in a Pillar Post

When writing a pillar post, ensure your content is 10x better than any other posts on the topic. Here’s what to include for an effective pillar post:

  • Comprehensive coverage: Cover all relevant aspects of the chosen topic. Provide detailed, in-depth information and address the next 10-15 questions your audience may have.
  • Engaging format: Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, tables, and other formatting elements to make your content easy to read and navigate.
  • Visual elements: Include images, infographics, or videos to support your content and improve the user experience.
  • Internal linking: Use internal links to connect your pillar page to its related cluster content and other relevant pages on your site.
  • External sources: Provide external links to reputable sources to support your claims and offer additional valuable information to your readers.
  • SEO optimization: Optimize your content with relevant keywords, meta tags, and engaging titles to improve your search engine ranking.

By following these guidelines and creating a strong, well-structured pillar content strategy, you’ll establish your authority within your niche and improve your overall website’s SEO performance.

The Role of SEO in Pillar Content

Keyword Research for Pillar Content

One significant aspect of SEO in pillar content is keyword research. Choosing the right keywords is essential if you want to create strong content pillars for your website that effectively targets your target audience. To do this, you can use various keyword research tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, etc., that help identify popular search terms and phrases that align with your chosen topic.

When selecting keywords, focus on long-tail keywords. These are typically more specific and have less competition, making it easier for your content to rank higher in search engine results. For example, instead of targeting “running shoes,” you could target “best running shoes for flat feet.”

Link Building in Pillar Content

Another component of SEO in pillar content is link building. This involves creating a network of internal and external links within your content that helps search engines and users better navigate and understand your content’s context and relevance.

  • Internal links: These are the links within your content that connect related topic clusters and their corresponding pillar pages. Building a strong internal linking structure improves your website’s organization and enhances the reader’s experience by making it easy to find relevant information.
  • External links: These are the links that point to authoritative and credible websites. By including helpful external links within your content, you provide additional value to your readers and demonstrate your commitment to providing trustworthy information.
  • Inbound links (also known as backlinks): These are the links that other websites create, pointing to your pillar content. Having a good number of quality inbound links can significantly improve your content’s search engine ranking, as it shows Google and other search engines that your content is valuable and credible.
Example of linking in pillar content.  Algorithm proof tactics to keep your facebook reach growing links to building a hashtag strategy that thrives on algorithm strategies.

Types of Pillar Content

When it comes to pillar content, there are several different types that you can utilize for your blog to maximize effectiveness. Let’s take a closer look at three popular typest: Resource Pillar Page, 10X Pillar Content, and Product or Service Pillar Page.

Resource Pillar Page

A Resource Pillar Page is a comprehensive guide that serves as an introductory, high-level overview of a particular topic. It is designed to provide valuable information and resources for your audience by linking to various subtopics and related content. By curating and organizing these resources effectively, you create a content hub that’s easy to navigate, increasing the chances of your audience engaging with your content for longer periods.

To create a resource pillar page, you can:

  • Identify common questions or pain points about your topic
  • Compile a list of the best resources, articles, and tools that address these issues
  • Structure your content in a way that’s easy to follow and visually appealing

10X Pillar Content

10X Pillar Content refers to content that is ten times better than what’s currently available on the subject. This type of content aims to provide more in-depth information, offer unique insights, and present actionable steps for your audience. It takes a lot of research, expertise, and effort to create 10X pillar content, but it’s absolutely worth it as it can help you establish your brand as an authority in your niche.

To create 10X pillar content, you should:

  • Research extensively and find gaps in existing content on the topic
  • Provide clear and concise explanations for complex concepts
  • Share exclusive tips, case studies, or expert opinions

Product or Service Pillar Page

A Product or Service Pillar Page focuses on introducing your product or service by explaining its features and benefits, addressing common questions, and showcasing customer testimonials. This type of pillar content is highly useful for businesses looking to showcase their offerings in a comprehensive and organized manner, making it easier for potential customers to find the information they need.

To create a product or service pillar page:

  • Make a list of your product or service features, and explain the benefits associated with each
  • Include a FAQ section addressing the most common questions potential customers may have
  • Showcase success stories and testimonials from satisfied customers

By understanding and implementing these different types of pillar content, you can effectively improve your blog’s search engine ranking, drive more organic traffic, and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

How Pillar Content Engages Readers

Creating Relevant Content

When writing pillar content for your blog, generating relevant content is crucial. By focusing on your target audience’s needs and interests, you can provide valuable information that keeps them engaged. Dig deep into the topics they care about, addressing their pain points and offering solutions. By doing so, you demonstrate your expertise and establish trust in your readers, which encourages them to share your content and return for more insights.

Improving User Experience

Pillar content should also aim at enhancing the user experience on your website. Break down complex concepts into digestible sections, and use formatting elements, such as tables and bullet points, to make your content more accessible. Bold text can be used to emphasize key takeaways and ensure that your readers don’t miss essential information. Keeping your content organized and easy to navigate helps your users find value in your content, making them more likely to engage with your blog in the long run.

The Impact of Pillar Content on Website Traffic and Ranking

Pillar content plays a significant role in enhancing your website’s traffic and search engine ranking. In this section, we will delve into the ways in which strong content pillars can boost your site’s performance, specifically through increases in site traffic and improvements in search engine rankings.

Increase in Site Traffic

By building your website around content pillars, you establish comprehensive, high-quality guides that cover a broad range of subtopics within your niche. This valuable information attracts readers, making them more likely to share your content with their networks. As your pillar content gains traction and popularity, it drives more traffic to your website.

Pillar content also serves as a hub that connects and interlinks several related blog posts, making it easy for users to navigate your site and find more relevant information. This not only increases overall user engagement but also leads to longer session times and a potential boost in organic traffic.

Improvement in Search Engine Rankings

Pillar content has a direct impact on your website’s search engine rankings, including Google search. Search engines like Google prioritize high-quality, authoritative content to cater to their users’ needs. Pillar pages, by nature, are designed to comprehensively cover a specific topic and showcase your expertise in that domain, increasing the likelihood of being ranked highly.

Additionally, the strategic internal linking within your pillar content ensures that Google can easily crawl your website and better understand its structure. This results in increased visibility and improved indexing, ultimately leading to higher rankings and more visibility for your content.

Evaluating Pillar Content Performance

Auditing Your Pillar Content

Evaluating the performance of your content pillars is essential to ensure its effectiveness in driving traffic and conversions. One way to do so is through conducting an audit of your pillar blog posts periodically. During the audit, assess each pillar piece in terms of relevance, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. Identify any gaps or outdated information and make necessary updates to keep the content current and engaging.

When auditing, don’t forget to review the keyword strategy. Ensuring that your content aligns with relevant keywords and follows search engine best practices will help improve its visibility and drive more organic traffic to your blog.

Using Analytics to Measure Success

Another crucial aspect of evaluating pillar content performance is tracking relevant metrics using analytics tools. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, and time on page to understand user engagement with your content.

  • Sessions: Track the number of unique visits to your pillar pages. An increase in sessions indicates that your content is attracting more visitors and contributing to your blog’s growth.
  • Conversions: Analyze how many users are completing desired actions, such as signing up for newsletters or making a purchase after engaging with your pillar content. Higher conversion rates imply that your content is effectively driving leads and generating ROI.
  • Leads: Keep an eye on the number of leads generated from your pillar blog posts. A higher number of leads suggests that your content is successfully capturing the interest and attention of potential customers.

Using these metrics and insights, you can make informed decisions on optimizing and refining your pillar content strategy to better serve your blog’s goals and continuously improve its performance. Remember to adjust your approach based on the data collected and commit to consistently monitoring and evaluating your content for ongoing success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key elements of a pillar content strategy?

A pillar content strategy is built on a foundation of high-quality, long-form content pieces that cover broad topics in depth. These blog posts should be informative, relevant, and valuable to your target audience, acting as a go-to resource. 

What are some common types of content pillars?

Content pillars can take various forms, such as:

  1. Ultimate Guides – Comprehensive manuals covering all aspects of a topic.
  2. How-To Guides – Step-by-step instructions for different tasks or processes.
  3. Listicles – Curated lists of tips, tools, or resources related to a topic.

How can content pillars be applied to social media platforms?

Content pillars can help you plan and maintain a consistent presence across social media platforms by repurposing and sharing your content in various formats. Break down your pillar content into smaller, more digestible pieces, such as infographics, videos, and key insights, to create engaging social media posts.

What tools or templates are available for crafting content pillars?

There are several tools and resources available to help you create content pillars, including:

  1. Content management systems (CMS) – Tools like WordPress and HubSpot allow you to organize and interlink your content effectively.
  2. Keyword research tools – Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer help you identify relevant keywords and sub-topics to include in your pillar content.
  3. Editorial calendar templates – These templates can help you plan, organize, and schedule your content creation and distribution.

How are pillar pages and topic clusters interconnected?

Pillar pages are the main pieces of content that serve as the foundation for your topic clusters. Topic clusters are groups of related content, including sub-pillar articles and supporting blog posts, which all link back to the central pillar page. This interconnected structure helps improve your content’s overall SEO, as search engines can better understand the relationships between your content pieces and rank them accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Pillar content is the foundation that holds your website together and gives it a personality that Google will both understand and remember. Remember, pillar content isn’t just about getting eyes on your website today—it’s about creating a spot that your readers will want to keep coming back to.  

If you want to make sure youre website is getting found on Google, download our free Get Found on Google Guide.