What precisely is a pillar page?

Pillar Page

A pillar page is a high-level piece of material that provides a general summary of a key topic and provides connections to more detailed entries on specific subtopics. Consider the cluster pages to be individual chapters, and the table of contents to be a table of contents.

It's difficult to discover a content approach as effective as subject clusters for increasing website traffic and increasing user engagement. The almighty pillar page is the powerful engine that propels them forward.

For years, search engine optimization professionals have used pillars and clusters. However, they never really took off since there are so many things that might go wrong with the technique. They can potentially harm your SEO if done incorrectly.

When done correctly, however, pillar pages can result in increased efficiency, more traffic, increased conversions, and a substantially improved user experience. In other words, they are quite beneficial to your SEO.

Do you need some assistance creating your pillar pages? Below is a link to Stridec's free content brief template.

Key Points

  • A pillar page is a high-level piece of material that provides a general summary of a central topic and links to more extensive entries on specific subtopics.
  • The pillar-cluster strategy is beneficial to SEO since it highlights your knowledge and authority while also providing context and enhancing PageRank flow via internal links.
  • Pillar pages are beneficial to users since they comprehensively cover a topic while also anticipating deeper dives into subtopics at the appropriate time.

What precisely is a pillar page?

Pillar Page 

A pillar page is a high-level piece of material that provides a general summary of a key topic and provides connections to more detailed entries on specific subtopics. Consider the cluster pages to be individual chapters, and the table of contents to be a table of contents.

Pillar pages are the foundation of any content strategy, frequently serving as the primary landing page for a content hub. They represent your most essential content themes and provide users with information on connected topics. When utilised in a topic cluster strategy, they act as echo chambers for search engines, providing context, relevance, and authority.

What is the ideal length for a pillar page?

Pillar entries are typically substantially lengthier than the regular blog post. There is no hard and fast rule, but they should be at least 2,000 words long. But keep in mind that they're not simply long; they're also thorough.

It's worth mentioning that pillar pages aren't self-contained. The strength of pillar pages comes from cluster pages, just like the spokes on a bicycle's wheels.

Here's a quick rundown of the topic cluster model if you're not familiar with it.

What are subject clusters and how do they work?

In a hub-and-spoke approach, topic clusters are collections of similar material neatly grouped around a core theme. Each cluster has a central pillar page (the hub) and cluster pages surrounding it (the spokes). If blogging is a key element of your inbound marketing approach, Hubspot's subject cluster model is particularly valuable.

I'm a huge lover of this subject, so don't miss my in-depth look at content clusters. I go over ideal practises as well as the most common blunders that might sabotage your efforts. From that page, you can also get a free topic cluster template.

An SEO topic cluster is made up of three basic elements:

  • A single pillar page with a broad focus
  • Several in-depth cluster pages are available.
  • Internal links that are strategically placed

The following is an example of cluster content:

Topic clusters aid in the improvement of organic search rankings and traffic in a variety of ways:

  • Because Google recognises subtopics within a wide interest, clusters reflect Google's AI direction.
  • Context, relevance, and PageRank flow are all improved by topic clusters.
  • Pillar pages and content clusters boost signals that are critical for establishing expertise, authority, and trust (E-A-T), all of which are critical for search rankings in many industries.

Examples of Pillar Pages

Let's say you want to make a pillar page about, say, email marketing. Many underlying connected subtopics could be covered, such as:

What is the purpose of email marketing?

  • Email marketing systems that work best
  • Templates for email marketing
  • Subject headings
  • Deliverability of emails
  • The best periods for distribution
  • Increasing your email subscriber list
  • Email list segmentation
  • Calls-to-action
  • performance monitoring

Each cluster page would delve into one of those subtopics in greater depth. Then you'd link back to the pillar page in each of these entries. You'd connect to the different cluster pages from the pillar page. When appropriate, the cluster pages may also link to one another.

Subjects are covered by pillar pages, whereas keyword phrases are covered by cluster pages within those broad topics.

Stridec published a pillar page for ecommerce SEO using one of our own examples. The pillar page is lengthy, containing more than 6,900 words. It includes subtopics like:

  • SEO for product pages in ecommerce
  • For ecommerce SEO, a competitive analysis is necessary.
  • SEO for ecommerce category pages
  • For ecommerce websites, keyword research is essential.
  • SEO for ecommerce that is technical
  • For ecommerce websites, on-page SEO is essential.
  • Link-building tactics for ecommerce SEO
  • There's also an ecommerce SEO FAQ

There are also more granular subjects inside each of these subtopics.

How do pillar pages aid SEO?

Pillar pages aren't simply for keeping track of things. When it comes to SEO, they're also a force to be reckoned with. Let's take a look at how pillar pages can help your site get more visitors.

Pillar pages help to improve the structure of the site.

Google's algorithm doesn't just look at specific web pages on your site to grasp your content. It takes into account a variety of factors, including how one page is related to the others. If you have a lot of material, pillar pages can help you organise it by grouping related topics together and creating a hierarchical map. This enhances the structure of your site and makes it easier for Google to assess your expertise and choose the optimal URL for a certain search query.

As a result, your search engine results pages will rank you higher (SERPs).

High-volume keywords are easier to rank for.

Because they cover a wide range of topics, pillar sites are more likely to rank for competitive keywords with significant search volume. In other words, individuals who conduct a broad search are often looking for a general summary of a subject. As a result, Google prefers high-quality material that reflects the user's purpose.

Users will refine their searches to more specialised long-tail terms as they get more familiar with an idea. Users are more likely to stay on your website and absorb your content if you use pillar pages to cover a variety of relevant topics and link to them through CTAs.

Pillar page content is prepared to obtain a large number of trustworthy backlinks due to its comprehensive nature. This means they have more PageRank to distribute via internal links. As a result, other pages in the cluster begin to rank well, earning them backlinks that boost PageRank within the cluster even more.

It's a win-win situation for SEO.

What is SEO's return on investment?

Pillar pages and topic clusters highlight your knowledge.

Customers, the media, stakeholders, and Google will regard your brand as an expert if you create an ecosystem of information around specific themes. Search engines will be more inclined to reward you with higher ranks if they see your website as a reliable source of information on a certain topic.

In the end, Google strives to provide the finest, most relevant information to its users. The pillar-cluster paradigm helps you to demonstrate your competence by covering a subject from multiple perspectives.

What is a pillar page and how can I make one?

What is the procedure for creating a pillar page? You must first create a subject cluster. So, if you haven't already, go read that post. Finally, you must identify your keyword universe and organise each phrase into blog posts, clusters, and categories. After that, complete all of the cluster pages. Before I describe how to write pillar content, I'll go over the process in detail.

1. Select the themes for which you want to be ranked.

Determine whatever topic you want to rank for as the first stage in constructing a content cluster. The objective is to think about broad topical themes rather than individual keywords here. Your theme should ideally be broad enough to require numerous blog entries, but not so broad that all of the issues can be covered in a single pillar page.

"Business," for example, is far too broad for a pillar page. It's probably too wide for a website, in fact.

If you're going to use a broad term for a pillar page, make sure it has a lot of searches. However, you could also want to look at statistics on trends. Is the keyword gaining traction with your target audience? Or has it already reached its apogee?

2. Conduct extensive keyword research

Next, conduct comprehensive keyword research to discover the full scope of search inquiries for your topic cluster. You must be well-versed in all areas. Consider your personas, their pain areas, and the queries they pose at different stages of the customer experience.

Use classic keyword research tools like Google Search Console and Answer The Public, as well as Google Search Console and Answer The Public. This tool displays the questions, prepositions, and comparisons that people submit while looking for information on a specific topic. When you key in "email marketing," you'll get the following results.

Another technique to come up with useful inquiries is to look tFhrough Google's autocomplete suggestions and similar searches at the bottom of the page. This provides you with even more information about how people search.

3. Arrange keywords in blog entries and subject groupings.

Creating a topic cluster is arguably the most difficult component. And it's by far the most crucial phase to master. Your cluster pages will be too broad, too narrow, or too similar if you don't group your keywords effectively, and they won't rank well.

You must first aggregate keywords into blog posts. Because there's so much possibility for error when using formulas to group terms, I don't suggest it. You have two choices instead.

To begin, manually search for each keyword and map it to a relevant head term. For example, SEO website strategy, SEO marketing strategy, and what is an SEO strategy all rank for the same keywords. That means that if you use a keyword SEO approach, your blog article will rank for all of those terms. If Google returns various sets of URLs for each search keyword, you'll probably need to write separate blog posts to target them.

Second, you can use technology to recreate the above-mentioned manual approach. Some keyword grouping programmes don't use Google, which I've found to be unhelpful. Serpstat is a tool that I've grown to like. You should have a look at these.

After you've organised your keywords into blog entries, you'll need to organise them into topic clusters, and then clusters into categories. Using a spreadsheet, here's an easy method to group them:

4. Begin writing your cluster pages.

Before attempting to develop a pillar page, you should complete the majority of your cluster pages. It's much easier to summarise material when it already exists, believe me. If you attempt to write your pillar page first, you will feel compelled to include far too much content, rendering the cluster pages obsolete.

5: Create a pillar page

As you design your pillar pages, keep these two ideas in mind:

  • Subtopics should be kept short so that you can expand on them in your cluster pages.
  • Provide enough information for the reader to find it useful.

Perfecting this can be difficult. You must delve sufficiently into each subtopic so that the reader — and Google — believe you have adequately addressed their inquiry. You must, however, leave them wanting more so that they will visit the cluster page.

6. Make sure your pillar page is optimised.

Finally, optimise your pillar page for on-page SEO elements like: Incorporate your main keyword into the page title and subheadings.

Make an interesting title tag and meta description that people will want to click on.

  • Wherever possible, use structured data.
  • Each subtopic should have its own heading.
  • Throughout the page, use your principal and long tail keywords.
  • Within the first 100 words, use your goal term.
  • Check to see if your content matches the search intent.
  • Make your material readable by include enough of headers and paragraph breaks.
  • Add relevant alt text to images and optimise them.

To help you check the important boxes when optimising your content, you may download our SEO checklist template below.

Internal linking strategy and pillar pages

A strong internal linking strategy is required for your subject clusters to be effective. Each cluster page should be linked to from the corresponding subsection on your pillar page, and vice versa.

Internal links are extremely beneficial to SEO. Despite this, many people still regard them as a means of getting from point A to point B. Internal linkages come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and each one transmits data in a unique way.

If you want to establish a content pillar strategy, I strongly advise you to read my internal linking guide. Internal links are vital for SEO, and I explain why, as well as the numerous types, pitfalls, and best practises.

When adding hyperlinks, remember to include descriptive anchor text. Use keyword variations of the target website you link to instead of "click here." Your pillar pages should be promoted.

To gain high-quality backlinks, the final stage is to promote your pillar page by establishing your content marketing methods. 

  • Guest blogging on relevant authority websites and referring back to your pages are two effective techniques for marketers to boost pillar and cluster pages.
  • Create shareable infographics that can be put on other sites with a link back to yours by leveraging current strategic connections and linking to each other's material.
  • Find unlinked mentions of your brand and request a link to one of your pages from the site owner.
  • Collaborate with micro-influencers to promote and generate traffic to your pages.
  • To get backlinks from relevant domains, use off-page SEO strategies.

Put in the effort and you will be rewarded.

It's no secret that developing pillar sites and cluster pages is a lot of work, despite the fact that it's an excellent digital marketing technique. You must identify relevant subjects and keywords that correspond to those themes in order to rank for them.

Then you must create subtopics, map out subject clusters, create a pillar page, and ensure that everything is correctly interconnected. Depending on the target keywords, you may need a lot of long-form content while creating the pages. Finally, you must devote time and energy to publicising your pages.

You'll be considerably more likely to enhance your search engine rankings and organic traffic if you focus on content production inside this framework. They assist Google in determining the structure of your site, how the pages relate to one another, and the areas in which you have experience. And as one page's authority and ranking grows, so do the rankings of other pages.

Don't limit yourself to producing single pages based on specific keywords. Start rating for entire themes if you want to get huge!

Frequently Asked Questions on the Pillar Page

What is the definition of a pillar page?

A pillar page is a high-level piece of material that provides a general summary of a key topic and provides connections to more detailed entries on specific subtopics. Consider the cluster pages to be individual chapters, and the table of contents to be a table of contents.

What is the best way to write a pillar page?

To make a pillar page, follow these steps:

  1. Decide the topics you'd like to discuss. 
  2. Conduct keyword research to see how people search for certain topics.
  3. Make a list of keywords to include in your blog posts.
  4. Start with the cluster pages.
  5. Create a pillar page.
  6. Add internal links to your pillar page and optimize it.