Originally published August 31, 2021 , updated on August 31, 2021Reading Time: 4 minutes
Do you have loads of content ideas? Are your content pieces just not getting discovered as much as you’d like? It might be time to implement a Pillar content strategy or a cluster content strategy.
What Is Pillar Content Strategy?
Before we get into tips on this way of content marketing, let’s unpack what pillar content marketing is so that we are all on the same page.
According to Hubspot, pillar content “enables deeper coverage across a range of core Topic areas, while creating an efficient information architecture in the process”. Basically, one pillar is a long and extensive piece of information and a page on your website that will cover everything your potential customers might be searching for. This page will link to other pieces of content across your website that relate to that particular cluster. Think of this as your index or content page. This is the main source of information with other pieces linked off here.
Let’s take an insurance company as an example. One of the pillar pages for a business like this could be vehicle insurance. The page will detail the importance of vehicle insurance as a broad topic and link to stories for further reading. These stories could be about the most expensive vehicles to insure, what insurance doesn’t cover, why some people get lower or higher premiums on vehicle insurance, and so much more. The pillar page is, in a nutshell, the introduction page to all these other pieces of content. It’s typically the page that drives a lot of the search traffic because it’s been highly optimised for search. Smaller pieces of content then link back to the cluster page should the reader want to know more.
On a simpler level, imagine a gardening company’s website with a pillar page about planting vegetables. This page would have links to the best vegetables to plant in summer, vegetables that grow better in winter, what to plant if you want to harvest in a month and what to plant if you want the seeds to regrow every year.
So, now that you have an idea of what cluster content is, let’s dive into some tips on getting started.
Figure Out What Your Organisation Wants to Talk About
Here are some tips to establish your key pillars:
- Look at what your organisation is about and what you can speak authoritatively about.
- Choose your topics based on what your customer wants to know.
- Take a look at your frequently asked questions and see if certain themes are popping up.
For example, if you are a security company and your customers or potential customers are constantly asking about the best smart security solutions for their home, use that as a pillar. Dedicate one pillar to smart home security solutions and create further posts about how to set up a smart home, what you need for it and how it works.
Choose themes and topics you know you can develop multiple pieces for. The last thing you want is a pillar page that only links to one piece of content. That completely defeats the purpose.
Research These Topics
Now that your themes and topics are fleshed out, start your research. Find out what the search volume for these topics is. You want to ensure that the information you are providing is information people are searching for.
Make a list of keywords around your themes. Look into what words and phrases people use when searching for information around your chosen theme and use those as your base keywords. You should also use related terms and phrases as search engines aren’t only looking at keywords these days. They look at article relevance through related words, too.
These keywords and related terms will help you develop topics for the smaller posts under each content cluster or theme. These are essentially the SEO topic cluster.
Ensure That the Layout of Your Pillar Page Is Clean
No one is going to read your entire pillar page. They will skim it for information of interest to them. As such, it is important to keep the page layout clean and tidy. Remember to break up sections with subheadings. Think of this page as an index page for all your other content. You want people to navigate off this page easily and then come back. Make sure it’s as user-friendly as possible, or you will lose visitors.
Use the Content You Already Have for Pillar Content
Repurpose blog posts, white papers, ebooks and other pieces of content you already have. Go through all your content to see if there are emerging themes and buckets that you can group everything into. Starting here will save a lot of time and effort.
Use Professional Pillar Content Writing Services
Pillar content writing can take a lot of time and effort. However, it pays off in the long run if you do it right. If you feel like the task is too much for you and your team, there are professional agencies and services that focus on this specific type of content marketing. They are experts in how pillar content serves SEO. They will have writers and strategists on board who can guide you through the entire content strategy process and set you up for success.
These professional agencies will not only be able to establish a pillar content strategy for you, but they will also be able to help you write content when needed.
To conclude, let’s take a quick look at what benefits pillar pages bring to your business and website.
- It results in more time spent browsing your website as there’s more content for people to go through.
- Content will not lose its overall relevance over time.
- Pages are easily shareable and great for backlinks.
- It’s good for SEO because it has the potential to become one of the most-visited pages on your website.
Ultimately, pillar content will result in better search rankings, which is one of the key reasons for content marketing. It’s a lot of initial work, yes, but it’s worth it over time as these pages start to rank high up in search results.
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