A Pillar page is a 3,000-word-plus piece of content that lives as a main navigation page of your website. It covers one overall topic in depth and links to sub-pages of related content.
What is a pillar-content marketing strategy?
A pillar content strategy is designed around high-value pillar pages, sub-pillar pages, and supporting blogs on your website. It’s a carefully integrated hierarchy of content.
The strategy is based on a deep dive into each content pillar
Sub-pillar pages should be in the 2000-word range and blogs 750 words. Seems like a lot, right? Especially at a time when no one wants to clutter his/her website with content. It’s a struggle that I constantly have with my clients. “No one’s going to read this” is what I hear all the time. Well, they just might. For one thing, what if they really do want more information—shouldn’t you be providing it? And remember that Google needs words to go to work. Google’s bots need content in order to create its indices—this is ground zero–where it all begins.
Example of a sub-pillar page
If your pillar topic is “electronic signature,” sub-pillar page topics might include “electronic signature software,” “electronic signature types,” or “electronic signature tool examples.” This provides some insight on how thoughtfully a pillar hierarchy is constructed. I think of this as drilldown—drilling down from a comprehensive overview page to individual pages that provide more detail.
The development of pillar pages
What has fueled the growth of pillar pages? It has a lot to do with the way search has evolved. People are submitting longer, more conversational, more exacting search queries. Because search engines are smarter. Keywords are smarter and SERPS deliver better information. If you’re looking for a sushi restaurant, you’re not just keying in “restaurants” or even Japanese restaurants. You’re searching for “Japanese restaurants near me” or “Japanese restaurants near me with a robata bar”. More than 64% of searches include four-plus words.
Why pillar page strategy?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a moving target, and we’re all at the mercy of Google and its constantly changing algorithms. We’re all competing for ten positions on page 1 of a Google search. Organic search has little chance of competing with big investments in pay-per-click (PPC) that take over page one searches.
Content marketing is also overrated
Let’s face it. The thinking that we’ll produce the best content and magically win the attention of our ideal customers is a long shot. We may labor over our infographics and data-driven ebooks and blogs, but the likelihood of their driving traffic to our website is, frankly, remote. Even the most savvy among us is relying on good intentions and guesswork.
Pillar-based marketing (PBM) removes the need for guesswork
I’ve been using DemandJump, an application that has taken the lead as the go-to PBM platform. Its tools help marketers build effective pillar strategies that is based on realtime customer searches and data.
DemandJump analyzes topics that I key in
DJ comes up with actionable data and insights. I still have to do the writing, but DJ tells me what keywords I should be using, what questions I should be using for my subheads and H2 tags. It suggests the linking structures I need to create for the hierarchical structure of a pillar strategy—the pillar pages, sub-pillar pages, and supporting blogs—that will climb SERP rankings and drive new visitors to the content that I’m designing just for them.
Ask us about developing a pillar-page strategy for your website. Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing specialists.