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Selecting Pillar Page Topics – Ways to Go about It

— October 8, 2021

You can generate a long content piece to answer all queries in the buyer’s journey and enhance the domain authority and keyword rankings. 

Today there is excess content online! Hence, Google and other search engines are in an overdrive to read the content and rank it correctly. While relevant content and keyword research are essential, it has also become important to establish authority on a given subject.

Users today use long-form queries. About 29.13% of the keywords have monthly searches for more than 10,001 comprising three or more words. And with the increase in the conventional search intent, there are pillar page strategies ventured to the scene for catering to those queries. With umbrella-like content, topic clusters and pillar pages enable clear authority indication and easy categorization. 

It might sound easy to you. However, pillar page strategies are time-consuming and require comprehensive planning for correct execution akin to the SEO domain. To know more about it, you can get in touch with any SEO company in India. 

Understanding a pillar page

Simply put, a pillar page is a long-form content piece, such as a white paper or guide, which acts as the foundation for the topic clusters for specific topics. It provides primary data on the particular topic and links to cluster pages, which give details about the topic. The pillar pages should have a thorough explanation and get outlined as an “early-stage” content piece. Also, cluster pages that link to pillar pages should link to the same. 

Understanding a cluster page

Cluster pages can be a solution page, white paper or blog! It’s any content piece that acts as part of a cluster. And since most cluster pages are on similar topics, it is easy to link it to another associated cluster page and the primary pillar page. 

Selecting a topic for the pillar page

Selecting the correct pillar page topic is essential for a successful strategy. Keywords form an important part of SEO. However, topic selection has gained more prominence with algorithm updates in search engines. The search engines always reward content arranged by topic instead of keywords. You can refer to the pointers below for selecting the pillar page topic. 

  1. Select a relevant solution

A few SEOs are caught on searching the correct keywords and end up overlooking the big picture. It is essential to carry out keyword research and equally important to ponder on topics and solutions your end product resolves. And here, the buyer persona is critical. You need to know what your buyers are looking for and the queries they might have in the process. 

When you get a probable list of options, select a broad topic for generating cluster pages. A question with “yes” or “no” for an answer will not be appropriate for the strategy. 

For instance, “What is communication” is an extensive topic. And “communication between a boss and employee” is specific. Hence, the question, “What’s the apt communication at an office?” is all-encompassing to allow you to curate a long content piece. And it also provides scope to link to other aspects of office communication that seem specific. 

  1. Assess the SERP

At times we don’t realize how helpful SERP is in recognizing related questions. You can key in the pillar page topic on the search menu and assess the outcome. What are the kind of queries in “People Also Ask”? Are there the targeted ads on associated topics? Did you find a featured snippet? All these signify that you chose the correct topic. And if the pillar page topic doesn’t bring any of these, it might be working as a cluster page or isn’t the correct topic for you. 

  1. Assess the content

A content audit might appear to be a challenging task! However, it’s essential for a successful pillar page strategy. It is tough to write new content if you don’t know about the content you possess. And no one wants to duplicate their content. Hence, you should sort the current content into topics. It will help you to recognize similar pages. Are you able to re-prioritize any content for this strategy? Are you able to blend two content pieces? And when the content audit ends, you should recognize the content gaps. 

It is here that your new content will feature. The process will remove duplicate content pieces to ensure that your content library recognition is prepped for the best outcomes. The Google Sheet with the library is an easy and safe way for mapping the content. And for the pillar page strategy, most SEO experts suggest the Google Sheet, including tabs for recent content that should get optimized, structuring the pillar page, forming new content, and current rankings. 

The advantages of a pillar page strategy

Working on a pillar page strategy might appear like a time-consuming process and ample work. The question is – “Is it worth it?”. The answer is yes. 

Simply put, the pillar page strategies compel you to delve deep into buyer personas in the industry vertical. And if you blend it with topic clusters, you will answer the top funnel questions, such as “what is?” and the mid-funnel questions such as “benefits of,” along with the bottom funnel questions such as “the best of.” You will be generating relevant content for search engines and content for all phases of the buyer’s journey.

SEO and marketing terms; image courtesy of India7 Network, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes.
SEO and marketing terms; image courtesy of India7 Network, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0, no changes.

Other than the clean-up attained from the content audit, the website must also witness valid SEO advantages. It enables the users to move through your sales funnel and cover the gap present in the sales process. It can help to connect content generation to revenue, which is highly important for B2B. 

Generating a pillar page strategy isn’t challenging if you incorporate the following steps:

  • Make use of the buyer persona to recognize solutions about which you can curate diverse content. 
  • Assess SERP to know the kind of questions visitors ask and the content written about the selected topic.
  • Audit the content for gaps and optimize opportunities for the team to cluster associated content together and recognize duplicate content. 

Last but not least, pillar pages are essential for your content strategy. By recognizing the topics, your organization offers a solution. You can generate a long content piece to answer all queries in the buyer’s journey and enhance the domain authority and keyword rankings. 

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