photo of row of pillars with sunlight pouring between them

As digital marketers know, having quality content on your website is an excellent way to bring in organic traffic from search engines. Unfortunately, no matter how many great topics you cover, there will always be thousands of other websites releasing similar content. How can you improve your search ranking and stand out from the crowd? The answer is content pillars.

  1. What are Content Pillars?

    It’s now a common practice to run a company blog, where you can share your expertise in your industry. Your marketing team has identified the topics that resonate with your target audience. When you create content pillars, though, you position yourself as an authority on a specific topic.

    A content pillar gives a comprehensive overview of an expansive topic. It can take the shape of a detailed how-to guide, an extensive resource list, or a set of blogs, videos, and other content exploring a topic. The gold standard for pillar content is the “10x pillar,” i.e. content that is ten times better than anything else on the topic. That should be your goal.

  1. What Makes a Powerful Content Pillar?

    The content pillar surrounds a “pillar page,” as you might have guessed. This page should be highly engaging, easy to navigate, and chock-full of valuable information. It should lure the reader in and make them want to bookmark the page for safekeeping — or link to it from their content! Use lots of graphics, bullet points, illustrations, and detailed explanations to provide a rich, rewarding experience for
    the reader.

  1. How Content Pillars Drive Traffic

    Whether your content pillar is a single, in-depth page or a set of related pages, it powers up your site’s SEO. Information-rich, high-value content is prized by users, which means it’s favored by Google. Also, having multiple pages linked together on your site improves your ranking. No matter which type of content pillar you develop, there’s plenty of opportunity to:

    • Use plenty of keywords.
    • Add outbound links to high-authority sites.
    • Interlink pages on your site.
    • Create content that can become Google Featured Snippets.
    • Boost reading time and therefore engagement with your website.
    • Convince readers to take action (e.g. booking a call, requesting a free trial).

    All of these benefits will bring traffic to yourself and provide a meaningful experience that can drive brand loyalty and conversions. The key is to deliver optimal value to your audience through a definitive source of information.

  1. How to Develop Content Pillars

    Choose several topics on which your company is an authority. The topics should be specific enough that you can target your niche, but broad enough that you can drill down into details from a general overview. Think about topics where you can offer different types of information, e.g. tutorials, resources, app recommendations, historical overviews, trivia, etc. The goal of a pillar is to demonstrate your expertise on a topic.

    Then, audit your current content. Can any of it be repurposed into a pillar? Are there common themes or related posts that you could assemble into a pillar page?

    Finally, map out your content pillar. Create a thorough outline of what you will create and how each part of the pillar will support the others. Decide how and when the content will be released and promoted. You can use “topic clusters” across your various platforms (social media, email campaigns, etc.) to further support and drive traffic to the pillar.

  1. Conclusion

    A content pillar is an effective way to demonstrate thought leadership and industry expertise in your field. Moreover, it holds immense potential to improve your website’s SEO and drive traffic to your site. When developing your content pillars, choose topics that you can explore thoroughly from multiple angles, then map out a way to release that content to your target audience. With at least one strong pillar in place, you can grow both your company’s traffic and brand reputation.

    Want to incorporate content pillars into your content marketing strategy? Our digital marketing experts are happy to help.

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