What Are Pillar Pages?
A pillar page is just like its namesake; integral to structure and a real design statement. In terms of websites, pillar pages prop up the rest of your content, providing the hub around which to organise everything else. But it’s not only about site architecture – they’ve been proven to boost your rankings in the Google search results because they establish you as an authority in your chosen field. As with any long-form content though, designing, writing, and implementing them on your website can be tricky to get right.
At Squarebird, we’re digital natives, constantly evolving to keep up with the fast-moving pace of the digital world. We know websites and can help you transform your site from slow mover to high performer. If you want to boost your search rankings, we can implement a range of SEO solutions, website hacks and content optimisation techniques that will see your site soar.
In this guide, we explore pillar pages in more detail and provide some hints and tips about how to incorporate this new trend on your website.
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What is a Pillar Page?
A pillar page is a web page featuring a long piece of content that comprehensively covers a broad topic and links out to other, more specific blog articles. These cluster pages will elaborate on subcategories and keywords and link back to the main pillar page.
Typically, the pillar page is longer but less detailed than a normal blog post – they can fall anywhere between 2,000 and 10,000 words. The focus when writing a pillar page is breadth rather than depth.
Importantly, pillar pages are not just long web pages; they structure and organise the rest of your blog posts. They’re a large, broad topic around which you can build your content – quite literally the ‘pillars’ that support your website. Basically, they’re intended to answer user questions, but also provide links to even more information. That’s why it’s not just about the writing, but your internal linking structure too.
Pillar pages create seamless, interconnected user experiences because there are clear pathways to the information viewers are looking for. That’s why the Google bots like them too!
See more: Google’s May 2021 Algorithm Update – Page Experience
Here’s what your blog feed might look like!
Pillar Pages vs Landing Pages
A landing page aims to convert a user into a lead. Crucially, this means keeping the content concise, with clear call to actions. A pillar page, on the other hand, is all about creating a broad overview of a subject and is therefore not optimised to covert users. A pillar page is more about improving your website’s search ranking through providing engaging content. This will, of course, lead to conversions down the line, it’s just not the primary objective.
Read next: What is a Content SEO Strategy?
Types of Pillar Page
Service Pillar Page
A pillar page for an e-commerce store or service business collates all your products and/or services on one page. This makes it easier for them to navigate your site, see your offering at a glance and find what they’re looking for more easily.
Read more: How to Drive Conversions on an E-Commerce Website
10x Pillar Page
The most common type of pillar page, 10x pages contain a broad overview of your chosen topic usually in the form of a guide or in-depth report. They will also provide a blurb and link to various subtopic pages.
Resource Pillar Page
A curated web page that briefly explains subtopics and collates links to other resources. This kind of pillar page is on the shorter side, and depends upon a strong backlink strategy. They are useful for users who want to find out more information quickly.
How Do Pillar Pages Improve SEO?
These days, there is so much content available online, it’s not enough to just write quality blog articles. User queries are generally longer and more specific. It’s becoming increasingly important to structure your content in such a way that users (and the search bots!) can find all the information they need easily. Pillar pages are proven to help you rank higher in the Google search results. This is because:
- It makes it easier for the search bots to crawl your website. Google can determine exactly what your web page is about as every cluster page links back to the main pillar page.
- A pillar page and topic cluster structure means you provide an exhaustive account of a chosen topic, ensuring you satisfy search intent. This makes it more likely that Google will consider you an authority on the subject and rank you higher.
- Content is organised in an intuitive way, improving user experience (a key ranking factor!) and helping visitors and search bots navigate your website with ease.
Read more: What is SEO and How Does it Work?
How to Create an Effective Pillar Page
First thing’s first, you need to decide on your topic. Don’t focus on keywords at this point, but a larger subject area with plenty of potential content that is relevant to your business. This should be quite broad to ensure you have enough to say on the pillar page and provide plenty of potential blog post ideas that you can tailor to specific keywords.
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Write Pillar Page
Pillar pages are long-form content. This makes structuring your writing effectively even more important. Make it easy for your audience to quickly scan the page and find the information they want or a link to the in-depth article.
Start with a broad overview of the subject area, then dive into each subcategory but hold some information back for the topic cluster pages. You need to give users a reason to click on your internal links, so keep them wanting more. Despite this, you need to fulfil their search intent so don’t be vague – it’s a delicate balance!
A well-designed page creates a positive user experience and greatly reduces bounce rate. Try to break up the content with exciting visuals, images, and engaging design elements. Other important features include:
- Contents Page
- Headings & Title Tags
- Back to Top Buttons
- Call to Actions
Need some help getting it right? We design websites – discover our head-turning creative solutions >
A key element of any effective pillar page and topic cluster is the link structure. Incorporate plenty of links into the content (around 20 is a good number to aim for), and make sure all your topic cluster pages link back to the main pillar page.
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