Have you discovered the concept of a pillar page and want to start writing your page? No rush, we give you 9 tips to implement so that your content is ultra-powerful!
Why create a pillar page?
The pillar page, also known as the pillar page, is a concept strongly inspired by the techniques of “semantic cocoons” used for many years in SEO. This long and very comprehensive landing page covers the entirety of a visitor’s request. So this is very important content on a website. And this for various reasons:
Improve your SEO
The pillar page is a major asset for your SEO. You must develop your website’s pillar page according to SEO policies. It is built around a flagship keyword related to your industry, and a whole myriad of related terms. It will therefore bring you highly qualified traffic from Google, thanks to these keywords judiciously placed in its editorial content. The pillar page is designed according to the semantic cocoon method, this means that all the themes related to this main keyword will be the subject of an internal mesh on this page. Google particularly appreciates web pages built in this way (according to “topic clusters”) because it considers them to be very relevant to the Internet user.
Demonstrate your expertise
If this type of page appeals to search engines, Internet users like it even more! Indeed, with this very detailed content and pointing to other even more detailed content, you can cover the subject in a very complete way. The reader will therefore find all the information he wishes to have. This will therefore position you as an expert in your field. No doubt the Internet user will be impressed by these pages!
But a pillar page is also content designed for conversion! After having attracted the Internet user, having convinced him of your expertise, he will have to be transformed into a lead. Nothing could be easier: you have to add a download form for high value-added content, for example, a white paper. The pillar page is a good place to do this because a person who has read it will necessarily be convinced and therefore will be in the best position to take the next step.
The pillar page is therefore a must for any good website. But be careful, do not do anything! For it to give the desired effects, it is necessary to respect several rules during its design. Here they are!
1st objective of your pillar page: improve your SEO
Rule #1 – Choose your “Topic Cluster” theme carefully
First of all, let’s look at the question of the “Topic Cluster” or semantic cocoon. This element directly participates in the creation of a pillar page. You must therefore target the main theme of your page, the one that primarily concerns your field of activity. You will then add links to related topics on this same page. In this way, the theme and its different keywords are anchored on the same page and are no longer dispersed over several articles. This methodology for it to be perfectly successful involves various points to be respected:
- The pillar page must include different themes which will be developed in secondary articles. It is, therefore, necessary to choose a theme that is an emblematic subject and which groups together sub-categories. For example, your pillar page could have Growth Marketing as a theme. Within it will appear links to secondary subjects related to the theme (Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media, etc.)
- Define your persona. By knowing who you are talking to, you will be able to define main and secondary themes relevant to your audience and your business. Pick topics that your audience wants to read that can drive more conversions for your business.
To help you build your pillar pages and the different subcategories, you can use the mind-mapping technique. This will help you to see more clearly and to structure your pages well.
Rule # 2 – Accurately Perform Your Keyword Research
The purpose of keyword research at this point is to find out what exact keywords will appear on the pillar page or topic groups. It is necessary to choose keywords that cover all aspects of the theme by first carrying out work on the semantic cocoon. This is significant work that will allow your pillar page (and secondary pages) to be well referenced. To create pillar pages, you must have the following:
- Your main keyword
- Related Keywords to Use as Sections: Each main keyword has multiple keywords that are strongly related to the main topic.
- Long-tail keywords: are keywords related to major keywords that have lower search volume but higher intent.
To find the best-performing terms, use an SEO tool or, better, call on an expert who will select the right queries based on search volumes on Google and others. Working on keywords is essential to attracting the audience you are targeting.
Rule # 3 – Structure your content for SEO
Creating a content plan is optional, but highly recommended. An outline will help you define your topics, select which pages on your site will link to as additional resources, decide what each section will cover and what keywords you will target. It will also allow you to produce well-balanced and compliant content from an SEO point of view.
Your content should also be structured according to SEO rules, this time with the more technical aspect in mind. Add titles (H1, H2, H3, etc.) in which you will indicate your keywords. Also, remember to carry out the internal linking, that is to say, the links to the secondary pages. You will need to remember to add the appropriate anchors for these links.
Don’t forget your images. To rank well, visuals should include relevant “alt” tags for images and design markup for videos and podcasts.
2nd Objective: demonstrate your expertise with a pillar page
Rule # 4 – Cover all aspects of the topic
As the pillar page aims to prove your expertise, you will need to take the greatest care in its editorial content. Before you start writing, you will need to do some thinking upstream. Start by determining what to include first, what is important to mention and what is optional, what fits on the pillar page, and what should be included on the secondary pages instead.
But keep in mind that a pillar page must be complete, so you should not stay in general; your content must bring significant added value to the reader. Writing a pillar page is therefore a clever mix between saying enough, but ensuring that the content remains digestible!
Rule # 5 – answer your audience’s questions
To help you know what to include in your editorial content, there’s nothing like putting yourself in your persona’s shoes! Try to think about what he needs to know, and what he expects to find by going to your page. When creating your personas, you will have identified recurring questions or issues. Your content must be able to answer these questions, this is how you can position yourself as an expert in the situation.
Also, put yourself within reach of your reader. You are an expert in your field and know all the details of your subject, but your potential client, is he really aware of this topic? Think about terms that may be obscure to the uninitiated and explain them. So you will have quality content that is easily understandable!
Rule # 6 – Write quality content
The actual copywriting is also a big aspect of building your pillar page. To look believable, you don’t just have to master your subject, you also have to do it in style! If your content is poorly written and riddled with spelling mistakes, there is no doubt that the effect will be disastrous on your target.
Your pillar page is a key part of your website, so don’t leave it to just anyone! Hire a seasoned copywriter to make sure the text is readable and sellable. Thus, you are also sure that your content is free from spelling or grammatical errors. In general, it is preferable to have the content written by a specialist in the topic, especially if it is quite specific.
Another solution is to write it yourself if you really want to be sure that the information is correct, even if it means having your text corrected and rewritten by a copywriter. But in any case, a pillar page is not written in a hurry: take enough time to write and correct the text.
Also, keep in mind that the pillar page must be sufficiently dense in content, it is not a blog post or a link directory. It must have a lot of content because it covers various topics in detail: it is usually 2000 to 4000 words long. It is, therefore, necessary to be both exhaustive and concise, but also precise in the drafting. A hell of a challenge!
Finally, it should be noted that your content must be evergreen: it is not obsolete and often updated over time.
Objective 3: convert with your pillar page
Rule #7 – Take care of the aesthetics of your page!
The substance is important, but the form is just as important. This is also what will allow you, in part, to convert! After you’ve designed the text, the next step is to add visuals to your pillar page to make it more interesting, easier to read, and also more selling. As the content is long, you are free to vary the pleasures and make reading easier!
Visuals can include:
Remember to take care of the layout (airy design, easy to read) to make your readers want to read on and go further, for example by then downloading your premium content.
Since we’re talking about conversion, also consider adding a prominent CTA, with a little catchphrase. A nice banner can also help you convert.
Rule # 8 – Optimize the user experience
The last thing to do before hitting the publish button is to review the layout. Thus, you are sure that the Internet user will have a pleasant experience while browsing your site. You may decide to format your pillar pages differently from other pages on the site to make them easily identifiable.
You need to make sure that:
- The webpage loads quickly and looks good on all devices.
- Your headings (H1-H6) for the different sections have a different format than the rest of the content.
- All images or videos need to be properly optimized (alt text, layout, image compression )
Rule # 9 – Monitor the performance of your pillar page
But once the pillar page goes live, the job is not done! You need to monitor its performance regularly. You have spent a lot of time (and possibly money) creating this page, so it’s important to know how well it performs in order to make the necessary optimizations, if necessary.
The most important KPIs to watch are:
- Pageviews: how many times your pillar page has been accessed.
- Bounce Rate: Percentage of people who reached the page and left without visiting a second page on your site. The lower the number, the better.
- Leads/conversions: how many leads were generated on the pillar page (subscription to your newsletter, download of premium content in exchange for an email address, etc.)
- Organic traffic: how many people came to the page through search engines.
- Ranking: under which keywords your page is ranked in Google and other search engines.
But don’t be too quick to draw conclusions. In fact, it may take a few months for your page to reach optimal rankings, so be patient.