Creating pillar pages is the best way to organize your website content and develop an ultimate guide with multiple pieces of content targeting related keywords that don't cannibalize each other.
It is an effective way of improving the user experience of your website and increasing organic traffic.
But how do you create an awesome pillar page? Where do you start for an apt pillar page template, and how will you ensure your pillar page answers every question from your target audience?
Through this blog, we will help you understand the process of creating your own pillar page and share a ready-to-use pillar page template for your reference.
Why do you need to invest in a pillar page strategy?
A pillar page content strategy aims to establish topical authority for broad topics related to your company. In this strategy, you create a long-form content piece called a "pillar page," which functions as a complete guide on everything related to the specific topic and the specific keyword.
The pillar page starts from the basics and covers the most complex ideas in an easy-to-understand manner. And for those subtopics that need further explanation or understanding, the pillar page links to cluster content (subtopics) for more information. Similarly, the individual subtopic blog posts also link back to the pillar page.
Just like you will find more information on pillar pages in this Scalenut blog, “What is a pillar page and how does it boost your SEO rankings,” any pillar page links to other relevant content. These could include best practices, step-by-step guides, and top trends related to your pillar page topic.
This way, a pillar content strategy creates a well-defined, interlinked infrastructure of information on your website, improving the user experience and SERP indexing.
Here are some of the key benefits of a pillar content strategy:
- Establishing authority on the brand and industry-relevant topics.
- Nurturing a community of potential customers with amazing content.
- Facilitating better crawling and indexing by search engine algorithms.
- Targeting multiple keywords without cannibalizing different pages on your website.
- Guiding your content marketing efforts with a result-oriented strategy.
- Securing backlinks from other websites that talk about related topics.
These are just some of the many benefits of a pillar content strategy. To learn more about the topic, you may want to refer to this in-depth Scalenut blog on pillar content strategy.
Free pillar page template to get you started
Now that you have an overview of pillar page basics, let’s get to work and create an amazing pillar page for your company. Let's break down a pillar page template and the steps involved.
Build topic cluster strategy
Topic clusters are a group of related content topics on which you will create your pillar page and cluster blogs. It is important that you create a comprehensive topic cluster to cover all the aspects of your broad topic and answer all the questions of the reader.
To create a topic cluster, start by identifying related keywords for your broad topic. You will see the different ways people are searching for information. For example, in the above image, the topic cluster for ‘planning a family trip’ contains sub-topics like travel planner, trip budget, packing, and places to visit.
Manual research for creating topic clusters can be difficult. Tools like the Topic Cluster generator by Scalenut can help you create research-backed clusters with minimal effort.
Simply enter your target keyword and location, and the tool will produce a detailed topic cluster report with related keywords and individual keyword search volumes. You can use this information to finalize the central topic for your main pillar page and cluster topics for the supporting blogs.
Content outline template
The second step is to create a content outline for all the topics in your cluster. From the pillar page to the last subtopic blog, every piece of content should have a defined outline. This exercise will ensure content quality and identify easy opportunities for hyperlinks right at the start.
To create a content outline, start by listing the main points you want to cover in the piece. Club those points based on relevance and create working headings for each section. Remember, your heading should be keyword-loaded for maximum impact.
For instance, in the image above, you can see the content outline for this very blog, how it highlights all the important points to be discussed and defines the flow of information for the piece.
SERP analysis is the most important part of creating a pillar page because it involves inspecting the top-ranking competitors for your broad term. While analyzing a web page from a SERP, look at the basic metrics such as PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority). You can use a free tool like Mozbar to do this.
Create a list of the titles and descriptions of all the top results with PA and DA. If you’re making notes, you could link to them on your SERP analysis page. The goal is to analyze the SERP for your target keyword and understand the quality and quantity of content that can rank.
Internal links with anchor text
The goal of every pillar page is to create a comprehensive linking structure where you can help visitors get in-depth information on every topic related to your company. It is important you use the same anchor text everywhere you link to a cluster blog.
Create a preset list of anchor text and the corresponding links to keep it handy when creating content. Using the same anchor text for a link helps search engine algorithms establish a relationship between the keyword used in the anchor text and the linking source.
Citations and references
Citations and references help the visitor verify the facts and statistics in your content and increase the credibility of your content. While researching for your pillar page content, you will find many amazing statistics you could integrate into your content.
Creating a list of citations and references will help you use them later during the content creation process. In this step, you should list all the sources of information, mention the intriguing fact or statistic, and keep a link to the page for future reference.
FAQs have become an integral part of blogs. Website visitors are often short of time, and they love skimming through content and reading the FAQs to decide whether they should read the blog in detail or not.
Create a list of popular FAQs related to your topic. You can find FAQ inspiration from competitor blogs or the ‘People Also Ask’ section of Google SERPs. Community forums like Quora, Reddit, and Discord are also great sources for identifying FAQs.
CTAs are tricky. It is important to have a ready reckoner of different angles from which you can pitch your product or services. Put on your creative hat and list the ways in which you can link to your product page or services section.
Try and address the problem with your CTAs. If you are sure about the placement of the CTAs, you can add a column for ‘CTA Location’ for future reference.
To summarize, creating a pillar page is a long task, but the results are worth the effort. Marketers and SEO strategists both stand to benefit from following pillar page best practices like the ones mentioned above.
Remember, the goal is to create a central repository of information that addresses all the concerns of the reader. Focus on the readability of your content. Make sure visitors find useful information when they click on hyperlinks in your subtopic blog post.
Download the free pillar page template for your use
By now, we hope you have a fair understanding of what must be done to create an awesome pillar page.
You can download the free pillar page template for future reference here.