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Creating a Pillar Content Strategy in Four Steps

beth kern

Posted by: Elizabeth Kern Alumni   |   Share:

The new buzzword seems to be pillar content strategy, but what does it mean and how do we create one? In short, this concept will help search engine algorithms help find your content so that you can have a better chance of ranking on the first page.

Before we jump into solving all your pillar content mysteries, let’s take a minute to learn more about HubSpot User Groups – New York City. On June 6th, SmartAcre® hosted the event where marketers from the city came together to learn best practices surrounding digital marketing and the technologies, like HubSpot, that support our work. Learn more about the group or to listen to presentations from the evening.

Now, as promised, let’s get ready to strategize!

What is a Pillar Content Strategy?

Pillar pages are designed to contain all the information you would typically cram into multiple white papers or eBooks on one singular page or blog post. Your pillar page is meant to focus on a particular topic you’re trying to rank for in the SERPs. The benefit of having all your information in one place allows visitors to get answers to their questions quickly and efficiently.

This is valuable because the way people search for information on the internet has evolved, leading search algorithms to evolve, too. People no longer search with just keywords or vague phrases. Time is precious, so they ask Siri or type in a search engine: “What’s the best strategy for pillar content?” Google has gotten better with understanding exactly what you mean to the point that the algorithm will guess exactly what you’re searching for and populate the rest of your query.

How To Create Pillar Content

 1. Choose a Topic

As we previously mentioned, you’ll want to focus your pillar page on one topic. Think big picture, not keywords (just yet). But it’s also important to not go too big either. For example, sales would be too large. There is just too much information on sales in general and your page would get out of control. Instead, hone your focus on a topic like “Inbound Sales”.

Pro Tip: Choose a topic where you are already ranking within the first three pages on Google for an added SEO boost!

2. Keyword Research

Contrary to what you may have heard, keywords are not dead. You’ll still need them in order to be successful with your pillar content strategy. Look at your topic and subtopics and roll your sleeves up for some keyword research. Keywords with a high search volume that fall under each subtopic will help you build out your page and what things you’ll need to cover in order to create a comprehensive guide.

Pro tip #2: Your keywords should include a mix of long-tail keywords and related phrases in order to maximize organic traffic.

3. Choose Subtopics

Next, you’ll need supporting elements to make your pillar content strategy a success. Subtopics are there to support your topic and continue to help your visitors get the answers they need. You’ll also want to make sure you have content on these topics, such as blogs, that you can link to on your pillar page. Let’s continue with our example from above, some of our subtopics might look like: Common myths about inbound sales, Inbound phones sales, What is an inbound sales methodology and so on. It’s best practice to have at least 5 subtopics.


Pillar Page Cluster Model
4. Start Drafting

Gather your research and start to develop your content. You can also break down, recycle and refresh content from an old eBook and align it with your updated keyword research and topics. As you’re writing, make sure you have internal links under each subtopic to link back to a site page or blog post to allow the reader to discover more information as they need it. Plus, linking your content together allows you to rank higher in search results.

And there you have it. A simple and effective solution for helping you get your content in front of people that want to see it. Ready to see examples of pillar pages? Check out some of our favorites below:

*Created with the help of SmartAcre.

Looking for support to develop your next pillar page strategy? Contact us today.