The use of search engines has changed: Users are increasingly asking complex and well-formulated search queries. Search queries with different expressions and perspectives on actually the same topics are entered. The Google algorithm also increasingly considers websites that provide a topic-based, semantic connection to search queries.
A single keyword-optimized page is usually no longer sufficient. The so-called pillar content offers a remedy. In the following, we explain what pillar content is all about, its advantages, and how it is best created.
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Pillar Content As A New Structural Concept Of Pillars And Clusters
The creation of pillar content is based on a strategy in content marketing, with which we structure and prepare main content and associated secondary content in a meaningful way. The English term “pillar” means “column,” “pillar,” or “support.” Pillar content is a more extensive main topic (core content) around which different topics or content clusters (sub-topics) are then gathered. In this context, the term pillar pages are often used. The pillar page serves as the first contact or distribution page for the main topic, referencing the other subtopics. The pillar page is, therefore, the support or pillar for further sub-topics, as the following example illustrates:
venting the heating, topping up water for heating, types of heating, heating for new buildings, replacing heating, state funding for heating, heating in winter/summer, heating defective, heating costs, heating replacement, heating flow temperature. Pillar content thus pursues the goal of a holistic coverage of entire subject areas. Through the use of pillar content, several aspects of a larger complex of topics are taken up, structured, and dealt with at the same time – without losing sight of the big picture.
Main Page, Content Clusters, And Hyperlinks The Foundations Of Pillar Content
The provision of pillar content follows a classic structure of three parts to organize planned content.
- The pillar page serves as the main page. It provides a comprehensive but compact provision of information on the overarching topic. It gives a first rough overview.
- In addition to the pillar page, there is the content cluster. Content clusters are subpages, and each has its URL. They cover the subtopics mentioned on the main page in greater depth and more detail.
- Well-placed internal links or hyperlinks are crucial for the clarity of pillar content. The hyperlinks connect the planned main and subpages. A semantic relationship is created between the individual contents. Search engines recognize thematic connections more efficiently and prioritize pillar content in the search results by compressing the content.
The format can be freely selected with Pillar Content. The content of the content cluster can be presented in different forms, for example, in blog or magazine articles, videos, infographics, or more extensive picture galleries.
Positive Effects Of Pillar Content High Relevance For Search Engine Optimization
The focus is no longer on individual keywords: the algorithms take into account connections to similar topics, multiple keywords, or similar expressions and questions. With the use of pillar content, it is possible to meet the new algorithms’ requirements and be better recorded by search engines.
Thanks to the straightforward arrangement and structuring of larger subject areas, pillar pages provide several advantages:
- The user-friendliness on the website increases significantly, as the navigation between main and sub-topics is structured. Related or topic-relevant posts are easier to capture and find.
- Due to the straightforward navigation, pillar pages increase the likelihood of user engagement. Linking relevant pages results in more page views, which increases the length of stay.
- Pillar content usually ensures an increase in qualified search engine traffic. It offers more range and answers on keywords and search queries. Pillar content thus increases the website relevance for search engines like Google.
- Pillar pages are ideal for meaningfully integrating specific or more detailed keywords, so-called long-tail keywords, into a topic context. They are dealt with in-depth on subpages, thus contributing to a higher overall ranking of the website or pillar page.
- Through semantic connections and comprehensive preparation of related topics, pillar pages can achieve thematic authority. Google can consider such websites to be leaders when it comes to specific issues. The pillar page is seen as a valuable source and has achieved expert status on Google. This increases the likelihood that backlinks will be generated from external sites. The external backlinks, in turn, strengthen the ranking profile of the pillar pages.
Pillar Content In Just A Few Steps Proceed In A Structured Manner When Creating
We can divide the concrete creation of pillar content and pillar pages into different phases:
- First, it is essential to determine the core topic with which the website should appear in the rankings. The main keyword is defined for this. When choosing the main issue, make sure that enough sub-topics are generated. For an initial orientation, a ratio of 1: 8 can be aimed so that a pillar page refers to around eight content clusters. The actual number of subtopics always depends on the topic.
- Based on the core topic, extensive research is carried out on related and other relevant keywords and W-questions (e.g., where, how, what, why, by what means) to identify sub-topics. The corresponding search volumes must also be taken into account to achieve high organic traffic later.
- Once the core topic has been defined, and suitable subtopics have been selected, these are transferred to an initial structure. It is essential to determine the pillar page, content cluster, and internal links under the pages – always considering a meaningful and straightforward navigation and link structure for search engines and users.
- After structuring and grouping the topics and pages, the content is created. The content creation for the content clusters is based on the previously defined keywords to avoid possible overlaps or later cannibalization effects of the pages. The content on the main page is generally general and short, while the content on the subpages is thematically more detailed and comprehensive. Well, thought-out processes within content editing help create texts. In our guide to SEO copywriting, we outline the content creation process in detail.
- Regardless of the page type, the content must always be checked to ensure that it is up-to-date and correct. New topics can be integrated at any time.
Creating pillar content can be time-consuming and costly, especially when creating new content. Another approach is to view and use existing content on the website. If topics already exist in different places on the website, they can be reorganized on a pillar page and linked.