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Pillar Content Marketing Strategy in SEO

SEO Blog, Thought Leadership
Pillar content marketing is an important part of a thought leadership campaign.

When you’re interviewing marketing firms to increase your organic search presence, ask what they know about pillar content marketing. Any knowledgeable firm should be able to tell you:

  • What pillar content marketing is
  • How pillar content marketing functions within SEO to increase rankings
  • What makes pillar content marketing effective in lead generation 

The answers to these three content marketing questions are below. If you’re a member of your marketing leadership team, you can use this knowledge to evaluate content marketing partners.

Pillar Content Marketing Strategies: The Basics

Let’s go over the basics: 

What are pillar pages? 

Pillar pages are large, comprehensive pages written on broad topics, which support other, smaller pages written on related, niche topics (sometimes called cluster pages). Pillar pages tell Google that a website has a “density” of expertise within a topic area, leading to higher organic search rankings in that area.

Here is an example of a pillar page written by an industrial pallet supplier that is targeting the broad keyword “plastic pallets”:

As you can see, it covers all the basic information a searcher could possibly want to know about plastic pallets. What you can’t see are the links to and from many smaller cluster pages addressing each important aspect of plastic pallets in greater detail. 

How does pillar content marketing function within SEO to increase rankings?

Pillar Pages are used to rank for “holy grail” keywords that indicate industry dominance. They act target broad keywords at the base of many searches. Because they provide such a comprehensive answer to these keywords and are linked with so many pages targeting variations of the same keyword that they become more trusted by Google. So, they rank higher.

Because they rank higher, they also increase Google’s trust of the smaller, cluster pages they link with. In short, they become an interconnected system, stronger than the sum of its parts.  

Since Pillar Pages target high search volume keywords, they require a lot of internal links from smaller pages in order to rank. They’re targeting a keyword so broad and with such high search volume that they require 5-10 other pages to support them. Which gives 5-10 other pages that much more visibility.

What makes pillar content marketing effective in attracting leads? 

Enough with the what and the how—let’s get to the why. The reason pillar pages need to rank high on Google is that they are highly valuable, transactional pages. Also, each of the smaller pages they link with targets a potential customer searching for what your business offers. 

For instance, on a “cloud security solutions”-targeted pillar page, we might link to a host of landing pages and blog entries within that container, targeting:

  • best cloud security solutions 2021
  • cloud security solutions comparison
  • cloud security solutions faqs
  • Cloud security solutions cost

We might also link to service landing pages linked from the top header targeting keywords like “cloud data security solutions” and “hybrid cloud security solutions”.

Pillar content marketing lets you group content by topic.Each of those pages targets a potential customer searching for cloud security. Because they’re supported by a pillar page, they’re each more visible to your customers. When your customers find the answers they’re looking for, they buy from the company which provided them. 

If the content marketing firm you’re vetting provides similar answers to the questions above, that’s a good thing. It means they’ve done at least a little bit of research, and are familiar with the terms used in the industry. It demonstrates basic content marketing competence. 

If basic is good enough for your company, hire them. But word to the wise—there are only 10 spots on Google worth any money to your business. If you want to see your website in one of these top spots, you’ll need to find a company with writers who can do more.

Anyone can produce content. But thought leadership firms produce results. To find out more, get in touch with us today.

Evan Bailyn

Evan Bailyn is a best-selling author and award-winning speaker on the subjects of SEO and thought leadership. Contact Evan here.