In 2020, it’s vital to utilize marketing strategies that play into top trends. Two significant trends to consider are (1) the enormous shift to text-voice search and its impact on SEO and (2) the increased need to prioritize education above all else.
Pillar pages are a powerful tool that can do wonders for your website’s SEO while providing valuable educational content to your audience. When implemented correctly, these can help you generate quality new leads and nurture them through the funnel.
What’s a pillar page?
Pillar pages are ungated, all-encompassing guides that educate around a single topic. Typically, they exist as pages on your site and are listed in the main navigation bar.
Envision your content strategy, supported by main topics, under which you have many pieces of related content. The main topics are your pillars. You should aim for each of your blogs to fall under a pillar topic. These can then be used to cross-promote each other on corresponding pages.
Why should I create pillar pages?
You already have so many tools in your content strategy, why do you need this one? Consumers are shifting their mindset and today, 75% of tech buyers are less likely to consider a vendor that gates all content.
Pillar pages can dictate a large part of your content strategy, and when you’re regularly creating content already, it’s not inconvenient to start creating pillars as well.
One of the most substantial benefits of pillar pages is it helps you collect high-quality leads. When your audience downloads an ebook, it’s based on what you sell them on the landing page. When your audience chooses to download the pillar page as a resource, they’re telling you they find this content so valuable they (1) want to keep it (2) are willing to share their email in exchange for it.
Additionally, as a result of creating pillar pages, you’ll:
- Establish your brand’s subject matter expertise. This is especially important when potential customers are unsure if they need your service or product.
- Benefit from keyword density (a high volume of keywords on a single page) in ungated, long-form content and increase your domain’s SEO ranking.
How can I create my first pillar page?
While the idea of creating a long-form, all-encompassing resource on a single topic is often daunting, it doesn’t need to be. It’s a best practice for your pillar page to be regularly updated. Keep in mind that getting started with something is better than waiting to have a perfectly crafted pillar.
Identify a topic.
Your topic should be related to your buyers. Consider what’s important to them and what goals they’re trying to achieve. You should take an education-focused angle on your topic, ensuring you’re providing value to your audience. The chosen topic should be somehow related to your business, but shouldn’t directly discuss your products or services.
Do keyword research.
Use a tool like SEMRush to identify relevant keywords that have a high search volume. It’s best practice to use keywords with a search volume of a minimum of 700.
Build out the pillar.
Whether you’re pulling copy from pre-existing resources or creating it brand new, it — again — needs to be education-focused. Ideally, you’re aiming to create a resource at least 2,500 words long, but if it isn’t quite there at first, it’s okay.
Incorporate media throughout.
Since a pillar page should include tons of copy, it helps to break up big blocks of text with images, videos, and infographics. Incorporating media throughout your pillar page will also encourage users to stay on the page longer, which will, in turn, help boost your SEO.
Cross-link relevant content.
Link back to relevant blogs and resources throughout the page, as well as to external pages to cite statistics. You’ll see the most significant SEO benefit by being strategic with the words you hyperlink: aim to link keywords you want your page to rank for. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure your relevant blogs and resources are also linked to your pillar page.
Keep up with ongoing maintenance.
As discussed, your pillar page is a living resource. It should be updated regularly to add new content and refresh old. Update links as it makes sense, as well.
What best practices should I keep in mind?
As you’re building out and maintaining your pillar pages, consider these best practices:
- Utilize keywords with high search volume (aim for 700+).
- Link to both internal and external resources throughout the page.
- Use anchor links to make page navigation clear and easy to use.
- Offer a PDF download of the entire resource in exchange for a work email address.
- Make regular updates to the page.
Pillar pages can be a powerful tool in your content marketing toolbox. Incorporate them into your 2020 marketing strategy to play into the SEO shift and the increased need to focus on education over all else.
Interested in more ways you can generate and convert quality leads? Read this blog to explore the other four strategies that your 2020 marketing plan needs to incorporate.