What are content pillars, and how they can be used to help your business improve its search engine optimisation?

 

In this article, we will describe how to create a content pillar and how it can effectively improve your business’s organic search engine optimisation.

 

Written by: Ryan Walsh

Like most businesses, you will undoubtedly want to improve your company’s Google rankings, but as you might know, this will likely involve a lot of work and time.

Therefore, you might be looking at ways to improve your organic search engine optimisation and might have come across the term that content is king?

Well, it most definitely is; if you generate high-quality, well-written, brilliant content marketing, by slowly adding this to your website can dramatically affect your business’s organic SEO.

So, what exactly is pillar content?

A pillar page is basically a piece of content marketing that covers a lot of questions in an in-depth way, directly relating to a product or a service your business offers.

This page will aim to answer as many questions as possible but also keep the shopper’s attention.

So, for example, they might be shopping around for a rather generic item, such as a dishwasher.

However, if you have a main page that starts to explain energy ratings, as well as features that you might want from a dishwasher, such as being able to wash the dishes quickly, and also which manufacturers offer super long guarantees.

This could be written in text or incorporate a YouTube video; because you have covered the matter in depth, this could be considered a piece of “evergreen content marketing” or, as some SEO consultants describe it, has “pillar content”.

 

Aim to be better

As with everything related to search engine optimisation, you are in constant competition with the direct competitors SEO, who will also want their business to be ranked at the top of Google.

Many SEO companies offer rather generic advice that you should evaluate your competitor’s websites, then pick out their strengths and incorporate them into your site. We don’t mean copying and pasting but taking inspiration from their writing and how they have designed their website and some of the helpful features it may offer shoppers, such as having an FAQ on every page.

But this will only push you forward so far; it will only help you match the standards of your competitors.

When, as a matter of fact, what you need to do is stand head and shoulders above your competitors, and how exactly do you do that?

Well, you create pillar content, or evergreen content marketing, which doesn’t aim to match the standard of your main competitor; no, it seeks to exceed that standard and overtake it.

In essence, it aims to be a lot better; in every way, it should be more robust, better written, and incorporate something the competition is not offering.

So it’s all well and good advising a business that they should be creating content marketing that is a million times better than the competition, but how do you go about this?

Let’s give you a real-world scenario for a second, so picture this and come on the journey with us.

Let’s say that your business manufactures vacuum cleaners, yet your item is better.

So why not create a page stating the brand of the vacuum cleaner that you manufacture and break down precisely what makes it a better product?

At the top could be a YouTube video explaining that the components are far superior.

Scroll down a little more, and you can see that the business has a lot of positive reviews. You illustrate this in a clear star rating from a website such as Trust Pilot.

Then you scroll down a little bit more, and there is some content marketing in the way of bullet points explaining what makes that product superior.

Then, you could push the boat out and create some YouTube videos showing half of the carpet being hoovered by your vacuum cleaner and the other half being cleaned by another -well-known manufacturer or vacuum cleaner.

The video may show that your product is superior because it cleans the carpet better.

Scroll down a little bit more, and you have a comprehensive set of questions that have been answered in an accordion layout, so the customers can click on a question, such as how long is the vacuum cleaner guaranteed for, and then the answer appears below.

With a piece of work like this, it shows that you put massive effort into it; you’re not just doing it to improve your business’s search engine optimisation; no, what you are doing is helping the customer to understand exactly what the benefits of owning that vacuum cleaner are.

What exactly is a topic cluster?

Topic clusters are additional pages or blog posts built to support your main pillar pages.

Internal linking
You would create a piece of pillar content, which might take your content writer’s best part of the week to complete, because you want that work to rank at the top of Google, and you want that page to attract a lot of organic visitors.

Yet you can also create blog posts and other pages, described as topic clusters, that you can link back to the pillar content.
Then, you can use your pillar content as a link to the topic clusters.

So, for example, if you are writing about, let’s say, aluminium ladders, you can link back to the blog posts about this product.
Internal links are a great way of helping shoppers to find other products and services they might be interested in purchasing.

It also clarifies to search engines what products and services you sell, for example, if you have many pages about aluminium ladders. You have pillar content and content clusters that describe this item; then, it’s clear to Google that you sell this product.