Pillar pages should be an integral part of your content strategy. Creating pillar pages is one of the best ways to strengthen your SEO strategy, boost your website traffic, and generate more inbound links to your website.

A pillar page is generally a detailed guide or helpful resource on a specific topic. Most successful websites have multiple pillar pages, and these are often the main sources of new traffic. Here’s what you need to know about how to create a pillar page that ranks and why it’s important.

What Are Pillar Pages?

A pillar page is a high-quality piece of long-form content that gives readers a broad overview of a key topic. Articles and guides between 2,000 to 2,250 words usually perform the best when it comes to Google search rankings, but some pillar pages are even longer.

Pillar pages are somewhat like a table of contents and often include internal links to pages that go in-depth on important subtopics. These are incredibly helpful for organizing your content, building links, and helping your readers find the information they need.

Creating pillar pages is also an important part of a successful content strategy. Especially as your pillar pages can significantly help build your Google search rankings and generate more inbound links from other websites.

How Should You Put Pillar Pages Together?

Pillar pages help break down complex topics into easily readable sub-sections. For example, check out our pillar page on email marketing. This gives users a detailed yet easy-to-digest guide on everything they need to know about the subject while also providing links to other helpful resources.

The first step is to identify which key ideas or subjects you want to create pillar pages for. For instance, marketing websites might have pillar pages for content marketing, social media, email marketing, and link building.

Pillar pages can take many forms, but these three types of pillar pages perform particularly well: 

  • “How To” Pillar Pages: These provide an extensive how-to guide or tutorial on a specific topic. 
  • “What Is” Pillar Pages: These tackle common questions that consumers often have on a specific topic. 
  • “Best Of” Pillar Pages: These offer an extensive list of the best products or resources for a specific need. These usually include various internal and external links. 

How To Create a Pillar Page That Ranks

Building a high-ranking pillar page involves four important steps.

Step 1: Identify Keywords That You Want to Rank For

Start by carrying out keyword research on the topic that you want to rank for. For instance, if you want to create a pillar page on taxes for your accounting website, search for common keywords and questions related to taxes.

You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and Moz. You should also check for similar pages on Google to assess your competition, finetune your keywords, and make your content unique.

It doesn’t hurt to see if you’re already ranking for these keywords. If you are, you’ll want to update the URL that’s already ranking with your pillar page content. You can check to see if you’re already ranking by doing a keyword gap analysis against your competitors and search the keywords for the one you’re looking to prioritize. 

Step 2: Create Content For Your Chosen Keywords

The next step is to create a pillar page for your chosen subject. Focus on a keyword that’s likely to help you rank on Google and boost your traffic (so, one that doesn’t have an extremely high search volume). It’s best to make your title unique from competitors while still using commonly-searched keywords and search terms. A great tool that can help you make sure your headlines resonate is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

Break your pillar page into helpful sub-sections that tackle the topic and answer common questions and concerns that people have on the subject matter. Remember to also include helpful links to related resources, as well as your other content that is related to the topic, using keywords as anchor text. 

Step 3: Optimize Your Existing Content

We mentioned this earlier, but allow us to elaborate. If you already have a blog post that ranks for a specific keyword, you should optimize that content by making it more in-depth, detailed, and easier to read.

Doing so can often help you boost your rankings. For instance, if you have a blog post that’s currently third for a specific topic, you can boost it to second or first by rounding it out more, sharing more tips, and diving into areas you neglected to touch on previously. 

Step 4: Work On Your Link Building Strategy

Your pillar pages can be incredibly helpful for building internal links to your website. Research found that long-form content gets 77.2% more links than short-form articles. 

Start by including internal links to your pillar pages from blog posts that mention the topics in any capacity. Just make sure you use the same keyword or long-tail keywords every time. You can also build links by reaching out to other sites to see if they’ll add a link to your page in their content. Or, create guest posts that include a link back to your pillar page to absorb the SEO juice of other high-ranking websites.

Following these steps will help you build high-ranking pillar pages that rank on Google and other search engines. This will help you generate more traffic, get more conversions, and boost your overall success. Just make sure that you routinely measure the success of your SEO strategy to determine when and if these pages need to be updated. 

Remember, content marketing and email marketing are intertwined. The better your content is, the better your email marketing can be. And the more site traffic your content generates, the more opportunity you have to grow your email list.

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by Benchmark Team