What is an SEO Pillar Page?
An SEO pillar page is a page on your website that is the topical cornerstone for a large portion of your site’s content. It is the basis on which a topic cluster is built as it covers all aspects of the topic on a single page (with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page).
For example, a pillar content page on SEO might briefly touch on technical SEO and then link to a cluster page that goes far more in-depth on the topic.
Usually longer than a typical blog post, an SEO pillar page is what unites each category of website content. Pillar pages organize all of that content for an SEO benefit. It covers pretty much everything your target audience should know about a topic. This also helps Google recognize what your website is actually about, and more importantly, what it’s most useful for.
Search engines like Google prefer it when you create an articulate website experience where the hyperlinks make sense and communicate to Google exactly what each piece of content is about.
How Does a Pillar Page Help with SEO Rankings?
When every article you write about a certain topic have backlinks to a pillar page that discusses that same topic (for example, a topic around weight loss), search engine like Google, Bing and Yahoo immediately recognizes the content and piece them all together. Accordingly, this algorithm helps to rank you better.
Matter-of-factly, there are genuine SEO benefits from tying your content together topically. Firstly, it consolidates and amplifies because having a well-visited single focused content page increase the page’s rank. Also, it helps to effectively respond to research queries by offering several content cluster links on a single page.
Relatedly, due to the fact that search engines favor fresher content, tying older and evergreen content to a pillar page usually helps to increase the SEO ranking.
7 Types of Pillar Pages
There are two major types of pillar pages. These are the resources pillar page and the 10x content pillar page. However, other types are subdivisions of these two.
1. 10x Pillar Page
A 10x pillar page generally contains your owned media, the content you own and control. The format is similar to an ungated e-book or a guide. A 10x page is expected to be simply 10 times better than any other resource out there covering that topic.
2. Resource Pillar Page
The resource pillar page is a bookmarkable reference page of valuable like-themed links. This page acts as a tool for users, filled to the brim with both internal and external links to the most relevant content on the topic. When creating pages like this, your linking strategy is important to consider.
3. Product/Service Pillar Page
If your business offers multiple products and services, you might benefit from a pillar page focused on a product or service.
4. Guide Pillar Page
A “guide” pillar page strives to be the ultimate authority on a subject. It could be a 101 guide for beginners or something more sophisticated aimed at a specific industry segment. A guide or an “ultimate guide” serves to establish your authority in a field or subject matter, builds your brand, and helps establish trust with a particular audience.
The guide pillar page gives a comprehensive overview of a topic that makes it an authoritative destination for those interested in the subject. It also links to related cluster pages that expand knowledge on particular aspects of the topic, often related to a specific keyword.
A timely and well-conceived guide pillar page can gather a lot of attention, boost website traffic, attract backlinks, and nurture an audience who can be converted into subscribers or paying customers.
5. “What Is” Pillar Page
A very typical query made by people is, “What is …” They hear about something interesting,
To tap into this desire to learn more, a pillar page can serve as a definitive examination of a subject – a highly useful stand-alone resource that links to related cluster pages and develops aspects of the subject in greater detail. In many ways, it is authoritative, like a guide page.
6. “How To” Pillar Page
Unlike a “what is” pillar page that tells you what something is, a “how-to” content pillar page tells you how it is done. You can help your intended market solve problems or find ways to improve the processes needed in their job functions.
7. “Why – Matters” Pillar Page
Framing your guide as to why your topic matters can be a helpful way to show your audience that you plan to go deeper than the surface level “what is ___” questions. You should still provide that basic information, but the bulk of your page is going to focus on how the topic impacts your audience—or their audience.
Examples of SEO Pillar Pages
Below is a pillar page by 3PL Central. This pillar page example contains a series of use cases for 3PL’s product in solving the various logistical challenges businesses today will face. In this way, the pillar works in a couple of interesting ways: a data resource for other publishers, and offers information to potential customers on the latest challenges in logistics and warehouse management.
Shown below is a pillar page example by Typeform. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing at first glance, but it’s also hard to ignore the positively inbound-y style of Typeform’s Brand Awareness pillar page. It was built to inform and it lives up to its tagline.
Another example of a pillar page is one by Matthew Barby. Analogous to the Typeform example, there’s an obvious lack of promotional hyperlinks within the first section of the page.
Another example of a pillar page is by ProfitWell shown below. This page incorporates plenty of “in-the-while” instances of the dos and don’ts of SaaS marketing content. While there’s a noticeable lack of link inundation on the page, within each chapter, a visual CTA lingers along the right-hand side of the page that allows users to download the full Anatomy of a Saas Marketing Site guide.
Another great example of a functional pillar page is by HubSpot. As shown below, HubSpot provides a masterclass on the creation of appealing visuals, growing your following, and driving engagement on Instagram. This is a great example of how you can really show authority in a subject.
Another example of a pillar page by GoodUI is shown below. The page consists of data – or “evidence” from multiple A/B tests that have discovered patterns for higher conversions. A click on any data point throughout the page redirects the viewer to a detailed view of the test leading to that information.
How to Create an SEO-Optimized Pillar Page
- Decide what you want to be known for by carefully choosing your topic.
- With a pillar page type in mind, create an engaging page design with enhanced readability.
- Include a simple form at the end of the pillar page that allows the users to download it quickly and easily exchange for a bit of contact information, you will want this page to be conversion focused.
- Align your SEO strategy to the pillar page optimization by editing the meta title using the keyword approach. Also, ensure the URL matches the title of the pillar page.
- Promote your pillar page on social media channels, websites, and influencers that are generating the most traffic.
- Produce links and link supporting articles to your pillar page instead of your homepage (depending on the page’s oldness and relevance, you may need to create redirects).