Pillar Pages: Why and How You Ought to Add Them to Your Content material Technique


The creator’s views are totally his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and should not all the time replicate the views of Moz.

In a current research, we discovered that our pillar pages are magnets for hyperlinks, natural site visitors, and e-newsletter subscribers — particularly in comparison with common weblog posts. Listed below are the outcomes that each sorts of web optimization content material generated over the course of a yr:

Do these outcomes imply it’s best to ditch your weblog technique in favor of pillar pages? Not precisely.

Right here’s the catch: You actually can’t have one with out the opposite, and all of it comes all the way down to content material mapping. I’ll clarify precisely what I imply on this article.

What’s a pillar web page?

A pillar web page is a chunk of content material that comprehensively covers a broad matter. Pillar web page — additionally typically known as hub and spoke — content material weaves collectively a variety of related subtopics (spokes), organizes them multi function place (hub), and successfully showcases your subject material experience for the broad matter.

Pillar web page content material ought to be simple to navigate for readers trying to be taught — at a excessive stage — a few specific matter, however must also supply related assets for them to dive deeper. 

Instance of associated assets discovered on a pillar web page.

It’s type of just like the choose-your-own-adventure of content material advertising.

Topical authority: why it’s vital

On the subject of content material creation for web optimization and digital advertising, you don’t wish to create content material round any previous matter. As an alternative, you wish to reinforce your model’s topical authority with each new piece of content material you create (be it a weblog, a pillar web page, an eBook, and many others.).

Let’s put it this fashion: In the event you’re within the enterprise of promoting mechanical keyboards, it doesn’t make sense to publish a weblog article about the very best recipes for a summer time BBQ. Until you’re recommending that your prospects grill and eat their mechanical keyboards, which is (extremely) unlikely.

As an alternative, it’s extra useful to your model — and your viewers — for those who cowl subjects associated to mechanical keyboards, like:

  • What’s a mechanical keyboard?

  • Mechanical keyboards vs. common keyboards.

  • Customized mechanical keyboards.

  • transition to a mechanical keyboard.

  • Execs and cons of a mechanical keyboard.

By masking as many subjects associated to mechanical keyboards as doable, you’re constructing a basis of informational content material that tells engines like google: “Hey, I do know so much about mechanical keyboards!”

And the extra content material you’ve that begins to rank for vital search phrases associated to mechanical keyboards, the extra doubtless searchers will see you as an authority on the topic. Ideally, they are going to begin coming again to your content material when they should be taught extra about this particular matter.

Pillar pages + blogs = a match made in content material advertising heaven

A well-executed and arranged pillar web page is likely one of the finest methods to showcase to your viewers (and engines like google) that you’ve got topical authority in a selected space. Weblog posts provide help to obtain topical authority by permitting you to cowl a variety of related subtopics in nice element, and pillar pages arrange all of that content material into a pleasant, user-friendly package deal.

Let’s check out this tactic in motion.

We constructed our content material advertising information as a pillar web page, which allowed us to cowl a slew of subtopics associated to the broader matter of content material advertising, multi function piece of collateral. 

All of those subtopics are organized into sections on the web page, with a hyperlinked desk of contents on the prime to permit readers to choose and select precisely what they’d wish to find out about:

Then, all through the web page, we provide readers the chance to go deeper and be taught extra about every subtopic by linking to related weblog content material:

What’s content material mapping?

A pillar web page is a nice tactic for those who’ve obtained numerous current weblog content material all targeted on a selected guardian matter. It’s one among our favourite methods at Brafton to repurpose and repromote our blogs.

However you may as well create a pillar web page with all brand-new content material — it’ll simply take extra analysis, planning, and manufacturing time to finish.

Enter: content material mapping.

Content material mapping is the method of assessing your target market, understanding what they’re attempting to attain, and serving to them alongside that journey with branded academic and business content material. Its scope can span everything of your content material advertising technique or a single piece of pillar web page content material.

Why content material mapping issues in content material advertising

The planning (or content material mapping) of a pillar web page is simply as vital because the analysis carried out to decide on the proper key phrase to focus on for your enterprise.

Pillar pages are type of just like the books of the advertising world. In the event you have been an skilled birder, for instance, you wouldn’t got down to write a e-book about bird-watching with out doing any analysis. Particularly for those who’ve spent numerous time writing and publishing articles about bird-watching in your weblog. You’d wish to perceive just a few issues earlier than beginning that e-book, like:

  1. Which of my weblog posts generated probably the most curiosity from new and returning readers? (i.e. pages with probably the most new and returning guests, as seen in your net analytics device).

  2. Which blogs stored readers coming again for extra? (i.e. pages with probably the most e-newsletter subscriptions, or the very best e-newsletter subscription charges).

  3. Which blogs did my trade friends discover most helpful? (i.e. pages with the best variety of high-quality referring domains and backlinks).

These questions may be answered by trying by way of your net analytics instruments, similar to Google Analytics and Moz Professional.

Instance of content material evaluation by prime linking domains.

You’d additionally wish to perceive what the competitors seems like earlier than you spend dozens of hours writing hundreds of phrases to fill a e-book.

You’d wish to reply questions, like:

  1. What do my rivals’ books on bird-watching appear to be? (i.e. the sorts of bird-watching subtopics the web page 1 outcomes cowl).

  2. What does Google assume searchers wish to see once they seek for bird-watching? (i.e. the sorts of content material which might be discovered on web page 1 to your goal key phrase — and shock! it won’t be books).

  3. How lengthy and detailed are my rivals’ books? (i.e. the extent of complexity and comprehensiveness of the content material rating on web page 1).

These questions may be answered by manually reviewing related SERPs and using TF-IDF instruments like Clearscope or MarketMuse to know the breadth of subtopics and sorts of content material rating on the primary web page.

Instance of handbook SERP inspection.
Instance of TF-IDF content material evaluation.

When you perceive which of your content material performs finest and which content material Google and different engines like google desire to rank extremely to your goal key phrase, you can begin piecing collectively a plan to your pillar web page.

A notice about inside linking

Earlier than we dive into the how-to portion of this piece, we must also acknowledge the significance of inside linking to this complete course of.

And I’m not simply speaking about throwing in a hyperlink to a associated product/service on the finish of the web page and calling it a day. The interior linking construction of your pillar web page is actually the glue that holds the entire thing collectively. It helps readers simply navigate to associated assets to proceed studying out of your model. And it helps engines like google perceive the connection between your pillar web page content material and the extra content material you’re highlighting on the web page.

However in the case of inside linking, there is such a factor as an excessive amount of of factor.

Together with too many inside hyperlinks all through your content material could cause a irritating person expertise or look spammy, so use warning and ensure the one inside linking you do on the web page is extraordinarily related to the guardian matter.

In the event you’re not sure whether or not or not you’ve obtained too many inside hyperlinks on the web page, you may run it by way of Moz’s On-Web page Grader device, which robotically counts the variety of hyperlinks in your web page and flags for those who’ve obtained too many.

Tip: Remember that this device will rely ALL hyperlinks discovered on the web page, together with these in your major navigation and footer, so the “Too Many Hyperlinks” warning might be a false optimistic.

As Moz explains: Google recommends you don’t go over 100 inside hyperlinks per web page, as a result of it might probably dilute the web optimization worth despatched from the pillar web page to the linked pages, and it might probably additionally make it more difficult for customers and crawlers to navigate all the content material.

Two data-led methods to map out content material for a pillar web page

There are a few alternative ways to method the development of one of these content material, however they every depend on natural search knowledge to cleared the path.

1. Planning a pillar web page and associated assets (all from scratch)

Let’s fake you don’t have any prior content material created a few specific matter. You’re mainly ranging from scratch. Let’s additionally assume the subject you’ve chosen is each core and commercially priceless to your enterprise, and that your area realistically has an opportunity of rating on web page 1 for that key phrase.

Let’s say you’re a pet meals firm and one among your major merchandise is cat dental treats. When you’ve decided that that is the precise key phrase you wish to goal (“cat dental treats”), it’s time to start out your analysis.

Step 1: Manually examine SERP to know searcher intent

First, we’ll begin by manually inspecting the primary SERP for this key phrase, and answering the next questions:

  1. What sorts of content material are on the primary web page of outcomes?

  2. Why are individuals trying to find “cat dental treats”?

By answering these two questions in our SERP evaluation, we’ll make it possible for our plan for making a pillar web page to rank really is sensible and it’s what searchers wish to see on the SERP. We’ll additionally higher perceive all the explanations behind why somebody may search this key phrase (and we are able to then handle these causes within the content material we create).

So let’s reply these questions:

Query 1: What sorts of content material are on the primary web page of outcomes?

Reply 1: The primary SERP consists of a wide range of product advertisements, a Individuals Additionally Ask part, and a collection of natural blogs and product pages.

Forms of content material discovered on the SERP for “cat dental treats.”

Query 2: Why are individuals trying to find “cat dental treats”?

Reply 2: From a fast evaluation of the SERP, we are able to deduce that folks wish to know why and the way cat dental treats are vital to a cat’s well being, they usually additionally wish to know which cat dental treats work finest. Maybe most significantly, it’s extremely doubtless that they plan to buy cat dental treats for his or her furry companion(s) within the close to future.

Step 2: Choose associated key phrase concepts for weblog content material

Because you don’t simply wish to create a pillar web page for simply the first key phrase, you additionally wish to pinpoint a collection of associated subtopics to be written as weblog content material.

For this a part of the method, head over to your key phrase analysis device, plug in your goal key phrase and (with an eye fixed for subjects that you simply’re well-suited to cowl), jot down a listing of key phrases and phrases.

Right here’s our checklist of potential weblog subjects:

  • Greatest cat dental treats.

  • How do cat dental treats work?

  • What to search for in cat dental treats.

  • Do cat dental treats work?

  • Can cat dental treats substitute brushing?

  • Vet beneficial cat dental treats.

  • Grain-free cat dental treats.

Step 3: Select subtopics to cowl in your pillar web page content material

Subsequent, you’ll wish to evaluate the subtopics talked about within the prime rating outcomes. Whereas this course of may be carried out manually (by clicking into every outcome on the SERP and jotting down the subjects talked about), a TF-IDF device like MarketMuse makes this a part of the method a lot faster:

These TF-IDF instruments analyze the highest 10-20 outcomes to your goal key phrase and robotically current the widespread subtopics talked about in each bit. This offers you an excellent understanding of what you’ll additionally have to cowl in your piece to compete for a top-ranking spot.

Right here’s the checklist of subtopics we’ll wish to cowl on this pillar web page, primarily based on our MarketMuse knowledge:

Step 4: Create your define and plan content material

Now it’s time to attach the dots out of your analysis. The easiest way to do that is to start out by structuring your pillar web page define, after which going again in and filling within the areas the place you wish to create supporting weblog content material.

Right here’s an instance of what the tip outcome may appear to be:

H1: The Full Information to Cat Dental Treats: For a Contemporary-Breath Feline Good friend

H2: What are cat dental treats and the way do they work?

  • Subjects to cowl: Cat dental treats
  • Weblog submit to help part:
    Title: How Cat Dental Treats Work (& Why Your Kitty Wants Them)
    Key phrase: how do cat dental treats work

H2: What are the advantages of cat dental treats?

  • Subjects to cowl: Clear tooth, contemporary breath
  • Weblog submit to help part:
    Title: Do Cat Dental Treats Actually Work? (Right here’s What The Consultants Say)
    Key phrase: do cat dental treats work

H2: Are cat dental treats an appropriate different to brushing?

  • Subjects to cowl: Cats dental well being
  • Weblog submit to help part:
    Title: Cat Dental Treats Vs Brushing: Every thing You Want To Know
    Key phrase: can cat dental treats substitute brushing

H2: Do vets advocate utilizing cat dental treats?

  • Subjects to cowl: Veterinary oral well being council
  • Weblog submit to help part:
    Title: Vets Suggest Utilizing Cat Dental Treats — Right here’s Why
    Key phrase: vet beneficial cat dental treats

H2: The very best cat dental treats to attempt

  • Subjects to cowl: Purina dentalife, Feline greenies, pure elements, synthetic flavors.
  • Weblog submit to help part:
    Title: 5 Of The Greatest Cat Dental Treats & Why We Love Them
    Key phrase: finest cat dental treats
  • Weblog submit #2 to help part:
    Title: What To Look For In Cat Dental Treats
    Key phrase: what to search for in cat dental treats

Creating a top level view for a pillar web page isn’t simple, however as soon as laid out, it helps us perceive the content material that must be produced to convey the entire thing to life.

Right here is our checklist of content material to create (primarily based on our define):

  1. Pillar web page: The Full Information to Cat Dental Treats: For a Contemporary-Breath Feline Good friend

  2. Weblog #1: How Cat Dental Treats Work (& Why Your Kitty Wants Them)

  3. Weblog #2: Do Cat Dental Treats Actually Work? (Right here’s What The Consultants Say)

  4. Weblog #3: Cat Dental Treats Vs Brushing: Every thing You Want To Know

  5. Weblog #4: Vets Suggest Utilizing Cat Dental Treats — Right here’s Why

  6. Weblog #5: 5 Of The Greatest Cat Dental Treats & Why We Love Them

  7. Weblog #6: What To Look For In Cat Dental Treats

The easiest way to sort out this checklist of content material is to create and publish the six weblog posts first, then as soon as they’re dwell, you may write the pillar web page content material, putting hyperlinks to the supporting weblog posts immediately within the copy.

2. Planning a pillar web page from prime performing content material

For this subsequent technique, let’s say you have already got a ton of printed content material a few specific matter, and also you’d wish to reuse and repromote that content material inside a pillar web page devoted to that matter.

All the steps within the earlier course of apply, however for Step 2 (Choose Associated Key phrase Concepts for Weblog Content material), do the next:

First, you’ll wish to perceive which of your current items generates probably the most curiosity out of your viewers. Let’s use our net analytics knowledge for this. On this instance, we’ll have a look at Google Search Console knowledge as a result of it reveals the precise search efficiency of our web site content material.

Let’s use the subject of “content material creation” as our desired pillar web page key phrase. Seek for the question in Google Search Console (select the “Queries containing” possibility): 

Pull all the pages at present producing impressions and clicks from phrases containing your matter, putting these with the very best clicks and impressions on the prime of your checklist. Right here’s what this may appear to be: 

As you may see, a lot of the content material we’ve created that additionally ranks for key phrases containing “content material creation” is weblog content material. These can be extremely helpful as associated assets on our pillar web page.

Now, return to your TF-IDF device and choose the subtopics associated to “content material creation” that you simply wish to cowl in your pillar web page. Instance:

  • Social media content material

  • Content material creation device

  • Content material creators

  • Content material technique

  • Content material creation course of

Lastly, map your current weblog content material to these “content material creation” subtopics. The preliminary mapping could look one thing like this:

You could not have the ability to map every weblog completely to the subtopic you’re masking in your pillar web page, however that’s  OK. What’s vital is that you simply’re offering readers with related content material (the place relevant) and that content material, as you’ve seen in your Search Console knowledge, is already confirmed to carry out effectively along with your natural search viewers.

Pillar web page planning templates and assets

Pillar pages take an unimaginable period of time and planning to execute, however they’re value each penny.

Right here’s an instance of the success we noticed after producing one among our newer pillar pages, “ Rank on Google:”

Development of referring domains and hyperlinks to the web page since its launch in April 2022.

Right here’s a template of the define used to convey the web page to life (and you need to use it to your personal pillar web page). Simply make a duplicate and off you go. Good luck!


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