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Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages: Creating a Winning Content Strategy

Aug 06, 2021

4 minutes read

Google’s search algorithm is ever-evolving, and we track the latest updates in order to stay on top of them.

If your aim is to own SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), then creating topic clusters and pillar pages will help you get there.

Following this approach will also enable you to develop an effective keyword strategy, organize content, and avoid keyword cannibalization.

Let’s dig a little deeper and look at what topic clusters and pillar pages are and how they help you formulate an SEO-friendly content strategy.


Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages – An Overview

A pillar page acts as a content hub for a given topic. All content related to this topic is placed under a pillar page that is linked to each asset.

Topic clusters are topics or content pieces that are hyperlinked back to a pillar page.

This arrangement provides an interconnected content experience to users browsing this topic.

Creating pillar pages also makes your website more organized, and enables you to drive traffic, increase engagement, and decrease bounce rates.

The topic cluster model is made up of three components, which are, pillar pages, topic clusters, and hyperlinks.


How Do I Create a Winning Pillar Page Content Strategy?

There are three stages involved in developing an effective pillar page content strategy’. These are:

1. Identifying Topic Clusters

2. Creating a Pillar Page

3. Promoting the Content

Stage 1: Identify Topic Clusters

Identifying and mapping topic clusters begins with a thorough research of buyer personas and analysis of user behavior.

Identify the pain points of your target audience and jot down core topics that you think will address them.

Now, map out keywords that relate to your topic cluster.

Wondering how to get started?

Google Keyword Planner is a great tool that will enable you to get short, as well as long-tail keywords.

Stage 2: Create a Pillar Page

A pillar page is the foundation of a topic cluster linking to other cluster pages.

This is where you can use targeted keywords with detailed content.

A pillar page is usually intended to rank higher than cluster pages since the objective is to drive conversions.


The Characteristics of an Effective Pillar Page

a. Targets the parent topic and related keywords

b. Has answers relating to your parent topic

c. Is linked to cluster pages

d. Is linked to your home page

Top Tips for Creating the Layout of Your Pillar Page

1. Cover the Core Topic in Your URL

Including core topic content in your URL is a great way to gain traction.

CMSs such as WordPress automatically add the core topic to your URL.

2. Refer to the Core Topic in Your Page Title

Referring to the core topic in your pillar page title is an important aspect of an effective content strategy.

If your pillar page ranks high on search, it will automatically boost the rankings for every page created under it.

3. Include the Core Topic in Your H1

Mention the core topic in your H1 tag.

This will make it clear to readers that your pillar page is about the core topic.

For example, the H1 heading tag, ‘The Guide to Pillar Pages’ indicates that the pillar page is a complete guide that’ll enable you to learn more about pillar pages.


4. Include a Conversion Form on Your Landing Pages

Conversion-focused landing pages help leads and customers who want to use the information differently.

As you can see in the example below, offering a PDF to users and requesting their basic information will enable you to generate leads.


5. Incorporate the Core Topic Into Your Alt Tags

Include the core topic in your alt tags. For example, ‘The Guide to Pillar Pages’.

This will enable your pillar page to be found on Google Images.

6. Link to Internal and External Resources

Linking internally to old and new content is one of the most effective ways of indicating to readers that you’re an industry expert.

You can also link relevant content to trustworthy external websites.

Stage 3: Promote the Content

Once you’ve created pillar page content and built topic clusters, make sure you submit your website for re-crawling.

This will enable Google to recognize the extensive changes you’ve made.

You can then promote your pillar page on social media.

The promotional strategy may include:

a. Emphasizing pillar page content

b. Using paid ads

c. Hosting topic-specific chats

Also make efficient use of SEO for content promotion by:

a. Highlighting your pillar page for the ‘suggested content’ section

b. Making use of popular content

c. Adding hyperlinks

Wrapping Up

Topic clusters form a relatively new approach to content marketing. They place more emphasis on topics, as compared to keywords.

This approach enables you to get a higher search ranking for your website, drive organic traffic, and generate leads.

Want To Create a Winning Pillar Page Content Strategy? Talk to Us!

At Grazitti, the digital marketing team is dedicated to providing customers with innovative solutions and strategies.

Should you want to know more, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.