Building Successful Pillar Pages for B2B SEO
If you work in digital marketing or business-to-business (B2B) marketing, you have probably come across pillar and cluster content over the last couple of years. Piller and cluster content aims to improve the user experience of your blog, article, video, and other content while simultaneously raising your standings on search engine result pages (SERP).
Of course, one of the best ways to optimize your online marketing is by using the services of a B2B SEO agency. However, we realize that while hiring the services of a B2B agency will usually get the best results; you may not be ready to take that step. So, in this article, we will give you all the information you need to build your own high-performing pillar page and launch your new content strategy, whether you choose to use the services of an agency or not.
At the core of the pillar cluster model is the pillar page, which is essentially a way for you to organize and coordinate your content marketing. Rather than having multiple disparate blog posts or articles competing for ranking, you have a pillar page that broadly covers the subject matter, which branches out to your more in-depth content by focusing on specific keywords.
When your pillar page branches out to your other blogs and articles, that content is known as cluster content. The cluster content must be related to your pillar page and will typically be a targeted blog piece intended to rank for specific keywords.
Think of pillar pages and topic clusters as a spider web. Your pillar page is at the center, and the strands lead out to your cluster content. The various clusters still connect with their adjacent topics, but the pillar is the only page that links them all.
How To Build a Successful Pillar Page for My B2B Offering
1. Decide on a Topic
You need to decide on a topic for your pillar page, which needs to be reasonably broad to support the associated content clusters but not so broad that it becomes unwieldy and keyword-stuffed. For example, an SEO agency might want to make a pillar page, but SEO as a topic is massive; too many keywords are associated with the subject to fit on one page.
A better pillar page would be Link building for SEO. It is a broad enough topic that there will likely be plenty of supporting content to link to, but not so diverse a subject that keyword ranking becomes impossible.
2. Keyword Research
The central point of the pillar page is to provide a landing page for searchers – so your page should make use of keywords based on actual intent. For example, this will typically mean answering questions like what is link building for SEO? Your pillar page needs to have several of these key phrases so that you can then link out to your other content.
Topic clusters should be a one-stop place for all the information that a searcher could want. The goal is for both your visitors and the search engines to view you as a trusted and well-informed source. You will have to conduct extensive keyword analysis and build your cluster content and pillar page with the highest value keywords.
3. Existing Content
One of the essential things you should remember when designing your pillar page is that you do not necessarily need all-new content. You can incorporate blogs, articles, and other content you have already created and published into the new pillar/cluster structure. You simply have to link to them from your pillar and check that the content remains optimized with relevant keywords. You will need to conduct a content audit to ensure that your existing content is still pertinent and correctly targeted and fill any gaps.
While you are conducting the audit, you can also take the opportunity to assess the URLs for each piece of content. If you have published more than one piece on a particular topic, your articles will be competing with each other for ranking. Implement a hierarchical URL structure that feeds from the pillar page, and you can avoid this hazard. Hierarchical URLs add to a site’s authority by providing clues about the other available content. They use relevant keywords to lead the user to specific pages on your site.
What Makes a Good Pillar Page?
Your pillar page needs to be well-written, relevant, and engaging, as with any content. As pillar pages are typically longer than cluster content, you can benefit from making your page easily skimmable. Also, be sure to use bullet points, lists, and other easily digested information. Paragraphs should be short and to the point. Most searchers are put off by lengthy walls of text, preferring pages that keep the information in smaller chunks.
Be sure to use calls to action throughout and at the end of the page. These do not necessarily have to be sales-focused; they can guide your reader through your site or encourage searchers to take specific actions, like joining a mailing list.
While the point of the pillar page is to present a mix of keywords, it is essential to avoid overstuffing. If the content on this page does not read naturally and keeps the visitor interested, they will be much less inclined to read your other content. The best practice here is to define your keywords before writing the content and then build the page around them.
The same is true of links. Yes, you need to link your other content to the pillar page, but if every other word in your text is a hyperlink, the reader will lose interest and trust in you. Keep the links relevant and make sure that they are working. Nothing will put a reader off more quickly than trying to follow a link to a page they are interested in, only to find that it does not go anywhere. You will also be penalized by the search engine algorithms for this, so it is worth double-checking every single link on your page.
A well-designed pillar page can improve the structure of your site and help you receive a higher ranking in SERPs. A good pillar page covers a topic broadly and uses a hierarchical structure to encourage visitors to click on links to other pages. If you need help designing your pillar page and cluster content, talk with a B2B SEO agency.