Elements of Medical SEO: Pillar Pages
Topic clusters are a content strategy that not only increases website traffic but also captures the attention of users. However, topic clusters need pillar pages to work.
For many years, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists have used pillar pages and topic clusters to effectively drive traffic. But if not properly executed, there is a lot that can go wrong with this strategy.
However, when done right, pillar pages are a game-changing medical SEO strategy that not only drives traffic but also drives conversions. Pillar pages not only improve the user experience, but they can also improve your search engine rankings.
If you are wondering what exactly topic clusters and pillar pages are and how they can help you, read on. You might be surprised how well-executed pillar pages can turn your website into a conversion machine.
Watch this video to learn more about the Digital Authority Partners approach to Medical SEO!
What Are Topic Clusters?
Before we get to pillar pages, let's go over topic clusters. Topic clusters are pages covering related topics on a subject. The topic cluster lays out a foundation for internal linking.
In a medical context, topic clusters educate patients about various health conditions. For example, an allergy clinic could have individual pages on various airborne and food allergies. The website could also have pages on various treatments for allergies. All of these pages will be tied together on a pillar page.
What Are Pillar Pages?
Often a medical practice has a “conditions we treat” page. This functions as the pillar page that offers a broad overview of the medical conditions treated by the clinic or doctor. All of the topic pages are linked back to the pillar page.
When it comes to medical SEO, pillar pages organize content for visitors while also making a website search engine friendly.
The pillar page forms the hub of the content cluster. This page has some general information about what a medical practice, such as an allergy clinic, does and links to the supporting topic pages.
Pillar pages form around a keyword. In the case of an allergy clinic, this might be “allergy treatment.” The pillar page gives a cursory overview of the subject but links to the topic pages for more detailed information.
Pillar pages act as a table of contents for a website's main topics. The pillar page uses high-volume keywords to drive traffic while giving visitors basic answers to their questions. By linking to the topic pages, visitors can find more in-depth information.
How Pillar Pages Influence Medical SEO
By linking topic pages to a pillar page, you can create a robust internal linking structure. Search engines love a good internal linking structure. It shows that your content is relevant to specific search terms.
When your website's content is well-structured into topic clusters, search engines determine that your website provides in-depth knowledge on your main topics.
Pillar pages provide an easy-to-navigate structure while also making your website appear credible to visitors. This ultimately can improve your search engine rankings.
Google likes structured websites with a smart internal linking strategy. An easy way to achieve this is to use topic clusters and pillar pages.
The three key objectives to keep in mind when building internal links:
- They should support the authority of the website for its primary search terms
- Links give relevance to secondary search terms
- They educate visitors on your topics, and highlight what you can do to solve their problems
Pay-per-click and Pillar Pages
Pillar pages not only help your organic search results but can also be used for your medical pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. A pillar page acts as an ideal landing page. A pay-per-click campaign not only drives more traffic but also builds awareness for your medical practice. When your visitors click and go to your pillar page, they’ll want to explore your site to learn more about their condition and what you can do to help them.
Incorporating Pillar Pages Into Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Typically, pillar pages focus on short-tail keywords and content that broadly addresses the main topic that interests potential visitors. Pillar pages can attract a wide audience; thus, the search volume can be quite high.
On the other hand, the topic pages are not based on keywords, but rather on topics. These are the four things to keep in mind when creating topic pages:
- Use topics that address your potential patient's concerns.
- Research specific keywords and key phrases and use these as topics.
- Create a pillar page optimized with relevant metadata.
- Write in-depth topic pages and add a link to the pillar page
If you already have a lot of high quality, in-depth content on your website, you can leverage those as your topic pages. Simply see which posts can be logically clustered together and link those on a pillar page. Make sure that the pillar page you create highlights and ties together your existing content and links to those pages.
You may also be able to find an existing page or post that can be modified into a pillar page.
Pillar pages can give new purpose to old content, driving visitors to those useful pages by adding them to a content cluster. However, be sure to go over these posts and make any needed updates.
If you haven’t taken pillar pages and topic clusters seriously, now is the time to start. It's not only an excellent digital marketing strategy, but it can also help to educate your potential patients.
The fact is, pillar pages have become an intrinsic element of content marketing. They not only boost medical SEO but also keep your content organized. Moreover, they showcase your knowledge and expertise as a medical practitioner, which builds trust and confidence in your abilities as a healer.
Using a pillar page strategy is not hard to implement, especially if you have spent years writing great content. All it might take is a few tweaks to your existing posts, tying them together into topic clusters, and linking them all on a pillar page.
Creating a pillar page strategy is not hard to implement yourself if you have the time. However, a digital marketing agency can also do it for you. They'll analyze your keywords and existing pages, and see how they can be tied together with a pillar page. They can also write content as needed to create relevant content. Topic clusters and a pillar page could be the thing that finally gets your medical practice noticed online.
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