Using 3 Types of Pillar Pages for Your Best SEO Strategy
Pillar pages are top-level website content. They contain a comprehensive overview of the solutions you offer as a business. They lead or connect to more in-depth discussions that help users understand and resolve their issues.
Work with an SEO agency to build pillar pages that convert. But before you commit, be sure you understand how to use pillar pages effectively for search engine optimization (SEO). This guide covers the following:
- A short description of pillar pages
- Three best types of pillar pages
- Best applications for SEO strategies
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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3 Definitive Types of Pillar Pages
Pillar pages affect SEO by raising domain authority (DA) and user experience (UX), which are essential to website success. When used correctly, pillar pages upgrade your content's quality. It is no secret that your articles are the fuel that powers the machine that is your website.
That then begs the question, “What is a pillar page?”
A "pillar page" is, in a word, the core of your content. It takes a central theme or topic and gives a comprehensive discussion of its different parts. Often, it constitutes a general or broad idea that forms an umbrella for an array of blog posts focusing more closely on each part.
However, you can also differentiate pillar pages by their fundamental purpose. Below are the three major types you should know about and use for your website.
1. 10x Pillar Pages, the Comprehensive Guide
When talking about pillar pages, the first image you might have is that they read like a textbook or a guidebook on a particular subject. That is precisely how the 10x pillar page works. It got that name because its primary purpose is to be all-encompassing.
It has long-form content but is manageable in its scope. A 10x pillar page contains all the vital points and discusses them in just enough detail to solve pressing user issues. For that reason, your content must be accurate to earn and keep customer trust.
As a top-level navigation page, this is likely your target market’s introduction to a subject matter, or at least to your discussion of it. Keep your writing concise but thorough, complete but organized. Aim to have around 3,000 words and a table of contents for easy navigation within the page.
A 10x pillar page covers breadth more than depth, so they often contain these keywords:
- Beginner’s / Beginner
- What is
Here are a few examples to get your ideas rolling:
- The A-Z Guide on Edible Mushrooms Species
- How to Find the Best Photo Editing Software
- Beginner’s Guide for Backpacking Across the US
2. Subtopic Pillar Pages, Digging Into Niches
A subtopic pillar page delves further into a noteworthy aspect of the broader main topic. In the hierarchy of topic clusters, these live between 10x pages and blogs. Therefore, you can say that a subtopic pillar page connects your main topic and blog posts through internal links.
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The critical differences between 10x and subtopic pillar pages are that:
- A 10x pillar page corresponds directly to the solution you offer, which puts it at the top.
- A subtopic pillar page is an offshoot of the main topic, essential but not directly relevant.
The following illustrates this difference while also distinguishing the structures of both:
10x Pillar Page: The A-Z Guide on Edible Mushrooms Species
A. Subtopic Pillar Page 1: Top 3 Mushrooms You Can Grow at Home
Blog 1: How to Grow Oyster Mushrooms Yourself
Blog 2: Pearl Oyster vs. King Oyster: Which is Better?
B. Subtopic Pillar Page 2: 5 Ways to Identify Edible Mushrooms
C. Subtopic Pillar Page 3: How to Find True Morels
As the sample above shows, subtopics can also stand alone at times. However, they discuss narrower topics compared to the main pillar page and can have other pages under them, too.
3. Resource Pillar Pages, the Content Gateway
You should build your content strategy around giving your target market solutions, even if that means pointing them to resources from other places. Your business and website can only accomplish so much on their own. You cannot be everything for everyone at all times.
Of course, whether or not you recommend competing products and services depends on the nature of your business. As the name suggests, this type of pillar page focuses on directing your audience to the resources they need for whatever purpose it serves.
In a way, you build it similarly to a product listing in that you create a list of necessary tools or apps for people to consider. Give each one a brief overview to let users know how it benefits them. Expect your resource pillar pages to be full of internal and external links.
You include external links because:
- It signals to users that you are unbiased, despite having your own product or services.
- You indicate that you genuinely care about helping the user resolve their problems.
- Referencing other resources shows that your page is thorough and well-researched.
How to Apply Pillar Pages in Your SEO Strategy
You can see the various functions of pillar pages throughout the points discussed here.
To recap, here are some of the ways a pillar page boosts your SEO strategy:
- It unites your other content under a common theme.
- A pillar page gives you a content idea that grows with time.
- Internal links from pillar pages add to your website’s DA.
Incorporate it into your strategy through these methods:
- Focus on improving UX through content. Help users find what they need on one page.
- Create blogs with expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) at their core.
- Take a holistic approach to solving user problems by connecting your content efficiently.
Pillar pages come in different shapes and sizes, each serving its own purpose. For instance, a subtopic pillar page is like an intermediate step between a general answer and a specific one. That helps it move users between stages of the buyer’s journey.
No matter which type you use, the point is the same: make content that meets the urgent needs of your target market.
Need help creating your own pillar page strategy? Contact us to learn how we can help.
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