What is Pillar Content Strategy and How to Use It

Pillar content is a strategy that focuses on topics, rather than keywords. It involves creating a lot of valuable content around a central theme, or “pillar”. Content pillars are 3 to 5 topics that your brand will consistently discuss, amplify, and create content across social media. A pillar page broadly covers a particular topic, and the cluster content should address a specific keyword related to that topic in depth.

For example, you could write a pillar page about content marketing (a broad topic) and a piece of cluster content about blogs, a more specific keyword within the topic. WordPress, a popular content management system, has an attractive pillar page that covers all support issues with your product. A sub-topic column page is similar to a column page, because it completely immerses itself in a particular topic with the goal of fully covering it. Linking the cluster content to your pillar page with the anchor text of your main term will help Google track your site's architecture and rank you accordingly.

Keep in mind that these visuals are perfect for sharing on social media, email marketing, and other channels to promote pillar content. If you want your pillar content to rank, you'll need to optimize your links (both internal and backlinks from external sources) to start gaining ground. Consider that the pillar page is the head of your content marketing plan, while the group themes are the legs, arms and torso that support it. Pillar pages focused on evergreen content can work especially well with both readers and search engines, as long as you have enough high-quality cluster themes to support them.

Finally, if your subtopics are well thought out, they'll spend more time on your site navigating the related parts of the hyperlinked cluster content on your pillar page. Content efforts also drove a 20% increase in direct referrals (year over year) and achieved record efficiency in media spend thanks to Northwell's personalized media plan for each piece of content. The first step in planning your pillar content strategy is to figure out how you're going to create that larger piece of content and devise strategies to make the most of each section. As a general rule, your pillar content has the greatest potential to get a lot of backlinks, since it covers the topic in depth. Topic groups are built around a piece of pillar content that addresses a broad topic, linked to several related pages but with a narrower focus. Recently, the CMO Council released an excellent white paper on content marketing and how organizations use content to drive traffic, leads, and revenue.

Although column pages have a direct relationship to the problem that your organization solves, the relationship is less direct for column pages in child topics. To make sure you're getting the most out of your pillar content strategy, it's important to create visuals for each section of your pillar page. This will help readers better understand what you're trying to say and make it easier for them to navigate through the different sections. Additionally, visuals are great for sharing on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram.