Pillar pages are well-named. Just as a pillar is integral to the structure and strength of a building, pillar pages are essential to a website as they prop up the content and strengthen the interest of your target audience.
Woven together with cluster pages (focused on a single topic and hyperlinked back to your pillar page), they create an effective internal strategy that means all content is linked together for the reader’s benefit. When executed well, they can significantly boost Google rankings and establish your website as an authority in the field. But of course, that requires expertise in search engine optimisation and content marketing.
To give you a better idea, this post will look at three types of pillar pages. Read on to see what each does and which could be a good fit on your site.
1. The ‘guide’ pillar page
The aim of a ‘guide’ pillar page is to be the ultimate authority in a particular field or subject. It needs to give a full and comprehensive overview that’s trusted to have the correct information to form a connection with a particular audience.
- A 101 guide for beginners
- Specific, essential industry information
When you need more detailed information about any aspect of a guide pillar page, more in-depth cluster blog posts are provided through hyperlinks. These are related pages for expanding your knowledge on a particular subject, often connected through a specific keyword.
Making a great guide pillar page
A well-thought-out guide pillar page can generate a lot of interest and bring attention to your website. The more user-friendly it is, the better chance you have of converting an audience into buying or subscribing.
It is essential that you understand what your potential reader expects from their search and that they understand how to navigate the site easily. Ideas for an effective and engaging page include:
- Brainstorm topic ideas, rather than just keywords
- Think about core audience interests
- Pick topics that are general enough to have cluster content
- Give answers to a query or topic that makes the searcher automatically click on your pillar page
- Incorporate interactive elements, such as videos relating to your cluster content
2. The ‘what is’ pillar page
Who doesn’t immediately lift their phone when curiosity calls? Asking Google questions has become a normal part of daily life. The latest data shows that Google has more than 8.5 billion searches a day. That’s over 99,000 searches every single second.
So, whether your audience is typing into their smartphone or using voice activation, chances are, they’re searching for answers. And ‘What is…?’ is one of the most common questions.
‘What is an apprenticeship?’
‘What is crayfish?’
‘What is ADHD?’
In this instance, a pillar page can be used to give a definitive explanation of a particular subject. Linking to cluster pages, your ‘What is…?’ pillar page can be seen as a stand-alone resource that is the doorway to the greater detail of the topic.
Designing your ‘What is’ pillar page
Your main goal is to ensure the answer to the searched-for question is clear and ready to read as soon as search results appear.
Using an internal linking strategy gives guidance to the reader, offering them to find out more. They can then be led to supporting topic clusters and encourage engagement with other blog stories on the site.
3. The ‘how-to’ pillar page
The ‘How-To’ pillar page takes a more proactive approach as it tells you how things can be done. It is a page that holds solutions in problem-solving and improving areas that are in need of help. Step-by-step video and image tutorials are regularly used in this type of pillar page.
Practical, useful information is incorporated fully to ensure that you are covering all bases to be able to solve your readers’ problems or questions. If you have a product or particular solution that you want to advertise, you can work it subtly in, on a ‘How-To’ pillar page. Being discreet in how you do this is important, otherwise you risk turning potential customers off, if you are too pushy for a sale.
Creating a helpful ‘how-to’ pillar page
You can be as creative as you want as long as you are offering valuable and informative content.
Ideas for a ‘how-to’ pillar page include:
- Video – a great visual way to share information and keep viewers engaged
- Blog Post– articles with topic information, a step-by-step format is a useful option
- Infographic– information presented in images and graphics that can be shared on social media
- PDF– create a downloadable PDF version of your content
The benefits of pillar and cluster pages
- Longer visitor sessions– readers will stay on your site longer if there is more to read and interest them. Linking pillar and cluster pages is a good way to do this.
- Increased engagement– user-friendly content is the priority.
- Better SEO ranking– pillar and cluster pages are properly organised, making it easier for Google to rank them higher.
- Adaptability– using a pillar cluster model means you have the means to add, adjust and remove content, as and when you want. Individual cluster pages or certain elements within them can be changed without a whole restructure being needed.
Create effective and engaging pillar pages with Rapport Digital
If an engaging linking strategy is what your website needs, Rapport Digital is here to help. With 10 years of SEO and content marketing experience, our team can help you create engaging, informative content that’s tailored to your target audience.
Contact us today to find out more or arrange a discovery session.