Pillar content is a powerful thing for your website in many ways.
There are so many reasons to start creating pillar content for your website. It’s good for SEO (search engine optimization), builds trust with your readers, provides your readers with helpful information, helps you stand out, and helps you stay relevant.
Pillar content, for those who haven’t heard the term, is a single page that covers a variety of aspects of a topic. It’s usually long, at least 2,000 words, and you’ll usually find pillar content in the form of a guide.
In my last blog, The Benefits of Pillar Content, I went into a little more detail about exactly what pillar content is and how beneficial it can be to have on your website.
Now, that you’re equipped as to what pillar content is and why it’s important, it’s time to talk about how it’s done. One of the benefits of pillar content is that it’s not an easy thing to rip off or recreate, but the idea of creating a pillar page can also seem overwhelming for small business owners who have never done it. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to help you get started.
5 Steps to Creating Pillar Content
Step #1. Identify your audience.
Knowing who your audience is is an important step in creating a pillar page. Your main goal in creating pillar content should be informing and helping your readers, but in order to do that, you first need to know who they are.
A lot of times, business owners have an easier time identifying who their target audience is not versus determining who it is. For example, let’s say that you sell men’s grooming products, like aftershave, razors, beard wax, etc. You may not know who exactly your target audience is, but you can probably rule out people who don’t have beards, like women and children. This narrows your possible audience down quite a bit already, and it’s a great starting off point for figuring out exactly who it is.
From the get-go, you should always keep your audience in mind when creating pillar content for your website. While creating content alone is great for SEO (search engine optimization), ultimately, how your readers interact with that content – i.e. how long they stay on your site to read it, how many times they share it, how many times they link back to it — that makes the biggest difference in the end. That means that you should always write with them in mind.
Step #2. Figure out what your audience wants to know.
Once you identify who your target is, the next thing you’ll need to do is figure out what your specific audience wants to know about. For example, if you’re in the target audience for men’s grooming products, a pillar page about shaving your legs probably won’t strike a chord with your target audience. Sure, you sell razors, and sure, people can and do use them to shave their legs, but this kind of content won’t apply to the vast majority of your readers.
Before you go about creating a pillar page, it’s important to learn what exactly your audience wants to know about. Here are a few ways to go about doing that:
- Put yourself in their shoes – Chances are, you resonate with your clients and target audience in more than one way. After all, you’ve set out to offer them a product or service that helps to meet their needs, so you must have some understanding of what they are. So, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what you’d want to know.
- Pay attention to social media – Social media is a great place to get to know exactly what’s going on in your customers’ minds. If their comments and questions aren’t giving you enough information to find a pillar content topic, you could simply ask!
- Use the AnswerThePublic tool – AnswerThePublic is a free tool that will help you get to the bottom of what questions people are asking and what people are talking about in regards to specific topics, and it’s a wonderful tool for identifying pillar content topics.
Step #3. Pick a broad topic.
When you figure out exactly what your audience wants to know about, it will help you pick a topic. You can then provide relevant information around your topic and answer any questions your audience has about it.
Any subject you choose for your pillar content should be broad. While a typical blog will dive in deep on a certain topic, pillar content gives readers a less-detailed look at a variety of different aspects of a single subject. That means that any topic you choose should be a topic that is multifaceted.
In addition to picking a topic that helps to answer your audience’s questions, it’s also important to have a relevant keyword in mind. While you should be able to get a few different keywords into the content, you should have one main focus to create it around.
Step #4. Build content clusters around your subject.
Now that you know what the broad topic of your pillar content will be, think of a few relevant aspects of the subject that you can cover on your page. Each little section of your content is called a cluster, and the best pillar pages are broad enough that additional clusters can be added over time.
Let’s go with the men’s grooming products again. Your pillar page could be a how-to guide to men’s skincare, which gives you a ton of room for creating information clusters. Here are a few ideas of what your clusters could look like:
- How to pick the right aftershave for your needs.
- Common mistakes that can damage a man’s skin.
- How to shave properly.
- Why buying a cheap razor is a bad idea for skin health.
There are so many different ideas you could run with when you use a broad category like this, and the best part of a pillar page is that you can keep adding content to it over time, so as you think of more clusters in the future, you can keep adding them.
Pillar content is a truly wonderful thing for your website, and I hope that this blog will give you the confidence to create it on your website. If you’d like some guidance on creating pillar content, or you’re looking for someone who can do it for you, learn more about content creation from Marketing 360® today.