Search engine optimization is an ever-evolving concept. As search engines try to put more understanding as to what can be considered as substantial answers to the queries made by users, they try to dig deeper than mere keywords and try to understand the context and even the intent of the questions.
Among the most important aspects of SEO that you should work heavily is the content. Your content should be able to communicate your relationship to relevant queries. There are many different kinds of content that you may use, and one of them is pillar or cornerstone content.
Pillar content is not entirely a new idea. Discussions about it started as early as 2006. A lot of definitions have been made for it. But generally speaking, pillar content refers to informative and evergreen materials regarding specific topics which can be perceived as useful and relevant to users.
Another thing that sets apart pillar content from the rest is that it can be broken down into different sections, i.e., it is the main topic, and many other materials can stem out of it. It’s like the main content which can branch out to smaller, more specific content.
Pillar content is noted for its importance for SEO as this can help users. With the proper usage of the pillar, it can bring about great help to your campaigns. Some of the benefits that pillar content can bring into the table include:
- Generating a huge amount of traffic.
- Having your users spend longer time on your page, especially if you can direct your users to other pages on your website.
- Earning decent amounts of backlinks, as well as shares in social media.
It is therefore undeniable that pillar content is essential, and you should put a lot of effort into coming up with excellent pillar content. This guide can help you on how you can fully tap pillar content to push forward your SEO initiatives:
Choose the topics that you want to rank for
The first thing that you have to do when aiming to make use of pillar content for SEO is that you should brainstorm on what topics you intend to rank for. Of course, there’s a dream to rank for all the things you write about, but aiming for something ambitious at this point may sound a bit farfetched. You should aim for slow but steady progress towards reaching this long-term goal.
For now, what you should do is to select a few topics to focus on. You should consider which topics you have expertise on so that you can come up with regular insightful materials. Typically, these are topics related to why you started your site in the first place. Aim to be the authority on these topics by concentrating on them first. And when you get the command on these areas, then that’s when you can choose to expand.
Select your target keywords carefully
Despite the changes in how SEO works, keywords are still critical as they connect your content to the queries that users make. With this in mind, you should put a lot of effort into determining which keywords to use.
Keyword research is indispensable. You’ll need to be able to determine what search terms are being used in queries so that you can use such search terms as your keywords.
Fortunately, some tools can help you come up with the best keywords to use. Some of these tools are Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, Jaaxy, KeywordTool.io, SECockpit, and Soolve.
These tools allow you to find what search terms are being used by people, which make them the right keywords for your content. Check them all out and find out which ones you would find most helpful for you.
When you make use of keywords, though, make sure that you do not just repeat the keyword over and over again to the point that it doesn’t make any sense anymore. This is a practice that can help you temporarily rank high, but would later one cause your site to be penalized and even be banned. You should be able to make use of the keyword intuitively correctly and within the right context.
Also, it is best to plan your content in a way that you can easily interlink your content later on.
Create your pillar content
After carefully deciding on the topics to write on and the keywords to use, it is now time for you to create your content, it is essential that you construct your pillar content in an organized manner, and that you write with your users in mind.
When you craft your content, make sure that it to take note the following content elements:
- An introduction that entices your audience to read the entire article.
- Links that can direct your users to related content, preferably on your site
- Thought organization through the use of headers, sub-headers, and bullets where necessary.
- The proper usage of typefaces and colors to ensure readability and the successful conveyance of your message.
After you have created your content, you should then publish it on your site. Since you are dealing with particular content here, there are also special considerations when you post your pillar content. For one, it should have top-level navigation. It should also have its special page which is actually where you can lead your users to related regular content.
Use heatmap analytics for tracking
A lot of websites think the job is done when you have published your content. But what should be done is that you should actively track the performance of your content, and to check whether it can achieve the goals you have set for it.
One of the best analysis that you use is heatmap analytics which can tell which among your posts are being read, and which are having troubles. With that in mind, you will be able to improve your future posts as to what you should be writing about, and how you should write about it.
This is especially true for pillar content as this can be seen as your areas of expertise as your content will come in a way that you are sharing your knowledge. But if your readers are not finding merit in your materials, then you are unable to do the job right.
The great thing about heatmap analytics is that it enables you to have a good idea of which links are getting the most traction, helping you understand that this is where you are currently doing good at. You should sustain your performance in these areas while improving on cold areas.
Update your pillar content regularly
The greatest strength of pillar content is that it has a long life. When written correctly, it can genuinely be evergreen. But not all the time does your content become relevant forever.
The key to ensuring that your pillar content remains relevant in time is that you should update it regularly. This is especially true since changes are inevitable. Whenever there are changes that would cause any form of invalidation with your content, you should ensure that you make the necessary update.
As a general rule, check on your content every three or so months to see whether all that you’ve written still applies. Where there are disconnects with how things work at the present, make the needed revision.
Promote your content frequently
Aside from updating the content itself, you should make sure to keep your content within the radar. While it remains relevant, a lot of new content would come on top of it if you do not do your part to promote it again and again.
Some of the ways you can do this are the following:
- Make sure that your pillar content is visible on your website
- Link your pillar content on other related content
- If there are situations that call for it, consider relaunching your content
- Link your pillar content on your social media posts
- When you have speaking engagements, don’t forget to mention your pillar content.
At the end of the day, it’s all about keeping your pillar content active and continuing to push it to your audiences. By doing that, you can keep your pillar content alive.
Take Advantage of Pillar Content Today
Indeed, pillar content can bring about a lot of benefits for your SEO initiative. However, it can be a challenge to come up with a winning pillar content strategy. Through this guide, we can relay to you how you can best make use of pillar content, and how you can come up with a winning material as well.
It is then your responsibility to do your part in diligently doing what it takes to come up with your pillar content so that you may be able to realize all the benefits it carries along with it.
Start your pillar content today, and see for yourself how it can make a difference.