The pillar strategy is a powerful tool for content marketing.
To create a successful content marketing strategy you need a strong sense of purpose.
The best part? This strategy is simple to implement. Even if you don’t have a lot of knowledge around content marketing, content creation and pillars YOU can still use this strategy to have your small biz seen and heard.
It is the basis for my signature 4 EASE pillars strategy which has helped many small businesses, especially mum owned small biz, to be seen, heard and thriving!
What is the pillar strategy?
Content pillars and topic clusters steer your content marketing strategy. They are an amazing way to organise and produce consistent, high quality content that excites, educates and inspires your audience.
The content pillars provide a framework for content creation. A pillar is a centralised hub, the main piece that your topic cluster then points towards.
The pillars provide a site structure that helps to improve user experience and that Google absolutely loves. Winning on both counts!
Essentially, the pillar strategy is a way to organise your site's content that is cleaner and more deliberate. It means search engines easily scan your site and know what it is you are talking about. It tells Google, and other search engines, that you are an authority and are adding value to your readers. Your audience will enjoy how easy it is to read and navigate through your website. And what does this mean?
You will rank on search pages!
Building a home with the pillar strategy.
Think of it like you are building a home. A pillar beam is a vital structural element that supports part of your home, so if you forget to put that beam in, your house becomes unstable and can even crumble.
This same principle applies to your web content. The pillar supports part of your website content. It holds everything else up and keeps it sound, organised and you can access all rooms!
But what is a house without a ceiling, walls, flooring, windows and furniture? It is just beams and framework. You can see the bones of the home, but you can’t really tell what the finished product will be.
This is where topic clusters come into play. The cluster ensures that you cover ALL questions and problems about your topic that your intended customer may have.
You build your walls and floors, you furnish your home. And then people can really see the end product and understand what it is they are looking at.
What is the pillar content piece?
The pillar content piece, the centerpiece of your home, is a comprehensive but broad overview of your topic. It addresses a short-tail keyword to provide answers to the problems or needs your target audience has.
The pillar content covers all details across that keyword and topic. However, it leaves room for the topic clusters to provide more in-depth information.
What are the topic clusters?
The topic clusters target longer-tail keywords that directly relate to the pillar. They are much more specific and detailed.
Think of them as subtopics that point toward your content pillar.
Different types of pillar content.
There are several different types of pillar content styles you can utilise.
We are just going to focus on two of the most common today.
The 10x pillar content page.
This type of content pillar page is the most popular. The reason it is called a 10x pillar content page is because it should offer 10 x more detail than a regular page or post.
The main features of this type:
- Contains the content you want your business to be known for.
- Usually is part of the top-level menu or navigation bar.
- Main aim is to sell a particular product or service you offer.
- Is ungated, meaning people don’t have to sign up to your email or pay for the information.
- Is evergreen content.
- Has bi-directional links - so it points to the subtopics (cluster topics) as well as having all the subtopics point to it.
- Answer key questions your audience may have around your niche.
The resource pillar page.
The resource pillar page is a collection of tools and resources, rather than a post or page discussing a particular topic.
The main features of the resource pillar page:
- Lists internal and/or external resources and tools.
- Helps your target audience by providing these resources and tools.
- The main goal is to build trust and authority (as opposed to selling a product or service).
- Shows your audience that you have a broad knowledge base around your niche or industry.
Putting it all together.
The pillar strategy is an effective SEO strategy that is easy to implement.
It is the basis for my signature 4 EASE Pillars strategy that has seen many small businesses grow and thrive, especially time-poor small biz owners like mums.
To use the content pillar strategy, you simply need to choose a product or service that you are selling, do some quick keyword research and develop your pillar content around that. Brainstorm a list of subtopics that will form your topic cluster, fill in your content planner and you are good to go.
HOT TIP: If you are using the 10x style, keep in mind that you should avoid cluttering up your menu. It is best to only develop 4-5 pillars to add to the menu.
Now you can take this strategy and use it to start building a neighbourhood of homes!
- Choose a product or service.
- Do some quick keyword research.
- Develop your pillar content.
- Brainstorm a list of subtopics for your topic cluster.
- Fill in your content planner.
Are you ready to build your home? Ahem. I mean, content strategy? Have you used the pillar method, or do you use something different? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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May you days be full of compelling content, joy and plenty of coffee! ☕😊