If you’re in digital marketing, you’ve likely heard the terms “pillar pages” and “topic clusters”. But what exactly do they mean and why should you be using them? These are strategies for organizing your content in a way that enhances user experience and boosts your search engine ranking. Search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved over the years, and so have the tactics used to reach that first page of search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s why pillar pages and topic clusters are an indispensable part of SEO.
Traditionally, website content has been organized in a siloed structure, where each page stands alone with little to no connection to related content. While this may have worked in the past, it’s no longer efficient, especially when search engines like Google are putting more emphasis on content relevance and interconnectedness. Enter pillar pages and topic clusters. These break down the silos by interlinking related content, making it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and for search engines to understand the context and depth of your content.
Artificial intelligence is getting more advanced, and this technology is helping search engines produce more tailored and precise search results. For example, Google leverages machine learning to not only identify keywords but also grasp the context surrounding them. When you arrange your content into pillar pages and topic clusters, you make it easier for search engines like Google to get the gist of how various articles and pages on your website relate to each other.
Creating a pillar page involves identifying a core topic that you want to rank for and then building content around that topic. The pillar page serves as the main hub for this topic, with cluster content linking back to it. It’s essential to select a core topic that is broad enough to allow for multiple subtopics but not so broad that it becomes vague. The pillar page should be comprehensive, covering the core topic in detail, while subtopics are covered in separate cluster pages. Proper organization and interlinking can significantly boost your SERP performance.
Start by identifying core topics that are important to your business and that you have expertise in. Once the core topics are identified, break them down into subtopics or cluster topics. The goal is to create content for each subtopic that is genuinely helpful and relevant to your audience. Mapping these out in advance can help you keep track of what content needs to be created and how it will link back to your pillar page.
There was a time when having longer content was a guarantee for high rankings, but Google shifted its focus from length to quality. Content needs to be researched, accurate, and useful. The goal is to turn your site into a trusted source on specific subjects.
The power of pillar pages and topic clusters is then fully realized through effective internal linking. Cluster pages should link back to the pillar page, and the pillar page should, in turn, link to all the cluster pages. This creates a network of interrelated content that improves user experience and helps search engines easily crawl and index your site.
If all of this sounds like a lot to handle, it’s important to get professional help. Digital marketing agencies that specialize in content writing and SEO can help you upgrade your content strategy by implementing pillar pages and topic clusters effectively. With ALM’s expertise, you can master modern SEO and stay ahead of Google’s, and your competition’s, changes. Contact us to learn more and speak with our specialists.