What are pillar pages?
A few years ago I wrote a blog post explaining what are pillar pages: What are topic clusters and pillar pages? And how to use them to improve your SEO.
Moz recently published a whiteboard update titled A step-by-step strategy for B2B pillar pages.
Why pillar pages for B2B?
There is greater competition in B2B. Pillar pages increase your stickiness as there a greater number of topics to explore.
Your B2B customers and clients need to process more information before they can decide to do business with you because the stakes are higher.
Pillar pages constructed with the help of topic clusters prove that you have enough knowledge about your field.
Not just pillar pages, B2B customers and clients prefer to read white papers, case studies and even e-books. The more content you can provide them, the better it is for your business.
The whiteboard from Moz update is primarily focused at helping you improve your search engine rankings to creating B2B pillar pages.
Obviously, it involves studying your keywords and creating a proper URL structure.
As I always tell my clients, when it comes to researching keywords for your business, don’t think in terms of what or how you think of your business; think in terms of how your prospective customers and clients think of your business.
Address their concerns. For that, you need to understand their language. What words do they use when you talk about your business? This becomes the basis of your keywords.
Now that I have read the script of the whiteboard, it doesn’t contain lots of good information. Anyway, I will try to cover some topics.
Making more sense of topic clusters and pillar pages
Although these days I have been repeatedly writing posts on why I prefer smaller blog posts, when it comes to improving your search engine rankings, pillar pages hefted by topic clusters definitely have an advantage over smaller, standalone blog posts and web pages.
In fact, topic clusters are exactly multiple short blog posts that are a part of a bigger pillar page.
Pillar pages are used to improve your search engine rankings for a broader topic. You choose a topic that may have 10-15 subtopics.
You cover all these 10-15 subtopics in individual blog posts – this forms your topic cluster. You can interlink these topic list of pages or blog posts.
Then you have a pillar page, or a pillar blog post that links to all these cluster links.
You can create a pillar page by writing small intros about all these 10-15 subtopics and then link to them.
What is the benefit of creating topic clusters and pillar pages?
The benefit is multifaceted. In terms of creating content, it is easier to create a topic cluster because you can publish individual blog posts and web pages on smaller topics.
Managing the flow is easier when you write and publish segmented content. It’s like writing smaller chapters of a book. Every blog post belonging to the topic cluster can be around 400-800 words, which are easier to write.
You can create the pillar page or the pillar post in the beginning and then keep updating it with new intros and your links. It can be an evolutionary exercise. Don’t rush over it. Take your time.
Pillar pages and their related topic clusters improve your search engine rankings in the long run.
How to create topic clusters and pillar pages for B2B enterprise?
Pillar pages and topic clusters are mostly related with improving search engine rankings, but they shouldn’t just be created for that. Pillar pages and topic clusters, especially when you write them for your B2B enterprise, also increase engagement and conversion.
They help you establish your authority. So, don’t just try to cram as many keywords as possible into your topic clusters and pillar pages. Have a plan to create a knowledge base. Here are a few things you can do to create effective topic clusters and pillar pages for your B2B enterprise:
Use a main pillar page topic
This could be something like “Step-by-step guide to creating a B2B content marketing strategy”.
It is obvious that this topic needs to cover a broad range of subtopics such as digital marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, PPC campaigning, multiple format content publishing, quality content writing, creating a publishing calendar, and others.
The broad topic doesn’t have to be exactly the keyword you want to optimize for. In the above topic, maybe you want to optimize for “B2B content marketing services”. But, such a topic may not attract enough traffic and besides, it might be quite difficult if other businesses have already created content clusters around this topic.
You will need to be creative. A pillar page topic shouldn’t be something that you must come up with in a hurry. Spend some time. Brainstorm. Do keyword research. Then create a topic that would attract people to your content cluster.
Create smaller posts containing your keywords
Within your B2B content marketing, there are many subtopics such as B2B digital marketing, or B2B email marketing, or B2B search engine optimization, and such. Write and publish individual blog posts on these topics and then link to them from your main pillar page.
Creating a pillar page or a content cluster may be a long-term undertaking
This is going to be a comprehensive project. Don’t be in any hurry. It is like building a structure that is going to generate business for you for years to come.
Do enough research. Write quality content. Deliver maximum quality. Don’t try to exploit some sort of search engine vulnerability by creating random content on chosen keywords.
Remember that your bounce rate can affect your search engine rankings. Bounce rate depends on how people interact with your content. Keep this in mind. Writing and publishing inferior quality content will be counter-productive.
Well, I intended to write a short blog post with just an intro to the Moz whiteboard update. But then, when I started writing, I noticed that the whiteboard doesn’t have enough information and it is a simple regurgitation of often-repeated topics. Hence, I ended up writing more words than I had initially intended.