How a Pillar Page Can Give You a Competitive Edge

February 15, 2022

Pillar pages have become increasingly hot topics within digital marketing circles over the last few years. You might already be familiar with them if you love learning about digital marketing topics. 

If you have yet to hear about them, you’ve come to the right place.

A pillar page is a high-quality piece of content that talks about a broad topic and provides links to in-depth resources about subtopics. Basically, it’s like a table of contents, where the cluster pages are the specific chapters.

For example, you’ve surely come across “Ultimate Guide” posts. They’re great examples of pillar pages because they provide comprehensive insight to a specific topic and establish authority on the subject. 

Pillar pages generally have three components:

  • One main pillar page
  • Numerous comprehensive cluster pages
  • Strategic internal links

What differentiates pillar pages from other types of long-form blog posts? Pillar pages are meant to organise your blog. While great pillar pages also rank on search engines and build your authority, they primarily help lay out your site’s structure.

As you can already tell, pillar pages are a cornerstone to any content marketing strategy. So, how do they help you gain a competitive edge?

Boosted SEO

Everyone wants their efforts to yield good results. This might as well be the main reason pillar pages have gained popularity. Just like any other type of content, pillar pages are created to rank based on a particular keyword.

When creating a content strategy, you start by determining what it is you want to establish authority in. After that, you consider how your target audience is currently learning about those topics and discovering them through search engines. You then tailor your content around those keywords.

search engine optimization SEO

Source: ResearchGate

Longer posts don’t automatically mean that you’re going to rank on Google. Think about it this way; comprehensive blog posts tend to be long. The inverse is also true—long posts are more comprehensive than short ones. What does this mean?

The more comprehensive your post is, the more search queries it’ll be relevant to. Great pillar pages are comprehensive. For this reason alone, they tend to rank on search engines.

Google’s algorithm also loves high-quality content. Your site is seen as providing more value to your audience because you’re linking to other quality content. Remember, search users want to filter out generic content and get to specific results.

Organise Your Site

For many years, site owners and digital marketers put a lot of emphasis on content calendars. Marketers thought you only needed to produce a large quantity of content to grow and spread the word around. What was the problem with this approach?

Content teams focused more on churning out content than they did ensuring their quality. Many sites ended up with repetitive content that worked against them, instead of for them. They realised they had hundreds, if not thousands, of blog posts that would receive no views for days.

With this approach, Google won’t even help you get regular readers. If the algorithm crawls your site and finds it’s a ghost town, you’re not going to get additional traffic.

Pillar pages are important in organising your site because they compel you to think about what your site talks about. With pillar pages, you can eliminate fluff content that falls outside of what you want your site to be about.

As well, since you want your cluster pages to remain valuable and related to the pillar page, you’ll have to update them to stay relevant. In short, cluster pages may start getting more traffic too.

Pillar pages help keep your audience in your content ecosystem for a longer amount of time. Remember, you’ve grouped pages that relate to one another and streamlined paths for your readers and Google’s algorithm.

Improved Content Quality

A pillar content strategy helps you create quality content because of the in-depth planning that goes into establishing the primary topic and its sub-topic pillar.

“Quality Content deeply understands and satisfies User Intent, and encourages Dwell Time.” —Katrina McKinnon

Your pillar content needs cluster pages that relate to the content. What happens when you haven’t written about those subtopics already? You create even more relevant content to fill the gaps. You end up with a comprehensive stream of content that is aligned with the pillar page.

For this type of campaign, you’re creating a lot of content at once. It’s therefore much easier to hire an expert to take an in-depth look at the subject matter and review the content.

Here are some results of high-quality content:

  • High-quality content is user-friendly and drives up engagement
  • Visitors stay longer on your site and drive up page views

If your firm struggles with quality control, implementing pillar pages may help you since quality control is part of the process.

Organizing your content around pillar pages will also help you avoid creating duplicate content in the future. Once you expose and fill the gaps in your content library, your team gets a clearer vision of what direction to take in the future.

Inclusive Content Marketing

Most people think that the usefulness of pillar pages ends with eBooks and email captures. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Pillar pages give you the opportunity to teach people everything you think is relevant about their topic of interest. Such content is also important for your business as it will help you build authority.

Don’t waste a great opportunity and only use pillar pages for lead generation. They’re also perfect for reaching the following goals:

Content GoalDescription
Lead nurtureBuilding and growing relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the sales funnel
Onboarding campaignWelcoming your clients to your site and convincing them why you’re the best choice

Also known as retargeting, this refers to serving ads and content for potential customers who’ve visited your page before and may or may not have taken action.

It involves targeting people who’ve already shown an interest in you or what you have to offer.

In short, pillar and cluster pages give you numerous opportunities to contribute to every aspect of your content marketing strategy.

Long-Term Results

One vital advantage of pillar pages is that they’re not a one-time act. You’re always going to be improving your content and building upon your content strategy.

With time, you’ll learn about your audience’s behaviour and what type of content they’re searching for. You can then customise your content to answer their questions and offer them even more value.

Consider integrating other forms of content, such as videos, into your strategy as well. Search engine algorithms will notice that you’re constantly adding more value for your readers, which will further build your authority.

Ready to Get Pillar Pages for Your Site?

It’s really not that hard to see how pillar page content is important for your digital content strategy. It might take a lot of work initially, but it really does pay off. A content writing agency, like CopySmiths, can do all the hard work for you.

Pillar pages aren’t just a strategy for lead generation or boosting organic traffic. You can establish your site as an authoritative resource by answering your audience’s questions and giving them the valuable content they’re looking for. 

Invest in pillar and cluster pages for a clear vision of the future of your content marketing strategy.

Katrina McKinnon


I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.