Pillar pages and topic clusters are an SEO approach that’s highly beneficial for improving a website’s relationship with search engines.
They are a great way to up your content marketing game and improve the way bots crawl and index your pages.
On the one hand, adopting this approach will warm up search engines toward you. However, it may improve the way customers engage with your content, and show you as an expert in your field.
And that’s just the beginning.
In this article, we highlight 7 of the most prominent benefits of using pillar pages and topic clusters in your SEO and content marketing strategy.
Read on to find out!
1. Better Website Structure
Organizing your website content into pillar pages and content clusters is a relatively new concept. However, it quickly became popular. Many businesses have been into content marketing for long enough to have generated massive amounts of content.
Grouping these pages by topic makes it easier for content managers to plan ahead. By overseeing their overall strategy, they can plan keyword usage, identify silos, inform their editorial calendar, and streamline processes.
At the same time, it allows for a clear and logical website structure that is easier to navigate by both humans and search engines.
It is a well-known fact that search bots rely on links to better understand what the content on a page is about. Furthermore, the latest algorithms identify entities based on their connections to other entities in the Knowledge Graph.
By mirroring the pillar pages and topic clusters method, you make it easier for the bots to figure out the meaning of your content.
As mentioned, this type of structural organization is beneficial to customers as well. They can use the pillar page to familiarize themselves with the topic. Then, customers csn quickly navigate through the content cluster to the subtopics they are interested in.
2. Improved Chance to Rank for High-Volume Keywords
When the robots understand your content well, they can index it more successfully. Furthermore, they can better relate it to the pertinent search queries and show it to users who are more likely to click on your links in the SERPs.
We all know how difficult it is to rank for the more general, high-volume search terms. These are, more often than not, targeted by hundreds, even thousands of pages, some of which with much higher authority than yours.
However, in a pillar page, you are addressing all the pertinent subtopics and then developing them into the content cluster. For the search engage bots, this shows that you’ve provided exhaustive information on the topic that is likely to satisfy the needs of a user who keys in a relevant general search term.
Furthermore, the cluster pages are also eligible to rank better for the relevant long-tail keywords. This is true because they are connected to the pillar as well as the rest of the cluster. This puts them into context and makes their purpose clearer to the bots.
In addition, well-written pillar pages tend to obtain more backlinks than regular content and this gives them more credibility and better ranking.
3. Boosted EAT
Expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) are important for both Google and your customers.
In fact, your EAT score can determine how well your pages are performing in the SERPs. And pillar posts and topic clusters show that you have what it takes:
- Expertise. Google prioritizes content that is created by specialists. The reason is there’s a better chance that the information they provide is accurate. By delivering extensive information on the topic, you are showing that you are an expert.
- Authoritativeness. A well-written pillar page and the respective content cluster can boost the authority of your website. They tend to attract a lot of traffic and encourage engagement. Furthermore, when you develop the topic thoroughly, you show that you are an authority in the field.
- Trustworthiness. When you build your authority and deliver high-quality content, you show that you can be trusted. Also, when people spend a lot of time on your pages, this signals to Google that they find your content reliable. Of course, in terms of Google EAT, trustworthiness has a lot more to it. However, successful pillar pages and topic clusters can only contribute to the full picture.
Furthermore, by showcasing your knowledge in a well-structured and easy-to-navigate way, you build your credibility in your industry and niche. As a result, you boost your rankings. Hence, you are more likely to obtain mentions, social media shares, and positive word-of-mouth. All of which contribute to your online reputation and visibility.
The more successful the pillar pages and topic clusters are that you build, the more credibility your website will gain. And the more credibility you have, the better your rankings will be.
4. Increased Customer Engagement
People usually search for general terms when they want to become familiar with a topic and understand what it is about. When they land on your pillar page, the more are likely to become interested in some or all of the subtopics you’ve highlighted.
They can follow the provided links to the pages that elaborate on the subtopics and learn everything they need to know.
This leads to a number of benefits for you:
- If the information is well-written and interesting, the customer may eventually explore the whole cluster.
- The customer is more likely to seek out your content again when they need additional information.
- The customer spends more time on your site browsing, clicks on your links more often.
- The customer may fill in your opt-in forms, become a qualified lead, and eventually, take advantage of your products and services.
All these contribute to higher engagement and directly benefit your SEO, and, potentially, your bottom line.
5. Enhanced Internal Link Building
The benefits of internal link building are, generally, underestimated by website managers. However, creating those links is very important for your SEO, and, as shown in the above section, customer engagement.
Internal links show how your content is connected, and allow search engine bots to better understand your website structure and the meaning of pages. Also, they reduce the chances of pages becoming orphaned, i.e. unrelated to the rest, and more difficult to reach.
They also show the bots which pages on your website are more important than the rest, and provide a certain hierarchy. And through this hierarchy, internal links also distribute link equity.
A pillar page is an important page. It is informative, content and keyword-rich, and well-structured. It attracts more backlinks and serves as a gateway to other related pages. They in turn back up the authority of the pillar page by providing an in-depth exploration of the main topic and the subtopics.
The pillar page returns the favor by leaking link juice towards the secondary pages, and boosting their authority, and, potentially, ranking.
All in all, by hyperlinking the pillar to all the elements of the cluster, you allow the pages to amplify each other’s value.
6. More Backlinks
We’ve already mentioned backlinks a few times because they are one of the most valuable benefits of pillar pages. At the same time, as everyone who’s involved in digital marketing knows, backlinks hold the top position as the most valuable resource in SEO.
The thing is that with the proper strategy, your pillar pages can become a real gold mine for backlinks.
And the more backlinks you have, the higher their authority becomes, and the better these pages rank. As a result, they will show up in the SERPs more often as well as gain more traffic and, potentially, even more backlinks.
This way, they can boost your whole website’s search engine performance, and contribute to your business success.
7. Lead Generation
The more time people spend on your website, the more opportunities you have to obtain their information and capture them as leads.
Furthermore, when potential customers see that you are an expert, they spend a lot of time on your website. As a result, they are more likely to remember your business. And this strongly benefits SEO branding.
Once they know you, they are prone to identify you as a leader in your industry and click on your links in the SERPs more often. This will not only benefit your overall search engine performance, but also keep you at the forefront of the customer’s mind.
Combined with your lead nurturing strategy, when a person is ready to make a purchase, you will be a top candidate for the job.
Pillar pages and content clusters are among the best ways to reorganize your content to deliver more results.
They contribute greatly to the connection between search engines and customers and make your website easier to understand and navigate.
On top of that, they can outline a path towards a more productive content creation process. In addition, pillar pages and content clusters help you come up with new title ideas, plans for your strategy, and your editorial calendar.
However, their greatest benefit is that they really help with SEO and can skyrocket your website’s performance in the SERPs.
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