Content Pillar: The Key to Successful Content Marketing

Last Updated on Dec 5, 2023

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    With an effective content pillar strategy, you’re setting your website up for success. A content plan goes beyond uploading a blog post according to your content calendar. 

    Understanding the value of pillars is the first step to an effective content marketing efforts.

    Are you trying to establish your position as an authoritative source of information in your industry? Pillar content serves as a way to build trust and encourage engagement, generating sales. 

    Let’s find out more about this valuable content strategy. We’ll also provide a step-by-step guide on how you can implement it to help your site flourish.

    Key Takeaways

    • Pillar content is a type of content that provides valuable information to readers and establishes the creator as an authoritative source in their industry.
    • How-to guides, best-of lists, definitions, or in-depth analyses are all examples of good pillar content.
    • It is important to consider the format and audience preferences when creating pillar content.
    • Including external links and breaking the content up into multiple pieces can make it more effective.
    • Pillar content can improve SEO rankings and increase trust and engagement with the audience.

    What is pillar content?

    You could create a bunch of entertaining content to engage your readers and try to push sales. But should you? No! 

    When your website provides a greater purpose than just pushing sales, you claim your part of your specific industry. That’s where including a pillar content strategy comes in. It’s a vital part of any content calendar.

    So what is pillar content? It refers to articles or posts that provide a significant amount of invaluable information to the reader. These topics (or content buckets) are often so extensive that they can be separated into a series of pieces with supporting elements, providing deeper content. 

    By using pillar content, you’re showing your audience that you have the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness to share this information. Google refers to this as E-A-T, and using this authoritative voice, you’re providing detailed answers to the questions that your audience has. Combine this with a well planned content calendar, and you ahve a powerful combination.

    At the end of the day, that’s the goal of using pillar content: Providing valuable insights to your audience and being relevant on search engines

    Using pillar content for SEO rankings is an effective strategy, presenting opportunities to link to related content on your site. You’ll also extract some link juice by slotting a few relevant external links to back up your claims. 

    What better way to show your audience that you know what you’re talking about?

    Types of pillar content

    Pillar content ideas have proven to be invaluable when used correctly. Part of what makes this content plan effective is using the correct format to convey the applicable information in the best way. 

    Before determining which type to use, there are two questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is my audience’s preference when absorbing information?
    2. What is the most effective way to relay the information for this subject?

    With a clear understanding of your content and its intent, you’ll know how best to present it. Here are a few of the most popular formats to consider for your brand’s content pillars. 


    As DIY trends increase, audiences are always on the lookout for how to accomplish their goals. This pillage page strategy is a fantastic opportunity to target your readers’ specific needs. 

    This content pillar example requires extensive knowledge. You should also research the topic in depth before you create posts. Remember that your audience expects you to know exactly how to complete this task, so grab the opportunity to show your authority. 

    Include bonus tips, well-documented tutorials, and high-quality illustrations to make the information easy to understand. 

    Best of…

    This format is the best pillar content example if you have products or services in a specific niche. Present your potential clients with the “best of” in this category, giving you the opportunity to show why you offer the best choice. 

    Of course, it’s best to produce high quality content with fun and interesting facts, helpful tips, or unique tips for your particular subject. This additional information is perfect for building the pillar up, but make sure that it’s helpful and engaging. By highlighting additional points, you’re making the content digestible and easier to understand for your audience.

    The aim is to review various products or services but also showcase what sets your business apart from your competitors. 

    What is…

    If you’re in an unknown industry, then this content pillar example is ideal to introduce to your audience. 

    The internet is full of browsers wanting to learn more about something. Take advantage of this opportunity to present yourself as an authoritative source of information in your industry. 

    Assume that anyone who finds themselves on your page knows nothing about the subject. So your information should be well-detailed, clearly presented, and packed with helpful nuggets. At no point should your readers feel the need to do further research on your topic for clarity. 

    Present yourself as the ultimate source of information for your topic, and your readers will keep coming back for more assistance. Organic traffic, here we come!

    Ultimate guide

    Are you ready to make your mark as an authoritative expert in your niche? Then content pillar guides are the answer you’re looking for!

    Beginner’s- and ultimate guides are the preferred source of information for anyone learning about a new topic. This pillar page content contains basic information, but they educate from beginning to end.

    More experienced readers seek information going deeper than what they already know. So if you decide to produce a guide on this level, be sure to put in some extra research for the best outcome. 

    Whoever your target audience is, be sure to keep your content clear and easy to understand. It should engage the reader and leave them walking away feeling like they’ve learned something unique. 

    Tick these boxes, and you’ll certainly be a hot topic with readers referring to your site as a source of information. 

    Why are content pillars important?

    When used correctly, the benefits of an effective pillar content strategy are undeniable. The first is the convenience it creates when putting your content plan together. 

    For many site owners, planning the content topics for the coming weeks or months is the largest headache. In fact, this area often falls behind due to the effort it demands. 

    With content pillar pages, you have a firm foundation to work from that simplifies the topics flowing from them. 

    Now, who wouldn’t appreciate a tool that could remove the stress from such an important task?

    Going a step further, let’s look at the benefits that pillar content has for SEO on your website.

    Keeping things organized

    Google uses crawlers to extract data and catalog the pages on your website. By linking back to each content pillar from the sub category content, Google knows to prioritize those pages. 

    It’s simple if you want Google to consider you have enough relevant content to rank, display its importance!

    Not only does Google categorize your content better, but it also helps your audience navigate the site better. This, in turn, adds to your rankings as readers stay on the page longer and are more likely to come back for more information. At the end of the day, it all adds to your website’s SEO.

    Improved traffic

    With its quality information, using a content pillar is the ideal opportunity to include a specific keyword. Of course, we aren’t saying the content should be drowning in keywords. Instead, they should be strategically placed for maximum impact. 

    Broadening your targeted keywords also means that your content is more likely to rank as an answer to more related queries. All of these efforts drive more traffic to your site and entice prospective clients to complete a sale. 

    If this is something you have trouble with, reach out to our team of experts for assistance. 

    Quality content

    Given its extensive information, your brand’s content pillars should typically have a word count between 2,000–5,000. With the amount of research that goes into it, it lays the perfect foundation for future content to stem from. These extra links, in turn, add to the piece’s SEO ranking. 

    Fantastic content pillar examples of related posts include podcasts, case studies, social media posts, smaller articles, or create videos for YouTube. The possibilities are endless to expand on what you have. 

    Building a social media presence is vital for any website. Take advantage of the different social media platforms for maximum exposure.

    At the end of the day, the success of your pillar content ideas could lie in your social media content strategy.

    5 Steps to create an effective pillar content strategy

    When done correctly, your pillar content strategy could leave you enjoying a spike in website traffic. Ultimately, this results in more leads and increased sales. 

    The topic you choose for your pillar represents the foundation that you build your brand on, so it should be extensive. 

    How do you create a pillar content plan? Where should you start? Follow these simple steps and watch your traffic grow.

    1. Choose a subject and cluster

    Look at your niche and determine the best suited broad topic for your site. Remember that this is essentially what you’ll build your brand on, so make sure that relevant content that’s substantial. 

    From this main topic, you can determine the relevant keywords and sub-topics. With this information, create cluster content for smaller pieces related to the main content pillar. 

    As you plan your cluster content, ensure that they support the pillar piece and are related to the main topic. Remember that it should all be relevant to your audience and the information that they might search for. 

    2. Content creation

    Not that you have your pillar content ideas and cluster plan, it’s time to put it all into action. Whether you decide to repurpose content or start creating from scratch, the key to success is SEO. Keep ranking opportunities and brand awareness in mind to gain better visibility.

    Don’t forget that above all, your content pillar piece should be trustworthy, authoritative, and exude expertise. By using engaging, well-detailed content, readers should feel compelled to bookmark your content pillar page and share it with their friends. 

    The main aspects required to achieve this goal include:

    • Gripping headers.
    • Intriguing and compelling writing to grab the reader’s attention.
    • Well-planned structure that has a sensible flow. 
    • Social proof to support claims (quotes or statistics).
    • A compelling CTA that’ll make the reader want to take action.

    The possibility that you’ll be happy with the first draft is slim. It takes practice, patience, and a whole lot of editing to create pillar content pieces that you’ll be happy with. 

    But the great news is that it’ll come, and it’ll get easier. 

    3. Link far and wide

    If you want to see your content pillar pages work their magic, get links involved. By this, we mean that you should make the most of both internal and external links. Just remember to only link to external sites with high domain authority. Internal links allow you to connect smaller pieces to this more significant page. 

    The same goes for links to your pillar content. For each time that the main topic is mentioned in your cluster pieces, link it back to your pillar page. Not only do these links provide more information for your readers, but they help the search engines determine relevance across your site. This cataloging process, in turn, boosts rankings and improves visibility. 

    4. Spread the word

    This is where social media becomes your absolute best asset. Make use of email campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just about any other platform you can sign up on to spread the word. 

    Sharing is a crucial part of your pillar content strategy and should not be overlooked. Get your content out there and get people talking. The sooner you spark some interest, the faster your page will rank.

    5. Adjust as you go

    While your content pillar should be evergreen, you should always be prepared to adjust it as needed. Add more relevant information regularly to maintain the authoritative integrity of your content.

    The main ways to do this include:

    • Audit your content to identify required changes. 
    • Give your content a deep edit for typos, grammar, phrasing, or inaccurate data.
    • Identify and fix all broken links and update external links for old data.
    • Give the headers, meta content, and CTAs a refreshing overhaul.
    • Revamp images and other media.

    Remember that a truly great content pillar carries its value for years to come. Keeping it relevant and updated only boosts that value.

    Top tips for an effective content pillar

    Now that you know how to implement a successful pillar content strategy, here are some tips to remember for optimal success. 

    Audience recognition is key

    Every single thing that goes onto your website should be done with your audience in mind, this includes your content pillar. How does the information benefit them? Is it interesting? Does it encourage the reader to take the next step on their sales journey?

    While keeping the audience engaged is important, the ultimate goal for everything you do should be to drive sales. Increasing traffic, improved rankings, and more engagement all contribute to this.

    Unfortunately, none of this will progress if you don’t give your site audience what they want. Understand your target market demographics (age, gender, audience’s interests, challenges, needs) before planning your content. Industry trends and your audience’s pain points are also a fantastic resource during this stage.

    A fantastic tool to help you anticipate their expectations and meet them is to create audience personas. With this clearer understanding, you can plan your content pillar to better reach your target audiences. Meeting them at their specific pain points and concerns.

    Targeted keywords

    With a better understanding of your target audience and their search intent, you can focus your keyword research better. For best performance, your content pillar page should be packed with powerful keywords.

    With the right keywords, you can target your content to specific readers. This helps boost brand awareness and improves search engine ranking. 

    Accurate keyword research also has the long-term benefit of planning future content clusters for specific topics. 

    Though there are a plethora of helpful keyword research tools available, Google is still your best friend. It’s as simple as putting your main topic in the search bar and referring to the “searches related to” results for common clusters. 

    Study your competition

    Businesses online are a lot more competitive than ever before. When it comes to standing out from the crowd, the solution is as simple as doing competitor research. You can’t beat the lessons you learn from content pillar examples.

    Competitor research provides some insights as to the best style and topic for high performing content pillars and what to improve on. This is especially true if you have the same or similar target audience. 

    Take note of what you’re doing well and where they’re falling short. With data from Google analytics, you can ascertain which keywords they’re targeting and how their content performs. 

    The purpose of this exercise is to gain as much knowledge from their experiences as possible and use it as inspiration. Watch their social media profiles, too, for an indication of what their audience engagement is like. This will also set you on the right track when you start creating your own profiles. 

    Set a firm foundation through pillar content

    Still unsure about what pillar content is? It’s your opportunity to claim your title as a trustworthy authoritative expert in your industry. Who wouldn’t want to find out what you have to say?

    Creating content pillars and implementing ideas isn’t as easy as it sounds, but they’re certainly worth the effort. The benefits are undeniable, from boosting traffic and engagement to generating leads and boosting sales. 

    The truth is that you may have an idea but are unsure of how to implement it effectively. Why not give us a call? Our team of experts is ready to assist you with all your SEO tasks. We offer our services at affordable rates according to your specific needs. 

    A compelling content pillar doesn’t just deliver benefits right now, it’s a long term investment. So contact us today!