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Content Pillars: Everything You Should Know About Them

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A successful content marketing strategy is created on the foundation of highly effective content.

You need to generate a ton of useful content that makes people return to your site and also brings traffic and leads.

And that’s where Content Pillars come into the picture. They help you connect with your target audience better and leave an impression of being a subject-matter expert on them.

Now, if you’re hearing about content pillars for the first time, you may wonder how to develop an effective one!

The good news is that you don’t need to look further. In this article, we will cover everything about them, starting from the basic concepts to advanced topics, along with relevant examples. Let’s begin!  

What Are Content Pillars?

A content pillar is a piece of content containing substantial information on a particular topic. It’s divided into several sections to facilitate the easy interpretation of information in each section.

The idea is to provide visitors with all information they may need about the topic on a single page, so they don’t need to Google anything again.

Collectively the various sections and subsections of a content pillar try to provide all that information in an easily digestible manner. Examples of content pillars may include long-form webpages, research reports, eBooks, etc.

Also, it’s important to note that a content pillar is not your website’s content hub.

What is A Content Pillar Strategy?

The content pillar strategy aims at creating a pillar page with lots of useful information supported by some 10 to 15 pieces of interlinked content to create a network of keyword-focused pages linking to each other.

This strategy comprises 3 major types of content, and they include the following:

  • Pillars
  • Sub-pillars
  • Supporting blogs

Your content should be supported by 4 to 5 sub-pillars, each having a minimum of 1500 words. Don’t forget to link to the content pillar from your sub-pillars.

Next, you can create 3 to 4 supporting blogs with a word count of 500-750 words linking to your sub-pillars.

Lastly, you should link these supporting blogs to your pillars and sub-pillars.

This network of information-rich, interlinked pages built around the content pillar will give it a chance to shine in the search rankings.

When your content pillar starts ranking higher in search results, the links to your blog posts and sub-pillars can also help those other blog posts and sub-pillars in their ranking.  

Why Are Content Pillars Important?

Content pillars are important for many reasons. Let’s look at some of the points that will help you understand their importance!

#1. They Ensure Relevancy

There is a lot of pressure on content creators to create quality content and losing focus in that situation is very easy.

With so much stress, you either end up creating low-quality or irrelevant content. Formulating a content pillar can save you from that, as content pillars are packed with helpful information and tend to be relevant to your business and audience.

#2. They Organize Your Content

With the help of content pillars, you can provide your readers with the information they need systematically.

This allows you to organize your content and let the readers know how different bits and pieces of your content come together under a broader topic.  

#3. They Make Planning Easier

The content pillars also help you plan your content. Since they are highly structured and try to present the information in proper order, once you have created a few of them, you’ll have a pretty good idea of which parts are more important and for which parts there’s a lack of content on your site.

So it becomes easier for you to plan your content strategy better and execute it.  

#4. They Improve SEO

Google’s algorithms do not analyze your link profile alone. They have also become quite good at recognizing information-rich, high-quality content.

When you create a Content Pillar with all the content presented on a single page, Google’s algorithms can sense the 360-degree coverage of information and thus give you a more favorable ranking among search results.

In addition, content pillars can also improve the SEO by improving the interlinking structure of your site by linking to several other pages on similar topics.

Those internal links can help search engines discover all content on your site and make your visitors stay longer on your site to browse the other pages linked in the pillar page.

These things can improve the site’s SEO and help you earn better rankings in SERPs.

#5. They Build Your Brand Authority

 When you create content pillars with plenty of content on any particular topic, your visitors and Google’s algorithms both consider you a leader and an expert in that specific niche.

This builds your brand authority and helps you achieve better search rankings.

#6. They Improve Backlinks

When your content pillar solves people’s problems and provides them with all the information they need in one place; there will be no shortage of websites that want to link to it.

You can get those backlinks organically if your pillar page starts ranking organically on the front page of Google. But even if that doesn’t happen, you can acquire those backlinks easily by running a backlink outreach campaign.

#7. They Lower Your Bounce Rate

A highly informative pillar page will help readers drown in the topic while on your site. They can also make them navigate to other pages linked to your pillar page’s content.

As a result, the time spent on your website increases, and the bounce rate is decreased. A reader who lands on your page through the search results doesn’t return to the SERP, which is considered a positive ranking signal in Google’s algorithms.

How Do You Create Content Pillars?

After discussing the importance of content pillars, we must find out how to create them. The following steps will help you develop an effective content pillar to increase your conversion rate and boost your business. Let’s take a look!

#1. Focus on Your Brand Mission

The first step in creating your content pillar is to focus on your brand mission. Each brand has a goal they try to achieve, and yours should also have one if it doesn’t.

The entire marketing strategy of a brand revolves around that mission, and content marketing is no different. So the information in your content pillar should be relevant to your brand mission.

If content doesn’t directly or indirectly help achieve your brand’s mission, it probably doesn’t make the cut for your content pillar.

#2. Understand Your Audience’s Needs

The next step after focusing on the brand mission is to understand the requirements of your target audience and customer base.

You need to have a solid understanding of their pain points, and hopefully, you’ll already have it if your market research is solid.

This will help you create content that resonates with your audience. The best way to do this is to go to the market and talk to your audience and customer base.

#3. Do Your Keyword Research

No content pillar can be helpful enough if it doesn’t attract the traffic that you need.

So before jumping into creating your content pillar, you should conduct deep research on keywords that will help you rank in the search results.

You can use tools like WordStream or Google Adwords Keyword Planner to research your keywords.

#4. Come Up With Topics You Can Rank For

After you complete your keyword research, look for topics relevant to your brand and aligning with your researched keywords.

Because if the topics covered in your content pillar are not related to the keywords you can rank for, then all the time and effort invested in creating the pillar page will be wasted, as you won’t rank and draw any meaningful search traffic.

So look for topics where you can use long-tail or other keywords for which you have higher chances of ranking in the Google search results.

Also, analyze your competitors and learn what works for your niche.

#5. Create High-Quality, Thorough Content

By now, you will have a good idea of the topics, subtopics, and other information you need to cover in your Content Pillar.

Now you should check out some of the trending formats for content pillar pages to set the format of your page. We’ve included some examples below to make things easy for you.  

Besides maintaining a high content standard, you must keep the following points in mind while creating your content pillar page:

  • Use of catchy headlines
  • Interesting facts that can keep the audience hooked
  • Short paragraphs and use of graphics and videos wherever possible.

Also, being detailed is the first condition of a content pillar page, so make sure you cover all the necessary topics and subtopics to create a 360-degree resource for your visitors.

The page should provide them with all the information they should know on the topic.

#6. Promote Your Content

After creating a highly informative content pillar page, cross-promote it on various platforms such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can promote it through ads and syndication on other platforms or websites. Or else, if you have the budget, you can promote it through ads on various social media platforms or search engines.

#7. Monitor How Your Pillar Content Performs

After promoting your content on various platforms, now is the time to monitor the performance of your content pillar.

Watch out for how your content is performing, and take feedback from your readers to understand how you can improve your content. If the readers suggest any changes, incorporate them into your pillar page to have a better ranking in Google search results.

Also, pay attention to user behavior. If most of your visitors close the page after reading up to a certain point, then maybe it means that content beyond that point or immediately above it is bland.

You can use various tools to track user behavior on your site.  and  

#8. Update Pillar Content

Your brand may leave a negative impression on your audience if you don’t update your pillar content with time. It is crucial to note down all the changes your industry is going through and update them in your content pillar.

It’s also an essential part of optimizing content from an SEO perspective because Google aims to provide its users with up-to-date information.

Therefore, updating your posts at regular intervals can help you boost Google rankings. After completing all the changes, you can leave a small note saying “last updated” at the top of the article.

What Are Some Examples of Content Pillars?

After knowing how to create content pillars, you should look at some examples of pillar content now.

This will help you to get an in-depth knowledge of this concept and consequently help you to curate the best content pillars. Let us have a look!

#1. Content Pillar Examples for Small Businesses

Small businesses can create a content pillar in the form of detailed web pages, eBooks, guides, or reports.

The topics you cover can be anything ranging from the history of your industry to emerging trends to explanations of terms used in your industry. Just make sure whatever you write is backed by keyword research.

#2. Content Pillar Examples for Social Media

For your social media accounts, the content pillars can be created in many forms.

They can be created as carousel posts providing helpful information, a series of posts covering any particular topic in detail, or articles that can be published directly on platforms like LinkedIn Publishing, Quora, and Medium.  

#3. Content Pillar Examples for Marketing

These content pillars, meant for businesses in the B2B or B2C marketing space, are somewhat similar to the first example (i.e., content pillars for small businesses).

You can create guides, detailed checklists, ebooks, and research reports that help the readers formulate an effective marketing strategy or help them with any other marketing tasks.

#4. Content Pillars for Influencers

As an Influencer, one can go for fully detailed videos or detailed articles published directly on their social media accounts.

If we talk about Instagram, one of the content pillars influencers can also look up to creating is carousal posts that break down information into several slides.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Most Common Content Pillars?

The most common content pillars are guides, ebooks, whitepapers, research reports, and resources.

They can also take the format of detailed webpages published with titles like “All You Need to Know About…” and “Everything One Should Know About…” or something similar.

How Broad Should Content Pillar Topics Be?

Choose a topic at the heart of your niche or industry instead of a specific topic about how to do anything. The content pillar topics should be broad enough to cover all the related topics and subtopics (at least ten).

From there, you can expand it further by adding more topics when they come to your notice.

Wrapping Up

So, this is everything you should know about content pillars. We have tried covering everything from their benefits to the process of creating one to some examples of the successful pillar pages.

If you still have questions, please shoot them in the comments below, and we will try to answer them. Also, share this post with your friends so that they can also learn about the power of content pillars.

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