“Content is king.”
You’ve probably heard this commonly used phrase in the world of marketing and entrepreneurship a thousand times. Popularized by Bill Gates in 1996, this phrase true even today. With the abundance of online content at the modern internet user’s fingertips, what truly separates the wheat from the chaff is simple – compelling and actionable content. In order for your brand to stand out amidst a vast compilation of seemingly similar content, you must prioritize the usefulness and appeal of your content to your target consumer.
A well-done pillar page on your website accomplishes this. On a basic level, a pillar page is a single page featured on your website that covers each aspect of a broad topic in detail. A cluster of related content on your website such as blog posts explores each aspect in greater depth and hyperlinks back to the central pillar page. Think of a pillar page as a virtual lighthouse, making your brand shine in a sea of content and attracting consumers with an informational guide that is helpful and pertinent to their interests. Once your pillar page is built, you can continually augment this informational beacon with new, relevant, and consistent content that links back to it.
This blog post explains why it is important to have a pillar page and explores an example of an effective pillar page.
Why Does Having a Pillar Page Matter?
The modern consumer is empowered by having an enormous amount of resources, reviews, and information tailored to their search preferences available in the span of seconds. Consumers have the power to immediately disengage from anything they do not find instantly useful, and move onto the next item in a never-ending list of options competing for their attention. According to a survey from Time magazine, 55% of people spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage.
It’s truly a matter of seconds that makes the difference. If a user sees that you have a guide on your website with helpful information, they may be more likely to stick around. People don’t want to feel as if you are just trying to sell them something. They want useful content. Providing actionable content establishes your brand as a resource and an expert.
Furthermore, SEO has become increasingly complex. Google’s AI, RankBrain, uses machine learning that considers a user’s search history to predict what they are looking for and provide the most relevant content. RankBrain’s algorithm detects patterns between a user’s prior searches, connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated search terms to create a constellation of information that is used to calculate what they want to find in their current search. RankBrain is just one example of the many ways in which SEO has transformed to reflect the evolving web of online content and the expanding landscape of consumer choices.
All of this means that content quality is critical. It is not enough anymore for websites to post long blog posts littered with SEO-friendly terms in the hopes that a search engine will choose their post from piles of similar content and put them at the top. SEO has evolved to value the quality of content, and a pillar page can help your brand keep up.
What Does an Effective Pillar Page Look Like?
An example of an effective pillar page that helped a cybersecurity company soar to the top of Google, surpassing multiple government websites, is Dark Cubed’s 50+ Cybersecurity Resources page.
When you visit the page, the first thing you see is that it contains information about numerous types of free resources. Note that it contains tools such as quizzes, infographics, and ungated downloadable content. This open display of expertise and beneficial information builds trust between the company and anyone who arrived at their website searching for resources or information about cybersecurity. Some of these visitors will turn into prospects and buyers.
In the same way a pillar provides support for a physical building, your pillar page props up your website with support from smaller structures such as blog posts that link to it. An effective pillar page attracts target consumers to your site and establishes your brand as an expert that potential buyers can trust. When built correctly, a pillar page helps you climb to the top of search engines and creates a towering online presence for your brand.