When it comes to SEO and inbound marketing, content is the single most important component to driving traffic and converting leads to sales. And while content is crucial, it works very differently in an SEO strategy than it does in an inbound campaign. Yet despite these differences,
Despite these differences, content has a number of common threads that stretch between SEO and inbound, and pillar pages are arguably that which offers the most value when it comes to multi-purpose content that serves a purpose in these two marketing strategies.
This article is intended to help CEOs, executives, managers and business owners understand what pillar pages are, how they fit into SEO and inbound strategies, and why the best growth marketing agencies specializing in SEO and inbound use them to help their clients hit their high revenue goals.
What is a Pillar Page?
A pillar page is the foundation on which a topic cluster is built. The pillar page covers every aspect of the topic at hand, with space for more in-depth coverage in detailed cluster blog posts that internally link back to the pillar page.
As an SEO play this strategy helps rank content for the right search terms and keywords with contextual sustenance to help improve traffic quantity and quality. When used as a landing page in an inbound marketing campaign a pillar page can help funnel buyers according to the stage they are at in the buyer’s journey, and help people who are most likely to convert according to the details behind every buyer persona, and how the content speaks to these people and moves them to the bottom of the conversion funnel.
Ultimately, pillar pages are high-traffic pages; you can send people to them through organic, paid media, email marketing, and any other method designed to capture a high quality caliber of traffic. From an SEO standpoint, they play a major role in leveraging search engine optimization and ranking strategies because they are designed to get significantly more traffic than most other pages. From an inbound play, they can serve as destination pages that help educate buyers and help route them to pieces of content that provide direct solutions to their needs, or convert them on the spot to delighted buyers.
The Best Growth Marketing Agencies Use Pillar Pages to Improve Rankings
When it comes to a growth marketing stack, or even an a la carte SEO strategy, organic traffic is the most valuable type you can get. If the strategy is done correctly, your rankings can live on for years after an active strategy is paused or stopped altogether. In other words, any traffic you get from SEO has a free CPA.
But rankings alone won’t help you hit your growth goals. Subpar SEO agencies always try to rank for the big broad keywords with the highest search volume. And while ranking for a keyword that has the most eyes on it may seem like an ideal strategy, it’s actually pretty brainless instead of a no-brainer. These keywords are hyper competitive and can take months to a year to rank for, especially if your organic competitors are Fortune 1000 players. But what’s more important than wasting time by trying to rank for keywords with the highest search volume, is trying to rank for keywords that will have low conversion rates.
Think about it: according to SEMrush, the keyword “men’s jackets” has 90.5K monthly searches. On the flip side “best leather jackets for men” has a fraction of that search volume at 1.9K a month, but the keyword has context; it indicates the type of jacket, and it targets buyers who are clearly looking for the best jacket (price, quality, value, purpose, etc) but lack the needed education to make a confident purchasing decision. Therefore, ranking for the keyword with lower competition and that targets specific needs will not only result in more conversions, but growth goals can be achieved in less time than ranking for high search volume keywords while rolling the dice that a fraction of that traffic is looking for the product type in your content.
A pillar page can house a content strategy that ranks for high quality traffic and actually converts because it can utilize a variety of contextualized keywords, with mixed levels of search volume, and speak to multiple buyer personas. It can also lead specific buyers to content that more intimately addresses their need.
Pillar Pages Improve the User Experience and Therefore Increase Sales
The best growth marketing agencies know how to create pillar pages to help garner a better user experience–something that matters a great deal when the goal is to increase sales or get people to commit a desired action like fill out an appointment form or download a buyer’s guide.
When a pillar page attracts a specific type of buyer, he may have more than one need. And because a pillar page covers a wide range of topics and has a cluster of blogs covering unique topics, buyers can find detailed information on a variety of subjects that enables them to confidently make an informed purchasing decision.
For example, let’s say a custom pool builder has a pillar page on the topic of salt water pools. Sub topics include health benefits, design and aesthetics, building material quality, and how to choose the right pool size. Supporting cluster blogs can go deeper into subjects like why salt water is better for your health than chlorine, how will a pool add to the resale value of your home, and how to child-proof and pet-proof a pool. When most buyers are investing in high ticket price items, the sales cycle is generally longer and buyers do a lot of research before making a purchase. A typical pool shopper may have concerns about the safety of their children and pets, how pool chemicals impact health, and whether or not a pool is just a luxury item, or a real investment. A pillar pages can address all of these main topics and give buyers access to all the information they are looking for, in a single location, so they can determine if buying a pool will resolve their needs.
Pillar pages help convert leads that enter an inbound marketing campaign, and they convert organic leads that come in through the SERPs. And the best growth marketing agencies know how to engineer them to serve both strategies and achieve a client’s main goal.
Learn How a Growth Marketing Stack can Jump-Start Your Business Growth Into High Gear
Growth Stacks include much more than pillar pages for SEO and inbound marketing strategies. Download our FREE guide on the WEBITMD Growth Stack, and see if the strategy makes sense for your business. Got questions? Give us a call and let us learn about your growth goals. Together, we can find a profitable solution.