- November 9, 2023
- SEO News & Updates
Pillar pages and topic clusters are an increasingly crucial component of SEO strategy, especially as we move into 2024. They offer a structured way of organising content that not only enhances the user experience but also boosts a site’s visibility on search engines. Here’s a comprehensive look into how they work and why they are recommended by SEO experts.
Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters Explained
A pillar page is a comprehensive, long-form piece of content that covers a broad topic in your industry or business. It’s typically lengthy (often over 2,000 words) and is linked to various cluster pages that delve into subtopics or related areas in more detail1. This structure reflects a hub-and-spoke model where the pillar page acts as the central hub for a particular subject, with the cluster pages representing the spokes.
The SEO Benefits
- Enhanced Site Crawling and Indexing: Pillar pages contribute to an ideal site structure, ensuring that any page on the site is accessible within three clicks from the homepage. This ease of navigation is not just user-friendly; it also makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index the site, which can positively impact rankings2.
- Improved User Experience: By grouping related content under a unified theme, users can find all the related information in one place. This leads to a better user experience, often translating to longer site engagement and stronger SEO signals to search engines like Google2.
- Ranking for Competitive Keywords: Pillar pages target broad, competitive keywords. They act as authoritative pieces on a subject and can accumulate significant traffic and backlinks, which can then be distributed to the cluster pages, thereby improving their rankings as well2.
- Establishing Website Authority: Having multiple pages related to one topic can help establish your site as an authoritative source, aligning with Google’s emphasis on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT)1.
Creating and Structuring Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters
- Topic Selection: The first step is deciding on a core topic that aligns with your business and your target audience’s needs. It’s important to focus on one cluster at a time to avoid diluting your content’s impact2.
- Keyword Research: Utilising keyword research tools to determine the most searched terms within your chosen topic can help identify both the main pillar keyword and the long-tail keywords that will form the cluster content2.
- Content Creation: The content should be comprehensive and high-quality, targeting the identified keywords within the pillar and cluster pages. It’s important to make the pillar page detailed and in-depth to demonstrate its value over competing content2.
- Internal Linking: After creating your pillar page, it should be internally linked to cluster articles that further explain the concepts within it. This internal linking can also help in identifying existing content that can be integrated into the new topic cluster2.
Best Practices for Pillar Content
- The pillar content should be at least 2,000 words long.
- It should have a TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) section with links to important sections.
- Organise the content into sections or chapters for better readability.
- Use quick links to allow easy navigation between sections.
- Implement strategic backlinking and consistent anchor text for targeted keywords1.
Pillar pages and topic clusters offer a robust framework for organising content that can significantly enhance SEO performance. By focusing on creating comprehensive, authoritative content around core topics and strategically linking to detailed cluster pages, businesses can improve their site structure, user experience, and overall search engine visibility. As we head into 2024, adopting this structured approach to content is not just recommended; it’s essential for staying competitive in the dynamic world of SEO.