The way you create blog content has changed… again. And it will continue to evolve, but understanding search engine algorithms NOW with help you in the future.
As people search in different ways according to the way that Google provides results, businesses must shift their content to take advantage of this.
For example, searches are now longer than four words (also known as long-tail keywords), yet they’re more to the point of exactly what answer will be. Instead of searching for “Sydney bar”, the search now would become “craft beer near me” or “best Sydney outdoor bars”. It’s more conversational and it’s up to businesses to adapt.
You can’t forget that voice is now used to search Google through mobile and at-home devices. Your content must reflect how people speak, but also contain the right keywords and structure to get found in the first place.
Confused? Let’s get broad before we get granular.
How can I improve my search rankings?
Start with Pillar Content: Choose the broadest topics that your audience are currently searching for. Narrow it to around 3-5 words or phrases you’d like to rank on Google.
Your content within these specific “topic clusters” should essentially be the basis for your blog content going forward. Cluster content is the content that really narrows down on any of the 3-5 content pillars; it focused on a specific keywords related to that topic.
Pillar Pages = Topic
Cluster Content = Keywords related to Topic
What is a Pillar Page?
The simplest way to think of Pillar Pages is by thinking of it as a Category, and everything about this particular topic, falls within it. By knowing the topics that you cover, you will find it much easier to be found on Google and to come up with your blog content. It’s a win-win, really.
So, if a Pillar Page isn’t a blog post, what is it? They’re like the gatekeeper for all the content on a website that is related to that topic.
If you wanted to learn more about that topic, you’d land on a Pillar Page that sums up everything there is to know, except not in as much detail. On the page, all of the content is linked, so the website visitor spends more time picking and choosing what to engage with on the website around the topic they were originally searching for.
It’s not only incredible for organisation of your site (for the user), it helps improve your search engine marketing. Neil Patel goes into more detail on Youtube about this ‘secret’ method of SEO, but essentially concludes that Pillar Pages are the best way to not confuse Google with all your content.
Google NEEDS to know what you content is about to rank your website above another. When you don’t make this clear, and don’t link pages of related content, you’re telling a seriously confused story to Google.
How to Create Your Own SEO Pillar Pages
First, you need to do research into the broader search terms that your audience is using. You can’t be too broad that the pillar page will never be found or too narrow that no one is searching for it.
As the word Pillar suggests, these pages are foundational and you strengthen your pillars through the topic cluster content you create. They’re in-depth pages about a topic, not just a random blog post or another webpage on a site. They hold the site together.
Once you’ve decided on your Pillar Pages, the content underneath is anything and everything that is related, e.g.
- Blog posts
- Sales, product offers
- Infographics or free downloads
The entire purpose of doing this is interlinking. It shows search engines that all your content is of a high-quality and related. It isn’t trying to bypass good content in the name of ranking, it is good content.
It doesn’t matter how long your articles are or how many keywords you cram in each blog posts, it’s always (and Google knows) about the content quality & depth.
How to Plan Topic Clusters
Unsure of how to plan your Pillar Pages and the topic clusters underneath? Try HubSpot’s SEO & Content Strategy Tool, built for planning content strategy and building search authority, or any online tool that can help you build a strong database of keywords to create content on.
You can go directly to Google for this one if you’d rather take notes from what the search engine itself is suggesting for your topic clusters.
An example of this, if you’re a Melbourne cocktail bar or venue: it could be that one of your Pillar Pages is on Drinks / Cocktails (it’s a service / product that you offer, and there’s a lot of information out there that could link to this particular pillar). When searching for ‘Melbourne drinks’ or ‘Melbourne cocktails’’, Google suggests:
- Melbourne drink venue
- Melbourne drinks festival
- Melbourne drinks with a view
- Melbourne specialist
- Drinks Melbourne CBD
- Melbourne cocktails blog
- Melbourne cocktails drinks
- Melbourne cocktails night
- Melbourne cocktails birthday
- Melbourne cocktails cheap
From these long-tail keywords, you can start transforming them into valuable content for your audience -- Interviews, recipes, city guides, upcoming events -- and link to this all on the Pillar Page.
Want to learn more about how Pillar Pages can move your website from unseen to traffic that converts into paying customers? Contact us today.