What is a pillar page and why you need one?
Pillar Page Overview
A pillar page does the same thing for a website as a pillar does for a house. It is a focal point that strengthens the entire structure. While it was previously the norm in SEO strategy to focus on packing likely Google search terms into articles, a serious failing of that method is that it can create competition with yourself. Therefore, a key benefit of the pillar page strategy is that it allows your articles to compete in search engines as a group rather than individuals.
Essentially, a pillar page is a large, general topic overview. This then becomes a foundation for a “topic cluster.” The general overview (pillar page) links to articles with more specific information about the topic on your website. Meanwhile, these more specific articles on similar topics also link back to the “pillar” that they are built around. As a result, when one piece of the pillar goes up in the rankings, the rest goes up with it because they are all woven together. It’s actually a very simple matter of a team being stronger than an individual: a search engine tactical wedge.
Search Engine Trends
As we already touched on, it was recently a common practice to pack articles with individual keywords. However, while that method does technically cover a lot of bases, it also spreads your SEO thin. This is because users are increasingly using longer, more specific search queries, and search engine results are
in turn reflecting that tendency. As a result, although your website may hit a lot of the individual search terms, none of the articles will be ranked as highly as an article that matches a longer, more specific search query.
Playing a pure numbers game is just no longer as effective. Using the pillar page method, you are signaling to Google that you not only have great coverage of a general topic on your website, you also have identifiable, specific information, and that all of the information is mutually supportive rather than internally competitive.
Another, more obvious benefit of using pillar pages is that it improves the organization of your website, and therefore makes it easier to navigate. While the previous, keyword-centric content strategies began with identifying keywords and working from there, using pillar pages means that your first step is finding
your topic and using that as your cornerstone. The structure of pillar pages inherently makes information easier to find: starting with a general topic, and branching out. It naturally creates an index for your content.