You might have heard about pillar posts, often also referred to as cornerstone posts. If you are wondering how they can boost the ranking of your website, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn everything about pillars posts and how to create them.
What is a Pillar Post?
In order to understand how pillar posts can benefit your website, you need to fully understand what they are.
As the name suggests, pillars post are foundational pieces of content on your website. They represent the main topics of your website for which you want to be recognized.
For instance, if you had a website focused on social media marketing, a lot of your content would be around social media platforms and tips about how you can leverage them to gain more website traffic.
In that case, you would have one pillar post for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other platforms that you would focus on.
The pillar post would discuss each social media platform in-depth but at the same time, it would not be too specific.
In your Instagram pillar post you could have one subheading about Instagram stories. You would mention why it is so important to use it and how you can benefit from it. However, you would not go into any great detail describing the specific strategies you would adopt to create Instagram stories and the best practices. You would leave that for an individual post.
The goal of the pillar post is to cover all the important subtopics that you want to cover more in-depth in individual posts.
When you write individual posts on the subtopic of your pillar post, you then need to link them to your pillar post just as you would the pillar post to the individual post.
How to Create Pillar Content
The most important thing you need to decide is the topic for your pillar post.
The topic must be broad so it can branch out into many individual subtopic posts, but at the same time the targeted keywords for the pillar article cannot be too competitive.
In my example, I would not write a pillar post on Instagram as a whole. That would be too competitive, and the article would never rank well.
I would find a broader topic related to Instagram with many subtopics. For instance, ‘’Instagram Marketing Tips’’.
These keywords are less competitive, but they still have decent search volume and at the same time offer an opportunity for writing many individual posts for subtopics like sponsored ads, Instagram stories, influencer marketing, etc.
So, to sum it up, before you start writing your pillar post, do these two things:
- Keyword research
- Think of at least 10 subtopics for your chosen keyword
Both things are crucial for a successful pillar post.
Since you need to cover many subtopics, all your pillar posts will be long.
Aim to have at least 3,000 words, but the more the better. But of course, only if you still have subtopics to cover, don’t make the pillar post long just for the sake of making it long. You always need to provide value.
How Many Pillar Posts Should You Create?
This is a common question people ask and the answer may surprise you.
As you already know, pillar posts reflect the main topic of your website. Therefore, it makes sense that, ideally, you should have at least one pillar post for each of your main topics.
However, don’t make the same mistakes as many bloggers do and that is creating pillar posts for all of your main topics, without having a single optimized pillar post.
What is meant by an optimized pillar post?
A pillar post that has individual posts for the majority of its subtopics and that is interlinked with the posts.
Also, you should build quality backlinks to the pillar post.
Once you have done all of that, move on to creating your next pillar post.
If you can, for the following pillar posts try to focus on a topic that is somehow related to your first pillar post.
In my example, instead of writing the second pillar post on Twitter, I would write another one on Instagram, but on a different, broader topic. Once you have exhausted the topics on Instagram, I would move on to pillar posts for Twitter and do the same thing.
This way you raise your chances of ranking faster as Google will understand your content and also see you more as an authority for that particular topic since you have a lot of content for it.
If you write one pillar post on Instagram, the second on affiliate marketing, the third on dropshipping, then it’s fine, but it will take you a little longer to see the SEO effects.
Therefore, if you still have broad topics to cover, try to exhaust one main topic before moving to the next.
Of course, you may have a main topic that is so broad that it’s impossible to exhaust it with even a dozen pillar posts. If that’s the case, write 2-3 pillars and then move to another main topic.
How Your Pillar Posts Boost Your SEO
Creating pillar posts is not easy, but it’s well worth it.
Pillar posts are great for organizing your website. They help your visitors navigate your content, but most importantly, they help your website to rank higher.
Google always wants to show the most relevant results for whatever it is you’re looking for.
In order to do that, it needs to understand your website and its content. If you write about anything and don’t have any topics that you focus on, then it is hard for Google to categorize your website and its content.
If you have pillar posts, you are making it easier for Google to understand your content.
In our example, Google would see that each of our individual posts link back to the longer pillar post that discusses Instagram marketing tips. This would help Google understand what the content is about and would start ranking both the individual post and the pillar post higher for Instagram marketing tips.
So, to put it simply, pillar posts help you organize your content so that Google understands the content on your website. As a result, your SEO gets boosted.
Creating pillar posts is a proven method to improve the rankings of your website content.
It’s a method that is not that broadly discussed and used as it is not that easy to implement.
To write an excellent pillar post takes time. You need to put more time into the keywords research, make a plan for the individual posts and lastly, of course, you need to write a quality and long pillar post.
However, don’t miss out on boosting your SEO just because it is a little harder.
Martin Svec is the creator of Blogging Lizard. His goal is to provide
step-by-step instructions on how to monetize websites with affiliate marketing.