A little while ago we wrote a blog on link building. Early in that blog, we mentioned that it’s important to not to neglect your internal link strategy. And that’s why today we’re talking about pillar content.
What is pillar content?
Pillar content refers to the content on your website that is most important to your business. This can be your services or features page, or blog posts that tackle your most frequently-asked-questions as a company.
It’s the content that tells people who you are and why they should care. This content is high value and gives the reader insight into a burning question. Pillar content should also always be optimized for search engines.
Often, pillar content is long-form content that can be broken up into smaller chunks. Take an informative ebook as an example. You can break that into a few blog posts, infographics, and imagery to be used across your social media channels.
It’s content that you should be linking to regularly, both internally and as part of your external link building strategy, because you want it to rank high in search results.
Why should I care about pillar content?
It impacts your SEO strategy. This content is built to be evergreen. As in, you should be using this content for the long haul. Knowing what is and isn’t pillar content enables you to link to the right content at the right time.
It’s also the content that you will need to update more regularly. Your services page will change as you modify your offerings. Your blog post from three years ago might not be relevant today. If it’s pillar content, you’ll want to update that page to make sure that it still addresses concerns that people have right now.
How does SEO differ for pillar content?
This isn’t always an easy question to answer, as every business is different. But in general, pillar content will address higher volume, broad keywords.
As an example, you might have a pillar page optimized for the keyword “marketing.” This term is searched almost 100,000 times per month. It’s a hard term to rank for. But your pillar page should be in-depth and provide valuable information for anyone interested in learning more about “marketing.”
However, the content that is pointing to your pillar content will use longtail keywords, such as “email marketing.” This term gets over 22,000 searches every month. It’s still a competitive keyword, but much less so than the broader term.
Some businesses might optimize for longtail keywords on their pillar pages, and that’s OK! Every business is different. So while this is a good general guide for a lot of businesses, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
How often should I link to pillar content?
Only when it’s relevant.
Do not force links to pillar content when it doesn’t make sense. If I’m writing a blog post about my favorite pizza place, it doesn’t make sense for me to link to my “marketing” pillar page.
You also shouldn’t over-link to anything multiple times on a single page. As of this article, there is no SEO benefit.
If Google sees that a certain page links to a pillar content page 50 times, only the first page gets counted. So there’s no SEO benefit in linking to the same page multiple times on a single post.
And if you do link to the same page 50 times in a single blog post, you will look like spam. Which is definitely not something you want your reader to think.
Want more on content marketing? Check out this post on content strategy pillars.