Pillar Page & Cluster Content: SEO Explained

SEO, i.e. search engine optimization, is constantly changing. Yesterday keywords were all the rage right down to keyword spamming, today its content strategies. But not only SEO has changed, but also the search behaviour of the users and thus also the functioning of the search engines. If you still want to be found among many millions of other sites on the Internet, you have to constantly change the structure of your site and organize it differently. Today, pillar pages are everywhere. They are the centre of the content hub, these are content-based online strategies.

Are keywords obsolete?

Getting first place in the search engines is not a matter of course. There’s a lot of work behind it. So far, it has been the keywords that turned out to be suitable after extensive research, which is characterized by a high search frequency with little competition. There are short-tail keywords, which are also called generic keywords and usually consist of just a single word, and long-tail keywords, which are made up of several terms. Over time, the search queries of Internet users continued to change and became more and more specific. Nowadays, they often consist of whole sentences. These changed search habits are partly due to the use of language assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Co.

Well thought-out content strategy is required today

But not only search queries, but voice input and user behaviour have also changed. The algorithms of search engines adapt to trends again and again and are also constantly evolving. The providers are constantly optimizing them in order to perfectly implement the search queries and deliver really relevant results.

For marketers, this means that focusing solely on keywords no longer works. A well-thought-out content strategy is necessary for a good place in search engine rankings. Only the structured implementation of this strategy is promising with the new requirements. For many companies, these innovations pose a major challenge. Smaller companies in particular rarely have a marketing expert on board who only takes care of these things. The result: The company is far behind in the search engine ranking. In order not to end up under further running, professional help from an SEO agency can be helpful.

The content strategy: pillar content and cluster content

Before a pillar page can be created, it is first necessary to design a content marketing strategy and determine the pillar and cluster content. In terms of content, the pillar content is the overarching main topic, to which the cluster content is subordinate. Clustered content is the many sub-topics associated with the main topic. With this strategy, it is possible to cover a wide range of topics. Internal linking can increase site traffic and overall visibility.

What exactly is a pillar page?

The term pillar page is derived from the English word “pillar” for the column. It is the basis for a specific topic that is worked out in the content strategy. 

In SEO, the pillar page is the basis for a topic cluster. In the cluster content, it is possible to go into all aspects of the main topic in great detail. It is important that the essential aspects are also represented on the pillar page. From there, there are shortcuts using hyperlinks to cluster content.

On the pillar page, visitors get an overview of the areas of the topic. But everything remains much more unspecific than the elements in the cluster content. Many open questions can still be clarified in the cluster content. With the help of links, the user can deepen a topic – without constant repetition.

A practical example: A pillar page can be about video marketing, for example. It introduces the topic and addresses all relevant questions. But the smallest details are difficult to deal with there. Otherwise, the page would be infinitely long. That’s why the Video Marketing Pillar page links to various cluster content pages that deal with tools, platforms, KPIs, and other details related to video marketing.

What makes pillar pages and topic clusters so important?

The aim of search engines is to serve the search queries of the users as well as possible. To do this, it is necessary to understand the intentions behind the search queries. This is the only way to provide suitable search results. Since user behaviour has changed so much, search engines have to adapt. The majority of search queries today consist of more than four words. Many users also google formulated questions, as is the case with search queries by voice input. Search queries are much longer today and are becoming increasingly complex.

Users find their way around better

Site operators understandably try to cover as many aspects and variants of a search query as possible. The aim is to be classified as relevant by Google. Pillar pagers deliver page content with structured core topics and internal linking. In doing so, they fulfil several SEO benefits at the same time. The content offered is very in-depth and thus corresponds very well with the user’s intentions. The page content is organized on pillar pages so that Google can quickly capture and index it. The logically networked internal links make it easier for users to find their way around. The pillar page acts as a guide through the entire site.

Why is the pillar page SEO relevant?

Keywords are no longer important to build reach. The short-tail keywords in particular are very narrow and rarely provide the right search results for the user. The pages instead have a theme that can rank well. Keywords only become important again when the cluster content is created. The content of the site covers a single topic very comprehensively.

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