If you’ve never heard of the phrase “content pillar page,” we suggest reading our post on “Content Pillars: What They Are and Why You Need Them on Your Website” before digging into the information below.
We know from experience that creating your first content pillar page can seem extremely overwhelming. Once you dig into the process, you’ll soon realize it’s not as daunting as it looks. It’s actually a beneficial exercise to look at your current content and thought leadership from a new perspective, and it has many long-term benefits for your online presence.
To help ease you into the process, we identified three steps to creating your first pillar page:
Determining a master topic is the first step of creating a content pillar page, and it can also be the most overwhelming step in the process. To start, follow these steps:
Run a content audit of your website, and compile a spreadsheet with all of the overarching topics you’ve written about on your blog.
Compare your content audit with a keyword research tool. Does your current content match what people are searching for? By comparing the top searches in your industry with the content you already have written, you can identify a short-list of topics where these two overlap.
Once you’ve identified themes, patterns or keywords that have emerged from your audit and keyword search – it’s time to determine a master topic. Choose something you are interested in, a subject you feel you are an expert on and have already written a lot of content about, and a topic with many different facets you can dive into.
Sift through your content audit and highlight all of the topics and blog posts that are relevant to your master pillar page topic. This exercise will help immensely once you start writing.
Before you start writing, gather all of the content you already have written on the topic, and know that you don’t have to start completely from scratch.
You are using this pillar page to position yourself as a thought leader on the topic, which means you need to know everything there is to know about that particular topic. You will also be writing up to 2,500 words (or more) on the topic, which will require a lot of information. Consider interviewing other subject matter experts on the topic and finding additional resources online that you can link back to on your page.
Compile content you already have written with your research notes into a comprehensive outline. This will help you identify which areas need to be more developed, and create an overall flow for your pillar page. The outline can be a combination of blog content, infographics, videos, photos, and ranking keywords.
It’s incredibly important that the content on your pillar page is evergreen. The goal of creating a pillar page is that it will serve as a long-standing resource on your expertise on a particular topic. This means it needs to surpass trends, cultural references and other time sensitive bits of information.
Once you’ve brought together all of the current content and new learnings on your topic, it’s time to start writing. We strongly suggest writing in sections, instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Approach each section like a new blog post. Then look at the content you already have written and decide what needs to be re-written, what needs to be written from scratch, and what’s still missing. Use language that is straightforward, and revisit your list of top keywords when writing.
Once you’ve created an outline for your pillar page and have filled it in with the appropriate amount of content, it’s time to design your pillar page. A good content pillar page hooks the reader and keeps them either on the page or coming back for more. It contains engaging imagery, infographics, charts, and sometimes video content. Flex your creativity and think of all the ways you can get your point across in an interesting and digestible way to your audience. Seek inspiration from some of our favorite pillar pages on the web here.
Creating your content pillar page is a huge accomplishment, and you will want to share it with the world right away so it can start working for you. It’s important to understand how to get your new pillar page in front of exactly the right audience, and determine which marketing strategies are best for promoting it.
In our Keys to Success series, we wrote an exhaustive guide on publishing your content to the right channels. Read it here, then go enjoy a beer (or two) after accomplishing such a big feat for your business!