How to Create an Effective Topic Cluster and Pillar Page

Let’s review the relationship between a topic cluster and a pillar page. First, you need a core topic. This should be something broad, usually two to three words, something that can be dug into and explained on a deep level. Sales qualification is a great example of a core topic. Your core topic will take the shape of your pedler page. Your core topic will also be what you’re trying to rank for on search engines.

Pillar Page Strategies

Next, identify your topic cluster, which will be made up of relevant subtopics. A subtopic should be strong enough to stand alone in the form of a blog, post or video. But when combined with other like themes subtopics, it should be relevant to and support your core topic. In this case, what is a qualified prospect and what is bands are examples of strong subtopics that support the core topic of sales qualification and what completes this content pillar, which sells for both the searcher and the search engine, is connecting everything through a series of hyperlinks by linking all relevant subtopics to the core topic, which is your pillar page. You’re funneling all of your traffic to the main resource hub on this topic. Let’s see this in action. If you performed a Google search for sales qualification, this is what the first page listing would look like. At the top, you’ll see Google generated a featured snippet, which is the search engines way of answering your question simply without you having to click through to the page. In this case, Google assumes that if you’re looking for information on sales qualification, then you’ll find value in the bank qualification framework information that’s pulled from a Rulership resource called the Ultimate Guide to Sales Qualification. Below the featured snippet, you’ll see Rulership also claims the number one listing for sales qualification with the same resource, the ultimate guide to sales qualification. In a world of trying to rank for broad keyword terms, this is what you’re striving for, the featured snippet, as well as the number one ranking. Let’s say you’re interested in learning more about the qualification framework. So you click the link in the search result to learn more. You’ll be taken to this page. After the first few paragraphs, you’ll see a table of contents that lets you know that you can navigate through the guide by clicking each section. Each section title has an anchor link attached to it, which, when clicked, will take you to the specific section on the page where it explains that topic in depth. You’ll also notice it back to top button. This feature is a must have for a good user experience on a page of this length as it allows the reader to jump back to the top after reading a specific section. The last thing you want is your reader having to scroll back up a long form content page to get to the top.

Identifying Page Content Structure

Going back to our example, you found yourself on this page because you click through to learn more about the bank qualification framework, which is number four on the ultimate guide to sales qualification. By clicking the anchor link, you’re taking to the specific portion on the page that discusses the bank qualification framework in depth. And within this section, you’ll notice there’s a link on average of five point four people to make a buying decision when clicked, it takes you to another Rulership resource titled Why Customer Position Isn’t Enough to Close Deals Anymore. This is another relevant subtopic that supports sales qualification. Not every relevant subtopic you have will be referenced on the pillar page, and that’s OK. That’s because you may have hundreds, even thousands of subtopic pages that support your core topic. Instead, you can strategically link to relevant subtopic content throughout your peddler page when it makes sense and when it provides value to the website visiter. Just make sure all important subtopic pages connect to the pillar page and use your best judgment on what content you include. Remember, keep the user experience and the story you’re trying to tell in mind. So that’s how this page solved for the searcher by offering a positive user experience.

But how are the page solved for the search engine in terms of traffic and visibility? This page receives more than 1500 organic nonpaid visits from search engines per month. So how do you create a pillar page? First, let’s review the two most widely used pillar page formats. Let’s start with the Resource Pillar page. The resource pillar page focuses on internal and external links. The goal of this pillar page is to be a helpful resource in connecting the reader with the most relevant sources on a specific topic, even if it means sending people off your site. For example, take a look at the pillar page helps out a simple customer service company created on customer acquisition. This resource pillar page is composed of multiple sections that offer links to internal and external resources. Generally, you wouldn’t want to send people away from your website, but this approach is solving for the visitor, not your business. The biggest advantage of a pillar page format like this is you have the opportunity to generate inbound links from sources you include on the page. This page has more than 300 inbound links pointing to it, most of which are sources mentioned on the page. For this type of page, you’ll need to develop an outreach plan to let the sources know the page exists.

Next is the 10x content pillar page. The goal of this type of pillar page is the same to provide a comprehensive overview of a specific topic. But the next pillar page is generally made up of your own media. The format of this page is similar to that of an unguarded ebook or a guide. Yes, I said unjaded content, unjaded thought leadership content in the awareness stage. Surles for both the search engine and the website visiter, not one or the other. It’s surles for the search engine because they’re able to recognize the clustering of like themed content on a specific subject. And it’s Salz for the website visitor because it gives them the opportunity to view your content before deciding to commit to downloading it. The trick is making the 10x content pillar page conversion focus by packaging the pages content into a downloadable resource. You may be asking yourself why the heck would anyone give you their elusive email address if they can view the same content on a website page without providing any identifying information? Well, Rulership did a study in March of twenty seventeen and we found that 90 percent of website visitors prefer to read our lengthy content in a PDF as opposed to a website page. But this preference is not limited to Rulership content. It’s human nature to want to take something with you if you find value in it. Think of it this way.

Let’s say you go to a bookstore looking for a new book to read. You’d probably wander up and down the aisles flipping through pages of various books until you find one that meets your needs. Once you find a book you enjoy, you’ll probably go to the checkout counter and buy it to take it with you, as opposed to staying in the bookstore hour after hour and day after day reading this piece of content. This is the experience you’re trying to replicate, but it can only be done if your content provides value to the reader. We’ve reached this age where everyone seems to have an e-book or guide, but the quality of that content is a different story. Sure, you may be getting leads, but what if people don’t find value in your content? They most likely won’t continue building a relationship with you. So that lead you captured won’t be as valuable as you think. In contrast, the people who can view your content before downloading it and who then choose to fill out your form will be much more qualified because they’re willingly giving you their information, even though they’ve already seen what your content has to offer. For example, let’s take a look at this 10x content pillar page on email outreach created by Mail Shake, a simple cold email outreach tool. This 10x content piller page covers a comprehensive approach to email outreach with section content.

Email Marketing

Let’s say you wanted to learn more about what an effective outreach email looks like. Clicks Section three at the top of this page, examples of good and great outreach emails and what we can learn from them. And the link will direct you to that specific section on the page to learn more about it. If you click the link in the table of contents at the top of the page, you notice Milkshake offers the content as a package downloadable resource at the bottom of the page. This way, if the visitor finds value in the content, they can choose to take it with them. How well is this page performing? Well in less than a year. This page has been viewed over forty three thousand times shared on social media. Three hundred and ninety eight times attracted three hundred and seventy two inbound links, acquired five thousand three hundred and twenty one email Uptons and acquired four hundred and two customers. Now those are some serious results for a piece of content that’s less than a year old. Now that we know the types of pillar pages that exist, let’s review how a company called a tumor created their businesses first unjaded tenex content pillar page. A Tumor is a company that helps transform unstructured text data into decision making information for a business. Well, there’s more than one way to create a pillar page, here’s a seven step process that a tumor followed to create an initial 10 X content page and top a cluster for their business. Let’s review each step in depth. First, a tumor identified a core topic for their 10x content pillar page. A tumor performed research on key words, their primary buyer persona customer experience manager Maggie might use when looking for information online. They identified the broad term text analysis and decided on it as the core topic because it’s an awareness stage subject that Maggie would search for and it’s connected to a product or service they offer. If you’re going to take the time to create content that educates your audience, make sure it connects to and supports at least one of your products or services if it doesn’t ask why you’re created in the first place. Second, a tumor identified their topic. Cluster may already have content created in support of your core topic. Instead of reinventing the wheel, identify current owned media that’s relevant to your core topic. In this case, a tumor already had four pages of text analysis themed blog content and a series of YouTube videos. And while it may be great that you already have subtopic content created, don’t sell your business short. Brainstorm a list of as many subtopics as possible that bring value to your core topic that have yet to be published.

Once you make a comprehensive list of subtopics narrowed down to the six of the strongest subtopics that support your core topic and its pillar page, remember, you can continue growing your pillar page. So having a list of subtopics already identified will help make that process easier. That comprehensive list you made is the content gift that keeps on giving. Third, a tumor created blog post for their subtopic content. If you’re like a tumor and you chose at least one subtopic that needs content created, you’re going to need a way to bring it to life. Create a blog post first, because there are various opportunities for repurposing it in the future to minniti content for their subtopic categorization systems. So they created a blog post titled How to Create a Customer Feedback Taxonomy. Once the tumor created this blog post, they had a blog post for each one of their subtopics, they identified forth a tumor, repurpose their subtopic content into a downloadable offer. Once you have all the content, you need to create your piller page, repurpose the subtopic content into a downloadable offer. Remember, the goal here is to use the content. You have to put together a helpful story for the reader, which explains the core topic in depth. Create the content offer before the pillar page. This way you’ll be able to prepare a highly relevant conversion action, downloading the content offer to have on the pillar page so your business can start generating leads as soon as the page is published.

Fifth, a tumor deconstructed their downloadable offer into a 10x content killer page. A tumor took the same content offered in their guide and formatted to fit on a website page. We all know content is king. Matt Cutts, formerly with Google, coined this phrase many years ago. But design is sometimes forgotten, and it’s just as important, if not more important, than the content on the page. You want people to have a positive experience when they’re reading your content. Think about the last bad experience you had at a restaurant you visited. Did you go back to make sure your 10x content Piller Page provides a positive experience? Check out these 13 layout tips outline on a Tuomas example. Let’s review each little tip in more detail, starting at the top left of the example with TIPS one, two and three apply consistent on page. So best practices referencing the core topic in your page title, your URL and one tag moving down to tip four include conversion focus, landing page elements. Really, this is what a landing page should look like. Text to the left with bullet points to describe the offers value and image of the offers cover in the middle and a form to fill out and access the offer to the right. Insert the form directly on the 10x content pedler page. Doing so reduces the amount of conversion actions a reader needs to take to download the resource. That being said, if you’re more comfortable with a dedicated landing page with a form to access the offer, insert a CTA on the pillar page to send the readers there. Moving down to tip five. Add an anchor league table of contents below the conversion point with the line, click the link to go directly to a specific section. This lets the visitors know they can view the content first before deciding to take it with them. Moving up to the top right of the example and layout tab six. You’ll notice there’s website navigation. The goal of this page is to create a positive experience for the visitor, not forcing to convert as a landing page would moving down to tip seven. There’s a definition of the core topic. The core topic is defined at the top of the page, which helps optimize the page to be chosen as a feature snippet for that topic.

A featured snippet is Google’s way of trying to answer your search query simply without you having to click through to a page. It’s the first thing people see before the search result. Listings moving down to Type eight use relevant images throughout the page with the core topic reference in the URL text. This helps optimize the images used on the page for image search results. Moving down to tip nine. Use H2 tags for section headers. Don’t even think about just increasing the text size and Bouldin it. Let’s keep it simple, consistent and neat. Using proper HTML structure helps provide a clean user experience and makes it simpler to update the page. Moving down to TIPS 10 and 11 use relevant internal and external links to dig deeper into resources. Yes, I said external links as well. It helps to use external links to validate your claims. Just use them strategically, like to support a claim or data point that you want to reinforce. Moving down to tip twelve. Reference your core topic throughout the page, but don’t just repeat this same exact phrase. Search engines are smart enough to understand synonyms of your core topic phrase. And lastly, tip thirteen. Have a back to top button. This way. When people click a section they want to learn more about, they can easily jump back to the top. People probably won’t read your entire page. They may find one section interesting enough and one to download and take it with them. You want to make this process as easy as possible for the visitor for getting this step would require the reader to endlessly scroll or might feel like it, which could lead to frustration, which could lead to them leaving your page and going elsewhere. Sixth, Tooma link the relevant owned media content to their 10x content killer page, once you complete your 10x content page, you’re going to need a hyperlink, your subtopic content to it, creating your topic. Kluster, the goal here is to connect all owned media that’s relevant to the core topic, to the pillar page using a hyperlink. The more content associated with your topic cluster and pillar page, the better. And don’t just add any old link text. Take the time to update the anchor text to something descriptive that supports the core topic. A tumor linked more than 20 relevant pieces of content to their 10x content pillar page. And you’ll notice they took the time to create descriptive anchor text to let the searcher and search engine know where they’re going.

Seventh, Atama created a convergent path for people to access their 10x content pillar page. The goal here is to let people know this content is available because if you don’t, you run the risk of a large portion of your website. Visitors never finding it. Forgetting this step would be similar to building a new addition on your house without a door. No matter how great that room is, no one will be able to get in. So what’s the point? Another placement to consider is a dedicated section with a CTA near the top of the homepage with an image and descriptive supplemental text. This doesn’t mean it always needs to stay here. On this page, you can promote the pillar page for a limited time, possibly for two weeks or a month, to support its publishing launch. And there you have it, seven steps to create an effective 10x content page for your business. A team has been creating content consistently for years, but this seven step process helped them make more sense of how to create, grow and connect effective content. But how well is it performing? After two months, their VP of Marketing and Sales said We’re receiving about four times the leads. If you measure by quality compared to before the text analysis content pillar. And why do you think a tumor’s quality of Leeds went up? Because their content provides so much value that interested visitors are willing to give up their information to take a package download with them. If you’re looking for a place to start with creating topic clusters and pillar pages, consider deconstructing your existing awareness or consideration stage offers into 10x content pillar pages. I reverse engineered a DIY truck camper guide through a series of blog posts for my website and in an effort to solve for the best experience for website visitors and search engine web crawlers, I deconstructed that guides content into a conversion focus pillar page. The result in four months are nonpaid organic traffic coming from search engines increase three hundred and twenty nine percent. Remember, if you have something valuable to say to your audience and the world, don’t keep it locked up behind the form.

Get it out there for all to see. Just make sure to package it in a way that makes it easy for people to take with them and enjoy elsewhere.

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