PILLAR CONTENT: WHAT IT IS AND WHY YOU NEED IT
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Originally Posted On: https://wearerounded.com/content-writing/pillar-content-what-it-is-and-why-you-need-it/
Pillar content is an essential part of every digital marketing plan. Ultimately, it will bring more patients, clients, customers, and patrons to your digital doorstep. Or, to put it more plainly: pillar content will get you paid.
What is it? How can you get some?
We’ve got all the answers you need. If your website isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, grab a beverage and get comfortable — because we’re deep diving into pillar content marketing.
Online Marketing: A Quick Overview
We could write dissertations on the intricacies of online advertising. But today, let’s focus on the basic elements to provide a wireframe of where pillar content fits into the picture.
Paid Advertising: Paid advertising tools include sponsored content, banner ads, and pay-per-click campaigns. Years ago, paid links were another popular paid advertising method. But algorithms have improved, and search companies now take a dim view of paid linking. We’re not saying it’s not done — and there are ways to do it “legally” — but it’s an increasingly deprecating method.
Organic SEO: Search engine optimization is the process of making websites more visible on platforms like Bing, Google, and Yahoo! Effective SEO initiatives are built around attractive, frequently updated websites filled with valuable content.
Social Media: While a large part of social media involves shouting opinions and lifestyle bragging, it can also be used to increase a business’s online presence. If done correctly, social media is a fantastic way to advertise products, businesses, and medical practices.
In which category does pillar content belong? The answer is all three. Pillar content supports paid advertising, organic SEO, and social media initiatives.
Extra-Credit Content SEO and Online Marketing Reading
Want to learn more about search engine optimization? Check out the posts below.
- Five SEO Pitfalls That Could Sink Your Site: Learn about five big mistakes that newbie website marketers make.
- Five Biggest SEO Myths: The Internet is filled with lots of bad information. This post goes over the top five related to search engine optimization.
- What Is On-Site SEO: This article covers what you can do on your site to improve your SEO efforts.
- What Is Off-Site SEO: This piece reviews tactics used by professional online marketers to attract more off-site attention to a given platform.
- SEO vs. PPC Advertising: Do you know the difference between search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising? If not, check out this post.
- How Content Improves Your Search Engine Ranking: This is an in-depth piece on how and why content improves your SERP rank.
- Tell Me the Truth: How Long Does SEO Take?: SEO doesn’t happen overnight. Click through and find out how long online marketing campaigns take.
- A Comprehensive History of SEO: Are you a history buff? If so, you’ll love this article about the history of search engine optimization.
What Is Pillar Content?
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Definitionally, pillar content consists of substantive articles around which other content is built. In terms of article length, pillar content is lengthy — usually between 1,700 and 3,000 words — whereas supporting content pieces fall between 500 and 700 words.
Quality pillar content will help your website perform better in the SERPs.
What are those?
SERP stands for “search engine result pages.” When you type a word or question into a search engine, it returns pages of links that match your inquiry. These pages of links are called SERPs in the online marketing world. Ideally, companies want to land as close to the top as possible in their target markets.
That last part about “target markets” is important. Many folks don’t realize that search results are hyper-regional. In the days of old, search engines only produced one set of SERPs. People in Spain saw the same suggestions as users in St. Louis. But these days, results for people in New York are different than those in Denver.
As such, local search is an integral part of your SEO strategy that should be incorporated into your pillar content whenever possible.
Why is Pillar Content Important?
Pillar content is important for three main reasons. Let’s take a look.
Content Is King
For starters, it’s the scaffolding used to build your digital marketing campaign. In a sense, it provides direction and vision. Pillar content keeps your site focused and anchored. Moreover, websites with quality content that answers common questions typically perform better.
Algorithms and Content
Secondly, pillar content is technologically essential. Search algorithms — the automated bots that fuel ranking results — need content to analyze and rank. Those algorithms love grammatically correct, well-researched pillar content and catapult it to the top of the SERPs.
Get People Talking
Thirdly, content is what gets people talking and sharing on social media. Now, does an Instagram post about a new chiropractic tool, method, or finding have a chance of “going viral” like the “Leave Britney Alone” guy or “Keyboard Cat”? Probably not.
But if you have an excellent social media person in place, they may be able to make a fun quip about a trending topic that gives your account some exposure.
Pillar Content Case Study: Denver Chiropractic LLC – Trent Artichoker
We could spend weeks talking about various strategies and techniques. But you’re a business person looking to grow a company. So, with that in mind, let’s look at a real-life case study to prove the power of pillar content.
Denver Chiropractic LLC is one of the most successful practices in the city. It ranks for several important keywords that help grow their practice, including “shockwave therapy Denver” — a highly searched term that brings Denver Chiropractic dozens of new clients monthly.
So how did we get them to the top?
Over a couple of months, we developed a bunch of long-tail blog posts about various aspects of Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), including but not limited to:
- Treating Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee) With Shockwave Therapy
- Treating Achilles Tendinopathy With Shockwave Therapy
- Treating Greater Trochanteric Bursitis With Shockwave Therapy
- Treating Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) With Shockwave Therapy
- Sports Medicine and Shockwave Therapy: A Noninvasive Way to Generate Tissue Healing
All of those articles linked to the pillar article entitled “What Everyone Suffering From Pain Wants to Know About Getting Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT).” The internal blog links buoy the bigger pieces, ultimately boosting your site’s search rank.
Linking Pillar Content
Step one is creating pillar content. It should be grammatically sound, engaging, and hopefully answer potential customers’ questions.
But publishing content isn’t enough. To get pillar articles working for you, linking is key.
Is there a trick to linking? Should all the “pillar package” pages link to each other?
The first thing to understand about website linking is that both internal and external connections are important. Here are a few rules to follow regarding pillar content linking.
- Everything should point to the primary service page. For example, since this page supports our web content services landing page, we link to it.
- Blog posts that support a pillar page should link to the pillar page, the service landing page, and other blog posts if appropriate.
- As a general rule of thumb, try not to have more than 100 links originating on a given page. While it’s not a hard and fast rule, it’s a good standard. Why? Because search ranking bots often label pages with loads of links as spammy.
- Cultivating external links is another essential component of pillar content marketing. Understand, though, that backlinks from content mills and spam farms are more likely to hurt your site than help them.
Extra-Credit Link-Building Reading
Want to learn more about how linking affects your search ranking? Check out the posts below.
- How Impactful Are Backlinks?: This post explains the importance of backlinks and how bad ones can demolish your search rank.
- What Is Anchor Text?: If you don’t understand anchor text, check out this article. We explain how keywords and anchor text are related and why they’re essential to your link-building efforts.
- Backlinking Strategies: This post dives into the intricacies of what to do and what not to do when building a link network.
Ways To Maximize Your Pillar Content
Throwing up any old content won’t do much. The days of keyword stuffing and crappy content are long gone. Today’s search engines punish spammy websites and platforms associated with them.
So performing well means publishing quality content that potential clients and customers find engaging. Ultimately, you want to create content that people link to voluntarily and share.
Have you ever heard of article syndication? It’s not something you regularly read about in generic online marketing “how tos.” We’re not going to get into the technical details, but suffice it to say that the technique blasts your content far and wide, which improves your link network.
At Rounded Digital, we syndicate our clients’ blog posts to hundreds of online magazines and news sites. Some articles end up in the feeds of major news channels.
Guest Posts and Blogger Outreach
Media outreach can take an online marketing campaign from “meh” to “amazing.” Not only is it great for networking purposes, but it’s a super way to gather high-quality backlinks.
Guest posts are also a tool you can use to boost authority on your primary service pages.
How do you land guest posting opportunities?
- Use services like Help a Reporter Out (HARO). It’s free for sources, but it takes time to master. Plus, you need to keep up with the listings to land one.
- Keep track of which journalists cover the “beats” you’re most interested in and send introductory emails. Remember: journalists need sources, so they’re often receptive.
- Reach out to blogs and websites that potential customers may visit.
- Contact trade and professional associations. They publish magazines and websites for members.
- Ask your friends. If they have businesses or websites that would dovetail nicely with yours, reach out. Maybe you could work out a win-win deal.
What type of links should you pursue when cultivating guest posting and media outreach connections? Ideally, you want links using target keywords, pointing to your homepage and service pages.
When outside sources give your content a vote of confidence by linking to it, search bots take note.
However, that doesn’t mean you should never develop links to your lower-tiered blog posts. We’ve seen shorter, supporting blog post pages fly up the search rankings because they answered a common, specific question.
Why is it best to enlist a content professional to cultivate guest blogging and media outreach opportunities?
- Time: Coming up with content ideas, outlining them, writing, and then editing takes time. What would you rather be doing? Writing or working on your business?
- Grammar: Do you remember if you should put a comma before a coordinating conjunction? What about double consonants? Do you remember those rules? While every piece of content doesn’t need to be perfect — it should be close. Blatant grammar errors are a turnoff for both potential clients and search engine bots.
- Coordinating: A digital content team knows how to coordinate your content with trends, which takes advanced planning. This type of work requires experience and time.
- Connections: Marketers typically have helpful connections that will help you garner quality backlinks and promotional opportunities. Top-tier firms and professionals also know how to reach out to reporters and columnists.
Extra-Credit Content Creation Reading
Want to learn more about how to make content work for you? Check out the posts below.
- Seven Ways To Make Your Web Content More Engaging: Read this to learn how to make your web content get noticed and shared.
- Should I Hire a Blogger? The Pros and Cons of Content Marketing: Are you still wondering whether you should hire someone to handle your content? Read this article for points to consider.
- Blogging With a Purpose: This is the ultimate guide to why and how consistent content publication can help your business.
- Five Things To Include in Every Blog Post: Are you interested in trying your hand at writing? Check out this article outlining the five things to include in every blog post.
- Seven Tips for Developing a Content Marketing Plan: This article is an in-depth look at how to develop a comprehensive digital marketing plan.
Pillar Content FAQs
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Does Every Website Need Pillar Content?
If you want potential clients, customers, patrons, or patients to discover you online? If so, developing pillar content is the way to go.
Every website should have at least three types of pages:
- Landing and service pages
- Pillar content
- Supporting blog posts
The last two should always link to the landing and service pages.
How Often Should I Post Pillar Content?
The amount of competition and your business niche will dictate your posting schedule. You probably won’t need to post daily if you’re the only widget-maker within 500 miles. If you’re in a tight urban market with dozens of competitors, posting more consistently will improve your SERP ranking.
How Much Does it Cost To Hire a Web Content Writer?
In days of old, you could get away with paying writers’ cents on the word. After all, web content didn’t need to be good or even legible back then. But things have drastically changed. These days, quality matters. Finding a competent web content writer for less than $0.10 a word is about as rare as winning the lottery. To get the job done well, expect to pay about $0.20 a word.
Let’s Chat About Your Pillar Content Needs
Well-crafted, valuable, SEO-friendly pillar content is the key to online promotional success. Invest in it, then sit back and watch your profits skyrocket.
Are you ready to jump-start your web traffic and commission some pillar content? Great! Let’s talk. We don’t mean to brag, but our content team is one of the best in the business, and we have package options for every budget.