Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Pillar Pages and topic clusters for SEO Success in 2024

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Pillar Pages and topic clusters for SEO Success in 2024


As the search industry gears up for an AI-fueled revolution, many professionals are uncertain of how to adjust to such a significant shift. It may be easy to stop producing information in silos, but it’s not always the case.

In this on-demand content strategy, we'll learn the difference between a pillar page and a subject cluster, and how to structure them.

It gives a clear strategy for increasing your website’s exposure and ranking on search engine results (SERPs).

Blog Highlights:

  • What is a subject cluster and a pillar page, and how do they work together?

  • What are the benefits of subject clusters vs. pillar pages for SEO?

  • How do you map and find opportunities for a subject cluster based on monthly search volumes and audience intent?

Understanding the importance of Pillar Pages & Topic Clusters in Modern SEO.

In the ever-evolving world of SEO, pillar pages and topic clusters have emerged as crucial strategies for boosting website visibility and organic traffic. Understanding the importance of these concepts is essential for modern-day marketers and content creators.

▶️ Pillar pages are comprehensive, in-depth pieces of content that cover a broad topic. They serve as a central hub for all related subtopics and link out to more detailed cluster content.

By organizing information in this way, search engines can better understand the structure and relevance of your website's content.

▶️ Topic clusters, consists of a pillar page and multiple supporting articles or blog posts that delve deeper into specific aspects of the overarching topic.

These subtopics link back to the pillar page, creating a network of interconnected content that signals expertise to search engines.

Image courtesy: Hubspot

How to implement pillar pages & topic clusters?

Well, start following these steps:

  1. Start identifying your core pillar topics, includes board subjects that align with target audience's interests.
  2. Create high-quality pillar pages that provide a comprehensive overview of each topic.
  3. Now, create those topic clusters. Pick subtopics related to pillars and write a separate blog posts for each.
💡
Pro tip: Make sure to link them back to their respective pillar page to establish a strong internal linking structure.

Now, here's where the magic happens: interlinking!

Connect your topic cluster pieces with each other using relevant anchor text and link them back to the pillar page as well. This not only helps with website navigation but also tells search engines that these pieces are all interconnected and valuable sources of information.

Remember, consistency is key. Keep adding new content to your topic clusters regularly, expanding on subtopics and keeping everything up-to-date.

This will keep your website fresh and relevant in the eyes of both users and search engines.

In this era of endless online content, having a "STRONG SEO STRATEGY"

Unoptimised content & keyword based SEO don't work anymore

Prior to 2015, keywords were king in SEO, but scenario is changing to be more specific & contextual.

According to Ahrefs, 64% of search queries contain four or more words. Google justifies that if searchers are using such specific search terms, the content displayed in the search engine results pages should also be detailed.

Moreover, it's absolutely astonishing that a significant number of searchers don't even utilize keywords in their quest for information!

This fascinating shift can be attributed to the rising popularity of voice search devices like Siri and Alexa. It's truly a testament to how far we've come in the realm of technology!

Thankfully, Google has been proactive in updating its algorithm multiple times in recent years. As a result, today's search engines are clever enough to understand that when you're searching for "restaurant near me", it's really the intent behind your search that matters.

Take these two factors together — the tendency for searchers to use more detailed queries and questions that may or may not include a keyword — and it becomes clear that thin content and keyword-focused SEO strategies aren't up to the task of meeting the needs of searchers today.

The Advantages of Organizing content by Topic Clusters & Pillar Pages:

The advantages of arranging content around topic clusters and pillar pages are truly noteworthy. This method not only brings a sense of order and coherence to your content, but it also enhances its visibility and relevance.

It's an approach that truly deserves our appreciation for the value it adds to content management.

Imagine going to grocery store would you rather shop there!

Or here?

No contest, right?

Nowdays content that is organized by topic, not keywords!!

A topic is a broad concept that encompasses various aspects, while a keyword represents a specific component of that concept. This can be likened to how a grocery store organizes related food items into different aisles.

In this example above, "produce", "meat", and "dairy" are the topics. Within each topic are a handful of subtopics (for example, "fruit" and "vegetables" are subtopics within the main topic of "produce."). Within the subtopics, "apples" and "bananas" are the keywords.

Similarly, a well-designed website uses topics to categorize keywords.

Here's an example topics & keywords from HubSpot, without topics to provide categories, their keyword strategy is such a mess.

But once we introduce topics into the mix, the keywords become more organized and the entire SEO strategy makes more sense.

Organizing the content with topic first approach means organizing your content into topic clusters containing pillar pages.

How Are Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages Structured?

A yoga chain that gives the glimpses around the topic "Yoga Routines" might have a topic cluster that looks like this:

In this!

➡️ Gist to follow:

Embracing pillar pages and topic clusters is crucial for modern SEO practices.

By organizing your content around these principles, you can enhance your website's visibility, establish topical authority, improve user experience, and ultimately drive organic traffic to your site.

Below are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Conducting Thorough Keyword Research to Identify Pillar Topics

When it comes to keyword research, think of yourself as a detective hunting for the perfect keywords and topics to boost your online presence.

It's like playing a strategic game of hide-and-seek with the search engines. By identifying these "pillar" topics, you'll have the upper hand in driving traffic and increasing visibility! Here are some steps to help you in this process:

1. Start with a broad topic: Begin by brainstorming a broad topic related to your business or industry. This will serve as the foundation for your pillar content.

2. Use keyword research tools: There are several keyword research tools available that can help you identify relevant keywords and phrases. Some popular options include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools provide insights into search volume, competition, and related keywords.

3. Look for high search volume and low competition: Focus on keywords with high search volume and low competition. These are the keywords that have a higher chance of ranking well and driving traffic to your pillar content.

4. Consider user intent: When conducting keyword research, it's important to consider user intent. Are people searching for information, looking to make a purchase, or seeking a specific solution? Understanding user intent will help you create pillar content that meets their needs.

5. Analyze competitor keywords: Take a look at what keywords your competitors are targeting. This can give you valuable insights into the topics and keywords that are driving traffic to their websites.

6. Group similar keywords: Once you have identified a list of relevant keywords, group them into clusters based on similarity. This will help you organize your pillar content around specific themes or subtopics.

7. Prioritize your pillar topics: Finally, prioritize your pillar topics based on their relevance, search volume, and competition level. You want to focus on topics that have the potential to bring in substantial traffic and provide value to your audience.

Remember, keyword research is an ongoing process as search trends and user behavior change over time. Regularly monitor keyword performance and update your content strategy accordingly.

By conducting thorough keyword research, you can identify the right pillar topics that will drive traffic, improve search rankings, and establish your authority in your field.

Step 8: Interlink Pillar and Cluster Content

Link your pillar page to relevant cluster content pieces and vice versa. This interlinking helps search engines understand the relationship between the pillar page and its supporting cluster content. It also improves user navigation, allowing them to easily explore related subtopics and find the information they need.

Step 9: Promote and Share

Once your pillar page and cluster content are published, promote them through various channels. Share them on social media, include them in your email newsletters, and reach out to relevant websites or influencers who might.

Its wrap! ✅

Furthermore, implementing pillar pages and topic clusters encourages internal linking within your website. This strengthens the overall architecture and improves user navigation, leading to better engagement metrics and ultimately higher rankings.

As we look ahead to 2024, it is clear that search engine optimization will continue to be an essential aspect of digital marketing