It's a dream come true for web-savvy businesses to rank first on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, in recent times, dominating SERPs and attracting relevant traffic has become more competitive than ever .

Only 26% of B2C and 29% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing as extremely or very successful in the latest CMI research. The report further stated that only 57% generated sales or revenue via content marketing. 

But guess what? An insightful SEO campaign can put you far ahead of the curve.

How? 

By using topic clusters to make relevant blog posts and articles that will reach your intended audience and achieve your target SERP ranking.

Topic clusters are your best bet to help you dominate competitive search engines and produce high-quality posts. Over time, results have shown that topic cluster strategy has given companies a competitive edge over their competitors.

Here's a step-by-step guide to creating high-converting pillar pages and ranking in the top spots on Google.

What are Pillar Pages in Topic Cluster Model?

The pillar page gives a clear insight of your blog's topical focus and provides links out to related posts. In a pillar page, there is room for more in-depth reporting of the cluster blog posts which link back to the pillar page. When writing pillar pages, you should focus on a single keyword that is closely associated with the subject matter. In the topic cluster model, more importance is placed on intent than wide keyword coverage.

This pillar pages can be converted into downloadable ebooks, serving as lead magnets. The key strategy is to create a super-rich content such that people will want to download it.

Your website's pillars should also link to other key resources. Internal links are one of many signals used by search engines when determining the order of web pages to appear as part of the search result list. By matching your website's framework to your marketing goals, you can keep your customers engaged as they get nearer to making a purchase.

As an added benefit, search engines can see the site's hierarchy in the form of a graphical representation provided by pillar pages. The structure provided by a pillar page's internal linking is essential for a well-structured website's high search result ranking. Some pointers showcase a good pillar content.

  • Answers questions or solves problems by providing comprehensive, accurate information.
  • It has an in-depth level of detail than other content on the same topic.
  • They represent the best of your site's content.

Examples of Topic Clusters

An optimum site layout can be achieved by grouping related topics into a single cluster. For example, say you are running a digital marketing blog with four pillar pages:

  • Search Engine Optimization 
  • Facebook Marketing
  • Instagram Marketing
  • YouTube Marketing

The "YouTube Marketing" page might contain hyperlinks that lead to articles like "How to Monetize your YouTube Channel in 2022."

Watch this Hubspot's video to understand more about topic clusters.

The Benefits of Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages

  • Improves SEO Rankings

In order to show search engines that your site is an authority on a particular subject, you should produce a wide range of content on that subject. Rather than creating a slew of content aimed at a specific keyword, focus on a single topic and build from there. 

Ideally, your pillars will link to other valuable assets on your website. Search engines use a variety of signals when determining the order in which pages should appear in search results, one of which is the presence of internal links.  You can keep your customers interested as they get closer to making a purchase by aligning the link structure of your website with your marketing objectives.

Pillar pages give search engines a visual representation of the site's structure. Internal linking through a pillar page provides the structure necessary for a well-structured website to rank highly in search results.

  • Improve User Experience

Creating pillar pages and topic clusters gives visitors quick access to all the information they need without visiting multiple web pages. It is easier for your website visitors to find the information they are looking for if you organize your content into topic clusters.

The content in each post directs the reader to look into related posts and resources. The more time visitors spend on your site due to a positive user experience, the higher your chances of conversion and sales are. This makes you an authority and a reliable source of information in the industry.

  • Increase Conversion Rate

When you solve for your audience's questions and present yourself as an authority on the topic, you gain their trust and this will increase your conversion rate.

How to Create A Pillar Page and Topic Cluster

  • Understand your Audience's Content Needs

Here's how to do it:

  • Analyze your competitors. Find out what topics your competitors are covering in terms of content.
  • Use social listening to your advantage
  • Research what your target audience is talking about and sharing on social media.
  • Interview Your Customers
  • Inquire about their needs and the content formats they prefer to consume.
  • Perform keyword Research

Choose your Cluster Topics

Your pillar page should have a single focus . Think about the big picture, not just individual keywords. However, it's crucial not to overdo it. Marketing, for example, would be unmanageable for a pillar page. There is simply too much information about marketing to fit on a single page . Instead, you could focus your attention on "Social media marketing".

Ensure that your pillar page is focused on a single topic. Not only individual keywords, but the overall picture should be considered. However, do not choose a generic topic.

A pillar page would be unable to handle marketing, for example. In the world of marketing, there is simply too much information to fit on a single web page. Rather, use the term "Instagram marketing" for conciseness.

The pillar content should serve as a compass for the cluster of related subjects. Find high-volume keywords that cover a wide range of your industry when you are creating your working topics. Your cluster content's keyword targets should have lower search volumes and competition, but similar search intentions.

As you dominate the rankings for less competitive keywords in your industry, Google will start to see your brand as an authority in the field.

Write Great Content

A pillar page should be created to serve the user and satisfy search criteria.

As a general rule, you'll want to ensure that all of the subtopics that are relevant to your main topic are included. You also need to make sure that you're using the right set of keywords to improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Old eBook content can be broken down and repurposed to align with your current keyword research.

Make sure you incorporate your target keywords in the page title, meta description, URL and throughout the copy according to SEO best practices.

When creating your pillar page, the searcher's intent should be kept in mind. A great pillar page will answer every relevant question that the searcher might have on that subject.

A good rule of thumb is that all relevant subtopics should be included in your main topic . Search engine optimization (SEO)  can be improved by making sure you're employing the right keywords. You can repurpose content from an old eBook or blog post and incorporate the relevant keywords. 

Make sure that your target keyword appears in the page title, meta description, URL, and throughout the content. Also, Include multimedia such as pictures, infographics and video throughout your content to keep the audience engaged.

A floating table of contents will also make it easier for people to navigate the page that interests them most . This is very important, considering that a pillar page is long-form content and the reader might not be ready to go through it all at once.

You should include a great call to action (CTA) as well. Your call to action might be a link to a downloadable guide, a template, or demo. 

Link to Existing and New Content

The more blog posts and website pages you can link to from your pillar pages, the better. Otherwise, visitors or search engines will have a difficult time finding the content. Perform a quick audit of your existing content to see if there are any places where a link to your pillar page would be natural. 

If you don't have a lot of content on your website or blog, you may want to look at your links. To see if your pillar page can be replaced with content from an older blog post that is still receiving some traffic, but not a lot, it might be worth reaching out to the site to see if this is possible.

Promote Your Pillar Content and Clusters

As long as your pillar articles are high-quality and provide a lot of value, you don't have to worry about traffic. If  your research and content creation processes have been carried out correctly, your articles should continue to have lasting value for your audience, making them worthy of being shared regularly with your audience regularly .

These are some tips to effectively promote your pillar pages:

  • Promote your pillar pages on your homepage.
  • Share the information with your social media networks and online groups. Members who find it useful will likely share it on their blogs, increasing your chances of your content being seen by a broader audience.
  • If you can afford it, consider running some ads to have your posts seen by more people.
  • Promote your pillar pages in your email newsletter.
  • Guest post on well-known websites and including a link to your own clusters or pillar page.

To get your new and improved piece of content into the hands of the people who have already linked out to similar content, reach out to the people who have already linked out to similar content. "Your site will benefit from their links. 

It's also important that you take note that your pillar pages will need to be updated and re-optimized as you add new content to your website.

Conclusion

It is possible to use topic clusters to improve both the SEO rankings of a page and the comprehension of topics related to a brand's products or services by the target audience. If your content strategy is logical and produces quantifiable results, you've done well. But if it also enhances the customer's experience and interaction with your content strategy, you've done well even more.