Författarens åsikter är helt hans eller hennes egna (exklusive den osannolika händelsen av hypnos) och återspeglar kanske inte alltid Moz åsikter.
In a recent study, we found that our pillar pages are magnets for links, organic traffic, and newsletter subscribers — especially compared to regular blog posts. Here are the results that both types of SEO content generated over the course of a year:
Do these results mean you should ditch your blog strategy in favor of pillar pages? Not exactly.
Here’s the catch: You really can’t have one without the other, and it all comes down to content mapping. I’ll explain exactly what I mean in this article.
What is a pillar page?
A pillar page is a piece of content that comprehensively covers a broad topic. Pillar page — also sometimes referred to as hub and spoke — content weaves together a wide range of relevant subtopics (spokes), organizes them all in one place (hub), and effectively showcases your subject matter expertise for the broad topic.
Pillar page content should be easy to navigate for readers looking to learn — at a high level — about a particular topic, but should also offer relevant resources for them to dive deeper.
It’s kind of like the choose-your-own-adventure of content marketing.
Topical authority: why it’s important
When it comes to content creation for SEO and digital marketing, you don’t want to create content around any old topic. Instead, you want to reinforce your brand’s topical authority with every new piece of content you create (be it a blog, a pillar page, an eBook, etc.).
Let’s put it this way: If you’re in the business of selling mechanical keyboards, it doesn’t make sense to publicera a blog article about the best recipes for a summer BBQ. Unless you’re recommending that your customers grill and eat their mechanical keyboards, which is (highly) unlikely.
Instead, it’s more helpful to your brand — and your audience — if you cover topics related to mechanical keyboards, like:
What is a mechanical keyboard?
Mechanical keyboards vs. regular keyboards.
Custom mechanical keyboards.
How to transition to a mechanical keyboard.
Pros and cons of a mechanical keyboard.
By covering as many topics related to mechanical keyboards as possible, you’re building a foundation of informational content that tells search engines: “Hey, I know a lot about mechanical keyboards!”
And the more content you have that starts to rank for important search terms related to mechanical keyboards, the more likely searchers will see you as an authority on the subject. Ideally, they will start coming back to your content when they need to learn more about this specific topic.
Pillar pages + blogs = a match made in content marketing heaven
A well-executed and organized pillar page is one of the best ways to showcase to your audience (and search engines) that you have topical authority in a specific area. Blog posts help you achieve topical authority by allowing you to cover a wide range of relevant subtopics in great detail, and pillar pages organize all of that content into a nice, user-friendly package.
Let’s take a look at this tactic in action.
We built our content marketing guide as a pillar page, which allowed us to cover a slew of subtopics related to the broader topic of content marketing, all in one piece of collateral.
All of these subtopics are organized into sections on the page, with a hyperlinked table of contents at the top to allow readers to pick and choose exactly what they’d like to learn about:
Then, throughout the page, we offer readers the opportunity to go deeper and learn more about each subtopic by linking to relevant blog content:
What is content mapping?
A pillar page is a great tactic if you’ve got a lot of existing blog content all focused on a particular parent topic. It’s one of our favorite ways at Brafton to repurpose and repromote our blogs.
But you can also create a pillar page with all brand-new content — it’ll just take more research, planning, and production time to complete.
Enter: content mapping.
Content mapping is the process of assessing your target audience, understanding what they are trying to achieve, and helping them along that journey with branded educational and commercial content. Its scope can span the entirety of your content marketing strategy or a single piece of pillar page content.
Why content mapping matters in content marketing
The planning (or content mapping) of a pillar page is just as important as the research done to choose the correct keyword to target for your business.
Pillar pages are kind of like the books of the marketing world. If you were an expert birder, for example, you wouldn’t set out to write a book about bird-watching without doing any research. Especially if you’ve spent a lot of time writing and publishing articles about bird-watching on your blog. You’d want to understand a few things before starting that book, like:
Which of my blog posts generated the most interest from new and returning readers? (i.e. pages with the most new and returning visitors, as seen in your web analytics tool).
Which blogs kept readers coming back for more? (i.e. pages with the most newsletter subscriptions, or the best newsletter subscription rates).
Which blogs did my industry peers find most useful? (i.e. pages with the greatest number of high-quality referring domains and backlinks).
These questions can be answered by looking through your web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and Moz Pro.
What do my competitors’ books on bird-watching look like? (i.e. the types of bird-watching subtopics the page 1 results cover).
What does Google think searchers want to see when they search for bird-watching? (i.e. the types of content that are found on page 1 for your target keyword — and surprise! it might not be books).
How long and detailed are my competitors’ books? (i.e. the level of complexity and comprehensiveness of the content ranking on page 1).
These questions can be answered by manually reviewing relevant SERPs and utilizing TF-IDF tools like Clearscope or MarketMuse to understand the breadth of subtopics and types of content ranking on the first page.
Once you understand which of your content performs best and which content Google and other search engines prefer to rank highly for your target keyword, you can start piecing together a plan for your pillar page.
A note about internal linking
Before we dive into the how-to portion of this piece, we should also acknowledge the importance of internal linking to this whole process.
And I’m not just talking about throwing in a link to a related product/service at the end of the page and calling it a day. The internal linking structure of your pillar page is literally the glue that holds the whole thing together. It helps readers easily navigate to related resources to continue learning from your brand. And it helps search engines understand the relationship between your pillar page content and the additional content you’re highlighting on the page.
But when it comes to internal linking, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Including too many internal links throughout your content can cause a frustrating user experience or look spammy, so use caution and make sure the only internal linking you do on the page is extremely relevant to the parent topic.
If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve got too many internal links on the page, you can run it through Moz’s On-Page Grader tool, which automatically counts the number of links on your page and flags if you’ve got too many.
Tip: Keep in mind that this tool will count ALL links found on the page, including those in your main navigation and footer, so the “Too Many Links” warning could be a false positive.
As Moz explains: Google recommends you don’t go over 100 internal links per page, because it can dilute the SEO value sent from the pillar page to the linked pages, and it can also make it more challenging for users and crawlers to navigate all of the content.
Two data-led ways to map out content for a pillar page
There are a couple of different ways to approach the construction of this type of content, but they each rely on organic search data to lead the way.
1. Planning a pillar page and related resources (all from scratch)
Let’s pretend you don’t have any prior content created about a particular topic. You’re basically starting from scratch. Let’s also assume the topic you’ve selected is both core and commercially valuable to your business, and that your domain realistically has a chance of ranking on page 1 for that keyword.
Let’s say you’re a pet food company and one of your main products is cat dental treats. Once you’ve determined that this is the exact keyword you want to target (“cat dental treats”), it’s time to start your research.
Step 1: Manually inspect SERP to understand searcher intent
First, we’ll start by manually inspecting the first SERP for this keyword, and answering the following questions:
What types of content are on the first page of results?
Why are people searching for “cat dental treats”?
By answering these two questions in our SERP analysis, we’ll make sure that our plan for creating a pillar page to rank actually makes sense and it’s what searchers want to see on the SERP. We’ll also better understand all the reasons behind why someone might search this keyword (and we can then address those reasons in the content we create).
So let’s answer these questions:
Question 1: What types of content are on the first page of results?
Answer 1: The first SERP includes a variety of product ads, a People Also Ask section, and a selection of organic blogs and product pages.
Question 2: Why are people searching for “cat dental treats”?
Answer 2: From a quick analysis of the SERP, we can deduce that people want to know why and how cat dental treats are important to a cat’s health, and they also want to know which cat dental treats work best. Perhaps most importantly, it’s highly likely that they plan to purchase cat dental treats for their furry companion(s) in the near future.
Step 2: Select related keyword ideas for blog content
Since you don’t just want to create a pillar page for just the primary keyword, you also want to pinpoint a selection of related subtopics to be written as blog content.
For this part of the process, head over to your keyword research tool, plug in your target keyword and (with an eye for topics that you’re well-suited to cover), jot down a list of keywords and phrases.
Here’s our list of potential blog topics:
Best cat dental treats.
How do cat dental treats work?
What to look for in cat dental treats.
Do cat dental treats work?
Can cat dental treats replace brushing?
Vet recommended cat dental treats.
Grain-free cat dental treats.
Step 3: Choose subtopics to cover in your pillar page content
Next, you’ll want to review the subtopics mentioned in the top ranking results. While this process can be done manually (by clicking into each result on the SERP and jotting down the topics mentioned), a TF-IDF tool like MarketMuse makes this part of the process much quicker:
These TF-IDF tools analyze the top 10-20 results for your target keyword and automatically present the common subtopics mentioned in each piece. This gives you a very good understanding of what you’ll also need to cover in your piece to compete for a top-ranking spot.
Here’s the list of subtopics we’ll want to cover in this pillar page, based on our MarketMuse data:
Step 4: Create your outline and plan content
Now it’s time to connect the dots from your research. The best way to do this is to start by structuring your pillar page outline, and then going back in and filling in the areas where you want to create supporting blog content.
Here’s an example of what the end result might look like:
H1: The Complete Guide to Cat Dental Treats: For a Fresh-Breath Feline Friend
H2: What are cat dental treats and how do they work?
Topics to cover: Cat dental treats
Blog post to support section: Title: How Cat Dental Treats Work (& Why Your Kitty Needs Them) Keyword: how do cat dental treats work
H2: What are the benefits of cat dental treats?
Topics to cover: Clean teeth, fresh breath
Blog post to support section: Title: Do Cat Dental Treats Really Work? (Here’s What The Experts Say) Keyword: do cat dental treats work
H2: Are cat dental treats an acceptable alternative to brushing?
Topics to cover: Cats dental health
Blog post to support section: Title: Cat Dental Treats Vs Brushing: Everything You Need To Know Keyword: can cat dental treats replace brushing
H2: Do vets recommend using cat dental treats?
Topics to cover: Veterinary oral health council
Blog post to support section: Title: Vets Recommend Using Cat Dental Treats — Here’s Why Keyword: vet recommended cat dental treats
Blog post to support section: Title: 5 Of The Best Cat Dental Treats & Why We Love Them Keyword: best cat dental treats
Blog post #2 to support section: Title: What To Look For In Cat Dental Treats Keyword: what to look for in cat dental treats
Creating an outline for a pillar page isn’t easy, but once laid out, it helps us understand the content that needs to be produced to bring the whole thing to life.
Here is our list of content to create (based on our outline):
Pillar page: The Complete Guide to Cat Dental Treats: For a Fresh-Breath Feline Friend
Blog #1: How Cat Dental Treats Work (& Why Your Kitty Needs Them)
Blog #2: Do Cat Dental Treats Really Work? (Here’s What The Experts Say)
Blog #3: Cat Dental Treats Vs Brushing: Everything You Need To Know
Blog #4: Vets Recommend Using Cat Dental Treats — Here’s Why
Blog #5: 5 Of The Best Cat Dental Treats & Why We Love Them
Blog #6: What To Look For In Cat Dental Treats
The best way to tackle this list of content is to create and publish the six blog posts first, then once they are live, you can write the pillar page content, placing hyperlinks to the supporting blog posts directly in the copy.
2. Planning a pillar page from top performing content
For this next method, let’s say you already have a ton of published content about a particular topic, and you’d like to reuse and repromote that content within a pillar page dedicated to that topic.
All of the steps in the previous process apply, but for Step 2 (Select Related Keyword Ideas for Blog Content), do the following:
First, you’ll want to understand which of your existing pieces generates the most interest from your audience. Let’s use our web analytics data for this. In this example, we’ll look at Google Search Console data because it shows the actual search performance of our website content.
Let’s use the topic of “content creation” as our desired pillar page keyword. Search for the query in Google Search Console (choose the “Queries containing” option):
Pull all of the pages currently generating impressions and clicks from terms containing your topic, placing those with the highest clicks and impressions at the top of your list. Here’s what this might look like:
As you can see, most of the content we’ve created that also ranks for keywords containing “content creation” is blog content. These will be highly useful as related resources on our pillar page.
Now, go back to your TF-IDF tool and select the subtopics related to “content creation” that you want to cover in your pillar page. Example:
Social media content
Content creation tool
Content creation process
Finally, map your existing blog content to those “content creation” subtopics. The initial mapping may look something like this:
You may not be able to map each blog perfectly to the subtopic you’re covering in your pillar page, but that’s OK. What’s important is that you’re providing readers with relevant content (where applicable) and that content, as you’ve seen in your Search Console data, is already proven to perform well with your organic search audience.
Pillar page planning templates and resources
Pillar pages take an incredible amount of time and planning to execute, but they are worth every penny.
Here’s an example of the success we saw after producing one of our more recent pillar pages, “How to Rank on Google:”
Here’s a template of the outline used to bring the page to life (and you can use it for your own pillar page). Just make a copy and off you go. Good luck!
Although often underrated or reduced to a “networking platform,” LinkedIn has the potential to help you drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and boost your revenue. How? Through LinkedIn sponsored updates or ads.
Salesforce has announced an integration between Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Google Merchant Center to help merchants highlight the availability of products in stores. The move builds on Salesforce data that suggests both the widespread use of online search in advance of brick and mortar store visits, and an increased likelihood of shopping trips when consumers can see that a store has an item in stock.
Using this new integration, merchants using Commerce Cloud will be able to turn local inventory data into local product listings on Google Search and Google Maps and in the Shopping tab.
Varför vi bryr oss. The distinction between digital and real-world commerce continues to collapse. Those online shopping behaviors that exploded during the pandemic will be with us for the foreseeable future, but it doesn’t mean store visits are a thing of the past.
Rather, consumers are looking for seamless connections between an online product discovery experience and in-person purchases. This integration seeks to support that aim at a granular local level.
The Salesforce data that supports the move can be found here.
Embedding commerce in discovery. The integration also braids together online discovery and the commerce experience. Just as many merchants now seek to provide a frictionless transition from finding a product online to making a digital purchase, this sees the opportunity to link discovery with in-person shopping.
This move pairs with the recent announcement of Salesforce’s Einstein GPT for Commerce that combines proprietary and generative AI models with real-time data such as customer demographic data and shopping history, to automate and tailor shopper recommendations in Commerce Cloud.
Kim Davis är redaktionschef för MarTech. Född i London, men en New Yorker i över två decennier, började Kim täcka företagsprogramvara för tio år sedan. Hans erfarenhet omfattar SaaS för företaget, digital-annons-datadriven stadsplanering och tillämpningar av SaaS, digital teknik och data i marknadsföringsområdet.
Han skrev först om marknadsföringsteknologi som redaktör för Haymarkets The Hub, en dedikerad marknadsföringsteknologiwebbplats, som sedan blev en kanal på det etablerade direktmarknadsföringsmärket DMN. Kim började på DMN proper 2016, som senior redaktör, och blev Executive Editor, sedan chefredaktör en position som han hade till januari 2020.
Innan han arbetade med teknisk journalistik var Kim Associate Editor på en hyperlokal nyhetssajt i New York Times, The Local: East Village, och har tidigare arbetat som redaktör för en akademisk publikation och som musikjournalist. Han har skrivit hundratals New York restaurangrecensioner för en personlig blogg och har varit en och annan gästbidragsgivare till Eater.
82% of marketers believe that AI will be the future of marketing—in fact, many of them already believe AI writes better than a human (Capterra study).
Well, with ChatGPT flying past 100 million users in just two months…we’re living in the future.
AI is revolutionizing the way we work, think, and create.
I joined Content at Scale as the VP of Marketing this January in a bold move of ‘adapting or die’ for my career in content—one month in, what I’m seeing, learning, and facilitating for marketers and teams is blowing my mind. Let’s talk about it.
Reduce Content Overhead Costs and Frustrations by 5x-25x With the AIO Model
It’s now the Stone Age to sit at your computer and drum up 2,500 words for an SEO post from a blank slate.
When you can generate long-form SEO content (2,500 words or more) that’s fully original and well-written inside of five minutes or less, you’ll never want to go back.
On average, I’m seeing a 5-25x reduction in associated content creation costs (which is mind-boggling!), and a time savings of 5-10x. (My full-time writer at Content Hacker went from 7 hours per post to one hour per post after we adapted this model.)
Here’s the AIO model I’ve built out reflecting the difference of what you can do in your business and marketing by replacing the human blank-slate writing with AI blank-slate writing, based on hundreds upon hundreds of use cases from Content at Scale clients:
Artificial Intelligence as the baseline writer (replacing the human writer and blank slate)
The human writer as an optimizer of the AI baseline content
With the time and money savings, it’s an absolute no-brainer to switch to AI as the baseline.
The Human Process Involved In AIO
While we see AI perfectly capable of writing an entire 2,500 word blog from scratch, with a single keyword and one-sentence prompt:
We also see the need for the human optimization process pre-publicera more necessary than ever.
Without your unique story (or client case studies/testimonials) woven in, the human touch of adding statistics, double-checking facts and cutting the fluff; AI-written content simply won’t stand out. It won’t set you apart in the content sea; it won’t drive customers and loyal fans in droves to your email list. So, the human touch is necessary.
My C.R.A.F.T. framework within AIO defines the steps writers should take to make the AI content more human and personalized once you take it from AI and get it ready to publish (from AI to O):
1. Cut the fluff
2. Review, edit, optimize
3. Add images, visuals, media
5. Trust-build with personal story, tone, links
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Humans are needed for the optimization side, and for that human touch that must be applied to the content AI generates. Content itself will never be a fully automated, 100% AI process; but AI can remove hours and hours of painstaking work from the content creation pipeline, which will save countless amounts of energy and dollars in the coming months and years when marketers adapt in full force.
Predictions About the Future of Content & AI
This year, Capterra surveyed almost 200 marketers using AI in their marketing. 82% of them said that the content written by AI was just as good if not better than human-generated content.
One of the first Generative AI experts in the world, Nina Schick (founder of Tamang Ventures, and creator of Substack project ‘The Era of Generative AI’), has told Yahoo Finance Live that she believes ChatGPT will completely revamp how digital content is created, and by 2025, software built with ChatGPT will enable us to reach 90% of all online content now being generated by AI. She said: “ChatGPT has really captured the public imagination in an extremely compelling way, but I think in a few months’ time, ChatGPT is just going to be seen as another tool powered by this new form of AI, known as generative AI,” she said.
Google Trends shows a HUGE jump in interest and traffic around the term “ChatGPT:”
Search traffic shows that the interest in AI is the highest it has ever been. The previous peak was in January 2012:
375 million jobs obsolete in the next ten years. In the next three years, it’s predicted that 120 million workers around the globe will need to be retrained and re-skilled for this new world.
Newer and better-paying jobs in AI will come on the scene, but they won’t replace the amount of jobs lost; so without retraining and reskilling, and learning how to adapt, average people will have difficulty finding new work.
Are You Ready to Join the Future?
I’m excited to see just how much AI will revolutionize human efficiency and optimization.
We’re in new times.
Are you ready to join the future of marketing and learn about all things AI?