Recently, we have been talking a lot about pillar content strategy and how it is changing the face of SEO. Pillar content, also known as 10X content, is content on your website that is 10 times better than any other content that is out there on the internet.
In addition to being amazing content, it is also the top performing pages on your website that are meant to drive the most traffic to your website. As marketers, we use these pillar pages within all aspects of the inbound campaign for a more targeted strategy.
Most of the time, we will use pages that have data behind them because we know that they are going to convert and are bound to rank higher within the search results. However, sometimes it is necessary to create new pillar content, whether you need pages for new services, are adding an important offer, or adding a topic that you are sure will gain traction. If you decide to create new pillar pages, it is important to consider the steps to creating great pillar content I have laid out below.
Criteria for Great Pillar Content
Before we begin, it is important to understand the criteria for great pillar content. Not all of these have to be the case, but a good number should relate to your pillar content:
- The user experience should be positive through a good user interface, visuals, layout, fonts, etc.
- Provides users with high quality, trustworthy, useful, and interesting content
- Is extremely unique in its content
- Loads quickly and is responsive on all different devices
- Can create an emotional response of surprise, joy, etc.
- Has impressive amount of social engagement
- Solves many problems and answers questions
How To Create the New Pillar Content
If you need to create new pillar content for your website for any specific reason, please use the tips and tricks listed below.
Identify Pain Points/Gain Insight
The first thing to think about when creating your content is to think about what the pain points of your ideal reader or customer are and how you can help them. It could be a new service, an offer people need, or any other issue from your customers that you see in your industry.
There are a couple of ways you can uncover these pain points rather than speaking with your customer base:
- Read blog comments & Forums
- Read reviews
- Review emails from readers/customers
- Popularity ratings
- Any other related data
Choose a Tempting Topic
After you have uncovered the pain points, you will notice that you cannot solve everyone’s issues at once. The next step is to choose the issues that are going to make for the most tempting, unique topic. You will need to do some research to narrow your scope further.
You can confirm user interest using many different tools including keyword research tools, such as SEMRush, to view monthly searches or just do a Google Search to check similar topics that already exist. This will show you how popular a topic is and give you an understanding of how much traffic it may generate in the future.
Evaluate the Current Competition
Before you write your content, ensure that there is opportunity out there. Your content will not be the first to tackle a particular topic; however you want to make sure that there are not a million pieces of content exactly like what you want to talk about. If you are not one of the first to publish about something, you will not stand out and will get less traffic. It all comes down to uniqueness and how much traffic you can generate for that great topic that people have a need for. You can find this information by doing a Google search or looking into your competitors’ websites.
Brainstorm Your Irresistible Headline
Your headline is important so you can tempt your audience to click through to and read your pillar content. Take the time to craft a headline that makes readers want to learn more. A good tip is to brainstorm at least 10 headlines for your post before you decide on one. Consider testing them with your audience via social media or by using keyword tools to test their popularity.
Conduct Your Essential Research
Before you write your pillar content, do some research that will support the content and make it more authoritative to your readers. Read your competitors most popular post and note their best points, interview experts to gather additional tips and advice, or collect and analyze real-world data. There are many different ways you can gather supporting information to include in your pillar content.
Plan Your Main Points & Craft Your Content
The way you organize and plan your content can be just as important as the content itself. I like to start with an outline and then bring those main points to life with the data and content that I have collected. Structure your content so that it flows naturally and in a logical sequence.
Once you have your outline, it is time to craft your unique pillar content. During this process, you must also ask yourself if you have promised your readers what you said in your headline and provided enough information on it.
Polish Before You Publish
Obviously no great piece of content is ready in one draft. Use several reviews and edits to catch any errors and improve any clarity errors. Sometimes it you let your post rest before proofreading or read your post out loud, you will have a better chance of catching any errors. Lastly, once you are done with your content, make sure you are optimizing it for SEO with your target keyword included in the content, Meta Title, alt-text, etc. This will ensure your pillar content will be seen by the right eyes and rise in rank for the right keywords.
Having pillar content is very important to a website’s SEO strategy. It is always more effective to use a page that already exists and gets a lot of traffic. However, if you need to create new pillar content for one reason or another, please use the tips above for direction!