You always hear people say that SEO is always changing, but now there is a major shift in the way people are about to create and implement SEO strategy like we have never seen before. We are no longer going to rely on target keywords, but instead we will focus on target topics. We will no longer be focusing on the site as a whole, but certain pillar pages that are bound to drive the most traffic if dealt with in the correct manner. Throughout this post, I will dive deeper into this new idea and how we, at Revenue River, have already begun to implement this and why you should too.
What is 10X Content/Pillar Content?
Moz’s Rand Fishkin has coined the term 10X content, which is content that is 10 times better than any of the other content on the subject matter based off of the keyword or target topic. 10X content can be in the form of a blog post or offer that answers questions, or a main service or solution page that is meant to solve for the customer.
In my opinion, pillar content is a better term to explain this new type of search. It is a substantive and informative piece of content on a specific topic or theme. This piece of content can be broken up into smaller pieces of content to support that main topic pillar page. For example, you can use blog posts, infographics, videos, or other informative pages that support those main topic pillar pages by linking back to those 10X pages.
What Makes Good Pillar Content
Many industry leaders have determined what the criteria are for good pillar content. Not all of the criteria need to be followed, but a solid combination should fall under these labels:
- Provides positive user experience through user interface, visuals, layout, fonts, etc.
- Delivers content that is high quality, trustworthy, useful, and interesting
- Is uniquely detailed than other content related to this topic
- Loads quickly and is usable on all different devices
- Creates an emotional response of awe, surprise, joy and/or anticipation
- Has achieved impressive quantity of amplification
- Solves users problems or answers questions
When choosing which pages are the most important content on your website, it is important that they contain some of the above attributes. By leveraging and supporting these main pillar pages, you can help them rank higher within the search results.
We choose existing pages as our pillar content because these pages are more authoritative and tend to carry more weight than a brand new page. However, creating new, unique content is still important, but more and more businesses are always creating new pages as well. If you want to use new content as your main pillar pages, there are some things that you need to do to step up your writing in order to make those effective, legitimate pillar pages.
How Keywords Fit With Pillar Pages
Once you have chosen your pillar content, it is now important to choose your keyword strategy. This strategy might be a little different than what you are used to. With Google’s new ranking factor and artificial intelligence, RankBrain, Google is now getting smarter and can help your site rank for a group of keywords, or topics, rather than one particular target keyword.
At Revenue River, we perform broad keyword research like we normally would, coming up with about 50-100 keywords. Once that is completed, we group them into topics and give each pillar page a topic based on what the page is about and what we want to optimize it for. What we are left with is one target topic for each target pillar page, and several keywords that can be used when optimizing the page.
In order to support the pillar pages on site, we will create a long-tail blog strategy with the target topics in mind and optimize each blog article to link back to the corresponding pillar page using one of the main keywords within that topic. When supporting those pages off site, we will leverage them to build links on relevant, authoritative websites to help boost SEO for those important pillars.
Because of the way SEO is ever-changing and the way Google is always learning, it is important to stay up on the latest strategies. Pillar content and target topics are the future of SEO marketing strategies and should be implemented in every campaign. With Google’s intelligence, you should no longer be limited to the number of keywords you can be optimizing for. Always remember to choose the most important pages and optimize them around target topics rather than target keywords and you will see results.