Imagine sitting on top of a wealth of content but it’s scattered around your website. You have no go-to resource to send prospects to and if users want to find your best articles, they need to weed through endless pages of blogroll to get to them.
Pillar pages came into existence to guide both search engines and users through the content of a website. They help identify a site’s main topics and act as indices that are easy to navigate by bots and readers alike.
In this article, we’ll share what exactly pillar pages are, why you should be using them, and which good pillar page examples to take as inspiration for creating your own.
Let’s dive in.
What Are Pillar Pages?
“Pillars”, “content libraries”, “hub pages”, “cornerstone content”, … There are lots of terms floating around to talk about pillar pages. Let’s get the terminology straight.
Pillar pages are pages that cover a particular topic extensively and that link to other content for more in-depth information. Together, they form content silos. While the pillar page will cover all aspects of a topic broadly, the content it links to is more specific, with each post or page covering a subtopic and linking back to the pillar page.
Pillar page topics should correspond with the core products or services you’re offering. They also tend to be evergreen. A SaaS offering a tool to improve internal company communication, for example, could have a pillar page around conflict communication in the workspace, which would then link to articles such as “How to resolve a conflict over Slack” and “How to communicate an issue to your boss”.
From an SEO perspective, a pillar page will target a more general, often higher volume keyword, while the content it links to will target related but more specific keywords.
3 Types of Pillar Pages
In general, there are three main ways to create a pillar page:
1. The 10X content pillar page
The 10x content pillar page is often presented as an ultimate guide. It’s a long-form piece of educational content that is meant to rank well in search engines. It’s referred to as a “10x” pillar page because it aims to be 10 times better than whichever article is ranking first for the main keyword the page is targeting.
A good example is Backlinko’s Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Marketing.
2. The hub pillar page
A hub pillar page aims to function as a resource library. It usually doesn’t have that much actual content but links to other more in-depth content related to the topic of the hub page. These can be both internal and external links.
A good example is Backlinko’s YouTube Marketing Hub. Compare this page to the Beginner’s Guide to YouTube Marketing mentioned above, and you’ll clearly see the difference between a 10x content pillar page, and a resource pillar page.
3. The product, service, or feature pillar page
The product, service, or feature pillar page aims to educate readers about a specific product, service, or software feature. They aren’t super in-depth but, like the other types of pillar pages, provide an overview of all there is to know around the product. These pages often combine search engine optimization with conversion copywriting and contain a call-to-action for the visitor to buy, get in touch, or sign up.
A clear example is this page by Breathe about their performance management solution.
The Benefits of Using Pillar Pages
Pillar pages are powerful tools to improve both your SEO and the user experience. Here’s why:
1. They act as a topical hub
Pillar pages act as an information hub around the core topics of your business. Regardless of the format they follow, they are the place on your website where users can find everything you have to offer around a specific topic. They offer an insightful overview as well as a starting point for further exploration.
2. They increase relevance in the eyes of Google
In the same way, pillar content guides Google when it’s crawling your site. A pillar page tells Google “This is all we know about this topic/keyword, and here are a bunch of other articles that back up our knowledge.”
The easier it is for Google to figure out that you master a topic, the more it will see your site as a relevant source on that topic. That relevance score is only increased when users engage with your content and click through from one article to another.
If you’re offering a lot of what a user wants in a well-structured way, they’re likely to engage with your content more and stay on your website longer – both ranking factors.
3. They are great for backlink building
Both 10x and resource pillar pages are great backlink targets. Because of the immense value they provide, they’re highly shareable and are great to link to for anyone who wants to offer their readers more information about the topic your pillar page addresses.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t go for product, service, or feature pillar pages. As these tend to be more sales-focused in nature, people are more reluctant to share or link to them.
4. They improve the user experience
We already touched upon how pillar content forms a starting point for users to dive into a topic. A great pillar page allows website visitors to go through information in a structured manner. They keep your content organized by using things such as a table of contents, a sticky menu, or visual elements.
Contrary to the pillar page is the blog feed where blog posts are listed chronologically and users need to scroll to find what they’re looking for.
5. They drive traffic to relevant feature pages
An excellent pillar page will focus on a topic that’s in line with what your business offers. That means that the organic search traffic it attracts will contain qualified leads that you can guide to your feature pages by building internal links to them from your pillar page. Presented as resources that expand on the pillar page topic, this type of internal linking looks less sales-y than using a big CTA button.
4 Great Pillar Page Examples
Below, you can find some of the best pillar page examples by digital marketing and HR companies.
1. Betterworks’ OKR page
This pillar page around Objectives and Key Results from Betterworks is interesting as it mixes elements from the 10x format and the hub format. It does this to answer a very common type of search query: “What is/are …?”
The page offers detailed information about what OKRs are and why they matter, alternated with resource lists that link to different types of more specific content around OKRs, from videos to blog articles and templates.
The page is beautifully designed, and all information is neatly organized in color blocks and lists. It’s hardly noticeable that this page is also optimized for SEO, but you can be sure it targets a bunch of keywords. And last but not least, the CTA at the bottom matches neatly with the content, inviting anyone who wants to learn more about using OKRs with Betterworks to get in touch.
2. TravelPerk’s Corporate Travel Management guide
TravelPerk’s Guide to Corporate Travel Management is a great example of a definitive guide pillar page. Right at the top, there’s a CTA to download the guide in exchange for your email address and some other personal details for those who don’t have the time to read the entire page now, or want to save the information for later.
That CTA comes back throughout the page as a colorful banner. Given that the rest of the page is mostly simple text, the CTA really pops out.
The first of the page is purely informative, teaching the reader about corporate travel management, while the second part is a how-to guide on how to manage corporate travel effectively. The sticky left sidebar menu makes it easy for readers to jump between sections, and links to other TravelPerk content on corporate travel guides them to more in-depth information.
3. Drift’s Conversational Marketing page
Drift’s Conversational Marketing page is another example of a pillar page in guide format, yet it looks very different from TravelPerk’s page. Drift uses big and bold headings to break up the different sections of its guide, as well as different types of images to explain complicated concepts such as funnels in a visual, simpler way.
The page covers what conversational marketing is, why it matters, what its benefits are, and how to start doing it using Drift. It also has a FAQ section that provides even more information, and a link to the Drift Knowledge Base where users can see the Drift customer support bot in action.
Other links within the page guide the reader to Drift’s feature pages and other pillar pages such as an Ultimate Guide to Chatbots. All of this content teaches readers the growing importance of conversational marketing and how Drift can help.
4. Mailshake’s Masterclass
The Cold Email Masterclass by Mailshake is a resource hub presented as a course. The page itself is short and targets the main topic of “cold email outreach”. After an introductory video and text, it immediately moves on to the Table of Contents which links to 8 lessons on how to do cold email outreach.
Each of those lessons is a 10x pillar page that targets a more specific keyword related to doing email outreach and links to highly authoritative external sites to provide the reader with even more resources.
As the Masterclass is the starting point to access all of those resources, it makes for a great linkable asset that readers are likely to return to.
A Successful Digital Marketing Strategy is Built on Strong Pillars
Pillar pages are crucial when it comes to content organization. They allow content marketers to generate organic traffic for a broad topic and then guide that traffic to more specific cluster content through a solid internal linking strategy.
They make it easy for both Google and your target audience to find related content on your website and establish your authority on topics that are at the core of your business.
The pillar page examples in this article offer a great source of inspiration to create your own pillar page, and if you want more information on organizing content in pillar pages and content clusters to achieve higher rankings and a better user experience, reach out to learn how we can help you with that.