Mapping out pillar content is the map of your content. But, like many maps where you start the journey is often up to you. You’ll need to think about where you currently are at and what the best path to take is. To be cliché, let’s enjoy the journey because we know the map will get us there even with all our diversions.
Review of Pillar Content
To quickly review pillar content (since I get accused of using big bloggy terms sometimes): pillar content is a large theme for a section of content. Some like to call it topics with sub-topics. While this isn’t untrue, it can oversimplify the concept.
Everything in the pillar is related to your website’s theme. The pillar and the theme could actually be the same if your website is young or you have a super-niche focus. What’s a super-niche focus you ask? Think of the difference between pet supplies and organic natural raw dog food for Labrador Retrievers.
Components of the Entire Pillar
Don’t get confused about the components of the pillar. In its truest form, the pillar has one very large article; I like to target 10,000 words. Then you have sub-pillar content, each their own blog post ranging in length from 1,500 to 3,000 words followed by supporting content up to 1,500. Each shorter post gets deeper into the weeds of concepts and ideas you explore.
For example, you could have a pillar about the healing power of semi-precious stones. The large pillar is the 30,000-foot overview of the topic. One of the header sections could pertain to alleviating headaches with certain stones. The subtopic gets deeper into the headache topic by discussing exactly how this theory works, the best stones for the types of headaches, and general anecdotes. The supporting topics may take each stone individually in their own topic, going into deeper details about where the stone is from, the history of it, and why it’s best for the ailment.
Keywords in the Pillar
Search engine optimization (SEO) just isn’t SEO if we don’t talk about keywords. Do your research on the best keywords to target for each sub-topic in your map. When it comes to the pillar, think about the primary keywords the pillar is built on and the keywords generated from the sub-topics to use throughout the pillar H2 and H3 sections.
Keep something in mind with all of this. If you do the entire map properly, you are flooding Google with some 50,000+ words of content. That’s a book! By choose 10 keywords properly and using your primary keyword in all the content (sub-pillar and supporting), you are telling Google you are serious about being an expert on this topic.
Internal Links and External Links
Aside from 50,000 words pertinent to your keywords, Google realizes you are serious about becoming an authority on this pillar topic because you link. Every piece of supporting and sub-pillar content must link back to the main pillar and to other articles in the pillar – wherever it makes sense.
The anchor text you use will be just as important as having the link. If my content says, “There is a veterinarian debate…” and I have an article on veterinarians debating CBD oil, my anchor for the text should be “veterinarian debate.” This is the most relevant term to what the linked content is about. Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “Go here to find out more,” and link “here.” What is Google supposed to do with that anchor text?
Write the First Piece of Pillar Content
Do you write the pillar article, sub-pillar, or supporting blogs first?
That’s a great question and the simple answer is, it doesn’t matter. If you have been writing for a while, you probably have some supporting or sub-pillar content already created pertinent to this pillar. While dumping 10,000 words into your website will always give Google something to shine some SEO lights on, it can be overwhelming, especially if it is a topic you are somewhat unfamiliar with.
Let’s take a look at the SaferFamilyPet.com pillar for CBD oil for pets. This is a huge topic and highly relevant in a lot of ways for pet owners, new laws, and health. But, it is new to me. When I look at my map, I want to grab the low-hanging fruit that helps me reduce future research time.
That means I want to find the easiest thing for me to write right now!
A Dilemma Happens with E-commerce Content
Making a choice on where to start with content sometimes leads to bigger confusion. My goal of this pillar is to sell products, dog treats with CBD oil. The easiest way for me to up my knowledge of the topic is to start with the history. But history is somewhat boring and not going to sell anything.
What do I do?
My desire to sell and monetize is pretty strong. But, I do know that if I do this first sub-pillar first, it will open my eyes up to the types of things the CBD oil has been used for. I know that will help me create richer content to then jump up to treatment types of ailments.
Consider Your Low-Hanging SEO Fruit
Google doesn’t care what order you write your pillar in. For you, it’s all about the end result ranking content and having your website make money. By tackling some of the sub-pillars first, you can actually start to concurrently write the main, beastly pillar. You’re doing the research already, so at least start throwing some notes in your outline with links to the sources.
By outlining the pillar beast, smaller sections are defined. It’s a lot easier to write a few hundred words at a time on a 10,000-word article, especially if you are already working on that topic. This is called batching your work and makes life a lot easier when you really want to produce a lot of blog content efficiently and intelligently.
Stay tuned for the next step in building your pillar content and the journey outlined in your map.
In the meantime, be cool like Al Gore-Rhythm and get your Out-Post Gear.