A maypole is a tall painted pole decorated with flowers. Ribbons are attached to the top as people dance in celebration for May Day. The ribbons weave and intertwine creating contact points where the ribbon, pole and flowers all become one.

Pillar content works the same way as the maypole dance, taking one strong solid piece of content then ties other pieces of content to it. The ribbon content is called our sub-pillar content with flowers being the supporting content that adds color and flavor to the entire body of work.

The Foundation of Your Pillar Content

Depending on your website’s theme, pillar content may be one significant piece that is the resounding theme for the entire website. If you have a website that is broken into multiple themes, you may actually have several pillars (sometimes referred to as clusters) that break down your overall ideas into smaller sections that have the same through-line.

This is all very smart sounding, right? But how does it play out on your website?

A Pillar Content Example

My website, Single Mommy Tribe is a resource platform for single moms looking to get support, rebuild their lives and create a thriving home life that screams, “I Am Mom, Hear Me Roar!” While that is all great and fine, most single moms aren’t Googling “hear me roar” unless they want to hear a Katy Perry song. It’s not going to get them to my website.

That means I need to think about the overarching theme that single moms are typing in when looking for something to help them along their single mom journey.

Single Mom becomes my pillar theme.

But is that enough? After all, if you type the Google search term, “single mom” you get a pretty wide breadth of content: some about empowerment, some child rearing, some lighthearted movies.

The question then becomes: where does my content fall in the big picture of this content?

Reigning-in Content: The Role of Clusters and Sub-Pillars

Your overall pillar theme should be easily seen on most, if not all of your pages of content. It doesn’t just let Google know that you are addressing the needs of readers, but it shows the readers that you are interested in answering their questions.

Relevance is always going to win when it comes to Google searches. Googles interpretation of your content compared to the readers intent is step one. Then you content needs to deliver on answering the search intent.

What does that have to do with pillars and clusters?

The Single Mommy Tribe website seeks to address specific needs for women embarking on solo parenting:

  • Recovering from Hurt
  • Parenting (Solo and Co-Parenting)
  • Financial Health
  • Career Options
  • Life Balance

As you can see, each one of these needs is a whole set of ideas and problems not unique to single moms yet single moms have to address these in specific ways. Each one of these topics serves as a sub-pillar or cluster.

This is a very simplistic way to look at the basis of your pillar and how to start developing segments of your content that address a specific topic and eventually very specific questions your readers have.

The next step….

Building Your Subtopics within Clusters