We shall now move on to discussing why pillar keywords and pillar posts are serve to be essential factors in ranking. Creating content with the right pillar keywords and pillar posts has the potential to draw traffic to your site without having to break your head over it.
How Do You Create Pillar Keywords?
We shall have to go back to our keyword research phase where we used seed keywords in Ahrefs to receive some incredible long-tail keywords suggestions. There is no need to go through all the pages of results. The first few pages would do the trick. You will have to start with targeting the biggest keyword and then putting together a list of all the relevant keywords, because they all the same search intent. Therefore, when you are successful in ranking for one keyword, you will eventually rank for all the others similar in meaning.
Therefore, the ideal step would be to target one long-tail keyword using Ahrefs, and then creating content with it. You will not only have ranked for that keyword, but would also be targeting all the similar keywords together and drawing substantial traffic.
How Do You Target All The Keywords?
There are certain ways in which you can target all the similar and relevant keywords. Here’s how you should be going about it.
Title descriptions and tags enlighten the audience as to what they can expect out of the content of a certain website. Therefore, you must understand how important it is for you to optimise the description of the title. Google pays a lot of importance to websites which has the title tags and description it deems fit.
So this is what you do, and it is pretty much the same process. You need to come up with a list of all the keywords as similar to the pillar keyword. Once you have that, you can use them in the meta-description using your creativity.
What Are Pillar Posts?
Pillar posts are the main posts on your blog which is responsible for drawing most of the traffic and acquiring quality backlinks from authority sites.
In this article, we shall look at the best ways to write and format a pillar post, differentiate between the styles, and debunk some myths associated with them.
Now that we are done discussing pillar keywords, we need to move our attention towards pillar posts. Pillar posts are the initial posts that you create around a pillar keyword for the purpose of ranking. Thus, the name-pillar posts support the existence of your new website and your website success in terms of ranking depends on how well you have framed the content of your pillar post.
You must keep in mind that the number of pillar posts that you need to include in your website depends on the search volume you are targeting. 2 or 3 pillar posts are a decent number to begin with.
Formatting a Pillar Post:
It is not enough to just put together a massive piece, with the number of words running over 2000. You need to format the article appropriately if you really want to make use of the pillar post. Of course the number of words is one of the major factors that set your pillar post apart from other posts. However, you need to factor in other aspects of formatting too.
Sub-topics Must Be Well Researched-
You cannot have sub-topics in your pillar posts just for the heck of it. You need to do some research on those sub-topics before you write them in the post. You cannot hope to finish off with explaining the sub-topics in one or two sentences.
Get really deep into it and provide at least a few solid paragraphs of valuable information in these sub-topics. However, do not just keep writing on and on without any content. Some topics might not have much meat to it, which is fine.
Therefore, you need to find a way of including as much information as possible in every sub-topic.
Consider Linking Out to External Sites-
Your audience will love reading an article which is backed up by relevant external links. This means when you link your pillar post to external links containing information on the same niche, you are only increasing the credibility of the information you put out using your pillar post.
Also, Wikipedia might look like a decent website to link for your pillar post. However, think beyond Wikipedia. Link all the articles that you have used to write the pillar post. This is more like providing your audience with a bibliography that can be found at the end of a research paper.
Every source is put together so that your audience understands that your article is well researched and genuine. Place the externals links at the end of every section so that it looks well organised and sorted.
Post Images Along With the Articles-
Posting images that is in alignment with the spirit of your post can enhance the ranking factor. It shall do you good if you find relevant images and post it wherever it sits well with the article.
It enhances user experience as well as gives an edge to your article. Audience love it when they have something graphic to refer to that represents what they just read. Pexels is a great site to scout for images. But make sure you read their terms and conditions before you use any of the images.
Some of them might want to be credited, and it is your duty to conform to the copyright rules if a particular image has it. However, most of these images are free and can be used at one’s will.
Have a Clean Layout and Use In-Page Links-
Have your pillar posts segregated into paragraphs, topics and sub-topics. This makes it an easy read. Also, make it a point to have in-page links. In-page links make navigation easy for audience as they would not have to keep scrolling to land at a particular section.
They could just use one of those links and read the section that interests them the most. This method is highly engaging and shall make sure that your audience stays on your page, which is quite an important factor for ranking.
The Types of Pillar Posts:
There are essentially two types of pillar posts that you need to know about before settling on any one style.
The Ultimate Guide-
This type of pillar post takes a lot of time to write. It is exacting and has information from various sources woven together in one single piece.
The words usually run beyond 5000 and sometimes over 20,000 as well. These are not like any standard blog piece. They are custom designed which thus, sets it apart from every other blog piece.
The custom design of the ultimate guide is responsible for getting a high number of social shares and links from good sites.
The Standard Blog Piece-
The standard blog piece is a simpler approach to pillar posts in terms of design and layout. It has valuable information but does not have a design as vivid as that of an ultimate guide. The word limit is also restricted to 2000 to 5000 words. However, all these pillar posts can be linked together from within the posts.
It is always advisable to use the standard blog format for articles within the word limit of 2000-5000 words. However, if it runs beyond the said limit, the ultimate guide format is the best choice.
One Major Misconception Regarding Pillar Posts:
People include random topics in the pillar posts, just for the sake of it and to make it look longer. This is deleterious to ranking. When someone searches for a keyword, they need specific answers to their question.
There is nothing more disappointing than scouring through the internet only to land on a website that discusses things remotely associated to the keyword. There is no dearth of material on the internet.
You need to use the resources generously to be able to come up with a long pillar post with valuable information.
Pillar keywords and pillar posts are what shall decide the future of your website. They are called pillars for a reason. Therefore, make sure that you have highly optimised content for your pillar posts so that Google understands the relevance and your website shows up on the search results for that specific search keyword.
Whether you should go for the ultimate guide format or the standard blog piece, and whether you need to opt for custom designing or not, can only be justly answered by your personal need. Do not follow a format only because you think it is in trend. Doing something with half knowledge is damaging and shall only hinder your ranking on the search engines.