How to Build Successful Content Pillars

Content pillars are high-level topic introductions. They form a content hub by linking to subtopic-specific resources.

Content hubs have several benefits.

Pillar pages act as topical hubs and let you explore a topic in depth.

Readers can easily find and consume related content.

More links – Content pillars are often linked to because they’re a good learning resource.

This guide explains how to create a website content pillar.

How to create content pillars

Steps to create website content pillars.

1. Find the main topic to create a content pillar around

Grab a pen and paper (or laptop) and brainstorm content pillars. If you know the niche, you’ll have many ideas.

Breakdancing for 10 years has given me plenty of pillar page ideas (e.g., types of power moves, must-know footwork steps, and more).

Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer is another option. Enter a niche-related term to see matching terms.

Not every term is a topic. You want:

People want to learn, not buy. This can be Google. If most results are blog posts, articles, or hubs, the topic is likely informative.

Potential search traffic See each keyword’s traffic potential in the TP column.

enough broad The topic should have subtopics. Your pillar page shouldn’t be 50,000 words. Find topics with 5-20 subtopics.

Take “yoga poses” as an example.

Nearly all results are blog posts.

Potential search traffic is 33,000 TP (in the U.S. alone).

Covers hundreds of yoga pose If we choose the “best” ones for beginners, we’ll have enough for a pillar page.

This could be a great content pillar for a yoga website.

2. Figure out what you need to cover in your content pillar

Choose subtopics that relate to the main topic.

How to find them:

A. From your expertise

If you know the niche, you probably know what to cover. If you’re a yoga teacher, you know which poses beginners should master first.

B. Check Wikipedia

If your topic is already on Wikipedia, it’s easy to find subtopics.

Wikipedia’s “List of asanas” lists yoga poses in a table.

C. Look at online courses

Online courses for almost any topic are logically organised. They’re good for finding relevant subtopics.

This Udemy course covers yoga poses.

D. Analyze the competition

Since a content pillar’s goal is to rank for the main topic, look at top-ranking pages to see what they cover.

Top-ranking “yoga poses” page covers beginner poses.

Since the subtopics are organised hierarchically—H2s, H3s, H4s, etc.—install Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar and open the Content report.

3. Create your content pillar

After research, create your content pillar.

Think “portal.” Your goal is to encourage further research. Lighten up!

You’re not covering every subtopic. Leave details to cluster pages. Keep it simple.

Our SEO beginner’s guide has one-sentence chapter introductions.

If you have the budget, customize your content pillar. Our family did this. Good design makes content easier to consume and stands out among other guides, leading to more shares, links, and traffic.

Don’t worry if you can’t afford a custom design. Content pillars don’t need a great design. Zapier’s remote work page is text.

4. Create your cluster pages

Content pillars are stand-alone pages, but they’re useless without cluster pages. After the main pillar page, create the rest of the hub.

You know what to create based on the subtopics. Just execute. Time is needed.

Learn how to create cluster page content in this video.               

If you have content that fits the “hub,” link it.

5. Promote your content pillar

Promote the content pillar before it’s discovered.

Some strategies:

Email list, social media, etc. Share it with your audience.

Include it in newsletters – There should be many newsletters curating niche content. Find their emails and pitch your content pillar.

If you’re active in Facebook groups, Slack, Discord, Reddit, or forums, share your content pillar.

Links are a Google ranking factor. Creating links will help your content pillar rank higher. This guide explains how to link to your pillar page.

Content pillar examples

See these content pillars for ideas:

Beginners’ SEO Guide

#1 Keto Guide for Beginners

Wine 101 Learn the Basics | Wine Folly

Here are examples of pillar pages.

Learn more

These articles can help you create content pillars:

How to Use Topic Clusters to Increase SEO Traffic

10 Minute Topic Cluster

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