Google’s search algorithm has gone through numerous iterations over the past decade. Keeping up with these changes is essential to successful development
and execution of a business’s SEO strategy. Most recently, Google has been focused on moving away from rankings based on single keywords and instead
is promoting pages that are topically organized. No longer should your strategy involve a page for every keyword. Instead, your keywords should be
organized into related groups by topic and you should use them contextually in your writing as a group. The rise of voice search has pushed this priority
for Google as digital assistants like Alexa and Siri quickly become everyday technology.
When users use voice search they search using multiple words and even full sentences. Think of how many times you’ve recently spoken or even typed a full
sentence question into Google. Probably pretty often, right? Yet, that’s not how we behaved even five years ago. Google has used computer learning
to better match its search results to the way users are searching now, and the result is a shift in the way that website content ought to be organized
for best SEO impact.
The good news? These new strategic site structures are awesome! They make your site easier for your users to read and navigate and they also help you rank
better. Gone are the days when your marketers and SEO gurus sat in siloed departments and argued over what constitutes good content. Good content is
simply that, well-written, information-packed, and simple to read and navigate. You still want to include important keywords for your business, but
if the content is high-quality they will occur naturally around the subject matter and include lots of variation.
If the best way to organize this high-quality content is by topic, how do we begin? Enter the Pillar Page.
Pillar Pages are the go-to for all the main topics on your website
What is a pillar page exactly? It’s a page on your site, often found within your blog structure that provides a comprehensive overview for a topic that
is important to your business. The pillar page should provide all of the high-level essential information you wish to share about that topic. It should
not be highly salesy in tone. The idea is to provide a resource for searchers to get more general information and learn more. Then, your site becomes
structured so that your deep dive posts surrounding that topic literally surround the pillar page via links back and forth. Your pillar page provides
the overview, but throughout it are sprinkled text links to areas where you cover a sub-topic in greater detail. Your sub-topic posts also link back
to the pillar page in areas that make sense. This structure creates an easy-to-crawl web for Google’s spiders to quickly navigate and determine that
your website provides a depth and variety of content about that topic that is worth ranking for its users.
To serve as an example of how this strategy can look when put into action lets take a look at one of our clients, Patient Safety USA.
Patient Safety USA is a distributor of safe patient handling equipment. They offer products that make it easier and safer for caregivers to move and
handle adult patients. One of their flagship products are adult changing tables. Their website was originally created prior to these recent search
algorithm shifts at Google, and thus was structured to promote keywords on an individual basis. As part of our ongoing partnership we have been updating
their site structure to perform even better in Google’s rankings. As one of the most important products they carry, it made sense to create a pillar
page and surrounding content around this topic area.
Surveying the landscape
Our competitive search landscape analysis surrounding adult changing tables confirmed that there was a great opportunity to perform well by providing in-depth
informational content around these important tools for caregivers and patients. The keyword “adult changing tables” had a high search volume and there
were not many high-quality pages that could help users who are trying to learn more about them and figure out what type they might need.
The next step was for our team to conduct research surrounding the type of content that was ranking well for our primary search target of adult changing
tables. This research was assembled and used by our writing team to develop an outline for the page. With Patient Safety USA’s approval we got to work
writing a pillar page designed to provide a depth of information that searchers should know about adult changing tables and how to go about choosing
and purchasing one. The focus was on providing a broad overview of the types of tables available and answering frequent questions that purchasers might
have when going through the process of learning about these innovative tables.
Because Patient Safety USA already had a high-performing blog about adult changing tables with a relevant URL, we opted to replace the content on this
page with the new, more in-depth, pillar page content, thus avoiding competing with our own pages, and making the page easier for Google to find. To
further limit our website competing with itself, we also added no-follow tags on other pages on the site that ranked for the focus keyword but were
potentially less helpful landing pages for the users. To the informative content, we added imagery and videos with descriptions as well as calls-to-action
to lead users to the specific product pages on the website. Thus, the adult changing tables pillar page was launched.
Pillar page significantly increases website performance in a matter of months
The results of this new content strategy have been profound. In a matter of only a few months this new pillar page quickly became the number one landing
page on the Patient Safety USA website even topping the home page as an entry point.
We have set up and carefully tracked performance goals for Patient Safety USA within their Google Console. These include various points of user interaction
with the site. Here’s a selection of their goals.
Since launch of the new pillar page, goal completions are up a whopping 62.67%.
The pillar page is bringing more qualified leads to the Patient Safety USA website who have a direct need for the products they distribute. Thus, these
visitors are more likely and eager to download more information or make contact with the company. High quality leads are essential to beneficial website
If you are not yet structuring your website’s pages with a topical focus using pillar pages as the center points of each topic, we recommend you get started
today. Begin by analyzing the keywords you hope will lead searchers to you and the content you already have. Then create a list of relevant topics
you can focus your content around and research the competitive landscape for those topic areas. Once you have a clear plan in place, get writing! Not
sure where to begin? Give Champ a call, we’d be happy to help you get started.