Content marketing's biggest game-changer in 2018 was arguably pillar pages, reflecting the changing ways that Google ranks our content.
Pillar pages is a huge movement being pushed by HubSpot, leaders in content and inbound marketing, but it also makes sense from an SEO perspective.
Search engines have been forced to better organise and showcase the content they identify would be helpful to the searcher.
Algorithm updates have led the way in this, with Hummingbird, 2013, being the first of its kind to "look around" the search term rather than specifically focusing on the exact words used, allowing for a shift from keywords and topics, to a focus on content creation and website organisation.
Another update, RankBrain in 2015, allowed for an even greater shift in the way Google focuses on the searcher. RankBrain is Google's machine-learning AI machine, it interprets people's searches to find pages that may not have exact words they searched for, but it associates past search history on similar themes with the search phrase to provide more accurate results.
All of this has meant there has been a huge calling to marketers everywhere to improve the way they promote their content. Although ebooks, webinars, email marketing and the other methods in your marketing toolkit are great you now need to look at breaking out the content of these and ungating them - why?
By having a variety of your best knowledge and giveaways ungated on your website for all to see means the search engines can see it too. A whitepaper on family law is sure to have lots of your common search terms, but if it's gated Google can't see it. Similarly, a webinar on how to change the oil in a Ford Fiesta is absolutely great for your readers, but Google can't read it.
All of this gated content is fantastic and there's no suggestion you should lose these gated pieces, in fact...
"90% of website visitors prefer to read our lengthy content in a PDF as opposed to a website page."
Source: HubSpot, March 2017
We recommend selecting your best awareness and consideration pieces and ungating them using the "10X Content Pillar Page" method. This means all of your content is easy to find and read, for visitors and SEO purposes, but it also includes a call-to-action at the bottom of your page to encourage users to download your PDF.
A 10X content pillar page is one long web-page with the information from your PDF/webinar/whitepaper laid out in an easy-to-navigate style, often sectioned out by the key headers that your gated content would be. It should also include a contents section and 'Back-to-top' hyperlinks at the end of every section for ease of use, as well as a CTA to the gated version at the bottom.
5 Steps for 10X Content Pillar Page Creation
- Choose a core topic
- Identify a topic cluster
- Create blog posts for subtopic content
- Repurpose existing subtopic content into a downloadable offer
- Deconstruct downloadable offer into a 10X content pillar page
If you'd like more support with content marketing and pillar page creation, including design and build on HubSpot COS, please get in touch using our Live Chat or the Contact page.