As you continue to expand your knowledge of SEO, you’ve likely come across the term “landing pages” and gained some familiarity with their purpose and usage in marketing campaigns. However, there’s another type of web page that few marketers are leveraging, let alone are familiar with—Pillar pages
While landing pages have gained recognition in digital marketing, pillar pages often remain lesser known. Due to this, many are missing out on its benefits or are most likely employing it without them realizing it.
In this article, we aim to bridge this knowledge gap and provide you with a straightforward understanding of the importance of pillar pages in your SEO strategy. By the end of this read, you’ll have a clear grasp of how these two elements complement each other and contribute to your online success.
What is a pillar page?
Before we understand what is a pillar page and its purpose, we must first understand the concept of topic clusters. A topic cluster is a group of related content that revolves around a central, particular topic.
For example, think of “Digital Marketing” as your topic cluster. Within this topic cluster, there could be subtopics such as “Search Engine Optimization (SEO),” “Social Media Marketing,” “Content Marketing,” and “Email Marketing.” Each of these subtopics can have multiple pieces of content dedicated to exploring different aspects and strategies within that particular area.
Now, let’s delve into the concept of a pillar page. A pillar page, also known as a cornerstone page, is a comprehensive and in-depth piece of content that covers the central topic of the cluster. It serves as the main hub or ultimate guide, for the entire topic cluster.
For instance, if you run a fitness blog, you might have a pillar page about “The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Living.” This could have internal links to blog posts of more specific topics like diet tips, exercise routines, and mental health practices. These pillar and cluster pages work together, providing value to your readers while helping your target audience and search engines understand your content architecture.
3 Reasons why you need to create a pillar page
There are several compelling reasons why creating a pillar page can greatly benefit your website and content strategy.Here are three key reasons:
1. Voice search is becoming more accessible
Voice search is becoming as prominent as it was before.
According to Google, approximately 20% of searches are now conducted through voice commands. This rise in voice search can be attributed in part to the growing accessibility of smart homes and appliances like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple HomePod, and the like, which enable users to interact with their devices using voice search terms.
As the number of users relying on voice search continues to grow, it’s crucial to adapt your content strategy to cater to this trend. Pillar pages can play a significant role in capturing voice search traffic. Comprehensive pillar pages that cover broad topics provide a single, authoritative source of information that aligns with the longer, conversational queries often used in voice searches.
2. People are searching for longer queries
With the increasing prevalence of voice search and natural language queries, people are now using longer search queries to find the information they need, with around 64% of search queries being 4 words or longer.
By creating pillar pages that are rich in relevant content and provide comprehensive answers to complex queries, you increase the likelihood of matching the search intent of users who are looking for detailed information. This improves the overall relevance and authority of your content, increasing the chances of your pillar pages ranking higher in search results.
3. Search engines favor user-friendly and structured websites
Pillar pages play a crucial role in structuring your website’s content architecture, which is vital for search engine optimization (SEO). By creating pillar pages that act as the central hub for a topic cluster, you establish a clear and organized framework—which search engines love.
This hierarchical structure, with the pillar page at the top and linked cluster content beneath, makes it easy for search bots to crawl your website, improving the overall SEO performance of your website. As an added benefit, this also helps your potential visitors navigate your website, improving user-friendliness, which is another ranking factor in SEO.
As you can see, creating a pillar page helps address various crucial SEO factors, especially in the context of major algorithm updates. By developing a pillar page, you not only make your content organized and comprehensive, but you also future-proof it by aligning it with significant trends and algorithmic changes.
How are Landing Pages Different?
A landing page, in contrast, is a standalone web page created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. When a visitor clicks on a link in an email or an ad from Google, Instagram, or similar platforms, they’re taken to this dedicated landing page rather than a generic website page.
A good landing page is designed to convert visitors into leads by prompting a specific action. This action could be anything from an email sign up to purchasing a product. Unlike other web pages that might have many links and options for visitors to explore, landing pages often have fewer links and a singular focus to guide visitors toward the desired action.
The power of landing pages lies in their specificity. With a dedicated landing page, you can target a specific audience segment with specific details that resonate with them. This helps to convert these potential customers into leads or paying customers.
Benefits of having a well-optimized landing page
Effective landing pages offer several benefits that can significantly impact your marketing and conversion efforts. Here are some key advantages:
- Increase Conversion Rates: One of the primary benefits of a landing page is the potential for higher conversion rates. When you optimize elements such as the headline, copy, design, call-to-action (CTA), and form placement, you can create a seamless and persuasive user experience that motivates visitors to take the desired action.
- Generate leads: While most landing pages are for driving sales, other landing pages are used to generate high-quality leads for businesses. This benefit is particularly relevant for B2B companies that aim to attract and acquire high-level clients.A lead generation landing page is a specific type of landing page designed with the primary objective of capturing valuable visitor information. With this, you create an opportunity to build a robust database of potential customers who have expressed interest in your product or service. This database becomes a gold mine that you can nurture and engage with lead-nurturing strategies.
- Provides data and business insights: Lastly, landing pages allow you to collect valuable data and insights about your audience and campaign performance—regardless if you’re generating leads or driving sales. With tracking integration tools, you can gather information on visitor behavior, which will help you analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize future campaigns.
Comparing Pillar Pages and Landing Pages
To further explore the difference between the two, let’s summarize how each of these web pages is used in the context of SEO, content marketing, and conversion optimization based on their purpose, content structure, length, SEO strategy, and conversion goals. Here’s a detailed comparison:
- Pillar Pages: Serve as comprehensive resources that provide an overview of a broad topic within a website’s niche or industry.
- Landing Pages: Created as a specific page to capture leads and lead data such as their contact info through a targeted call-to-action.
- Pillar Pages: Include subheadings or a table of contents to break down the topic into different sections or subtopics, often internal links to more detailed cluster pages.
- Landing Pages: Concise and focused on a single call-to-action, with a persuasive structure highlighting the benefits of the offer or product.
- Pillar Pages: Tend to be longer typically ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 words or more.
- Landing Pages: Usually shorter in length, ranging from 500 to 1,000 words, but can vary depending on the campaign and content.
- Pillar Pages: Designed to rank well in search engine results for competitive and specific keywords, establishing domain authority on a topic and attracting organic search traffic.
- Landing Pages: Often optimized for specific traffic sources, such as paid advertising campaigns or email marketing, and may not necessarily target competitive keywords.
- Pillar Pages: Generally focused on providing valuable information to visitors, encouraging them to explore the website further. Immediate conversions are not the primary goal.
- Landing Pages: Primarily designed to drive conversions and convert leads, with optimized layout, design, and content to guide visitors toward a specific action and encourage immediate conversion.
In other words, pillar pages provide comprehensive overviews to establish authority and attract organic traffic, while landing pages are focused on lead generation, driving conversions through targeted campaigns and persuasive content.
Real-Life Examples Demonstrating the Differences
To further solidify your understanding of the differences between pillar pages and landing pages, let’s explore real-life examples that showcase how they are implemented.
Pillar page example: Typeform
As you can see through the link, Typeform’s brand awarness pillar page serves as a complete guide on the topic. It provides a comprehensive overview of the basics, discusses various subtopics in detail, and links to related cluster pages for more in-depth information.
The design of the page makes it easy for readers to navigate and access the specific content they’re interested in, while also signaling to search engines the hierarchical relationship between the main topic (brand awareness) and its subtopics.
Landing Page Example: Canva
A great example of click through landing pages,. this page serves a single purpose—to convert visitors into leads by encouraging them to sign up for a free trial. Notice that the design elements are clean and focused, with minimal links to prevent distractions and a clear call to action.
The headline and subheadlines communicate the value proposition effectively, and bullet points are used to quickly convey the benefits of the free trial. Additionally, columns make it visually appealing for visitors to determine the price comparison which is helpful with their buying decision.
Maximizing Your Marketing Efforts with the Power of Pillar Pages and Landing Pages
Both pillar pages and landing pages play unique and essential roles in your digital marketing strategy. Pillar pages, with their focus on topic clusters and long-tail keywords, help to improve your website’s SEO, thus boosting your search engine rankings.
On the other side, landing pages focus on converting potential customers into leads or paying customers. They provide specific and targeted content for prospective customers, enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and paid ads.
While these pages serve different purposes, they should be used in harmony to complement your marketing strategy. Regardless whether you’re improving your pillar pages or crafting your first landing page, remember that quality content, user experience, and specific audience targeting are key. These elements will help you generate more leads, increase your organic traffic, and ultimately achieve your business objectives.