Last updated on June 7, 2018 in SEO Tactics
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Whether you’re working for a small business or publisher, what you’re often looking for is a sustainable source in growing their business or traffic.
Blogging is well-known and with content being channel agnostic, it’s important to change your approach based on the changing trends and platforms that serve your audiences. So with this, it’s worth noting the fact that social sharing has declined by 50% in the past 3 years and that Google’s dominance in driving referral traffic to the sites continues to grow.
Regardless of these changes, what can we do to demonstrate a brand’s strong sense of purpose and recognition in their topic expertise?
Develop content pillars.
A content pillar is simply a representation of an overarching topic of an overall site structure. There are two types – 1) Topic pillar – it could be a single site category made up of articles and 2) Resource pillar – a comprehensive resource page that fleshes out different aspects of a topic.
A content pillar is made up of a long tail of subtopics (called clusters) that help strengthen and define its structure. If done correctly, it has the potential to provide:
A typical way of developing a content pillar, as mentioned, is to develop a cluster of content that can be tied to one overarching theme.
The first type is a Topic Pillar.
Here are two examples to illustrate on what a topic pillar looks like that rank for ‘2018 FIFA World Cup’:
The first example is from worldsoccer.com which links to all the searches in the lead up to the World Cup.
The clusters (subtopics) relating to the history of the World Cup is included and finally the latest news and topical post are there as the latest blogroll at the bottom.
For Supersport, they’ve taken a more streamlined approach by focusing on just the match playing aspects of the World Cup.
You can see that the FIFA World Cup 2018 is the core topic acting as a central hub to the topic clusters pertaining to it.
The other type is a Resource Pillar.
The resource pillar based model looks more like the long form content pieces you’ve read to date. It’s either a real long individual piece of content or a specific topic broken up into a series. Here are the two examples:
Search Engine Journal offers a complete SEO guide which is broken up into fourteen chapters ranging from tactics, metrics, and different facets of SEO.
Or you have an overall piece of content, like the one from Neil Patel, which is overcompassing of the topic and is broken up by different headings & sections within the article itself.
Before you throw yourself in the deep end, it’s important to have a baseline knowledge of developing a content marketing strategy. Here’s a resource for you to get started and to start putting together your plan.
While going through the steps, assume you are doing things from scratch/from the start and that you have the baseline research and plan in place to then proceed with the execution.
Then finish up the process with:
Here’s a spreadsheet you can use to help plan your content pillar and cluster build:
Your content pillar is like a garden and it constantly needs nourishment to maintain its health and longevity. That’s where content pruning comes into the process.
Your content pages still might not be ranking on the first page. Or maybe they are, but you do not see the expected traffic and landing page conversions from an organic search perspective. This situation could be due to an engagement (relevancy), click through, or ranking issue. So, what’s the best method for continually monitoring your performance and testing it in a methodical fashion?
David Krevitt has come through with the goods. Using his “Search Efficiency by Page” tool, (linked to Google Analytics and Google Search Console), you can focus on your SERP snippet optimization or on-page optimization for better content performance. Check out the video below to see how to set up the tool step by step.
Whatever cycle you choose, where it be 30, 60 or 90 days, being consistent with your testing can help you develop a tailored optimization method. Being consistent will also increase your chances of success with your future content marketing and SEO efforts.
Creating larger content pillars isn’t always better and it’s important to emphasize again that this is a continuous approach that will help you or your clients with their content marketing strategy once you can get the wheel flying. By focusing on your capabilities and always planning for efficiency, you can better resonate with your audiences and get more return from your efforts.
Sometimes the hardest part of growing your company is finding the right tools to use to execute on your strategies. Tools are a dime a dozen, but the right tool for the job is hard to find.
Check out our recommendations for lead generation and SEO tools as well as the books we recommend reading as you grow your business.
If you’re writing content for marketing purposes and dumping it all on your blog, you’re doing your potential customers, your organic traffic, your lead generation,…View Post