Pillars are the foundations of a house. They support the weight and ensure that the home will stand strong in any situation. You can have a beautiful-looking and well-functioning home, but if its pillars are faulty and weak, then it will be unable to sustain future stressors. The same logic applies to content.
In this post, we’ll go over what constitutes pillars for writing, how to create them for your own copy, plus tidbits about Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines Extensive Writing Comment Tool (CHARGE) and how it can help you make sure your content is as high-quality as possible.
What is pillar content and why do you need it?
Your content is your home. Sure, you can have fancy houses and houses that are beautiful, but without pillars holding them up, they will fall over.
The pillars of any house are the structural components that make it strong. For example, a well-designed foundation protects your home from the weight of water and the wind. A well-built roof protects the home from rain, snow, and sun while also keeping the heat in during winter and allowing sunlight in during summer.
The pillars of your content are the components that make your content strong enough to withstand any Google update or human error.
- A solid keyword targeting foundation
- A logical internal structure
- Well-written body copy that is relevant and useful to your users
Keyword targeting foundation: Your keyword targeting foundation will allow you to achieve visibility in the SERPs for search queries that people actually type into the search box. This means that if a user doesn’t remember all the words of your domain, they can still find you on Google by typing in more generic content pieces such as “real estate.” Make sure you include all relevant keyword variations in your content.
This strategy is key because it will help you achieve the first pillar of search engine visibility. If a user doesn’t remember your domain or they just type in the content that is out of date, then they can still find your content by searching for more general pieces of information such as “home,” “real estate,” or “mortgage.”
Logical internal structure: Once your target keywords are included in your content, you’re going to want to make sure that this information flows throughout sentences and paragraphs so that search engines can crawl it easily. This allows them to index the content and find potential duplicate listings.
You’re going to want your keywords to fit within your body copy. As mentioned in our previous post, Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines Extensive Writing Comment Tool (CHARGE) can help with this.
Write much of the content around the keywords, but don’t make it hard for your visitors to find the keywords. If a keyword is near the beginning or end of a sentence or paragraph, it’s best not to put too much emphasis on it because the content might only be relevant to people who focus their attention on either end of sentences or in paragraphs that are specifically about that target keyword.
Use strong queries and build your content around them—not just for potential search traffic but for functionality as well.
Well-written body copy: Your body copy should be highly informative and reliable. Your content should be relevant and useful to your users. It needs to be written in a conversational tone that is persuasive and natural.
Your body copy should provide information in the form of facts, statistics, and anecdotes that will help you better serve your users based on their search queries. Ideally, this will include accurate information about market trends and how these trends affect your niche.
You can find useful information about keyword targeting by reading our article about this practice HERE. You can read more about how to use CHARGE for your own writing here.
How to create content pillars
Here are 3 steps to creating a strong keyword targeting foundation:
- Determine your keyword target keywords: You need to search for every term that you are going to use in your writing, and determine what percentage of the searches for that term you want your content to be in. Keep in mind that if you have a long-tail keyword, and only 5% of Google searches per month go for it, but all of the competitors’ sites are ranking on top of it because they target this same keyword 100%, and they are all targeting their pages with their best content ever…these words aren’t meant to cause disease or heart attacks, but rather provide Google with a report card on how well your content is performing on relevant topics.
- Determine your primary keywords that support “home”: You want to target content that includes synonyms, as well as long-tail variations. These are important because you want a wide range of targeted keywords to work together on a piece of content.
- Determine your secondary keywords: This is where you should use CHARGE to identify the support words that you can use in the different places in your content.
Content pillars are the foundation of SEO writing. They allow your content to stand strong regardless of what Google throws at it. By targeting keywords and maximizing their use throughout your content, you can ensure that you stay relevant to your users because the keywords they use will be found in your writing.
The pillars of any house are the structural components that make it strong.
For example, a well-designed foundation protects your home from the weight of water and the wind.