Explaining Pillar Pages with the two MKs:
Mario Kart and Marie Kondo
If you’re one of my clients, then chances are good you’ve heard me talk about pillar pages for your equine business. In my opinion, if you have a blog you should have pillar pages and a good Big Picture strategy overarching your entire content creation plan. (Not having a blog at all is a subject for another day, but just know– get on that!)
Think of it like a game of Mario Kart. If you have a website then you’re in the race. The finish line is the coveted number one spot on the first page of Google.
You post a blog. BAM. You get a green shell and start rolling past your competitors on your way to first place.
You post another blog. BAM. Banana peel. Your website moves up one spot on the SEO rankings.
You run a Google Ad. BAM. Bob-omb. Your paid search traffic increases exponentially.
You get a new backlink. BAM. Thunderbolt. Referral traffic is skyrocketing.
You post a pillar page. BAM. Star power. You’re impervious to death, streaking up the organic search rankings, taking out competitor’s websites left and right–
Okay, okay. That’s a little dramatic. But a pillar page really can catapult you up the SEO rankings and boost your website’s credibility in Google’s eyes.
What is a Pillar Page For Your Equine Business?
A pillar page is essentially a very long piece of content that is attempting to rank for the Holy Grail of keywords: a high volume and high competition keyword.
Let’s take a quick detour here to understand keywords. Keywords are the search terms people use to find your website on Google. The level of competition for that particular keyword is based on how many competitors are also fighting to be the number one search result for the same keyword. Search volume is the number of people typing that keyword into google search. A pillar page is trying to rank for a highly competitive and high search volume keyword. It’s going to be tough, but if you win the number one search result for that keyword, you could get your website in front of a lot of eyeballs.
Now, back to our scheduled programming: pillar pages for equine businesses. Pillar pages are usually between 2500 to 5000 words. They include images, a Table of Contents, lists, and more. The goal is to create a powerful piece of SEO-focused content that is also easily used by the average reader. Lists and a clickable Table of Contents allow the reader to navigate this massive piece easily and effectively.
Bear with me here, this gets technical. Pillar pages for equine businesses are the foundations of your content map and the focal point of your topic clustering. A content map will show you the overarching big picture plan for your content marketing strategy. On a content map, you’ll be able to see each individual topic cluster (made up of blogs and pillar pages) and your progress towards writing all the content for that cluster. For every pillar page you post, you’ll have between four and eight blogs that are hyperlinked to the pillar page and vice versa. Every blog will be about a related topic and attempt to rank for a related keyword.
Take a look at the charts below. Personally, I always understand things best when they’re presented visually.
For example, a topic cluster focused on the keyword “horse tack” and its variations could look like:
A content map for a blog that doesn’t use pillar pages would have no hierarchy, no clusters, no organization. Just blogs. It would look like this:
On the other hand, a blog that does use pillar pages and topic clusters would have a content map that looks something like this:
Why Do I Need a Pillar Page for My Equine Business?
When I say, “Does this spark joy?” Marie Kondo is probably what comes to your mind first. There’s a reason why her show about turning messy houses into organized homes that “spark joy” was so popular on Netflix. It’s the same reason why there are huge Instagram accounts that do nothing but post cleaning hacks or videos about organizing houses. At heart, happy humans crave organized spaces that make life easier and more pleasant.
Google is no different.
When crawling through websites, Google wants to quickly and efficiently figure out what your website is about, if the content is reputable and of good quality, and if you answer the question the end user is asking. A website without clear organization and a blog without a content map are like messy rooms with clothes on the floor and an unmade bed. It’s a lot harder for Google to find what it’s looking for and it will slap you on the wrist for your mess by bumping you down the SEO ranks.
Topic clustering is one strategy to make it easy for Google to figure out what you’re trying to tell people. For every pillar page that is attempting to rank for a highly competitive keyword, it will be surrounded by four to eight blogs that are ranking for less competitive versions of the focal keyword that give a power boost to the pillar page. Pillar pages and blogs work together to keep your website organized and efficient. That’s a lot more powerful than a collection of disorganized and random blogs.
Do I Have to Have a Content Map?
The short answer: Yes! Every race in Mario Kart has a map that allows you to clearly see the path to the finish line and count down the laps. Your content map is your roadmap to that number one spot on Google ranking. Without a content map, it’s easy to lose your focus and get lost in the weeds. It’s important to take a moment every month to look back at your content map and mark your progress. Have you hyperlinked all of the blogs to the correct pillar page for your equine business? What do you need to write next? Where do you go from here?
Don’t lose sight of the goal. Use your content map to hold yourself accountable to creating the content your equine business needs to reach that number one spot on Google search.
Where Do I Start?
Unfortunately, getting started isn’t as simple as choosing a character and pressing play. Start by looking at your existing blog content. Do you notice any particular topic clusters that may already exist? If you do, create a pillar page for them and go from there. If you’re beginning from scratch, follow the steps below:
- Analyze the current SEO ranking of the website
- Research keyword trends
- Create the content map
- Write, write, write.
If you don’t have the time to create a content map and pillar pages for your equine business, click here to contact me. I’m always happy to help.