Pillar pages can be a great way to boost SEO for the services you offer. There are three general phases in a pillar page campaign; planning, content creation, and promotion. You need to do the planning, and your content needs to be great - but promotion is perhaps the most important part of a pillar page campaign.
And while simply having a pillar page with links pointing to it from your separate content pieces will boost your SEO, you can get much more traffic, and generate more leads, if you promote the pillar page and the pillar content correctly.
To get the most traction and best results from your pillar page you need to use a promotion strategy that keeps your topic top of mind with your audience. You should also monitor performance so that you can optimize your pillar content and promotion schedule.
In this post, I'll break it all down for you, and explain how to publish, promote, and monitor pillar page content to maximize SEO and reach.
Publish All Content and Verify Links
This is the first step. Once your content is done, get it all published.
- Publish the pillar page
- Publish all content pieces
- Verify all links to external content from the pillar page work
- Verify all links to the pillar page from the separate content pieces work
Setup Social Monitoring
Configure social listening tools to monitor for the keywords used on your pillar page. If you don’t have social listening tools here are some options to consider:
- Google Alerts - Free, but less functional than many paid versions which can often monitor more social networks, blogs, and websites.
- Mention - Robust social monitoring, offers free and paid versions, good for daily monitoring.
- Brandwatch - Robust social monitoring, offers paid versions, good for daily monitoring.
- There are more robust tools like Simply Measured and Nuvi as well at higher price points.
Many social, SEO, and content research tools also have social monitoring built-in. These include:
- HootSuite - Free and paid versions good for monitoring Twitter. Many other social media management tools offer twitter monitoring.
- HubSpot - The Social Monitoring feature allows you to monitor your connected social media accounts and Twitter.
- Buzzsumo - Monitors for brand and keyword mentions across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and websites.
What to Monitor
Monitor for the following:
- Mentions of your brand.
- Mentions of your core topic keyword.
- Mentions of your primary subtopic keywords.
Use Monitoring to Increase Engagement
Use mentions of your keywords as an opportunity to respond on the same social channel, and provide additional value to those participating in the conversation by answering questions, or provide links to additional information.
Also look for patterns of mentions. If your core topic or subtopics are being talked about frequently on specific channels or by specific groups, share more frequently on those channels, and target those groups with information and promotions about your pillar page and related content.
Add Links on Social Bookmarking Sites
Social bookmarking sites are how many people search, find, and share content. All the content you share should be posted to social bookmarking sites when published.
Three of the major bookmarking sites you should always post or link to are:
Answer Questions on Social Q&A Sites
Social question and answer sites like Quora are places that a lot of people go to in the hope of finding answers to their questions on a variety of topics.
Depending on your industry, answering questions on these sites can potentially generate a lot of traffic and leads.
Some of the most popular social Q&A sites are:
Use an answer and link strategy when answering questions. The keys to getting traction out of Q&A sites are to be helpful, by answering questions, and to link back to your site for additional information and detail. In this case, you should link back to your pillar page.
Tip: Buzzsumo provides a Question Analyzer feature which enables you find the most asked questions on a given topic. This can help you locate the best questions to answer on Q&A sites.
If you have relationships with influencers, reach out to them to make them aware that you’ve published your pillar page.
But don’t just send a link - make the case as to why it’s important to their audience. Give them data-backed evidence as to why it matters to them.
Promote on Websites and Social Media Channels
Promote your pillar page when it’s final and published and all the initial content is linked. You should also create a schedule of continuous promotion to keep up the buzz about your pillar page.
You should also publish each linked content piece at the same time you publish the pillar page - but you should stagger some promotion tasks for these content pieces to keep your engagement fresh and grow buzz around your core topic and pillar topics. We recommend promoting one or two pieces of content each week. After you do this broad promotion, you should also create a schedule of continuous promotion for each broadly promoted content piece.
Tip: Use a spreadsheet or editorial calendar such as DivvyHQ or CoSchedule to plan and track promotion of the pillar page and each piece of content.
Share on Social Channels for Broad Promotion
When the pillar page is published and you’re ready to promote each piece of content, share it on your social channels.
We typically share a post the following number of times in the first two weeks after publication:
- Twitter - 10 times over two weeks. Six times in the first four days, and 4 times over the remaining six days.
- LinkedIn Page - Two times over two weeks on different days and different times. Pin the most current or popular post.
- LinkedIn Groups - One time.
- LinkedIn personal profiles - For B2B pillar pages, have thought leaders from your company publish links one time on their profile. For popular posts, have them publish links again, one or two more times with a week between shares. Encourage employees to share once as well.
- Facebook Page - Two times over two weeks on different days and different times. Pin the most current post or popular posts.
- Google+ - Two times over two weeks on different days and different times.
- Pinterest - One time.
- Instagram - One time.
Change each post a little to keep it fresh - each time you publish, update the commentary, the text of the post, use a different image. Also consider using a linked image post with an overlaid quote, or a quote with a link back to the pillar page.
For popular content that receives a high number of views and shares, consider doubling or tripling your share rates on all networks except LinkedIn Groups.
For LinkedIn groups, consider sharing popular posts only one or two more times with a week between each share.
Scheduled Continuous Promotion
You want to keep all of your content out there and in front of your audience - remember, as your audience grows, continuous promotion will help new members of your online community find your published content that most interests them. Use the same tips mentioned above to keep your continuous promotion posts fresh.
Depending on the relationship you have with influencers that you engage with, notify them each time you publish a piece of content related to the pillar page. Again, be sure to tell them why the content is important to their audience.
Keep Promoting to Maximize Reach and SEO
By promoting your pillar page and your content in this way, you can maintain the buzz around the topic, and help keep it fresh for many weeks. This will increase traffic to your pillar age and your content, which will subsequently boost SEO, maximizing reach.