Google algorithms are constantly changing, meaning that SEO strategies have to continue to change as well. One of the latest SEO strategies involves restructuring your content and shifting your focus away from keywords. This strategy is the creation of pillar pages. Pillar pages are a fairly new concept, but are a great way to adjust your website to suit Google’s latest algorithm changes. Read below to learn more about pillar pages and why they should be part of your SEO strategy.
The Way People Search is Changing
People rarely search simple keywords anymore, opting for longer, more conversational searches instead. For example, if you’re trying to fix a leaky faucet, instead of searching “sink repair,” you’re probably more likely to search something like “how to fix a leaky faucet yourself.” One reason for this shift is the rise of voice search, which is conversational by nature.
However, a bigger portion for this shift in longer, more conversational searches is that there is so much content on the Internet. Because the Internet has such a large volume of content, searches need to be specific to weed through the content and get the answers you’re looking for. With any given search, there will be thousands of relevant pages, so long tail searches will help get to the most relevant page.
Google Has Responded to These Changes
In response to the changes in the way people search, Google has adjusted its algorithms. Google’s main focus is to do as much of the work for the searcher as possible. One of the strategies they are using to achieve this goal is the use of machine learning. Over time, Google will keep track of your searches in order to learn your interests and preferences. It will then use this information to choose websites and pages that are most relevant to you.
In addition to machine learning, Google is focusing on the idea behind your search phrases rather than the phrases themselves. When you type a sentence into Google, it will figure out the meaning of that sentence and present you with matches rather than searching for exact matches to each individual word in the sentence. For example, if you type “where can I get good pizza late at night,” Google will be able to understand your question and search for highly rated pizza places near you with hours after 10pm rather than searching for a page that contains the closest match to “good pizza late at night.” The goal of these changes is to improve each user’s experience and to do the work for them.
How to Respond to These Changes
These changes in Google algorithms don’t mean your SEO strategy is dead; it’s just in need of adjustment. Restructuring your content into pillar pages is the best way to respond to these new changes, to help your site rank for the ideas behind searches rather than keywords.
In addition to the change in the way people are searching for content, the way in which people read content is changing as well. Many people skim through articles, reading only the headlines. To adjust to these changes, you should categorize your content into topic clusters. Determine the main overarching topics of your website. For business pages, these topics will typically be the services you offer. Then, take each blog post and piece of content and decide under which topic it fits best. These overarching topics with more specific ideas and pieces of content within them are known as topic clusters.
A pillar page is essentially a web page that illustrates these topic clusters. Create pages for each broad topic of your website. Write a general overview of this topic on the page. Then, link to more specific pages that will provide in-depth knowledge of topics within your general topic. A pillar page will be longer than a blog post because it will cover so many different topics. However, it will be much less detailed. The content to which your pillar page is linked will provide more detailed, in-depth information for each subtopic.
How to Create a Pillar Page
Restructuring your content might seem like a daunting task, but it’s easier than you think. First, decide on the main topics for which you would like your website to rank on Google. These topics will typically be the services your company offers. Then, you should gather together blog posts and other content that relates to each main topic. To create your page, you should write general content about the main topics with links to all of your blog posts and more specific content within the page. Because ranking for individual keywords is essentially a thing of the past, pillar pages will help you rank for the ideas for which your potential customers are searching.
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