What is pillar content

Given how easily and how quickly us mere mortals consume content, the rate of fresh content production needs to be incredibly fast. That Kim Kardashian outfit post which got 1 million likes yesterday? Old news. Just 20 minutes ago J-Lo landed a new bathroom selfie – we’re all talking about that now.


As such, one can only imagine the people and agencies charged with producing this content as running on some kind of content production hamster wheel. How do they cope with this relentless demand? Well, the answer lies in pillar content – and this article will demonstrate not only what is pillar content, but how it can be used increase the efficiency of, and traffic to, your WordPress website.


Pillar content is a term describing an overarching theme or topic which can then be broken down into a number of smaller, more specific topics. This overarching theme/topic is usually pinned down with something called ‘bedrock’ content: a substantial block of information on the central theme that can be split up and used to provide information on all the sub-themes. The benefit of content pillars and bedrock content is that they allow for a focused and streamlined approach to content creation.


It is helpful to consider what types of content pillars exist to get a better feel for how this works. What constitutes a ‘content pillar’ is generally a piece of content that is more substantive than most. A common list of content pillars includes materials like eBooks, reports, and guides. These materials are particularly lengthy and can therefore be split into all the smaller forms of content which fill up a company’s content calendar. Marvellous, no?


Pillar content strategy

In this same way, pillar content can be used to produce masses of individual pieces of content for your WordPress website. First, though – a vital component of pillar content is pillar content strategy. Pillar content strategy is all about planning, in advance, what content your pillar content should contain and how best to maximise the time/effort/resources you put into making that content pillar. Below are two important things you should consider for this.


  1. The kinds of content you want to create for your brand/business

It is crucial when deciding what type of content pillar to create that you know in advance what kind of content you’ll be needing. For example, if you’re an up-and-coming sustainable fashion brand, you know you will be needing a lot of ‘smaller’ content that educates your audiences about the importance of sustainability in fashion. Examples of social content pillars you may use in this instance are things like in-depth eBooks or guides on the overarching topic of sustainable fashion that can then form the basis of 100s of blog articles, infographics and text-based social media posts.


  1. Pillar content SEO strategy

A slightly more technical side to pillar content strategy is pillar content SEO strategy.  What even is pillar content SEO? Well, we already know that pillar content itself is a way of organising your content strategy so that the big/broader content you focus on can be usefully split into multiple, smaller content forms.


This same structure is massively useful for SEO strategy. Why? The more our search engines evolve and improve their ranking ability, the longer people’s search terms become. Gone are the times of googling ‘nice nail bars’ into Google – now people want to know ‘the nail bar that Gwyneth Paltrow once recommended in a blog post that is within a 5 mile radius Aldgate Tube Station’ (doesn’t exist).


As such, ensuring that your website pages still come up in these strangely specific website rankings is now harder than ever before. Content pillars are again here to save you. Organising your site so that you have a content-pillar ‘landing page’ (also known as a content cluster) which then hyperlinks all of your more specific content chunks means that searchers can sift through this information more easily – making your content pages rank better! For example, your pillar content might be Instagram marketing, and so your content cluster landing page will talk about Instagram marketing more broadly while linking all of the specifics that you can talk about – e.g. hashtag research, how to write catchy captions, the best photo editing apps to use. Voilà!