Topic Clusters, Pillar Pages, and 10X Content for your Inbound Website

Topic Clusters, Pillar Pages, and 10X Content for Your Inbound Website

Topic Clusters, Pillar pages, and 10X Content are powerful ways to help get traffic to your Inbound Website.

These are used as a method to organize your content and as a way to assist search engines when crawling through your website.

There is some overlap between these three terms and depending upon which website you go to, you may see reference to these, but the intent of all three are the same.

This article will cover all three topics, and let you know how you can design your website with these terms in mind.

What Are Topic Clusters?

Topic Clusters are a way to organize the content on your website.

The term became well known when HubSpot began using it on their site and in their training in 2017.

Topic Clusters help increase the ranking of your pages in search engines to give searchers more relevant information.

By combining specific topics and related blog posts into clusters, your content will be easier to find on search engines that are looking for a variety of terms associated with your site.

It also organizes important topics in one area for visitors to explore and find more information about that topic.

HubSpot shows what a Topic Cluster looks like using the below diagram.

You can also view it on their page here.

What Is a Pillar Page?

A Pillar Page is a page that is focused on one topic.

It broadly covers a single topic, while cluster content provides more in-depth information.

For example, you might write a pillar page about content marketing and then use clusters of blog posts to cover more detailed aspects of the broader subject.

The Pillar Page answers all of the questions customers might have about the topic.

However, it is not as in-depth as cluster content which provides additional, more in-depth information on the topic.

Together, both styles provide your readers with the ability to start with a broad overview of a single topic, and then if they want, dive down into more of the details provided in the Topic Clusters.

HubSpot shows how they see the relationship between Pillar Content and Cluster Content here and in the image from their site below:

What is 10X Content?

Rand Fishkin talked about “good, unique content” in 2015 and why producing good, unique content is not the bar to entry for SEO purposes.

According to Fishkin, “10X” is content that is 10 times better than anything you can find in the search results.

Instead of focusing on producing good, unique content, you need to focus on producing content that is above and beyond anything else that is available on the web on your given topic.

If you are producing content on an already well-established topic that has been written about for years, you are competing against all the traffic, backlinks, and references.

To compete, your content needs to be 10 times better than anything else.

How Do I Design the Best Page?

So how does 10X Content relate to Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters?

There’s a lot of overlap, but the intent of these terms is the same: provide the user with a page that has the best content on a topic and then provide them additional ways to learn more.

Don’t get too caught up on the terms because your 10X Page can also be your Pillar Page.

Start designing your site by identifying the main topics you want to use for your Pillar pages, and then identify all the clusters of additional topics that will be your “supporting fires.”

Ideally, your main pillar page will be something that is 10 times better than anything else on the web.

If your business service or product is already heavily saturated with online content, try finding unique terms and keywords to exploit.

Using some familiar mil terms, you can try the Direct Method of Attack, but if there is already an enormous amount of content out there, then try using the Indirect Method of Attack.

Move Out

If you’re new to the areas of Inbound Marketing, this may seem like a whole lot of content that needs to be produced.

I’m not going to lie, it is.

If you research Inbound Marketing, one of the things that you will probably read about is that it takes some time before you start to see results.

According to 310 Creative, a HubSpot agency, it takes from 6 to 9 months before you start seeing results on an Inbound Marketing campaign.

That said, consider your content creation as an investment.

Start somewhere.

Start making some initial content investments, continue to build on your “portfolio,” and before long you will start seeing the results of your work.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my disclaimer.

Mike Nicholson

I've spent my career working in a variety of Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Information Operations, and Executive Outreach positions. With a history of planning, preparing, executing, and assessing communication strategies in the U.S. and abroad, I use this site to write, think and share lessons learned on organizational communications.

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