Content marketing is essentially a big competition: Google lays down the ground rules, judges the competitors, and disqualifies those who cheat. A few years ago things were very different, and almost anyone could achieve top 10 rankings with little effort. Nowadays, however, you have to earn your place in the SERPs.
Content is anything and everything that’s published online. It has the power to boost website rankings, attract readers, drive sales, provide insight… basically, whatever you need it to do, it can do. Unfortunately, through years of black-hat abuse, the entire SEO landscape has been ruined many times over, only to be rebuilt from scratch again and again through Google’s many algorithm updates.
However, there’s one element of the SEO landscape that has always remained unchanged: the power of pillar content. If you can create pages that serve as a go-to resource for others and contain groundbreaking information that hasn’t been published elsewhere, you’ll not only boost your rankings, but will establish yourself (or your brand) as a thought leader. This is the only surefire way to withstand the test of time.
How to Produce Pillar Content
No matter what people say, the search engine optimization industry has always been almost entirely about backlinks. In that sense nothing has changed; however, years ago quantity held just as much precedence as quality. This was a flawed system that Google no longer uses. While mass blogging and guest posting is still practiced, it has lost prominence over the years. Nowadays, it’s much better and safer to rank a website is by publishing pillar content and acquiring links from prestigious, well known websites.
According to Toolkit Web Design you should: use a sitemap to plan your content, listing the name of each page and how they will link to each other; keep all the content relevant, only publishing material that’s directly related to your business; use lists to make information more digestible; add headings and subheadings; and ensure everything is edited and proofread to a professional standard. Every blog post and/or informational page on your website should meet this criteria.
How To Promote Pillar Content
There is no magic formula. If you create good quality content that people need, it will get re-published over and over again, naturally attracting a diverse link profile. Fundamentally, it’s all about earning your place in the market. If you manage to succeed with content marketing in an ethical manner, you can be damn sure that you’ll have an edge over 90% of your competition.
Don’t neglect the social aspect. People tend to follow the flock, often basing legitimacy on numbers. So if you haven’t got a social media following, start working on it. Developing pillar content is merely the first step of a very long journey. Once published, you also need to get the word out about it. And to do that you must actively use the big four: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. People seem to have forgotten what social networks were originally intended for. I’ll give you a clue… it’s in the name: being social! The key to getting the word out about your content is to simply tell others about it.
Google has one priority: to rank websites based on their relevancy and quality. Even today you can take shortcuts and probably outrank other, higher quality websites. However, whether it takes days, weeks, months or years, taking this route will come back to haunt you. Fundamentally, it’s just not worth the risk. So the next time you consider taking shortcuts, publishing mediocre blog posts and uninspiring copy, think again.