“Good artists borrow. Great artists steal,” often attributed to Steve Jobs, was appropriated from Pablo Picasso...who very likely repurposed the original sentiment from T.S. Eliot.
So, there it is: Great advice, shared shamelessly by great artists. In that same vein, when we encounter exemplary inbound website content, it only makes sense to apply its insight to our own work.
Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing program, and your most important marketing tool. Serving as a helpful, authoritative resource in your area of expertise is a core value of any successful B2B content marketing strategy.
If you’ve embraced the inbound marketing flywheel, you understand the importance of attracting, engaging, and delighting your prospects and customers at every point along your buyer’s journey — and throughout your customer lifecycle.
Pillar pages support these goals while improving SEO by concentrating and structuring your helpful, authoritative content, making it easy to find, simple to navigate, and helpful to use.
That’s why the best B2B pillar pages become valuable resources within their specialized industry niches. Let’s take a look at some of the best pillar page examples from B2B industrial websites, and explore what makes them so effective.
A pillar page is an in-depth content page on your website. It holds valuable information that answers critical questions on a core topic cluster within your area of expertise. It’s organized into subtopics and includes links to additional pages on your site that hold even more information related to the topic.
A great pillar page makes life easier for users by not only answering their questions, but also guiding their research. The structure of your pillar page demonstrates that you know what’s most important within the subject area, establishing your authority, building audience trust, and helping make you the go-to resource on the subject.
Content on a pillar page typically includes long-form text, callouts, links to related content pieces, infographics, video, and more. A table of contents makes it easy to navigate and use, and clarifies the organizational structure of your content clusters. Related web pages link back to the pillar page — elevating it to an essential content hub within your website.
Content marketers agree that pillar pages fall within a few different categories … though there’s not perfect agreement on what those category definitions are. Most recognize the 10x content pillar page (so named because it covers the topic so comprehensively it’s “10 times better” than any other page), which structures and presents your best, most in-depth content in an insightful way on the most critical topics in your specific industry niche.
10x pillar pages recognize, respond to, and even predict a user’s need for detailed information, and offer it in an easy-to-use, satisfying format. If you’re building your website with the goal of attracting leads by ranking for relevant keywords, pillar pages are an important part of your site structure.
Resource pillar pages are more specific than the broad topic of a 10x pillar page, yet still deeper than a single content piece or blog post. They drill authoritatively into specialized sub-topics or provide all your available content as a resource to address a recognizable challenge.
A content subtopic pillar page might be presented as a how-to page, a definitive guide, or a one-stop-shop where users can expect to find a solution quickly and easily. These pillar content pages are often structured around typical customer questions or specific, compelling search analytics.
This 10x pillar page began with a decision to ungate a previously gated ebook (a PDF that lived behind a website form users had to submit to access it). So far, the major SEO dividends include an organic bounce rate of barely over 50% and an exit rate of just 41.86% — reflecting that, more often than not, users use the links and CTAs to stay on site because they found the content they came looking for.
Future page optimizations (planned in a GDD cycle) will enhance user experience on the page to improve engagement and increase conversions, with an eye toward delivering more MQLs.
We launched this pillar page in early 2018, and it’s helped grow our contacts by 26%, and the page’s conversion rate is about five times our normal for ungated content.
On the page, we organize content to drill deeply into the most fundamental aspects of inbound marketing for complex and industrial B2B clients. You can see this reflected in the table of contents headings that are driven by keyword research: We define inbound marketing, how it works, the must-have essentials, and an overview example.
Related content links slide in as the user scrolls down the page, and a downloadable PDF allows users to take it with them and share widely. This exit-intent lead flow has been key to conversion success.
To learn more about how pillar pages have increased our inbound results, watch this video:
This is a terrific example of a resource pillar page. Its no-nonsense structure and navigation make it easy to browse and locate pieces of content based on resource type: ebooks, case studies, webinars, videos, and blog posts. Its FAQ section shows insight into customer questions, and every section links to even more in-depth information.
The page achieves an enviable all-time bounce rate under 54%, and while at first glance, the 71-second time-on-page average may appear low, think about it: Users land, scan, and quickly find links to what they came looking for.
This page was built to leverage Rittal’s broad and deep information reserve, and optimized in structure using keyword data insights, balancing selections for search volume and difficulty.
The page’s heading and subhead structures make it easy for users to scan and find answers to their questions about liquid cooled data centers, and the uncluttered, simple page design avoids distractions. The sticky table of contents follows users as they navigate the page, keeping navigation close by.
This pillar page anticipates the big questions manufacturers have about outsourcing. The interactive table of contents shows users where they are within the flow of the page’s content, and links to related content are called out graphically, making them especially easy to find on the page.
At the same time, as pillar pages get your most helpful, most in-demand content into the hands of your best prospects, you’ll continue building trust and authority in your industry and market niche.
Learn more ways to improve your inbound marketing for better results by visiting our one-stop-shop pillar page (you had to know that was coming...). Just click the link to take a deeper dive. And, if you’re looking for more examples, you can find all our pillar pages in the Comprehensive Guides area of our site.
Topics: Content Marketing