Imagine two different people have identical authority sites. They both target the same keywords and they both decide to write an article optimized for it. They both build identical links.
But one of them ranks for more sets of keywords, pulls in more long-tail traffic, and gets 5x more traffic than the other.
How is this possible?
In the next few units, Pm going to go over one of the most important strategies in this course. They’re called Pillar Keywords, and Pillar Posts.
They’re the essential components that form the difference between a site that gets thousands of visitors per month – and a site that gets hundreds of thousands or even millions of visitors per month.
It’s an SEO tactic that I use that allows my pages to generate tons more traffic than any of my competitors.
The best part is: everything is strategically planned. Nothing happens by accident.
It doesn’t matter if you have a blog, business website, niche site, or e-commerce site. By incorporating Pillar Keywords and Pillar Posts into your content strategy, you can significantly magnify your traffic.
What’s the difference between Pillar Keywords and Pillar Posts?
Pillar Keywords happen during your keyword research phase.
It’s essentially a keyword research strategy.
Pillar Posts are the actual articles that you create using your Pillar Keywords.
This might sound a little confusing now, but bear with me. It’ll all make sense in a minute when I go through them both.
What is a Pillar Keyword?
Essentially, it’s the process of intentionally ranking for every variation of your keyword through proper planning.
This is one of the biggest areas where I do things differently with my niche site building and SEO.
I remember when I first started my niche site, I learned from really well known bloggers in the space.
One of the times I had my “aha” moment was when even they were surprised by how they started ranking for things they never even targeted.
Their main keyword jumped to the first page, and they would say, “What’s interesting is that I’m also ranking for X, Y, and Z and I wasn’t even targeting them.”
They ranked for these terms by accident.
By targeting a major keyword, creating a high quality resource around it, and building a bunch of good links, they got to #1 for their main keyword.
However, because it was a high quality resource with a lot of good links, they started ranking for other keywords. By having some of the words in their title, headings, or body of the post, they were targeting them without even knowing it.
And they probably could have done it for even more keywords had they done the appropriate research.
That’s what Pillar Keyword setup Is.
Even today, people are taught to target a single keyword and build their page around it. They ignore the fact that if they build up enough authority to the page to rank for their keyword, they probably could have ranked for a handful of others in the process if they just targeted them in some way.
A powerful strategy
After seeing that, I started experimenting with it.
And now… it’s a MAJOR part of my niche site and SEO strategy. In fact, I would NEVER create a site where I don’t use Pillar Keywords and Pillar Posts as my main content strategy.
It literally multiplies your overall traffic potential with the same amount of work.
This is the reason my main niche site jumped up in traffic all of a sudden.
Gaining enough authority that your site jumps to #1 for the biggest keyword is a big boost in traffic. If you’re targeting pretty much every keyword with that post, they’ll all rise to the first page and the traffic boost is ENORMOUS.
It’s all just a result of smart planning.
And I’m going to show you exactly how it’s done.
Here’s how to create your pillar keywords
I’m going to use Potty Training for this example again because there are a lot of keywords I can work with to illustrate the steps.
I’ll go step-by-step through this because this process is very important for you to learn.
If you master this strategy, your niche sites will grow to a whole different level than It used to.
Traffic is multiple times greater in the long run than if you did the same amount of work without utilizing this strategy, so make sure you read through it and understand it entirely.
It all starts during your keyword research phase.
If you remember just a minute ago, we inputted some seed keywords into the Keyword Planner.
First, let’s take a look at the keywords brought back from Google’s Keyword Planner. So here’s the first page of results.
Below are the seed keywords that we searched for.
And here are some of the suggestions that Google Keyword Planner brought back.
There are 800 results in total, and I can’t post them all here so I’ll do my best to forge an example with what’s on the first page.
It should be more than enough. I’ll usually only go through 3-5 pages.
So let’s go ahead and start forming our first Pillar Keyword.
Organize the list
First, I’ll take the biggest keyword I want to target and list out all the relevant keywords that are DIRECTLY related to it.
What do I mean by this?
I’ll list all the keywords that are related to each other where ranking for one of them will pretty much mean I can rank for the others.
They’re just worded slightly differently.
For example, tips for potty training, potty training, and how to start potty training all fall under the same topic.
They ALL mean the same thing. Remember when we learned about search intent?
They all have the same search intent. Anyone who searches for any of those keywords are ALL looking for the same information.
The only difference is the wording.
Each individual keyword gets a good amount of searches per month.
Things from the list that aren’t related are: potty training pants and potty training toilet seat.
They fall under the same topic of potty training, but they don’t have the same meaning. Someone who types in potty training pants isn’t looking for a tutorial on how to potty train their child.
So here’s the organized list of all keywords directly related to “potty training”.
TOTAL SEARCH VOLUME PER MONTH = 166,510
All of these keywords are related searches that have the same MEANING: tips about potty training. Everything else from the list that means something else, I didn’t add it in.
We can target all of these through a SINGLE PAGE, and that’s 166,510 searches per month. That’s just calculating using the keywords presented on the first page.
If we were to add up every little keyword, it would get closer to 200,000 searches per month.
REMEMBER: This is only counting the keywords listed in Google’s Keyword Planner. It’s not considering ANY long tail traffic, so the actual traffic numbers will be MUCH higher.
Results of using this strategy
People today are trained to look at that list and choose one keyword.
Maybe they’ll choose a keyword based around potty training girls. It’s a good keyword that gets around 20,000 searches per month if you add up all the variables.
But look at what we did here. By taking the biggest keywords and combining them together, we put our page in position to rank for ALL OF THEM instead of just one of them.
This magnifies the results of your link building efforts.
Instead of… “Hey I’m finally ranking #1 for my keyword. That’s a pleasant bump in traffic.”
It’s more like… “OMG I’m ranking for EVERYTHING. I’ve become the authority for this topic no matter how you input your search query, and my traffic just exploded to a whole new level.”
And that’s not an exaggeration. That’s literally the difference I’ve experienced between sites where I’ve used Pillar Keywords and sites where I didn’t.
In addition, our page is going to so much more jam-packed with information and provide value to our readers. It’s a monster and we’ll learn how to create content for these types of post in the next unit in what I like to call Pillar Posts.
Pillar Keywords are the pillars of my authority site strategy – hence the name
This is what I mean when I say authority sites don’t rely on single keywords to determine their success. I say that a lot, and people always look at me with confused looks.
Even if it takes a long time to rank #1 for a competitive keyword like “potty training” this article will bring in a TON of long-tail traffic long before you even reach the first page.
Remember, we’re creating a valuable long-term authority site. It may not rank for all of these right away, but as we continue to build out our sites and do proper link building, it will.
And when it does, it will be more traffic than you’ve ever seen from any of your older niche sites.
Formatting the meta around our Pillar Keywords
You’re probably wondering… How do we even target all of them? Are we mentioning them in our content? Are we creating a massive 100 word title?!
It starts with the title and description elements.
Title tags and descriptions are often used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page, and are important both for SEO and social sharing.
Title tags are one of the most crucial components of SEO and is given a lot of weight by Google in terms of how you rank, and for which keywords you rank for.
Now let’s learn how to create one with the Pillar Keyword strategy!
Writing Our Title and Description for this Monster Post
So now comes the part of smartly targeting all of these keywords so that ranking for one of them = ranking for all of them.
What we’re trying to do is make sure that we’re targeting every single one of those keywords in the list we made within our site’s Title and Description.
Here’s what I came up with:
Again, here is the list of keywords we had selected earlier.
Try and find one keyword from our list where that title isn’t relevant.
They’re all targeted in one way or another.
This Is easier than It might look. All it takes is some creativity and a bit of practice.
You’ll have to play around with the title and descriptions a bit to get it just right.
I’m pretty happy with this one.
IMPORTANT: Don’t make this mistake
A lot of people are mistaking pillar keywords and pillar posts as something where you stuff every