Think of Colgate’s gum disease resource page as the top of the mountain – a pillar of content like the one you aim to create for your brand. To find potential head terms, you can perform research on Google. Colgate’s head term – gum disease – has a monthly search volume of 90,500. “Gum disease prevention” would be a great core topic that contextually supports the head term “gum disease.” Your goal is to rank well on search engines for each core topic. After reviewing a link, click the back button to return to the search engine results page and look at what “people also search for.” TIP: Choose core topic terms that have a monthly search volume between 400 and 2,500. Colgate’s core topic “gum disease prevention” has a monthly search volume of 590. Crest’s “gum disease” page is visible on the ninth page of Google search results. The best thing is to focus your time and energy on creating your first cluster of related content that links to a pillar page for a core topic. When creating your first topic cluster, I recommend creating a 10x content pillar page. An efficient way to create the 10x content pillar page is to first create the downloadable resource.
You’re at the bottom of the mountain you’ve been told to climb to the top. You look up at the summit and it seems so far away. You’re not sure how you’re going to get there. A clearly defined path isn’t visible to guide you in the right direction. The whole situation is a bit scary and overwhelming.
But others before you have climbed this mountain. They’ve made it to the summit. And if they can to do it, then you can too.
The top of the mountain – literal or metaphorical – is reached when you focus on each step, not how steep it is. You reverse engineer the climb.
You can do this with your content and climb the mega mountain of Google search. Working backward step by step, you can create a valuable piece of long-form content – and create a map on how to blaze that trail the next time.
Your mountaintop is a resource-driven pillar page, which serves as a library to showcase your top-performing content on a specific topic.
And to help you visualize the climb, let’s think about the travails of a dentist’s patient. Put yourself in the dentist’s chair, getting your teeth cleaned. Your dentist informs you that you’re susceptible to gum disease and recommends you take your oral hygiene seriously.
You don’t really know much about gum disease. As you leave the office, you whip out your smartphone and type “gum disease” into Google. The first page of the search engine results looks like:
The second non-ad result is from Colgate. It references gum disease causes, prevention, and treatment. If you’re looking for a comprehensive resource on gum disease, this link might be a good place to start.
You click the link.
Upon arriving at Colgate’s gum disease page, you’re pleasantly surprised by the depth of content. Various sections focus on contextual situations related to gum disease with referral links to continue learning. You can find the content you’re looking for without having to dig for it.
Think of Colgate’s gum disease resource page as the top of the mountain – a pillar of content like the one you aim to create for your brand. Let’s reverse engineer it with this six-step process – and create a path for you to create a resource pillar page of your own.
1. Determine head term
Identify a head term – an overarching keyword topic with high monthly search volume. This head term serves as the summit of your mountain. It should be broad, usually two words (depending on your industry). For example, “gum disease” would be a great example of a head term for Colgate. It’s broad enough to be explained with context (which I’ll get into in the next section).
To make sure you choose a correct head term to align your ongoing content creation efforts, it should support at least one of your products and/or services and should be a term your buyer persona would use when searching. It’s important that your content supports visitors becoming customers.
Colgate features products related to gum disease at the bottom of its resource page.
To find potential head terms, you can perform research on Google. Use the Keywords Everywhere plug-in to determine monthly search volume.
TIP: Choose a head term with a monthly search volume of at least 2,500 that aligns well with your content marketing strategy. Colgate’s head term – gum disease – has a monthly search volume of 90,500.
Identifying the summit first (i.e., the head term) makes it easier to reverse engineer how you’re going to get there.
2. Identify core topics
Next, you want to select a series of core topics – terms that align with and provide context to your head term. These topics have high monthly search volume but not as high as the broader head term.
Most core topics are usually three to five words (depending on your industry). “Gum disease prevention” would be a great core topic that contextually supports the head term “gum disease.”
Your goal is to rank well on search engines for each core topic. Core topics are the strategic sweet spot for achieving rankings on search engines. Colgate…