But First….. Tiered Links
First let me talk a little about tiered links. What they are and why they matter.
Links from one webpage to another are very important to the search rankings. This is true when the links are from other sites to pages on your site, as well as between pages on your site.
Tiered links is when you structure the links within your site in a hierarchy. The diagram with this blog post shows a three tier hierarchy.
The bottom tier consists of larger number (over time) of snippet posts that are fairly short (200 to 300 words), focused, and answer one question or make one point.
They link to a smaller number of pillar posts which are longer (at least 500 words and depending upon the topic as much as 2,500), better researched, with charts and graphs as needed. Pillar posts are more like research papers or white papers.
The pillar posts then in turn link to your landing pages where you capture visitor information (often their name and email address) to provide access to something of value (an eBook, a video, etc).
Now that you’ve got this idea down, let’s proceed to describing the format of a strong pillar post.
Pillar Post Format: Thought Leadership
This is called the Big Picture or Thought Leadership format. It does not discuss extreme detail, but rather discusses high level ideas.
It has six main attributes or sections:
- It opens with an overview of the issues (not details), what, why, how, who, when, etc, etc.
- It is it written for high level decision makers, not people who do the detailed work.
- It cites research studies to back up the points being made.
- It provides significant analysis of the issue.
- It draws a conclusion about which an opinion (a very strong opinion is OK) is expressed.
- The main point is supported with personal perspectives and stories which evoke an emotional response.
Pillar Post Format: Detailed Instructions
This format of a pillar post is almost the opposite of the thought leadership format.
It delves deep into some instruction on how to do something that is meaningful and relevant to people trying to get something done.
It makes extensive use of annotated screen shots, and preferably shows how do things a lot of people need to know how to do.
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