1. Help Center
  2. Pillar-Based Marketing

SEO Best Practices for Writers

Learn about our recommendations, best practices, and the Pillar-Based Marketing methodology that is taking the content world by storm.

In this resource we will review the following concepts:

  • Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM) Best Practices
  • The PBM Linking Strategy
  • Using Keywords
  • Anchor Text
  • The E-A-T Principle
  • Google’s Helpful Content Update

Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM) Best Practices

First things first, let’s review the concept of PBM and a Pillar Network. The Pillar Topic Network acts like a massive spider web of searches conducted for any product or service. The DemandJump platform provides the SEO insights you need to identify the most valuable topics and questions to create your Pillar Strategy. The interconnected nature of the Pillar Strategy means that there will be an easy path for any reader to find the information they need, whether it’s in the Pillar Page or another piece of content in your Pillar Strategy.

To get an in-depth review of PBM and how it all works, read our PBM Pillar Page!

The PBM Linking Strategy 

For PBM to work, all pieces of content in your strategy must link together to create an intricate network of related content. Here’s how it all breaks down:

  • All Supporting Blogs and Sub-Pillars link to the Pillar Page.
  • The first 9 Supporting Blogs have corresponding Sub-Pillars to link back to. 
  • The last 3 blogs only link to the Pillar Page.

Here’s a visual to help aid your understanding:

16-piece pillar strategy linking example

For each Supporting Blog, include the titles of both its corresponding Pillar Page and, if

applicable, Sub-Pillar Page from the Pillar Strategy within the first 100 words. Later, these will

be used as the anchor text for links to those pieces when publishing. Apply the same treatment

to Sub-Pillar Pages by including the Pillar Page title accordingly. It's helpful for publishing to indicate

where the links to the Pillar Page and Sub-Pillar Page should be placed.

All About Keywords

When you are writing PBM content, each piece of content has a recommended word count and the number of keywords to include.

  • Pillar Pages should be 3,000+ words long and include 20 keywords.
  • Sub-Pillar Pages should be 2,000+ words long and include 15 keywords.
  • Supporting Blogs should be 750+ words long and include 8 keywords.

Note: The title of each piece—whether it's a Pillar Page, Sub-Pillar, or Supporting Blog—counts as a keyword to the recommended minimum.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules to follow. If your article is a little longer or shorter, that’s fine! Remember, let the subject matter guide the length of your content. Your audience will read it all if your writing is relevant and engaging!

Using Keywords As Heading Tags

Heading tags, also called header tags, help separate and organize content on a webpage. There are six heading tags available, and each tag is ranked by importance. For example, H1s are used for the main title, H2s are sub-titles, and so on. For on-page SEO purposes, heading tags improve the SEO and readability of your web pages so readers and web crawlers can easily understand the purpose of your content.

It’s a PBM best practice to use long tail keywords—usually in the form of questions—as H1s and H2s. This helps Google easily recognize the types of questions your content is answering and further supports the authority of the Pillar Network we mentioned earlier. Using long-tail keywords as heading tags also helps drive more high-intent traffic to your website.

Lastly, when choosing keyword questions as your section headers, be sure to answer the question directly to win the answer box and get more SEO juice.

PBM Anchor Text Best Practices

When linking to sources, it’s best to hyperlink the name of the source instead of the exact statistic. You can also link to words like: study, report, survey, findings, etc.

For example, let's say you’re citing a statistic from Gartner and compose the following sentence:

"According to Gartner, 45% of people hate oranges." 

Do not link to "45%.” Instead, you should link to “Gartner" to minimize the SEO authority you’re giving that source. In this example, you’re letting Google know that Gartner is an expert on what Gartner has to say. This is much better than linking on the statistic or any concept related to your Pillar Topic.

Note: If you reference the same study twice, you can link to the name of the authoritative source again by saying something like, “In the same Gartner study.”

The E-A-T Principle

E-A-T—short for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—is the guiding concept underlying Google's various broad core algorithm updates. The E-A-T principle is used to instruct Google's search Quality Raters as they attempt to determine if search results are effective and high-quality. Quality Raters are employed by Google to ensure that all search results meet users' needs and align with best practices outlined in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

The results submitted by Quality Raters train Google’s algorithms to identify signals that correlate with the E-A-T principle. If your on-page SEO follows E-A-T guidelines, your website is more likely to rank higher in search engine results. So, how can you make sure your on-page SEO properly aligns with E-A-T? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Showcase your expertise by producing quality content that displays your company’s thought leadership and authority across various topics in your industry.
  • It’s not enough to chime in on the topics everyone is talking about; your website should establish your authority in several niche areas of your industry that relate directly to your business offerings.
  • Do not publish or link to misleading content, or your site’s trustworthiness will take a hit.

Google’s Helpful Content Update

According to Google, “the helpful content update aims to better reward content where visitors feel they've had a satisfying experience, while content that doesn't meet a visitor's expectations won't perform as well.”  This means that producing consistent, truthful, and enriching content on your website will win you brownie points with Google’s algorithm. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Lock down your website’s primary purpose and ensure your content always relates back to that purpose.
  • Hone in on a specific intended audience or ideal customer profile (ICP) and make content with that audience in mind.
  • Ensure your content clearly and concisely demonstrates first-hand expertise and extensive knowledge.
  • Write content that makes the reader feel like they learned enough to achieve their goal.
  • Keep an eye on Google’s broad core algorithm updates to monitor any changes.