How to Strategically Link Between Content Pillars for Authority Building

At PBJ, the creation and structuring of content pillars has become a fundamental strategy for gaining SERP visibility and authority. This strategic approach is not only crucial for delivering value to your audience but also plays a significant role in optimizing for search engines (SEO). By systematically organizing content into pillars, brands and businesses can establish a robust foundation for their SEO efforts, ensuring that their content not only reaches the intended audience but also resonates with them, encouraging engagement and loyalty.

The article that follows delves into the importance of building topical authority in SEO, the process of creating and structuring pillar content, and the effective linking strategies to connect these pillars. Each section aims to provide a comprehensive roadmap for businesses and content creators looking to leverage content pillars to enhance their authority and SEO performance. 

The Importance of Building Authority in SEO

Building topical authority in SEO is crucial for enhancing a website's visibility and credibility. This process involves strategic internal link building and content creation. This lets Google know how all of the content is connected and that your website is a reliable source of information.

Benefits of Topical Authority for SEO

Topical authority influences how a website ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs). Websites with high authority are often deemed trustworthy by search engines, which can lead to higher rankings. For instance, acquiring backlinks from high-authority sites tells Google that your site is also an authority, acting as a vote of confidence. This not only boosts your site’s visibility but also its potential to attract more organic traffic.

How Strategic Links Help

Strategic linking between content pillars and cluster pages is akin to creating a network of roads that lead to various districts within a city. Each link serves as a pathway that guides users and search engines through related topics, enhancing the user experience and SEO. Off-site link building, such as guest blogging and the use of resource pages, helps in distributing page authority across your site, thereby increasing the overall site authority.

Examples of Successful Authority Building

Consider a website that consistently publishes well-researched articles and secures guest post spots on reputable sites within the industry. Over time, these activities accumulate quality backlinks, which enhance the site's authority. For example, a tech blog gaining links from major technology news portals not only elevates its authority but also expands its reach and readership.

By focusing on building a solid foundation of quality links and authoritative content, websites can significantly improve their SEO performance and establish themselves as leaders in their respective fields.

Creating and Structuring Pillar Content

Crafting Comprehensive Pillar Pages & Cluster Content

Pillar pages are the foundation of a topic cluster strategy, serving as comprehensive guides on broad topics. They should cover all aspects of the topic, providing a general overview while linking to more detailed cluster content. 

Once the pillar page is established, the next step involves creating cluster pages that focus on related subtopics. These pages should address specific keywords and provide in-depth information, supporting the broader topic covered in the pillar page. In the example below, a pillar page on diabetes might broadly address diabetes as a whole, while specific cluster pages delve into the specific types like type 1 diabetes or hypo-glycemia.

Optimizing Content for SEO

To enhance the effectiveness of pillar and cluster pages in search engine rankings, it's crucial to optimize content for SEO. This includes using strategic keywords, incorporating internal links, and ensuring that content is authoritative and informative. Each cluster page should link back to the pillar page and to other relevant secondary content (like blogs or articles), creating a cohesive network. By focusing on high-quality, relevant content, websites can establish themselves as authoritative sources in their field, which will ultimately help you rank better and attract more traffic and search engine visibility.

Linking Strategies

Internal Link Best Practices

Internal links are hyperlinks that point to different pages within the same website, unlike external links that connect to pages on other websites. They are essential for SEO because they help search engines understand the site's structure, pass authority, and enhance user navigation. To optimize internal linking, one should ensure that navigational links are consistently included in the main menu to form the site's primary structure. Contextual links should be strategically placed within the body of the page, directing users to related content which boosts page relevance and authority.

We’ve found that conducting an internal linking audit is the best way to ensure that all of your pillar and cluster content are effectively linking to each other. This audit also helps you plan new content that may be needed. Here’s a look at the audit we use:

The important thing to remember is that the more content you have that supports the pillar page and/or cluster pages, the more Google will view you as an authority. As a foundation, we aim to have at least 10-15 blogs that support the pillar page and an additional 10-15 blogs that support the cluster pages. From there, you will continue building out new content each month that supports both. We’ve found this is the most effective way to rank for both high-funnel and low funnel keywords. 

Using Anchor Text Effectively

Anchor text plays a crucial role in how both users and search engines perceive the linked content. Effective anchor texts are brief, relevant, and optimized without being overly keyword-dense, which could appear manipulative to search engines. For instance, using descriptive phrases that accurately reflect the linked page's content can improve both SEO and user experience by providing clear context.


Throughout this exploration of strategic linking between content pillars, we underscored the pivotal role of thoughtfully crafted content and robust linking strategies in building topical authority and increasing rankings. By anchoring our digital presence with comprehensive pillar pages, supported by a network of interconnected cluster content, the pathway to enhanced visibility and authority becomes clear. Such structures not only cater to the algorithmic inclinations of search engines but also greatly improve user experience.

As we reflect on the information above, it becomes evident that the seamless integration of these elements is crucial for achieving online dominance. Continuous optimization, monitoring, and alignment with SEO best practices serve as the bedrock for sustaining and amplifying authority over time. To further empower your efforts and ensure you're on the right path, reach out to us to get a free SEO audit to evaluate your current strategy's effectiveness.