In the cybersecurity marketing world, we hear a lot of terms thrown around when we talk about content marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)…Domain Authority…Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)…these are just a few terms that are often used. However, one term that you might not hear quite so much is Page Authority.
“Page Authority” (PA) is a scoring system developed by the SEO company Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Page Authority scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
Succinctly, this method of scoring a page allows marketing teams to measure the success of individual pages. If you create a page and you’re getting no visitors, you should review your score to determine how well it’s rated by search engines. Cybersecurity marketing teams should be using this tactic when updating old content, but they also need to keep it in mind for when they are building new content, too.
Whereas Page Authority is looking at a specific page and how well it ranks on SERP, Domain Authority examines the overall health of your site. There are a bunch of different factors that determine the site’s score. They include quality of content, numbers of backlinks, website performance, and much more.
To help improve your Domain Authority, you must build a long-term strategy. For many organizations, it can be relatively easy to move from a score of 7 to 20, but the higher score, the harder it is to continue to build upon that.
There are a lot of different ways to drive traffic to your website. They include email, social media, pay-per-click, and referral traffic, and they are all really important aspects of your overall marketing strategy. Even so, the biggest driver for most businesses is organic search traffic.
68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Organic search results are the unpaid results that appear on a SERP after you type a query. Here is an example after I typed in the term, “File Integrity Monitoring.”
The factors that determine where a page might rank include applicable items such as relevance, number of quality backlinks, quality of content, (Does it answer the readers’ questions?) and Domain Authority, among others.
Organic traffic is amazing for a few reasons. Once you succeed in getting something to rank, it generally serves as a long-term source of relevant traffic to your website. People are proactively searching for these terms to solve their problems, and you are the answer. You’ll attract high volumes of relevant traffic to your business!
And not only that…but it’s also “free!” The time, effort, and resources you invest at the start will pay dividends for months and years after. If you’re struggling to drive page views to a particular page, the quickest way of getting more traffic is by investing in paid advertising. Whether it’s Google PPC campaigns or social media advertising, they all have their place, but they can be super expensive and resource heavy. That’s why creating content for SEO purposes is a vital strategy for cybersecurity marketing teams.
As mentioned above, paid advertising really does have its place, but when you see statistics such as, “Organic search drives 53% of website traffic, while paid search drives only 27%,” it really makes you see the value in having a good SEO content marketing strategy in place.
And this next stat is particularly important for any marketing professionals who work in cybersecurity:
“Roughly 25.8% of internet users use ad blockers.”
Cybersecurity professionals generally know the risks behind adverts on the internet and have a superior understanding about how cybercriminals can use ads to carry out fraudulent activities. With that in mind, you could guess that the above statistic would be much higher for anyone who works in the cybersecurity industry.
So, we know that organic search traffic is fundamental in driving traffic, relevant leads, and quality opportunities. Now we need to talk about what the fundamentals should be to create Pillar Pages that are important to your prospects and customers.
How is a Pillar Page different from any other type of page on your site?
A solution page is all about the organization. It should feature the company’s solutions and how they help their customers. In the process, they are offering insights into why the reader should be asking for a product or service demonstration and/or filling in a “Contact Us” form. This is the area for promotional material. Does Google want to promote this kind of content? Nope.
We could quibble over whether a Pillar Page is like a blog post, which it is, but they aren’t exactly the same. A blog post will pull in external references for validation. It might offer thoughts and opinions on a particular subject, and it often goes into depth on a particular area. For example, “What is What is Phishing? Phishing is a type of cyberattack in which attackers send fraudulent communications, or direct people to counterfeit websites in order to trick those individuals into revealing sensitive… More” could be a blog post, but your blog should be really looking at things like, “Tips to avoid phishing attacks” or “How to prevent a phishing scam.”
The purpose of a Pillar Page is to educate the reader on a particular topic. It’s going to be an overview of all aspects of a particular topic without getting deep into the weeds. (That’s what your blog is for.) It needs to be educational and interesting, not promotional.
Pillar Pages need to be created around the core of your business. If you’re a vendor working in the What is an API? An Application Programming Interface (API), is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software. They allow disparate products or services to communicate… More security space, an obvious place to start is with “Your Guide to API Security.” From there, you then need to research some of the keywords and phrases that people are using to learn more about API security.
If you’re writing something up on the topic and want to educate readers, you must think about this from the perspective of who might be reading it. That could be anyone from students learning about the topic all the way to executives who hear about the threat but don’t know exactly what it is. You need to add value to their experience so that they stay on the page, interact with it, and then look to respond to a Call-To-Action (CTA).
Now that we’ve covered what a Pillar Page is, why it is important, and why you would want to create one, let’s look at some of the best practices to consider when building a Pillar Page.
Now that you’ve created your Pillar Page, where should it live? It’s not a solution page, nor a blog, so where does it go?
One option would be to create something like a “Learning Center” or “Resource Page.” You could have a landing page that stores all your Pillar Pages and that could reside in your header, footer, or even both.
This is important when it comes to constructing your URL, too. It needs to be short and concise, and it needs to live high up within your site.
For example, a blog could be:
Whereas for a Pillar Page, you want it more as cornerstone content that lives higher up in your domain.
If you have blogs hosted on the same website with the same or similar content, consider using a canonical link with the PillarPage as the master, then have the Pillar Page link out to the blog in the content. Identifying a canonical link will also reduce the chance that URL variations caused by automatically added tags, query parameters, etc. will dilute the page authority.
For example, a Pillar Page could be “What is a Pillar Page,” and within that page, you could discuss ways to increase page authority ranking and then link within that content to a more detailed blog post entitled, “How to Increase Page Authority Ranking.” Using the canonical link on the Pillar Page will ensure that it is the preferred web page to return.
The page’s meta description is also important. It needs to get someone who searched for a topic to click on your link. If the search keyword matches part of the text in the meta description, Google will be more inclined to use it and highlight it in the search results.
Here’s a good example. Searching “what is page authority” returns Moz as the first result, and their meta description is “Page Authority (PA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Page Authority scores …”
Now that you have constructed your Pillar Page, how do you improve its page authority? Here are a few things to consider:
Bora is building Pillar Pages for a host of successful cybersecurity companies right now. We’re helping to plan, write, and then increase their authority on an ongoing basis.
Interested in learning more?
Get in touch with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joepettit/.
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