In today’s world there are so many ways for prospects to get introduced to your digital agency. From Twitter shout-outs to Display Ads, from word-of-mouth to influencer marketing; the list is endless. But landing on the Homepage is still the most effective customer journey flow. Users get immersed in the path you’ve laid out for them, they can see the possibilities for themselves and easily contact us. As creatives we want to introduce ourselves on our own custom designed platform, less confined to the structure of external platforms, (sorry Dribbble, Medium, we love you) satisfying needs for impression management.
What is a pillar page?
Ever since The Blogger Era (2004 - 2013) in the early 2010s, a mad scramble for getting first dibs in results; search engines are dictating how search influences results and the other way around.. As quoted by Tim Larew for Complex Magazine: “The currency in the blog era was press coverage, interviews, and general chatter. Today, it’s attention by any means necessary.” Blogs back then were all about producing many types of content without necessarily linking them together. What has shifted for getting up high in the SERP (search engine results page) is your URL domain strength; a measure for trustworthiness. Indicated by how many topics your website addresses and how good it is in doing that. It’s not all about quantity but how well they are intertwined. These so-called topic clusters translate to in-linking: referencing your work and measuring engagement.
Sure a SERP is not a designer’ best friend but knowing the ins & outs of SEO has influenced our handling of web content to a certain degree. It’s a thinking we always incorporate in our content core now, even if it doesn’t initially launch, it helps put your future digital brand strategy on rails. Now we practice what we preach and are eager to share forthcoming results.
A freshly paved new in-ward path
The pillar pages have been a part of our content strategy since the beginning; laying dormant within our sitemap. They weren’t scheduled to launch during our initial brand refresh because we wanted to see how well our website performed initially and what sort of customers were interested. Today, after some time, it’s time to introduce them as a new in-ward path to our website, getting a fresh set of traffic on our domain.
The classic route Home - Overview page - Detail page has stood the test of time and still stands within our updated website. It works well for our target audience, design-minded individuals that want to work with Yummygum. The pillar pages on the other end are set up for those who don’t yet see themselves reflected in our portfolio, but we’d still be able to service them. As a digital agency in general, knowledge travels fast and we stay on top of industry trends ahead of the curve. We’d like to inspire prospective clients with existing designs alongside newer possibilities, igniting that aha!-moment.
Topics, clusters & forks
Broadening Yummygum’s domain strength has allowed for a more interesting variety of content. And we’re already seeing a significant change in the way visitors perceive Yummygum. We now allow for a more holistic view, highlighting branding, marketing & front-end development whereas our previous website was heavily design focused. The Yummygum team has undergone a transition towards specialization as well. Interconnecting all these topics through simple blog posts wouldn’t suffice, because you’d have to write opinionated articles on each industry. Clustering those around industry pillar pages covers more ground. It lets you address multiple facets about the same industry from differing perspectives.
When creating and clustering topics it’s best to have the variety of disciplines your team has to offer top of the mind. It’s also important to keep in mind what your target audience is looking for in your product. Why we incorporated the industry pages was based on the notion that, once you launch, f.e. a fitness app, similar prospects will come along and want the exact same thing but perhaps in a blue color palette. So introducing a fitness & lifestyle industry pillar is like a self-fulfilling prophecy; prospects envision a fitness product created by Yummygum, even when nothing similar has come along yet. They’re enamored with the inspiration provided.
Providing users with click-through suggestions, a fork in the road, allows for playing around with customer experience optimization. What is the most preferred next click? It’ll fetch a more holistic picture of content creation for the long run. Which industries seem interested in our efforts the most? These are click events that will set in motion further creative usability testing.
We joke at the office that the biggest difference between a UX- and a Visual Designer is the amount of browser tabs open. UX outnumbers on average 30+ tabs. When diving into a certain design rabbithole you’ll want to engage with that topic similar to what your user sees & searches for. The best hits are the most relatable. What sticks during an initial research phase are always the products that make you a recurring visitor. Having 5 tabs open on the same website is a good sign: it means interesting content that you can engage with. That’s like a book you’re not able to lay down.
We think pillar pages add a certain depth to the website and invite more people in. It showcases expertise, diversifies our agency portfolio, broadens our skillset on topics and provides a new layer of creativity to the design process. A greater onset for similar content allows us to get into business with new industries, getting in touch with more people.