Content Strategy

Pillar pages, topics, and subtopic keywords

Last updated: February 6, 2019

Applies to:

Marketing Hub Professional, Enterprise
Legacy Marketing Hub Basic
HubSpot CMS

The SEO tool organizes your content into topics that are relevant for your customers' challenges and goals. Analytics in the tool provide insights for optimizing each piece of content for search engines.

Pillar page

A pillar page is a comprehensive resource page that covers a topic in depth and links to high-quality content for supporting subtopic keywords. This page should apply consistent on-page SEO best practices, referencing the topic in the page title, URL, and H1 tag. Ideally a pillar page sits on the top level of your website in a space that already gets a lot of organic traffic.

Content on a pillar page should also be adapted to convert visitors to leads, or leads to customers since all your supporting content links back to this page. Your pillar page gains authority with quality inbound links from your subtopic keyword content and external sources. To ensure that everything on the page can be crawled by SEO engines and discovered by potential customers, the pillar page should not have any content locked behind a form or a password.

Want to see how other users are building their pillar pages? Check out a few examples on the HubSpot Marketing blog.


A topic includes a pillar page and related subtopic keyword content that answers specific questions about your main topic. A topic should contain around 6-8 subtopic keywords that address specific questions your customers may be exploring related to the topic of your pillar page.

When you create a new topic, you'll define it with a name that summarizes the goal or problem it will address for your customers. The SEO tool shows the following metrics in the Topic validation section to determine if this topic is worth writing about:

  • Domain Authority: This is a scale from 1 - 100 that determines how authoritative your domain is, and how likely you are to land on page 1 for that term. 
  • Monthly Search Volume: This is the approximate number of searches that show up each month for that term.

Subtopic keyword

Subtopic keywords are shorter pieces of content that answer a specific question about the topic covered in your pillar page. When you add a new subtopic keyword, you'll see analytics in the Subtopic Keyword sidebar panel for Monthly Search Volume.

You can attach the following types of content to your subtopic keywords:

  • One of your HubSpot blog posts, landing pages, or website pages
  • The full URL of a webpage
  • A link to a high-quality external resource

When you attach a blog post, landing page, or website page to a new subtopic keyword, your topic will keep track of how many inbound links you have referring back to your pillar page.

Please note: there is currently a limit of 20 subtopic keywords per topic. Additionally, each piece of subtopic keyword content, such as a blog post or landing page, can only be attached to one topic.