Content Strategy

What are pillar pages, topic clusters, and subtopics?

Last updated: December 6, 2017

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Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
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Your content strategy tool simplifies your content creation process by focusing your efforts around core topics that are highly relevant to your customers' challenges and goals. Learn more about how pillar pages, topic clusters, and subtopics organize and enhance your content creation process while improving your SEO for modern seach engines.

Pillar page

A pillar page is a comprehensive resource page that covers a core topic in depth and links to high-quality content created for the supporting subtopics. This page should apply consistent on-page SEO best practices, referencing the core 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 this is the canonical piece of information you’re pushing visitors to. Your pillar page will gain authority with a number of quality inbound links from your subtopic content. 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? You can check out a few examples on the HubSpot Marketing blog here.

Topic clusters 

Topic clusters are comprised of a pillar page and subtopic content that you've compiled for each of your core topics. A topic cluster should contain around 6-8 subtopics that address specific questions your customers may be exploring related to the core topic of your pillar page. 

When you create a new topic cluster, you'll define it with a name that summarizes the core topic it will address. The content strategy tool will display the following three metrics in the Core 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.
  • Relevancy: This is a 0 - 100% score that tells you how relevant the topic you’ve chosen is to all of the content on your domain. 


Subtopics are shorter pieces of content that answer a specific question about the core topic covered in your pillar page. When you add a new subtopic, you'll be able to view analytics in the Subtopic validation section to determine if your subtopic is a good fit. In addition to Domain Authority, Monthly Search Volume, and Relevancy, you will also see Core Topic Similarity, which measures how closely your subtopic relates back to the core topic on a scale of 0 - 100%.

You can attach the following types of content to your subtopics:

  • One of your HubSpot blog posts
  • The full URL of a webpage
  • A link to high-quality external resources

When you attach a webpage, landing page, or blog post to a new subtopic, your topic cluster will keep track of how many inbound links you have referring back to your pillar page to ensure you're setting yourself up for success. 

Please note: there is currently a limit of 22 subtopics per topic cluster.

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