Good content is of utmost importance if you want your website to rank well. Not only does it attract visitors, but it can also entice search engines to put you at the top of their search results. However, it’s not enough just to keep producing content en masse – there are rules you must follow. First and foremost, you need to keep your content SEO-friendly, but you also need to construct a comprehensive structure of links between your articles/pages. That’s where the concept of cornerstone content comes in, a concept that can do wonders for your SEO rank. How? Keep reading to find out.
What is the cornerstone content?
So, what exactly is cornerstone content anyway? Well, as its name suggests, it is the type of content that approaches a topic in an overarching way and allows you to create later smaller, more specialized pieces of content that will complement it and lean onto it, in some sense. In a way, this type of content will serve as a foundation for your whole website. It is a big piece of content designed to tell as much about a topic to the reader as possible.
Imagine a tree – the main branch is cornerstone content, and the smaller branches are additional pieces of content adding to the main branch and reaching smaller places the main branch can’t reach. And just like a real tree, this type of content has to be taken care of properly so that it can flourish and stretch further and further.
How to maintain your cornerstone content
Apart from the actual content, cornerstone content is all about links. Whenever you publish that smaller, more specialized piece of content, make sure that you link it with the cornerstone piece (and vice versa, obviously). This is important because it tells search engines what the cornerstone piece is, and that piece can, therefore, rank higher. And since that piece is also one of the most important pieces on your website, people visiting it will immediately get all the info they need and be able to get to the specialized topic that interests them most immediately. In short, it will allow them to find what they want without having to browse endlessly.
Another example: let’s say you’re running a travel blog and have a guide through the city of London there. That’s your cornerstone article. Then suppose that you’re covering each aspect of a visit to London separately – you write about places to eat, where to stay, where to party etc., and each topic has its respective article. In each of those articles, you should insert a link to the general guide through the city (and vice versa) to make it a hub for all the info about London that can be found on your blog. So whenever someone comes to that general guide, they will have all the basic info in front of them and be able to dig deeper if they want to learn more about one of the aforementioned aspects of a trip to London.
As you can probably gather from this, there can be multiple pieces of cornerstone content on any given website. Probably the best approach is to have one for each topic you cover.
What should cornerstone content look like?
Well, as we said, this kind of content is quite comprehensive and contains plenty of information. It will also probably have a prominent place on your website’s homepage in order to allow people to get to it immediately. Therefore, you should really invest time and effort into making sure this content is well written and engaging. For websites dealing in written content, readability becomes incredibly important in this case because you don’t want your readers to find the text too complicated or boring – in that case, they will probably leave never to come back.
Try to break up long segments into shorter ones by using more subtitles. Not to mention that you have to have a clearly defined keyword you want to rank for.
Also, if you have a blog but haven’t ordered it with cornerstone content in mind, don’t worry – simply go through the articles you have and find the best post for the topic you think is important. Presto, you have your cornerstone article, and all you have to do now is rewrite it so that it fits the role it is meant to play.
Don’t make the mistake of forgetting about your cornerstone content once you’ve created it to your liking. As the scope of your content grows, the cornerstone content will likely need an update. Maybe you write an article about something that is related to the main topic but is not mentioned in the cornerstone article. Therefore, you must expand the main article.
Remember, you want these things to act as a hub, a showcase for pretty much everything you have on a particular topic. Ideally, a visitor will come to your website’s homepage, see the cornerstone content that interests them, go through it and then find the exact topic they need and get to the article discussing that topic solely from your cornerstone article. This way, you will provide them with the needed information and pleasant experience, plus if they learn something new, they are quite likely to keep coming back to you.
So not only is cornerstone content beneficial to your website in terms of SEO ranking, but it can also help you sort all the content you have in a manner that is pleasant to your visitor. It can lead them from one page to another without them even noticing. And if you haven’t been constructing content in that way up till now, you can start doing that whenever you want – just choose one of the existing articles and rewrite them a little. The results will come quickly.