What, Why, and How to Create Cornerstone Content?

An important component of any serious online marketing strategy is creating cornerstone content. In fact, it is easily the most critical as far as brand awareness and boosting traffic to your website is concerned.

What, Why, and How to Create Cornerstone Content?
What, Why, and How to Create Cornerstone Content?

Table of contents

What is cornerstone content?
Why write cornerstone content?
How to create cornerstone content
Write strong content
Start with the right keywords
Pay attention to headlines and title tags
Update regularly
Link to other content

What is cornerstone content?

When trying to gain brand recognition online, you will need to create a variety of SEO-friendly content (blog posts, articles, guides, etc.). While some content will concentrate on answering specific questions, others will zero in on the main questions people want answered when they enter your website. And that is basically what cornerstone content is about.

Also called evergreen or flagship content, this type of material helps people understand the nature of your business, and what’s in it for them. Cornerstone pieces are usually longer and more informative than your typical blog post or webpage. That’s because they usually pull relevant material from different parts of your website to help bring a fulsome understanding of a particular topic. Cornerstone content include guides, tutorials, FAQ pages, or even posts outlining your customer guarantees and promises.

Why write cornerstone content?

The term cornerstone refers to foundational value. In the Cambridge Dictionary, the word is defined as “something of great importance on which everything else depends.”

Based on this definition, it is reasonable to say that cornerstone content helps to provide structure to your website. This is especially true from a linking perspective because cornerstone content generally have many other articles and pages pointing towards them. But cornerstone content is more than linking structure, it serves the purpose of creating a good first impression and helping website visitors decide if they are interested in what you are offering.

If your business is about providing lessons on how to play the guitar, for example, a good piece of cornerstone content could literally be based on how to play the instrument. You could, for instance, create a “Beginner’s Guide on How to Play the Guitar,” which would explain the basics of the activity while improving your SEO rank for the keyword “how to play the guitar.”

Such an article would serve the purpose of attracting people to your website who want to develop the skill of playing the guitar. This guide could then generate ideas for a number of secondary articles that will link back to it.

There are a number of benefits to be had by creating cornerstone pieces. They include:

  • Boosting web traffic from your target audience
  • Building trust
  • Facilitating better brand awareness
  • Strengthening your sales funnel
  • Enhancing your link building strategy
  • Creating a strong first impression
  • Developing a content strategy

How to create cornerstone content

Writing good cornerstone content requires careful thinking and understanding what you are offering to your target audience. Here are five useful tips to keep in mind when creating cornerstone content for your marketing strategy.

Write strong content

Whether it’s a blog post or a webpage outlining your brand’s mission, it needs to be well written. Cornerstone pieces are often lengthy; that is, at least 1,000 words. This does not mean it should be written purely with word count in mind. What it does require is for the content to be in-depth, clear, inspiring, and information-rich, all without being repetitive.

In addition, the grammar, layout, and flow of your cornerstone content needs to be topnotch. The higher the quality of your cornerstone piece, in terms of value and delivery, the higher the likelihood of your target audience trusting the information being provided. They may even share it with others, if shareable.

Start with the right keywords

Keyword search is essential to writing cornerstone content that you are aiming to have search engine prominence. You want to choose keywords that are the most relevant to your target audience. In other words, you want your content to center around search terms people are most likely to use when trying to get help with their problems.

For the guitar lessons example mentioned earlier, most people with a desire to learn the instrument will probably search for the keyword “how to play the guitar” or “guitar lessons online.” In this case, framing your cornerstone content around such keywords would allow it to match up with what people are searching for and improve its ranking.

Keyword search can be time consuming if you don’t already know which keywords are most important to your business, but it is definitely worth it if you plan to create cornerstone content that consistently draws traffic to your website.

Pay attention to headlines and title tags

Proper page titling and headline usage is key when building an effective, long-term SEO strategy. For starters, you want to ensure your target keyword is used in your main heading or page title. This will allow the search engine to match it with search results and increase the chances of people clicking on your cornerstone piece. You also want to use proper headline hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc.) because this also affects how your content is sorted in the World Wide Web.

Update regularly

Remember that cornerstone content is also known as evergreen content. This means it requires periodic maintenance to ensure the content remains fresh and up-to-date. Go back to it every few months to rewrite parts that you feel could read better, revamp areas that you feel need to flow easier, or add/remove content to reflect new information. If you think the content is good as is and there is nothing new to add, you can still refresh it by using a different font, changing how the content is laid out, or by adding images, gifs, or videos.

Write shorter pieces that relate to particular sections or topics in your cornerstone content and link them accordingly. For example, you could write individual articles on each step of learning to play the guitar in the beginner’s guide that was mentioned above. This strategy will also help to boost your SEO rankings.

Cornerstone content is usually highly placed in the sales funnel, but it is not necessarily about converting visitors into buyers. A cornerstone piece is more about giving people useful information. If the content is compelling enough, chances are high that people will think about you first when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.

Published by Silvia Emma

, helps boost confidence, impact, communication and presentation skills and image to create positive change in your business and life.