Creating foundational content that will lead your content strategy in even the most competitive niches.
What is it?
According to Yoast, a leading SEO plugin for sites like WordPress:
Cornerstone content is the core of your website. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site.Yoast
Cornerstone Content are fundamental articles to your site and niche that will allow you to create a strong foundation for future information to be based off of. Think of a tree’s stump as Cornerstone Content, where the additional content that branches from your Cornerstone Content become branches, leaves, and a longer trunk.
Cornerstone Content must always be fundamental, short-tail keyword based, and reasonably general. Technical SEO principles like local SEO, keyword optimisation, and UI/UX optimisation still must be present, but the content must give you a broad foundation for future content.
We’ve been using foundation quite a bit, so let’s just be clear with what we mean:
Cornerstone content lays Foundation for your niche, topic, and website type. If you are operating an eCommerce website focused on reusable Lamps, then your Cornerstone Content will broadly be based on eCommerce and Reusable Lamps. Cornerstone Content cannot be so broad as to be about just eCommerce or Lamps, but can’t be as niche as to be about YOUR particular eCommerce lamps.
Cornerstone Content doesn’t have to be a single article. Most blogs have three or four cornerstone articles that provide the foundation for later articles. Take SEOSPIDRE for example. We have a Cornerstone Article about:
As we provide SEO related services, it’s important that our content covers what we do, and to what purpose we execute it for. From those foundational articles, we’ve gone in to detail about the different types of SEO, our niche of SEO, Black-hat, common tips and tricks, everything!
Why is it valuable?
Cornerstone Content are your primary linking articles. All work that derives from your foundational content, must link back to your Cornerstone Content. This way they will build extensive internal links, drive up traffic from other blogs, and receive the most exposure.
They should be written with the intent of being done under Content Marketing through quality, research, and time; as these will be your highest ranking articles.
It also provides a roadmap of future content. When your foundation is established it gives you somewhere to start within your niche, and a place to branch off from. This helps prevent writing blocks, because if you ever need an idea for content, you can take a look back at your Cornerstone Content.
How do you write Cornerstone Content?
Here’s a simple step by step guide to getting started with your Cornerstone Content:
- Identify 1-3 niche’s your website falls under
- Identify the function of your website, is it a blog, eCommerce, affiliate?
- What are the 5 most important things you want your customer to understand under each of the niche’s you identified in Step 1?
- How does your website function play into each of these 5 important things?
For example, you own an eCommerce store about reusable Lamps.
Let’s identify 1-3 niche’s:
- the “Green Movement”
- Reusable Lamps
Now the function:
Now what are the 5 most important things for a customer to understand under each niche:
- the “Green Movement”
- Carbon Emission
- Electricity & Carbon Footprint
- Impact of Plastic
- Emission Substitutes
- Fresh Produce
- Reusable Lamps
- Impact on Carbon Footprint
- Electricity Usage & Lifespan
- Interior Design Aspects
- Big Brands
You will have, based on the above, two Cornerstone Content articles. One based on the “Green Movement,” the other on “Reusable Lamps.” In the articles you will discuss the five things that matter most, not going into particular detail about your product, but looking at things with a global viewpoint.
Once you’ve written those articles, your niche and “branching articles” can begin to develop!