6 Ways to Use Cornerstone Content to Rank Higher on SEO
Now that you know how to make Instagram’s new algorithm work to your advantage, let’s dive into cornerstone content. Firstly, what is it? Cornerstone content are the most important articles on your website; they are informative, long-form explainers, oftentimes an amalgamation of other shorter posts. Do you need cornerstone content on your website?Absolutely.
Cornerstone content is also known as “evergreen content.” However, let’s be careful when throwing around the phrase “evergreen.” I’ll get more into that in a second…
New to the term “cornerstone content?” If you are a blogger or a business with a website, you should definitely be taking advantage of what cornerstone content has to offer you (in the way of traffic, engagement, and monetization) and what it has to offer your audience (pertinent, relevant information that stands the test of time).
Cornerstone content is crucial to implementing a strong, effective SEO strategy. Keep reading to find out 6 things bloggers and businesses needs to know about cornerstone content!
1. Cornerstone content is similar to evergreen content.
Cornerstone content is like evergreen content in that yes, it endures and remains relevant for a long period of time. People search for it not just in one particular time frame, but likely, forever.
However, there is one key difference. Cornerstone content is NOT content that is written, edited, and published once. It needs to be consistently updated, refreshed with the newest information so that it can stay evergreen — AKA always relevant.
2. Write cornerstone articles for the keywords you want to rank for.
Think of four to five posts that best explain the mission of your website. For me, I write a lot of digital strategy and zero waste posts on my website. Naturally, I have chosen posts (and therefore keywords) that I want to rank high for. These are the keywords I write about most and care about most.
In other words, don’t do a lengthy explainer on makeup if your blog is about cooking. It’s fine to have several categories that you write about and dabble in. But make sure that when it comes to your cornerstones, you’re providing the best, most authoritative content that stands in line with your website’s mission.
And if your website’s mission is to speak on cooking, then a cornerstone about makeup isn’t going to make sense. (Or bring much value to your site, your readers, or your traffic.)
So if your website’s mission is to provide informative content about vegan recipes, some of your cornerstones should definitely be articles about the most frequently asked and searched-for keywords regarding vegan recipes.
3. Cornerstones attack competitive search items.
Cornerstone content is so crucial because it works with internal linking to get Google to understand which of your articles about the same subject are the most important. If Google doesn’t know which of your articles about clean beauty are the most important to rank, then each of your clean beauty posts are going to be competing against each other.
We don’t want that. We want to compete against other posts from other brands and bloggers focusing on similar content. Not our own content.
By signifying to your site and to Google that one specific post on clean beauty (the longest, most informative one) is a cornerstone, you’re telling Google, “Hey, this is my most important post on clean beauty. Rank it higher.” And it will, thanks to the internal linking that happens when you mark a post as a cornerstone.
4. Similar content should link back to the cornerstones.
For example, let’s say I am writing a new post about the Instagram algorithm and how to use hashtags effectively for the algorithm to work in your favor. If I have a cornerstone about the most frequently asked questions about Instagram, then you better believe I am going to link back to that cornerstone.
Linking back confirms internally to your website and to Google that yes, I’m writing new content about the same thing. But by linking, I’m letting you know that this post about most frequently asked Instagram questions is the true cornerstone.
5. Text should be at a specific count.
In general, blog posts should contain at least 300 words. Getting to a minimum of at least 300 words ensures that the post will be ranked well in terms of SEO. However, if you are writing a cornerstone article, standards are a wee bit higher. Yoast recommends cornerstone articles have 900 words. Articles with over 2,000 words are likely to rank even higher, especially in terms of SEO and growing organic traffic.
6. Update cornerstone content articles frequently.
This goes back to #1. Cornerstone content must be frequently updated. It is not a one-and-done type of article. Cornerstone articles are meant to be resources of information within a certain field or sphere. Information is constantly changing and so it’s crucial that your cornerstone content reflects those changes.
What’s your strategy to thinking about cornerstone content? Share it in the comments below!
All tips and info came from Yoast.
Steph is a freelance writer and brand consultant (@stephosmanski) who specializes in writing health and wellness content. She has written for Seventeen, Life & Style, In Touch Weekly, Darling Magazine, and more. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton and writing her memoir.