The content you upload to your website is important for educating, entertaining, and persuading your target audience to purchase your products or services. While you want all the content you create to connect with your target audience, some pieces are just more important than others.
Those articles are known as cornerstone content.
What is Cornerstone Content?
Cornerstone content, sometimes called pillar pages, sets the foundation for your entire content strategy. These pieces should include primary information about your business, what you offer, and how you can help your target audience.
Your cornerstone content should act as a center point for the other content you create. These posts are typically lengthy, but cover a lot of information. Based on the content within these articles, you can branch off to dive deeper into certain ideas, concepts, or even products or services.
Cornerstone content should also have a clear purpose on your website. Unlike other blog posts, you might feature your cornerstone content on your homepage, in your navigation bar, or in your website’s footer. This can help push more traffic to these pages.
Why is Cornerstone Content Important?
Each piece of cornerstone content has a number of benefits for your website and brand. In addition to helping to complete your content strategy, cornerstone content can improve your brand awareness and help you rank for important searches.
Cornerstone content is extremely important for a strong SEO strategy. When you create great cornerstone content, you can bring new traffic to your website, secure more backlinks, and show Google and other search engines that you are worth featuring at the top of their list results.
Great cornerstone content can also improve the authority of your brand and help push your audience through your sales funnel. By making the right connections with your target audience and providing them with information they care about, they will sign up for your email list, continue checking back with your website, and reach out for additional information or to make a purchase.
How to Create Cornerstone Content
Choosing the right information for your cornerstone content is important. Because these pages will influence the other pieces you create, you want to ensure you build the right foundation.
Let’s take a look at how you can create cornerstone content.
1. Choose Your Cornerstone Content Topics
The topics you select for your cornerstone content is extremely important. You want to choose topics that will be interesting and relevant to your target audience, but also evergreen. Because you want your cornerstone content to have an impact for as long as possible, you don’t want your cornerstone content to be too timely.
To choose your cornerstone content topics, think about what big problems you can help your target audience solve. Consider the main pain points that your products or services relieve, and what questions or concerns your audience members may have about how you solve those problems. Remember that content marketing is about your customers first, then focus on the keywords that you’ll use.
You’ll also want to do research to determine what your competitors are featuring on their websites. Look at the topics that your target audience is already engaging with, but also identify any information holes that may be left open.
2. Do Keyword Research
You want your cornerstone content to rank highly on search engine results pages. This means you’ll need to do proper keyword research before you create any content. Knowing which keywords to target can improve your chances of reaching the right audience members.
When doing keyword research, you want to find keywords that have a healthy search volume. The higher the search volume, the more users there are searching for that specific keyword. However, you also need to keep in mind the competition for these keywords.
Whenever possible, you want to find keywords that have a high search volume without a lot of competition. This makes it easier for your content to rank.
3. Focus on Quality
Your cornerstone content needs to be extremely high quality. In order to secure backlinks from credible sources, you need to show that you know what you’re talking about. This often includes going into depth about your topics, including strong examples, and featuring numerous screenshots and images where necessary.
You should never rush through creating your cornerstone content. It’s important to take your time, proofread, and make necessary revisions. You’ll also want to keep your cornerstone content updated. As new information comes out, go back to make changes to your cornerstone content when appropriate.
If you need to, you should always outsource your cornerstone content. By hiring a professional that can write your articles, create your videos, or design your infographics, you can improve the quality of your content and get more attention.
4. Avoid Salesy Messaging
While you hope that your cornerstone content will eventually help you land new customers, you don’t want to focus on selling right within your content. If you use salesy messaging and seem too pushy, it will be difficult to build trust with your new audience member.
You want your cornerstone content to be neutral. This can attract new leads while also making it easy for other companies to link to your content. When your information is too specific to your brand, other companies won’t want to backlink to you.
Your cornerstone content will likely attract leads early in the sales process. It should help them make an educated decision about the products or services they need and establish trust with your brand. Save the salesy messaging for other pieces.
5. Optimize Your Content
Once your cornerstone content is created, you want to ensure it’s properly optimized. While doing keyword research is a great start, it isn’t enough to rank highly on search engine results lists. You want to optimize your content for search engines, social media, and for action.
Make sure that your content includes your targeted keywords in the right places, that you’re featuring strong images, and that there are some shareable sentences you can feature on social media sites. This can make it easy for you to promote your content on social platforms while also improving your search engine rank.
You also want to push your readers to take some kind of action. While you shouldn’t encourage them to purchase right away, you can use your cornerstone content to nudge them towards what they should do next. Suggest signing up for a newsletter or push them to another piece of content.
Start Creating Cornerstone Content
Creating strong cornerstone content takes time. However, it is well worth it in the end. When you create pillar content that can attract new leads, properly educate them on what your business does, and help them make an educated decision about finding a solution to their problem, you’re able to improve your authority, search rankings and develop stronger relationships with your target audience.
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