What is A Cornerstone Blog And Why Do You Need One?

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Have you heard of the phrase “cornerstone content”? If you have a blog, chances are you’ve came across this term once or twice. It’s actually one of the main things we recommend to clients who want to improve their SEO, website traffic and increase their authority with Google. Second only, to the fact that you need a blog for your business of course! Whether or not you feel like you have the capacity to blog consistently, we promise that dedicating your time to creating a handful of cornerstone blog articles a year can make a huge difference. Here’s why.

What is cornerstone content?

Let’s start at the top. Cornerstone content is the most important piece of content on your website. It should align with your core offerings and business mission. No this is not your home page or a services page; typically this is a blog post. These are the posts that you want to rank the highest for on search engines like Google, year over year.

Cornerstone content is something that you will link back to again and again as you write new posts. The goal is to always lead your audience to some of your most important topics. These are also the articles that you will keep updated each year with new links, stats and call to actions. In other words, you wont write them and forget them! These posts should be easy to find, you may even consider linking them on your home page for quick access. You might even find yourself constantly sharing these blogs in Facebook groups as users ask questions related to your offerings.

Finally, cornerstone content should be longer than the average blog post. Somewhere close to 2,000+ words. It’s a deep dive into some of the more important reasons why you have a business in the first place. It shouldn’t feel incredibly hard to write this much copy. If it does, that might be an indication that you are writing for the wrong thing.

Cornerstone Blog Content Examples

Are you struggling to bring this to life for your own business? If so, let’s go through a few cornerstone blog examples:

  • If you are a copywriter, you might write about all the ways copywriting impacts a website.
  • Say you are a wedding photographer, you might create a guide on how to choose the best photographer for your big day.
  • If you are a marketer, like us, you might write an article all about organic marketing 101 and it’s importance in your small business.
  • One more for all of our product business owners. You may want to write a piece of content identifying the problem you are solving with a particular product in your shop. Here are a few examples: “How to plan the perfect party in your own home” or “10 ways to use this particular product” or “The ultimate gift guide for your coworkers”.

Why is Cornerstone Content Important For Your Blog And SEO?

First of all, if you don’t have a blog yet, this is one of the best places to start when choosing to focus on your own SEO. Having these core pieces of content there, even if you don’t have the time to dedicate to consistent blogging, can still significantly improve your searchability online.  So go ahead and make your very first blog post a piece of cornerstone content!

Here are five reasons why a blog, and specifically cornerstone content, is important for your business. 

  • Having a blog with strong cornerstone content allows you to rank for hundreds of keywords specific to your niche & industry.
  • Did you know that each time you add a new page or piece of content to your website, you are telling Google to re-crawl your page. With this consistency, Google begins to understand that you are an active website, and your content should be crawled more frequently than, say, your competitors. This goes for updated content too! This is why continuing to refresh and update old content can be just as important as crafting new content.
  • With the right keyword rankings, search engines will start to understand that you’re an expert in your industry.
  • You’ll start to take readers on a journey throughout your website by linking to other relevant pages and building a deeper connection.
  • Finally, a blog is your opportunity to drive more traffic to your website allowing your audience to find you in new ways which will not only increase leads but also revenue.

Every blog post, when written well with the right keywords, can have an incredibly positive impact on your website’s SEO and organic search growth.

Where to find cornerstone content ideas

Coming up with new ideas for content is hard — whether that be for social media or your blog pages. So, where can we go to find ideas specifically for this cornerstone content? Here are some of our favorite ways to brainstorm rich content like this:

  • Speakers in your industry: What topics are people talking about in your industry across YouTube, Ted Talks, various conferences and more?
  • Keyword research: What are people searching and asking questions on, related to your business offerings, that you could provide a solution for?
  • Market research: Ask your audience, clients, and customers what they want to hear about. We do this a couple times a year and it is always incredible helpful to hear our audiences point of view on various topics. 
  • Your competition: You are probably already subconsciously doing this! So go ahead and do a bit of Google research on what they are writing about and showing up for. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to find out these secret nuggets of information, including what keywords are actually driving real traffic to their website.

How to write cornerstone content

Now you might be feeling a little bit of pressure to write cornerstone content because, as we mentioned, it needs to be very well written to perform. With that said, here are a few tips you can use to write cornerstone content with Google and your audience in mind.

1. Make a List

Grab a notebook and write down your core services, offerings, or product categories. Your cornerstone content will be high-level content that speaks to one or all of these. It should answer common questions you get asked all the time and it should always be core to what you do.

2. Research

Do some keyword research and be sure to optimize your blog content for SEO. It’s always important to research keywords and optimize each and every blog for SEO, especially when it comes to cornerstone content. You’ll likely be trying to rank for highly competitive keywords, so choose them carefully. And remember that choosing the best keyword isn’t always easy, it takes practice and a bit of trial and error.

3. Break It Up

Did you know that 80% of readers never make it past the headline!? That means we have to do a lot of work to draw them in and keep them on our page longer. Creating skim-worthy content with lots of bite-sized sections is part of the strategy to increase time on site. You may even consider adding some sort of sub-navigation or “click to this section” links up top. Keep in mind that this will be one of the longest pieces of content you write and chances are no one expect you will read it word for word. By creating sections you are allowing your readers to jump right to the spot they need before they hit the back button and peek at another result.

You might be wondering why you should care if they stay on your website longer or not. A longer time on site is something Google uses to indicate whether this particular piece of content is better than the others. In other words, is this piece of content worthy of page one of Google? Therefore, keeping someone on your website should be a goal of yours for every piece of content you create.

4. Objective

Before you start typing, you should always have an objective in mind. What action do you want your audience to take as they read this article? Here are a few examples:

  • Grow your email list
  • Subscribe to a podcast
  • Share this article with a friend
  • Bookmark this resource or guide for quick reference
  • Inquire about a service or buy a product

Your Cornerstone Content Future Strategy Plan

Okay, so now that you have cornerstone content written and ready to go, what are the next steps? How can we ensure the best success for ranking on Google and driving more traffic? P.s. remember that this stuff takes time! It might take months for your article to start driving consistent traffic. But here are some of our favorite tips to ensure quicker growth.

1. Promote It

This one might be obvious. Always be sure to promote these articles to your audience, so it starts gaining traction quicker. Promote it on social media or through your email list. You could encourage other influencers to share it with their audience or mention it on a podcast. And continue to do so, not just the first week you’ve written it, but months later.

2. Stay On Top Of It 

Because cornerstone content is linked constantly across your website’s online content, it’s important that it stays up to date. Be sure to check statistics and facts you might have linked. Check both internal and external links as well. And finally, gut check the content overall to ensure it all still makes sense and aligns with your company’s vision.

3. Add New Links

As we mentioned above, part of keeping the content up to date is switching out old blog links to reference more relevant content. This could be new offerings, products or blog posts you’ve created since you first wrote this article.

4. Fresh Content

When you write new fresh blog content, make sure you link back to the cornerstone content where it makes sense. Remember to be strategic, don’t just include the link in every new blog post just because. It should make sense and be related to each other.

5. Analyze

Always continue to check your Google Analytics account to see how it’s performing. We recommend blocking off a monthly or quarterly 30 minutes on your calendar as a reminder. What should you be looking for? How many monthly views is this post bringing in? Where is the majority of your traffic coming from? You may even want to cross reference with a keyword research tool. A tool like this can help you better understand what keywords you are indexing for.

In Summary, A Cornerstone Content Blog Is…

  • A blog post on a topic that is core to your identity as a business.
  • Well written with the right keywords to improve your chances of ranking high on search engines.
  • One of the longest pieces of content you have around 2000+ words.
  • Should be easy to access with links on key web pages, in your Instagram bio and more.
  • Should be constantly updated each quarter with new links.

Now that you understand the basics, it’s time to dive in and do the work. After doing some brainstorming on cornerstone content ideas, pick one that you feel confident with where the ideas and words will flow easily. The next part is easy — post it on your blog and regularly measure its performance in Google Analytics. Be sure to continue to make adjustments where needed and watch the traffic roll in.

If you are still feeling uncertain about what you should write about, let us help! We love creating custom research packages for our clients. We dig into all these details, and identify the best blog strategy and cornerstone articles for you. Just send us a message to get started!

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Duo Collective is a boutique marketing agency specializing in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners.