What is Cornerstone Content and Why is it So Important for Blogs?

What is cornerstone content? Why is it important for SEO? How can it increase traffic to your blog?

Every blog needs cornerstone content, read on to find out why!

what is cornerstone content and why is it important Pinterest pin

When I first started my WordPress site, I had no idea about SEO. I basically wrote what I felt like writing at the time and gave no thought as to whether people wanted to read it.

I had seen the “pillar content” tick box on WordPress but had no idea what it was.

In 2021, I decided it was time to up my SEO game and teach myself how to implement it.

This is when I realised what the “pillar content” tick box meant and why it was so important to an SEO strategy.

I knew I needed to start writing SEO articles if I wanted to be crawled and displayed in SERPs.

laptop and notebook on a table

What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content (also referred to as content pillars) are blog posts or articles that stand out from the rest, describing what your website/blog/brand is about and clearly outlines to a visitor who you are and what you do.

These blog posts should be comprehensive, excellently written, and optimised with your most important keywords.

They are the pillar blog post for every important section of your blog and your internal linking structure should always point to these articles if they are relevant.

In turn, this helps search engines understand what your content is about and shows that your cornerstone content is the most important content on your site.

If you want to understand a little more about SEO and how it will transform your site, read this >>>

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Why is cornerstone content so important to SEO?

The main reason behind cornerstone content is to let search engines understand what your blog or website is about. It helps build authority for your website and push your posts higher up in the SERPs.

When you link back to a particular post, you’re telling search engines that the subject in the blog post is what you want to rank for. Google, for example, will learn what your content is covering every time it crawls your URLs and sees them all pointing back to a handful of posts.

It also helps you become the expert in your field and in time, other websites will point towards your content, increasing your backlinks and Domain Authority.

What do cornerstone articles need to contain?

Cornerstone articles need to be the most important blog posts on your website.

These will be the posts that represent your website and be influential in helping you to grow.

All good cornerstone articles should be –

  • Evergreen. Relevant to the reader no matter what time of year it is
  • Informative, an authority on a subject and comprehensive
  • Regularly updated – they need to keep up with current information or trends
  • Cover the main topics of your blog. If you have blog categories, look at writing cornerstone content for each category.
  • Be at least 1000 words long and extremely well written.

You need to think about cornerstone content as the trunk of a tree. They are what keep all the branches held up and each branch leads back to the trunk.

Every time you write a blog post, there should be an internal link pointing back to one of your cornerstone articles.

a cornerstone content tree

How to create cornerstone content

Cornerstone content is the most important blog or article on your website. They need to be informative, in-depth and help visitors understand how your business can help.

It should be the focal point and contain all the keywords you want to rank for.

Here’s how to create cornerstone content on your blog –

1. Identify your categories

Make sure you understand what you would like your blog to be known for.

What is your niche? Break that niche down into 5 or 6 categories.

For example, on this website I have Pinterest, SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media, Blogging and Monetise Your Blog.

Not only will this help you to write specific content for your blog and not go off on a tangent, but it will also help your visitors (and Googlebots) to understand what your website is about quickly.

2. Start writing your cornerstone content

You have your categories, now you need to write exceptional content around one category alone and use this as cornerstone content.

It needs to be well thought out, structured, include keywords you want to rank for and be easy to read.

The most important factor is it should be thoroughly optimised for SEO! You want this blog post to go to the top of a SERPs ranking!

3. Start creating content that can lead back to your cornerstone content.

Let’s say your blog is about Skiing and you have identified your main categories as Ski Holidays, Ski Resorts, Ski Equipment, Skiing as a Family and Adult Only Skiing.

For each of these categories, you need to write an in-depth article and then create multiple posts that can link back to this article.

Graph mapping out your blog subject, five categories that you need to write cornerstone content around and blog posts leading from the cornerstone content.
Cornerstone content writing examples

Your cornerstone content should include a keyword that will make it easy to rank in Google, and your blog posts that link back to the cornerstone post should have long tail versions of that keyword.

Content Pillar examples –

You have written a cornerstone post around “Ski Resorts” and are using the keyword – ski resort – to optimise the post for SEO.

You now need to do a bit of keyword research to find long-tail versions of this keyword and write your content around that, linking back to the cornerstone post.

These could include –

  • Ski resorts in France
  • Ski resorts in Italy
  • Ski resorts close to an airport

This will help to acknowledge the authority of the cornerstone post and will boost your SEO strategy.

Read More on Keyword Research >>>

A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Keywords

4. Make sure your cornerstone content is regularly updated and not dated!

This blog post is going to be one of the most important articles on your website.

Make sure you are regularly checking that it is still relevant, providing the correct information and that all relevant blog posts on your website are pointing to this blog!

5. How to check your cornerstone content quickly.

I use the Rank Math plug-in for SEO (highly recommended!) and with this plug-in, I can mark my cornerstone posts as pillar content.

screenshot of rank math plug-in on wordpress and an arrow pointing to This post is Pillar Content

I can then filter my posts to automatically check my cornerstone posts, update them if needs be and make sure they have several internal links to them.

How to Create Cornerstone Content if Your Blog is a Few Years Old

If you have been writing your blog for a while and haven’t created any content specifically as a cornerstone or pillar piece, then there are a few ways to help you identify the best content.

  • What keywords do you want to rank for? You are probably ranking for some keywords on Google already, so identify the most in-depth content around these keywords and use this as cornerstone content
  • Are there blog posts that contain the top keywords for your site, but do not meet the above requirements for cornerstone content? Rewrite them so they are authoritative, as detailed as possible and SEO-friendly.
  • You’ve identified the keywords you want to rank for, now find blog posts that are similar to the cornerstone post and use long-tail keywords that relate to your cornerstone keyword.
  • Make sure all other blog posts in that cornerstone category point back to your cornerstone post and check all cornerstone content has plenty of internal links pointing towards it.
person writing in a notebook with laptop and coffee on a desk

Conclusion

Cornerstone content is one of the most important bits of content on your blog and instrumental to your SEO strategy.

It is always a good practice to have a content strategy when creating and writing a blog and identifying your cornerstone posts as early as possible will get you off to a good start.

Cornerstone content should be high-quality, informative and of high value to the reader. It should also help search engines to determine what your website is about and trying to achieve.


Frequently Asked Questions

How many cornerstone posts should there be on a website or blog?

There is no exact number, although you should aim to have around 5 main categories on your website and create 1 or 2 pieces of cornerstone content around each category.

Do I need an SEO plug-in to create cornerstone content?

No. Having an SEO plug-in like Rank Math or Yoast definitely helps as you can filter your content to find your cornerstone posts easily and they can suggest links to these posts.

However, just because you’ve marked the post as cornerstone, it doesn’t tell search engines or make any difference in SERPs ranking.

Do Cornerstone posts have to be pages or blog posts?

It doesn’t matter what format it is in! As long as it has informative content and lots of backlinks, it can be a category in which you click on, a page or a blog post

Should I mark all my Google ranking posts as Cornerstone?

It all depends on what you are ranking for!

If you have done your keyword research and find that you are ranking for particular words, try and include them in your cornerstone posts.

If the keywords cannot fit into a blog post you’ve already written, then look at creating new content around that keyword.

However, if the keywords that are ranking for your website are not entirely relevant, then I would say don’t create a cornerstone post.

Stick to the main 5 or 6 categories on your website and hopefully, in time you will start ranking for that!

How do I get more traffic and views on my cornerstone content?

There are several ways you can do this.

  • Make sure you promote your cornerstone content often on your social media channels
  • Guest post on relevant websites to establish your authority on the subject
  • Regularly check the internal linking to the cornerstone post and amend if needs be
  • Add internal links to blog posts in that category and make sure you use the cornerstone content keyword as the anchor text for the link
  • Check Google to see what you are ranking for and create content around that

Read More on SEO >>>

Step-by-Step Guide to Keyword Research

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