By definition, the word cornerstone means “an important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends on or is based” or “a stone that forms the base of a building, joining two walls”.
Cornerstone content means the same thing – it is the core to which succeeding work will depend on. It is a collection of the most relevant content in your site, the ones you want your clientele to see when they look for products or services like yours on the internet, ultimately leading them to you.
Cornerstone content embodies everything you want your clients to know about your brand. Compared to usual content, cornerstone content is usually longer, contains relevant information, and is of the best quality. Think of it as content that you would show potential clients if you only had a minute of their time. The goal of any cornerstone content is to make an introduction and not to sell. Communicate your goals, your unique selling proposition (USP), and your mission and vision in your cornerstone article, and make sure it makes a lasting first impression.
One website that perfectly uses cornerstone content is the Burt’s Bees About Us Section from www.burtsbees.com. It’s a very interesting read, and it highlights the factors that make their brand unique, with links to more information on their famous lip balm and their USPs – ingredients from nature, no animal testing, responsible sourcing, and recyclable packaging. The other pages also either link back to this section or give you more information about their products and services, depending on what you click. The functional website also contains links to the sites of their sister companies Burt’s Bees Baby and Burt’s Bees Pets.
A well-executed cornerstone content strategy allows you to have a foundation for all your content marketing efforts. If done correctly, these efforts will continuously drive traffic to your site. An awesome cornerstone content is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
Read on to find out more about cornerstone content – how it works, what it contains, and of course, how to create one.
How Cornerstone Content Works
In a nutshell, creating cornerstone content is intelligently guiding search engines, particularly Google, to know how to determine the most important content in your site. The most important content are the ones that will appear when your target market searches for particular keywords that are related to your business.
As mentioned earlier, cornerstone content should tell potential clients what sets you apart. You should link cornerstone content to other sites discussing related topics. If your content is interesting and compelling enough, other SEO professionals and bloggers will link it as reference to their sites.
By connecting external links back to your cornerstone content, Google understands that it is valuable, and it will be included in the top searches for your site.
Advantages to creating Cornerstone Content
A well-executed cornerstone content strategy has many advantages, including the following:
- Builds brand awareness for your business – If you create cornerstone content properly, many people from different sites will come across it. The ones who chance upon it will learn more about your brand and what sets your apart from the competition.
- Reaches accurate target market – You have to always think of your target market when optimizing cornerstone content. They are, after all, the exact people you want to get your brand message to. Using the correct keywords and linking to the correct sites will guarantee that your content reaches your target market and not just random people who will not be the least bit interested in your brand.
- Creates an emotional connection between your brand and your potential clients – Remember that your brand, products, and services are not for everybody. This is why you have to think of your target market. If your cornerstone content reaches exactly the person you have in mind, your brand message will resonate with that client and will potentially make a loyal customer out of him.
- Directs traffic to your site – Utilizing other blogs and sites and linking it back to your cornerstone content will direct traffic to your site. The more links and shares your content gets, the more traffic it will generate.
- Adds credibility to your site – If other relevant writers and bloggers use your cornerstone content as reference, the more you will be recognized as an expert on a particular topic. This adds public trust to your brand.
- Helps your site rank well in search engines – The more your cornerstone content is linked by other sites, the more Google will understand that your content is important. When your content is deemed important, your site will rank well and will appear in the top searches when people search for keywords related to your business.
What Should Your Cornerstone Article Contain?
1. Your Brand. As mentioned earlier, your cornerstone article shouldn’t be written to sell, but more to introduce. The first part of your cornerstone article should be about your brand. What is your brand all about? What problems does your product solve? You have to introduce your brand in such a way that your clients would want to know more about you and your products or services.
2. Your USPs. One of the things you have to highlight is what sets your apart from the competition. It has to be specific and easily understandable. Take FedEx Corporation’s USP as an example. Its USP is “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” The USP doesn’t use words like fast delivery or great service. It’s so clear and perfectly understandable. Your USP should be the same statement that will compel potential customers to try your products or services.
3. Your Bestsellers. Remember that your cornerstone content should inform more than sell. Subtly mention some of your products or services along with your brand and USPs.
4. Logical Keywords. Another crucial aspect of your cornerstone article is the keywords. Choose several keywords that will make it easy for your potential clients to find you. There are free keyword search tools available online such as www.wordtracker.com.
Tips on Creating Your Cornerstone Content
Think of a topic that’s relatable to your target market. You are writing the cornerstone article for your clients, not for anybody else. Think about the target market you want to reach, and think about how to relate to them. Think of a topic that’s of common interest to them, and use that topic to pique their interest. Make the topic so interesting that your clients will feel compelled to read your content and even share it in their social media pages or personal blogs.
A great topic for your cornerstone article would be something that your clients are constantly searching for but cannot get satisfying results to. By doing this, you will present them with a problem that none of your competitors have solved. You can then offer a solution. If you can do this, you will not only gain readers, you will also gain purchasing customers.
What else to Consider with Cornerstone Content?
Make it easy to understand. Again, for this step, remember that you are making the content for your target market and not for you. Here’s a quick guide to the types of learners and the kind of content you can create for them: Visual learners respond well to visual stimulation in acquiring information. They prefer pictures over words, and they will appreciate charts, graphs, and infographics. A simple ultimate-guide type of infographic will do wonders on visual learners.
- Auditory learners respond well to spoken stimulation. They learn best with lectures and discussions. Try a step-by-step video for an audience of auditory learners.
- Read / write learners respond well when they come across written words. They thoroughly enjoy reading and taking down notes. Write an educational article for these types of learners.
- Kinesthetic learners learn best through tangible processes, and they like learning through experience. An interactive content would be best for kinesthetic learners.
Create awesome content Make the content so interesting, informative, and simple that the readers will want to share it on their social media pages or link it to their blogs.
Link back to it For your cornerstone content to be a success, you have to let Google know that it is a valuable article. Make sure that all your supporting articles are linked back to your cornerstone content.
Keep it relevant Your cornerstone content doesn’t have to be the same piece that you use for years. Remember, it is something that should be interesting to your clients. Keep it relevant by constantly rewriting your cornerstone article. Keep the terms and links up-to-date and applicable.
Consider having Your Content Created by Professionals!
Given how valuable cornerstone content is, consider having it done by professional writers, those who have relevant experience with SEO writing. There are several companies who offer this service, such as www.pandacopy.com
There you have it, the beginner’s guide to cornerstone content. If you’re new to content marketing, this is one of its most important aspects. Learn more about it, apply it to your business, and watch it help increase traffic to your site!