What Is Cornerstone Content?

Adam Steele
Oct 6, 2023
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Have you ever wondered why some websites effortlessly draw in visitors, engage them with compelling content, and successfully convert them into loyal customers? It’s not magic or potluck—it’s a well-crafted strategy that’s built upon the concept of cornerstone content.

And what is cornerstone content?

In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll delve into

  1. what makes cornerstone content essential,
  2. how to identify potential cornerstone content for your site,
  3. the art of crafting it effectively,
  4. and a whole heap more.

What Is Cornerstone Content?

Cornerstone content, often called “evergreen content,” is timeless, always relevant, and continually valuable to your audience. As the term suggests, it is the core, the bedrock, and the very heart of your website. It’s a collection of your most comprehensive posts or pages—the content you’re most proud of and the ones that best highlight your mission and expertise.

What it’s not? It’s not about trending topics or temporary buzz. Instead, it’s the material that maintains its value over time and that you want your audience to find, read, and remember.

Learn more: SEO glossary 250+ terms explained.

Why is Cornerstone Content Important?

Think of search engines like Google as incredibly astute librarians. Their mission? To guide their users—aka your potential site visitors and customers—to the most fitting, authoritative, and useful “books,” aka content, on the “shelf,” the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Here’s why cornerstone content is your golden ticket to becoming a “bestseller” in the SEO world:

  • Turbocharges SEO. Exceptional, comprehensive content pulls in organic traffic like a magnet and encourages other sites to link to it—a key factor in achieving higher search engine rankings. It also lets you establish a well-defined internal linking structure, helping search engines comprehend your site’s content hierarchy and amplifying the visibility of your other posts.
  • Carves out authority. Cornerstone content puts your expertise on a pedestal, establishing your brand as a heavyweight in your field. This authenticity sparks trust from your audience, bolstering brand loyalty and potentially skyrocketing conversion rates.
  • Fuels user engagement. The in-depth, informative nature of cornerstone content invites users to linger on your site, bolstering engagement. It’s the kind of content users will want to bookmark, share, and revisit, opening doors for further interaction with your brand.
  • Sustains long-term traffic. The evergreen nature of cornerstone content ensures it continues to attract traffic long after its publication date. Being independent of fleeting trends or temporal events, it retains its relevance and keeps luring in visitors.
  • Streamlines content planning. With cornerstone content as your lighthouse, your content strategy gains a clear focus. It maps out a trajectory for creating related, supportive content, allowing a systematic, well-structured approach to blogging or content creation.

Identifying Your Potential Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone content is the pillar around which your other content orbits. But how do you determine which pieces of content should be designated as cornerstone? Here are some guidelines:

  1. Topic relevance. Your cornerstone content should align with your website’s main themes or the products and services you offer. It should reflect what your brand stands for and what you want to be known for.
  2. Comprehensiveness. Cornerstone articles aren’t the place for brief overviews. They need to offer in-depth, comprehensive information on a particular topic.
  3. Evergreen. Ideally, your cornerstone content should be evergreen, remaining relevant and valuable over a long period. While it can be updated as needed, the core content should not be tied to fleeting trends or time-bound events.
  4. High-quality. It goes without saying, but your cornerstone content should be the best quality you can produce. Well-researched, well-written, and engaging, it should offer real value to your audience.

Now that we understand what characteristics to look for let’s explore the different forms that cornerstone content can take. Here are some types and examples:

  1. Detailed Guides. Long-form, comprehensive guides that deeply cover a particular topic are great examples of cornerstone content. For instance, an exhaustive guide on “how to start a blog” for a blogging tips website.
  2. eBooks. eBooks that delve into the nitty-gritty of a subject, offering valuable insights, can serve as cornerstone content. They can be freely available for download or gated to gather email addresses.
  3. Resource Lists. A well-curated resource list, like “The Ultimate List of SEO Tools,” can be a great piece of cornerstone content, driving constant traffic as it remains a valuable resource over time.
  4. Tutorial Series. A series of tutorials, such as a course of lessons on “Mastering Python for Data Science,” is another example. The series could be in the form of blog posts, videos, or a mix of both.
  5. Industry Studies. Original research or industry studies, with fresh insights and data, can be a powerful cornerstone piece that not only attracts readers but also earns valuable backlinks.

SEO Best Practices for Cornerstone Content

Now that we’ve identified what cornerstone content is and why it’s vital, let’s ensure it’s optimized for SEO to boost its visibility and drive more traffic to your site. Here are some best practices:

Use Internal Links

Your cornerstone content should be at the center of your internal link strategy. Link to your cornerstone pieces from other relevant posts on your website, and likewise, link out from your cornerstone content to related articles. This passes on “link equity” or “link juice,” providing a much-needed lift to your content that might not be performing as well as desired, establishing the importance of your cornerstone pieces to search engine algorithms, and making it easier for users to navigate your site.

Learn more: what is link equity?

Update and Maintain

Cornerstone content, given its importance, must be kept up-to-date and accurate. Regularly review your cornerstone pieces to ensure they reflect the latest trends, data, and insights. This not only keeps your content relevant but also signals to search engines that your content is current and valuable.

Make Cornerstone Content Easy to Find

Cornerstone content should be straightforward for visitors to find. Highlight these pieces on your homepage or within a prominent section of your site. They could be part of your site’s main navigation or showcased in a dedicated ‘resources’ or ‘guides’ section. The easier it is for people to find your cornerstone content, the more likely they are to engage with it.

Optimize for Keywords

Your cornerstone content should be well-optimized for the primary keywords relevant to your site’s focus. However, don’t stuff keywords unnaturally; your content should be easy to read and offer genuine value to your audience. Remember, search engine algorithms are sophisticated enough to understand the context of your content beyond mere keyword usage.

Learn more: what is keyword stuffing?

Conclusion

Crafting and maintaining successful cornerstone content might seem daunting, but you’re not alone in this journey. At Loganix, we’re experts in creating and optimizing high-quality, SEO-friendly content that ranks, attracts, and converts. Let us help you lay down the cornerstone of your content strategy and build a successful online presence around it.

🚀 Reach out to us today to start creating your winning cornerstone content strategy. 🚀

Written by Adam Steele on October 6, 2023

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.