What type of content should a cornerstone article be?

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By Marieke van de Rakt

A pyramid showing where a cornerstone article should be in your site structure

People often ask us how to improve their rankings on specific keywords. In our site reviews, we can really analyse a site and come up with a tailor made answer to that question. But in most cases, the information in a blogpost about cornerstone content written by Joost de Valk almost an era ago would still be sufficient. In Joost’s awesome post you can read that you have to create a few really awesome pages and optimize these pages for your most important keyword. Subsequently, you should link to these very awesome pages with your other pages and blogs (focussing more on long tail keywords).

In this blogpost, I would like to tell you a little bit more about Cornerstone Content. What type of content should these pages have? What should you be writing on these pages? And why?

What exactly are cornerstone articles?

Cornerstone articles are the most important articles on your website. This is the content that exactly reflects your business. These articles should be relatively high in your site structure. In most cases, the homepage directly links to these articles. That doesn’t always have to be the case though. One of our most prominent cornerstone articles is our WordPress SEO article, which is actually two clicks away from our homepage. Confronting my dear husband with this fact, he immediately admitted that this was wrong and that it’ll be corrected our redesign. Practise what you preach!

If you could think of 4 pages you would like someone to read in order to tell them about your site or company, these would need to be the cornerstone articles. These articles thus should really focus on the mission or the most important products of your website or company.

Type of content for a cornerstone article

Cornerstone content should always be content pages. Not a blogpost, an actual page containing important content. This page should be timeless and updated very regularly. You should really make sure these pages are up to date. Cornerstone articles should be explainers, it should definitely be informative articles. In an earlier blogpost about text objectives, I differentiated between three types of texts, one of which is the informative text is the first.

In an informative text you explain something to your audience. You want them to understand more about a topic or you want them to use your information (put theory to practice). A good informative text will usually need quite some investigating in order to decide on the exact content of a piece. Your cornerstone article, being one of the most important of your site, should definitely deserves some investigation!

Example

If you own a webshop selling ballet shoes, you should definitely write a cornerstone content article about the different types of ballet shoes you are selling. But you could also create a page about the importance of good and well-fitted ballet shoes. Perhaps you could even write an article about the prevention of ballet injuries. Starting to rank on those pages will help you to sell your shoes as well.

Also on a webshop, the cornerstone content should be in informative articles. I can imagine this to be hard. But your cornerstone content should not be focussed on convincing people to buy your products. It should be nice articles, that show your customers the uniqueness of your product. Perhaps you can write about the use of the products you sell, or about something closely related to the products you sell. Cornerstone articles thus shouldn’t be to ‘salesy’.

Cornerstone content should reflect exactly your business or the mission of your business. But focussing on the field around your business could be a fine strategy to increase your audience and potential buyers. In our case, our cornerstone article is an informative article about one of our free products. It was read by lots of people and made our brand successful. Make sure the cornerstone article is informative, fun to read and extremely well written (make no concessions here!).

Read more? Or want our advice?

In about two weeks, I will write a post focussing on how to incorporate cornerstone content in your site structure. If you would like to read more about cornerstone content right now, go ahead and buy our eBook on Content SEO. If you would like us to review your site, make sure to order your site review! If you order a review now you’ll even get a $100 discount!

This post first appeared as What type of content should a cornerstone article be? on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

Source:: SEO