Cornerstone Content: The Simple Guide to Creating Content That Will Boost Your Traffic

Want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry? Do you want to get more website traffic from Google?

Then, create cornerstone content.

Cornerstone type is the type of content that remains relevant for several years. It’s the EPIC content that people will continue to search for and read, even years after it was first published.

Cornerstone content can send you lots of traffic, attract backlinks and generate more sales in the long run.

In this post, you’ll discover 5 simple steps to creating evergreen content. Let’s get started.

What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content (or evergreen content) is the FOUNDATION of your website’s content marketing strategy. Cornerstone content is ANY content that’s typically long-form, informative, and well-researched.

Cornerstone content is MOSTLY;

  • In-depth and informative
  • Well-written and engaging to your target audience
  • Optimized for search engines like Google

Here are some examples of cornerstone content;

  • An in-depth guide to a particular topic 
  • A detailed analysis of a current trend or issue (such as the rise of AI)
  • A case study of a product or service
  • A blog post series on a related topic

The ULTIMATE goal of cornerstone content is to provide the best and most detailed information on a particular topic (or product).


5 Steps to Writing Amazing Cornerstone Content

how to create cornerstone content

1. Choose the RIGHT topic

The first step to creating cornerstone content is choosing the right topic.

Make sure to identify your target audience’s needs. Also, ask yourself, “What do you want to be known for?”

For instance, NerdFitness.com wants to be known as an authority website in the fitness industry, so it ONLY focuses on fitness resources for average people. 

nerdfitness

Similarly, you should find a topic for your cornerstone content that resonates with your target audience.

The amazing thing about cornerstone content is that you don’t always have to start from scratch.

If you already have existing articles on your blog, you can identify which ones are MOST relevant to your website.

Pick ONLY those articles that you want people to know you for.

For example, our blog BloggersPassion MOSTLY focuses on SEO topics. 

If you scroll through our SEO category, you’ll find hundreds of articles related to search engine optimization.

bp seo articles

So, if we want to create cornerstone content, we’ll start with all the SEO topics first because we want to be known as an SEO blog above all else.

Similarly, find out the PRIMARY category (or topic) on your blog that you want to be known for. 

Then, you can start researching content ideas around that topic. Or you can improve the quality of the existing content. 

2. Perform keyword research

Once you’ve identified a topic for your cornerstone content, it’s time to conduct in-depth keyword research.

Make sure to keep one thing in mind while doing keyword research: long-tail keywords! Long-tail keywords are often easier to rank for, even if you’re running a new website.

If there are a decent number of searches on Google related to your topic (anything above 500 searches/month), it is a good indicator that there’s a demand for that topic. This means that people are interested in learning more about that topic, so you can drive more traffic from Google.

Let’s say you want to create cornerstone content around the topic “How to Write SEO Content.”

A quick search on Google for the keyword is showing the following result.

cornerstone content examples

Some random website is showing up in the featured snippet. The content is extremely bad!

Have a look;

content example

As you can see above, the quality of the content is mediocre, as it doesn’t add any value to the searcher. Yet it’s still ranking in position zero.

That’s an opportunity for you! If a website with mediocre content ranks in featured snippets for a keyword, you can steal those rankings with better content.

So, remember the following things while doing keyword research;

  • Identify long-tail keywords related to your cornerstone content
  • Analyze the existing competitors for those keywords
  • Create better content 

That’s it!

3. Identify the INTENT

Gone are the days when Google used to rank websites based on keywords alone.

Today, it’s ALL about intent.

Search engines are getting smarter every single day. They’re getting better at understanding what the user REALLY wants when he searches for something.

That’s called INTENT.

Search engines are NOT running after keywords, they’re focusing more on INTENT (what the user wants).

To create intent-based content, you need to understand the different types of intent people have when searching for information online. 

There are THREE main types of search intent:

  • Informational: People are looking for information about a topic (e.g., how good is iPhone 15 battery)
  • Transactional: People are looking to buy something or complete a task (e.g., buy iPhone 15)
  • Navigational: People are looking for a specific website or page (e.g., iPhone website)

Here’s an excellent illustration of various types of intent;

keyword intent types

Once you know the type of intent for your topic, you can create relevant content that matches that intent. 

For example, you could write a blog post about “how to transfer your data from your old iPhone to your new iPhone 15” (informational), or you could create a landing page for a special offer on the iPhone 15 (transactional).

The bottom line? No matter what topics you will target for your cornerstone content, make sure to identify the search intent. 

What are people looking for when they search for your topic? Are they looking for information, buying something, or trying to find a specific website or product page?

Then, create intent-based content that is informative and relevant to your target audience. 

4. Optimize your content for SEO

When it comes to cornerstone content, optimization is extremely important.

If your content is NOT optimized and not using relevant keywords, it will NOT rank on Google (no matter how good the content is).

So, spend quality time optimizing your cornerstone content. 

Make sure to create a compelling title tag and description. Make tweaks to these two things whenever you want (according to the competition of keywords, your existing keyword rankings, etc).

Here are some content optimization tips to rank well in 2023.

  • Write engaging content, as it’s the most important optimization factor in SEO
  • Optimize your content, including page title tags and URLs
  • Write compelling meta descriptions
  • Avoid keyword stuffing by using relevant primary and secondary keywords throughout your content 
  • Add engaging visuals including graphics, illustrations, videos, etc
  • Leverage internal links by linking to other relevant posts on your website
  • Structure your content well by using Table of Contents, subheadings, etc to break up your text

If you’re running a WordPress site, we highly recommend you Rank Math, which is an optimization plugin.

The Rank Math plugin helps you easily optimize your blog posts for target keywords and also suggests where to include your primary keywords for better rankings.

Here’s what it looks like (at the backend);

Cornerstone Content: The Simple Guide to Creating Content That Will Boost Your Traffic

As you can see above, the plugin gives you all the suggestions you need for content optimization.

5. Create a content maintenance strategy

Are you creating content for your website for a few years? Then, you’ve probably published a lot of content. 

As your website grows, keeping track of everything can be extremely difficult. This is where content maintenance comes in. 

A content maintenance strategy is the process of reviewing all of your website’s content (including cornerstone content) to identify what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to be improved. 

Here are some of the things you can do during content maintenance. 

  • Identify your top-performing content: You can use Google Analytics to determine which pages bring you the most traffic and engagement.
  • Analyze your low-performing content: You also need to find your page ranking on the second or third page of Google search results. Check your analytics for the last 16 months and see if any content is not getting any traffic or engagement.
  • Categorize your content: Once you’ve identified both top-performing and low-performing pages, start organizing them so it becomes much easier to maintain all your content.
  • Update your content: Start working on the pages that are ranking on the first page (but after the 5th position). Make sure your content is up-to-date and relevant and build some backlinks to improve their positions in Google.
  • Remove outdated content: If your content is no longer relevant, remove it from your website. Either update them or use 301 redirects to redirect those pages to relevant posts on your website.

A Quick Checklist for Creating Cornerstone Content

Here’s a handy checklist if you want to create helpful, evergreen content for your audience.

  • Pick an evergreen topic. Choosing the RIGHT topic is extremely important. Make sure to pick an evergreen topic, meaning it will be relevant for years.
  • Do as much research as you can. You’ve to spend MORE time crafting your cornerstone content. By researching A LOT, you’ll be able to create in-depth content. Use tools like ChatGPT to make the research faster.
  • Make it easy to read and understand. Don’t use technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with.
  • Most cornerstone contents are in-depth, so structure your content well. Use lots of subheads, illustrations, bullet points, short paragraphs, etc to make it easy to skim.
  • Use relevant keywords throughout your content and in the title and meta description. Use them naturally. You can use an optimization plugin like Rank Math. Also, create internal links to other relevant pages on your website.
  • Keep your evergreen content up-to-date. Frequently visit your cornerstone pages to see if any information is missing, and update your content on a regular basis.
  • Above all, promote your cornerstone content as much as possible. Use social media, write on Quora, build links, and do everything possible to get MORE people to see your content.

FAQs on cornerstone guide

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on cornerstone content.

What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content is usually in-depth content and covers a core topic related to your niche. It is the most important FOUNDATION on your website. Cornerstone content is typically evergreen, comprehensive, and informative.

Why is cornerstone content important?

Cornerstone content is important because it can help you to:
– Attract targeted visitors from Google
– Establish yourself as an authority in your niche
– Improve your SEO rankings
– Generate leads and sales

How long is Cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content is often the most comprehensive content on a specific topic, usually between 3,000 and 10,000 words.

What are some examples of cornerstone content?

Some examples of cornerstone content include:
– Comprehensive blog posts
– Case studies
– Ultimate guides
– eBooks

How often should I update my cornerstone content?

You should update your cornerstone content regularly to make sure that it is accurate and up-to-date. The frequency of cornerstone content updates depends on the topic and how quickly it will likely change. 

For example, if you have a detailed guide on Google Algorithm updates, you must make changes whenever Google rolls out a major search update.

Related Posts:


Final thoughts on cornerstone examples

Cornerstone content is what you need if you want to attract high-quality visitors from search engines. But it takes time to create such evergreen content and it’s worth the effort.

It can help you with more traffic, sales and sets you apart from your competition.

So, what do you think about cornerstone content? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments. 

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