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Digital Marketing is vending of products and services using internet. The number of hits on client’s website gives an estimation of how many people have read about the products and services offered by them. This estimation is important for growth of client’s business and the further course of investment. Digital marketing precisely does that. Most commonly used digital marketing techniques include SEO, SEM, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Social Media Optimization. According to Wikipedia, Digital media growth is estimated at 4.5 trillion online ads served annually. In this article we will encapsulate the Cornerstone content techniques for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Read more about Digital Marketing and SEO

What is Cornerstone Content?

There are multiple terms to denote this sublime word; Massive value post (MVP), pillar articles and flagship content are the stereotyped ones. In very simple words, Cornerstone Content is the most pivotal information on any website which outlines a specific and clear picture of the website for the users. This may include FAQs, explainers, most read/shared/viewed blog posts of your website. As pointed out by Disha Sharma in one of her articles, cornerstone is like your website’s glossary page.

cornerstone page for ppc reporting

Example of Cornerstone page for PPC reporting

There are numerous blogs, infographics and videos on any website. But readers would hate it if they are lost in this data-driven mesh. Cornerstone content is a saviour for such unfortunate scenarios. Pillar articles usually combine insights from different blog posts of your website. So basically, it is the collection of information to navigate to the major and influential blogs/pages on your website. This makes your site more user-friendly. Also for your website to rank higher in search engines, appropriate cornerstone content/articles are very imperative. MVPs let you highlight your most salient registered content. They also help you attract links, get subscribers, and increase traffic.

Cornerstone content stands true to the dictionary meaning of it – foundation stone, keystone, mainspring and centrepiece. Cornerstone content articles can be anywhere from 2,000 words up to 10,000 words in length.

Keyword strategy for Cornerstone Content

Keyword research is the foremost step for creating a cornerstone content. Keywords are the special words used to carry out a search in a search engine. Keyword research is basically the analysis of such words used by SEO professionals to increase the ranking of their websites. Now Cornerstone content is the main page of your website. You would want to use most relevant keywords here. All the essentials keywords have to be the part of links, body, navbars and anywhere else you find it appropriate to add it. Links in the body of the content are more dynamic than the footers or sidebars. Keywords on cornerstone page will fetch more and relevant results in search engine.

Using keywords in cornerstone content strategy

Content Writing

As quoted by Heidi Cohen, “To deliver measurable results against your business goals, develop your strategy around content marketing’s four cornerstones: context, channels, community and commerce.”

Read blog on How to stuff keywords for SEO friendliness

Content writing for cornerstone pages revolves around the keyword or rather set of keywords.

  • Mainly the strategy will involve writing multiple blog posts on related topics and then placing the links to them or a reference to them on the cornerstone page using the common keyword or keyword phrase. This cornerstone page will be the hub page or the core page of your website.
  • Include images, videos, and infographics that engross readers and prompt them to share the page with other influential clients.
  • Another important point to be kept in mind is to use short and apt sentences on the core page. Make the page attractive and yet precise to engage the user in real quick way.
  • Have an introduction section on the hub page so that search engine can easily identify it as cornerstone content. The introduction should include a short description about your website and marking it as the core page of your website.
  • Links to the related blog posts should be descriptive enough for the user to understand the topic of the blog post related to it. But at the same time they should not be too lengthy. Include a short summary with each link to make the hub page more user-friendly.
  • Add an action call at the end of the cornerstone page to get people to follow the regular updates and keep them glued to your website. You can have a link to download the app, have any kind of survey, ask them to subscribe the newsletter, have share button or leave a comment section.

Interlinking pages for effective cornerstone content

Interlinking is the way to keep alive all your blog posts (old and new) by linking them from the core page of your website. This has following benefits:-

  1. You give users a chance to access old but apposite blog posts on your website.
  2. You ensure that the old posts are not dead.
  3. The most important aspect of interlinking is that you get to direct search traffic to your website.
  4. If you write a new blog about a topic and there exists an old blog related to this new one then interlinking will attract more users to the site as they will find all the ad rem data from just one link.
  5. This increases the rank of your page in search engines.

A well-formatted and proper indexed page can draw the attention of search engine crawler and boost up the rank of your web page. To achieve this well-structured format there are simple rules to interlink your content:-

  • Be sure to include the links to all the blog posts on the site. Reader should be able to access every single page of your articles.
  • Use apropos keywords and do not deviate from what the link says about the blog post.
  • Use breadcrumbs on your site. This will prevent users to get lost while searching for any topic. Breadcrumbs are just like the sitemap that reader is following while browsing through your website.
  • Positioning of the links on the cornerstone page also plays an important role in SEO ranking. The beginning of the hub page (like just after the introduction section) is the best to place your links.
  • There are number of tools like – WP plugin and SEO smart plugin which can accelerate the process of interlinking.

CRO Techniques for SEO friendliness

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimization. Wiki says “CRO is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.” The Cornerstone content can be the main source for CRO. With established call-to-action, lead generation can be easily achieved using CRO. Some very effective CRO techniques are:-

  • Have well-defined site architecture in place – As elaborated earlier, indexed pages ensure that the web-crawler crawls through the website efficiently. Be sure to create more but relevant content to attract desired customers to your website. Stats say that long written content has higher conversion rate than shorter ones.
  • Place icons on the main page – Similar to word of mouth publicity, use icons on your page so that users can effortlessly share your blog, article on their social media accounts. Also search engines rank the pages with these social higher. The count on these icons describe the number of times the article has been shared and liked, which automatically boosts up its rank on search engine.
  • Ensure that your page loads at a lightning fast speed – Visitors will never wait for as small time period as few seconds for the page to load. Slow loading pages are not appreciated by users as well as search engines. Pages which load faster are placed on top with high ranking as compared to slow loading pages. Follow these simple techniques for the same:-
    • Use graphics with small sizes
    • Minimize the scripts on your site
    • Help the user by caching the content of your site
    • Do not use flash on your website
    • Avoid using spacers, image segments, auto-play rich media etc.
  • Ask for feedback for conversion – Have links on the website where users can click and give feedback about the content. Also have buttons with large texts so that they can grab visitor’s attention. Provide facilities to download a free PDF or watch a free demo on the site. Have links with questions on the page which navigate to other articles on the website.
  • Ally with influencers — This is one of the newest techniques out in the e-world for SEO friendliness. Engage with micro influencers to enhance the reach to audience for your site/blog/article/product. Influential people with 10,000 to 1, 00,000 followers if linked to your website, can generate numerous leads and hence potential customers.
  • A/B testing – This is also known as Bucket Tests or Split-run Testing. Basically it is just the testing of two different versions of the same site to know which is more preferred by the users. This testing can be carried out very frequently and thus the updating the site is made trouble-free.

We hope these insights into the cornerstone content can help you to achieve the desired result for your website. Please comment below to share more about SEO friendliness.

Shishir Kathurwar

About Shishir Kathurwar

Currently running experiments on content for a IT products company based out of US. Cracked the code for generating 750K organic traffic on website in the span of 10 months.