Imagine for a second that a really important visitor has arrived on your website. And I mean REALLY important – someone who could mean the difference between success and failure for your business. But this person has no idea what you do, and no time to go poking around your website, reading all of your different pages and blog posts. So instead, they pick up the phone and demand to know what you do. What do you tell them?
Odds are, you’ll explain by giving them the essentials of your business, what you do, how you help your customers and why you perfectly meet their needs. Right? And you’ll probably want to put on your best confident tone, and in the most compelling fashion you can, given what riding on this deal.
That’s what cornerstone content is, and that’s exactly why you should be creating it.
So What Is Cornerstone Content?
Going by the dictionary definition (because we love a good dictionary), a cornerstone is: ‘An important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based’. So in the real world, a cornerstone is that really important, critical thing that holds everything together. In the content world, cornerstone has a slightly different meaning. According to Yoast (the go to SEO plugin people), cornerstone content is:
“Cornerstone content pieces are those articles on your website you’re most proud of. They reflect your business, communicate your mission and are extremely well written. These are the articles you would like to rank high in the search engines. Cornerstone articles are usually explainers; these articles combine insights from different blog posts.”
So basically, a cornerstone article is a long, meaty piece of content that explains what your business does and how it helps your customers. It’s your flagship piece of content to direct people who are new to your business to. It could be a tutorial, an article about the benefits of the thing you do, or just a walkthrough of how to do something. We’ve written some great ones for clients about how to set up certain kinds of businesses, how to write cashflow forecasts and more. Whatever it is, your cornerstone content should cover something that’s basic, essential, indispensable and the main foundation of all that you do.
It’s as simple as that. Pour what you do, why you do it and why it benefits your customers onto a page, and you’ve got yourself some bona fide cornerstone content.
Why Should I Write Cornerstone Content?
If you’re coming from an SEO perspective because Google really wants you to write it! In fact, if you’re using WordPress or any other mainstream website, there is a little check box on the post pages that you can tick to say, ‘this is cornerstone content’. Clicking that makes it an actual page in itself – not just another blog post – and signals to Google that you are invested in your website and providing information. It also helps you with your keywords. It can be hard to rank for some of the more popular search terms, and cornerstone content helps you be more competitive online. Marking such an article as cornerstone means you are signalling to Google which of your articles is most important, and help it understand where to place you in the rankings. It also provides you with an internal linking system – yet another way of boosting your SEO.
If you’re coming from a user’s perspective – it’s all about giving information. Potential buyers want to know as much about you as they can before they contact you, and it’s your job to provide that information. Cornerstone content allows you to really explore the issues your services solve and explain things to your customers. This means not focussing on getting people to buy your products and services – that’s what your web pages are for. It should be focussing on providing information and solving problems. If you’re willing to give out information for free, you will see huge results.
Every business should have at least one piece of cornerstone content on their website. One essential page that explains the single most common issues your clients face, and provide them with the solutions and information they need. But it can be a really, really time-consuming thing to write. Your average piece of cornerstone content is between 1000 and 6000 words long, which is a significant time investment in terms of writing. Many business owners are too busy running their business to actually create it. That’s where I come in. I work with businesses to create those essential cornerstone pieces for them, so that they can spend their valuable time doing their job, and still see the benefits of cornerstone content. For more information, you can view our packages here or get in touch.