You don’t know enough about Cornerstone Content

…Or maybe you do (maybe you’re Brian Clark) and it was rude of me to imply otherwise.

If you don’t, and you found this page while clicking endlessly deeper into your Google SERPs, then you may have realized that there is not enough advocacy out there for cornerstone content.

So what is it?

Cornerstone content is a basic page that focuses on the topic that your entire site is built around.  According to Wikipedia, “the cornerstone concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.”  You should start first with creating some content, to know what the vibe of your site is going to be.

First you need to know about content marketing

content marketing

Content marketing is a huge topic. An article from Forbes, published yesterday, talks about trends in increasing investment in content marketing.  Another article, published today talks about some things to avoid. Obviously, it is just as hot as it is huge.

SCRIBD does a good job of explaining content marketing in depth, but basically it’s content, search and social.  You want to:

create quality content→distribute it in social media→tweak your content so that Google can get it to the right people →boost your authority and  gain targeted search traffic (read: people looking for you, in the mindset to buy)→use free content to build an email list→turn your email audience into customers.

It’s about people accessing your content because they want it, sharing it with their networks, and building a reputation (authority) for your content so that people trust it.

Check out this list of tools for content marketing – they site Moz’s list of 100 Best Free Tools (have fun scrolling).

Where does cornerstone content fit in?

Somewhere in between tweaking your content for Google and gaining targeted search traffic lies the necessity for your cornerstone content.  Cornerstone content needs to be strong information that takes a topic from your content and brings together those things you have already written about it.  If done right it will draw in a lot of high quality links over time, be shared and bookmarked.

How do you create cornerstone content?

Brian Clark has a simple and great (obviously) how to summarized below:

1. Use the keywords people will be searching for
2. Use your keywords in your title tag/headline and remember to think about what language your audience is using to find what they’re looking for.
3. Be linkable (moreso than others).
4. Use a landing page .
5. Link to your cornerstone in related content.

In the end – your cornerstone content is just that – a cornerstone.  It is a great piece of work that you can keep referencing in future work.

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