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Beginners' Guide to Cornerstone Content – How to Find It on Your Website

updated on Sep 05, 2017
Beginners' Guide to Cornerstone Content – How to Find It on Your Website After installing or updating Yoast SEO, you may have noticed a feature named Cornerstone Content. The plugin allows or even encourages you to mark some of your posts as cornerstone articles. This concept might be new to you, but in fact, it has been there for a couple of years and some SEO experts have already adopted it to improve certain content's rankings in search engines.

If you are interested in cornerstone content, you will learn what it is exactly, why it is important to your website, how to find such content, and how to create real cornerstone articles in this post. So now, start clearing your confusion.

What Is Cornerstone Content & Why Do You Need It?

Cornerstone content refers to the best articles on your website that are well-written with comprehensive content and reflect your business. You will want such articles to rank high in search engines. Finding the cornerstone articles out and making a list of them, you are able to organize your topics better and improve the best content on your site more easily. This is beneficial for both improving the website SEO and increasing the website traffic.

If you are still uncertain which articles on your site should be the cornerstone articles, you may need to pay attention to the following common points among those articles.
  • Being long – Cornerstone articles must be long with 2000-10000 words, so that they can be comprehensive enough for helping readers and ranking high in search engines.
  • Focusing on high-traffic keywords – Being the foundation of a site, cornerstone articles must target the most important keywords with the highest search volume.
  • Being linked most – Cornerstone articles are usually linked across your site because of their importance.
  • Keeping fresh and useful – Unlike the narrowly focused articles, cornerstone content is updated regularly to keep fresh, attractive, and competitive.
Being useful to the readers, cornerstone content is also important for SEO. Since you probably write multiple articles around a topic, you have to tell search engines which one among them is the most important that they should give priority to. In this case, your articles won't compete with each other in the search results. Besides, cornerstone content helps with internal linking as it is usually linked from the relevant articles.

In short, cornerstone content plays an important role in helping your important articles rank for the popular and highly-competitive search terms. That's why you are encouraged to give it a try.

When you search a popular topic like "how to start a blog", you will find that all the articles that rank well are cornerstone articles.

Cornerstone Articles

How to Locate the Cornerstone Content on Your Site and Improve It

Based on the characteristics of cornerstone articles, you can actually locate such articles quite easily. In total, there are two steps you can take.
  1. Do keyword researches to find the keywords with a high search volume. When running your own website, you must be very clear about the essential keywords that you want to rank for. So, get these keywords.
  2. Find the comprehensive articles for the keywords. If you have created a lot of articles around the most important keywords, be sure to select the most comprehensive ones as the cornerstone articles.
There should be already some good cornerstone articles on your site. However, they may not good enough, and you still have to do something to improve them. If you are not satisfied with the existing cornerstone articles or want to create new ones, we have some suggestions for you in order to make better content that ranks

Make it long and comprehensive enough

Cornerstone articles are long because they need to cover all the important information about a topic. Therefore, you should make good use of headings to make the content easier to read. Also, you can place a content index at the beginning part of cornerstone articles.

Make an ultimate guide that is thorough

If you want to rank well for a competitive keyword, your cornerstone articles must be informative enough. For the how-to articles, for example, you'd better cover every step from the beginning to the end. Besides, the necessary data, examples and expert opinions are needed.

Provide a unique case study if it is possible

A unique case study is better than saying thousands of words. People would prefer a real case study because it potentially tells them that all what you say in your article is true and there is no trick.

Link to your cornerstone articles

To tell search engines that your cornerstone articles are important, you should always remember to link to those articles from the long tail articles (the narrow posts talking about the specific/similar topic that you cornerstone articles are about). This not only improves the internal linking, but also helps your cornerstone articles be recognized by search engines and rank better.

Update cornerstone articles regularly

As discussed above, cornerstone content must be updated on a regular basis because search engines like fresh content, and your readers would also appreciate the new content that covers the changes and new trends about the topic. Keeping the content up-to-date is one of the most important tasks.

Final Thought

In total, there should be 4-5 cornerstone articles on your website. To make a good plan and keep track of the cornerstone articles, you can mark them with Yoast SEO. Those marked posts will be listed under the "Cornerstone Content" tab on the posts page.

Mark as Cornerstone Articles