How our cornerstone analysis helps you create your best articles

Cornerstone articles should be the best and most complete articles on your website. That means that you should make an effort to make this article as awesome as possible. Raise your normal standards and write extraordinary cornerstones. To help you create excellent cornerstone articles, we developed a special cornerstone analysis. 

Why do you need a separate analysis?

Of course, our default SEO and readability analysis already helps you to write awesome articles. So why do you need a separate analysis for cornerstones? The answer to this question is that for cornerstone articles you should raise the bar. Your cornerstones should be the best. They should be better than your other articles and the demands on your writing should be higher. Our cornerstone analysis will help you to raise your standards (and stick to it). It will be harder to score that green bullet. You have to do all important things right!

What does the cornerstone analysis do?

You know our green bullets, right? In our default analysis, we check whether or not your post is readable and SEO-friendly. The cornerstone analysis is an adaptation of the default SEO analysis. In the cornerstone analysis we’ve set higher standards. A number of checks in both the readability analysis as well as the SEO analysis has been adapted in Yoast SEO 4.8.

How does it work?

If you’re working on a cornerstone, you should indicate so by checking the cornerstone box. If you checked the box, the default analysis will automatically change into the cornerstone analysis.

cornerstone analysis yoast seo

Which checks are adapted?

We adapted 2 readability checks and 8 SEO checks to come to the cornerstone analysis. You’ll need to use enough subheadings and make sure to write in rather short sentences to receive a green bullet in the readability analysis. Cornerstone articles are usually long and therefore a bit harder to read. Subheadings and short sentences will help people to read all the way through the end.

Most important adaptation in the SEO checks is the demand for a lengthy article. Cornerstones should be informative and complete. They just need to be long. In order to score a green bullet on text length, you’ll need to write an article of at least 900 words.

The other checks we adapted for cornerstone articles are:

  • keyword in subheading;
  • meta description length;
  • title width;
  • images;
  • links;
  • URL keyword;
  • URL links.

We’re just a bit stricter concerning these checks. To score a green bullet, you need get all of these right: use keywords in the subheadings, write an awesome meta description, use your keyword in the URL and make sure your images are optimized properly. For cornerstones you just need to go all the way. These are the articles you would like to rank with, so make sure you give them the very best chances.

cornerstone content SEO analysis

Check out our internal linking tools

Cornerstone articles are an essential aspect of your SEO strategy. You should make sure to embed these articles correctly into your site structure to get the most out of a cornerstone approach. There are several handy features in the Yoast plugin to help you do this.

The text link counter allows you to see all the internal links you’ve put in a post and all internal links to a post from your other pages. This tool provides you with a clear overview of the distribution of your internal links. Make sure to check (and keep checking) if your cornerstone articles receive enough internal links!

text links counter

The Yoast SEO premium plugin is also invaluable to help you build a proper site structure around your cornerstones. Our internal linking tool suggests which articles you should be linking to when you’re writing a new post. Cornerstone articles actually get a priority in the internal linking tool as these are the articles you want to be linking to:

Priority cornerstone articles yoast seo premium

Optimize your cornerstones!

So go ahead and start optimizing your cornerstone articles to make them rank higher. Use the new free cornerstone analysis in Yoast SEO as a guide, to find out which aspects of the article you could improve. Keep an eye on the text link counter to see if your cornerstones receive enough internal links. And if you want to take it a step further, get Premium to help you do some sophisticated internal linking. Good luck!

Read more: Site structure: the ultimate guide »

Frustrated that your most important pages don't rank?

  • Make sure visitors reach important pages
  • Start ranking for competitive keywords
  • Roll out the red carpet for Google & users
  • On-demand SEO training by Yoast
More info

16 Responses to Cornerstone analysis to help you create your best articles

  1. Buymobile
    Buymobile  • 2 years ago

    Thank you for this article. Undoubtly your content is helpful for SEO. Many content writer skip this topic but cornerstone analysis is the major issue. We can connected high PR websites about this cornerstone analysis. I have a blogging site and I use the cornerstone as well.
    This content also have some interlinking tools. You suggested Yoast SEO premium plugin tools for interlinking, it’s good. But have some free tools or technique they are also good for interlinking.
    Of course I Appreciate your this efforts. You provide overall information Yoast SEO not only cornerstore in one blog I think. It will be a usefull information for my work and It makes my content good more.

  2. Brian Thompson
    Brian Thompson  • 2 years ago

    I agree with you in your assessment of some of the modern changes to SEO articles: we have also recently seen a better response to our longest articles as opposed to our shorter ones. 600 words and up is our minimum now.

  3. Lyndon
    Lyndon  • 2 years ago

    I think this is a nice addition to the plugin. One question though, you refer to cornerstone content as “articles”, which implies blog posts, but I see the checkbox for cornerstone is an option for pages as well.

    Is there anything to be aware of when marking pages as cornerstone content vs posts?

    Perhaps you can elaborate on the distinction (if any)?


  4. Hena
    Hena  • 2 years ago

    Thanks for the useful info. Newbie question here, what if we want to be strict on EVERY post we create, can we mark it as cornerstone so the criterion becomes ‘strict-er’ and we eventually create more value in each of our posts? If that makes any sense.

    • Marieke van de Rakt

      In theory, you could do that, but I would definitely not recommend it. In our related posts functionality (yoast seo premium), we use the cornerstone content as well. The cornerstone articles are shown more often as suggestions to link to. If you indicate that all your articles are cornerstones, this function is totally lost. You can expect more features surrounding site structure and internal linking in the near future.
      If you have an overall green bullet on your normal posts, your posts are optimized nicely enough.

  5. Ozkan
    Ozkan  • 2 years ago

    I downloaded Yoast FREE version and loved it. It’s very helpfull and time-saving.
    I really appreciate your efforts.
    All the best for you.

  6. Matt LaClear
    Matt LaClear  • 2 years ago

    This is brilliant, way to up your game by upping our games!

  7. Gem Tshering
    Gem Tshering  • 2 years ago

    Very informative. Thank you so much.

  8. Joshua Hardwick
    Joshua Hardwick  • 2 years ago

    The image is nice, but a cornerstone is physically placed at the bottom of a structure, not near the top. But otherwise thank you for the extra focus on high-quality pages for our pages.

    • Omar Reiss
      Omar Reiss  • 2 years ago

      Thanks Joshua for the sharp eye. I’ve forwarded your comment to our team of illustrators! ;-)

  9. Richard
    Richard  • 2 years ago

    Thanks. I’m using Yoast and it’s really a best SEO tool

  10. WPArena
    WPArena  • 2 years ago

    We are using Yoast Pro and in process of crafting high-quality cornerstone articles. Thanks for the nice explanation.

    • Marieke
      Marieke  • 2 years ago

      Great to hear that. You’re welcome!

  11. Geraldo
    Geraldo  • 2 years ago

    This is the best site on Seo, thanks for sharing this knowledge.

  12. Rupesh Kumar
    Rupesh Kumar  • 2 years ago

    Cornerstone article is a great addition to Yoast functionality. But I have certain recommendations. As you are aware Google love long detailed articles and after recent changes in Google algorithm, LSI keyword importance has increased. As if now there is no way in Yoast to check for LSI keywords percentage in an article. So most of the time I am not able to achieve all green bullets even if I have used a good percentage of focused keyword and LSI keywords.

    • Omar Reiss
      Omar Reiss  • 2 years ago

      Thanks Rupesh. That makes a lot of sense. We are actually thinking of ways to deal with LSI better in the SEO analysis. I expect this issue will be addressed as well this year.

Check out our must read articles about Content SEO