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How to incorporate cornerstone content

How to incorporate cornerstone content

Cornerstone content should be informative, fun to read and extremely well written. These articles should reflect your business or the mission of your business. Once you have written such awesome content, you would like search engines to notice these pages. You should thus make sure your internal linking structure shows Google that your cornerstone page is most important. But how do you do that? How do you make sure your cornerstone pages actually rank?

Read more: What type of content should a cornerstone article be? »

Incorporating cornerstone content in your website

In this post, I will focus on the question how to incorporate your cornerstone pages in your site structure. I will first describe the most ideal position of your cornerstone content in the structure of your website.  I truly understand that for most of you, this will mean a drastic change in the structure of your current website. That’s why I will also give some tips (quick wins) to optimize your site structure quickly.

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High in your pyramid!

Cornerstone articles should appear very high in your site’s pyramid. Visitors should be able to instantly click from your homepage to your cornerstone contentpage. Ideally, you would write an awesome cornerstone article and link all your other pages about similar topics to that article. You should make sure that every one of those articles contains beautifully written prose, nicely focusing on different aspects of the same keyword you are aiming to rank for with your cornerstone article. Subsequently, you will write a million new blogposts focusing on new angles of the topic of your cornerstone article. From every single one of these million blogposts, you then link to your original cornerstone article. Such an internal linking structure will help your cornerstone content article to rank in Google.

If you sell ballet shoes and your cornerstone content article is about the importance of well-fitted ballet shoes, you could write blogposts about ballet injuries, different brands of ballet shoes and how to determine the correct size of ballet shoes. Make sure to link from every single one of these blogposts to your original cornerstone article.

Quick wins!

In real life, perhaps you do not have the time to develop such an elaborate structure. Still, writing an article about a specific topic often leads to inspiration to write an article about a similar topic. You should then try to optimize this second post for a slightly different focus keyword and link these posts internally.

Every time you write a post, you should think about similar posts you have written and link to these. Do you already have an important article about this, even though it is not entirely awesome yet? If you use Yoast SEO Premium, keep an eye on the internal linking tool to see what comes up.

Also, make sure you set up the right linking structure. This does not take a lot of your time and could really help to rank your most important article. Take a look at all the posts on the topic you have already written about and add links to your most important article from all of your (less awesome) posts about that specific topic. You can use the Yoast text link counter to regularly check if there are enough internal links to your important articles.

Structure shows importance!

Your cornerstone content pages should be overarching great articles about topics that are really important for your company. Other pages or blogposts should focus on different aspects of the same topic and should all link to the cornerstone content page. This structure will show the search engines which article is the most important on your website. This will eventually lead to the ranking of your cornerstone article in the search engines.

Want to know more?

Would you like to read more about content writing and site structure, you should definitely check out our SEO courses on SEO copywriting and Site structure. In those courses, we explain step by step how to set up a nice site structure and how to write awesome content. And if you want help in writing awesome articles, make sure to read SEO copywriting: the Ultimate guide.

Keep reading: Using cornerstone content to make your site rank »

9 Responses to How to incorporate cornerstone content

  1. Meredith in Denver
    Meredith in Denver  • 3 years ago

    Do you think that internal linking in such a way really gives a rankings boost to one article?

  2. Ian Tomlinson
    Ian Tomlinson  • 3 years ago

    great post! What do you think of website themes like mine where the home page is more for appearance and the meaty content is linked off the page? Does this cost me SEO wise?

  3. Ruslan Vasylev
    Ruslan Vasylev  • 3 years ago

    Great article Marieke,

    I’ve been thinking about site structure subject a lot lately.

    I feel like there should be some sort of tool for organizing content. Something similar to MindMaps or ConceptMaps, where you can link one node to another one.

    Too bad I haven’t found anything suitable yet. Something like a plan in Adobe Muse, but with a non-hierarchical or multi-hierarchical structure.

    Perhaps some day. :)

    • Karen McCamy
      Karen McCamy  • 3 years ago


      I find mindmaps work great for laying out the site structure visually… They also let you utilize both “non-heirarchical” and “multi-level” structures…

      Another thought: have you tried using the organization chart templates available in lots of software? I’m thinking of PowerPoint, specifically, but some mindmapping and charting programs also include “org” templates…

  4. Grant
    Grant  • 3 years ago

    Should each category be its own pyramid with the categories’ cornerstone article near the top of each category apex, with the home page as the site’s overarching pyramid apex?

  5. Marieke van de Rakt

    The content SEO book is really suitable if you want tips to apply SEO without cramping your style. I think it could really help you!

    • Zoë
      Zoë  • 3 years ago

      Thanks Marieke, I’ll definitely look into it!

  6. Zoë
    Zoë  • 3 years ago

    Hi Marieke,
    Thanks for the insightful article. I realise I might actually have to set up a proper home page ;-) I’m still just a rookie at this blogging business, but your site is really helpful.

    I was wondering if the eBook you mention on Content SEO has tips on how to apply SEO but without it cramping your style. I find it incredibly hard to think of SEO, keywords, structure, links, external links, internal links and still write a witty, original article that’s fun to read. Especially a funny, creative title seems to be killing for SEO.

  7. Marisa Garau
    Marisa Garau  • 3 years ago

    Hi Marieke, what a wonderful (and wonderfully written) article on cornerstone content! I only recently discovered the power of CC and are working on CC articles and related blog posts. Many thanks for sharing your wisdom.

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