OK, so you've set up your website and you've been blogging consistently about your area of expertise, sharing the shit out of it all on social media, but you don't seem to be moving up in the rankings on Google...why the hell not?! What else does sodding Google want from you, eh?! Blood?
Well, actually, no. Not blood exactly. What the search engine bots are looking for is how useful you are. What is it that you're offering their users? Are your blogs useful enough? Quite possibly not...
So what's the answer then?
Well, it's not as hard as it might initially seem. The answer is, quite simply: cornerstone content.
I hear cries of, "WTF is that?!" but never fear, I'm here in all my word-witchery glory to enlighten you and boost your rankings on Google.
WTF is a cornerstone article?
Cornerstone content pieces are essentially the most important articles on your website. They are the pages on your website or posts on your blog that you want to rank highest for in the search engines.
They ought to reflect what your business is about; they lay out your mission and - most importantly - are brilliantly written.
Cornerstone articles are usually explainers; relatively long articles combining insights from different blog posts. The idea is that there are links throughout the cornerstone piece to other pages on your site and posts you've written. They create a web for your users to follow.
What do cornerstone articles look like?
These pieces are longer than other content on your site. They often underpin and direct readers to other content on your website or blog. They are often written as an "Ultimate Guide" to the topic, and it's content that won't go out of date so it's also known as "evergreen".
Cornerstone articles ought to be informative articles that explain what it is you're about - read: tell them how fucking awesome you are! - and you should be aiming to get them to rank for the most competitive keywords.
So, if you're a make-up blogger, you might have an "Ultimate Guide to durable make-up" or if you're a well-being coach you may want to write a longer piece about "The Ultimate Guide to Well-Being". But don't just write these, do your keyword research first!
How do I write one?
Cornerstone pieces are generally pretty long, as they tend to cover everything that’s important about your specific topic. It's actually quite a big ask in terms of your writing skills (so don't be afraid to ask me for help!). Reading lengthy articles is usually pretty draining, especially on a screen, so make sure you use plenty of headings to break up the text.
Adding an index at the start of a long cornerstone piece is also a great idea, so readers can jump straight to the section they want to learn about. Dot a few images throughout as well, linking them to other articles too - but don't go too heavy on the pics as this will slow your page down and we all know how impatient that can make us!
So, now you know...
I've explained what "cornerstone content" is, and hopefully you're now going to go away and have a go at writing your own "Ultimate Guide". Any problems, drop me a message! If you've already written yours, and published it, leave a link below - I'd love to read up on what you do.