By David Henzel, CEO of LTVplus
If you are a small business owner, you know how important it is to include a blog on your website. Many businesses got to where they are today by increasing their visibility online with a blog packed to the brim with valuable content. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 report, 80 percent of business to business companies (B2Bs) use their blogs as a content marketing strategy.
We are going to look at a tactic you should start using on your blog if you want to see increased visibility, an engaged audience and steady traffic to your website for years to come. The topic is cornerstone content, or as some people call it, evergreen content. The premise of cornerstone content is simple. You create a long-form piece of informative content, including links to many of the blog posts where you want to generate traffic, and then publish the post.
It sounds easy, but there are many nuances you have to consider when creating this type of content. Let’s start by looking at how you’re going to prepare your cornerstone post. We are going to talk about how to come up with pillar topics, discover keywords, write your content and link everything together.
Break down your niche.
Before you can write your first piece of cornerstone content, you have to think about the possible topics you can use based on your niche. The easiest way to come up with ideas for your pillar content is by thinking about general themes and threads that align with a large portion of the type of content you create.
If your site features gardening tips, you could pull a few ideas for pillar content from that topic. Here are some that come to mind:
- Growing Flowers 101
- Vegetable Gardening 101
- Soil Care
- Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables
- Fresh Garden Recipes
Once you decide on your general topics, you’re ready to start thinking about keywords.
Choose your keywords.
The next thing you have to consider when creating your content is your SEO keywords. Generally, businesses that try to rank for many keywords end up getting buried in the search results. A piece of pillar content, however, has a much higher chance of ranking on Google.
When you’re considering your keywords, think about your industry and some of the main words you’ll want to rank for in that category. Leave the long-tail keywords for your branching posts -- you want to think about broad words or phrases used throughout your niche. For example, if you own a website that sells cooking supplies and recipe books and you were to create a blog with food advice and free recipes, you would want to target phrases like recipes online and cooking tips.
If you’re unsure about how certain keywords rank, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to research possible words and phrases. Generally, you’re going to want to target keywords with a high search volume and low competition.
Write (or merge) your content.
Now that you’ve uncovered primary keywords and topics in your niche, it’s time to write your cornerstone content. If you’re working from scratch, you’re going to have to research, write and compile all of your content. Your pillar article content should be based around the keywords you researched and content you’ve already published on your site.
If you already have a large blog, you may be able to create your cornerstone content by compiling multiple articles you’ve already written into one piece. For instance, let’s go back to the cooking supplies website. If you already have various articles that cover the specialties found in each type of food, you could merge them into one pillar article called “International Tastes” and then link your future recipes back to the pillar piece.
Wrapping it up.
The only thing you have left to do is link your child articles to the pillar articles naturally throughout the text. If all of your child articles link back to one pillar article, Google will see this piece of content as more valuable, which helps your article rank high for your chosen keywords.
That’s all it takes to create cornerstone content. As your business and blog grow, you’ll find it easier to plan your content marketing strategy when you decide to introduce a new service or product.
David Henzel is the CEO of LTVplus, a company providing managed live chat services for e-commerce businesses to increase conversion rates.