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How cornerstone content can boost your rankings

Getting your website ranked highly in the search engines is primary reason to optimize your website, and there are lots of ways to go about that. The problem is this: You shouldn’t be focussing on getting your site ranked at all. You should be working to get individual pages ranked. If you are seeking to rank for certain keywords, it’s important to figure out which page on your site is going to be the primary ranking page for that keyword.

It’s not enough to add your keyword to all of your page titles or to write a bunch of articles about that topic. Instead, it’s a much better approach to create a single, central page (a “hub”) that is the central location for your site’s content on that topic. This content is known as “cornerstone content.” Cornerstone content can be described as the most important information on your site, the need-to-know information that you want your site visitors to read. Google wants you to rank for that information. GlobexOutreach can help you get your cornerstone content written, place strategically, and promoted.

Determine the one or two primary ideas or topics around which your entire website will be built. Just as every building starts with a cornerstone, a great website needs cornerstone content on which to be built, too. This can be your mission statement, FAQs, articles, a tutorial, whatever. Whatever the form, the goal is to create content that contains the crux of what you want your readers. It’s what you feel visitors need to know in order to get the most out of your website.

Now let’s talk ranking. Here’s how to use cornerstone content to get your site ranked using cornerstone content.

Choose your keywords

The first step is to choose the best keywords for your content. Ask yourself this: What question would a web searcher ask that your content can answer? Is it likely that enough people ask that question to make it worthwhile to provide the answer? If not enough people are asking the question, answering it won’t get your site ranked highly. On the other hand, if you can provide the answer to a common question, your site will get much more highly ranked.

Place those target keywords strategically

Along with the choice of keywords, where you place them is of utmost importance, too. The title tag on your page should serve as a headline, a snippet that tells a reader what is to come. A great title will encourage readers to link back to your site using that title, which can help your site rank.

Create great content!

You’ve probably heard that content is king, and it’s true. Without compelling content, your site won’t get the kind of traffic, exposure and ranking you need. A 500-word article can rank well for a competitive search term on its own, as long as the overall authority of the website and how well established it is. If you have a fledgling website that is trying to get ranked for a high-volume search phrase, getting links from other, higher-authority websites can really help. To do that, you’ll have to create the kind of content that garners those links. The best-case scenario is that you create content that becomes the go-to source for the answer to the question your searchers are asking.

Beef up your landing page

Your landing page is the first thing a visitor sees when they click a link through to your site – it’s where they “land,” on your site, as it were. This is prime digital real estate for you, the perfect opportunity to communicate the mandate of your website to your visitors when they arrive. Your landing page also serves as a kind of index or table of contents, pointing (linking) site visitors to the various sections of your website.

Cross-reference your content

Search engines love websites that have a lot of great, relevant content that is updated frequently. Link authority is important, too. Because of that, it’s important to feature a link to your cornerstone content on the sidebar of your website. If your cornerstone piece is doing its job as serving as a “catchall” for the most seminal information about your website, all other content you create for your website should naturally be able to be cross-referenced to it.

The goal of cornerstone content is to provide useful information to the website visitor, regardless of the path they take to get there and to provide content that is compelling and valuable enough for readers to link to it. If you can achieve these two goals, the search engines will likely also find your website and rank it favourably.

Although it’s great to use your cornerstone content to get ranked with the search engines, you should create it (and all of your website content) with the reader in mind. Real people are going to be reading your website content, and it will be their behaviour that affects your conversion rates, for better or worse. Provide them something of value.

Once you create your cornerstone content, it’s time to create internal links to it on your site. Figure out which pages Google ranks the highest for your keywords and add a link to your cornerstone on each of those pages. For best results, use the keyword in the anchor text (or as the anchor text) for each link and place the link within the content itself – not just in the footer. Why? Because links from within your content will carry more weight than those generate from sidebars. As you create new content, don’t forget to link to your cornerstone content every time.

Finally, you’ll have to promote your cornerstone content to get it noticed! You’ve worked hard on it, and it’s something out of which you can get a lot of mileage for your website in terms of promotion. Tweet it, post about it, link to it, and reach out to people in your niche who might be willing to promote it and link to it, too. That’s a great way to reach a bigger audience who is already interested in related topics.

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