Lesson 12: Cornerstone content and the Yoast SEO plugin – SEO for beginners training
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Lesson 12: Cornerstone content and the Yoast SEO plugin – SEO for beginners training

Cornerstone content is a very important
aspect of an SEO strategy. In this video, I’ll explain
what cornerstone content entails and why it is important. Then, I’ll cover cornerstone content
in relation to site structure. Finally, I’ll discuss
how the Yoast SEO plugin helps you with optimizing your cornerstone content. So, what exactly are cornerstone articles? Cornerstone articles are the most important
articles on your website. These articles directly reflect
the mission of your company, and you definitely want to rank for them. You should choose
your cornerstones carefully. Think of four or five pages
you would like someone to read if they first visit your website. These articles should be
the cornerstones of your site. In other words, they should form the basis
of the topics you discuss on your site. For example: at Yoast, we write ultimate guides
for every important SEO-related topic. We have ultimate guides for site structure,
SEO copywriting, mobile SEO, blogging, keyword research, et cetera. These are our cornerstone content articles. You should write cornerstone articles about the keywords
you definitely want to rank for. In general, cornerstone articles should be
lengthy articles which are timeless,
and very regularly updated. Cornerstone articles should definitely be
informative articles, where you explain something
to your audience. You want them to understand more
about a topic or you want them to use the information
by putting theory to practice. Even on a webshop, cornerstone content
should be informative, rather than focused on convincing people
to buy your products. For example, you could give your readers
information about the uniqueness of your products,
or about the use of the products. Now that we know
what cornerstone content is, let’s dive into the importance
of cornerstone content. Cornerstone content should play
a significant role in any SEO strategy. It can be rather hard to rank
for search terms that are very popular. A cornerstone approach could help you
tackle those competitive search terms. If you write a lot of articles
about similar topics, you need to tell Google
which one is the most important. Otherwise, you’ll be competing
with your own content for a place in the search results. If you provide the proper internal linking
structure between your posts, you can show Google
which article is most important. This article can be a cornerstone article. So, where should cornerstone content be
on your site? We like to think of a site as a pyramid: the homepage is on top,
important articles are just below, and regular blog posts
make up the basis of the pyramid. Cornerstone articles should appear
very high in your site’s pyramid. Ideally, someone would be able to click
from your homepage to your cornerstone articles instantly. You should link all your other posts about
similar topics to that particular article. Such an internal linking structure
will increase your chances of ranking in Google
with your cornerstone content article. So, we’ve seen that there are
two important factors for a successful cornerstone content
approach. Firstly, cornerstone content
should be lengthy, well-written and well-optimized. Secondly, cornerstone content should have
a prominent place in your site’s structure. Yoast SEO offers effective tools that help you take care
of both of these things. We offer a text link counter,
a specific cornerstone content analysis, and – in Yoast SEO Premium –
even internal linking suggestions, in which cornerstone articles
prevail over other posts. Let’s take a look at these tools in detail. First, the text link counter. With the text link counter in Yoast SEO, you can filter your cornerstone articles
in the post overview, and see how many internal links
a post receives and how many posts it links to. With the text link counter,
you can see at a glance if your cornerstone content gets
enough links from other, related posts. Second, the cornerstone analysis. In the Yoast SEO plugin, you can mark
your content as cornerstone content. As a result, both the SEO analysis
and the readability analysis will be stricter than usual. Why? Because your cornerstone content
should be longer and even better than your other articles. The demands on your writing
should be higher. Third, the internal linking suggestions. In Yoast SEO Premium we offer
an internal linking functionality. This means we analyze the text
you are writing and use the prominent words in that text to determine which of your articles
are of a similar topic. Because these are the articles
you should be linking to. We show these suggested articles in a list
next to the editor, so you can easily add links
while you’re writing your text. Cornerstone articles are treated differently in our calculation
of internal linking suggestions: they are more important
and will receive a higher value. To give these articles
some visible weight as well, we place the cornerstone articles at the top
of the list of the internal linking suggestions. That will make it much easier for you
to link to your key articles. Good luck!

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