Looking for a new way to wow your readers – and Google too
Consider writing the cornerstone content. It is a deep, authorized piece of content that addresses an important issue in your industry better than anyone.
The advantage, according to Mike Allton of The Social Media Hat?
“These types of messages are getting exponentially more extensive actions than shorter messages, and helps to generate traffic which increases the already high ranking factor, bringing even more organic search traffic. These visitors are also obliged to share the position, continuing to fuel the process. “
We will talk about how to get there.
What makes the content “Cornerstone” and why it works
Cornerstone (or “pillar”) positions are generally about 5,000 words. They are long enough to go into the real depth on the subject, but short enough to stay the course.
Yet writing 5000 words is not a small project. – It’s like writing an e-book or a long white paper. Moreover, these are not the kind of song you can just whip on top of your head in an hour or two. It takes research and planning -. As for the construction of the station itself and for its promotion
There are obvious benefits of SEO that come with writing pillar posts. They are a magnet for inbound links, and in terms of conversions, they can do a lot of heavy lifting at the top of your sales funnel.
latest Google Search Quality Raters of came out in late 2015 (with an update in March 2016), so the emphasis on useful, authoritative content original has never been more evident.
Pillar positions are particularly strong in B2B content marketing because of the way the sales cycle is changing in a wide range of industry sectors. A 2015 study by Forrester found that as many 74% of B2B buyers make more than half their online research before making a major purchase decision while a study in 2014 Accenture, 83% them in particular the websites of search providers.
B2B suppliers can not afford to ignore these statistics. The majority of buyers do not call the sales teams of suppliers in the initial stages of research – they go to the supplier websites instead. This means that the top of the funnel – your content -. is your seller
And he can not simply sell. Before you can get the benefits of talking, your content has to do what the most successful sellers do during the consultative sales process :. Building trust
(You want more proof? In a recent interview, Mike Allton discussed the key role of authority, content, long form.)
Why Writing Cornerstone Content is not as hard as you think
the same length of the pillar positions is a big reason that many people do not write. The reference “10 times better” can also be daunting, even for those who know their stuff. If you do it yourself, it takes time. If you hire a professional, it will not be cheap -. And it should not be
But there are some things that make creating content easier.
For one thing, you do not have to churn out a post pillar weekly. Writing a quarter may be enough, especially as the less often writing means you can spend the time to do things -. Leading to a more effective piece in the long term
In addition, the pillar posts are a gold mine of reformatting. Once you have written, you can reuse for a number of types of content, including:
- Shorter blog posts on related topics;
- Slide bridges;
- White Papers;
- Bulletin items;
- Interviews with key opinion leaders.
Not to mention all related social media and other promotional opportunities these bring with them.
leverage right, and one post pillar can drive your content strategy for many months after the original piece was published. It might be a lot of work, but in the long run, it makes your future strategy most effective content.
How to choose the right topic
Of course, it is essential to choose the right topic. It should be something that your audience cares about. Something that prevents them from sleeping, which is crucial to their work, and it is not obvious or easy to get right. There should also be a topic that has not been done to death.
Sometimes the question or problem, you must answer is obvious. Other times you have to dig a little. And even if you think you know what you want to write, it is essential to do research.
Here are some places to get ideas for topics:
The research Keyphrase. See Google Analytics, SEMRush, or other keyword research tool to see what terms people are searching around the subjects you are considering. Pay special attention to the questions that people ask in the search engines. Run a scan on a typical issue related to your industry, and see what other phrases and challenge ahead sentences and have the most volume -. And less competition
Social media and discussion forums. Take a look at the LinkedIn discussion groups, hashtags on Twitter, and current topics in the industry forums to see what questions people seem concerned. Check BuzzSumo to know what the content is already killing in your industry and what topics seem to do well. BuzzSumo is also an excellent resource for finding influencers to target.
Other bloggers in the industry. It is essential to be aware of what others publish on a topic. First, you should know what is already widely covered – no matter how long it is, your post is not likely to gain much traction if it has already been done to death. Second, it is essential to look for gaps in coverage – the issues are answered anywhere else. These are great opportunities.
regulatory changes or industry. Are you in a highly regulated industry? Or where the landscape is constantly changing with new technologies, platforms, and best practices such as SEO and social media marketing? If this is the case, you could gain much traction if you are the first to write about how your audience can solve new challenges around a regulatory change or recent industry.
Your clients. Even if you’ve spent hours researching online, it can be eye-opening to have a brief discussion with a staff member of the audience you are trying to achieve. Your best source is often existing customers: people who have a proven need to clear anything you ultimately promoting. Get them to tell you what topics they want to read more, what problems keep them up at night, and what are the challenges that you can help them solve.
You do not necessarily need to do on the phone, of course. You can also send a quick survey using a service like SurveyMonkey to gauge interest in different subjects, send email questionnaires, or ask about your own social media channels.
Your teams of sales and customer service. Except for the customers themselves, nobody will know more about the challenges your audience is facing as sales and customer service personnel who treat each day. If you work with a company that is large enough to have these teams, it is worthwhile to include them in the conversation when making a subject.
How to structure the cornerstone content
Cornerstone content is too long and complex to write on top of your head. It should be well structured, and that takes some thought and planning. You need a format that is broad enough to deserve this kind of fleshy position, but rather to provide a short orientation. How-to and type design positions tend to do particularly well as formats for this type of content.
Whatever format you choose, however, you must create an outline before you write. Your plan can be simple or in-depth, but you must make sure your piece logically from one point to another, your thoughts are organized, and you break things legibly.
Derek Halpern has a good suggestion for: check your existing blog categories and make a list of four or five most important relevant to your topic. Use those groups of Subhead and expand the content you have already written in this field. This technique not only allows you to focus your thoughts and structure, but it gives you an easy template to link your pillar posts to other posts on your blog -. And that is great for SEO
Since cornerstone content is evergreen (and, by definition, outside of time,) set it up as a page on your site -. Not a post
The Rules for Cornerstone SEO content
Rule # 1: Do your keyphrase searches. It is quite fashionable these days to think search keyphrase died. The thinking goes like this: because Google got so much better to judge for researchers, you do not actually need to use keyphrases into your copy. You can just write the phenomenal content around it, and ranking magically fall into place.
There is a grain of truth about it. But above all, it is wrong.
Yes, it is true that keyword stuffing is a very outdated technology. It is the day to use all your word for word phrases, especially when it results in stilted writing. Best practices are still to write naturally and to the first reading.
However, as this recent post from Rand Fishkin of Moz stresses, ignoring the search keyphrase entirely up to shoot themselves in the foot. What you call some internal thing in your business and industry can not register at all with your audience. You should know how your audience talks about these concepts in the real world, and you need to use that language in your content.
In addition to SEO, using the right keyphrases (and be findable in Google) positions you as someone who belongs in the world of your readers. If you do not speak the language of your readers and use their words, you will look out of touch – even if the information you provide is spot on. This is especially true for an audience of B2B, which often uses industry specific, language and technical terms very.
Rule # 2: Leverage the questions people ask. When you have done your research to select a topic, you (hopefully) use a keyword research tool to find out what issues arise, the language they use, and the support of keyphrase. Give your on-page SEO a boost by using these keyphrases question subtitles. Using Questions as headings is also a very effective way to organize a post.
Rule # 3: Link to other blog posts on your website. Do you have any other comments? Link to them from your content cornerstone piece. This way, your position becomes an independent resource on your site.
Do not forget to include influencers
Since the days of master editor David Ogilvy, it was said that the success of any content – even the best content, shiniest and most useful – is 20% writing and 80% of the promotion. Best practices for promoting blog post is a pillar of its own. But as it is so critical to the success of your post, I have included tactics that I found very useful. When choosing a topic, give much thought to its potential influencer tie-in
If you do not already know who the influencers are in your industry – leading journalists, bloggers and personalities of social media, and opinion leaders – find these people. Which of them has the most similar audience to yours? Who has an interest in the topics you discuss? Whose activities, services, or projects offer an interesting opportunity for collaboration?
Especially if your audience is not already big or you are a start-up in a market with established competitors get an influencer to help promote your work can make a huge amount to build your audience and your credibility .
Of course, you can write a message and send a quick email to some influencers, asking them to tweet about what you wrote. But it is likely to fail, and miserably. You will have much more traction if you cook your influencer strategy from the beginning. It takes two steps: first, to understand a strategy influencer tie-in for the position at the stage of subject selection and planning. And secondly, establish a connection with this influencer well before publishing.
Sometimes the most effective way to involve an influencer is to involve them directly. Ask them to do an interview or comment directly on the subject. If they are directly quoted or presented, they will (hopefully) share the article with their public once it is published -. dramatically amplify your promotional reach, and put you on the map for many new perspectives
Another way is to create a link to their work, discuss significantly at some point in the article, or directly quote something they wrote. Do not forget to leave the influencer that you quoted him. Fortunately, it will amplify your message and share it with their audience.
As shared Eric Enge Stone Temple Consulting in his interview and podcast SEO Copywriting Certification on marketing influencers, you will be much more effective if you build a relationship with an influencer advance.
No, it does not mean fondle or harassing. This means connecting with them in a significant way , whether through social media, blog comments or otherwise commitment with them. This could mean sending a private message that asks nothing, but gives them instead of congratulations for an accomplishment or provides value information. The idea is to start a conversation, to ask a favor.
Closing Thoughts Cornerstone content
The idea of writing songs cornerstone content can often be intimidating, even for people who blog regularly. The good news is that you do not have to publish them on a frequent basis. pillar stations take careful planning that goes beyond writing, but they bring huge benefits that go well beyond the date of publication. With the right planning and influencer marketing, SEO, and the reformatting strategy that covers all your bases, you should be able to get a lot of mileage for each of your pillar posts.
Jen Williamson is a business writer specializing in fun, fearless copy and content for software and B2B sales. She holds certifications SEO Content Institute, MECLABS, and HubSpot inbound sales program. When she is not working (ha!), She is immersed in a good book will teach knitting, or training for his next marathon. In real life, she lives in Brooklyn. Online, you can visit him at his copywriting website, or find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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