In our 10x content post, we showed that ranking well in search engines for competitive terms is incredibly hard.

To rank well, you need to go above and beyond your competition to deliver content that serves as a cornerstone to your audience and industry.

So now let’s dig into what those cornerstone pieces of content are, and how you can support them with brick content.

Cornerstone and brick content

What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content are the essential pieces of content on your website that thoroughly answer a need your audience has. Cornerstone content is usually long-form content such as long-form pages or blog posts, videos, ebooks, white papers, webinars, or even a series of content that all ties together.

But the fundamental principle of cornerstone content is that it answers an audience need and also serves to demonstrate to your audience that you can help them. It is something that you want your organization to be known for.

Cornerstone content and SEO

Aside from helping your audience better understand a topic and position yourself as a key resource, cornerstone content is also created to rank well for competitive keywords. Once it ranks well, it will provide future traffic with minimal effort.

Getting this to happen is no small task. Even great articles can go unnoticed by search engines if no one is engaging with them.

Cornerstone content needs a little help to get off the ground and get traction. That’s where brick content comes in.

What is brick content?

Brick content supports and builds upon cornerstone content. These content bricks are usually medium-sized pieces of content that are about similar topics to the cornerstone content.

Brick content also takes many shapes – blog posts, infographics, earned media, podcasts, etc. The goal of brick content is to get them out in front of audiences to build even more awareness for your cornerstone content.

Another key to brick content is that it links back to cornerstone content using the cornerstone content’s target keyword.

For example, if you created cornerstone content to rank well for the keyword “best parasailing in the Bahamas,” you would include a link in your brick content back to the cornerstone with the anchor text “best parasailing in the Bahamas.” This serves as a signal to search engines that the cornerstone piece of content is about “best parasailing in the Bahamas.”

Bricks can be just as important as the cornerstone content because they drive inbound links and traffic back to cornerstone content – both of which help the cornerstone content rank better in the future. Without great brick content, cornerstones may not get any inbound links or much traffic, causing them to not rank well.

Incorporating cornerstone and brick content

You can incorporate cornerstone and brick content into your content marketing campaigns fairly easily. In fact, you may already be creating a lot of brick content that could support a future piece of cornerstone content.

Chapter 5 of our Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing Campaigns lays out how to create your content marketing campaigns around the cornerstone and brick model – including how to select target keywords and where to promote your brick content.

Next steps

If you want to rank well for specific keywords that are essential in your industry, it will most-likely take a full content campaign to make it happen. Utilizing the cornerstone and brick content model can help you break through even the toughest competition in your space.


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