If you are in charge of digital marketing for your business or organization, then part of your job is creating and presenting the best online experience for your website visitors.
You want to connect users to the type of content that will interest and engage them.
In this context, content marketing is the backbone of your strategies.
It involves creating and sharing meaningful content that helps your viewers by answering questions and giving them the help they need at that moment in time, wherever they are in the marketing funnel.
Once you have a variety of content to answer visitors’ questions about your product or service, the next step is managing your content to make it easier for both search engines and customers to navigate.
A content hub can be a powerful tool to help you do just that. Here’s what you’re going to learn about it today:
What is a Content Hub?
A content hub is a destination on your website containing content around a certain topic.
Content hubs don’t stand out with gleaming headlines saying that they’re content hubs. It’s likely that you’ve been using content hubs without realizing it.
They can look like regular web pages and can take many different formats.
In fact, the essence of a content hub isn’t how it looks — instead, what makes a content hub unique is how it works.
- A content hub collates in-depth information about a single topic on one central webpage.
- It offers SEO benefits from backlinks, search traffic, leads, and a boost in website authority and branding.
- It comes in many different types, and your choice should consider the number and kinds of topics you choose.
Content hubs all have one common structure, which is:
- A central hub page or pillar presenting a broad topic.
- Subpages or sub-clusters of more in-depth content.
- Linking between the hubpage and subpages.
To visualize this concept, think of an old-fashioned wagon wheel with a central base and spokes leading from the center to the outer rim. The central base is the hubpage, while the spokes are the subpages.
Content Hubs in Action
To see a content hub in action, take a look at the Etsy Journal.
Etsy is a website that congregates thousands of individual artist shops. The Etsy Journal provides interesting how-to and showcases information that appeals to customers.
Then, in each article, it links to searches for materials or individual shops selling these items. It also has shopping guides for a wide variety of circumstances.
American Express is considered the pioneer in content hubs. You can see why when you visit their content hub Business Class Trends and Insights.
The main page is a clean and easy-to-navigate interface with a list of broad topics that lead to content clusters which in turn have links to American Express products.
They also have featured content in each category.
The Different Types of Content Hubs
Hub and Spoke or Topic Clusters
The hub and spoke model generally starts with a single hubpage or pillar dedicated to one broad topic, and a number of subpages that further explore more in-depth subtopics.
This simple structure supports evergreen topics the best because they don’t need updating very often.
The hubpage links to all of the subpages and they link back to the hubpage. The entire group of hub and spoke units is called a topic cluster.
The content library model starts with an index page that displays all the subtopics and then links to all of the subtopic index pages.
Then, each individual subtopic index page links to its own subpages. These subpages can include various formats, such as white papers, separate articles, images, videos, or podcasts.
This model looks a little more like the table of contents at the beginning of a book. It lists all of the chapters, which then go into more depth.
However, in this instance, each chapter has its own index as well as pieces of content on the subtopic.
The library model is ideal for companies with a large group of topics and who want to set up a user-friendly interface.
Each landing page can be reached within a few clicks.
A topic gateway resembles a Wikipedia page.
In this model, each topic has a dedicated page that includes an overview of the topic, links to further information, and dynamic links to updated content.
This model works best when you have a large amount of content on a specific topic.
Newcomers to your content can explore the evergreen information that is highlighted. And more experienced visitors can navigate to your newest content.
If you need to curate large amounts of information that can be easily filtered or sorted, a content database is the best hub type to use.
Users can sort your information according to factors, characteristics, or multiple topics.
A content database gives visitors an opportunity to focus on what they are interested in the most.
It can be used by prospects and customers, but also be equally valuable for internal content searches.
A content manager of a large company can create a content database filled with employee information, marketing information, or workplace standards depending on your needs.
A content hub like this could be accessed in a digital asset management system (DAM).
The content database format makes it easier for users to find exactly what they want when searching through a vast amount of content.
What are the Benefits of Creating a Content Hub?
You may be thinking that your time is valuable, so is it really worth the effort needed to create a content hub?
The short answer is a resounding yes! Check out why below:
Better Topical Authority
A content hub’s structure involves setting up internal links between the hub and subpages.
This builds a semantic relationship between pages with relevant content.
This structure can help boost your topical authority, meaning how Google views your credibility on a specific topic.
The search engine also scans the internal anchor text to better understand what a page is about.
All of this organization makes your content more relevant and has the potential of acquiring important backlinks that will grow your authority.
Visitor engagement is a big factor in how Google ranks pages, and it is beneficial to your business, too.
Having a content hub increases the likelihood of users staying longer on your site and accessing multiple pages.
You are linking relevant pages together in your content hub, which will make your site’s positive engagement better, and for a bonus, you may also help your SEO strategy.
Increased Organic Traffic
A well-organized content hub will drive more organic traffic to your website.
When you have this type of organization, Google can understand your site’s information better and how parts of it fit into the whole structure.
Remember that the search engine is in the business of giving users the most relevant, authoritative content for any query.
Because of this, your content hub can be a tool for you to thoroughly cover a given topic, showing Google that you offer expertise, trustworthiness, and authority.
Leadership Building and Branding
Your in-depth content hub is the perfect place to display what your brand stands for.
Compared to traditional marketing avenues, you have vastly more space to emphasize your brand’s identity.
You can also use your content hub to build relationships and trust with your target audience.
Instead of just one interaction, a content hub offers several opportunities to interact with them.
Since your content is designed to help answer visitors’ questions and solve their problems, they have positive experiences which build trust over time.
Each time they come back, the relationship develops more and increases the chance that they will buy from you when ready.
How to Create a Content Hub
Now that you’ve learned what content hubs do, it’s time to create one for your business. What are the steps you need to take to get this started?
1. Brainstorm Topics for Your Hub
Brainstorming for hub topics is a good place to start.
You need topics wide enough to include several subtopics, but not too wide, which would necessitate too many clicks to get to the information.
You want to build a structure that is easy to navigate with just a few clicks.
2. Categorize Your Subtopics
Once you have narrowed down your main topics, it’s time to look for relevant subtopics.
There are lots of ways you can come up with ideas, such as using a keyword research tool, searching Google, or entering a topic into Answer the Public.
You can survey your company’s sales and customer service staff to better understand what customers are asking for, or you can look at recent customer survey data.
As you consider, remember to check the search volume for each topic. If it doesn’t get enough traffic, just combine it with another subtopic.
3. Create a Structure to Please Users
Since user experience is a high priority, you should design your content hub so that it’s easy to understand and navigate, and for people to find what they’re looking for.
Depending on the complexity of your structure, you may want to take advantage of mind mapping software to see how it all comes together.
4. Decide on Content Marketing Technology Support
Creating your content hub takes effort and coordination from production to publishing to promotion.
This process can be made easier with the use of content marketing technology.
5. Determine Content Types
You will have to decide what types of content to include in your hub.
These can include blog posts, articles, images, explainer videos, podcasts, webinars, courses, or tools. Which types of content do your visitors use the most?
6. Add Interlinking
As you add each piece of content to your content hub, ensure that it contains the relevant internal links to the rest of the hub.
Minimally, topic pages should link to subtopic pages and vice versa. But you can also link to other related subtopics.
7. Add Conversion and CTA
You should add a conversion event or CTA to each piece of content appropriate for its position in the marketing funnel.
If users are just starting out, an appropriate CTA would be to opt-in to your email list. The same visitor may be interested in a webinar or demo later on.
8. Promote Your Content Hub
Once the content hub is in place, the work isn’t done. You need to invite people to experience it.
You can use multiple marketing channels to promote the main hubpage and/or subpages.
Any marketing method that is already popular with your existing customers can help promote traffic to your new content hub.
9. Measure Results
Like any type of marketing, measure the results of your content hub.
Determine the ROI to learn how successful the content marketing is, and where you can improve it.
Wrap Up: Does Your Business Need a Content Hub?
No matter which style of content hub you decide to build, you will make your visitors and Google much happier.
With a content hub, you can share your knowledge and expertise about your industry. Doing so will build better customer relationships and strengthen your brand.
From the perspective of SEO, your new content hub will help Google better understand your area of authority and expertise.
The search engine will also see clearly which topics you cover and how much supporting information you have.
Besides that, a content hub invites backlinks by its nature, which improves organic search.
After what you learned here, are you now questioning your strategies? Are you afraid there might be gaps that are hampering your business’s success?
Well, don’t worry! We have a Content Marketing Maturity Assessment that is ready to help you!