An Ultimate Guide to Content Hubs: Drive More Sales and Organic Traffic with Content Hubs in 2023 The rise of intelligent search experiences such as Google search generative experience and Microsoft Bing Chat has ushered in a new era of search engine optimization and content strategy. And at the forefront of this change is the Content Hub.
Yes, if you have been following SEO strategies, building a content hub is an age-old strategy for businesses and site owners to gain authority. But in the new search environment, the usage of a content hub is going to be so much different than before. Three keywords are dynamic, conversational, and personalization.
And what are content hubs, you may ask? It is a centralized repository of content around specific topics, offering users a streamlined and organized way to access the information. That’s the theory.
Don’t worry, I’ll simplify it for you in a while. I will show you the different types of content hubs, how to spot opportunities to combine your content into a hub, and finally, a forward-looking statement on how content hubs will evolve and how you can prepare for it. So you definitely need to want to stick with me to the end.
Read more: Here are Common SEO mistakes that don’t do while creating a content hub or doing SEO.
An Overview of Boost sales and organic traffic with content hubs
So here’s what we will cover in this blog article. What You’ll Discover We will first talk about.
- What is a content hub (Simplified)
- The main purpose and benefit of creating a content hub for your website
- How to find topic ideas for your content hub
- The different types of content hubs
- A forward-looking statement on how content hubs will evolve from the current one you are building.
So without further ado, what is a content hub? Here you need to follow a post about WordPress SEO Tutorial 2024 to Optimize Your WordPress Site. This is a post where I have cleared all the steps that you need to know for WordPress SEO.
What is a Content Hub? (Simplified)
A content hub is a centralized space where a business or website curates and showcases content around a specific subject or area of interest. For example, imagine you’re running a business selling organic gardening equipment and you have a website for it. You decide to create a content hub about organic gardening in hopes of becoming an authority in the niche.
In other words, a site that people can trust when talking about organic gardening. Here’s how you might structure your content hub.
The hub is a central piece of content or page that provides a comprehensive overview of organic gardening. It could cover the basics of what organic gardening is, why it is beneficial, and the general principles behind it. This could be a pillar of content that serves as the foundation of your content hub.
Pillar content, in simple terms, is the most important piece of content on a particular subject, topic, or area of interest. If you want to learn how to use the pillar content feature in Rank Math, feel free to check out this blog post right here. In this context, this is the most important piece of content relating to organic gardening. Then we have the sub-pages, or you can call them a cluster of contents. They are more specific articles that delve into various aspects of organic gardening.
For instance, you might have sub-pages about how to make organic compost, organic pest control methods, best plans for organic gardening, and how to maintain soil fertility in organic gardens. Each of these sub-pages provides in-depth information on a specific topic related to organic gardening.
And anyone consuming all this information would turn from a beginner to an expert in organic gardening, with less experience. Then we have hyperlinks on your pillar content or hub page to your sub-pages, and similarly, links from your sub-pages back to your pillar content or hub page.
SEO benefits of having a content hub
That’s the main idea of a content hub. It not only helps search engines understand the relationship between your content, it also provides a better user experience. Your site visitors can easily navigate to the hub page to get an overview of the topic and to more specific topics based on their interests. If other website owners find either one of the contents useful and link to it, which means a backlink, all pages within the content hub can benefit from an SEO perspective as they are strategically linked together.
Hence more organic traffic as the rankings of all these link pages improve. Now, we have just talked about the SEO benefits of having a content hub. Let’s now talk about the purpose of a content hub in a business sense.
What is the purpose of a content hub in a business sense
Now, the main reason for a content hub is so that your brand, your website, and your business can demonstrate knowledge on a particular topic and deliver it in a way to improves user experience, increases engagement, builds trust, and brand authority with your customers.
Just imagine this. You intend to buy a barbecue pit, and through Google Search Generative Experience and Microsoft Bing Chat,
they recommended a barbecue pit that no one else has heard of before. That brand doesn’t have any content that is beneficial to its customers, but it appeared on search results. Would you buy that barbecue pit immediately?
I don’t know about you, but I won’t. However, if I’ve seen some advertisements about a barbecue brand, I’ve consumed some information or content from the same brand elsewhere. Maybe someone has done a YouTube video where the barbecue pit appeared. And when I finally found the need to buy the barbecue pit and it appeared on the search results, in my mind, that is a good barbecue brand.
What is the probability of me buying the barbecue pit now?
I would say 70 to 80 %. Or what if somebody bought a product from you and that person is trying to figure out how to use your product effectively to solve their problem, but there is no content that would guide that person? Will that person become a loyal customer?
Will they buy the product from you again when they come to figure out how to use their product effectively? Absolutely not. So content hubs do not only help educate people but also bring your customers through their journey to becoming happy customers. Now that you know the purpose of a content hub, let’s talk about how to discover topics for it.
How to Discover Topics for Content Hubs
There is a huge misconception that content hubs are meant only for written content because they help your website gain authority.
Honestly, the content hub goes way beyond the traditional keyword research, like relying on a search volume, keyword difficulty, writing content, clustering the group of content, and getting ranked on search engines.
The truth is, that you need to deliver content where your customer resides. If your audience reads, then written content on blogs, Quora, or Reddit will work. But if your audience consumes more short-form content, then you should be focusing on creating YouTube shorts, Instagram Reels, TikTok, etc. If your audience consumes more images, then Pinterest.
In other words, you want to be where your audience is and appear on as many platforms as logically possible. However, all media formats should be embedded into pages of your website to create a content hub. To find highly relevant topic ideas, turn your radar on. For example, as a content creator of a brand, visit videos of other creators in the same space, consume their content, and see how you can make them better. Read user-generated comments on those videos and generate some topic ideas from there.
Talk to your sales and customer service teams to know what the common problems and questions people ask about your brand, and figure out what content topics will be most beneficial to create for your audience that will draw them into becoming your customers or loyal fans. Combine what I’ve just mentioned with the information you got from your site’s analytics.
For example, if you have Rank Math Pro installed and you have connected your site to Google Search Console and Google Analytics, as you visit the Analytics module and select the SEO performance tab.
Scroll down, click on one of your articles, and you can identify what keywords people are searching for to land on this page. With Google search generative experience and Microsoft Bing chat, these keywords are going to be more conversational. So this method is going to stay relevant.
So combining real data and real engagement, you can develop a content map that will guide you to build a hub that is most effective in helping your existing and prospective customers and drawing them closer to your brand or business. That’s for existing websites and businesses, but what if you are building a new website or brand?
Then the methods of identifying topic ideas could be visiting your competitor’s website to get ideas from their content hub, if there are any, or visiting this blog post right here to learn more about the keyword research methods. Or maybe using ChatGPT or other AI tools to help you quickly figure out the content clusters. Like, for example, on chatGPT, let’s say that I’m a new barbecue retailer in the United States trying to build a brand. I would ask something like,
“Pretend you are a barbecue retailer and you own a website, but you have no authority in the barbecue niche, and not many people know about your barbecue brand. Create a content hub that includes a list of keywords people in the United States will usually search for and may be beneficial to building brand awareness and authority. And nest the keywords under more general keywords.”
So this is the context and role play. This is the format and specific information I’m looking for. I’m pretty sure you can write better prompts than me, but let’s hit it. And just like that, chatGPT will produce a list of keywords and cluster them into groups.
Of course, you can expand your prompt to get more ideas, such as if I want to get more keyword ideas for barbecue techniques, I will refine my prompt to
“More keyword ideas that are helpful for building brand authority for point number two”.
And as I hit Enter, it will give you more suggestions. You see, this is quite a good list of topics.
But most importantly, the topics need to make sense to your business. The foundation of building a successful content hub is to understand what your customer thinks and their behavioral patterns.
You can use concepts like customer journey, where you will identify the different types of keywords people will search for in different stages of a customer journey, the customer persona that helps you visualize the characteristics of a specific group of people in your target market to help you develop marketing strategies.
Now that you know keyword research for content hubs comes from many different places. It doesn’t only come from the keyword search volume and keyword difficulty suggested by most keyword research tools, you can get highly relevant topic ideas from direct or indirect interactions with your customers as well. And with this, we will talk about the different types of content hubs to figure out which makes sense for your business.
Different Types of Content Hubs
Now, when we are talking about different types of content hubs, we are talking about the different ways of organizing and structuring the content of your site. And the first content hub model is probably the most common of all, and it is called the “Hub and spokesmodel”.
“As per terakeet.com, There are several different types of content hubs you can use to organize everything within your content marketing strategy. The version you use depends on your industry and how your audience prefers to consume information.”
1 Hub & Spokes Model
Like what we have introduced earlier, this model is centered around a main piece of content, which is the hub with related pieces of content called the Spokes, and together they look like a wheel. You would typically have 5 to 20 sub pages that are interlinked with the hub, but of course, this is not a rule. There are some hub pages that have over 50 spokes.
For example, Zappier’s ultimate guide to remote work.
This hub page targets the keyword guide to remote work. And to make the page complete, they have categorized remote work to different use cases such as for automation, building a remote team, remote work for managers, for employees, etc.
In each category, they will have a short description and links to other articles that are in-depth and helpful to visitors in understanding more about that category. If you click on one of the articles, you will see that they use breadcrumbs to show you the hierarchy of the content. You can have breadcrumbs like this as well if you use Rank Math on your site. Under Rank Math’s general settings, you will see the breadcrumbs tab. As you toggle this on, you will see all the settings related to it.
You just have to make sure that there are no other themes or plugins providing the breadcrumbs function to your site. Another example of a hub and spoke model would be the Learning to Play the Guitar guide by the National Guitar Academy.
If you scroll through, you will see that it links to “How to choose the perfect beginner guitar”. As I scroll down further, it links to “how to tune a guitar”, then “guitar notes explained”, “easy beginner chords”, “how to read chord boxes”, etc. If you click on any one of the links, scroll down all the way to the bottom, and you will see that it links back to the hub page.
So the pillar content or hub page can be a super in-depth article by itself that links to other related articles, but it can also be a page with short descriptions linked to other articles as well. It really depends on the understanding of your customer needs.
2. Content Library Model
As the name suggests, it works like a digital library that allows users to easily find and access the information they need through thoughtful organization of information by topic, format, or other categories. A good example would be the blog page of Sprout Social where they show the featured content and the editor’s pick at the top, then the latest articles, and then they categorize their content by categories like social media analytics, guides, data reports, or marketing insights.
And they even have a section to show all the topic hubs they have. Each of these topic hubs is pillar content, which means Sprout Social uses the hub and spoke model, the content library model, and one other model which we will discuss in a while.
So if your site has a ton of content that can be categorized or sorted into logical descriptions, and there are a few important articles in each categorization, then the content library model works well for your site. Now, the next content hub model, which is popular as well, is called the “Topic gateway” model.
3. Topic Gateway Model
It is rather similar to the content library structure, but instead of categorizing all the content, you are grouping the contents of a specific topic and displaying them like how you would display in a content library model.
A good example would be DollarSprout. If you go to the side hustles category page, you will see that the articles related to site hustles are categorized into money-making apps, paid surveys, make money online, and for college students.
Then they have a call to action on how we can make money with them. They list a couple of featured articles in the site hustle category. It links to the pillar contents for that category, then popular site hustle apps, and finally, the latest articles in the category.
If you visit other category pages of the site, you will see a similar structure. This is basically the modified and supercharged version of a category page, and it uses both the hub and spoke model with its pillar content, and it uses the topic gateway model for its category pages.
So in a sense, you can have many different content hub models on the same website. You can use the content library to structure your blog page, and if somebody clicks on a category page, you can use the topic gateway to structure your content delivery, and you can link to pillar content or hub page for people who want to dive deeper into a specific topic.
It all depends on what you think is best for your audience. If your site has a lot of content, think of the best structure to group your content. But if your site is new, even better. Plan your content pipeline ahead with the structures mentioned.
4. Content Database Model
Another model I would like to share is the “Content database” model, or some will call it the resource center model. This model is especially useful at this more engaging for your audience. Say I am on the Sprout Social website again, and if I visit the resource center page, let’s scroll down. Say I want to learn about AI and I want to read about case studies. I’ll filter the results and it displays all the AI case studies they have done.
This is a perfect way to showcase to potential customers what your business, product, or service can do for them. If they want to learn something else from you, they can just filter your content based on their needs. This model is best suited if you have many different types of content formats like case studies, videos, guides, reports, podcasts, or whatnot on your site, and you want your site visitors to easily find those resources.
5. Glossary Model
The final content hub model I would like to share is the “Glossary” model. One of the most interesting glossary examples we found is the glossary page from Canva. You see, you can scroll through these beautiful colors, hover over them, and you will know the name of the color.
If you know the name of the color you are looking for, you can search for it. For example, peach, and the color you’re looking for will appear.
Click on it and it will bring you to the sub-page that lets you know everything about the color. Obviously, not every glossary page can work like Canva. It works for Canva because colors are highly visual. Maybe if you are an interior designer, you could have a visual glossary categorization by layout. Just saying. If you can categorize visual content for your use case, you could have a glossary page like Canva.
Another good example would be the Mayo Clinic’s diseases and conditions glossary page. You can search for a disease, for example, diabetes, and all the medical articles related to diabetes will appear here.
Or you can click on either one of the letters, and you will have a glossary of medical articles related to all the diseases and conditions that start with the letter.
The glossary content hub structure is highly suitable for websites that have an enormous volume of content because, with it, it is much easier for site visitors to find what they are looking for. These are all the more common content hub structures, and of course, there are many other structures. If you find one that is helpful to you and that we have not discussed, feel free to let us know in the comments.
Forward Outlook on Content Hub
Going forward, I think the content hub can be used for many purposes if it hasn’t already been done. For example, if somebody bought a product from you, you can send your customer to a content hub that will show them how to use your product more effectively. If your potential customer has doubtful questions about your product, your customer service staff can send them to a content hub to show them how your product can benefit them.
And in the new search environment, it is all about personalization. So if somebody lands on your resource page, maybe you can have them complete a short survey so that your content hub can display contents that matter to them based on their customer journey. This will not only improve your authority but might also turn traffic into sales. If done right, this is something you might want to explore going forward.
The goal of your content hub is to be the go-to resource in your niche, field, or industry. And if you become an authority in your space, when Google search generative experience and Microsoft Bing Chat were to recommend your products on search, there is a high likelihood that it will boost your sales revenue. Content Hub is and will be one of the pillars for SEO and business success. So if you are looking to boost your organic traffic in sales, consider implementing a Content Hub on your site. I hope you find this blog article helpful.
What is a content hub in SEO and how can they boost sales and organic traffic?
A content hub is an interlinked collection of content about a similar topic or category. A content hub consists of three major parts: A hub page or pillar content, subpages or cluster content, and hyperlinks that connect the hub page and subpages. A content hub is a great source of building authority to show Google and other search engines that your website has authority and expertise in a particular niche or category. By creating a hub page and subpages using relevant internal links you can boost sales and organic traffic.
How do content hubs improve search engine optimization and are good for (SEO)?
Content hubs are good for SEO and improve search engine optimization because they help build topical authority, increase link authority, and improve engagement. By connecting your hub page and subpages using relevant internal links, you can build semantic relationships between your content and boost your site’s topical authority as well as you can boost sales and organic traffic.
Can content hubs help target specific buyer personas and increase sales?
Yes, By interlinking related content, creating an SEO-friendly structure that search engines can easily understand, and Connecting your hub page and subpages using relevant internal links, content hubs help target specific buyer personas and increase sales.
How can content hubs attract and drive organic traffic and improve brand visibility?
You can design your Content hubs to attract organic traffic and increase your brand’s visibility in search engine results by providing related and valuable content on a specific topic or niche and optimizing your content hubs for relevant keywords. You need to start with audience research to determine who your target buyers are. When people search for information, search engines provide them with content hubs that give in-depth and well-organized content and high-quality information. You should also create a keyword list based on your buyer persona’s common search terms and focus on creating content that addresses the topics your audience is searching for online. As more people visit your content hubs, your brand’s authority and credibility increase, further enhancing its visibility.