- What are content hubs?
- Why are content hubs so important?
- How do content hubs work?
- How to create a content hub on your site?
- Creating a content hub using CONTADU
We all know very well that the industry and SEO strategies are changing all the time. For example, we know that to get good visibility in search engines, it is not enough to rely on keywords alone. We don’t have one hundred percent knowledge of what parameters Google uses to select pages in searches. However, we know, although it sounds trivial, that in order to rank high you need high-quality content. That is, content that helps us better understand an issue, answers our questions or solves our problems.
However, we should remember that search engine queries are becoming more and more specific and complex, and often one sentence is no longer enough as an answer. We need comprehensive studies of our problems that will clarify all our doubts. Undoubtedly, Google relies on such content, which thanks to machine learning and algorithms based largely on artificial intelligence understands our language better and better, and thus understands us and our problems.
The aftermath is today’s situation where the entire search process is even more semantically based. This means that Google aims to make the relationship with the search engine resemble a human-to-human contact rather than a human-to-machine one. All of this means that in order to rank high in the SERPs and attract traffic that converts, you need content that is perfectly aligned with user intent. Questions impose themselves: how to create such content and what content strategy will be optimal? It seems that the best choice will be to use content hubs strategy.
What are content hubs?
Content hubs (or semantic/topic hubs) are becoming increasingly popular in the SEO industry. In semantic SEO, they are a sort of guide-style content structure that takes you step-by-step through a topic or solves a problem. It is a carefully organized area or knowledge center on a specific topic, which aims to gather all the necessary information for users in one place. We can also talk about a logically constructed network of connections (topcal pillars/clusters) within a main topic (topical hub or topical pillar). The elements of this network are interconnected and their context is the topical hub.
So the main idea is to combine similar elements based on the topic. We consider the structure of our text (appropriate paragraph markings, their hierarchical structure and the logical arrangement of the meaning of headings), the appropriate placement of a given subpage on the website (where the “pillar page” will be the main page, and thematic subpages will be “satellite pages”), tagging and category selection for the article/product subpage in the online store, meta tags, internal linking, and even URL names. The full correlation of all elements will allow you to create a valuable content hub.
Why are content hubs so important?
We already know what content hubs are. However, why are they so important? What makes them such a great fit in current SEO strategies? This is for two reasons. First of all, it’s all about user experience. Everyone likes it when the information they are looking for is easily accessible, arranged in a logical order, and everything is in one place. Content hubs, through their engaging form and quality content, make audiences prefer content designed this way.
Secondly, it is similar with search engines promoting content that best matches users’ expectations. The better the organization of valuable content, the better the algorithms evaluate its content. With optimal content organization, users will find it much easier to find what they are looking for on the site, their engagement will be higher, and all this will make them more likely to buy the product or service available through the site.
How do content hubs work?
The purpose of semantic hubs is to improve the process of searching for information or to guide the user through all relevant stages of an issue. An example of content hubs can be the home page of a blog, company, SaaS software or online store. We can then move from the central thematic point (topical pillar) to the “satellite” pages. For example, when we are on the website of a school supplies store.
If the site is run as a content hub, then there will be pages with categories: student supplies, equipment, second breakfast items, shoes, promotions, blog with tips, etc. Each of these categories should also have a number of sub-categories. For example, in student supplies we could have categories such as backpacks, bags, pencil cases, calendars, lesson plans, etc. And of course each of these categories also has branches with Goolge-optimized descriptions.
So all parts of the store that are linked to each other should be in a logical structure with easy navigation so that the user can easily find what he is looking for.
How to create a content hub on your site?
Let’s now get into the process of creating a content hub on your site. This simple guide will illustrate the steps we should go through when creating your semantic hub.
Choosing a topic
At the beginning we choose the topic around which we will build the whole structure. If we run an online store or a portal (it is also worth checking the existing content so as not to duplicate it), we should rather not have problems with establishing a comprehensive, in terms of content, theme, because only such themes will allow us to create a content hub. Why? Because with a large amount of content we will be able to cover all elements of our topical hub, which will be reflected in the search volume.
Finding the right keywords
Once we find the right topic, we should prepare a list of keywords and keyword phrases that we want to cover. This will help us attract traffic to the site. The keywords should be closely related to the chosen topic, as we are focusing on a single issue. To get the best set of keywords, it is advisable to use tools that allow you to search for them quickly. Such a tool would be, for example, CONTADU. When we have collected an interesting set of keywords and we know what phrases appear most often in searches, we should think about planning the structure of the content hub.
Building a content hub structure
With keywords and knowledge of user intent, we can start working on the layout of our semantic hub. If we already run a page, we will already know what subpages for “pillar pages” we need. Our goal is to build a hierarchical network of links whose main context will be the “topical hub”, i.e. the main topic chosen at the beginning. On the other hand, if we are starting from zero, we can check how our competitors or sites that use such solutions dealt with this task (HubSpot is a good example). A short research will allow us to develop the structure of the site, i.e. to create thematic subpages (“satellite pages”). Remember also not to copy the ideas directly – let’s treat our competitors’ sites as an inspiration, thanks to which we will be able to create our own content hub.
Taking care of other elements
Once we have the structure of the semantic hub, we should make sure that subsequent elements of the website are thematically related to the “topical hub”. We are talking about URL links, meta tags, HTML tags or category names, as well as the structure of texts or descriptions itself. In this step you should also take care of internal linking. It is up to us how we want to link individual sub-pages with each other. It is important that the network of connections is logical, that the navigation is simple and helps the recipients to get to the information in the best possible way.
Content creation and optimization
Once the entire semantic web hub is ready, we can start creating content. Our content should be engaging, up-to-date, and tailored to our audience. Otherwise, the communication between users and our website will be distorted, which will be reflected in the overall results ( low traffic and, consequently, low conversion rate). After creating content for our subpages, we should optimize the content.
Having keywords and additional phrases should not be a problem anymore. However, we can always use tools that allow us to write effective content. The Content Writer module in CONTADU can be very helpful at this stage – not only will it allow us to optimize our content with recommendations, but also thanks to the text generator it will give us tips and ideas on how to write an article, blog post or description on the sub-page of an online store.
Having a comprehensive structure and valuable content makes our topical hub ready. Now we have to monitor the ranking situation of our content. Let’s remember to modify or update the content if necessary – thanks to this users will always be able to find on our website current and high quality content they are looking for. And all this in a clear, comprehensive structure located in one place.
Creating a content hub using CONTADU
Creating the content hub in CONTADU is possible with the help of the Inventory module. Using many factors (e.g. data from Google Serach Console or Google Analytics), this module allows to effectively manage the whole process of content marketing strategy through planning and analyzing activities.
We will also get the necessary information for content strategy creating such as knowledge about our visibility or traffic to the site. The Inventory module is thus the analytical hub of the content campaign and the main place dedicated to keyword management.
And it is the module where we can build the content structure of the content hub. We start by creating a project, and then we go to Inventory (via Management) and click on the Keywords tab. Here we can add keywords (by clicking Add keywords), which will be the foundation of the content hub. This will create a group of words that will allow us to build the entire content hub structure.
If we already have content and subpages, we can look at our site structure to add/change categories. This will help streamline the site. In this case, we go to the URLs tab and click Add URLs.
Then paste the links to our subpages, and CONTADU will create a visualization of the structure of our blog, webstore or portal. Below is a “keywords tree” with some sample categories of the store.
Then we can put together sub-pages with keywords that will show up in Google on the searched word from our group of words. Remember to map the keywords appropriately so as not to duplicate content. Optimal alignment will allow your content to rank high in search results.