Content Hubs 101: 7 Steps to Improve Your Website’s SEO and Ranking

It isn’t enough to produce content on your site to appear on search engine’s top pages in today’s competitive digital space. You must have a content strategy in place. And one effective method you can consider is creating a content hub.

Today we’ll discuss what a content hub is, the benefits of having one, different types of content hubs, and how to create it.

What Is a Content Hub

Content Hub: Ahref's Search Engine Optimization Hub Page

A content hub is an organized collection of posts under a specific topic. Content hubs don’t necessarily need to be a page. It can be a minisite, blog post, or subdomain.

Its primary purpose is to help your readers access articles within their topic of interest quickly. When you have content hubs on your website, your target audience won’t waste time scrolling on your default blog posts set up.

Content hubs are suitable for websites aiming to cater to informational search intent. It’s not meant for the sales page or the about us page.

Components of a Content Hub

Although content hubs are pretty flexible, here are three main components: 

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  • Pillar page (aka Hubpage): a page where all articles under a specific topic are located. It can also be a long-form article that discusses subtopics.
  • Cluster pages: are relevant web pages or articles of the pillar page.
  • Links: connect cluster pages to the pillar page and vice versa. They make your subpages crawlable for search engines and visible to your audience.

The benefits of content hubs.

Having a well-designed content marketing hub can do wonders for your site. Here are some of its advantage:

Enhance user experience

Instead of your audience spending time browsing various pages to find the topic that interests them, they can simply click on one hub then explore its cluster pages.

Improve website authority

As you produce more relevant content on a specific topic, search algorithms will view you as someone knowledgeable, which will help you rank better.

This is very important from an SEO perspective. When you create a content hub, you do internal linking. A high-quality content hub can also help you strengthen your backlinks. If you can provide what your readers are looking for, they won’t hesitate to share your content.

Increase organic traffic

Content hubs are an excellent strategy for gaining more search traffic. Once users find the information they need on your site, they will likely explore other pages to get the most out of their visit.

Better control

With a content hub, you can control what information is available for your audience. You can choose what kind of related articles to connect with each other and guide your audience through your funnel.

Content Hub Examples & Types

Here are some types and content hub examples from Content Harmony‘s post:

1. Classic Hub & Spoke

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Image from https://www.airbnb.com/locations

The most common hub type. Classic Hub & Spoke (aka topic cluster) consists of a single pillar page (hub), with 5-20 supporting pages (spoke) attached to it. All “spoke” should be linked back to the “hub.”

2. The Content Library Format

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Screenshot from https://digitalagencynetwork.com/blog/

This format is consist of three parts:

  • Library Hub Page: Also known as the parent page. This is where all subtopic categories are located. For example, your website is all about digital marketing. So under the digital marketing hub page, there’s SEO, SMM, content marketing, AI marketing, etc.
  • Subtopic Pages: These are the categories mentioned above. Once you select a subtopic, you’ll be directed to the complete list of articles related to that specific subject.
  • Individual Pages/Articles: This will be the main blog post.

3. The Topic Gateway

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Image from https://www.drift.com/learn/chatbot/

The Topic Gateway has a similar format and purpose with the “Ultimate Guide” article type.

This format usually consists of a hub page with a topic overview and links for the supporting articles.

4. The Content Database

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Screenshot from https://www.lemlist.com/cold-email-templates

This is the best option if your website has too many pages and articles to fit in the content library style. This format allows your readers to filter your content and quickly see what they need.

The content database is suitable for directories and glossaries.

5. The Topic Matrix

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Image from https://www.investopedia.com/financial-term-dictionary-4769738

Topic matrix is the least popular among all content hub types. It isn’t as pleasing as the others and is best used only for large websites with many subpages and parent pages.

Medical sites usually use this kind of content hub.

How to Create A Content Hub in 7 Steps

I’m assuming that you have some existing content on your site already. But if you don’t, you may opt to create content after reading this post.

1. Check your competitors.

How to create a content hub step 1: Check your competitors

Before you even begin anything, you must check what kind of competition is there. This will give you a good idea of how your competitors’ layout and format their content hub. 

There are a few cutthroat SEO tools for competitor analysis to help find your direct competitors. 

Ensure that you check all their related articles and list down what you can adopt for your website. Take note of content gaps as well. These are subtopics that your competitors failed to discuss.

2. Categorize your content.

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Layout all of the content you’ve done for your site. Categorize them by using Google Sheets or even just a piece of paper. And make sure that they are relevant to each other.

List all the broad topics and the subtopics under them and organize everything. Make sure that no content is left out so you can maximize your efforts.

Your content can either be categorized by one topic with subsections or multiple topics. However, it’s important to make sure that these categories are not too broad because you want the user to have a more specific idea of what information they will get if they click on your page.

3. Design your content hub.

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Now that you’ve got a birds’ eye-view of your site, it’s time to choose which type of content hub you’d use. Consider the amount of your content and how you want your audience to see your site.

This is also the best time to choose which keywords you’d like to target. Use long-tail keywords for your cluster content and short-form keywords for your pillar page.

It’s more challenging to rank for competitive keywords, so it’s best to strictly use it for your hub pages.

Don’t forget to use only related keywords on that specific topic. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to link your pages and rank.

4. Edit existing content.

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Your existing posts and cornerstone content are the main stars of your hub page. Therefore, they should be your priority. So, go back and edit them. Update your data, strengthen your backlinks, and include internal links to help your readers quickly navigate your content. 

This is also the perfect time to do content optimization. Ensure that you add your main keyword on your page title, headings, and URL. You may also include images and infographics to boost user experience. And add relevant words to help you improve your SEO rankings. 

Surfer SEO is a great on-page SEO tool if you need help. 

5. Publish and promote your content hub.

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Publishing and promoting go hand-in-hand. Your job as a marketer doesn’t end after releasing your content hub.

Make sure that all your articles are correctly linked and well-written. To decrease your bounce rate, you may add a “further reading” section at the end of each post.

For promotion, you must consider different ways of strategic outreach. For example, you can promote a link to your content hub or cluster pages on your weekly email, social media accounts, or paid media.

6. Continuously create new content.

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Instead of just producing whichever topic you have in mind, consider what will benefit your hub page. Answer content gaps you’ve discovered while doing competitor analysis. You may also do keyword gap analysis to discover and target the least competitive keywords with high search volume as it can help boost your search traffic.

Keep creating content that will provide more profound knowledge to your target audience. And don’t forget to update your hyperlinks every time you publish new content.

7. Audit your content hub.

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Once your content hub is published, there are two things you need to keep track of – user engagement and ranking in search results.

Check back and review what you’ve done after a few months to determine if your content marketing strategy worked or not. You can do this by checking analytics for the pages that have been published or monitor your site’s performance through Google Search Console.

To get more accurate results, you may check some of the best SEO audit tools in the market.

Conclusion: Content Hubs for SEO

It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business, freelancer, or entrepreneur – content hub is an incredible opportunity for all creatives. With a little forethought and planning, it’s not difficult to create these helpful tools that offer great benefits like SEO ranking boosts, increased traffic rates, and greater customer engagement.

Don’t forget to check the content hub examples and follow the steps we’ve given above so you can create and publish a content hub fast.

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