December 30, 2021 (Updated: October 19, 2023)
A content hub is more diverse than a blog. It can provide value to your audience at various points throughout the customer journey. It can also increase your SEO to help you achieve more from organic search. No matter your content goals, having a content hub can mean more traffic, more conversions, and better business prospects.
A content hub is a single online destination that has a variety of curated content about a specific set of topics. It’s one place online to hold all the important information you want to share with your audience. Content hubs are generally smaller than a website but bigger than a blog. They help you organize content within your marketing strategy so it’s logical and easy for users to understand. They often have three main parts:
Content hubs are a means to help you sell your products or services and are part of your sales and marketing funnels. They’re not concerned with the most recent or timely updates, like blogs, but what the visitors find most important. Consider a department store or superstore, like Target. Shoppers can find everything they need under one roof, from groceries to housewares, and even clothes. Your hub is like that, but for a specific topic. Popular kinds of content hubs include:
While both appear online and are a place to house content, blogs and content hubs aren’t always the same thing. Blogs follow a linear format. Each new post appears with a similar layout and in chronological order with the most recent ones first. Blog posts and content can be broad. For example, a content marketing blog, like CopyPress’, may contain posts about things other than content marketing topics, such as industry trends or website design.
Content hubs may have more piece types, including blog posts, but also videos, podcasts, webinars, image galleries, infographics, and downloadable tools. The format in the content hub doesn’t matter, but the topic does. For example, a content marketing hub may provide tons of different resources in multiple mediums, but all of those resources focus strictly on content marketing.
There are different content hub formats you can choose when structuring your location online. The type you pick may depend on your industry or how your audience prefers to find and consume information. Some content hub formatting options include:
This type, also called a topic cluster, includes a parent page dedicated to a topic and subpages that explore smaller, deeper pieces of that primary idea. The hub and spoke gets its name from the visualization it makes. Picture your parent page as the center of a bicycle wheel. Each subpage and subtopic is a spoke that stems from that main part of the wheel. It takes you a little further away from the primary topic to explain something in more detail.
This type works best when both the hub and spokes contain mostly evergreen content. It’s also helpful for hubs that you don’t update often. This is because of the linking structure, which can be a little more complex, so it’s easier on your moderator if you change it less frequently.
A content library hub features an index page that shows all the subtopics available within the content hub. From that index, users can click the link for the topic they want and go to another index to find each piece of content. Think of this view as a table of contents in a book, or an advanced search online. You can browse the list to find what you want, then keep narrowing it in until you get to the exact piece of content you want to consume.
This type is popular if your content hub covers various topics around the primary theme, or if you have many content pieces within each one. It’s a user-friendly way to organize it all. It’s also popular for search engine optimization (SEO) because of its internal linking structure.
A topic gateway is like an online encyclopedia page, like Wikipedia. Each topic has a dedicated page that features an overview, links to resources, and links to related or new content on the subject that doesn’t appear on the main page. This type is popular if you have extensive information on one subject.
Consider the Wikipedia page for something like World War II. Many subtopics attach to it, such as nations that took part, branches of the military, influential people, battles, and technology. This format lets you explore both the evergreen and newly updated information on a topic in an easy-to-navigate format.
A content database works more like a data repository than a website. It shares characteristics with database programs that allow users to sort or filter the content by topics, characteristics, or other factors to find exactly what they’re looking for online. This type is helpful if you have a vast amount of content where only some of it may be important to users at certain times. The filtering features are like an advanced search and let you narrow everything down until you’re only looking at specific pieces of content.
The topic matrix consists of subpages across an index of anywhere from tens to thousands of parent pages. This may work well if you have a large repository of primary topics with tons of subtopics in each one. Think of how it would work if you tried to index information about all the cities and towns in the United States. You may break them down by state or even by county. But there would be tons of information about each one. If you have that much data, this structure could help the user experience because of its logical organization.
If you’re wondering whether creating a content hub is right for your business, consider the benefits of making this space online:
You can use your content hub for additional company branding. Through each piece of content you make, you can share your business’s values, personality, and differentiation from the competition. There’s also room to share your visual branding through site creation. You can share your logo, colors, and fonts to increase brand recognition around the internet. When people see your stuff, they know it’s coming from a trustworthy source.
You can use your content hub to make better relationships with your audience. This is because content hubs, by nature, help people solve problems and get answers to their questions. When people find an excellent resource that does those things, they want to keep coming back to it. If you’re providing high-quality content, then you’re already doing it.
This builds trust with your brand, which strengthens your relationship with the audience. It reminds them that when they need to make a monetary choice, such as a purchase or selecting some type of service, they can come to you, a brand they already trust.
Having a content hub lets you show off your knowledge and expertise in your field or industry. When visitors see not only the quality of your content but also the volume, it shows that you have a history of working with that specific content and related topics and that you follow it extensively. Even if you’re not an expert in every area of the field, a content hub can create the illusion that you are.
Content hubs can enhance your lead generation because they provide information, tips, and help with every stage of the sales and marketing funnel. You can provide information for leads that appeals to them from the time they visit your site to the time they’re ready to make a conversion. It takes five to seven impressions for people to remember a brand, so if you’re bringing people back consistently, this can help with brand awareness, recognition, and conversions.
When you publish your content out on third-party platforms like social media, you lose control over how users interact with it. That’s not to say that doing so is bad, but it’s only one area of content sharing in which you can engage. With a hub, you can determine exactly what your viewers see and how they see it to drive conversions or inform your audience specifically.
Content hubs create a wonderful user experience online because they provide helpful, relevant, and enjoyable content. Their organization makes it easy for users to find exactly what they want, and to get it all from one source. This is also helpful for your SEO and organic search rankings because it leads to more time on your site and multiple page views and visits.
Content hubs have benefits specifically for your SEO, including:
A well-organized content hub can pull more organic traffic from search engines. This is because the structure makes it easier for the search engine bots and crawlers to understand the purpose of your site and how all the content fits together to cover a topic theme. Because you’re housing a bunch of different types and pieces of content, it also makes it easier for you to rank for high-volume keywords with your topic pages and long-tail keywords with the subtopics.
By having these linked, they share page authority among them, which is a key ranking factor for Google and other search engines. Because search engines aim to give users the most relative and authoritative content for each query, covering every aspect of a topic makes your site appear to be a valuable resource for searchers.
Getting more engagement, not just visits, from audience members can help you rank for the most relevant keywords on your content hub. When Google and other search engines notice visitors clicking through multiple pages on your content hub or spending time there, it shows that your content is relevant and matches the search query. Content hubs increase this kind of behavior because people are more likely to click on the next piece of available content, especially when there are so many choices available in one place.
Content hubs can generate a large volume of backlinks, which helps organic traffic and SEO. The most important way to get link authority is to create quality content that’s valuable to your audience. This works together with your increased traffic. When people know about your site and they like what they see, they might be more likely to link back to it. Also, if you’re a respected content source, other content creators may use your hub as a reference in their own pieces, creating backlinks and more authority.
Related: The Link Building Ecosystem
Content hubs are a great place to generate engagement, as we already said, but this engagement can also increase your online shares. Not only is this good for link authority, but it also helps traffic and SEO. When people share your content out on social media and through other sources, search engines notice and recognize the site and its content as valuable.
Use these steps to learn how to create a content hub:
Consider the major topic for your hub. What do you do? In what ways do you want people to recognize your company? What are the topics on which you’re an authority? For example, a makeup company may choose topics like application tutorials, style guides, how-it’s-made content, and other topics relating to makeup choices, purchases, and applications. Think about the products and services you provide, but try to avoid a tone that’s too salesy. Remember, content hubs provide useful information to your audience that can drive sales, but they’re not sales platforms themselves.
Once you’ve got the main ideas, you can narrow in further on your subtopics that might fit under each header. If you’re familiar with website design, consider how you set up a navigation or menu bar. Your key topics appear in the bar when someone visits the site. Then when you hover over those topics, you get a drop-down with related information. Subtopics may take more research than primary ones, especially if you intend to target certain keywords or competition. Some ways to discover subtopics include:
Consider the topics and subtopics you’ve chosen and how they relate to each other. This can help you choose a structure or format for your content hub. Consider the volume of topics and content you could create, how often you may update this information, and the ease of navigation for users. It may help to use mind mapping software to see how everything relates and choose your best structure.
How are you going to get your content hub online? What tools do you expect to use to create your content? All the digital tools and platforms you use to develop your hub and content are part of your marketing and technology stack. Examples of some helpful stack items include:
Content hubs can host a variety of different media and mediums, so long as they relate to your primary topic. Consider what types of content your audience likes to consume and which are best for displaying certain types of information. Some choices you have for content include:
Set a schedule for content publishing. The type of information and the industry may determine how often you do this. It’s also important to determine how you plan to maintain content that already exists. Even evergreen content can use a review from time to time to check links and update statistics.
The mechanics of your content hub function like a website, so web design is part of the process. Your hosting service is part of your stack, and it may come with a site builder to help you. You can also have your web development team design your own site, in which you may have more freedom with layout, color choice, and sizes to display your content. Be sure to include your logo and use company fonts and colors in the design.
Your content hub likely isn’t your main website, and it’s also not a blog. So what are you going to call it? Many content hubs provide advice, ideas, or resources. Consider what exactly you’re sharing to come up with a name. Words and phrases to consider adding to your name include:
Make sure you’re adding relevant internal links to your content where appropriate. These are what help with authority, and both user and search engine experience. Making it easy to find connections among the content on the hub keeps people on the site longer and provides them with more information. It also makes it easier for bots and crawlers to create connections among pages for the search engine index.
As with all content marketing, your content hub is a way to get more leads and conversions. Be sure you’re including calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your hub and individual pieces of content. The CTA might be different for each piece, depending on what step of the sales or marketing funnel it targets. Examples of appropriate CTAs may include subscribing to your email list, registering for a webinar, or trying a service for free, such as CopyPress‘ content analysis tool.
“CopyPress gives us the ability to work with more dealership groups. We are able to provide unique and fresh content for an ever growing customer base. We know that when we need an influx of content to keep our clients ahead of the game in the automotive landscape, CopyPress can handle these requests with ease.”
Director of SEO at Auto Revo
Once you’ve created the content, you’ve still got work to do. It’s important to still promote your content through other channels, like social media or content syndication. It’s an extra step you can take to make sure all your hard work gets the recognition it deserves. Consider strategic marketing efforts such as:
You can use both short-term and long-term promotion strategies to engage in all the important benefits of content promotion.
Don’t forget to track how each piece of content performs, and the hub as a whole. Especially if your primary goal is better SEO and organic traffic, watch the numbers to know if your efforts are working or if you should change tactics. Metrics you can track include:
Are you still unsure about what a content hub looks like? Check out these 19 examples for ideas and reference:
Using a content hub can better satisfy your customers and search engines. It can increase your organic traffic and lead to more conversions and repeat, loyal customers.
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