We’ve all been told that creating good content is only half the battle if you want to increase traffic and boost your search engine results in Google. The theory being that your content also has to be shared across the web by a targeted audience interested in what you have to say.
But I want to suggest that good content is only a third of the battle. In addition to creating good content that gets shared, your content also needs to be well positioned on your site with each new piece of content improving the overall authority of the website. You need to know how to create a content hub.
Not only is this good user experience, it’s what you would expect any Professional SEO Service to tell you.
The content strategy I have in mind has been referred to as “Content Hubs“.
What is a Content Hub?
Definition: Content Hubs are a way of organising the work you publish, whether it’s rich media, video or the written word, that tells Google’s search engine (and your audience) which pieces of content are the most important on your site.
In addition to knowing how to present and optimise a single piece of content for maximum results in Google, I have seen over and over again, the positive effect a well organised Content Hub can have on the search engine position of a web page.
This tutorial will show you how to:
- Plan Your Content Hub
- Maximise Your Keyword Potential
- Boost Your Search Position Through Internal Linking
How to Create a Content Hub
1. Plan Your Content Hub
Content hubs enable you to organise your articles, posts, video or other media around certain subjects in a way that tells search engines and users which content is most important.
Let’s say you have a survival site that is looking to earn revenue from the promotion of affiliate products in the survival and emergency niche. Here is what you would do…
- Decide on the major topics
- Organise them by page and according to revenue and ranking potential
- Design your site and content layout to highlight these major topics
Your site should make it clear to the user what action you want them to take. It should also make plan what it is you value most – what you offer.
Design your sites navigation and calls to action so that they point directly to your most lucrative or most important pages, product or service.
This may seem fundamental, but it is amazing how websites’ that are most interested in selling fishing gear (for example) give so much page real estate to secondary aspects of their business.
Shipping information, blog articles and unwanted animations and social media activity widgets come to mind.
As Victor Gamez from Percolate put it,
“Content Hubs can be a key pillar in your strategy to move inbound prospective customers down the marketing funnel towards purchase.”
Think about the end goal and make sure your design and content layout and creation are slick, clean and clear.
You need to have a clear view of what you are aiming to achieve. All your content will serve one of two purposes:
- As primary or hero pages, they will be optimised for sharing, converting and ranking in Google
- As secondary pages, they will strengthen page authority in Google for your money or hero pages
2. Maximise Your Hub Keyword Potential
Are keywords a thing of the past? Not by a long shot. As long as people are using words and not Morse Code to find things in search engines, keywords will continue to dominate the search engine landscape.
Once you have your primary and secondary topics, products or services in place, it’s time to maximise the use of your keywords. Here is what you need to do:
- Decide on the best long term competitive keywords
- List the most relevant complimentary keywords for those top keywords
- Use those keywords in the most obvious places
Everyone has their own barrel of tools for researching keywords for effective search engine optimisation. Mine is pretty simple. Use Google’s search suggest which appears at the bottom of every search query page. Simple, but very effective.
Decide on your Most important Article
Suppose you are in to survival gear….
Your best long term keywords might be “Bug out Bag Guides”, “Survival Tactics” and “Survival Tools”.
Of these three, your biggest money making term might be “Bug Out Bag Guides” because you hope to sell complete bug out bag or survival kits through an Affiliate like Amazon.
So, “Bug out Bag Guides” is going to be a primary navigation, display ad or menu item on your site. It’s going to link to all your bug out bag guides.
Now, think about those guides. What information are they going to contain? Well, presumably:
- The kinds of bags you can buy
- What’s in them (tools)
- What kind of situations they are best used in (tactics)
From here you need to decide which Bug out Bag you are going to write about first. This will determine your primary long tail keyword. Let’s choose a bag for cats.
It will appear in your title: “Best Bug out Bag Guide for Your Pet Cat”. Notice I have narrowed the niche from the sites over all purpose (Bug out Bags) to a particular market (a guide for cat owners).
This Guide will be your biggest and best article in the hierarchy of articles you are about to produce.
With this article under your belt, you want to maximise your keywords by creating articles that are relevant but focus on an even tighter niche keyword related to your hero article (most important, foundational, money-making article).
Go back to the outline above which talks about what those Guides contain. You now have your secondary articles and keywords all worked out for you.
What’s in the Bug out Bag? An EDC Knife!
When will you need this knife? In certain emergency situations. Situations that call for you to have a bug out bag.
What are you Accomplishing? You are building up a powerhouse of:
- Relevant keywords for your site (Bug out Bag)
- Naturally related articles (Bags, gear, tactics)
- Content that is likely going to keep people on site longer
Here is my example.
I now have three articles. My hero article is going after my major keyword: Bug out Bag Guide. It is then narrowed down to a Guide for Cat owners.
I have also written two more articles that relate the Guide in some meaningful way. One is a review of a camping knife, the other is about how to find clean water. I could add many more specific articles to this Content Hub.
Productive Synergy, an Australian Web Agency, nails it when they write,
“A Content Hub builds Trust. It helps your business to become a thought leader, an industry expert, and a trusted source of important information.”
I could even drill down further and have a third tier: A tier of articles that each review a different kind of knife.
The idea behind my Hub example is to create ghetto’s of related content that are unique and relevant both to Google and to users. But the real power punch is in the final step.
“There are loads of good reasons to opt for content hubs, such as:
- They enable brands to comprehensively offer information
- They incite more engagement (time spent on site)
- They build trust with the consumer
- They generate more social sharing
- They improve keyword visibility
- They improve the chances of Google identifying your site as an authoritative source
Here are some tips for those thinking of introducing a content hub to their site:
- Don’t underestimate the task at hand. You’ll need significant writing and web development resources if you want to become an authority in your field
Good quality content is key.
- Make sure those that supply your content know what they are talking about.
- If you can hire experts, go for it. If not, try and use the same writers so they can build up their knowledge.
- Find gaps in the market and fill them.
- Keyword research isn’t everything, but you need to know what has been covered before and what’s up for grabs. If you do need to go for the same phrases as everyone else, make your content better and longer
Finally, shout about what you write. Don’t just leave it sat there – promote it as much as you can across social media, mailing lists etc. Make contact with others in your field and share resources. You’ll make a name for yourself too.”
Your keywords will be used to narrow your niche as much as possible and used so that they:
- Create a hierarchy of subsequent articles
- Make plain to Google the niche and purpose your website serves
3. Boost Search Position Through Linking
You now have a small but powerful content hub. You can increase it’s impact by adding further articles in the second tier. You can increase it again by adding more niche specific articles in a third tier.
Once you have put a hub like this together, it’s time to throw down the hammer and convoy.
Did you know that your internal links are counted by Google as back links?
With Your Content Hub now in place, it’s time to start linking the articles together in a meangful and powerful way.
Rules for Internal Content Hub Linking
- Lower tiers always point up
- Articles within a tier may point horizontally
- Higher tier articles must never point down.
- No two articles should point at each other
Link anchor text for each internal link should vary. The anchor text might include keywords, a key concept, a naked URL or a casual statement such as, “You can view my complete Guide here…”
You could link horizontally when appropriate. So, for example, your article on clean water might naturally point out that water is a great way to keep your cats fur clean of dirt.
A Cat comb would also be needed to keep your cat clean… and there’s your link.
Content Hubs are linked together internally in order to:
- Boost page authority of the most important content
- Create clear navigation for site users and Search engines
Over time you will create multiple content hubs. Each will be separated according to the topic you are trying to gain traction for in Google.
The beauty of Content Hubs is that they help you visualise and organise your thoughts. The process is a fantastic way of generating content ideas since the hub determines what needs to be written.
Most importantly, this form of content organisation is one that Google continues to favour because it helps your end users to navigate through your site in a logical and coherent manner. It also creates the link structure needed by Google to determine your most valuable content and then rank it accordingly.