Your website looks great, is easy to use and you stock high-quality products for a better price than your competitors. Surely there’s nothing else you could possibly do to impress?
Of course, the fact we’re asking that question suggests there is one more thing you can do. One more thing guaranteed to set your website above when it comes to winning over customers and search engines – hub content.
Hub content is an excellent way to boost your content marketing strategy. It lets you maximise the impact of your well-thought-out content, impressing search engines so you can earn higher search rankings as well as helping to convert more customers. It can even make your other marketing efforts easier.
In fact, strong hub content is basically a superpower in the SEO world. Yet not everyone knows how to harness it – or even what it is.
In this post, we’re going to explore exactly how hub content can help eCommerce brands. We’ll explain what it is, as well as the specific benefits it brings. We’ll also show you how to build a content hub that serves your business and your customers.
So if you’re looking to streamline your content strategy with a carefully constructed content hub, read on to find out everything you need to know before you begin
What is hub content?
Hub content (also referred to as ‘hub and spoke’ or ‘pillar’ content) is a collection of content that is built around a single subject or theme.
Using the ‘hub and spoke’ model is probably the easiest way to grasp the concept. Imagine your content hub as a wheel. At the centre sits a broad guide to a subject such as a category page (pillar content).
The ‘spokes’ are pages that give more in-depth information on smaller, specific sections of the main subject.
The hub and spokes are drawn together using hyperlinks – the top-level page will link to every single spoke page, while each individual spoke page links back to the main hub page.
What is an example of hub and spoke content?
A marketing-savvy appliance retailer might have a category page for American Fridge Freezers. This can be turned into the centre of the hub and built out with all the important information customers might need to know before picking their perfect product.
They could include a buying guide, articles on how to clean or maintain an American fridge freezer, instructions on how to install a new fridge freezer, and a size guide to help buyers pick a product.
All these posts will contain expert knowledge and vital tips that provide value to their visitors. Good hub content will target the top, middle, and bottom of the sales funnel too, making sure customers can find everything they need to know without ever leaving the original retailer’s website.
Types of hub content
Even those who understand the concept of hub content sometimes fall into the trap of thinking it can only come in one format.
In reality, the best content hubs feature a number of different content types. They might include:
- Videos such as how-to guides for installing or repairing, explainer videos on how certain products work,
- Diagrams, infographics and picture guides,
- Podcasts and audio-only content,
- PDFs of documents like product manuals,
As well as classic
- Written content such as buying guides, maintenance, installation and troubleshooting guides, frequently asked questions etc.
What is the purpose of a content hub?
Hub content is an excellent way to build trust and establish authority with both customers and search engines.
It does this in a number of different ways but ultimately it proves you are an expert in your industry and can offer the best possible experience and products to your customers.
How does hub content benefit SEO?
High-quality hub content can give a real boost to your SEO, helping you secure higher rankings on search engine result pages. Of course, Google likes to keep the exact intricacies of ranking factors to themselves, but here are some ways your organic search performance might be boosted by a content hub crammed with relevant content:
- Improving your link authority,
- Increasing your subject authority,
- Increasing engagement.
Improving link authority
Use strategic internal links across your articles and all your content will benefit from increased ‘linked authority’ from these backlinks to other high-quality content.
Increasing subject authority
Individual articles in a content hub are a great place to build semantic relationships between content with clever internal linking and anchor text. This can help Google see that your website is authoritative on the topic you are exploring, and rank your site higher as a result.
A well-constructed content hub will lead your website visitors to move between multiple pages of content. This will show Google that your site provides visitors with plenty of value.
How does hub content benefit customers?
The benefits of hub content aren’t restricted to impressing search engines either.
It builds trust with customers by showcasing your expertise and experience as well as convincing them of the quality of the products. It also shows you understand their needs, and that you care they are making an informed decision – which are both trust signals.
A well-crafted content hub will collect all the information your customers need to know in one easy-to-navigate place. It will also stop them from disappearing to other websites to answer their questions, making them more likely to convert while on your site rather than your competitors.
What other benefits does hub content bring for you?
While the benefits to SEO and customers are reason enough for eCommerce brands to use content hubs, it can even make your own life easier.
For example, your hub content can be repurposed to use in other channels such as social media. Share the information it contains, include backlinks and eye-catching graphics, and you’ll have a rich source of inspiration for posts that draw plenty of referral traffic back.
The process of planning and monitoring hub content will also help you learn more about your target audience. It will let you see how they use your website, discover what content is truly engaging them and find out what is converting them into customers.
You can then use these insights to improve your content strategy, inform future content, product development and business decisions plus help you increase your conversion rate through working with these considerations in mind.
How is a hub page different from a blog post?
The main difference between a hub page and a blog post simply comes down to their location. Themed hub content is collected all in one place whereas blog posts are arranged chronologically, often making them more difficult to find and move between.
There are also subtle but important differences in topic and theme between blog posts and hub content.
Hub content should be highly relevant to the subject it is supporting – it should be directly related, based on questions a potential customer would ask as part of their buying journey. Blog posts can afford to be more tangential, or focus on a more generalised topic.
For example, our previously mentioned appliance retailer might choose to have a blog post on how to design a kitchen that includes advice on how to position their appliances. But if the retailer wanted something specifically discussing the logistics of locating an integrated oven, including the safety concerns of how high it can sit, that would be better suited to an oven-related content hub.
Hub content should also be evergreen. It should be of use and interest at any time and regularly updated to make sure the information it shares is current. In contrast, a blog post could be seasonal, timed to a specific event or trend or follow a change in regulations, use or guidance.
How do I create hub content?
A successful content hub should be a comprehensive resource for web visitors and send strategic signals to search engines. Following these steps will streamline the process while making sure you create something of value.
- Identify your target audience and the purpose of your content
The more you know before you start your hub the easier it will be – both for creating the content and deciding what to include. If you don’t know your target audience, how can you create content that will serve them?
- Find your main topic and subtopics
Start with keyword research. This can help highlight topics that are relevant to customers and seen as relevant by search engines.
Once you’ve picked out your main topic, subtopics should be easy to find. Just make sure they all relate to your original topic – if you start to think of subtopics that don’t quite fit that are somewhat relevant but don’t quite fit then hold them back. You can use them for blog posts or even another content hub on a more relevant subject.
- Look at your current blogs and see what you can combine and move
If you have a blog built on keyword research and a customer focus you’ll probably already have some subject-relevant content squirrelled away in your post history. Repurposing or combining content can be a lot quicker and easier than building out new posts from scratch – just make sure to stick to relevant content only – there are no quick wins to be had from trying to shoehorn relevancy.
- Start writing your new content
With all this in-depth research already, writing individual pieces for your content hub will go a lot smoother. Start with just a couple of posts (plus your repurposed content) to get a better idea of the extra work involved, and plan each post carefully before you start so you don’t end up repeating yourself across multiple posts.
- Upload your posts and insert internal linking
Once you’ve got a couple of posts live make sure to check for any internal linking opportunities. As content hubs focus on similar information there’s likely to be plenty of options to build connections between your pages to help search engines and customers on their journey around your website.
3 tips for building high-performing hub content
Quality not quantity
Especially in the age of AI, people seem to think that creating a hundred pages of content with no reliable information or genuine help, is the key to SEO success.
In reality, every year Google launches updates to weed out websites that use this tactic.
Instead of pumping out pages that are keyword-stuffed and wafer-thin, take the time to do fewer pieces well, filled with in-depth information and useful guidance. Build up your content hub slowly but sustainably and you’ll see long-term results without having to worry about major changes later down the line.
Don’t skimp on the research
Sorry if we sound like a stuck record, but it’s impossible to overstate just how important it is to base your hub content on careful research. As valuable as content hubs can be, they are also time-consuming to create and you don’t want to pour hours into creating content that fails to perform because it’s irrelevant to your customers.
Another great place to look for ideas is by talking to your team. What questions do customers ask most often, or what concerns do they report after purchasing. Clearing all this up in hub content can ease the buyer journey considerably
PAAs are your friend
If you’re struggling to know what your content should cover, or how to show Google you are meeting the needs of your users, People Also Asked questions offer invaluable insight.
These show commonly asked questions related to your keywords so they make a great resource for building your hub content. Use one as a subject for an entire article, or use a couple at once to give more wide-ranging
Building a relevant, optimised and informative content hub is a surefire way to boost the impact of your website. But doing it successfully takes time, effort and expertise. If you don’t have the capacity to invest these yourself, we at Boom can take care of the hard work for you. As part of our SEO Services, we will craft a carefully researched and fully optimised content hub, that shows the very best of your business to boost your SEO and impress your customers.