Creating valuable and engaging content is critical for businesses looking to attract and retain an audience organically. Developing a thoughtful content marketing strategy helps companies build brand awareness and loyalty, provide useful information to prospective customers, and position themselves as an industry authority.
But simply producing more website content isn’t always the answer; there must be a method to the madness. This is where a content hub comes in. This article explores how to build a performant content hub and the benefits this focused content strategy can provide.
What is a content hub?
A content hub is a centralized collection of in-depth content focused on a specific topic that serves as an authoritative resource. This approach enables you to strategically organize content, often in clusters, to provide comprehensive information to readers. A content hub aligns topics and messaging, optimizing for discoverability. This system allows easy navigation to subtopics, and also makes content production and distribution more efficient and effective.
The goal of a content hub is to be the go-to destination for users interested in learning more about the particular topic, as well as to establish domain authority and increase organic visibility.
Content hub example
Fitbit specializes in health and fitness wearables, offering trackers and smartwatches to monitor activity and well-being. On its website, the brand has content hubs categorized into sections including activity, nutrition, stress, and sleep. Each hub presents a wealth of articles, offering everything from workout tips to advice on better rest, showcasing Fitbit’s dedication to fostering a holistic health journey for its customers.
5 types of content hubs
Content hubs come in various forms, each tailored to meet the goals of a business and the informational needs of its audience. Here are five different types of content hubs:
The hub-and-spoke model uses a central hub page to provide an overview of content on a broad subject, while various subpages or “spokes” branch out with more detailed explorations of related subtopics. While the core hub page targets a primary keyword, the spokes aim at long-tail keywords and FAQs, forming an extensive repository of information requiring minimal updates.
This model is advantageous for crafting evergreen content that remains relevant over time. For instance, a hub page could broadly cover “smart home automation.” The spoke pages might delve into specific areas such as “energy-saving smart thermostats,” “secure smart lock systems,” and “integrated smart lighting solutions.”
A content library is a more expansive type of content hub, offering a wealth of topics on a neatly organized digital shelf. A landing page serves as a directory, guiding visitors to grouped themes and categories for easy navigation. With a content library format, each broad topic gets a dedicated pillar page corralling all the relevant pieces into subgroups, making it easy for readers to delve into specific subjects.
The content library model is ideal for blog homepages or resource sections, ensuring evergreen pieces are as accessible as the latest posts. When your content covers a broad range of topics, a content library allows for a blend of diversity and order. A content library housed on a homepage could offer a navigation option titled “home office essentials” with a submenu linking to pages on “ergonomic chair selections,” “high-tech desk gadgets,” and “desk organizational tools.”
A topic gateway zeroes in on one primary subject, presenting a more focused deep dive than a content library. It begins with a static page offering a high-level overview of the main topic, which then funnels readers to a wealth of in-depth content on related subtopics through in-text links. Wikipedia pages are a prominent example of this.
A topic gateway format enriches the user experience by combining evergreen content with a dynamic feed of the latest articles and updates. A topic gateway for a fashion retailer might feature an overview page on “sustainable fashion” linking to in-depth resources on “organic cotton fabrics,” “eco-friendly manufacturing processes,” and a dynamic section with the latest on “emerging sustainable designers.”
Content databases are designed to handle and organize many content marketing materials, such as articles, videos, and infographics. With advanced filtering, search functionalities, and automated categorization, content databases provide a user-friendly experience, even when dealing with many content types and topics, making them perfect for sites with rich and diverse content offerings.
These databases are a strong choice when users need to filter and search through many options to pinpoint the content that fits their needs. For example, a content database for a home improvement retail chain may offer a searchable collection of DIY guides, product videos, and instructional demos across topics. Multiple filter options would allow users to define their search by content type (blog, demo, etc.) or topic (kitchen remodels, garden landscaping) to help them find what they need.
A topic matrix hub organizes informational content through a meticulously crafted URL and folder structure. It starts with a pillar page focused on a broad, evergreen topic and branches into subtopics following a logical and uniform URL pathway. Medical sites commonly use this technique, such as a main “Diseases” page with subpages for specific conditions, neatly organized under a consistent URL structure. This method improves SEO while providing a clear navigation path for website visitors.
The topic matrix takes a template-driven approach, allowing for the efficient creation of content that sticks to a uniform format. This is beneficial for ecommerce businesses, enabling them to deliver detailed product information with consistency across multiple product categories. A fashion retailer could use a topic matrix to organize their content by starting with a pillar page about seasonal trends, which then breaks down into subpages for specific items, like “winter boots” or “summer dresses,” each with a consistent URL structure.
How to create a content hub
- Develop a content hub strategy
- Conduct SEO research
- Develop and publish content
- Create a distribution strategy
- Prioritize link-building
- Track content hub performance
Creating a content hub makes your content more accessible for your target audience and helps increase organic traffic through search engines. Here’s an outline to help you create a content hub for your website:
1. Develop a content hub strategy
Begin with a content strategy that defines your target audience and business goals. Is your content hub meant to drive users toward a purchase, provide them with information about how to use your products and services, or demonstrate your expertise on a few select topics? Consider the user journey and what kinds of topic clusters and subtopic pages would be most useful to your customers. Use this knowledge to inform your decision about what kind of content hub format (content library, topic gateway, etc.) to create.
2. Conduct SEO research
Research keywords to identify how to organize content into topic clusters, ensuring your hub aligns with search engines’ criteria for topic relevance. Effective SEO research can uncover what your audience is seeking, guiding the structure and content of your hub. Comprehensive SEO planning ensures your main page and related content appear in relevant searches, drawing the visitors whose search intent aligns with your content.
3. Develop and publish content
When developing your content, focus on a mixture of in-depth analyses and overviews to encourage visitors to explore related topics within your hub. Create content aligned with the topic clusters defined in your strategy, which will help position your hub as a go-to resource. Use SEO best practices to inform your writing so your content is more likely to show up on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Finally, choose a content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily organize, tag, and publish your content.
4. Create a distribution strategy
While search engines can serve as a primary content distribution channel, leverage social media marketing, email marketing, marketing campaigns, and online communities to distribute the materials in your content hub. These platforms can amplify reach and drive diverse traffic back to your hub.
5. Prioritize link-building
Ensure each piece of content in your hub includes strategic internal links to guide the reader to more of your existing content, creating a network within your hub. Incorporate strategic backlinks by connecting internal content with relevant external sources, increasing credibility and organic traffic. Use guest blogging, engage with social media influencers, or collaborate with reputable publications to gain backlinks to your content.
6. Track content hub performance
Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor how visitors interact with your hub. Track metrics such as page views and time spent on the page to understand which content resonates most. Analyze the performance of both the hub as a whole and individual pieces of content to identify opportunities for improvement and optimization.
Content hub FAQ
What should be included in a content hub?
A content hub should include a central page leading to interconnected content, such as articles or interactive content, all organized around a cohesive theme or subject.
What makes a good content hub?
A good content hub provides value through high-quality and relevant content. To achieve this, prioritize well-organized and easily navigable content encouraging users to engage and explore deeper into related topics.
Is there a type of content hub that is the best?
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all content hub or a right or wrong way to create one. Whether it’s a content library, topic gateway, or another format, the best content hub effectively serves both the audience’s needs and the brand’s objectives.