The past decade has been nothing but revolutionary. Digital marketing went from keyword-stuffed blog posts to high-quality, thought-provoking content being a must-have. The hub and spoke content model is an efficient strategy in delivering such content.
While it isn’t new, most marketers are yet to grasp just how powerful the content spoke strategy is, which is why this article will break down everything you need to know about the hub and spoke model.
What is the Hub and Spoke Content Marketing Strategy?
Famously known as the pillar content, the hub and spoke model is a content marketing strategy based on creating topically related and linked content to increase ranking and drive quality traffic. Simply put, create one main piece of content as the hub, followed by a series of related content to support and promote it. These are the spokes.
For instance, if your goal is to boost ranking for inbound marketing content, you’ll publish one main piece of content discussing all relevant information, followed by a series of blog posts on related topics such as the best inbound marketing strategies.
This will boost keyword ranking and deliver valuable insights to the reader with each spoke you share, conversely positioning your enterprise as an authority in that topic. Since hub and spokes are essentially interlinked using hyperlinks, this content strategy also enhances site navigation for your readers.
The hub could be longer content such as a whitepaper, e-book, or an ultimate guide, while the spokes could be anything from social media posts, blogs to newsletters.
Why is the Hub-and-Spoke Model Important for SEO and Content Marketing?
A hub and spoke model for content is a must-have tool in every SEO service and content marketer’s array because:
It Improves Ranking
The pillar content strategy is one of the most effective ways to improve rankings for your site. Because the hub page (case study, whitepaper, etc.) often covers the main topic extensively, allowing you to increase online visibility and maximize other SEO-related benefits of long-form content.
Also, since you’ll be covering the same subject from different angles, it enables you to increase the keyword volume and incorporate relevant keywords naturally, creating a copy Google and other search engines will easily understand. This also has the opportunity to improve your organic traffic.
For instance, our Lancaster SEO Company marketers can use the hub to optimize for the primary keywords and then use a mix of primary and long-tail keywords in blogs and other spokes to boost keyword volume. As a result, you get more real estate for hyperlinks, resulting in better online visibility and superior SERP rankings.
Pillar Content Positions Brands as Authorities
Instead of writing for search engines, the hub-and-spoke content strategy enables you to create natural and actionable content that solves actual problems. That means content without stuffed keywords or links, but quality content that reads natural and provides readers with valuable insights.
Moreover, you can explain and break down niche topics in a series of blogs. This is an excellent strategy for marketing new products or services since you can discuss each product feature more in-depth. The result? Your prospects will love the content because they derive practical value from it.
When customers purchase the products or enlist your services, you can bet they’ll reference your content in case they run into a challenge. And when they do so, and it works like clockwork, they’ll credit you as a market leader in your niche. Such is the privilege pillar content can earn your brand.
Remember that the more valuable and readable your content is, the longer your audience will stay on your website. More time on site is excellent for online visibility and overall credibility. So, if you’re serious about improving ranking and positioning your brand as an authority, hub, and spokes is the way to go.
Leads Prospects Down the Sales Funnel
Pillar content is an effective way to lead prospects down the sales funnel. By covering a broad topic using whitepapers, case studies, and other similar types of content through the hub, you’re introducing your audience to the subject on the whole.
The links you incorporate in your pillar content will lead readers to the spokes that dissect the nitty-gritty. In turn, the spokes will address the user’s pain points in detail and subtly draw them to your other product offerings.
For instance, if you create a guide on inbound marketing covering the main principles of inbound marketing, best practices, and pro tips, you’ll capture and retain your prospect’s attention all through the guide as they’ll want to know the expert tips. In the end, prospects will be more receptive to your CTA because they trust your knowledge. This will compel them to check out your inbound marketing solutions, and some will convert.
How Does the Hub-and-Spoke Model Work?
The hub-and-spoke model is modeled after a spoked wheel. In this case, the hub is the main page or topic we create content about, while the spokes are the supporting subtopics that advance the main topics. Just as with the wheel, the hub and spokes work in tandem. The spokes build around the hub by increasing the moment of inertia (supporting content) that strengthens the wheel (your website) to support the rider’s weight (your web traffic).
Let’s put it into context in a more market-friendly approach. If you were to create a white paper on inbound marketing, it would be a long shot to drive enough traffic from the whitepaper only. Similarly, if you were to write a blog on the benefits of inbound marketing without the white paper, you would fall short of traffic too. But with the whitepaper, and the blog posts complementing each other, your content marketing strategy will be a win-win — you get traffic, and the reader gets value.
The hub-and-spokes strategy is effective because it helps increase content volume geared towards a specific topic on your website. The more relevant and valuable your content is to your readers, the more they’ll perceive your brand as the expert.
Also, the more content you create, the more natural you can incorporate the keywords meaning even Google will love crawling your site, leading to increased rankings.
4 Step Hub-and Spoke Content Process
While there’s no arguing the hub-and-spoke content strategy is one of the best, it’s only as good as you make it. Here’s how to execute the pillar content strategy to improve your rankings and establish authority:
1. Start with Keyword Research
Before anything else, conduct comprehensive keyword research to find your targeted keywords. This plays a role in having a successful hub-and-spoke marketing campaign. Researching keywords is the process of researching industry-specific phrases the target audience is using to find businesses and products online.
Proper keyword research is the thin line between the success and failure of any digital marketing campaign, including the pillar content strategy.
Researching keywords is similar to browsing your prospect’s mind to find out and predict how they search for your products and services online. Thus, you can’t afford to get it wrong. Proper keyword research enables you to:
- Assess where you rank for specific keywords
- Find high search volume keywords for the topic at hand
- Identify the keywords with low competition
- Spy on your competitors’ keyword strategies
2. Identify Your Topics
Identifying the suitable topics to include in a hub-and-spoke campaign is often a puzzle for most marketers, but it should be a tad easier with proper keyword research. You’ll have already determined the keywords buyers use to search for products and appraised your competitor’s strategies.
With this data, you can refine your topics to address the reader’s pain points appropriately, way better than your competition. It’ll also be easier to create unique thought leadership content the readers haven’t seen before, consequently proving authority.
3. Get Other Stakeholders Involved
The hub-and-spoke content marketing strategy is diverse, and it’s virtually impossible to pull it off single-handedly. It would be best if you had a more hands-on deck. From the onset, involve as many departments as you can — IT, legal, product development teams — and other external stakeholders like quality assurance authority.
This allows you to emphasize the essence of your marketing campaign, break down what’s needed, and brief all personnel involved to ensure they’re well prepared for the task ahead. This is assuming you have your sidekicks (content writers) looped in from the inception of your marketing campaign.
4. Track Results, Celebrate the Wins and Re-Strategize
Once your hub-and-spoke content marketing campaign is up, the difficult part (researching keywords, selecting topics, and creating content) is all done. However, that’s no green light to hit the sack. You’ll need to monitor the results, see if your hard work is paying off. Campaign tracking lets you identify any loopholes in your hub and spoke strategy so you can fix it in time and better prepare for the next one.
Before launching your campaign, set up reporting and campaign tracking tools such as Google Analytics and SEMRush to track targeted and supporting keywords, also monitor scroll depth, traffic, lead conversion rate, bounce rate, and time on page.
Finally, ensure you share your wins with the team — no matter how small — as this can motivate them.
Propel Your Business to Success
The hub and spoke strategy are one of the most effective marketing campaign strategies. In a marketing realm filled with clutter, this content marketing strategy lets you cut through the noise and helps you deliver engaging, valuable, and action-inspiring content.
It also makes content creation for your marketing campaigns fun since you get to create and write content you’ll enjoy instead of writing for search engines.
Pillar content is a must-have in your digital marketing strategy if you want your brand to stand out from the competition. Truly, hub and spoke content marketing is not a project you can complete overnight, and we understand if it feels overwhelming.
Everything worth achieving is done with a partner and Trusted Search Marketing is at your beck and call. Reach out today, and let’s chat! Let us help you design a winning hub and spoke marketing strategy.