Google officials spoke in various explanations to the new ranking algorithm about the importance of content pillars. And marketers developed a strategy to incorporate this content: the hub and spoke content marketing. What exactly is it and how do you plan and execute this new type of strategy? We will give you all the information you need in this article.
Why the Hub and Spoke Content Marketing Strategy?
Google is pushing towards a new search paradigm: one that gives users highly tailored results to their search intent. Using AI and machine learning, the Google algorithm can guess (with great accuracy) what the user is really looking for:
- General information on a topic
- Comparative information on similar items with the intent of making a choice
- A business selling specific items they want to purchase.
This new concept of search imposes changes to the way companies organise their content strategy. The age of promoting keywords is long gone. Now, you have to create clusters of relevant content on topics of interest for your prospective audience. This is, basically what hub and spoke content marketing is.
A More Detailed Explanation of Hub and Spoke Content Strategy
Now, you may have got the gist of what hub and spoke content marketing. But let us dive more in depth and give you a clearer explanation. Let us assume that you are running an insurance broker business. You offer clients home insurance, car insurance and life insurance.
Thus, you already have three large content pillars, for each type of insurance you are saying. But you should create other content hubs for each specific type of insurance. Let us take car insurance. You can create content around the following topics:
- Mandatory third-party liability insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Insurance for new drivers
- Insurance for seniors
- Importance of choosing the right insurance coverage.
Thus, whenever a new website visitor wants to know everything about a specific topic of interest, they can navigate from content piece to content piece, without having to search too much for the information.
How to Create an Effective Hub and Spoke Content Marketing Strategy
Let us move on to the practical part of this article and show you how to develop and implement your hub and spoke content strategy:
1. Research for Long Tail and LSI Keywords
The success of a hub and spoke content marketing strategy depends on using detailed and focused keywords. Starting from your main keywords, look for long tail and long semantic indexing (LSI) keywords.
There are many ways to do it, which we explained in a previous article. Even a basic search will get you dozens of long tail keywords. As for LSI keywords, you can use online tools, such as:
- Related searches on Google.
2. Map Your Keyword in Content Clusters
In the next step, you will create content clusters around main keywords. Thus, you will sift through the long tail and LSI keywords and group them around the main keyword they expand on. For example, for the main keyword “vegan recipes”, you can create a list of detailed keywords, such as:
- Vegan recipes for desserts
- Christmas vegan recipes
- Easter vegan recipes
- Vegan recipes for soup
- Vegan recipes for beginners
- Tasty vegan recipes.
3. Create a Well Organised URL Structure
Once you decide to implement a hub and spoke content marketing strategy, you need to rethink the URL structure of your website. It is the only way of encouraging visitors to explore the entire content cluster and find all the detailed information they want.
Thus, for each core content topic (which contains the main keyword) you need to create a landing page. It should offer the basic details that someone casually searching for information needs. Within the this page, you will include links that take the reader more in depth on the topic, until the most detailed information, which a prospective customer needs to make a purchase decision.
4. Develop a Detailed Content Calendar
When you embark on the journey of hub and spoke content marketing, you must ensure that you devote equal attention to all your content topics. You cannot abandon any of these pillars and leave them without fresh content added to them on a regular basis.
This means that you need to be more organised than ever and use any tool you consider useful to keep track of your content calendar. Consistency in creating content for your key topics is the only way in which you can benefit from this new digital marketing strategy.
5. Revisit, Update and Improve Your Content
Of course, you cannot come up with new topics all the times. There are moments when you are extremely busy, such as during the sales seasons, or when you are simply out of ideas. What do you do, then?
You go back to your existing content pieces and strive to improve and update them. For instance, if a new law on third-party liability insurances for drivers comes into force, you can update your existing article on this topic. Or, when you realise that one of the tips you previously shared has become obsolete, add a “Later edit” paragraph to the article explaining this. Ideally, offer an alternative solution that works.
6. Promote Your Content Pillars on Different Social Media Platforms
You do not want to get your content pillars to compete for attention. But there is a solution for this: alternately promote different content pillar articles on different social media accounts.
For example, you promote the home insurance article on Instagram and the life insurance article on Facebook on one day, and switch on the next day. In this way, all your content pillars will get undivided attention from your followers on all your social media platforms.
7. Track and Measure the Performance of Your Content
Last but not least, remember to track the performance of your hub and spoke content marketing strategy in Google Analytics, as well as in the analytical panels of your social media accounts.
If you notice poor performance from a specific topic cluster, you need to ask yourself:
- Whether you are using the right keywords
- Whether the topic is of interest to your audience
- Whether your approach to the topic is not to their liking.
Hub and spot content marketing is the way of the future. As Google strives to give increasingly relevant search results to users, its algorithm will be further refined to search for content pillars.
This new digital marketing strategy also helps you create a coherent content structure and offers a level of predictability to your content calendar planning. Thus, we believe you should start planning and executing your own hub and spot content marketing strategy as soon as possible.