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How can you use categories and tags to improve your site architecture and Google rankings? Content hubs!
Despite powering a third of the internet, WordPress has largely ignored the Categories and Tags function of its platform. The technology has remained the same for years, much to the frustration of professional bloggers everywhere.
No matter how good your digital content is, it won’t attract visitors to your site just by itself. While users do want quality posts, articles, videos, or any other kind of content, they also want the content to be properly organized, well-structured, and easy to navigate. Organizing your content boosts your SEO and provides better access to the blog readers.
The most powerful method for blog post organization at your disposal to do this is a content hub.
What is a Content Hub?
Simply put, a content hub is an organized and systematized collection of content. It’s a single page, often derived from a Category page, on a niche site featuring a mix of static information and curated content focused on a certain topic.
Content hubs are the main resource for your audience searching for information on a particular subject matter. They’re somewhere between a page and a blog post feed. The bigger and more diverse the blog, the more useful content hubs can be for a niche site.
Content hubs can be housed across numerous different WordPress Pages and they can be made in various formats. The purpose of content hubs is to make navigation to the relevant blog posts of a website as easy as possible and allow visitors to effortlessly do a deep dive and find out more about a topic.
The organization is key, especially if you have several hundred posts on your blogs across a handful of categories. Creating dozens of links organized into subcategories might be required.
Types of Content Hubs
When creating a content hub, you can use a couple of different approaches to organizing your online location.
Hub and Spoke
Hub and Spoke is the most common type of content hub. It generally involves a single pillar page (hub) with broad information on the topic and a number of subpages (spokes) providing more in-depth information.
If your hub covers various topics revolving around a common theme, you can structure it as a Content Library. This type of content hub starts with an index page listing different subtopic categories. Each of these categories will then further index its own subtopic pages.
Topic Gateways offer a well-organized Content Library with one major piece of hub content providing a more broad overview of the topic which then links to all the various supporting pieces. Topic Gateways work best for hubs featuring extensive information on a rather narrow topic.
If you have too many posts to be practically listed on a traditional content hub, you should go with a Content Database. It works similar to a data repository, allowing users to filter the content by various criteria.
Content Hub Benefits
Content hubs are a popular tool for a good reason, as they bring numerous benefits to content creators.
Developing a strong interlinking strategy helps you control the content structure and highlights your expertise. This further increases your topical authority and boosts your credibility with search engines.
Having all your best blog posts on a subject in one place increases their visibility, delivering more traffic to your site. The structured content helps search engine bots and crawlers better understand your site and its place within the online coverage of a certain theme.
More than likely, creating a content hub will keep the visitors on your site longer and have them come back. This helps you achieve high visitor engagement which is one of the main factors in how Google will rank your page.
A content hub is also a great marketing strategy tool. It will enable you to lead customers to your sales funnel, generating more leads and sales. It’s irreplaceable when it comes to building trust and relationships with your target audience.
How to Create a Content Hub for Your Blog
The key to a good content hub is finding the right topic. It should be relevant to the brand, something you have plenty of expertise in, and broad enough to produce multiple subtopics. However, it should be focused enough to allow visitors to find everything they want with just a few clicks.
Next is selecting and categorizing subtopics, deciding on how they will appear on the page, what types of content to include, and choosing the structure for your content hub. It’s essential that you properly implement internal linking so that every new piece of content links to relevant articles within the hub and the pillar post.
Use a Unique Category Page Title
If you’re going to index your Category pages, they need to have unique titles that don’t compete with your existing blog posts. You can use the Yoast plugin to change the default title.
Always Add a Category Description
Always add a Category Description for each category. This helps Google understand that valuable content appears on that page. It also clarifies user intent.
Link to Any Subcategories
Below the description, you should have all the subcategories listed and properly linked to users can dive deeper right away if they want to.
Put the Most Important Posts at the Top
Put a mix of the most important and/or popular blog posts at the top of this page. This will increase your engagement and prevent folks from dropping off the page.
Most Important Posts Followed by Latest Posts
In most cases, the main hub page will feature a pillar post, a long-form piece of content that comprehensively and extensively covers the topic, first and foremost at the top.
Once you have the pillar post in place, you should follow it up with a series of shorter posts that cover the main theme in more detail, creating something called Pillar Post Sequence.
Every time you write a new shorter piece you should make sure to add a link to it in your pillar post and, if possible, add a link in your latest post leading to the pillar post. This will ensure that readers always get an answer to their next question and keep them engaged and clicking around your site.
I noticed that pages were getting indexed on my website I deactivated pagination to prevent this. The benefit is also that your number of clicks from the homepage will go down. Remove pagination on your Category page so that users can scroll down and see all the information effortlessly.
Content Hub Examples
Here are two examples of Content Hubs I believe are well-designed:
PS. You may be wondering how to only show parent Category posts.
I hope this post helped you understand content hubs better!