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What is it and how does it work?

What is it and how does it work?

Have you ever started reading about a particular topic and ended up three hours down the rabbit hole with a whole new set of in-depth knowledge around it?

This may be more common today with watching a show on Netflix or scrolling endlessly on TikTok today, but it is also perfect as a content strategy.

When you create current content, it becomes difficult to get all the relevant information on a page.

This is where implementing a hub-and-spoken content marketing model can help.

The hub-and-spoke model is a great way to not only become more relevant around a topic, but can also help you increase keyword rankings, traffic, and downstream metrics such as conversions, leads, and sales.

Applying this strategy to a client recently ran:

328% increase in keywords on page 1,741% increase in keywords on page 2. Ranking # 1 for our targeted keywords on the hub page.

In this column you will learn what it is, how it works and a 4-step process to produce your own hub and speech content.

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What is a Hub-and-Spoke model for content marketing?

Think of a wheel and all the spokes pointing outward from the center.

The hub is the most important topic we want to create more authority around and rank better on.

The Spokes are all the supporting content related to our main topic that helps increase our authority in the eyes of Google.

From a keyword research perspective, we can think of it as:

Hub: High volume (usually transactional) targeted keywords. For example, search engine optimization services (SEO) Spoken: Lower volume and longer tail / supporting keywords (usually informational). For example, content that explains what SEO is and how it can be beneficial to you.

The main goal of the hub-and-spoke model is not only to increase your keyword rankings in general around the topic, but also to increase your ranking around the main name, preferably in the first position.

Why is the Hub-and-Spoke model important for SEO and Content Marketing?

Three of the key ways in which the hub-and-spoke model is important for content marketing and SEO are:

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It creates authority around a topic via more relevant content. It increases the total keywords we rank for. It generates more organic traffic and leads.

The best way to become more authoritative around a single topic is to show Google that you know what you are talking about and that you are the resource around it.

The Hub site is likely to become one of our main services / business units. It is important that we carefully consider what our spoken content will be to ensure that it is the most relevant.

The hub-and-spoke model in content marketing takes a lot of resources and time to make sure we get it right. I hope to cut some of the learning curve for you here.

How does the Hub-and-Spoke model work?

The hub-and-numbers model works by creating more content around one of our business lines or services.

The more relevant content we have on our site, the more Google and the user connect with it.

Most of the hub-and-spoke content we want to write will be focused on evergreen content that is informative or comparative.

This is beneficial because even if the customer is not ready to convert yet, they will definitely remember where they read about it when learning about a topic. This will make them more likely to return to our site and convert later.

Let’s learn more about the different steps we can take to get this off the ground.

4-step hub-and-talk content process

1. Keyword research to understand search the demand landscape

I firmly believe in keyword research.

It’s table bread and butter at a restaurant. It is absolutely necessary before you start the meal – or in this case to create a landing page or a piece of content.

Without doing keyword research, we can not understand what the customer is looking for around our topic.

The hub-and-spoke model can only work if there is customer demand around the topic and we have not yet addressed it on our site. Since we can not create demand, we need to conduct this survey to match our customer’s voice.

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By doing keyword research, we begin to see content gaps and opportunities in what is already out there.

Additionally, one of the best ways to get more buy-in around content resources is to show managers what our competitors are writing content around and how much visibility we are missing out on.

After completing your keyword research, the fun can begin.

2. Decide which spoken topics you want to write

There are different ways to prioritize content based on the keywords we researched around.

Business needs / service line

Ask yourself “Do we offer this service / product?” If you do not, it may not be appropriate to start writing content around.

Ask, is this the most important service we offer our main audience?

If you have many different services, start writing content around the audience your business cares about the most.

Keywords with high search volume (MSV)

Are there high search volume keywords that we are missing content about? This is one of the easiest ways to prioritize content, as you can clearly see how much visibility (search volume) you are missing out on.

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This is the easiest way to show managers the amount of traffic you could potentially receive if you ranked better for these keywords / topics.

Competitive content gap

Are there keywords that our competitors significantly surpass us for?

How much content do they have around the topic?

This is a clear way to prioritize which topics you might want to write, as if your direct competitors are ranking keywords, it is probably also necessary to create content around this topic.

Note: When you do this keyword research, you are likely to discover new new and organic competitors. Do not ignore them!

This is a great way to find out what content you might want to write, because even if they are not your direct competitors, users may end up clicking on them instead of you.

In the end, you are the expert in the company about what services / products you sell and what you can be relevant about.

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If we are in the plumbing industry, we probably should not write content about how to make charcuterie boards.

Make sure you choose relevant content for your audience, but not too restrictive, because the goal of the hub-and-spoke model is to create a lot of content around the topic.

Work with other internal stakeholders to write, design and approve content

It takes a village to raise a child. The same can be said when writing speech content related to our main subsidy.

We need to make sure we communicate what we plan to do with all the other stakeholders that may be involved.

It is important to ensure that all of these internal members understand how important SEO is across the organization and why we need to plan this with all the different departments.

In my experience, it is best to do this as early as possible because you never know what bureaucracy you may encounter.

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When writing new content, we may need to involve:

Content writers

It is the writers who have to write the evergreen speech content.

We need to make sure they are kept in the loop during the keyword research phase so that they understand which relevant keywords we are trying to target on each page and why.

We want to make sure we have targeted and unique keywords on each page so that this content is optimized correctly and does not target the same keywords on each page.

Product or design strategist / Dev teams

When new content comes live on our site, we need to make sure that all the technical and design aspects are considered.

This is important because we want to ensure that the development and product team has time to understand the purpose of this content and how the page should be formatted.

Since internal link / site navigation is important to the hub-and-spoke model, we need to make sure that this is configured in a way that Google and the user easily understand the relationship between the content.

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Legal teams

We need to make sure we know what language we can and cannot say about the topics.

This is crucial before you publish and write the content as we want to ensure that we are not delayed in pushing this content live if legally have questions about it.

4. Monitor the results: Share your winnings and re-optimize

After all this hard work, you will make sure to monitor what happens to the new content.

Make sure you have set up reporting before launching the content with your target keywords and supporting keywords.

By using a business platform and categorizing your new content / keywords, you can easily understand how they perform.

It can be helpful to share your winnings with other team members and managers to prove how the hub-and-spoke model works when done right.

We also use our reporting for potential learning and can keep our pulse on keywords / content that do not work well. This allows us to optimize the content, consolidate it or analyze why it is not working and test other targeted keywords.

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Do not forget to share your winnings. When you start ranking more keywords or your targeted keywords, or when there are more conversions coming from your speech content, make sure people know it.

Start by sending email explosions, hitting the office, screaming it from the mountain top! It is important to show everyone that this hard work pays off to ensure that we can repeat this process in the future and so that people trust the organic marketing channel.

Conclusion

One of the best ways to demonstrate relevancy around a topic is to show Google that you are the source of truth to everything about it.

Therefore, I truly believe that the hub-and-spoke model in content marketing is one of the best and most natural ways to increase our organic visibility.

Google has never worried about SEO or optimizing our content; they are interested in us delivering unique, high-quality and relevant content to help resolve search queries.

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As a business, we must continue to put the customer first and write content that we would find valuable if we were looking for our services.

And do not be sad if it does not work right away- SEO is a long term game and we need to make sure we put time and energy into getting it right. By focusing on the customer’s needs and answering their questions, you will ultimately reap the rewards.

By using the hub-and-spoke model, you will be able to prove to your business how beneficial it is to use the customer’s voice before creating content, and how it can increase your overall authority around a topic.

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