Want to Maximize ROI of Your Best Content? Consider a Content Hub!

Joseph Volk / 22nd June 2020 / Comment / Content Strategy

How a Content Hub Can Help You Increase ROI of Your Content

Over the past few years, as Google’s quality standards for websites in a post-Rankbrain SEO landscape have placed greater emphasis on topical authority and depth, we’ve seen many of our clients find success by shifting to a Content Hub-style approach with key landing pages and folders within their sites.

Like many successful digital tactics, the term “Content Hub” has now evolved to refer to a wide range of specific approaches to page and UX design, content format and/or taxonomy structure. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but generally speaking, when we discuss “Content Hubs” with clients we refer to any strategy that involves consolidating content on a given topic into a single comprehensive landing page or directory. This directory serves as the ideal starting point for users to go deeper into the typical questions or tasks they’re facing as they move further down funnel with regards to that topic. This might look like “beginner’s guide”-style content, it might look like a PLP-style informational page that then links out to an array of articles or resources and it might look like a high funnel page with multiple links to other types or clusters of pages that address longer tail subtopics.

However, before getting too far into the weeds of the WHAT and the HOW, it’s important to understand the WHY: what are the scenarios that SHOULD lead you to consider a content hub? What are the strategic problems or performance issues that content hubs are best at solving? If you know you need to do something to address your on-site content but aren’t sure what, how can you tell if a content hub might be right for you?

Here are the four scenarios where we’ve seen content hub-based strategies work well for our clients:

1. You’ve Written a Lot About a Subject, but Aren’t Seeing Business Value

We often encounter clients who have invested significantly in producing a high volume of content, but are currently seeing just a trickle of traffic and even less impressive conversions associated with that content.

If you’re in this scenario, a content hub could help you by gathering content from throughout your digital properties (or from other sources that aren’t currently online at all: internal .pdfs and guides, stakeholder interviews with SMEs, presentations and videos, etc.) and consolidating it into a smaller set of optimized locations on your site that will allow both users and, for your Organic Search-focused content, Google to easily find valuable information that may currently be buried deep in your information architecture or spread throughout too many different pages.

2. You’ve Got Dense, Detailed Information, but It’s Not Google-friendly

On the other hand, sometimes the issue is more that you already have what are meant to be comprehensive, detailed landing pages on your site, but an unknown set of factors is keeping those pages from gaining Organic rankings.

In cases like this, either re-working the current taxonomy of your existing content hub, adjusting the users, KWs and/or subtopics you’re targeting based on insights gained from competitor research and performance analysis, shifting content over to a different style of content hub, and/or addressing technical SEO issues that are keeping your content from gaining traction with Google are all options that can help you see much greater ROI from your high-quality, yet under-performing content.

3. You’re Seeing Major Gaps in Your On-Site User Journeys

Having strong content on a single facet of a given topic, product or service is one thing, but having content that meets the needs of multiple user types all throughout their intended on-site journeys is much more challenging.

To help clients move from the former to the latter, we often recommend content hub-based strategies as a means of filling funnel gaps and meeting specific informational needs that are identified through customer journey mapping, user testing or other forms of user research. Essentially, in any case where you’ve identified a key opportunity to give your users the right content to help them continue progressing through your onsite funnel, a content hub can be a powerful tool to make the most of that opportunity.

4. You’re Paying for Traffic, but Still Seeing High Bounce Rates

Even in situations where the goal of a given landing page, subdirectory, or other content set on your website ISN’T primarily to drive organic traffic but rather to convert visitors from an advertising or outbound campaign, content hub-based strategies can still help.

If you are driving traffic to your content, but still seeing a lot of that traffic bounce or otherwise fail to convert, a content hub-style approach could help you see more value from your traffic by giving your users more, better options for their next several clicks on your site. By answering more of their questions, filling more of the gaps in their on-site journeys, and more clearly signaling to them where they should go next to continue understanding a topic or progressing towards a conversion, you can harness the power of a content hub to keep more users on your site for longer, which should only result in greater business value from your content.

How Can Wheelhouse Help?

With Content Strategy as one of our most tried-and-true services and plenty of experience designing and implementing custom content hub strategies for our clients, we’d love to answer any questions you have about your own attempt at a content hub via the comments below.  We’re always open to having a longer conversation about how you can get the most value from your on site content as well. Reach out to us any time, whether it’s to get our advice or share great examples of what’s worked well for you!

By Joseph Volk