From Transportation to SEO: How the Hub and Spoke Model Improves Content Creation

The Hub and Spoke model, also known as Pillar and Cluster, is an effective content creation model that should be considered as part of an SEO strategy.

What is the Hub and Spoke Model?

The Hub and Spoke model is a content creation strategy that has gained popularity in recent years for its effectiveness in improving a website's search engine optimisation (SEO). The model is named after a wheel, with the hub at the centre and spokes radiating outward.

In the context of content creation, the "hub" represents a central, comprehensive piece of content that covers a broad topic in depth. The "spokes" are smaller, more focussed pieces of content that link back to the hub and explore specific subtopics or related ideas.

Hub and Spoke vs. Pillar and Cluster: Same Concept, Different Analogy

The Hub and Spoke model is essentially the same as the Pillar and Cluster model, which is another popular content creation strategy for SEO. The main difference between the two is only the analogy used to describe the structure.

In the Pillar and Cluster model, the central, comprehensive piece of content is referred to as the "pillar," while the smaller, more focused pieces of content are called "clusters." The idea is that the pillar page serves as the foundation for the topic, while the cluster pages provide more detailed information on specific subtopics.

Just like with the Hub and Spoke model, the Pillar and Cluster model aims to establish a clear hierarchy of information on a website, with the pillar page serving as the main authority on the topic and the cluster pages providing more targeted insights. The pillar page links out to the cluster pages, and the cluster pages link back to the pillar page, creating a strong internal linking structure that can help improve the site's SEO.

So, while the Hub and Spoke model uses a transportation analogy and the Pillar and Cluster model uses an architectural analogy, both strategies are based on the same underlying principles of creating a comprehensive central resource around a relevant topic and linking it to more targeted, focused content pieces.

Whether you prefer to think of your content in terms of hubs and spokes or pillars and clusters, the key is to create a clear, organised structure that helps search engines understand the relationships between your content and establishes your site as an authority on your chosen topic.

Why the Hub and Spoke Model Works for SEO and Google’s Users

Google's primary goal is to provide its users with the most relevant, high-quality content that best answers their search queries. The Hub and Spoke model aligns with this goal by creating a clear, organised structure that helps Google understand the relationships between different pieces of content on a website.

Here's how:

  1. Improved Content Discovery: By creating a comprehensive hub page that covers a broad topic and linking it to more targeted spoke pages, the Hub and Spoke model makes it easier for Google to discover and index all the relevant content on a website. This means that users are more likely to find the specific information they're looking for when they search for keywords related to the topic.
  2. Better User Engagement: When a website provides a clear hierarchy of information, with a comprehensive hub page and more targeted spoke pages, users can easily navigate the site and find the content they need. This can lead to higher engagement, lower bounce rates, and longer session durations, which are all positive signals to Google that the site provides a good user experience.
  3. Establishing Authority and Expertise: By creating in-depth, organised content around a specific topic, a website can demonstrate its authority and expertise in that area. Google values authoritative content and is more likely to rank it higher in search results, as it believes this content will be more valuable to its users.
  4. Targeting Long-tail Keywords: The spoke pages in the Hub and Spoke model provide opportunities to target long-tail keywords and phrases related to the main topic. These long-tail keywords often have lower competition and can attract more targeted traffic to the site. By ranking for a wide range of long-tail keywords, a site can provide users with more specific, relevant content that directly addresses their search queries.

How to Implement the Hub and Spoke Model

To implement the Hub and Spoke model, you need to first do your Keyword Research and identify the core themes relevant to your business. A Keyword theme is a collection of search terms that all sit within the same broad topic. For an SEO Agency in Newcastle like ours, a theme like "SEO Strategy" could be a central theme (a Hub) and we could create relevant content around (Spokes). This article you’re reading now is an example of spoke content. You can see the internal links in that last sentence, connecting back to the Hub and other relevant spoke content.

Here are some tactical tips to keep in mind:

Conclusion

The Hub and Spoke model is a powerful content creation strategy that can help improve a website's SEO. It does this by establishing authority, creating a clear hierarchy of information, encouraging internal linking, and targeting a wide range of long-tail keywords. By creating a comprehensive hub page and a series of targeted spoke pages, you can attract more targeted traffic to your site and establish yourself as a go-to resource in your industry.

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June 11, 2024
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