strengthening internal website links - hub and spoke strategy
I’m not the first person out there to talk about the “Hub and Spoke” SEO strategy within a website. But I am talking about it as this strategy is something tangible that you can do within your website that will, over time, yield good SEO page ranking results for you; bringing more people to your website organically.
First, if you were to take a look at the Google Webmaster Toolkit’s “Search Console”, you would see under the “Search Traffic” heading a subheading titled “Internal Links”. By clicking on this sub-heading for your website, you would see how Google is currently looking at your website with respect to the internal links present on your site. For most sites, the top-most viewed page with the most links to it internally is usually the home page. Clicking on that line item, brings up a listing of all the internal webpages on the site that link to that page.
So what can we conclude from seeing this within the Google Search Console?
- Internal links are important enough to Google that they track this information within their search engine.
- As this information is apparently important enough for Google to track, there has to be a reason as to why this is important to them to be doing so. Once you think this thought through to it’s logical conclusion, you will soon realize is that the “Googlebot” webcrawler is tracking these links to find out which pages on your website are the most important – these are your primary “authority” pages on your site. When Google knows what these pages are on your site, these are the pages they will be for the most part, sending traffic to organically – they will be the pages on your site that they pay the most attention to and organically, they will become the primary “entry points” to your business from the Google search engine.
Now let’s start to think about setting up your site strategically. Where do you want Google to primarily point people to within your site? Which are the best pages for your business that you want people to view first? Once you figure this out, you can begin to build out and/or rebuild your website and it’s pages to improve the visibility of it’s key webpages in the eyes of Google. Over time, these pages will receive Google’s attention and become the strongest ranking pages to the Google search engine on your site – and it is important for you to always remember in the back of your mind that you are not trying to rank your entire website for Google, you are trying to rank your most important web pages for the Google search engine.
This is where the “Hub and Spoke” strategy comes into play. Here is how it works.
Let’s say you are running a blog site. If you are just writing individual blog posts and none of them relate to each other, they will never gain real organic SEO strength in the eyes of Google unless you happen to get extremely lucky in the uniqueness of your content and keyword search phrases. Since you are competing against millions of pages out there, this kind of luck is extremely hard to come by.
Now let’s say you write some content into a blog that is important and you want the world to view it. What you want to do is create a post/webpage for it that can be segmented and published in several pages. Each supporting page would discuss one aspect of the content – perhaps a drill down on a sub-topic or something and you would put links into it that take you back to the primary blog post/webpage and possibly links to one or more of the other supporting pages as well.
All sub-posts/pages would link back to the primary post page and they would also link to each other. The important point here being that Google now starts seeing all your content on a particular topic as being more comprehensive, providing a complete answer within a content niche through a series of pages with one page being the obvious primary page that all connect to. This becomes your “Authority” page over time in Google’s eyes as people come to your site via all these pages and as most internal site link clicks ultimately bring people to your authority page for that primary content starting point. This page will begin to rank well for you.
So now let’s expand this concept even further. Start to duplicate this throughout your site, interconnecting various “hubs” and “spokes” together. Ultimately, it will look somewhat akin to a spider web with a number of interconnecting spoke pages tying together a number of hubs that all revolve around a central business theme – or business niche and your site starts to become an “authority” site within a business niche in Google’s eyes and you will as a result begin to see exponential organic traffic growth over time to your site as a result.
Each hub webpage in your site will ultimately rank well for certain keyword phrases and your website as a result will gain an added level of niche SEO authority overall which will bring you even more traffic over time.
So do not overlook the aspect of internal link building when constructing your website and its pages. A little strategic planning in its internal design will bring you a long way from an SEO perspective. Now you know why it takes time to rank well and to build in site authority – but at least you also now know part of the equation for getting there.
By Dan Grijzenhout - March 8, 2017
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