As a healthcare marketer, you’re probably all too aware of the importance of your website and getting found by search engines when it comes to attracting new patients. You also know that Google is constantly updating its search algorithms. Keywords are no longer the focus of search engine optimization. Searcher intent is — that means SEO is looking at the questions people are asking to get a deeper understanding of their needs.
What’s the next evolution of search? Content hubs. Content hubs are a way to simplify your life, increase consumer engagement, and improve search results. They can help optimize your website to rank higher in search results, while meeting the information needs of potential patients.
Continue reading our comprehensive guide to content hubs below or jump to the section that interests you most:
What is a content hub?
Content hubs provide in-depth information about a single topic, such as hip replacement surgery or choosing an assisted living facility. The foundation of a good content hub is to address consumer questions about the topic (not what you think they should know, but what they actually want to know and can’t find elsewhere).
The heart of a content hub is a comprehensive pillar page that definitively outlines the topic. (Hint: What you’re reading now is a pillar page and it is the heart of our content hub on, well, content hubs!)
All related content -- subtopic pages, blog posts, videos, patient eguides and so on —are interlinked on the pillar page. This tells search engines there is a relationship between the content. Because you are addressing many aspects of a topic (and using many related keywords and synonyms), this gives your website “authority” and improves your SEO.
Not only do content hubs aid your SEO, but they also organize content for your consumers and make it easy to find everything that is related. And, as a bonus, content hubs make it easy for marketers to know exactly where to put an ever-growing library of content.
By focusing your site around content hubs, you can:
Healthcare marketers are moving to content hubs for five primary reasons. The top five reasons for building content hubs are to:
Just as serving the needs of your patients or residents is at the heart of your healthcare organization and your marketing efforts, it also is the foundation of a content hub. Sounds intuitive, right?
Creating healthcare content that meets consumer needs is so basic that it often gets overlooked in the process of content creation. Sure, everyone says that they build patient personas and create content to serve the patient. In reality, there are three major issues stopping healthcare marketers from creating effective healthcare content:
Before you jump into developing a content hub strategy, identify key conditions and procedures being targeted in your organization’s business plan. Then build support for focusing your marketing plan on those priority areas.
Follow these steps to create your first content hub.
Subtopic pages for your content hub can be website pages or blogs. One advantage of blogs is that they can be created over time, and they are a good way to add fresh content to your website to keep it current for search engines. According to Hubspot, blogs have the following benefits:
Many blog posts show an upward trend in views over time. These blogs are called compounding posts. Some blogs are evergreen posts, which can be updated and repurposed over time by adding new information or data as it becomes available, and continue to generate traffic over several years.
The decision to create a content hub in-house or outsource it depends on you and how much time and resources you have to create your hub.
Creating a Content Hub In-house
Outsourcing a Content Hub to a Healthcare Content Marketing Agency
Content promotion is the often-forgotten piece of content marketing. But, before you even create your content hub, you should be thinking about how you will promote it to generate website traffic and convert website visitors to patients. Some easy ways you can promote your content hub include:
Organic search. If you’ve developed a content hub that addresses the pain points and answers the questions of your target audience, uses keywords effectively, and sets up internal links, your content hub will improve your search rankings and attract additional volume.
Social media. Promote your content hub on your social media accounts. One easy way to do this is by sharing interesting tidbits and factoids from your hub. You also can boost your posts to reach a new audience. Don’t forget to share out resources from other sources you have included in your content hub.
Email. Alert your email database to your content hub, particularly the downloadable resources, videos and new blog posts.
Influencer marketing. If your content hub offers unique and useful information, make sure that influencers such as local health association, health websites, and specialty blogs are alerted. Consider asking for guest blogs on particular subtopics where they have expertise.
Online advertising campaign. Your pillar page and subtopic pages can be great landing pages for a pay-per-click campaign. Rather than using generic text ads (Offering award-winning care by the region’s leading pediatric specialists…), try text ads that specifically address the consumer interests you have turned up in your research (Learn the five warning signs of RSV…).
Paid content promotion. Depending on the topic of your health content hub, you can promote your pillar page, subtopics, or blogs as articles on paid content promotion services such as Outbrain or Taboola.