Increase Website Traffic by Helping Readers Find Your Writing: How to Create Index Hubs

Source

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

For your non-fiction hubs, the ultimate goal is to provide information that readers find helpful. If your writing is worthwhile, they’ll want to read your other efforts on the same topic, increasing your website traffic. Sadly, HubPages provides no convenient way for visitors to find all your hubs relating to a particular subject.

You can provide references to your other hubs through the use of the Link capsule. But if you have dozens of articles on the same category, putting all their titles in one capsule becomes unwieldy. A more elegant solution is to use an Index hub.

What Is An Index Hub?

As the name implies, an Index hub links all related articles and puts them in one location. This allows readers to quickly view your offerings and jump to a hub of interest by clicking a title. You can also duplicate a title under more than one index if it falls under more than one category. For example a title such as Sell Your Home Quick with Staging could fall under a Real Estate index and a Decorating index.

The bottom line is one visit to your Index hub can increase traffic to all its linked articles.

Link Capsules?

You would think that an Index hub consisting solely of Link capsules would be an ideal way to help the reader. This is easy to create because you’re choosing titles from a dropdown box to populate the capsule. Your selection automatically displays the correct title and summary so users can easily find the correct article. My initial indexes used this method.

HubPages quickly marked such hubs as Duplicate and Substandard because they contained no original writing. (Never mind that the guidelines recommend using Link capsules in hubs to spread the views throughout HubPages.) My indexes remained unpublished despite my plea that they were created specifically to point to related hubs.

Writing

I had to eliminate all Link capsules and use Text capsules instead. This removed the Substandard flag. Then I had to rewrite hub titles and summaries to eliminate the Duplicate flag. For example, in my Medicine Jobs and Salaries index, an ordinary link and summary that would look like this in a Link capsule:

Was rewritten to look like this in a Text capsule:

  • Anesthesiologists Salaries: An essential part of any surgical team, anesthesiologists manage patient pain not only during operations but before and after. Find out how their salaries differ by employer and location.

(I am paraphrasing these example titles and descriptions to avoid the Duplicate flag on this hub.)

Readability

To make the Index hub more readable, I put related topics under subtitles such as Doctors, Dental Jobs and Other Medical Jobs. I also preceded the listing of hubs with a 100-word introduction summarizing jobs in medicine and explaining the purpose of the index. This was a suggestion by the HubPages team to avoid another Substandard flag.

You can browse the final results here: Alocsin’s Medicine Jobs and Salaries Index.

RSS Capsules

Longer Index hubs can include a What’s New RSS feed at the beginning that shows the latest hubs under a topic. This quickly shows my latest writing to frequent visitors. The syntax for the Feed URL is as follows:

http://hubpages.com/author/<username>/<topic>/latest/?rss

Where <username> is your HubPages name and <topic> is the subject of your index, as in the following example:

http://hubpages.com/author/alocsin/jobs/latest/?rss

You’ll find an example of a What’s New RSS capsule in Alocsin’s Jobs and Salaries Index.

Sub-Index

If your Index hub contains too many titles, it will look cumbersome even with subtitles. You can then create sub-indexes to which the main Index refers. Sub-indexes are simply smaller Index hubs with fewer titles. For example, my Alocsin’s Jobs and Salaries Index has links to such sub-indexes as Computer Jobs and Salaries Index and Engineering Jobs and Salaries Index.

Formats

My Index hubs use bulleted lists because I feel this is the quickest way for readers to find related hubs. (In fact, the Link capsules present titles in bulleted lists.) However, this is by no means the only way to structure indexes. You can also use a more conversational style by describing ideas and topics and working the titles of hubs into the text.

If you’ve developed your own style of Index hubs, please share your methods in the Comments field. Otherwise, please take the poll.

Do you currently use Index hubs?

See results without voting

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Comments 32 comments

mbyL profile image

mbyL 4 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

Interesting idea. What do you think of just putting all the hub links on your profile and make there an index? wouldn't this work as well? Otherwise I think it is a good idea to make a short introduction, so the readers knows what's going to expect him. Useful hub and Voting this Up!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

I think once I get more hubs, other than groups, I'm going to need to start organizing them. I just might use your idea here of indexing. Thanks for the head's up on how to do it. Your hard-earned fight made it easier for the rest of us. Great job!


SMD2012 profile image

SMD2012 4 years ago

I like this idea! Although I have a few more, make that a lot more, Hubs to write before I have so much content that it needs indexing, I think this is a really good way to not only make your Hubs more accessible but with well-written summaries that are SEO'd you'll be able to draw more traffic in and then keep visitors reading by having everything all laid out in one place. Great job on this Hub. Voted Up, useful, interesting and shared. Have a great day!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

This is an excellent hub I plan to use in the future, when I have enough hubs to index! Bookmarked, voted up and useful!


Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 4 years ago from Northeastern United States

Really enjoyed this hub and bookmarked it. A couple of the links about the RSS indexes were not working when I clicked on them? I'll stop back in a while to try again. Voted up and useful.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

You always have the best ideas. What a great idea and it will help with the bounce rate on HP. You are innovative!!


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

This makes more than enough sense if you have enough Hubs. So I tried to bring up Anesthesiologist Salaries to look at it, and I came up with a 404. What am I missing, here?


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Absolutely, mbyL, that idea works quite well, and several hubber have implemented that, including me.

But then again, that depends on how many titles you have. If a user has to page through more than two or three screens to start seeing your Profile indexes, it won't be any different than just paging through all your hubs.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Yes, I think you are getting to that point, especially for your grammar hubs. You don't even have to index all your hubs -- just the ones with many topics.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Well, hopefully, you will have enough hubs some day to warrant an index.


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

That is a good idea of creating index Hub. But you are right that an index Hub still requires a lot of original writing.


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Index hub is a great idea. Now with a handful of hubs, I don't need them. May be later. Voted up and useful. Shared.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Very useful article Alocsin. Your index idea is brilliant. I actually used one for my tattoo articles and it has been successful. I learn so much from you and your informative articles. I always look out for the next one. Another helpful article pal. Have a great day.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Sorry about that, Arlene V. Poma. Typo on my part. Try it again, it's working now.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

At this point, hoteltravel, your hubs are still easy to find without an index.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Thanks for proving that it works, thelyricwriter. Given the number of hubs on your specialty, indexes are useful for your readers.


Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

Oh, okay! Thanks for the information. It's a much better idea than grouping, where all your Hub titles get lost because there are too many of them. No one knows what you have to offer! Voted up and everything else.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for putting this together! I want to take a closer look at the idea of index hubs soon and you've provided some great information and tips.


imatellmuva profile image

imatellmuva 4 years ago from Somewhere in Baltimore

What a novel idea! Great tips and solutions for hub layout, capsule use and more.

I'm unsure if I have enough hubs just yet, but THIS hub is more than worthy of holding on to!

Definitely voting, up, useful...and BOOKMARKED!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

The indexing is something I am going to have to look into and add to my hub articles. I will keep this hub in my library as a guide. I clicked on a couple of your indexes and got a message stating you had removed them. I appreciate all the sharing of information you give. Voted up.


jenjohnson42 profile image

jenjohnson42 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great information, thanks for putting this hub together. I hope to need this information soon!! I've only a few hubs so far.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

And the problem is, readers can't group your hubs. If they could do that at will, we wouldn't need the indexes. Thanks for stopping by.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I hope so, RTalloni. Since you have so many hubs, indexes would be useful for your readers.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

Those indexes should be back in by now, teaches12345. It was HubPages who removed them due to the disputes I discussed in this hub. Fortunately, all my index hubs have been returned.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

This is a really useful hub. I am going to bookmark it so I can come back and reread as I am technologically challenged to say the least and it takes a few reads to understand!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

alocsin

Interesting and useful hub, but quite frankly the effort to get around the hubpage police is not worth my effort.

Yes, bite my nose to spite my face.

Thanks


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi, I hadn't thought of that, the fact that by just adding links it would be regarded as wrong, but by doing it in the text it does work, maybe on the profile page just writing one word to explain each hub? for example, Angels, cars, etc not sure if it would work though, rated up and bookmarked to make sure I get it right!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

That is certainly one tactic that I've used, Nell Rose.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 4 years ago from Essex, UK

alocsin

I fully agree that it's useful to have a link page or index page to keep together and make easily accessible all hubs on a common theme, and it's a pity there isn't a mechanism specifically for this purpose on HubPages.

What I do on my profile page is that whenever I have written ten or more hubs on a given theme, then I effectively create a link to a 'home page' to all the other pages on that theme. So far I've done that with 'Film Reviews' and 'Travel Guides' and I've incorporated general information on the subject matter, as well as the links in order to make them (hopefully) readable pages in their own right.

Not sure it's actually increased traffic yet though. One really needs an effective way of advertising the index page, I guess.

Voted up.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA Author

I think that's an excellent idea, Greensleeves Hubs, and wish more hubbers would follow your lead if they can't make indexes.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

This, as already said, is a great idea! Scrolling and scrolling leads to boredom and boredom leads to readers leaving....indexing makes things so much easier for the reader they may stick around and read more.

We always face the problem of "overlinking" and setting off the Hub-gods (no disrespect intended) so you seemed to cover that as well.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi alocsin,

So far I have written four such hubs and have organized them by the different travel articles within one state. Florida, Arizona, Utah and Oregon are the ones written thus far, and if I write another article in any of those states, I will add it to the Main Page File as I call it. I should do more like that when I have the time. Index hubs or Main Page hubs are worth doing! Up and useful votes.

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