Increase Website Traffic by Helping Readers Find Your Writing: How to Create Index Hubs
© 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.
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 My indexes remained unpublished despite my plea that they were created specifically to point to related hubs.
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:
- The Highest Paid Anesthesiologists in America: Where These Doctors Make The Best Salaries
Anesthesiologists ensure that patients remain pain-free during operations. Their high salaries differ by employer and location.
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.)
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.
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:
Where <username> is your HubPages name and <topic> is the subject of your index, as in the following example:
You’ll find an example of a What’s New RSS capsule in Alocsin’s Jobs and Salaries 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.
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.