The purpose of siloing your website is to bring clarity to users and make it easier to navigate. Additionally, it establishes relevance and lays the groundwork for higher keyword rankings. It is a core building block for SEO and is normally an advanced topic. The term SEO siloing originated as a way to identify the concept of grouping related information into distinct sections within a website.
Your site’s organization plays a major role in how search engines and readers understand it. If your website is not structured in a way that makes sense to either of these parties, you could majorly hurt your chances of your target keywords ranking well. In this article, you will learn what silos are, and how you can use and develop a good silo SEO structure to organize your site’s content.
What Is Siloing?
The definition of siloing is grouping related pages together, whether through physically structuring them or linking them together, in order to establish the site’s keyword-based themes. While good siloing can raise your rankings and create easier-to-navigate content, bad or nonexistent siloing can cause a disorganized mess of a webpage. The way you silo your website can reveal what it is really about and helps position your website as an expert source for a certain topic.
Picture touring a new house and finding out that the kitchen is in a small building in the backyard. The first things that would go through your mind would probably be, why? How is that convenient for anyone? Really why?
You don’t want people getting to your website and three seconds later being focused on how confusing it is to find the information they wanted to find. If it takes too long to find the information they’re looking for, they will not stay on your site when less confusing ones are just a click away.
Information architecture is defined as the structure of information on a website. Most of the time this term is used interchangeably with “website architecture.” However, website architecture is a more specific subcategory of Information architecture that specifically relates to websites. More specifically, how a website is structured.
Ensuring Good Website Architecture
- Use an SEO-friendly URL structure. Google prefers simple URLs.
- SEO evaluation algorithms like it when you make it easy for them to find your content.
- Consider how pages flow to and from each other.
- Ensure a secure, user-friendly experience.
Steps to Building a Good SEO Silo
- Determine topics for your page. The first step to creating a good silo structure is determining the core topics of your page. Logical starting points are the distinct services or products your site offers.
- Organize your navigation to reflect your core topics (Physical Silos). Once you’ve selected your core topics, you can organize your site content into separate subfolders for each of them.
- Build a strong internal linking structure (Virtual Silos). Add links between the pages in each individual silo wherever relevant. This shows search engines that these particular pages are all related to one another.
- Create keyword-rich content to fill your website with. Your goal should be to provide knowledge-filled content for each of your silo topics. Examine the pages in each group and look for any gaps in information, then use these as ideas for new pages.
A physical SEO silo is a silo you create in the physical directory of your website. With a physical silo, the connections are created in a more literal manner. They organize your pages under a parent/child structure. Essentially, you create folders on your website to represent each of your silos, and the pages within the folders are the supporting pages for the silo itself. As an example we created this silo SEO structure for streaming services:
Streaming Services Under Ten Dollars
- Disney +
- Apple TV
Streaming Services Over Ten Dollars
- Youtube TV
- Amazon Prime TV
- HBO Go
For a physical SEO silo structure, the URLs for the Streaming Services Under Ten Dollars pages may read as follows:
When siloing, you also have to implement a virtual silo structure. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that every silo has a category page and at least five supporting pages. The category page will link to all of the supporting pages, and all of the supporting pages will link back to the category page. In addition to linking to the category page though, the supporting pages should all link to one another.
If your category page represents a target keyword that you want to rank well for, you will need to use that keyword in your supporting pages as well. This again will emphasize the theme of your silo and will make it easier for search engines to find your content. Thus, rising your SEO ranking.
Linking Between Virtual Silos
If you must link between two different silos, make the outgoing link point to the category page for the other silo, not a supporting page. Linking to a supporting page will interrupt the all-inclusive nature of the SEO silo structure. This linking also shows a search engine that your website covers your topic greatly. Whereas, linking to the category page will show search engines that you are transitioning to a new silo entirely. As you continue to build upon your silos and create new silos for your website, you will need to remember to keep linking within the virtual silos as much as possible to keep this separation/transition.
How Does Google Determine Top Search Results
Google gets an understanding of how your site is organized by following internal links. This means that great silos also help Google determine whether or not your website is an ‘expert’ in the particular area you are covering. You can use silos to help organize ideas by building necessary categories around your topics. For these silos to be able to help boost your Google ranking, you have to clearly show competence and great knowledge in the area you are covering. This will help you establish your domain authority with Google.
In the past few years, Google’s evaluation algorithms have gone through quite a shift. The shift was the addition of new algorithms: RankBrain and Hummingbird. These new algorithms have also caused a major change in SEO content development. Prior to these specific updates, Google almost solely used keywords to grasp your site’s relevance to a certain topic. However, these updates are much more focused on user activity and context. That means they do not just match keywords in queries to those in text. Instead, they “read” a website in order to determine its content and structure. From there, they determine the relevance of language and content based on your site’s readability and traffic.
Monitor Your SEO Siloing
Once you have selected topics for your company’s content marketing clusters and begun to create your content, start to monitor topic clusters to ensure they are sending the desired signals to search engines and that they remain consistent as new content is added.
Do this by looking at your content silo’s:
- Rank position. Monitor where the pillar page ranks in search results for keywords relevant to the topic cluster. The rank position should be measured over time to improve or maintain rank.
- Traffic volume. The purpose of SEO is to increase site traffic. So monitor organic traffic volume to the pillar page.
- Engagement. Compare several metrics such as bounce rate and time on page to determine if the pillar content is meeting visitors’ expectations.
- Conversions. This, again, might be generating a lead or making a sale. In any case, topic pillars should have a call-to-action and offer a conversion opportunity
Want to Improve Your SEO Siloing?
Site structure is extremely important to SEO, and creating silos is an effective way to organize your content in a way that makes sense to both search engine crawlers and human visitors.
It is a standard for how to emphasize the expertise of your site by spotlighting the main themes of your site in a hierarchy based upon how people search. It commonly results in significant traffic increases for existing as well as new keywords.
Siloing a website serves to clarify its subject relevance and lays the groundwork for high keyword rankings. It is a core building block for SEO and is normally an advanced topic. The term siloing originated as a way to identify the concept of grouping related information into distinct sections within a website.
- Why is siloing important to your website’s architecture?
- What is SEO siloing?
- How does siloing raise my Google ranking?
- How do the new algorithms change page ranking?
- Why is it important to have a strong topic and keyword basis before siloing?