SEO SILOING

Craft content architecture for site success

When we talk about SEO Siloing, we refer to a website optimization technique, also known as on-site SEO, sometimes underestimated by non-professionals in the SEO field.

An SEO Specialist knows well that, in addition to handling on-page SEO by inserting keywords through H1, meta title, and more, it is important to structure menus and internal links properly.

seo siloing example

This way, the search engine can index the site smoothly, understand its topic, and relevant keywords, and increase organic traffic.

As you continue reading, you will learn more about the benefits of optimizing your site for good positioning using the procedure called “SEO Siloing“.

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SEO Siloing: what is it and why is it important

SEO Siloing is the way we define the architecture and organization of our site in terms of content. The silos, as we traditionally know them, are huge containers that allow the storage and preservation of cereals without mixing them.

Similarly, in the digital realm, organizing a site’s content in a way that semantically separates and distinguishes them is crucial for SEO purposes.

Indeed, a well-organized and easy-to-navigate site will undoubtedly offer a better user experience to the visitor, encouraging longer stays, and return visits, and increasing the chances of converting the visit into leads.

But that’s not all. A good internal organization and division of content will also be appreciated by search engines (hereinafter referred to as Google for convenience).

As they can scan pages more effectively and might reward the site by ranking it higher in the SERP.

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In fact, search engine crawlers continuously analyze the site’s internal resources to determine the so-called topics and check if the associated content is supported by specific keywords.

To achieve a good ranking, it is necessary to create content that Google can “read” clearly and distinctly.

If our goal is to position our website for more than one generic keyword, it will be necessary to create distinct containers that allow different thematic resources to remain separate.

If different topics are clearly and thoroughly discussed within a unique semantic container, called a silo, the site will be more easily understood by the search engine.

For a practical example, let’s imagine going to the library with a clear idea of the book we want to find.

keywords to optimize

Our experience will guide us to the shelves indicating the literary genre, confident that, perhaps following alphabetical order, we will find the title we are looking for.

But what would happen if we found thousands of books all piled up without any order? How long would it take us to find our book? And, most importantly, would we return to that library?

This is what often happens with websites, even if they are rich in content, they lack a logical structure and appear chaotic and disorganized, which could negatively impact their ranking.

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Preliminary analysis from a “silo” perspective

Implementing SEO siloing is not limited to those building a website from scratch. As mentioned earlier, it is a useful and recommended procedure even when the information contained within the site is disorganized.

And when most traffic comes from the home page there is a desire to increase opportunities by strengthening internal sections.

In both cases, before delving into structuring a site with silos, it is advisable to conduct a preliminary analysis, as a detailed and strategic plan is needed.

This primarily involves identifying:

  • The main topics the site intends to cover or already covers;
  • what queries users perform to find our site or are expected to perform;
  • the use of keywords among the site’s resources (e.g., are the identified keywords present within the text and meta tags?);
  • how does the competition behave (e.g., how much content to write for each topic to be competitive in organic results? How many pages does a site have for a given keyword? How many pages on Google use a specific keyword in the title tag?).

To find answers to these questions, Google provides some useful tools, foremost among them Google Search Console (usable when a website already exists).

Alternatively, for example, if we want to know how many times a specific keyword appears on a site, we can simply type in Google’s search bar “site:website.com” followed by the “keyword.”

This work contributes to fulfilling what is and must remain, our goal: satisfying the user’s search intent, that is, offering the best possible content in relation to their search intent.

Creating a silo architecture

Once we have identified the topics and keywords for which we intend to rank, we can start defining the silo architecture of our website.

For each main topic we want to cover, we define a category, which is a kind of container containing subcategories within which there will be pages and/or articles.

Each category will be our silo, that is, a unique semantic container. The general rule is that topics are covered from generic to specific, imagining a pyramid structure.

The content within the silo is divided into sections, and each section serves to reinforce the reference category.

 

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Content division in SEO Siloing

Seo siloing can be divided in 2 ways:

  • With physical silos: automatically, indicating a category of belonging or the corresponding parent page when writing the content. In WordPress, to simulate the silo structure, it is sufficient to adopt a permalink that shows the categories in the URL. The purpose is to increase the correlation between the contents, pushing up pages related to keywords ranging from specific to generic. Search engines will never index content that is too generic: being specific is fundamental, and with the Silo structure, we create niches within the site or blog.
  • With virtual silos: manually, linking resources that deal with the same main topic. With virtual silos, links create the connection between pages, so these can belong to the same silo even if they are not in the same directory. The key aspect in proceeding with virtual silos is not to link resources that belong to another silo, theme. Internal links are only useful within pages belonging to the same silo, each main page should be linked from all hierarchically lower ones. By doing so, we create a thematic silo and usually the right hierarchy. Google rewards this type of structure because it “sees” that a topic has been thoroughly explored and is therefore relevant and authoritative for a specific keyword. When we create a good architecture, the search engine correctly assigns us site links, those links that usually appear below the domain name in the SERP, and allows us to reach the internal page of the site at the brand level.

If you have an e-commerce website, the main pages could be, for example, the product categories 1, 2, 3, and 4.

A common mistake in e-commerce is giving too much visibility and importance to pages like “About Us” or “Where We Are.”

The potential customer landing on our site finds little useful information regarding the purchase of the product/service they are interested in. If they don’t find relevant information, they might be tempted to leave the site immediately.

Google itself struggles: it enters the website and tries to understand what it’s about and what it sells, but instead, it sees generic and unspecific information that doesn’t satisfy the search intent.

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From silo architecture to URL definition

We mentioned that the technique known as SEO siloing concerns the architecture of websites, i.e., how resources are organized and connected.

In fact, all the URLs involved when a user or bot navigates the site also determine its indexing and positioning after publication.

The URL should be as short and clear as possible and contain the keywords for which we have decided to rank. What should be done when writing URLs?

  • In the case of multiple words, separate them with a hyphen “-“.
  • Do not mix uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Avoid numbers and stop words.
  • Create a memorable URL.
  • Ensure that the content is accessible from only one URL.

A useful tool to make it easier for Google to identify various internal sections of the site is the XML Sitemap to be placed in the main directory of our site.

The XML Sitemap is nothing more than a text file with all the URLs you want to index, and it can be created manually or automatically using dedicated tools and plugins.

Conclusion

A well-organized site not only provides a better user experience but also gives the search engine a signal of authority and credibility.

When working on SEO to improve positioning, understanding how information is organized is crucial. Good site architecture and content organization occur when the site is easily navigable.

And macro-topics are well divided and distinct from each other but “connected” internally through a thoughtful interlinking activity based on topics.

The SEO Siloing process can be summarized in 4 steps:

  1. Identify the major topics of your site along with the keywords you want to rank for.
  2. Choose the siloing strategy by implementing a structure that clearly identifies topics through physical silos and virtual silos or only virtual silos.
  3. Plan your “linking structure” by deciding the best way to connect the pages together to reinforce your themes based on how people search for your content. Keep in mind that you will generally need about five supporting content pages to have a thematic silo.
  4. Publish high-quality content that includes targeted keywords for each thematic silo and connect them vertically.

 

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