Performing well in organic results is a critical part of getting noticed by a new audience. You can only do that if you know a thing or two about SEO.
When you think of SEO, your mind might head to keyword research or content creation, but having a strong SEO strategy is bigger than that. It starts with the way your website is structured.
A silo structure is the best way to signal to search engines what your areas of expertise are. This site architecture enhances SEO and can help you perform better in search engines than the competition.
If you’re wondering how to create an SEO silo, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Silo Structure?
Silo structure for SEO is a way of organizing and grouping similar content so that it’s logical for both readers and search engines. Think of silo structure as the table of contents in a textbook. There are major themes, which make up the sections of the book, and the chapters within each section cover the individual topics related to the broader theme.
Let’s take a look at how Nike organizes its site. At the top of the homepage, Nike has identified its four major groupings for products. The website has tabs labeled for new releases, men, women, kids, and customization.
Within each of these broad categories, Nike breaks things down even further. Under men, women, and kids, you see groupings for clothing or shoes, and there are even tabs that allow you to shop by sport (running, soccer, golf, tennis, etc.).
This hierarchical way of organizing content makes it very easy for shoppers to find what they want quickly and easily. But it also makes it easy for search engines to understand exactly what the website is about: Nike sells sporting apparel for people of all ages.
Why Does Silo Structure Matter?
Site structure can make a huge difference in how search engines display your website in search results. Google doesn’t provide details on how they determine which sites to show for specific queries, but they do say they look for E-A-T: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
When your website content is scattered here, there, and everywhere across your site, it’s hard for Google to identify the unifying themes about your business. However, when you group related content into siloes, you create a clear roadmap of what you do.
A siloed site helps to demonstrate your expertise in your chosen area of focus. By grouping related content together, you also show your authority in your area of focus by creating themes of content that support and bolster your knowledge on your area of expertise.
Finally, siloed sites can help demonstrate trustworthiness because they’re easy for consumers to navigate. When they can easily find all of the related content on a given theme on your site, they stay on your website longer, soaking up all of your great, informative content. Longer times spent on-site signifies to Google that your content is useful and trustworthy, so it gives you a boost in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Where Do I Start?
Hopefully, by now, you’ve been convinced of the value of creating an SEO silo. When it comes to revamping your website to embrace site architecture for SEO, it all starts with keyword research.
Take a look at the terms your site shows up for now. You can do this by looking at Google Search Console, which allows you to see the real-world queries that led consumers to your site.
Once you understand what’s happening on your own site, move out into the broader world. Take Google for a spin yourself; search for terms you think would be relevant for your business and see what pops up! Take a look at your competitors’ sites to understand a bit more about their keyword approach, and see if there’s a way for you to fill in gaps they’ve left in the way the position their business.
Once you’ve finished with your initial keyword research, you’ve hopefully seen some patterns emerge. In looking at these patterns, are there ways you can create a handful of themes around the topics and group your content accordingly?
Begin With Your Directory
Armed with your keyword research, you can begin to build out your directory. It all starts with your homepage “ this is where you state your mission and provide links to the other pages that make up your main themes.
Across the top of your homepage, you’ll need a menu bar featuring your main themes. Let’s say you own a lawn care company. You identify your main services as lawn care, garden care, and tree and shrub maintenance. You also want to have a separate about us page, and a section for requesting a quote.
Under each of those themes, you’ll have additional pages that cover subtopics. Under garden care, you might have a page for your garden planning services, another for weed control, and yet another for pest control.
When you think about creating the directory for your business, it might be helpful to draw out a physical map of how your website should look. Think of it as a tree that branches out with each narrower subtopic.
At this stage, you also want to think about how you name your URLs for each page. They should be sequential and indicate to both visitors and Google how your site is organized.
Returning to the lawn care company, you might name your main page www.mylawncare.com. The garden care page might read www.mylawncare.com/garden-care/, and the page about pest control would read www.mylawncare.com/garden-care/pest-control/. A clear URL naming system tells everyone what they can expect to find on the page.
The final stage in building an SEO silo is to link internal pages together to create a web of related content. When you’re linking internal content, it’s important to keep those links within the same silo. Returning to the lawn care company example, you can link the page about garden pest control to garden weed control, but you shouldn’t link it out to a page on controlling pests on your lawn.
By linking content within individual siloes, you strengthen your relevance for your desired keywords, which in turn gives each silo a boost in its area of focus in SERPs.
Website design isn’t just about looks. Creating siloes as a part of your website’s architecture is a key component in performing well in SEO. If you’re looking for a digital marketing partner that can help you with your SEO and website, look no further! LOCALiQ is here to help. Just drop us a line here.