How Silo Architecture Can Attract Visitors And Google to Your Website
Would you like to see higher search engine rankings for your website?
Are visitors not getting the information they need right away when they arrive?
If you use WordPress then a silo architecture structure for your pages, blog posts, and categories can greatly improve your visibility and attract search engines like Google to your content for higher rankings.
The concept of silo structuring began in 2003 from SEO expert, Bruce Clay, and is defined as “an internal website linking structure that (when executed properly) will tend to create higher rankings on the search engine for keywords contained within the silo structure. Usually, a silo structure has a silo landing page in which three to five keywords can be targeted for ranking, preferably with one overlying topical theme.”
In an article on SEO silo structures Clay compares most websites to a jar of mixed marbles, and in this illustration he shows us a mixture of yellow, green and red, which represents a lack of order and no emphasis on categorized themes:
He points out that search engines would view all of the marbles as one subject, rather than separating them out into three different topics. What is the solution? Clay suggests separating out subject themes like this example, which would be Green Marbles, Red Marbles, Yellow Marbles, and the main keyword, Marbles:
To put this into a real scenario perspective, let’s use the example of a B2B website that offers consulting, business startup advice, and helpful seminars to entrepreneurs. Each of these are a subset or category based on your main branding theme. Depending on your niche, you can create a number of silos based on topics related to your main focus, like this example from the free WordPress Silo Plugin:
In order to set up a successful website structure your business needs to do thorough target market research first, and use this data to develop an overall marketing theme for your brand message. Factors that influence your landing page focus are whether you sell products, services or both; how you add value to your leads and customers; how your business stands out from the rest of the competition; and which social media platforms will be the most beneficial in building visibility, content, and sales.
After establishing a clear focus on your brand message and target market use these techniques to build categories of content on your website that your visitors and search engines will be able to easily find and understand:
- Use synonyms more than keywords – Before Google changed its algorithm the use of keywords repeatedly throughout a page and articles helped achieve higher search rankings. Today it’s all about topic based searches, in which you will want to build content with less text and more emphasis on phrases that include synonyms based on your main topic(s). Not only will this enable you to create original text, which Google prefers, but will also help you add important backlinks that relate to other pages and posts on your website, which is a basic silo structure.
- Add supporting pages related to your main website focus – Once you have your main pages in place the next step is to create supporting pages or articles with related topics. For example, if you are writing posts about eBook publishing you might create a silo for the cost of different services. Another one could be about the pros and cons of print versus digital books. Your supporting content should all be related to the main topic of eBook publishing.
- Avoid being penalized by producing unique content – Take the time to conduct keyword research and develop a number of topics related to your niche in order to write content for your pages and posts that are unique to your business. The more helpful information and research that is done the better your chances of Google moving your website up in its ranking.
- Create a clear directory of silos – Bruce Clay refers to these as “filing cabinets” in which your main page is divided into a minimum of five different categories with clear link structures. If your website specializes in selling pet products for instance, you would create a main page with separate themes like this example:
In essence, a well-planned silo structure of a website includes pages based on the target market or brand theme with related and linked sub-pages and posts. The key to having an easy-to-find landing page is to not link subjects that do not relate to one another. Keep a clear line of categorization for each page, and check your structure on a regular basis with the inclusion of a site map or root directory where information is displayed in a logical structure.