Many things are crucial for SEO, but if you want to do it right, then you need to have a good, solid foundation, which is, in this case, a Silo-structured website. If that's not done right, then everything could collapse or stay buried deep on the 15th page of Google. So let's see what is a silo structure and why it's crucial for SEO, how to build it like a pro architect, and ensure it is solid enough to survive earthquakes and search engine updates.
You can't start building a house without a proper plan and structure. For example, in Japan, they have special regulations that help them build buildings that can survive high-magnitude earthquakes. Think about the Silo structure as a set of earthquake-proof features that will help your website survive.
It's all about a specific way in which you strategically organize content and make connections within it. Regardless of the nature of the business, its website is probably home to all sorts of content, from services to blogs - and it should all be organized in a straightforward and logical way.
The vast majority of websites rely on a flat structure, meaning that all pages are found in the root folder. However, that can hardly be considered as a "structure." When it comes to siloing, there is an evident system of how you build the website and organize its contents structurally. Here is a typical example of a hierarchy when siloing:
- The website.
- Parent page - a page that operates as an introduction to a certain category. A website can have many categories, and each of these categories represents a silo within the website. Within each silo, there are subtopics or child pages that further organize the content.
- Child page - blogs, all sorts of articles, and other relevant content. It's important to mention that every child page can have just one parent page.
This is just the basic and most simple example, the structural organization of a website can vary depending on its complexity and content. The idea behind a website silo structure is to create a hierarchical arrangement of content that helps search engines understand the organization and relevance of the information on your website. It also makes it easier for visitors to navigate and find relevant content within specific categories or silos.
However, organizing things in a specific way is not enough to say you're siloing successfully. The component is internal linking. Although many think that it's one of the common time-wasters, internal linking is actually essential for SEO and the silo structure as well, linking creates that invisible structure that connects the content on your website and different silos within it, wrapping it all up for search engines to perceive it as something coherent and meaningful.
In the context of website structure, the terms "hard silo" and "soft silo" refer to** two different approaches to organizing and structuring content** within a website. Within a hard silo structure, separate physical directories or folders are created for each silo. Each silo has its own distinct URL and subdirectory within the website's architecture.
On the other hand, the "soft silo" doesn't rely on separate physical directories or folders for each silo. Instead, it focuses on creating logical theme-related groupings and internal linking to establish the silo structure within the overall website architecture.
The choice between a soft or hard silo structure depends on several factors, and there isn't a definitive answer as to which one is better.** In a hard silo structure, the separation between silos is more pronounced**, with clear divisions between different categories, which can be a good approach for bigger websites with a lot of content.
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The choice between soft and hard silo structures should be based on the specific website's needs, content volume, and future growth plans. You may even consider a hybrid approach that combines elements of both structures to create a customized solution that aligns with your objectives.
Even if you just want to improve your website and implement siloing to already existing content - that's possible. It might require a bit more work and a detailed revision, but it definitely pays off. However, in an ideal case scenario, you're just starting to build a website from scratch, and these are the four main steps to building a solid silo structure:
- Finding a niche - you can't be an expert on everything, so it's important to focus on what you know the best and pick a specific niche and target audience to which you are going to sell your services. Every service should have a different page and act as an independent silo.
- Organizing the content - after you're determined the main categories, it is crucial to organize content within them accordingly, existing and future ones. This should be reflected in the URL, which contains both parent and child pages.
- Internal linking - many emphasize the importance of link building and getting those valuable external links leading to your website. However, internal linking is equally important, it shows how coherent your content is and makes it easier for visitors to find relevant information.
- Adding new content - this is a never-ending game. So as long as you're creating new content and uploading it, you need to ensure it's placed in the right silo and connected to other pages within it. Keep that in mind when searching for keywords and making a content plan.
Without search engine optimization, a website will be hard to find online, costing businesses a lot of potential revenue. Nowadays, there are many search engine positioning tools that provide all sorts of insights when it comes to a website's health, but a proper structure lies at its core. Without it, you might have to do some reconstruction work at some point, and that is always tricky. Here are some of the most important factors for implementing such a structure from day one:
- Straightforward website navigation - a clear and logical hierarchy for organizing content on your website makes it easier for visitors to navigate through your site and find relevant information.
- Search engine crawling - when search engines can easily crawl and understand your website's structure, it has a positive impact on your search rankings.
- Improved keyword relevance - by grouping related content together within silos, you create a thematic focus for each silo. This allows you to target specific keywords and topics within each silo, making your content more relevant and optimized for search engines.
- **Internal linking **- this structure naturally leads to effective internal linking. Within each silo, you can strategically link between related blogs, creating a network of internal links that reinforce the topical relevance and authority of your content.
- Site architecture and authority - siloing helps establish a clear and logical site architecture, which can enhance the overall authority and credibility of your website, as well as make it more user-friendly.
In order to establish an effective content silo structure, extensive keyword research and long-term content planning are essential to ensure natural interlinking between pages within each silo. This may require revisiting published content from time to time to incorporate links to new blog posts, so don't forget about that step.
It is crucial to consider the anchor text used for these links, as** using the exact same anchor text consistently may be a red flag** for search engines. It is advisable to vary the anchor text slightly while maintaining a strong resemblance to the original keyword.
Although there is no doubt whether or not silo structure is beneficial for a website, there are still a few potential downsides you should consider. For example, silo structures are all about the separation of content into distinct categories or silos. This can sometimes result in limited interlinking opportunities between different silos.
If there is valuable and relevant content that spans across multiple silos, it might be challenging to establish strong interlinking, which can impact the overall user experience and search engine discoverability. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the danger of creating duplicate content.
With such a structure, similar topics or overlapping information may appear, which can have a negative impact on your rankings. So keep that in mind and strive to have unique content that is properly placed.
By organizing your content into distinct categories or silos, you provide a clear and logical hierarchy that search engines can easily navigate and understand. This improves your website's visibility and discoverability in search results. It sets the stage for improved search rankings, increased organic traffic, and, ultimately, a better user experience for your visitors. In the competitive digital landscape, where SEO plays a vital role in driving online success, implementing a silo structure should be a priority for any website owner or manager who aims to maximize their website's visibility, attract relevant traffic, and achieve SEO excellence.