Silo structured websites are believed to be the key to SEO success mainly because of the way they are created, they make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your site, index pages with targeted keywords faster/higher and give high positioning to your main targeted keyword/s.
While a lot of this is true, there are a lot of misconceptions about building silo websites and there have tons of different formulas & charts that have sprouted all claiming that their way is the right way. Additionally, you also have free plug-ins & programs like SEO Zen that promise to set up silo structured websites for you.
While I can’t speak for the free options, I can tell you right off the bat, you should never buy a program that says they’ll make silo structured websites for you, especially if they say they have auto generated content happen for you, which is bad SEO policy. But enough about that…
How to build a silo structured website:
From my experience in doing SEO and trying out the silo structure approach, I can tell you this much:
It is NOT complicated to set it up. In essence is all comes down to this: Just link your pages/posts with other relevant pages/posts on your site. But make sure each page you link to contains a keyword that is highly relevant.
Here is an example:
Say I have a website about training dogs. Training dogs is my site’s main topic. Now in order to rank for a competitive keyword like “training dogs” or “how to train your dog”, I’ll need to have my website build up enough authority in order to do that.
Enter the silo structure which will greatly help with this task:
My goal would be to write up content (pages/posts) on sub-topics related to training dogs. With each sub-topic comes a separate keyword focus. Here are some initial ideas:
- How to train your dog to stop barking.
- How to potty train your dog.
- How to teach your dog to sit.
- How to each your dog to do tricks.
Each of these keywords and the content I could write about are all sub-topics to my main topic (training dogs). I could write up posts or pages on each keyword, and then link them all to one another. My goal would also be to link to my main page on training dogs.
As traffic would start to come in on my sub-topic pages, it would boost the authority and ranking of my main topic, thus improving it’s rank in the SERPS.
Now one very important key to make this work is to ensure that every sub-topic you write up has 2 things present:
1. You are targeting low competition keywords.
2. You are writing about topics that are HIGHLY relevant to your main topic. In our case, I wouldn’t want to write about general pet care, or cat/parrots/turtles and/or other animals. It just doesn’t relate to our main topic. Many people when building websites make the common mistake or targeting several topics at once and not sticking to a specific niche.
So when making your silo website, make sure you have:
A) A chosen niche.
B) A website.
C) Content/keywords all related to your niche.
In our example, here is how the website structure would look:
That’s pretty much the silo structure right there. Remember, link your related posts/pages to one another. This makes the overall site look more/be relevant, plus it’s going to be easier for visitors to navigate it.
What happens if you have more than 1 topic?
If you currently have a site who has several topics and/or niche topic on it, I would recommend you start to interlink only pages/posts only to those that are related to it.
Let’s say you have 3 different topics on your site: Red, blue & green.
Now let’s say I have tons of pages on my site, but some of them relate to the topic of red. Some relate to blue and the rest to green. Make sure that each page that talks about each individual topic actually links to it. This will better organize your website.
If there’s pages that can be linked to 2 topics, you can do that too, AS long as it makes sense to do so. In this case, think about your potential visitors & not trying to appease search engines. In fact, no matter what kind of site you build, the visitor should be your #1 focus and making their experience worthwhile on your site.
In all honesty, I would recommend that you focus on a niche topic first and foremost. This is your starting point in internet marketing. From there, build a website that is centered around that niche topic.
From that point, write up content that is related to the niche and interlink your pages/posts together. That makes it easier than having to figure out which page/post is supposed to link to which topic. In this case it won’t matter because everything you have is all going to be based on 1 niche topic, thus making the linking much more logical and easier.
At the end of the day, silo structuring is really just interlinking your site in a way that makes it easier to navigate. Take this site for instance. It’s topic is helping people make money online. There’s SO many different variations of keywords/sub topics I could/already have written about, BUT in this instance, I only link my pages to other content that helps my audience navigate better.
Here is an example:
The site’s main topic is make money online (MMO).
This post talks about silo structuring, a relevant topic of MMO.
Within this post, I talk about various things: Silo programs, how to build websites, choosing niche topics. Notice in some areas, I link people to different posts which talk about each individual topic I just labeled. Here is makes sense for me to do that because it improves the experience of the visitor.
Think about it, if someone reading this page reads that you should start with a niche, it makes sense to write a post about choosing niches and link the 2 pages together. See my point? Well apply that to your whole site and you’ll be fine.
Most importantly as I said before:
- Find a niche.
- Find low competition keywords related to your niche and interlink your site WHERE it makes sense.
- Don’t worry so much about the silo-structure as much as making your visitors happy.