If you’re looking for an efficient way to boost your website’s search engine rankings, you need to have a perfect site structure. Orphan pages and random categories won’t cut it. Instead, you need a methodical approach to organize your website around relevant topics.
That’s where SEO siloing comes into play.
SEO siloing is a powerful website architecture strategy that enhances user engagement, establishes your authority, and improves your search engine rankings.
In this article, I’ll explain what SEO siloing is, why it’s effective, how to kickstart the siloing process, and share best practices to get it right.
Training silo structure #1 by Ribbeka Gill
What is SEO Siloing?
SEO siloing is not like marketing siloing.
Instead, it’s a technique of structuring your website where you create isolated content groups around specific topics:
![SEO Siloing Chart](Image Source)
Each SEO silo has a central homepage that links to a series of related posts, all interconnected within the silo. Importantly, there are no interlinks between silos. Each complete silo is kept separate from the others.
Take my website as an example. You can already see a silo structure in place.
![GPR SEO AGENCY Silo Structure](SEO Silo structure GPR)
All my blog articles fall under “Blog,” the services offered by my digital marketing agency are under “Services,” and all my internet marketing tools are categorized under “Tools.”
I could take it a step further by siloing my blog content. For instance, I could create separate silos for SEO, social media marketing, and paid marketing. It would be quite straightforward to organize my content into these buckets and interlink them accordingly.
Soft Silos vs. Hard Silos
There are two types of SEO silos: hard silos and soft silos.
A hard silo is where silos are created using your website’s URL structure. This is a common e-commerce SEO silo strategy and is also used on websites that sell digital products or offer in-depth reviews.
Here’s an example from The Points Guy:
[The Points Guy Website SEO Silo](The points guy website seo silo)!
All pages for each credit card provider are nested under the Credit Cards silo, resulting in URLs like the following:
While hard silos create physical folders that host each relevant page, they can lead to unwieldy URLs, especially if you have lengthy silo and sub-page names.
On the other hand, a soft silo is created solely through internal links. Each page has an unnested URL, typically something like:
This makes your site’s structure less clear to search engine bots, but it provides cleaner-looking URLs.
How Siloing Benefits SEO
There’s a good reason why everyone is talking about SEO silos; they deliver substantial benefits. Here are some advantages you can expect when implementing them:
Promotes Internal Linking
Internal links connecting related posts are a fundamental aspect of SEO siloing. These links simplify Google’s crawling process, help it understand your content, and establish your authority on a specific topic.
Numerous internal links not only assist Google in crawling your site but also enhance your rankings.
As you might already know, Google employs the PageRank algorithm to gauge the importance of your site’s pages based on the quantity and quality of incoming links. The more authoritative sites linking to you, the higher your PageRank score.
However, PageRank scores are not confined to the linked page alone; PageRank also flows throughout your website via internal links. Therefore, the more internal links your site has—and when you create SEO silos, you should have plenty—the easier PageRank circulates among each page, resulting in higher rankings.
Improves User Experience
SEO-siloed sites tend to be user-friendly. Users can easily find related content in one place and seamlessly navigate from page to page, thanks to the abundance of internal links. This significantly enhances the user experience, leading to longer visits and more page views.
Moreover, this positively influences your rankings since Google utilizes user experience metrics like dwell time and bounce rate to assess websites. The more time users spend on your site, the better your ranking.
Facilitates Future Keyword Expansion
When you establish SEO silos, keyword research becomes more straightforward. You can easily identify which topics you have already covered.
You can then employ the primary silo topic as a seed keyword for research purposes to uncover other relevant topics you haven’t addressed yet.
Siloing also mitigates keyword cannibalization. With a well-defined structure, it’s easy to identify two pages targeting the same keyword.
The SEO Siloing Process
Are you convinced of the benefits of SEO silos? Ready to start building your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Plan Your SEO Silos
Before anything else, you must outline your website’s silos. For some, this may be straightforward. You might already have rudimentary silos in place using Categories or Tags in WordPress.
Take The Spruce Pets, for example.
![The Spruce Pets Website SEO Silo](The Spruce Pets Website SEO Silo)
They have silos dedicated to each type of pet they cover. Some silos focus on a single pet (cats, dogs, etc.), while others concentrate on types of pets (reptiles, small pets, etc.).
In other cases, you may need to carefully consider your website’s theme and relevant subcategories.
A topical cluster mind map can be immensely helpful. A mind map offers a visual representation of your site structure, allowing you to move existing pages between different silos until you find the perfect fit.
If you prefer visual aids, tools like MindMeister are indispensable:
![MindMeister Tool](MindMeister Tool)
If you lean more toward an analytical approach, you may prefer a tool like Dynalist. In any case, don’t proceed further until you have well-defined silos.
Create a Silo Hub Page
Just like the hub-and-spoke approach to website architecture, SEO siloing necessitates the creation of a central page for each silo.
Here’s an example of a silo hub from The Spruce:
![Hub and Spoke SEO Structure and SEO Siloing](Hub and spoke SEO structure and SEO Siloing)
As you can see, these pages don’t necessarily need to contain extensive content. You can build them primarily using links to other relevant sub-pages within the silo.
However, don’t hesitate to include substantial content if you prefer. For instance, Nomadic Matt has an in-depth guide to France serving as his silo homepage, linking to numerous France-related articles.
![France Guide SEO Silo](France Guide SEO Silo)
To expedite the setup of your silos, I recommend starting by replicating The Spruce’s silo homepage and adding links to your relevant sub-pages. You can always augment the core page with more content later.
Internally Link Everything
This is arguably the most crucial part of the SEO siloing process. Internal links transform your silos from a collection of connected pages into an SEO-boosting machine.
Therefore, create as many relevant internal links as possible. Seriously, each page within an SEO silo should link to at least a couple of other related pages. The more, the better. Research by Authority Hacker has shown a strong correlation between the number of relevant internal links and search engine rankings.
You can identify internal linking opportunities yourself by thoroughly reviewing every article on your site. However, if you find that tedious, there are tools that can help.
The Ahrefs Webmaster Tool offers a free method to discover internal linking opportunities.
Let Ahrefs crawl your site if you’re not already using the tool, and then navigate to the “Internal link opportunities” section in the sidebar.
Ahrefs will automatically present hundreds, or even thousands, of potential internal link opportunities. These include an anchor keyword, the keyword’s context on the page, and a target page for linking.
![Internal Link Opportunities](Internal link opportunities)
While some suggestions may not be relevant, many will be.
Another option is Link Whisper, a premium WordPress plugin that automatically suggests internal links as you write.
![Link Whisper WordPress Plugin](Link Whisper WordPress plugin)
The tool also helps you identify pages with very few internal links and provides an internal link report highlighting orphaned pages, broken links, and 404 errors.
Keep Adding Content to Each SEO Silo
Establishing your silos is just the beginning. To maximize the benefits of SEO silos, you must continually update them with fresh content.
I recommend using a keyword research tool to identify keyword or information gaps. Consider this example: let’s say you have a website about dogs, and one of your silos is about dog food. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to find keyword ideas:
![Ubersuggest Keyword Ideas](Ubersuggest keyword ideas)
It appears that people are searching for information about specific dog food brands, suggesting you could create new content reviewing major brands. Work through the list systematically, excluding keywords you’ve already covered.
You probably don’t need a reminder to optimize each new page for SEO. Ensure your target keyword and its variations are naturally integrated into the page’s content, subheadings, and title.
Additionally, include plenty of internal links to your new content, making sure they link to other content within the same silo. For instance, in an article targeting “Dog Food Purina,” you can write a section comparing it to Pedigree dog food, providing a natural internal link. However, avoid linking it to a page in a different silo, such as one about dog toys.
As you continue, you may find multiple pages targeting the same topic and keyword. If that happens, don’t hesitate to consolidate and rewrite content accordingly. Google values fresh content highly—I do this regularly on my own site.
Best Practices for Building Effective SEO Silos
Looking to take your SEO siloing process to the next level? Follow these best practices:
Ensure Everything is Accessible Within Three Clicks
To simplify navigation for both users and search engine bots, strive to keep all your content within three clicks of your homepage. This is known as crawl depth.
While this can be challenging for older and larger sites, avoid compromising your site’s structure to adhere strictly to this guideline. However, the more pages within close reach of your homepage, the better.
Prioritize User Experience
While improving SEO is a primary benefit of creating silos, don’t design them in a way that detracts from the user experience. For example, avoid creating numerous, distinct silos, as this can complicate site navigation. Instead, aim to consolidate several silos into one or employ sub-silos for added clarity.
Also, try to refrain from over-optimizing your site’s SEO silos. Using the highest-volume keyword as the silo’s name may not always be the most user-friendly approach.
Reinforce Your New Site Structure
The more you reinforce your new site structure, the clearer it becomes for users and search engines.
There are several strategies to strengthen your newly siloed structure across your website. These include:
- Adding silos to menus and navigation bars
- Implementing breadcrumbs
- Adjusting your URL structure
Potential Drawbacks of SEO Siloing
The biggest strength of SEO siloing is also its potential weakness. SEO siloing is effective because it keeps each silo completely isolated from the others.
However, this can hinder your SEO efforts, as you’re not passing PageRank to other, sometimes related, pages. This viewpoint is supported by Google’s John Mueller and the Ahrefs team, who suggest using a top-down or pyramid structure instead.
If you want to avoid siloing your content entirely, you can interlink between different silos where relevant. Whether this still qualifies as creating SEO silos is open to interpretation.
SEO Siloing FAQs
What is siloing in SEO, and how does it work? Siloing in SEO is a method of organizing and grouping your website’s content into distinct and thematic categories or “silos.” This approach enhances the site’s SEO by making it more user-friendly and helping search engines like Google better understand and index the content.
How does siloing SEO help improve website rankings? SEO siloing improves rankings by enhancing the user experience, crawlability, and authoritativeness of your website. A well-implemented SEO silo strategy organizes content, resulting in a targeted approach that reduces competition between pages for similar keywords. This structural clarity can lead to higher search engine rankings, improved user engagement, and enhanced overall website performance.
What are the main components of a silo structure in SEO? A successful SEO silo structure consists of several core components:
- Relevant Content Grouping: Content is strategically grouped into distinct themes or topics, creating individual silos.
- Internal Linking: A network of internal links connects pages within the same silo, reinforcing thematic relevance and aiding navigation.
- Clear URL Structure: URLs can mirror the silo organization, enhancing user and search engine comprehension.
- Silo Home Pages: These central pages for each silo are often optimized for primary keywords and serve as gateways to other pages within the same category.
- Keyword Optimization: Pages within each silo are optimized for specific, relevant keywords, increasing the chances of ranking higher in search results for those terms.
Is siloing SEO suitable for all types of websites? Siloing is a versatile SEO strategy but may not be necessary or beneficial for every website. It is particularly effective for larger websites with diverse content that can be challenging to navigate without silos. For smaller websites with less content, the benefits of siloing may be minimal. It’s recommended to assess your site’s content and structure to determine whether siloing would be advantageous.
Implementing content silos can significantly enhance user experience, facilitate crawling, and boost your website’s rankings.
Building an effective website structure for SEO is within reach for anyone, whether your website is brand new or a decade old.
The key is to create well-defined silos and prioritize internal linking. The more you interlink related pages, the more powerful your silos become.
Do you use SEO silos on your site? Let us know in the comments!