“Siloing” is part of a growing trend in search engine optimization that could significantly improve your website’s visibility and ranking in search engines. SEO silos are organizational tools that you can use to improve the structure of your site. In the guide below, we will explore what SEO silos are and how you can benefit from using them.
What Is An SEO Silo?
In agriculture, a silo is a large structure used to contain grain, feed, or other types of products. Each silo holds a specific type of product in complete containment. In SEO, a silo has a similar job, only it is used to contain similar themes on a website, not tangible items. Webpages that follow the same theme are grouped together in a single, all-inclusive silo that does not dip into any other silo on the website.
To put matters into perspective, let’s say that you run a business selling dog food. You have two main categories of dog food: wet and dry. For your SEO silo structure, you may have a silo of webpages dedicated to wet dog food and a silo of webpages dedicated to dry dog food. These two silos would only link within themselves, not to the other silos on the website.
The Benefits Of SEO Silos
SEO siloing is designed to cover several specific purposes:
Create a logical content organization system that groups like concepts together.
Establish the website as an authority for a specific theme (the theme of the silo).
Build individual content groupings that can be monitored, adjusted, expanded, or removed as needed.
Gain a clear vision of the purpose of the website and how well it currently reaches the target audience.
Reorganize content on the website that is disjointed, unrelated, or valueless.
Think of this like you would bagging your groceries at the supermarket. If you put all the cold items together and all the canned foods together, you have an easier time finding what you need when you go to put up your food. In this case, you are simply “bagging” similar pieces of content so it is easier for search engines to find them. Not only do the silos create a clear path for search engines to follow when crawling your website, but they also boost your credibility for specific search terms (often the themes of your silos). By having several pieces of content all backing the same central theme, your website will appear as a more valuable resource that Google and other search engines will want to promote.
Different Types Of SEO Silos
There are two main types of SEO silos: physical SEO silos and virtual SEO silos. Both of these can result in the same boost in search engine rankings, but they go about that in a different way. For instance, a physical SEO silo involves categorizing pages on a website so that fit into a silo in the site’s directory. This will be reflected in the URL for the page, with a structure along the lines of: WebsiteName.com/silo/silo-subpage.html. With a virtual silo, the siloing is done through interlinking between the webpages. Each page within the silo links to all the other pages in the silo so search engines can pick up on the connections.
Creating An SEO Silo Structure For Your Website
In order to create an SEO silo structure for your website, you first need to identify the different themes you want to address with your silos. You can always expand your siloing later on, so it may be best to keep it simple at the start. In the dog food case above, our two silos were wet dog food and dry dog food.
Each silo should have a minimum of five supporting pages, in addition to a parent page or category page that represents the main theme for the silo. For the dog food site, we may have:
Wet Dog Food Category Page
Chicken Flavored Wet Dog Food
Quail Flavored Wet Dog Food
Turkey Flavored Wet Dog Food
Salmon Flavored Wet Dog Food
Beef Flavored Wet Dog Food
Dry Dog Food Category Page
Chicken Flavored Dry Dog Food
Turkey Flavored Dry Dog Food
Beef Flavored Dry Dog Food
Pork Flavored Dry Dog Food
Deer Flavored Dry Dog Food
Note that some of the flavor profiles overlap from one category to the next. Even though it may make sense to link the chicken flavored wet and dry dog food pages, that would harm the integrity of the silos. It is best to only link pages within the same silo so search engines can see a clear connection within the content.
Whether you choose to create silos through a physical or virtual siloing structure, you can start to group like pages together to establish themes on your website. From there, you can choose to expand your silos or create new silos underneath your existing ones, depending on what works best for your site. Keep the silo structure in mind with every piece of content you create, and you will see a significant improvement in your search result rankings.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.