How to Improve Your Site’s Indexability with an Optimized Silo Link Structure
What the Hell is a silo link structure, and how to I create one to make my website rank better in search? Keep reading to find out!
At this point, you should already know that SEO strategies are split into two categories: On-page and off-page.
Off-page SEO encompasses strategies that focus on external ranking factors. These include social media marketing, link building, and blogger outreach.
On-page SEO, on the other hand, includes strategies that target ranking factors on your site, like keyword optimization, performance, and content quality.
If you’ve read the title, you should already know that we’ll leave off-page SEO for another day and focus on on-page optimization, particularly how to implement a link silo structure for indexability.
But first, a quick word about the process of website indexing and the role of on-page SEO.
How On-Page SEO Works?
Remember, search engines rely on crawlers that travel through links, evaluate the quality of content, and index them for relevant search queries.
While off-page strategies make it easier for these crawlers to discover your site, on-page SEO instills pages with quality signals that search engines look for.
No — it’s not just about having high-quality, keyword-optimized content. There are actually several on-page ranking factors that can affect your website’s rank-worthiness.
For example, page speed is one of the known on-page ranking signals that demand a website owner’s attention. With that in mind, using image compression, leveraging a CDN, or enabling browser caching to improve loading speed can all be considered as on-page SEO strategies.
Implementing a link silo structure, however, has a slightly different objective than these tactics.
Rather than directly affecting a specific on-page ranking factor, a link silo structure makes sure crawlers get to explore most — if not all — of your content.
Here’s how it works.
The first step in implementing the link silo structure on a website is to “theme” it.
Put simply, “theming” pertains to the practice of identifying the content categories and sub-categories you wish to feature on your website through keyword research.
Theming is actually a process that ideally starts before you even commit to your core business idea. The more you’re in touch with the topics that your target audience cares about, the more easy it is to develop a content strategy that will get their attention and trust.
Once the website’s theme is defined, a hierarchy can then be established to organize content as well as help crawlers and human readers alike to grasp the relevance of every piece.
For example, suppose you run a fitness blog and would like to use “aerobic exercises” as one of the main categories.
With a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest, I can quickly come up with a number of sub-categories or actual content topics. All you need to do is enter a seed keyword like “aerobic exercises” and the tool will proceed to generate long-tail keyword variations.
Using the information presented by Ubersuggest, you can now build your first content category or silo. With a little creativity, you also shouldn’t have any problems refining keyword suggestions into content titles.
Of course, you wouldn’t stop there and end up with only one content silo for your site.
Suppose you used Ubersuggest and came up with more keywords for the categories “Keto Diet” and “Strength Training.” Here’s what your link silos could be:
Silo #1 — Aerobic Exercises
- 10 simple aerobic exercises for weight loss
- The aerobic exercises benefits you need to know about
- Aerobic exercises at home you can do in less than 10 minutes
- 10 proven aerobic exercises for seniors
Silo #2 — Keto DIet
- A simple keto diet plan for busy pros
- 10 keto diet recipes to try for beginners
- What is the best keto diet app?
Silo #3 — Strength Training
- The basics of strength training for women
- A 30-day strength training program
- Top 10 strength training workouts you can do at home
Building Your Website Link Structure
Of course, it’s entirely possible that you’ve already themed your website and are only lacking the actual internal links that tie everything together. In which case, your next priority should be to organize your existing content into keyword-based categories that make sense.
Even if you weren’t planning to use an organized link structure on your website, it should be possible to sort your content into silos.
Going back to the previous example, here’s what a link silo structure would look like in its simplest form:
Remember that the diagram above is only an oversimplification of how hierarchies work in a link silo structure — more often than not, you will also have a handful of sub-category pages to go along with with your content.
Keep this in mind: your website’s homepage should contain links to your main silo pages, which will then link to all sub-categories and posts. This is typically done via navigation menus that can be easily created using the built-in features of most content management systems and other website platforms.
In certain content management systems like Joomla, it’s also important to create the category pages for your silos.
The category manager’s interface may look different if you recently installed a newer Joomla Upgrade. But for your reference, you should look for a menu that looks akin to:
To complete your silo, your posts should also contain internal links to other relevant posts whenever they fit the narrative.
For example, your “keto diet plan” article may mention your “keto diet recipes” post. The same can be said for your “30-day strength training program” and “strength training for women” articles.
There are only two rules you need to remember when adding internal links this way.
- You need to make sure internal links are never forced. Only add an internal link to another article if it also offers value to your readers.
- Lastly, don’t hesitate to use keyword-optimized anchor texts for your internal links. This will help crawlers understand what the linked post is about.
SEO is one of the things that have been covered multiple times in this blog, but we’ve still barely scratched the surface.
You see, even marketing experts are still undergoing a learning process when it comes to SEO. This is thanks to the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms and the ever-growing competitiveness of pretty much every niche.
With a silo link structure, you can create something a lot of bloggers don’t go out of their way to get — a website that gives search engine crawlers a direct line to every piece of relevant content.
If you want more, I recommend that you check out this post for a comprehensive list of SEO tips. Cheers!