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SEO Silo Structures: An In-Depth Overview

This article explains how to use a silo structure to organize your content on your website. It shows you how to create a main keyword silo structure, supporting keywords silos, and supporting keywords.

Rilind Elezaj


How to Build a Silo Structure for SEO with 4 Easy Steps

Have you ever heard of a silo structure for SEO?


The structure of your website plays an important role in how search engines crawl and understand your website. So if your site isn’t structured in a way that makes sense to them, your chances of ranking well for your target keyword are compromised. In this article, we’ll explain what a silo structure is, its advantages, disadvantages, alternatives and how to build one for your website.


In SEO, a silo structure is a type of website architecture in which you group, isolate, and interlink content about a specific topic. On your website, this results in clean, distinct sections of related content.


We’ll go over how to use a silo structure to logically organize your site’s content.

Determine the Website Theme

The subject matter expertise and clear themes of a website are very important to its ranking. A website should provide information in a clear structure and format that search engines can understand.


The on-page process of achieving high rankings starts with an in-depth understanding of the subject themes of a site. When the subjects are clear and distinct, a search engine can figure out the meaning.


A site that wants to rank for more than one generic term should carefully consider what it is and is not about.


Usually rankings can be damaged in two ways:

  • Irrelevant content
  • Having too little content about a subject

Examining the website’s historical traffic data is the best place to start identifying relevant themes for a site. First, examine the data from:

  • Google Search Console
  • PPC Programs
  • Tracked Keyword Phrases
  • Keyword Research

Each of these sources of data will reveal who visits the website and why. It will not directly explain why the site is not ranked for desired keywords, but it can help with figuring out which themes of the site the search engines recognize.

It is important to identify the gaps in your silos: areas that are relevant but lack obvious content on the site.


There are many methods to setting up a clear theme. It can help to visualize the primary and secondary categories that you want your site to focus on, using an organizational chart template or a simple outline list in a word processor.


After deciding on a website’s themes and subtopics, it’s time to apply the themes to the site in a recognizable way. Creating theme-based silos throughout a website allows search engines and human users to clearly communicate the site’s relevant themes.


Most likely, some of your pages won’t fit neatly into the categories you’ve already established, but that’s alright for some of them.


For example, your “About Us” and “Contact” pages can remain in your root folder.


However, if you have a lot of pages left over, look for common themes among them. This is a simple method for identifying more opportunities for content silos on your website.

Build Website Theme With Physical Silos

By grouping similar content pages under a single, well-organized directory, directory silos reinforce themes.


To establish the theme, a minimum of five content pages are required, each of which needs to be named to reinforce the subject matter. Visitors and search engines may easily miss the purpose and theme of a site that lacks a clear directory structure.


Everything must be tightly grouped in its place and filed under the appropriate structured heading for the directory silo to be well-organized.


Each distinct category has its own heading.


The directory naming system helps define what these pages are all about. Sticking to this format keeps your themes from blending.


Most sites will find that their topic is broad enough that they need to separate it into different categories. If you notice that one of your silos can be divided even more, you can make multiple subsilos.


However, keep the number reasonable. Going deeper may result in deeper pages not receiving enough inbound link value to be considered relevant.


More silos provide more space for keywords and keyword synonyms. The tighter your silos are, the more likely you are to rank for theme-specific keywords, particularly long-tail keywords.


Just make sure you don’t lose track of your more general terms in the process. You should focus on both sets of terms in your silos.


Build Website Theme With Virtual Silos

A website can be thought of as both a single entity that exists on the internet and as a collection of individual pages that make up the site.


Search engines try to categorize information on individual websites into content groups. Links between and within websites are viewed by search engines as a strong indicator of topic relevance.


To create distinct subject categories, virtual silos employ a drill-down, cross-linking structure. In other words, relevant pages linking to the top landing page support the theme of the top landing page.


Each supporting page in a virtual silo is linked to the category landing page as well as the other supporting pages for that theme.


This type of page cross-linking creates and reinforces the theme of the silo. Pages do not need to be in the same directory to be in the same silo with virtual siloing; the theme is established solely through the use of links.


Suppose you want to create a virtual silo with five pages as support pages. All five pages would link to the landing page to create the virtual silo.


This informs search engines that these pages are related to and support the topic presented on the landing page. Then, on each page, there should be a link to every other support page in the virtual silo.


Each support page in this case would link to the silo’s additional four support pages.


The simplest way to do this is to include navigation on the page to connect the pages, effectively creating a category-sitemap on the page.


You need to be very careful not to risk the integrity of your silo when linking to other pages on the website.


Linking from one support page to another in different silos dilutes the themes of both.


If you absolutely must link two different themed pages, you should use the rel=”nofollow” link attribute. The rel=”nofollow” link attribute tells search engines not to pass PageRank, an indicator of link value or relevance, to the link.


Cross-silo and inner-silo linking, collectively called internal site linking, is one essential element of virtual siloing best practices. Inbound linking, outbound linking, and internal site linking are the three main types of linking that influence high keyword rankings.


For all types of linking, the anchor text has a direct impact on the subject relevance. Improving your link structure brings the most relevant audience/visitors to your site. Visitors are far more likely to click on a search result which includes the most relevant keyword phrase.


The site can benefit from having some inbound link anchor text that includes subject relevant keyword phrases in order to rank for subject-related terms. However, this should not be forced or overly repetitive; the wording should be natural and in different variations.

Create Keyword-Rich Content

Content is very important but not all content is created equal. To meet the standard that search engines are looking for today, your content needs to be written with specific qualities in mind.


The starting point in creating keyword-rich content is to look at the amount of content that needs to be written to be competitive in the top results.


Knowing exactly how much content you will need to rank high in search engines can be very empowering. While having “enough” content is not enough to rank well in search engines, having “enough” is required to rise to the top of the search results.


There is more to website ranking than just writing content. The higher the ranking of a website, the more likely it is to have the most pages about a specific subject.


Other factors, such as the overall authority of the site, also have an impact on individual page rankings. These content estimates must be evaluated in the same way that any other siloing category is, and they must be considered as one factor in the overall silo construction.


When looking at many keywords, keyword density is not a meaningful number; yet, it is a useful statistic when characterizing any single keyword or keyword phrase.


Besides understanding the content volume of your own and your competitor’s sites, it is also beneficial to evaluate and understand how keywords and related words are used throughout the site’s content pages for each keyword.


Although there is no such thing as “ideal” keyword density, this number can be used as a guideline when creating and planning content.


Remember to focus on the density percentage rather than the frequency or repetition of keywords used through the content page.

Testimonials are also very important. Create a growing and active community to keep visitors on your site while producing unique, keyword-rich content.


Give your community the ability to create compelling testimonials about their loyalty for the company. Allow users to create their own communities within the website and create content that goes beyond a passive testimonial.

How Does Silo Structure Help With SEO?

Search engines have great powers of understanding. But without a silo structure, a search engine can’t tell what your main topics are and how they are organized into subtopics.

Rank higher on google

The main reason you should care about website architecture is to improve your Google rankings. It’s also true that good site architecture will help your pages rank higher for your target keywords.


A well-structured website with internal linking makes it easier for search engine crawlers to find and index your pages. If your pages are not well-linked, it will be harder for the crawlers to find them and give you organic traffic.


Unlinked pages are more difficult to crawl, index, and rank.


A good website architecture provides context to search engines, allowing them to understand what your page is about in the context of your entire website.

Improve authority flow and indexing

Another advantage of using a well-organized website architecture is that page rank flows better through your site. This means that simply by gaining internal links logically and contextually, PageRank from external links will flow to all related pages and help them rank higher on Google.


Building sub-topics within a content silo indicates to search engines that your website has topical authority for that topic. And that’s important.


Because a website’s content plays a role in its ability to rank for a particular keyword. It is also important to consider how much related content you have on your website. This is also helpful for your human visitors.

Improve user experience

Logical information architecture and website layout make it easier for users to navigate your site.


This increases their chances of exploring it, converting, recommending it, and doing everything else that comes with a great user experience.


This will extend the time your visitor spends on your site. Additionally, the longer a visitor stays on your site, the higher your pages will rank in search results. Because it informs the algorithm that your content was helpful in answering the searcher’s query.


As a result, a silo structure improves the user experience for your visitors, which improves your SEO.

What Are the Disadvantages of Silo Structure?

With the benefits listed above, it’s no surprise that the silo structure is very common. However, there are some disadvantages. 


The reason for this is that banning internal links between silos is quite harmful. This way SEO benefits and user benefits that it brings can’t make up for the harm that it causes. 


The main idea behind SEO silos is to keep link juice within the silo and only link internally to pages in the same site section.


However, some experts believe that in content, you should link to another page of your site if it makes contextual sense.


However, once you do that, you are no longer siloing. 


There are some efficient alternatives to the Silo structure. Some of the best practices for creating an SEO-friendly and well-structured website are:


  1. Making use of a pyramid structure

  2. Including internal links where relevant

  3. Creating content hubs for your blog content. 

  4. Making sure that your important content is easy to find


You put your most important content at the top of a pyramid structure, followed by your second most important content, and finally your third most important content. 


The benefits of the pyramid structure are:

  • Ease of navigation: Visitors start on the homepage, select a category, and then go deeper.
  • Good PageRank Flow: Because the homepage of a website is most likely to receive backlinks, it makes the most sense to place important content there.
  • Internal links are contextualized: Categories link to their respective subcategories, and vice versa.


The main issue with SEO silo structure is that it stops relevant contextual opportunities from being linked outside of the silo. Using a pyramid structure with no such limitations solves this problem.


Content hubs, like silos, are linked by collections of related content. The only actual difference between hubs and silos is that you can link between content hubs. Content hubs provide the best of both worlds; related content is grouped and interlinked (as with silos), but you can also internally link between pages where appropriate. 

Final Thoughts

Silo structure improves authority flow, user experience, and, ultimately, ranking higher on Google. However, silo structure has drawbacks, such as making it difficult to link to specific pages or creating a complex site structure. So make sure you understand both methods and decide which one suits your website better.

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