Listener Question – Matt Wonders Why You Should Link From Silo Pages But Not To Silo Pages

A few episodes back we talked about a strategy for creating content silos and how to link those pages together, and also how to link them to your primary or “money” page.  Local SEO Tactics listener Matt asked a question about why this is a tactic, and why it is better to link from a silo page than to a silo page.  In this episode, we answer his question and expand on the topic of silo pages.

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YOU’LL LEARN

  • When it makes sense to link from an inner silo page out to your money page
  • When it makes sense to link from your money page out to an inner page
  • You need to understand the intent of your inner silo pages if they are sales pages or just content pages
  • Be specific and intentional on how you are linking your pages together and the road map you are creating
  • Inner silo pages are generally created for Google, to help them understand your scope of content
  • The inner links you create for your website help show Google your major content areas and what is important

Here is the transcription from Episode 63 Explanation On Linking From Inner Silo Pages To Your Primary Money Page;

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to help you get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, joined here with Bob Brennan.

Bob Brennan: Hi.

Jesse Dolan: You might notice, if you’re watching the video version, the YouTube version here, something a little different than we haven’t seen in probably a few months here is back in the glamorous production studio here, right?

Bob Brennan: Right.

Jesse Dolan: Not virtual. Not at home. Not via Zoom. Not flying solo. This is kind of cool. Not that we’re completely out of the woods yet on all this COVID stuff, but it is nice to get back in and do it with the proper hardware and in the right setting here again. So I hope you all enjoy it. I guess a good segue for anybody who hasn’t checked out our YouTube stuff if you want to see what either we look like, right? Because I was just sharing with Bob right before we started hitting record, a few of you that I’ve engaged with, with some of these emails, which we’re going to read one here from Matt Benson in a second, have remarked about how, “Oh, you didn’t look like I thought you would or how your voice matches up.”

If you want to see us in all our glamor, just go Local SEO Tactics on YouTube and you can catch all these episodes right on there and subscribe to that.

Bob Brennan: That’s right. Brad Pitt and Rodney Dangerfield.

Jesse Dolan: Often what we get confused for, yeah. I’ll take that. I’ll take that every time. But no, seriously, yeah, check it out on YouTube. All these episodes are not only audio for podcasts, but also video. So sometimes that’s good if we go through some tutorials and stuff. So check that out. Also, since we’re in the mode of self-promotion here to kick it off, check out our free instant SEO audit tool on the website, localSEOtactics.com. Top right corner, yellow button. Click it, enter in your domain, a competitor’s domain, whatever you want to run a quick SEO audit against. Plugin your keyword that you want to score it against and it’s going to give you a PDF with a great report. All the good, bad, and ugly on the website, what needs to be done and a snazzy checklist at the end of it to use as a punch list.

So if you haven’t done it yet, check that out. It’s a great way to jump into your website and start chipping away at it and track your progress along the way. You can use that tool as many times as you want, and it’s completely free. So check that out, localSEOtactics.com. This week, I should say for this episode here, what we’re going to be doing is going over a question that Matt Benson sent in. Matt contacted us through the website, again, localSEOtactics.com. If you go down to the bottom left corner, you’re going to see a button or a link, I should say, for submit a question. If you submit a question and we do use it on the episode here, we’re going to send you off one of these snazzy Intrycks T-shirts for our appreciation and like we’d said a few episodes back when we kicked this off, if you have a question about something, maybe it’s something that we talked about on the show that you want us to elaborate on or dive deeper into for some reason, you’re not going to be the only one.

So if there’s something that’s bugging you right now, either that we’ve covered on the show or something not that you’d like us to cover, you’re not going to be the only one out there. The rest of the audience and everybody else is going to appreciate it. So step on up, localSEOtactics.com, click on the submit a question, and we’ll be happy to cover your topic on the show here. So Matt emailed in and he says, “Hey, I have a question regarding your content silo episode that you just published. Why is it better to not link from a hub page to one of the interior pages, only from the interior back to the hub and to the immediately preceding and following pages? I loved the episode and found it helpful, but it seemed counterintuitive to have a group of interior pages linking to each other with no way to link to them. Thanks. Keep up the great podcasts.”

Matt, obviously I emailed you back and we talked about that and I’m going to elaborate on that. So before I go there, first to back up, if you haven’t listened to that episode for the content silo, definitely check that out. It’s a great SEO tactic to build relevancy to your landing pages, your location pages, your money pages, whatever you want to call it and how to round out that content, because you can only put so much information on one page. You can only go after so many keywords on one page, but yet, especially if you’re a multi-location business, that’s the page you want to rank. This is usually the page that’s tied to your GMB, in this example, and you just can’t do everything or, I should say, mention everything that you do on that page.

So you have to use this content silo strategy or some other version of this to develop all these other pages so Google can really understand this is the entire encyclopedia of what you do as a business. That was the purpose of that episode and it’s not a tactic we invented by any means. That’s a pretty standard SEO tactic out there for right now that works and check that out. I’ll link to that in the show notes and that’ll give you some context if you don’t know what Matt is talking about here. So I’ll read you the email that I replied to Matt, the pertinent snippet, and then we’ll dive into this a little bit deeper and dissect that for why.

So I emailed Matt back and I said, “It’s a great question. You can do both. It depends on the nature of the pages. If the interior pages are not intended to be a sales page, then use the silo as I laid out.” We’ll pause right there. The content silo, like we were just talking about, those pages that are pointing to your money page or pointing to your location page, the primary reason for creating those is just to put this information out there so it’s discovered by Google and they can know this is what your website is about. They’re not intended for humans so much, right? They can rank and you can get traffic on them, but there’s no call to action. There’s no submission form. There’s no sales information. It’s just contextual information.

So right there, that’s the first thing, is if they’re not intended to be a sales page definitely use this content silo. However, if those inner pages are intended to be a sales page, you’re going to want to go ahead and do what Matt is saying. You can link out from your location page, from your landing page to something else. If you’re just mentioning some of the products that you do on your location page, or even your homepage, quite frankly, and people need to ‘click here for more info,’ right, or ‘learn more, click this button,’ that’s fine. You can have pages that link off of your landing pages, off of your money pages, when the sales path needs to continue.

But when it goes the other way, if somebody is starting from this super niche-y topic and they want to learn more about your company or engage or get a quote, again, flip it back to using that content silo. To build relevancy, you want to push this SEO juice, quote-unquote, to those money pages to get those to rank. They’re going to have all your testimonials, all your quotes, everything else. You don’t want to duplicate that across your entire web to dilute everything there. So you want to, with that content silo, really focus everything to your money pages and then if you’re going to be using those landing pages and those money pages to really expand back out, then absolutely reverse it, like Matt’s asking, and go ahead and push people to those supporting areas. If that wasn’t allowable, I mean, every website would be a one-page website. You wouldn’t be able to click anywhere, right?

Bob Brennan: Right.

Jesse Dolan: So totally applicable.

Bob Brennan: So this is really, this silo theory or what have you, I mean, five years ago you could get by with thin content, right?

Jesse Dolan: Sure.

Bob Brennan: Where you really didn’t have to do this or it was if you did anything-

Jesse Dolan: More keyword stuffing and stuff.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. And it was really thin. So this is really a structure that’s developed like the early days of the library in terms of the Dewey Decimal systems. So this is the beginning of a structure in terms of why we have these support pages and then how they’re supported the way they are.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, definitely a certain ratio and measure of that. And then also with, again, if you… Part of Google’s core part of their algorithm, which they still can’t really get rid of, is the back-linking for PageRank, right? So Bob, if you have a website and I have one and we’re competing, if you have a thousand links to your website from good legitimate websites, of course, and I have 10, I mean, Google right there sees you as more relevant, more important, more popular, more authoritative, whatever you want to call it. Same thing here. If I have a website and I’ve got 50 of my pages all pointing back internally to this one landing page, Google can see that as that’s an authoritative page. I mean, taking away what the content is on there and everything else, just stripping it down to that architecture, they see that you’re pointing a lot of energy back to this page and it must be important.

And then they can know that these 50 pages in my example are about these different types of content, and if all these are pushing to that landing page and that money page, it’s about those two and it will rank that page. So you’re definitely, yeah, Dewey Decimal system. Encyclopedia. We’ve used the example of a book with an index and chapters and all that kind of stuff here. That’s the core architecture of that content silo. The overall base point, like we’re seeing with Matt, is when your page that you want to be converting and pushing people to is that location page, when you develop these content silo pages that reinforce that page, the traffic you want, the human beings, you want them to convert and take action on that landing page. Where you don’t do this is when that’s not the page, right?

If your location page or your main page is not where they’re going to take action on that sale, yeah, then develop these interior pages, again, in that more of ‘click here for more information’ or ‘to learn more’ or ‘page two,’ or what have you. Then you can go down and deep dive into that niche. If somebody is looking for auto repair they might want to know, are you really good at radiators or transmissions or whatever, and not just oil changes? So yeah, you need service and product pages for your website. The important part on this is that you just understand, again, what’s the intent of these pages. Are you creating these secondary pages, if you will, for human beings to convert, or are you creating them just to get the content out there, to get that relevancy like we talked about? And that’s where then you can tell. Is this a silo content to reinforce or are these sale pages?

So I’ll just close out what I replied back to Matt in the email because that helps wrap it up. I said, “In my example, it’s not really a hub page if you’re linking from these inner pages. It’s more like a sales page or a landing page. It is the main page I want visitors on that has my CTA and contact info, et cetera. Those inner pages are only out there to provide more in-depth information, aimed at Google to digest and then push the link juice one way to my sales page.” I say that because that underscores another important part of the content silo. Those pages interlink between each other to say, “Hey, we’re all related. We’re all part of the same story,” but then they all point back to that hub page.

Flip this around for Matt’s question. You’re not taking your landing page and pointing it to all of your supporting pages back out. You’re bringing people down a specific path and you can do both of these. You can have your landing page or your money page, location page, again, whatever your exact intent is, it can have a bunch of supporting pages pointing to it. You can also have jump-off points from your landing page. Again, ‘explore this for this other part of our business’ or things like that. So you can mix these a little bit and you’re not going to really have any problems. For this and for anything else, quite frankly, if you’re having a struggle with this and you think it’s important and you’re not sure if you’ve got it right or not, like we keep saying, you can reach out to us. Contact us through the website, localSEOtactics.com. Shoot us the web page and maybe a little context. Happy to give you a few minutes to check this out and help you get through the weeds because this gets a little technical.

It’s not as easy as saying, “What are my products and services?” Boom on my website. This is getting to a little bit more advanced, specific SEO tactics, not just business best practices. So we don’t just put out this show to fill the airwaves with sexy voices and cool nerdy tips here. We definitely want to help you guys out and help you gals out, so reach out to us if you have any questions on this. That’s pretty much it for this short episode, tackling that. Hopefully, that helps everybody out. Definitely employ that content silo in your SEO. It’s a game-changer. Again, don’t be afraid to point your links the other way if they are sales intended.

Let’s get into our five-star review of the week here. This time we got a great five-star review from Eric Hersey. Hopefully, I’m saying your last name right, Eric. “It’s very helpful. This podcast has been super helpful over the last year. I’ve been able to go back and listen to a lot of the back catalog and pick up tips, tricks, and tools to help me grow my online visibility and grow my little web agency. Thanks for providing quality content.” You’re welcome. We’ve been noticing that a lot of these reviews and feedback we get aren’t just from business owners and managers working on their website, but also people like you, Eric, getting the agency going.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. That’s always shocked me because the intent was to help business owners, but we didn’t think we could help agencies as well, so it’s pretty cool.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. And Eric, we’ve traded a couple of emails and yeah, I’m glad to hear things are helping you out and you’re growing and thriving. Again, if everybody has questions, contact us. If you want to leave us a review, we’d love to hear it. Same thing, localSEOtactics.com. Go down to the bottom left. You can see all our reviews and you can leave us a review. Whatever your platform of choice is, Google, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you. That’s how we know we’re doing the right thing and the show is relevant to everybody, so please help us out and leave a review. That’d be great. As long as you keep leaving them, we will keep reading them. So that does it for this week. I should say this episode. I got to get out of that habit of saying this week because eventually there’s going to be multiple episodes-

Bob Brennan: Yeah. Yeah. We need to get caught up.

Jesse Dolan: … in any given week, so. But yeah, thanks for tuning in and we’ll catch you next time.

Bob Brennan: Bye now.

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