Leverage Content Silos To Enhance Your SEO and Improve Your Rankings

Getting back into some direct SEO tactics on this episode, we’ll dive into the topic of content silos and using the silo architecture to help you with some SEO gains. Leveraging this strategy can help to build relevancy for your topics, products, and services. We’ll break down the basic concept of the content silo so you can implement it on your own website!

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YOU’LL LEARN

  • A content silo technique can potentially help you rank higher for specific search terms and topics
  • Create a strong landing page that you want to rank in Google
  • Develop supporting pages that dive deeper into to topic of your landing page
  • Do not link your landing page to the supporting pages
  • The supporting pages should link to themselves, and to the landing page
  • Each supporting page should be in-depth and specific on one topic that is related to the landing page intent
  • Supporting pages in the silo are not intended to be linked in your main menu or navigational structure
  • All actions on your supporting pages should be pushing users to your landing page

Here is the transcription from Episode 60 Using The Content Silo Strategy and Architecture For Your Website Structure and SEO;

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get your business found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan, going without Bob again here for this episode. No Zoom quarantine special edition, both of us teaming up here. You’re just going to get me on this one. So this episode here, we’re going to talk a little bit more about SEO again, going away from some coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic-related topics, and we’re just going to be talking about some actual SEO strategies to deploy on your website.

Before we get into that, I do you want to talk about our free instant SEO audit tool like we do on every episode. Go to localseotactics.com, click in the top right corner on the yellow button for a free instant SEO audit. Plug in your website or a competitor website, plug in your keyword that you want to audit against to see what your score is for how well optimized you are on that keyword. And it’s going to spit you out a great report that shows the things you’re doing right, the things you’re doing wrong, and it’ll give you a checklist for fixing all those things that you got wrong. Whether you fix those yourselves or you delegate that to a team member or an agency or somebody else, this is a great tool to set you on the right path for fixing some of those things. And if you do use it on a competitor site, it’s cool to compare what they’re doing versus what you’re doing to see maybe what you need to do, what you need to take care of.

In that respect, and I do want to mention, one thing about getting ranked in Google, I’ve had this conversation with some customers recently and it just rings true, so I wanted to share it with all of you. We’re not trying to get ranked in Google. We are, but that’s not the way to look at it. When we’re using these audit tools or any other tools out there within the context of looking at your competition compared to you, we’re trying to rank higher in Google than our competition. And I think that needs to be underlined a little bit, and we kind of lose sight of that.

There’s no magical recipe for SEO. There’s no if you do this, this and this, you’re going to be in the number one spot. Because that’s not giving enough credit to all the factors for ranking. We may have some best practices and some things that we need to do to get ranked in Google, but at the end of the day, if you’re not ranked for the keywords that you want to be found for, there is no magical solution for you to just do. What you have to make sure you’re taking into account is what your competitors are doing. The people that are ranked above you. You’re trying to get ranked above them in Google, not just get ranked in Google. So if you’re not paying attention to what those competitors are doing, you’re definitely hamstringing yourself and not given all the ability that you need and all the tools and all the knowledge that you need to beat them and to get ranked first or second or third, or whatever your goal is.

But just remember, you’re trying to rank ahead of people that are already ranked in Google. So spend some time and spend some energy and spend some of your resources on analyzing what they’re doing that you’re not and match or beat them in those areas. That’s a whole other topic on itself, but within the context of our free instant SEO audit tool, if you haven’t run it against some competitors yet, or you haven’t ran it on your own site even yet, just take that and see if that can help you look through maybe a little bit different optics at your website and what you’re trying to do.

Again, go localseotactics.com, top right corner, yellow button, free instant SEO audit. Plugin your information, it’s going to send you an E… It’s not going to send you and E. It’s going to send you a PDF via email and you can get rocking and rolling.

So this week here, or this episode here, I should say, because we’re trying not to do them specifically weekly. Some weeks we may do more or less episodes, but we’re trying to get you more content here. So for this episode, we’re going to get into what’s called content siloing. Now this topic, I’m going to go through a process that we use. It’s not completely cookie-cutter process. There are some tweaks on this, again, that depend on maybe your niche, your vertical, your geographic marketplace, or what your competitors are doing.

I’m not going to dive into all variations and concepts on this. I’m going to stick with something right down the middle that you guys and gals can run with, and then maybe we can expand on it in future episodes. Likewise, once you listen to this and are familiar with some of these terms, you can do some Googling and find other versions of this. This is nothing that I or we have invented. This is something that’s been common knowledge out there in the SEO space for a while now. And there’s plenty of other people that are smarter than me with diagrams and cheat sheets and other versions of this content siloing that we’re going to talk about here. We’re just going to lay the basic foundation today to have you start doing some of this yourself and take advantage of it.

So basically what the content siloing is, is developing information around a certain topic on your website for the purpose of communicating that to Google. So if we rewind the clock a few years ago, SEO, it was frankly a lot simpler than it is now. You had to identify a keyword that you’re trying to target, you had to make a page about that keyword, you had to mash that keyword on there a certain number of times on the page, have some good content on there and get it submitted to Google. And as long as you were doing a better job of that than your competitors, you stood a pretty good chance.

Well, Google is much more sophisticated now than they were a couple of years ago, and they take a lot more information into account and they take a much broader view of your website for what it is you’re trying to rank for. And in some cases you don’t have to… I should back up. In some cases you still have to be extremely strategic. I don’t mean to sound like you don’t for targeting a keyword, developing content, making sure you optimize that page for that keyword. That’s all still true. That just doesn’t work on its own like it might’ve a couple years back.

So one of the tactics that we have to deploy is this content siloing. So we’ll just take a topic here of auto repair, that’s a example that we use often on the show because it’s pretty simple. And we’re going to expand on that. So let’s take, for example, your business, if you wanted to be found just for radiator repair. That’s all you do. Auto repair. You might do radiators, transmissions, brakes, oil changes, the whole gamut. But let’s just say you’re not being found for radiator repair and you want to be found for radiator repair.

So, on the most simple version of what you can do is make sure you have a page created for radiator repair. Now that page, what is on that page, how many words, how much text, photos, videos, things like that, right there you’re going to have to make sure before you develop your page that you’ve gone onto Google, that you’ve searched radiator repair in whatever your city is to find out who else is already showing up where you want to show up. Make sure you’re paying attention to the things that those dominant pages are doing and incorporate those things. If the top three pages have a YouTube video embedded, you’re probably going to need a YouTube video to rank. Or to beat them. If those top three pages have a bunch of FAQs, questions and answers or things like that, you’re probably going to need that on your page as well.

I’m not going to get deep into how to actually structure that page and what should be on that page, other than to give the tip of create a good page, make sure you’re cognizant of what your competitors are doing that are dominant and that are winning, because that’s who we want to beat, and make sure your page can compete with them and that you’re playing the same game there.

So let’s say you’ve created your page for radiator repair and you publish it and it gets indexed in Google, which means, ideally, you’ve gone to Google Search Console, a formerly called Google Webmaster Tools for anybody who’s old school, and you submit your page. You go to their coverage tool or URL inspection, plug in your, or paste in your URL for your new radiator repair page, click the button to get it indexed, that way Google will make sure they’re aware of the page and they can serve it up in search results. If that’s all you got to do and you’re getting ranked number one, number two, number three, whatever it is for radiator repair in your town, cool. You don’t have to worry about this anymore.

However, that’s usually not enough anymore. And so what you need to do is develop these supporting pages in this content silo. So I’m going to run through a basic way to approach that. And again, like I’d stated earlier, you can get way more advanced and take this thing to the next level, but this is a foundation to build on.

So what you’re going to want to do, and this is my process, is brainstorm on the various elements of radiator repair. What makes it a service you provide? What makes it a value to the customer? How do you go about it? And things like that. So easiest is just to create a quick outline, open up a Word Doc or whatever you want to do, grab a piece of scratch paper. And just start looking at the who, what, where, when, why. And just writing about, in a brainstorm and an outline format, we’re not writing paragraphs or essay here. This is a brainstorm. So who needs radiator repair? Why do they need it? Why as in, was there a failure? Was it regular maintenance? Is it a certain mileage? What are the reasons they would need radiator repair or replacement even. Other variations. Where, what city, what service area, what, why, when. You can go on down the list just brainstorming on the various facts and facets of it.

And once you’re done with that, hopefully what you can do is create three, five, or even seven new pages about radiator repair, but that they’re focused on a very specific node of that brainstorm. So let’s say you have your main page for radiator repair. We’ll call that your money page. That’s the page that you want to actually rank for radiator repair in your town. You’re going to want to make sure on that page you have your phone number, your online submission form if you’re collecting some kind of a email or reservation or customer inquiry. Whatever it is, make sure that’s a real good landing page.

From there, I should say not from… How do I rephrase this without sounding like an idiot here? Don’t link to any other pages from that radiator repair page. As I’m going to go through here, and let’s just say we’re going to pick three pages to keep it simple. Again, you might do three, five or seven. The more, the better here. We’re going to keep this as three for my example going forward. We’re going to create three more pages about radiator repair. And the inclination is that you would link to these from your money page, from your radiator repair page that you want to rank. And I’m going to tell you not to do that. These three pages we’re going to create, sure they may rank in search engines. But the reason we’re creating these is just to provide more information to Google. We’re going to create these pages to supplement or to prop up your radiator repair page, to provide more information.

If you think about this as a book, and somebody shared this analogy with me a while back. I forget who it was or I’d give you a credit right now. Google is a machine at its core. It’s a bot. Sure, humans work there and humans do review some content sometimes, but the real reason humans work at Google is to develop software algorithms, AI, and bots to do the job at scale. And Google likes to digest information in the format of a book. And if you could think about the elements that make up a book, you have the cover, the title of the book. Inside there you have some kind of an index, a listing of the chapter, table of contents. However you want to visualize that. First there’s the cover, you open it up, then you’re presented with here’s the ten chapters. And then you go to chapter one, there’s some kind of a headline, a title, a subject for that chapter. And then you have the actual story.

If you were to take any one of those individual elements out, maybe just that one chapter, or maybe just the headline from that chapter, you’re not really going to have a good sense of what that book is about. You really need the entire book to fully understand what this is about. And how that relates back to your website and your page about radiator repair here is, sure, maybe you have a page about radiator repair, but if we don’t have a lot of good supporting information, that’s just the headline. Or just one chapter of the book. Are you doing radiator repair on vehicles, or is this more like a boiler for a apartment building or an industrial complex? Are you doing radiator repair, like showing somebody DIY, or are you providing it as a service? On vehicles or on heavy duty trucks? Just because it’s radiator repair, there’s still some definition or some open-endedness if you don’t define all that.

And that’s the purpose of these supporting pages is to help define that. To round out the other pages in the book, the other chapters in the book so Google fully understands what it is you’re talking about. What the intent is for a user. I should say what they want to do is match up a user understanding what the user’s intent is with your product or service on your website. So the more information we can give to Google, the more we can arm them with, the more context we can provide to them, the better job they’re going to do at matching you with that person that’s looking for it. And how we know that that’s working is you’ve got a high rank in Google. That’s when Google says, somebody’s searching for this, you seem to be the most relevant. That’s how you know you’re doing a good job there.

So getting back around to these three pages, you’re going to want to pick three things that help really tell the story of radiator repair and what it means for your business to define these things. These three things are going to be listed on your main money page, on your main radiator repair page. If we just say one of them is that it’s on automotive vehicles. I should say passenger vehicles. Consumer vehicles. Pickup trucks, sedans, station wagons, minivans, stuff like that. SUVs. You’re going to want to have a page that talks about maybe the different types of radiators, applications, why some are more heavy duty than others, what their materials they’re made out of. Whatever. Position it for the types of vehicles.

Maybe you have another one that talks about your warranty for the radiators in depth. Maybe the different options you have. Maybe you pull some from a junk yard or you buy new OEM, or whatever it is. Just the different options to go through radiator pricing, radiator options, radiator, the cost on this one versus that one for how many miles you’re going to get out of it. Some kind of cost benefit ratio. And then maybe the third one is how you can perform it. Schedule an appointment today, or what the lead time is, or things like that.

Then you can go a million different directions here, but you want to, through your brainstorm, try to group these things again, either three or five or seven. For some reason I’m picking odd numbers here, but come up and compartmentalize these various topics into groups and create pages specifically on that content. You don’t have to reiterate everything that you talked about on your main radiator repair page. What you want to do is the opposite. This brainstorm that you put down, all of this should be touched on on your main radio to repair page. That’s the main page. It should be the most overall informative page about radiator repair. However, you’re not diving a mile deep into any of those topics. You’re making sure you’re talking about everything, but you’re not diving super deep. And that’s the purpose of the supporting pages is to dive very deep into one specific vein of radiator repair.

So just to reset, you’ve got your money page, which is the radiator repair. You’ve got your supporting pages that are talking about very specific elements that are related to radiator repair based on your brainstorm. And now the last part we need to do is there’s a specific strategy in linking these pages together. Again, we’ve submitted our radiator repair page to Google, so they have it in their file system. They have it in their index. Also, your radiator repair page, because it’s one of your main pages that you’ve just created, is probably linked in the main menu of your website, or somehow through the navigation. If somebody lands on your homepage, they should be having a way to get to your radiator repair page pretty easily. If you provide auto repair and radiator repairs, one of your major offerings you do, it should be in a menu, a drop down or a button somewhere for do radiator repair.

So Google should have no problem finding this page to crawl it and to index it. Likewise, your customer should have no problem finding this page to get to it and patronize you. These supporting pages do not need to be public facing. They do not need to be front and center. They do not need to be readily accessible to the general public. Now, they may show up in search engines. You don’t want to make these bad looking pages. You want to still have these be pages that convert. But their intent is not to be necessarily ranked on their own merit or to be converting if somebody lands on them. Their intent is to provide this supporting information to really round out a chapter about these specific topics.

And we’ll start with the first page of three. So these pages all want to link back to your money page. So each of these pages should have some kind of strong call to action. So if you’re talking about the types of radiator repairs that you offer, or the types of materials, or whatever these options are, tell your story, do your thing, support it with pictures, support it with bullet point lists, just like you’d create any other great optimized page. But have a strong call to action on these pages that pushes people back to your main radiator repair page. So if somebody happens upon this page and they’re seeing that you perform radiator repair on commercial vehicles, click here to schedule your appointment. Click here for pricing. Click here for… You get the idea. Whatever it is. That click brings them back to your money page, back to your main radiator repair page.

Now, some of you might be saying, well, you don’t want to have people click and go through these hoops, whatever. One click is fine. Two or three clicks is even fine. As long as you’re looking like you’re bringing people to where they need to go, we’re all fine with going through a doorway or two to get to our spot. When we don’t trust that click or we don’t trust that doorway, that’s where that becomes much more of an issue. And I would temper that saying, I’m not saying it’s okay to click seven times to get to your radiator repair page. But clicking one button or clicking two buttons to get there isn’t something that you should be worried about.

So now you have your page, your first page of supporting information. It’s a great page, it’s a very single focused on that topic, and it’s got a strong call to action that pushes people back to your radiator repair page. And again, your radiator repair page is not linking to the supporting page. We want this to be a one way SEO juice flow. We want Google to clearly see that your main radiator repair page isn’t pushing people to your supporting page. Isn’t pushing people for more information there. Your main radiator repair page needs to look like the end stop. This is where you get off. This is where you contact us. Google needs to see that when the bots crawl it.

Inversely, your supporting page needs to go the other direction. This isn’t where you stop. This isn’t where you get your final answer. This next page is the authoritative page. This next page that I’m linking to is the authoritative page. So all of your quote forms, everything else, what I like to do is if it says click here for a quote, I like to make that be a shortcut back to my money page and have that bring you right down to that quote form, or right to that estimation form, or whatever your method is there.

So now your supporting page is linking back to your money page with a strong call to action. Additionally, somewhere on this page, on your first, on your number one, let’s say of three, on your first supporting page you’re also linking to the next page forward, which in this case would be page two. And you’re also linking backwards to page three. And what we’re going to be doing on these three supporting pages is they’re all going to link to your money page for radiator repair, but they’re all going to link to the next or the previous supporting page. Now, if you have five or seven or 15 supporting pages, do the same concept. Each one links to the next one and the previous one. And that link can be a text link saying click here for more information on a radiator warranties and scheduling an appointment. Again, one page forward, one page backwards.

And so what you’re trying to do here is make sure Google, when they look at this, when they look at your table of contents, if you will, they see that these pages are all related together, as in there’s a lot of information here, but they also see that all of these pages, not only do they link together, but they all point back to your money page. And at the end of the day, that’s the thing we’re talking about right there. That design, that flow. That’s called content siloing. Can also be a funnel, can also be a pyramid, can also be an inverse pyramid, can also be a reverse silo. There’s lots of different ways to approach it. At the end of the day, the concept is to create supporting pages that link to each other to show Google that here’s a section of information on my website that is contained. You don’t have other pages on other topics linking to these three supporting pages. These three supporting pages link between themselves and they all link to your money page. And that’s the extent of it.

If you start interlinking the supporting pages, if you have a transmission repair page, you’re not going to want to link, click here for types of radiators that we repair. That starts to get off topic. That starts to confuse the message and confuse the concept of radiator repair as this silo of content. So avoid that and just link them together. This page links to the one previous and one after, and all of these pages link to my money page, and deploy that. You’re still going to want to submit these individual support pages to Google for indexing.

Or you don’t necessarily have to. I like doing it just to guarantee that these were submitted to Google manually. But if you have an HTML or an XML site map linked on your website, and as we’ve talked in previous episodes, it’s a good idea to link those in the footer of your website. And I’ll link to those episodes in the show notes here for you if you missed them. If you’re doing that, Google’s going to see this content too. Depending on when they crawl your website and when they get to those pages, maybe it takes a day, a couple of days, week, couple of weeks, who knows, and that’s why I like to rely on the manual submission just to be sure that Google is aware of these new pages.

Because these supporting pages, because they’re not linked to from other areas of content, because they’re not part of your main navigation, they’re not something that customers are going to be presented to you to click on. Because of all that, we want to make sure Google can find these. Again, that’s why I like to manually submit them to the Google Search Console, or if you’re not going to do that, just make darn sure you have some kind of a site map linked in your footer, or other way for Google to gain access and crawl these.

Because on your site map, what that is, if you’re not familiar, that’s basically a table of contents for your website that says here’s all of my web pages. And if you can provide that to Google or allow them to crawl that when they spider your website, they will then see the entire index of all your pages and over time, all of your pages will be indexed and placed in the Google archives, so to speak. The reason that’s important is because I think you all know if your pages are not indexed, Google will not show them in search results. They don’t exist to Google if they’re not indexed in that regard. So that’s why that’s such an important part.
So hopefully you took some notes on that. If you didn’t, listen to it again. This is on one hand, a complicated topic, if you’re not familiar with it, but on the other hand, once you grasp it, and once you understand how it works, it is quite simple. Any page that’s a money page on your website, that’s a primary landing page or a page that’s your main section for something that you sell, a product or service, any of those pages should be ripe for developing a silo of content to support that. Again, whether it’s two, three or 15 pages or whatever it be, take that and run with that.

So hopefully that helps. If you need help in this, like I’ve been saying in recent episodes, feel free to reach out to us, localseotactics.com. This podcast is to help you learn these tricks to implement yourself or to delegate to your team. But again, we are an agency. This is what we do. So if you want us to do this for you, whether it be in a consulting manner to help you brainstorm and to get these blueprints, or to actually do a turnkey and execute it for you, we are here to help in any of those ways. Just feel free to reach out to us.

That’s pretty much it for this episode. Kind of a technical one. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at it, some of you hopefully are high fiving for it, getting back to some more tactical stuff here for you. So with that said, I’m going to jump into our five-star review of the week. If you haven’t left us a review yet, as we say in every episode, this is how we get feedback from you. Yeah, we have the spot to ask a question, yeah, we have feedback forms on the website, but really at the end of the day, if you like the show, if it’s provided some kind of value to you or someone you know and your business, this is free. We don’t charge for the show, and hopefully we’re providing a good value. This is the way for you to pay us back or to give us a virtual pat on the back or a virtual high five.

Not only do we really appreciate it to read them on the show and to read them ourselves, but also this helps spread the show. This helps show, whether it be Google or Apple podcasts, whatever it is, that we’re relevant. This is user feedback, giving us actual credibility here. So if you haven’t done that yet, we’d really appreciate it. Localseotactics.com, scroll down to the bottom, click on the reviews and leave us a review at your favorite portal, whatever it is that we have listed, Stitcher, Apple Podcast, Google My Business. Anything else. We’d really appreciate that.

We’ve got a great five-star review from Tyler, I think it’s Lucyk. Tyler, I’m sorry. It’s L-U-C-Y-K. Hopefully, I’m getting that right. But either way, Tyler left us a great five-star review. He says, “I loved your episodes on GNB posts, updates, offers, and events. I was so excited to use this on my GNB for my vape shop, which is BNM, and e-commerce hosted by Shopify. Problem is I can’t find anywhere I can post anything other than an image with very short description. No way to make it an offer, update or event. I wonder if my account is somehow restricted from using this feature because my business is in the vape industry. In my experience, unfortunately, this is common. Google and Facebook won’t let me do ads and I have to use third party payment processing because Shopify won’t process payments for large, I’m sorry, for vape shops. My question is, does GNB restrict the post feature for certain types of businesses, or am I just so inept I can’t figure out how to find this feature? Question mark, LOL. Love to hear SEO tips for businesses that are regulated.”

So Tyler and I actually traded some emails a couple months back on these topics, and I think we helped them out a little bit. Definitely some sticky situations there. Depending on your industry, I know locksmith has another industry that Google will make some things tougher than others on. But at the end of the day, I didn’t read that review so much to get into answering Tyler’s question, because we kind of handled that, but to, number one, share this five-star review, but number two, let all of you know, because you should all be getting reviews for your business as well, Tyler left a review and also asked a question. If we weren’t paying attention to our reviews and if we weren’t responding to our reviews and being aware of it, who knows, maybe we never would have engaged with Tyler. And not only that, would people see that we never responded to him and that we never engaged with them when they came to check out our reviews?

So interesting in that it’s a review, but quite frankly, anybody can type whatever they want to type there. In Tyler’s case, he left us a five-star review and was asking a question. Maybe for your business, somebody leaves you a one-star review and slams you, or asks you a question that has a negative spin. So thanks, Tyler, for the awesome five serve you. Thanks for engaging with me personally, offline, so to speak. And with everybody else, just take that for what it’s worth. In addition to just being a great review from Tyler, five-star review, there’s also a little bit of a learning opportunity there.

So that does it for this episode. Hope it helped you guys out. If you’ve got questions, ideas, topics, things you want us to talk about on the show, reach out to us, localseotactics.com. And until an episode, I’m sorry. I can’t even talk right now. And until next episode, take care.

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