Content Siloing: Brief Summary
Content siloing is a strategic approach to website design, which involves organising the website into different groups of related content, known as ‘silos’. It will typically involve identifying the various topics or themes that are covered on your website, creating appropriately named silos, and then placing each piece of content in the silo that is most relevant. This will then help to provide human users and search engines with a clear and logical structure to follow.
In most cases, content siloing is intended to assist with a search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. For this reason, decisions on what to call the different categories or silos are usually partially informed by the content itself and partially informed by keyword research, user search behaviour and/or the customer journey. Additionally, content siloing can also help to improve the user experience for visitors, primarily by making navigation easier.
Content Siloing: Detailed Summary
A content silo refers to multiple pieces of website content that have been grouped together thematically, or based on other obvious similarities. With this in mind, content siloing is an approach to web design, where the website architecture is based around the creation of multiple content silos. This then creates clear separation between pieces of content that focus on different topics, ideas or themes, resulting in a more logical website architecture.
The concept of content siloing is most commonly associated with search engine optimisation strategies. Essentially, this is because organising a website in such a way allows search engine algorithms to better understand the structure of the website and the topics that are covered. As a result, drastically different types of content are able to exist on the same website, without confusing search engines, which display results to users based on ideas like relevancy and authority.
When a user enters a search term into Google, the results they are presented with are determined by a complex algorithm, which weighs up various factors. Keywords are one such factor, but another is how relevant the keyword is to the wider website. So if you were targeting the keyword “marketing”, your chances of ranking high up on search engine results pages (SERPs) would increase if it is determined that your website is relevant to marketing.
This relevancy can be much more difficult for algorithms to identify, however, if your website covers many different topics. Yet, through content siloing, all related content can be grouped together, making relevancy easier to establish. This is further enhanced if your website’s navigation and URLs follow a sensible structure, based on your silos.
Imagine, for instance, that your website is about marketing and you opt to create a content silo for everything to do with online marketing. You may then write several articles about SEO and your website architecture and URLs can be made to reflect this. One of the pieces of content you create about SEO might have a URL that looks something like this:
This then quickly informs a search engine that the piece of content is about understanding SEO. It also tells the search engine that your website includes a section covering online marketing and this contains an SEO sub-category. From there, the algorithms may determine that your website and content are relevant to a user who searched for “SEO”.
Without using a content siloing strategy, Google may decide that your website is less relevant to the search term than it actually is, and this can then adversely affect how high up your content is positioned on SERPs. As a general rule, this then negatively impacts visibility, because most search engine users will visit one of the results high up on the list of results they are presented with, rather than exploring the results that are lower down and, seemingly, less relevant.
Nevertheless, the benefits of content siloing as an approach can extend far beyond improving your search engine optimisation efforts. Organising content thematically can help to improve the user experience, especially if your website design is based around your content siloing efforts. When this is the case, it results in logical navigation that helps users to quickly reach the kind of content they want to read, watch, listen to, or otherwise engage with.
In this context, content siloing can be viewed as a useful management system, which also serves an important signposting function. In much the same way that a library would typically organise its books according to sections like fiction and non-fiction, and then according to sub-categories like adult fiction, children’s fiction, biographies, etc., making it easier to find the right book, content siloing can provide a basic framework for users to find the right content.
What Are the Content Siloing Best Practices?
When it comes to actually implementing a content siloing strategy, there are a number of best practices to keep in mind and following these basic guidelines will usually help to improve the effectiveness of your siloing. First of all, when possible, you should create your silos based on a combination of the topics and themes your content covers, and your own keyword research. This will then allow you to maximise the associated SEO benefits.
In addition to basing as many of your silos on keyword research as possible, you should also optimise your website with your silos in mind. This will mean using a URL structure that follows a logical pattern, based on your content categories. It will also mean choosing headlines and titles for content based on the silos and your keyword research. Meanwhile, it can be a good idea to include a link from each piece of content to the relevant category page.
Finally, one of the main ways marketers and website owners boost their SEO results is through internal linking. This involves linking from one piece of content on your website to another piece of content on the same website. For the best possible results here, the anchor text should also be a high value keyword or key phrase.
With content siloing, it can be a good idea to restrict internal linking to pieces of content in the same silo, as this helps to create total separation, making it easier for search engines to group pieces of content together in a cluster.
Content siloing is a great way to enhance your SEO efforts, while also improving the user experience for visitors to your website. It is a content management strategy that can be applied retrospectively to past content, or applied to new content. Arguably its main value is in helping search engines to better understand the topics covered on your website, so that they can also understand how relevant your website is to the search term a user has entered.