Latest posts by Jay Dillon (see all)
- Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Your Business? (FB, Twitter, IG?) - February 8, 2016
- The Role of Social Media Manager in 2016 - February 1, 2016
- Why Placing Ads In Blogs Can Be A Negative - January 4, 2016
The message has been loud and clear; ‘Write quality content and you will be rewarded with high-rankings from Google’. This is largely true, however many companies are missing out on this opportunity by neglecting to structure the content on their website in a way that makes it easy for Google to understand how these posts contribute to the companies authority on the topic.
Despite courageous efforts to maintain a regular schedule of engaging content, many marketers are finding that this content is providing little or no SEO benefit. This is often because the current site structure makes it difficult for Google to understand the connection between quality posts and the pages that are the focus for SEO rankings. One way to achieve this is through the implementation of a proper ‘Silo’ structure.
A Quick Overview of Silos
Siloing website content is not a new idea. Bruce Clay is credited with developing the concept in 2004/2005. Mr. Clay has an excellent article on his site about the concept of silos that I recommend for reading: http://www.bruceclay.com/seo/silo.htm. The basic concept is to group related content in the same ‘area’ on your site so that when Google crawls your site Google is forced to recognise the connection. If Google is able to easily identify content as related, your rankings for target keywords will improve.
The Natural Progression of On Page Optimization and Content Creation
Whether you have an ecommerce site, a site about your business, or a niche interest site, you have pages that you want to display in Google search results. These pages are called organic landing pages. These organic landing pages, if properly optimised, contain content related to one keyword. The goal is that when a potential visitor searches for that keyword in Google your page is displayed in the search results, ideally on the first page.
In the natural progression of things, after you have optimised a page for a particular keyword, the next obvious step is to write supporting content and place that content in your blog. Prior to publishing the content, you categorise your blog post into several categories and perhaps add some tags. You may also add some meta data. Finally, you hit publish and the post hits your blog section. Feeling empowered, you write and schedule a little more supporting content. After which, you sit back, relax, and obsess daily on your keyword tracker while you wait for the Google ranking rewards to arrive.
Where Your Structure Went Wrong
Then the worst thing happens: nothing. You have written all this great content and you are wondering when Google will get around to rewarding you. After all of the content you have written is published to your blog, you end up with a site content structure similar to this:
In the structure noted above, you have to cross your fingers and hope that Google can make the connection. In an optimal silo structure, your site structure will look like this:
Ongoing Case Study
Last week, I began working on a website set up like one shown in the Usual Structure image above. The site is for an Australian business focusing on market research. The site had organic landing pages for market research terms and supporting blog posts dating back to 2013. Prior to working on the site, the site ranked for only 3 keywords, with the best ranking keyword appearing on the 5th page of Google.com.au (#42). On February 25th, I properly structured the organic landing pages into silos, and properly categorized existing blog posts. No other SEO work was done to the site. By February 27th the silos began to have an impact and by March 2nd things were looking amazing. As of March 3rd, the site now ranks for 18 keywords (14 are shown in the graph below) and 2 previously unranked keywords are on the first page of Google.
Obviously, in the world of SEO, a week is not statistically significant enough to say: ‘This is it!’ Nevertheless, the speed of the results is quite amazing, especially considering that no other SEO work was done to the site (or any other work for that matter). I am currently in the daily obsessing on the ranking tracker phase, but each day I am rewarded with positive results. This is an ongoing case study into the relationship between Silo’s, on page SEO, and content with more updates to come.