How To Use Silo Site Structure To Outrank High Authority Sites
High authority sites have a head start that smaller websites will perhaps never attain. Websites that are considered to be authoritative in a niche will always be ranked higher by search engines. They will almost always feature on the first page when relevant keywords are searched. Smaller websites in the same niche often target the same keywords and they can at best try to get ranked right after the high authority sites. However, smaller websites do not have to fight the same war. There are ways to outrank high authority sites.
If there is anything that search engines give as much importance to as authority, then it is relevance. Search engines are constantly trying to find the most relevant results for every keyword and hence smaller websites need to score well on relevance. Search engines are continuously improving their algorithms to find more relevant content. The websites with such content will not make the high authority sites insignificant but they will attain a much better rank. There are two ways to improve the relevance of a website. The first method is focusing on a niche wherein the contents target a small set of keywords. The second method is silo site structure.
Let us consider two websites, one a high authority site and the other a relatively small website. The high authority site may be about jewelry, precious metals and gems. The small website may be about gemstones. It could also be about a particular type of gemstones. While the high authority site will be a leading player for jewelry, precious metals and gems, the small website will be more relevant for gemstones. Users searching for information on gemstones will come across the small website alongside the high authority site. This is an effective way to establish relevance but it is not universally applicable. Very few websites will target such a small niche. Even if the niche is not ordinary, it will have a substantial space accounting for category and subcategory. The objective is not to rank highly specific niche sites but to improve the ranking of all types of websites.
Silos are an effective way to establish relevance. The objective of website designers, webmasters and content developers is to make sure a site can be properly indexed by the search engines. The search engines should be enabled to find relevant information on the site, club the related contents together for enhanced relevance and accordingly establish these pages as useful content for the targeted keywords.
A silo site structure is essentially about choosing the most relevant keyword that best describes the niche being targeted. This is not the same as the micro niche sites targeting something very small and limited. The niche chosen may have plenty of subsections but the most important and all encompassing keyword should become the silo. Let us take an example of a website about fitness. There are many aspects of fitness, from fat loss to muscle building to nutrition and more. If the website is dedicated to fitness, then fat loss can be one silo, muscle building can be another silo and nutrition or diet can be the third silo.
This may appear to be the same as category but it is not. Categories have subcategories and the latter have sections and subsections. As you keep on growing the categories, subcategories, sections and subsections, you are effectively taking the new pages farther away from the homepage. This leads to an increased page depth. Google and other search engines do not reward websites that have extreme page depths. The pages appearing at great depths will not rank well for the targeted keywords. The closer a page is to the main page or homepage, the better it will rank on search engine result pages.
The first step is to identify the different silos. A website can have five or ten silos. There are websites with dozens of silos. However, the silos should be targeting the relevant keywords and hence niche. Two or more silos should not have the same targets. Then there would be a dilution in their relevance. If fat loss is a silo on a fitness website, then all the posts in this section should target only fat loss. This silo should not have a direct or a linked correlation with the silo targeting muscle building or nutrition. Likewise, the silo about muscle building should not link to articles in the fat loss silo. Relevance is the key when using silo site structure to outrank high authority sites.
Two or more silos should be isolated. The silos should be mentioned clearly on the homepage. They can be linked just as categories. However, each silo should have its own contents listed on one page when a user accesses that section. This silo exists in isolation in regards to other silos, albeit all silos are linked to the homepage of the website. While different silos are isolated, all contents in any one silo are grouped. The various posts in one silo should be neatly aligned in the section. Every post should be directly accessible from the silo page. There should not be any expansion of the page depth. The purpose of outranking high authority sites will be defeated if a silo structure becomes the same old chain of linked pages as is prevalent in cases of categories.
Silo structure requires all posts in one silo to be linked to other posts in the same silo. Posts in one silo should not link to posts in another silo. There can be headers and footers, sidebar links and others redirecting users to the homepage, landing page, about page, contact page or a sales page. But the links within the webpage should only redirect the user to other posts within the same silo. This signals to the search engine crawlers that this is a highly relevant website for the targeted keyword.