SEO Silo Structure: The Secret to Better Rankings in 2023

Better search rankings and a whole lot more, here’s how an SEO Silo will help you get the most from your content. That, plus everything you should know to get it going on your site.

If you’ve ever wondered how to create a clear hierarchy for your content, one that both users and search engines will appreciate, you’re in the right place. Today, we’ll be looking at SEO Silo structure, a powerful approach to website architecture.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about SEO Silo Structure, from what it does and the difference it makes in search results, to organizing your content and optimizing on-page SEO elements.

You’ll see how the right keyword research, thematic content grouping and smart internal linking all work to build your domain authority.

And by the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to implement a solid SEO Silo Structure. One that not only improves user experience but leads to better content rankings.

Sound good? Great. You can jump ahead and get the full 5 takeaways, scan the TOC for what’s inside, or begin here.

Let’s get started.


What is SEO Silo Structure?

SEO Silo Structure is a website organization technique that groups related content into thematic clusters, creating a clear hierarchy. It improves user experience, site navigation, and internal linking, ultimately enhancing search engine indexing and rankings, leading to increased organic traffic and authority in your specific niche.

seo silo

Understanding SEO Silo Structure

seo silos

Definition and Purpose

SEO Silo Structure is a site-level organizational approach that groups content thematically into distinct categories, or silos.

So, why is that important?

Well, think of a library, whose books are grouped topically, in silos, making them easy to find. Your website, like that library, holds a wealth of information, but it also needs to be systematically accessible.

That’s where silos really make a difference.

Siloing stores your content vertically, from the most general and comprehensive articles down to the very specific. It ensures relevant pages are logically connected and discoverable, leading to a better user experience. And, because SEO Silo structure creates a clear hierarchy of your content, it makes it super easy for search engines to crawl and index.

Which will impact your content visibility in search results.

Benefits of Implementing Silo Structure

Good website architecture helps search engines see how pages fit into the whole of your website.

Gael Breton, Authority Hacker

SIloing is one of the most effective models of site architecture, and here are 4 solid reasons why–

Intuitive User Experience

seo silos

Imagine you have an online store that sells cameras. A user lands on your website, she’s looking for a mirrorless through-the-lens model. Because your content is organized into silos, she intuitively finds the camera category she wants, browses your available options, and minutes later, makes her purchase.

Silo structure lets visitors quickly navigate your site and access relevant content, which, in turn, means they’ll stay longer, see more pages, and convert more often.

Better Search Indexing

Siloing your content basically walks search engine crawlers through your site. It helps them see the pages in the silo, how they’re related, and the overall theme of each section.

seo silos

That leads to better indexing, accurate indexing, and higher content rankings.

Higher Domain Authority

Let’s say you have a fitness blog. You’ve siloed your content in themes like Workout Routines, Nutrition Advice, and Fitness Gear Reviews, each of them holding a deep collection of posts. That’s a wealth of relevant expertise, which elevates your domain authority, and gets you better placements in search results.

Link Equity Distribution

Done right, SEO silo structure distributes link equity throughout your related content clusters. This is particularly important for pages deeper down the hierarchy—like articles written from longtail keywords. More on that here–


The Link Juice Trickle-Down Effect

Your bigger, splashier articles will attract backlinks from authoritative, referring domains. But, the link equity (link juice) that comes with those backlinks CAN pass down to posts that struggle for links. Here’s how it’s done–

First, create a Pillar Post, an authoritative, comprehensive post based on a broad topic (short-tail keyword) like, say, Estate Planning.

Then, you’ll  generate shorter, query-based posts using long-tail keywords spun from that broad keyword– How Do Wills Fit In With Estate Planning?

Now, optimize your internal linking by strategically placing internal links from your pillar posts to your supporting articles.

seo silo

That creates hierarchy within your silos. But what about link equity?

Well, as your pillar post picks up backlinks from high-authority websites, the authority of those referring domains passes along to the pillar post.

That’s link juice.

And when you link from the pillar post to other posts within the silo, that link juice trickles down to them.

As does ranking potential. And that’s good, since posts that target long-tail keywords have a harder time drawing backlinks from other domains.

There are many link flow strategies you can use, and some very good SEOs really get into the weeds with this. Bottom line–siloing puts things in order thematically, and manages link flow constructively.

Keyword Research and Planning

seo silos

Keyword research and planning are the foundation of any successful SEO strategy, and they’re just as crucial when it comes to siloing. Here’s where we start–

Identifying Relevant Topics and Subtopics

Keyword research is more than simply finding topics with high search volume. It’s exploring and finding what your target audience is asking about, and building content silos around those keywords.

To do that, you need to have an appreciable understanding of keyword research. From there, get your hands one or more outstanding keyword research tools. Google’s Keyword PlannerSEMRush, Ahrefs or Wordstream, any of these will help you find relevant keywords, and their Keyword Difficulty and Search Volume metrics.

Much of your keyword research will be influenced by your target audience insights– what questions are people asking? What do they want? Or need? What agitates them? What do they care about?

You can also use a tool like Answer the Public to find the longer-tailed keywords you’ll use to generate supporting content for your pillar posts.

Fill the silo with topic ideas–begin broadly, and drill down to find subtopics that fit within each theme.

Creating a Keyword Map

Once you’ve identified your main topics and subtopics, it’s time to create your keyword map.

A keyword map is a visual blueprint of your site’s content as it’s organized around target keywords. It’s a critical piece of your SEO Silo since it—

  • Ensures each page targets a unique keyword, preventing unintended keyword cannibalization.
  • Reveals at-a-glance relationships between content.
  • Keeps silos thematically consistent.

You’ll begin by vertically mapping out your content silos– one pillar post topic, followed by numerous, related longtail keywords.

Think of your keyword map as a content tree. A financial advisory blog might have a silo for Retirement Income, or Estate Planning. Branching off those are subtopics connected to long-tail keywords like How will my retirement income be taxed? or What is probate in estate planning?

It’s all about organizing thematically and creating logical flow that will make sense to users and search engines alike.

With your silo keywords mapped out, dig into Semrush or Ahrefs to find out what Keyword Difficulty (KD) and Search Volume (VOL) metrics come with your keyword candidate. If they’re too hard, or not searched nearly enough, discard it and replace it with a competitive keyword. You can use a KD of <30, and a VOL of >200 as guides for competitiveness.

seo silos

Joining the SEO Silo Structure Midstream

So, you’ve been blogging for a while, and you’re first hearing about SEO Silo Structure now ? No worries. Here’s a painless process for joining midstream–

  1. Begin with a content audit of your existing posts, pinning down topics and keywords to identify potential silos.
  2. Identify silo themes–categorize your posts into relevant topic groupings that will foundation your SEO Silo structure.
  3. Restructure internal linking— review your blog posts’ internal linking to create strong, relevant connections between posts within each silo.
  4. Create pillar content or select a post within each silo to serve as pillar content. Pillar posts should be comprehensive, authoritative, and cover the main topic in detail.
  5. Link supporting content–within each silo, link from the pillar post to relevant supporting blog posts. Use descriptive anchor text that accurately represents the target keywords and the content of the linked posts.
  6. Optimize on-page elements— don’t forget to review the on-page SEO elements of your blog posts– title tags, meta descriptions, header tags etc–to ensure consistency across your siloed posts.

Implementing an SEO Silo Structure on an existing website takes planning and reorganization, but the benefits of improved visibility can be significant in the long run.

Internal Linking Best Practices

seo silos

Internal linking distributes link equity throughout your site, strengthens relationships between content, and improves crawlability. Needless to say, it plays a critical role in effective SEO silo structure.

Here are a few best practices to be aware of–

  • Be mindful of link placement— place internal links where they make sense within your content. Avoid cramming links into unrelated content, as this can be confusing for users and dilute the value of your links.
  • Use descriptive anchor text when creating internal links. Good anchor text accurately describes the target page’s content and scores points with both users and search engines.
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  • Don’t overdo it— while internal linking is essential, avoid excessive linking, as it can appear spammy to search engines and users alike. Focus on providing valuable links that genuinely enhance the user experience.
  • Lot’s of debate on this one, but it IS okay to link to content outside the silo (if it’s relevant and helpful). As much as possible, though, link WITHIN the same silo. It reinforces topical relevance of your content and strengthens the silo’s authority.
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SEO Silo Structure and Site Navigation

Getting your content thematically organized and internally linked is a great start, but to fully leverage an SEO silo, you’ll need to take a close look at your navigation menus and breadcrumbs.

Navigation Menus

Navigation menus are more than smart user experience. They guide search engines through your site, and help them understand your content hierarchy.

Your navigation menu MUST reflect your silo structure–every menu item should lead to a main category page, with drop-down menus and sidebar navigation pointing to subcategories within a given silo.

Your goal? A simple, logical flow of content that search engines can easily crawl and users can effortlessly navigate.


seo silo

Breadcrumbs are navigation aids appearing at the top of a webpage. They’re like a second menu that shows the logical, navigational path from the homepage to the page the reader is on.

Unlike navigation menus, though, the breadcrumb automatically reflects your silo structure. And since the whole idea with breadcrumbs is to give the reader a sense of how things are laid out, and a path back home, your SEO silo structure needs to be simple and logical.

seo silo

Knowing how your silos inform your menu design and impact your breadcrumbs functioning is key to seamless navigation for the user, and efficient crawler bot indexing.

SEO Silo Structure and URLs

Just as you custom-design your menus so they’re in sync with your silo structure, you’ll want to do the same with your URLs. Here are a few better practices–

Get Clear & Descriptive With Your URLs

URLs are road-markers that tell readers and search engines what the article is, and the silo it came from. So, make them intuitive, easily readable, each word giving insight to how the page fits in the silo.

If you’re running a tech blog, for example, your URL structure might look something like—

Here, smartphones represents the silo, and iphone-13-review is the specific post within that SEO silo.

Or maybe you have a travel blog, with a silo dedicated to European Travel. You write a post within that silo about Traveling in France, and your URL looks like this—

Nicely done—your URL clearly reflects the content of the page and its position within the site’s silo structure.

Use a Consistent URL Pattern

Along with being clear and descriptive, a consistent URL format keeps you from confusing the search crawlers. For example, if your fitness blog has a silo categorizing Nutrition, your URL pattern should look like—

and not—

With all things URL, keep it simple, keep it consistent.

Don’t Forget On-Page SEO

seo silo

Even with your content organized in silos, on-page SEO is still critical for boosting organic traffic. Here are a few things to keep in mind–

Optimizing the Metadata

Title Tags

The title tag is an HTML element that appears as a clickable headline in the search engine results page (SERPs).

seo silo

Be sure to include your target keyword in the title tag, and keep it under 580 pixels long, to avoid truncation in the SERPs.


Meta descriptions show up below the title tag to summarize the content and draw your readers in. They’re not Google ranking factors, but be sure to include your target keyword and a benefit-laden reason to click through.

Header Tags

Header tags (subhead labels like H1—H5) are HTML elements search engines use to understand the content and hierarchy of the page. Outlining your content using header tags (with target keywords) are key aspects of on-page SEO.

Leveraging Schema Markup

Schema markup is structured data that gives search engines a greater degree of context to your content. And, it can really boost your pages’ visibility and appearance in search results.

Schema markup produces rich snippets—those product prices, recipe excerpts, ratings, and reviews—that show up on search results pages and drive clicks from engaged traffic.

There are many more aspects of on-page SEO than we have space for here, but getting up to speed with it and making it part of your content creation is a big part of leveraging your SEO silo structure.

Monitoring Performance & Adjusting Strategy

seo silo

Once you’ve implemented your SEO Silo structure, you’ll want to monitor its performance with these variables in mind–

Keyword Rankings & Organic Traffic

Keyword rankings is an important metric for tracking the impact of your SEO Silo strategy. Organic traffic is another. Here are a few tools for gauging both of them—

  • Google Analytics— a powerful, widely-used analytics suite that gives comprehensive data on an array of website traffic indicators.
  • Google Search Console— a free tool for monitoring impressions, clicks, average position in organic search results.
  • Ahrefs— a popular subscription toolset that tracks organic traffic to siloed content and gives insights on top-performing pages and keywords.
  • Semrush— another all-in-one paid SEO tool that offers organic search traffic, keyword rankings, and other SEO metrics.

Remember, your metrics will ALWAYS fluctuate with changes in search algorithms, seasonality, even user behavior. Monitor these metrics continuously over time to stay on top of trends, and make adjustments as needed.

Refining Your Silo Strategy

seo silo

Everything changes, so expect your silo structure to be a continually morphing aspect of your dynamic website. You’ll identify new keyword opportunities you hadn’t considered before, and make adjustments to align your content and silo structure with user preferences and behaviors.

This is largely a guessing business, so it’s okay to be off. And remember, SEO silos are not a set-it-and-forget-it thing. Search engines evolve, your competitors are tweaking things as we speak, so monitor and strategically refine your silos as you go, and you’ll have content that’s visible and relevant.

SEO Silo Success Tips

seo silo

SEO Silo structure is great for content relevance and visibility, but missteps will negate the effort. Here’s how to steer clear of them–

  1. Don’t shortcut keyword research: The right short- and long-tail keywords are everything to silo success.
  2. Be clear and constant with your silo themes: One silo, one theme.
  3. Lean into your internal linking: Whether it’s setting hierarchy or moving link juice down the silo, internal linking is everything to silo structure.
  4. Don’t neglect on-page optimization: Get tuned into on-page SEO and make it part of your pre-publication punchlist.
  5. Seamless browsing is great user experience: Custom-design your menus and URLs according to better practices, and be sure to activate your breadcrumbs.
  6. Be better than your competition: Develop your keywords with the quality and extent they deserve. Shallow content lacks depth, gives little value to users and probably won’t will rank well.

Duplicate Pages & Canonical Tags

Duplicate pages, otherwise known as keyword cannibalization, is where two or more pages share the same target keyword. They confuse crawler bots and often result in the wrong page being indexed. You can avoid this with thoughtful keyword mapping, and making sure each page or post targets a unique keyword.

But what if you have a product page for Vacuum X and a content piece reviewing Vacuum X? Your product page and content piece will have the same target keyword–Vacuum X .

And Google wants to know which page to index.

Enter the canonical tag. The canonical tag is an HTML tag that tells search engines which page to index. Use it to avoid duplicate pages, or when you have multiple versions of a page– printer-friendly, mobile, etc.—that you don’t want indexed separately.


Good Reads

Smart Tools

Keyword Research

Analytics & Keyword Ranking

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SEO Silos–5 Takeaways

  1. SEO Silo Structure is essential for organizing your website’s content, creating a clear hierarchy, and improving user experience, all of which lead to better search engine performance.
  2. Organizing your content by theme plus thorough keyword research are two essential building blocks to a solid SEO silo structure.
  3. Implementing a silo structure involves creating clear and descriptive URLs, using internal linking best practices, and constructing simple yet effective site navigation. All of which lead to better search engine indexing.
  4. On-page SEO (optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, schema markup etc) is a big factor in boosting the effectiveness of your SEO Silo Structure.
  5. Monitoring performance and adjusting your strategy is a necessary factor in refining silo structure for search visibility and organic traffic.

(Back to the Top)

SEO Silo Structure–Quietly Better Rankings in 2023

So, there it is. SEO Silo structure.

It’s easy to set up, and it can boost your visibility and authority.

So, go ahead, dive in.

Sketch out your silo structure, lean into your keyword mapping, tune up your navigation and link your content from the top-down. And watch your site get quietly better than it was before.

Quietly better, because SEO Silos aren’t a gimmick. They’re architecture, so they perform the same way–a stable, solid foundation to successful pages. You won’t see jumps in rankings, just steady improvement.

Whether you’re new with a blog or been publishing for a while, SEO Silos will make a difference. Your readers will appreciate the ease of getting around your site, and search engines will easily find your stuff and see how it all relates to the whole.

Appreciated by the masses. And seen by the search engines.

Who doesn’t want that for their website?

Good luck with your silo, and we’ll see you on Page 1.

Questions? Clarifications? Feel free to drop me a line. Check out our blog page for examples to model your own work on. You can shoot over to our portfolio page for inspiration too. And if you prefer to have an agency do it for you, read about our content writing and SEO services here.

In the meantime, Best of Luck. And Be Well.

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