One of the best things about my attending SMX Advanced each year is that I usually have a session in Day 1 that leaves me happy that I made the trip. Once that session has happened, everything else is just icing on the cake. Typically that session is the SEO Factors session, but this year it came with Bruce Clay’s Siloing session. I already plan to begin moving my site to a silo format and will try to slowly move clients in that direction this year. It is a significant change to site structure, so it requires buy-in from clients and their developers but can show remarkable results, basically overhauling the way we think about site layout, and presenting it in a way that users, and Google, prefer.
What is SEO Siloing?
SEO content siloing is basically structuring your site so that high-level topic areas are grouped and presented together, with efficient use of linking from your home page to your most important subject areas, to group them and present them in a way that shows to Google that you are a subject matter expert.
At the heart of this is a change from the old standard that so many sites list in their main navigation of “Products” or “Services” with their main heading and replacing it with your actual key features. Nobody searches for “Product”, they search for the type of “product” you offer. Nobody searches for “Service”, they search for the services you offer. I have often joked it is obvious a site hasn’t done SEO if they have “Home” in their title tag for their home page. Unless they are selling homes, that doesn’t make sense in the SEO world. The next level of this is having your main navigation areas pointing to generic terms like “Home” or “Services” when they should be pointing to what they actually are, like “SEO” or “Chiropractic”.
Siloing is Better Management of Internal Link Strength
It is also efficient and a better user experience to limit links from your home page to the primary areas and let them break down further from inside. Having 700 links to different pages from your home page typically just dilutes and confuses, leaving the search engine and the user confused at what they are supposed to do. It also dilutes the page strength that you are passing down to each individual page you link to. If you look at your domain strength from your home page as being split across every link from that page, would you rather spread it 700 different ways or try to focus it on your most important subject areas? This is the heart of what siloing is all about. Though it seems simple, and as a concept it is, it does take some work and restructuring, so not something you can typically implement overnight, but definitely something we should all be moving to in the near future.
SMX always provides me great information for my clients and this year is no different. In fact, the sessions I am most excited about, haven’t happened yet. Stay tuned.
Great post Jeremy!