As a SEO professional or enthusiast, you have probably come across siloing many times by now. If you’re still not sure what a silo website is exactly (don’t worry, we all get confused from time to time), and how it can help you increase your rankings, this article is for you.
In this post, we will discuss what silos are, the difference between the two basic types, and the results when compared to non-siloed sites.
What do we mean by siloing?
Siloing is a way to build a website by stacking keywords into a theme - or in fact, a "silo". To put it simply, siloing allows you to organize data into a theme, which is also known as clustering.
In order to build a silo, you will need to pick the highest level keyword you want to rank for, and use it to create the silo heading, also called the landing page. In other words, the "top of the silo." Usually, the term you will choose for your silo heading is also your most competitive keyword.
After you have built your silo heading, you can proceed to create relevant content containing more keywords related to your theme. These should be LSI keywords, generally more long tail, and less competitive. Once the content is ready you can place it within the corresponding silo.
Thanks to the siloing process, you will have categorized your content, reinforcing a specific theme. This will be extremely helpful in ranking all your content for your desired terms.
What are the main types of silos?
There are two basic types of silos - the physical silo and the virtual one - and the main difference lies in their URL structure.
In a physical silo website, you will be able to see the silo structure directly in the URL of the website pages or posts. Links are divided into parent and child pages - or categories in the case of posts. The silo heading acts are the parent page, and all supporting pages are considered child pages.
In a virtual silo, there is still a distinction between the role of different pages, but this is not visible in the physical URL structure. Rather, it’s accomplished through internal links: the silo head is linked to the supporting articles, and the content of these articles links back to the silo head and other supporting articles. The silo structure is there, but cannot be seen in the URL.
Are silo structures really worth it?
If building a silo looks like a lengthy process to you, it is natural to wonder what its advantages are, and whether it will produce actual results.
First of all, siloed sites are more visitor-friendly. Having been created as a way to stack concepts or themes together in a very fluid manner, these sites are easier to understand for both human visitors and machines - which would be search engines. siloed sites tend to rank must faster and easier than a non-siloed site, and when done correctly, rank with only a fraction of the unbound links that a non-siloed site would require.
For what concerns the different types of silos, physical and virtual siloed sites tend to rank equally well. For machine purposes, a physical silo method will perform slightly better, but as far as ranking purposes alone goes, there is no notable difference.