4 Methods to Create Website Silos for SEO

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Ryan Stewart

I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's top internet marketing expert. This blog is one of the channels I use to demonstrate that. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate (internet trolls). Click the icons below and fire away.

  1. Is all of your website’s content indexed by Google?
  2. Are you stuck on the 2nd or 3rd page?
  3. Are you maximizing the power of your inbound links?

If you’re looking for answers to any of these questions, you should consider setting up silos on your website.

Silos are content taxonomies and linking structures that help to index your content, distribute link juice, add additional relevancy signals and push up rankings.

The infographic below demonstrates exactly how to set up both organizational silos and internal linking silos for search engine optimization.

Infographic: Best Methods for Creating SEO Silos

How to Create Website Silo

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What is a “silo”

si-lo; silo; verb. Definition: To isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others.

How does that relate to SEO…?

Search engines love websites that allow them to easily identify content. Websites with unorganized content make it difficult to understand what the page is about – making it difficult to rank for your target keywords. By “siloing” your website, aka creating precise content groupings and link signals, you can clarify the message you’re sending to search engines.

There are two types of silos:

  1. Organizational Silo – AKA how you organize your website’s content.
  2. Link Silo – AKA how you inter link your website’s content.

Both are critical aspects that help search engine spiders better crawl your website.

1. Organizational Silo

How you you structure your website’s content?

Website organizational silos are best explained by SEO expert Bruce Clay with his jar of marbles example. By arranging your content into “jars” separated by classification, you clear up relevancy with search engines. With organized silos you can have content about numerous topics and still rank for each of them.

How to Set up Organizational Silos

Home Page

The focus of your home page’s content should be based on industry, niche or over arching theme. For example, if you sell SEO, PPC and web design services, focus your website’s home page on digital marketing. Be sure to include keywords from your services sprinkled throughout the explaining content and direct links to each of your services pages.

Silo Pages – Sub Topics

This is where your silo structure takes place. Group your content into organized directories. Every group will be dedicated to one category only.

For example:

Category Pages – Content

Pages at this level help search engines determine theme. The category naming system helps establish that these pages are all about a certain category within your silo.

For example:

  • /services/ppc/
  • /services/seo/
  • /services/web-design/

Supporting Pages – Content

Pages at this level add additional details to search engines. The more detailed you can get, the more long tailed searches you qualify to rank for. This holds especially true for e-commerce stores with multi levels of products.

For example:

  • /services/ppc/google/
  • /services/ppc/bing/
  • /services/ppc/yahoo/

Blog Page

Every website should have a blog – not only to drive traffic, but to help build a proper supporting silo. Blogs should either be setup as a subdomain or sub folders.

For example:

  • blog.yoursite.com
  • yoursite.com/blog/

Within your blog you should set up categories that group content by topic:

  • /category/seo/
  • /category/ppc/
  • /category/seo/

These will come into play next when we cover link silos.

2. Link Silos

How should you link between your website’s content? Links are what search engine spiders use to crawl from one web page to another. Generating links to your website is a great way to add trust, authority and ranking power with search engines (aka link building, link earning).

Linking content within your website in another powerful ranking tactic that has numerous benefits.

  1. Helps search engine spiders to crawl more pages on your site
  2. Helps distribute link juice from inbound links across more pages
  3. Allows additional ranking signals through the use of anchor text

Though much debated, there is no single right way to link your content – below are 3 of my favorite methods.

Method 1: The Power Page Silo

Google is getting better at picking up web spam link schemes. To be safe from Penguin penalties, the majority of inbound links should point at content like blog posts, infographics, etc (think about it – why the HELL would hundreds of websites ever link to your PPC services page unless you paid them to?)

The problem is, these generally aren’t the pages you’re trying to rank. That’s why we use internal links – to distribute the power of your inbound links.

To get started with this method, head to Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and navigate to Search Traffic > Links to Your Site. Download the file to Excel and filter the results to find your most linked to content. Identify the pages on your site with the most inbound links.

Internal links pass link juice. Therefore we can use pages with high inbound links to distribute that ranking power to other pages.

When building links to your website, you need to be careful not to over optimize your anchor text and trigger a penalty. When within your website, you can be aggressive with your anchor text and use exact match keywords phrases.

Method 2: The Category Silo

This method requires a blog with taxonomies (aka categories in WordPress) and works great for rankings localized pages.

Target Keyword: “Miami PPC Company

  1. Create categories on your blog based on the terms you’d like to rank for (PPC, Miami)
  2. Create great content for each category – make content hyper specific to that category
  3. Link category posts together using anchor texts related to your keywords
  4. Link category posts to target page with exact match anchor texts (don’t overuse them)

Bonus tips: If you’re trying to rank for local terms, build links from local websites. For example, create web 2.0 blogs (miamibusinessreviews.weebly.com), Pinterest links (use Geo located feature) and link them to your category posts.

Method 3: The Circle Silo

This method creates a circular silo of blog posts around a silo page. This silo of blog posts links directly to your silo page, creating massive relevancy signals to search engines.

  1. Create at least 4 blogs posts about a singular topic related to your target silo page
  2. Every blog post must link to another blog post within the content silo
  3. Every blog post must link back to the silo page
  4. Blog posts should only link to one silo page. Linking to additional silo pages breaks the circle of relevancy
  5. Duplicate this for every silo page you would like to rank.

When in doubt – model your internal linking structure like Wikipedia. Link together anything and everything that is related!

Like the infographic above? We created it custom – find out how we can do the same for your business



  1. Great and informative article about silos. Since I started using silos my clients websites rank higher in less time. The best is that once you understand the setup, it becomes second nature when you plan a website. Again it proves that their is a difference in value added by companies who design websites and online marketers who design websites.

  2. I’ve heard a lot about Silos and Silo structuring, but no one ever really took the time to break it down in a way that I can understand. I’m getting it now. I will re-read this post to make sure it soaks in.

  3. Sounds detailed. If I hire your company to do this service for me, how much would it cost?

    • Ryan Stewart

      depends on the size of your site. you can contact us directly and get a quote from my sales lead.

  4. I see there’s a deep science behind all this SEO stuff. I’ve always heard about silos but always really just ignored the importance of it. This is worth implementing, thanks.

  5. A pleasure reading your posts, Ryan! I have a question again and please don’t edit my comment this time. For the Circle Silo we see on the graph that there are links pointing from the silo page to the blogposts. I don’t see any logic behind this. The links should be only one-way – from the blog to the silo page.

  6. For the Circular Silo, does the Silo Page need to link back to all the blog posts linking to it?

    • Ryan Stewart

      hey kenny,

      the silo page doesn’t have to link back to the posts linking to it. think of it this way – the links should always flow towards the page you’re trying to rank.

  7. This article is very useful for those of you who have been in the world of SEO. The Ryan way of making Silo is very remarkable.

  8. You make a good point when you say “why the hell would would hundreds of sites link to your PPC page unless you paid them” lol…and to think it’s some dummies…or to say it nicely, amateurs trying to pull this stunt!

  9. Excellent tips to optimize SEO. Silo makes the web becomes more structured.

  10. So you would say wordpress if the best for this siloing? Any other platforms you’d recommend as well?

  11. I think I’m finally getting this. I have read this post a couple time before things started to really sink in. Never knew how important silos were until now.

  12. Ok now I’m seeing how to construct category, sub-pages and supporting pages together. I use WP so I understand this should make things even easier for silo.

  13. Excellent post on website silo! When you say to create category – is it to create a category page on wordpress or folder on server? If both are ok then which one would you use for better SEO? Thanks

  14. Great article. I’ve been searching for easy explanation about silo, because I’m sick of spammy link building with poor result. I use wordpress, but I will try to implement power page silo since it’s easier to understand. Let’s see if this will improve my client’s website ranking that have been stuck on 2nd and 3rd page of Google for almost a year

  15. I really love your post, I will build a niche website which has silo model. For me, silo model is new, I will try this. Is silo model good for niche website ?


  16. Hi Ryan
    I have a number of sites ranking strongly, though not WordPress. I am seeking to improve their ranking. Will silo work with Jimdo sites?

  17. Thanks for this post Ryan, you’ve been killing the content lately. A couple people asked about the linking on the circle silo and I wanted to add some clarification. Correct me if you think differently.

    You suggest to link from the main silo page to the internal blog posts. It’s not required, but otherwise there will be no channel for Google to spider to the posts unless you link to them from other pages on the web.

    It can also look strange to have posts that have no way for anyone to find them through your site structure, so having links to them from the main silo page makes sense.

    Also, in agreement with what you said about the blog posts only linking to one silo, it’s best to remove your main navigation from the blog posts and potentially use something like a sidebar navigation that allows you only to go to the next post in the silo, or back to the main silo page.

  18. I really appreciate this post. It reveals important factors to be considered by SEO analysts and marketing managers. Thank you for your opinion and knowledge.

  19. Well great information regarding silo structure but i want to ask that can we create silo structure using wordpress and drupal, and which will be best for the job.

  20. Really a very informative post I went through now. I have to say that “Ryan” might the new “Rand Fishkin”. But still I’m a bit confused over the Method no.2 and Method no.3, as both are similar ones. In Method no.2 you need to create categories with each having a single posting linking back to silo page and also other posts having similar content in other categories. Where as, in the method no.3 you said the same thing but without making new category pages in Blog section.
    Ozair Akhtar @Linkedin.com Network

  21. I like this prepared illustrator.. make me learn how to create silo website..like i do at mine.

  22. Great post ! But have a question. What about menu links, footer links, links in sidebars linking the page to content out of the silo ?

  23. Hi,
    Nice post.
    1 question…
    What If I wanted to rank in 3 different cities for the same 4 services.
    Would you list the 4 services, then create landing pages of reach city in blog, or would you create a child page to the silo page.

    Basically what if you wanted to have 4 services, but want to rank in multiple towns.


    • Jeremy

      James…. I to have the same question about how to go about Multi City Silo Structure.

      I’ve read that each location should have its own individual silo…

      However If each location is its own silo then it seems it would have to be listed in the Nav Menu and that doesn’t seem right to me, How else would it be crawled by bots.

      Then I thought maybe I should cross link the Local Silo off from the Original Key Word Silo as if it were a Key Word Silo Directory of sorts.

      Silo 1 Silo 2
      Example 1: Garage Door Repair—–> Garage Door Repair (City) … So on and so forth so each (City) based Silo is branching off form the original key word Silo.


      Example 2

      (Silo) Garage Door Repair|(Subpages) Garage Door Repair (City)

      (Silo) Garage Door Spring Repair | (Subpages) Garage Door Spring Repair (City)

      Have you had any other findings on the best Multi Location Silo Structure?

  24. In method 3, can we use categories?
    In method 3, if we have 40+ posts about the silo page, we should link them all ?
    Thanks man, amazing content.

  25. Great post, will try all of it getting better ranking for my site.

  26. Hi, I am not sure if this page is still getting updated but on the off chance…on the circle silo – on point 4 – Blog posts should only link to one silo page. Linking to additional silo pages breaks the circle of relevancy

    I presume this is meaning not to link to supporting pages within other silos, it is not meaning that every page within the silo, should not link back to the main page? sorry if didnt explain it well…

    • Ryan Stewart

      i havent updated this in about 18 months – thanks for pitching in tho!

  27. more of a question on the point 4 of the circle silo?

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