“Links” are an important concept in SEO.
When another website links to yours, it’s a powerful signal that your website is a reputable source of information.
Links also serve as a portal for search engines to access new pages.
When it comes to organizing our own websites, using internal links to connect pages helps search engines to understand your website’s architecture, hierarchy and priority for visitors.
We call these internal linking strategies “silos”.
This post will explore 5 internal linking structures (aka link silos) to deploy for maximum search engine exposure.
si·lo – sīlō/ – verb.
Definition: To isolate (one system, process, department, etc.) from others.
Search engines are lazy.
Websites with unorganized structure make it difficult to understand what the site is about. This can impact your crawl budget and overall rankings.
By “siloing” your website (aka creating content groupings and internal link structures) you can drastically improve how search engine bots interact with your site.
Generally speaking, there’s 2 ways we can silo a website:
Let’s unpack each of these in more detail.
This is best explained by Bruce Clay (SEO expert) with his jar of marbles example.
By moving content into jars separated by classification, you create clear relevancy with search engines.
With organized silos, you can have content about numerous topics and still rank for each of them.
I recently wrote about “topic clusters“, a strategy to group your brand’s content into content silos on your website. That strategy goes hand in hand with how you should organize that content on your website.
Organizational silos use both content topics and physical URL structures to create pockets of relevancy across your site.
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 with your website is another powerful ranking tactic that has numerous benefits:
Though much debated, there’s no single right way to link your content. To help you out, we’ve listed out 3 strategies we deploy for our clients.
Google is getting better at picking up webspam and 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 anyone 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.
This data will let you know which pages are link deficient.
When building external links to your website, you need to be careful not to over-optimize your anchor text and trigger a penalty.
When linking internally between your pages, you can be more aggressive with your anchor text and use exact match keyword phrases.
Internal links pass link juice. Therefore we can use pages with high inbound links to distribute that ranking power to other pages.
This is a method requires a blog with taxonomies (aka categories in WordPress) and works great for ranking local pages.
Target Keyword: “Miami PPC Company”
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.
When in doubt – model your internal linking structure like Wikipedia. Link together anything that is related!
We built a Google Sheets tool that helps you determine which pages need internal links on your website.