What is Website Architecture? Utilizing Content Silos for SEO Growth

Are you new to SEO and wondering, what is website architecture or content silos? Used strategically, content silos and website architecture can scale your online marketing efforts.

Navigating a confusing and disorganized website is more hassle than it’s worth. Most customers go elsewhere. Your website architecture and experience are critical to securing sales and seeing SEO growth. By creating content silos, you organize and categorize your site, so your customers always know where to look.

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When we talk about SEO (or search engine optimization), we talk about keywords, page load speeds, and backlinks. But there’s a chronically under-appreciated aspect never mentioned: website architecture. In fact, you’ll struggle to find many SEO experts comfortable with answering “what is website architecture?”.

Think about walking into a store. You see boxes everywhere; clothes aren’t labeled; there is no sense of where to look or even start: it’s chaos. You walk out, right? Because if this is how the shop functions, you’ll likely get a poor-quality product and customer service. It’s the same with your website’s architecture. When disorganized, customers abandon your site, and that hurts your SEO.

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Learn what website architecture is, what content silos are, and how to improve your website architecture by using content silos for SEO below.

What is website architecture?

Website architecture is the structure or hierarchy of your pages within your site. It’s a concept used to enhance usability and establish structure by considering how to organize your content into categories that make logical and intuitive sense.

It’s critical for search engine optimization.

Google has a mammoth task – it’s categorized and indexed a vast chunk of the internet. Its crawlers – automated code that finds and analyzes websites – locate your site, navigate it, attempt to understand what it’s about, and index all your pages.

Related blogs: What is Search Intent? How to Find the Right Keywords for SEO and How to Create a Content Marketing Funnel That Converts.

To do so, however, the site needs to make sense. Optimizing your website architecture works. Improving your user experience (UX) can skyrocket conversion rates by 400%, according to Forrester.

Consider a rooted tree graph – like a family tree. It begins with your homepage – your website’s hub. Then, it should branch into the major subsections, e.g. About, Blog, Services. From there, each subsection can branch out. You might have “Ethos and Values” and “Our Story” for the About page and a different page for services you offer.

Nesting these pages inside one another boosts the UX and leads to SEO growth.

What is a content silo?

Content silos are the answer to befuddled website architecture. Too many internal links harm your SEO and lead to customer confusion. That’s not a good thing: 12% of average web pages have too many internal links.

When we say “silo”, we picture a big grain container – it stores the tiny little bits of grain, preventing it from getting mixed with everything else. That’s what a content silo is – a storage container for your content. Instead of being physical, however, it’s often a concept or idea tying together the different sub-pages and sub-sections.

Recommended blogs: The Benefits of Google My Business and What is Copywriting? How to Increase Sales with Digital Copywriting.

Content Silo Examples

Let’s look at an example:

Amazon is the world’s biggest online marketplace. Indeed, it’s estimated that it sells 75,138,297 products as of March 2021. Yet, you never struggle to find what you’re looking for. Amazon’s impressive search feature is part of that, but it’s also their product categories – or “Departments”.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Books
  • Films, TV, Music & Games
  • Electronics & Computers
  • Home, Garden, Pets & DIY
  • Toys, Children & Baby
  • Clothes, Shoes, Jewelry and Accessories
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Food & Grocery
  • Health & Beauty
  • Car & Motorbike
  • Business, Industry & Science

That’s Level 1 – within each department, it goes into further depth. In “Electronics”, for example, you’ll find Headphones, PC &

Video Games, and Camera & Photo.

It’s simple yet genius – and it works.

Recommended blogs: What is ROAS? Calculating Your Return On Ad Spend and Top 20 Out of the Box Ideas to Increase Sales.

What is a content silo? | The Content Silo Levels

We can divide our content silos into four levels:

  1. HOME
  2. SILO PAGES
  3. CATEGORIES
  4. SUPPORTING PAGES

We start with the HOME PAGE (index page), which links to the SILO PAGES (site index). Inside each silo are the CATEGORIES (content), and within the categories, you’ll find SUPPORTING PAGES (more content).

That’s all there is to it – four levels.

How to use content silos for SEO

1. Keep it simple

The best tip for optimizing website architecture is to keep it simple. Nesting categories within silos is a fantastic way to do this. But if you can combine or cut pages – do it. There’s no need to have a “history”, “our story”, and “our values” pages if one or two would do.

Think about clothing brand websites with dozens of different options. It’s confusing, and it’s terrible for UX and SEO.

2. Use a logical URL structure

We’ve all seen those atrocious URLs – lines after line of “%” and random numbers. It’s confusing, messy and unnecessary.

Create logical URLs that follow a basic structure – for example:

  • Level 1: thegymshop.com
  • Level 2: thegymshop.com/running-shoes
  • Level 3: thegymshop.com/running-shoes/trail
  • Level 4: thegymshop.com/running-shoes/trail/outdoor-brand-blue

3. Create intuitive categories

Creating content silos for SEO means thinking about your customer. Amazon’s content structure works because everything is where you expect it to be.

Here at Clicta Digital, we follow a simple and intuitive structure. We’ve got two pages for About – one for businesses and one for potential employees. Our Services section contains a relevant page for each of our services. We split our Resources into a blog and an auditing tool.

There are no hidden surprises—just an easy UX.

4. Reduce the number of clicks

We’ve got a golden rule for SEO and sales: more clicks mean fewer sales. While it’s critical to catalog your content carefully, try to reduce the clicks between your homepage and key pieces of content. Nothing should be more than four clicks away.

It sounds a bit contradictory, right? All it means is categorize – but don’t over categorize. The further down the sublevels you go, the less likely a customer will see the content.

Optimizing your website architecture through content silos is critical to UX and better SEO

Your site’s structure should be logical, organized, and simple to navigate. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – what’s the easiest way you can help them find information. That’s how to use content silos for SEO.

Just never overcomplicate your site architecture – especially as your site grows.

Utilize Content Silos for SEO Growth

Content marketing is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to any digital marketing and SEO strategy. Are you looking for a world-class content marketing agency to strategize, execute, and promote your content marketing silos? Contact Clicta Digital today for a free consultation!

About the Author:

Ron is the Founder & CEO at Clicta Digital - a Local SEO, Enterprise SEO, PPC, eCommerce, & web design agency based in Denver, Colorado. He has over 10 years of digital marketing experience and is extremely passionate about the great outdoors.
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