SEO tip: Structure content in silos


Structure the content on your site in silos. Stop sucking up to Google’s algorithm. Content is only becoming more important. Long tail is 70 percent of search traffic.

There were many good insights at the SMX show in San Jose.

There weren’t many world-changing innovations at the SMX show in San Jose. However, a number of incredibly useful insights, confirmation and clarification of things that already exist.

Here’s what I liked the most:

Structure content in silos, not by topic

The biggest aha moment at the fair was the realization of how best to structure the site. I heard about it at the Inbound show in Boston in September from Hubspot. But it was at Bruce Clay’s lecture Masterings SEO Silos that the penny dropped.

Traditionally, we structure websites roughly as follows. Home – Articles – Offer – About us – Contact. We often have several different offers gathered under the menu heading ‘Offer’. This is the classic inside-out approach that almost all companies have. There is an organizational logic that it creates a flow for the customer on the site from left to right in the menu bar. But it’s not as logical for Google’s search spiders.

It is much better for Google to structure the site in silos instead. That is, vertically instead of horizontally.

Using my own site as an example. I want to rank on Storybranding and Marketing Consultant. It would be much more efficient if I collected all the material related to, for example, marketing consultant under that topic. So: Mattias us

And then collect all the articles I write that can be linked to marketing consultant under

With this structure, you build much more authority on the specific keywords you want to rank for. Bruce says he came up with this idea a few years ago. He calls it silos. Hubspot calls it pillar content. I call it brilliant, plain and simple.

It is a structure that requires more manual work when publishing articles as there is a manual construction of the URL. But the results are much better over time.

Bruce Clay talks about SEO silos at SMX West 2019.
Bruce Clay talks about structuring site content in silos at SMX West 2019 in San Jose.

Don’t chase Google’s algorithm

The Uber driver to the San Francisco airport after the fair told us that he is also a local real estate agent in San Jose. An SEO expert has guaranteed him that his site will rank on the first page of Google for $3500. For this amount, the expert would set up a number of sites about the real estate market in San Jose and link from these sites to his site. I cringe when I hear that.

Since the dawn of SEO in the late 90s, less clever SEO experts have been trying to find ways to outsmart Google’s search spiders. The most unreliable ones have guaranteed their customers better organic search results. If you have even the slightest knowledge of SEO, you know that you can’t guarantee results in organic search for the simple reason that Google is constantly making minor adjustments to the search algorithm – and occasionally really big changes.

Never know what Google ranks on

In other words, you can never know exactly what it takes to rank high on Google. These are at best educated guesses. In this paradox lies Google’s entire business concept and at the same time the business opportunity for the entire SEO industry. There will always be work to be done as Google is constantly changing the conditions. But as an SEO expert, guaranteeing results is unreliable. They can only guarantee that you are doing the best you can and that it should produce better search results.

Google is getting smarter and smarter. For some years now, Google has not been matching specific keywords. It looks for intent, connection and context. Or intent, as it is called in English.

So Google tries to interpret and understand the context in which a person is searching and then tries to match that with the site with the best content that matches the context in which you are searching.

A site with a lot of SEO trickery is not that site.

Content increasingly important for SEO

Google’s mission is to provide the absolute best possible results for people searching the web. So your challenge is to create the best possible content and publish it in the right way so that Google can read it well and easily.

Your site must be technically sound. You must systematically ensure that it is optimized for Google. This is a prerequisite for Google to see your content at all.

But over time, the most important thing for you is to create good content regularly. When Google sees that you create content that the visitor reads – yes, Google sees how long you stay on the page – Google thinks: There must be good content on that page because the visitor stays on the page for a long time.

If the visitor also links to the page, Google reacts very positively.

Creating a good organic ranking is therefore a step-by-step process. One good post after another.

Long tail is 70 percent of traffic on Google

Voice search has grown tremendously in recent years. Today, there are around 500 million gadgets that humans can use their voice to search with. It also makes the search more conversational. The search strings will be significantly longer. Today, over 70% of all searches are over four words.

The longer search strings are also a huge opportunity. Even for small sites.

This is what I tell my Uber driver as we turn into the massive international terminal at San Francisco airport. I propose that he create value for those thinking of selling or buying a house in San Jose. Write a post called “Important things to consider when buying a house in San Jose”. Write another post called “How to get the best interest rate when buying a house in San Jose”. Then you go for long tail keywords, while creating good keywords. Google likes that.

Spend the money on someone who can help you develop good search strings and help you structure your posts optimally for Google. If you do well, others may link to you at some point. From credible sites.

That is the last thing I say to the Uber driver.

This tip applies to everyone.


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