The Hidden Hero of On Page SEO: Reverse Content Silos

Author:

Kyle Roof
July 15, 2021

Categories: 

Optimizing your site structure is fundamental for good SEO, but few people take the time to do it.

Which means when Google crawls your site, it sees this:

☝️

THIS is not good for SEO performance.

In fact, this could be the main thing holding you back and it’s not hard to fix.

Here at HVSEO, we built a system to organize site content, boost traffic, and improve rankings all at the same time.

That’s why we call it our hidden hero.

And the hero’s name is Reverse Content Silos. (terrible hero name, I know)

But what are Reverse Content Silos and why are they called ‘reverse’?

“Siloing” content is a way of interlinking pages and posts that are similar in topic to one another, which then helps create a side-wide catalog of your content.

This interlinking can be funneled directly to the most important “Target Pages” – such as key sales and conversion pages – which often target higher competition keywords, so the need for a high authority ranking is important.

Umm…what?

In layman’s terms, this means you can take all the link juice from your site’s content, such as blog posts, and have it flow directly to a Target Page, like a sales page, which tells Google that this is an important and relevant page to rank.

Your Target Page should be a single (more important) page you’re trying to improve the ranking for.

This could be a product page that’s been stuck on page 2 of Google for months now, or a new email opt-in page you’re trying to drive traffic to. If you’re building a reverse content silo, you’ll be grouping similar supporting pages and pointing their links to your main Target Page.

Read more about How Canva Templated Their SEO to Success.

With all the links coming to that single page, it lets Google know, “Hey, this is a solid page, look at how many other closely related pages link to it!”

A visual aid might help:

This diagram demonstrates why this is a ‘Reverse’ silo. While many would put their Target Page at the top, this model has the Target Page at the bottom.

The arrows between each post above represent the internal linking between pages. You can see three supporting articles, all linking to one another, and to the Target Page.

Each page links to the next, but they do not daisy chain – A connects to B, but A does not connect directly to C.

All Supporting Posts in the silo link directly to the Target Page.

Key Point: These links are placed in the body content and there are NO other links on the Supporting Posts.

This is what creates the ‘virtual silo’, this is not built into the site architecture, just the internal linking.

Each Supporting Post passes its link juice to the next one, then finally back to the Target Page.

The flow moves downwards towards the Target Page, rather than back and forth (hence the term “Reverse Silo”). This is how Silos help us boost the ranking of a single Target Page.

This kind of silo can live anywhere on your site.

What matters is the way you interlink between them in the body content using appropriate anchor text.

It’s key to remember: Content Silos serve only one single Target Page. 

You should be building out supporting articles (explained below) that only link to (and are directly related to) the main Target Page you’re trying to rank.

If you start to interlink out to different Target Pages from your supporting content, you’ve broken the silo, and the flow of relevancy.

Read more about What a Traffic Graph Should Look Like.

Step-by-step to create the silo:

  1. Choose the page you want to rank, that will be your Target Page. These are usually higher converting pages like product categories or sales pages.
  2. Select or create your supporting content posts as in the diagram above, and make sure to include:

               a) 1 link at the top of the Supporting Post to the main Target Page

               b) 1 or 2 links to other supporting content in the silo.

               c) Use clear, descriptive anchor text for your links.

You can build a silo with any number of supporting content pieces – the more difficult the keyword your Target Page is trying to rank for, the more Supporting Posts you’ll need to be effective.

You can also create multiple silos to the same Target Page, but that’s an advanced topic. Here is an example from one of our own sites of a more advanced reverse silo architecture:

But what is supporting content?

Supporting content typically comes in the form of a post that answers a specific question or addresses a single topic.

There’s a range of online tools you can use to find different questions related to your main keyword, but the People Also Ask section in Google search results is a great place to start.

Let’s say you’re offering a SAAS product for Social Media management.

Great supporting content topics would be things such as “Which social media management tool is best?”, “What is the best free social media management tool?”, “What are three tools professionals might use in social media management?”

These three posts would all link to each other, while also having a link to your main Target Page: the SAAS product’s sales page. This helps boost your main page’s Authority rating in the eyes of Google.

What about existing posts? Can I silo them?

Absolutely!

Provided the existing post doesn’t already link out to a number of other posts or pages, you can use it in a content silo. If it does link out to other pages, then you can skip it or remove the links if the post would be more valuable in a silo than standalone.

If there’s only a single link, or none, you can easily silo it.

Pages that have been around for a while and get some traffic, but don’t link anywhere, are the best to add in a silo provided they’re related to the Target Page.

In the top section of the body content, simply place a link with relevant anchor text to the Target Page.

Are there pages I shouldn’t use in a silo?

Silo supporting content should be built of posts, blog articles, or info pages rather than product / services / main site pages. As in, don’t silo your homepage, about, contact, etc.

Things like sales pages, product pages, opt-in landing pages, or other pages specifically optimized for conversions should not be used as Supporting Posts in a content silo. These pages are more important and could potentially act as Target Pages in their own silos later on.

Remember, Silos exist for a very specific purpose – to improve and rank our Target Page.

Once you start setting up silo content, you’ll easily be able to identify which existing pages will work, and which won’t.

How Do I Know if I’ve Silo’d correctly?

You can check by asking yourself three questions:

  1. Does your silo page link to only one Target Page? (Yes)
  2. Does your silo page link out to only one or two other silo pages? (Yes)
  3. Are there links in the body of your silo content to pages other than your Target Page and one or two other silo pages? (No)

If you answered Yes, Yes, No – congrats, you’ve correctly built a reverse content silo!

Easy, right?

Reverse Content Silos are a key tool for your SEO toolbox. One to use when your Target Pages seem stuck in the SERPS or when you’ve got a high competition keyword.

Next time you’ve got a difficult keyword to rank, build a silo to support your efforts.

You’ll be surprised by the results.

Read more about SEO success secrets of Asana vs Trello.

About the author 

Kyle Roof

Kyle is responsible for the development and implementation of all SEO techniques used by the SEO agency High Voltage SEO and the SEO tool PageOptimizer Pro. Kyle is also the co-founder of Internet Marketing Gold, a global community of 3000+ SEO professionals who test and prove cutting edge SEO techniques. Kyle is also co-host of SEO Fight Club a weekly YouTube show that covers a multitude of SEO topics. Kyle’s SEO techniques and discoveries are followed by many SEO professionals and business leaders, he has been featured in many respected publications and is a regular speaker on SEO and SEO testing at conferences throughout the world.

You may also like

SEO for Token Sales

SEO for Token Sales

Crypto Blog Content Optimization

Crypto Blog Content Optimization
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

What Are You Waiting For?

Competition increases every day you delay action.