Every good SEO person knows how important contextual interlinking between the content on your website is. When properly done, contextual interlinking within your website will significantly reduce the need for links from external websites. Think about how powerful that is.
Silo structure interlinking takes related articles, each targeting a specific location or industry keyword, and magnifies the authority of each individual page such that the whole is greater than the sum of the individuals. Then, it directs all that link authority to the page you want to rank for those keywords.
In this article, I will explain the three levels of silo structuring depending on the competition and how to do each.
Before I get into the meat of this article, I have a quick suggestion. If you found this article because you are trying to learn Local SEO, I suggest you start with one of these two articles: “How To Do Local SEO – An In-Depth Overview!” or “What Is Off-Page Local SEO?“.
What Is Contextual Interlinking?
You can see examples of contextual interlinking in this article. Contextual interlinking is when, on a website, some of the text in your content is turned into a link.
This is a powerful form of linking because the words you choose to turn into a link should describe the article the link takes you to. This adds what is called topical authority to the link.
When one website links to another, the search engines view it as a recommendation of the website being linked to. It is as though the linking website is saying that the website being linked to is credible and vouching for the content’s accuracy.
The same is true of interlinking between pages on the same website. Each piece of content with its own URL is a mini website on the internet. When articles on a website link to other related articles, they vouch for and recommend that article. That is why if contextual interlinking is done properly, you don’t need as many links from exterior websites to rank the same (in many cases).
What are Silo Structures?
A silo structure in Local SEO is a way to structure your website where related content uses the power of contextual interlinking to support and power up each other, which, if done properly, can magnify the ability of a website to rank for its industry and location keywords.
This related content interlinked together forms a series of column-looking structures. Some people compare the series of columns to grain silos. Hence the name. You might see the resemblance if you look at the above picture and the below picture.
How Are Full Local SEO Silo Structures Organized
In the above image, I used an example of a multi-location auto repair company. In this example, the blue rectangles are the 3 location pages, the green rectangles are the main category pages, and the pink rectangles are the related category subpages. Each category page targets the keyword I have listed as its name. (To learn how to have a whole page target a keyword, see my article “How To Optimize Content For Local SEO!“)
Each location page mentions somewhere in its text the keyword each green page is targeting. Those keywords on each location page are also turned into contextual links linking to each green page. Each green page also links contextually to each location page.
The green page at the top of each column then contextually links to the first pink page in its column. Likewise, each of the pink pages in each column link to each other and back to the green page at the top of its column. That is a basic Local SEO silo structure.
When Should You Use Full Silo Structures?
A full Local SEO silo structure (as shown in the image above) is one where a whole page is dedicated to each targeted keyword. These only need to be used in competitive situations. In smaller towns or less competitive industries, they may not be necessary.
If the competitors that are outranking you in the Google Maps 3 pack have full silo structures or are close to it, then you may need them to beat them. These are not all algorithms, but they are a powerful component. Often, they can give you the edge you need.
Mini Local SEO Silo Structures
Having a single services page might do if you are in a low-competitive industry or city. Having all your keywords in the various subheadings on the page or in a bolded list might do the trick. Again, look at your top-ranking competition to decide.
However, to make the most of a single services page, you can structure it as what I call a mini silo structure. The title of your page would be your main Google Business Profile category, plus your city and state. Then, your subtitles will be your general service keywords, just like the green rectangles in the above image.
Then, you mention and bold your supportive related keywords within the text under each subheading. You don’t need any interlinking in this model because everything is on the same page.
Medium Local SEO Silo Structures
I dump Anything between a full and a mini silo structure in this category. But a typical mid-level silo has a page for each of the general service keywords (the green rectangles in the above image), and then each of the supportive keywords (the pink rectangles) you place within the subtitles of the page for the general keyword they support.
In this case, the location pages contextually link to each general service page, and each general service page links back to each location page.
It is important to remember that keywords that you are targeting, whether industry or location, need to be highlighted or set apart somehow so that they stand out and the search engines notice them.
The strongest way to do this would be to have them in a page’s URL, title tag, and H1 title. The second best would be having them in a subtitle on a page on the topic they fit within. The last valid but least strong way is to have them bolded in the text on a page, especially in a bolded list.
Again, for an article that explains targeting keywords, I recommend reading “How To Optimize Content For Local SEO!“