In my last post, I discussed the importance of using silos within your SEO strategy and your website architecture. Today, I will focus on how to strengthen your themes and silos through a strategically implemented linking structure
Creating themes within your site architecture
As I mentioned in the previous post, your website should be structured so that all of the pages on your site are contained within themed directory silos. Here is a quick example, if you are selling books, of how a directory silo might look:
As you can see, all of these pages are different types/genres of poetry.
Cross-linking within each theme
The core idea here is to insert links between your themed pages so that you are emphasizing which are most important. When you insert a link you are passing pagerank between those pages. In order to achieve the highest rankings possible, you don’t want to dilute the link juice between themes.
Think of your links as votes. If you insert 10 links all pointing to a particular page on your site, the search engines consider those to be votes for that page’s importance.
Lets look at the example above. If I am selling poetry books, the page I would want to rank for these related terms would be Booksite.com/poetry. To give this page a boost, I will link to it from all of my sub-categories within this directory. Within this example, that would be at least six links going to this main page.
Cross-linking outside of your theme
You don’t want to dilute your themes by cross-linking between them. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t link between themes at all. It just means you need to make sure your not passing pagerank (or link juice) between themes.
If you want to link to a fiction page from your Booksite.com/poetry/contemporary.html page, that’s fine. However, you would want to use a “nofollow” link. To users, there is no difference and they’ll never know. However, this indicates to the search engine that you don’t want to pass pagerank to this fiction page from your poetry page. You want to keep your poetry links within your poetry silo.
The use of strategically placed followed and no-followed links within a website is also called ‘pagerank sculpting.’
Using anchor texts to strengthen your theme
Whenever inserting a link, you need to give consideration to the anchor text. Make sure that your anchor texts contain keywords that are relevant to your theme.
For example, if I’m linking to my limericks page, I would insert a link that says, “limerick poetry.” I would not use a link that says, “Learn more.” What does “learn more” say to a search engine? Nothing! And this doesn’t strengthen your theme/silo.
Don’t waste your link juice on utility pages
Deciding which pages deserve to receive link juice/pagerank is your decision. But there a few standard utility pages for which you should generally use no-follow links. These pages include:
- Contact us page
- About us page
- Staff directory page
- History of company
- Directions/Hour of operation
Of course, you will want to link to your contact page if you want users to contact you through the site. However, you should use a no-follow link in order to tell the search engine that you don’t want to pass link juce to these pages because these are pages you don’t want to rank for.
Let me say this too: don’t abuse any of these tactics. Excessive internal linking can actually damage your standing with Google. Moderation is the key. Just make sure that the links you insert are logical and flow with the content of your site.
Keep in mind, these are just initial steps to crafting a tightly themed website using keyword, content, and directory silos that have a strategically crafted linking structure. But this should get you started!