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Content MarketingSEO

Silo vs Cluster Content Architecture in SEO Strategy

By 23 March 2021May 24th, 2021No Comments

Nowadays, effective keyword research and density is a vital skill for digital marketers. Besides doing content and keyword research, digital marketers should also know how to find out the best topics they should write about, the best phrases for the content, and how to organize the content on their webpages developing and optimal SEO Strategy.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is an SEO practice that involves finding the best phrases and words that internet users use in search engines. In other words, keyword research is about understanding the language of your target audience and using it to optimise your content to rank high on SEO.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation involves optimising a website to make it rank high on search engines. A site’s content, keywords, internal links, and site structure determine its SEO ranking. A higher ranking on search engines increases your website’s visibility, which results in more increased traffic to your website. In simple terms, SEO allows you to connect with your target audience, and having high-quality content helps in converting them into customers.

Why do SEO

Search engine optimisation helps business owners create robust, fast, and user-friendly sites that rank high in search engines. This, in turn, helps generate high-quality traffic to their websites and eventually increasing conversion rates. SEO also builds brand awareness for your company as most search engine users are likely to trust a website on the first page of their search results than sites that appear anywhere from the third page. Moreover, most internet users barely go beyond the third page on search engines looking for links. Instead, they opt for a different set of keywords. If you own a small online business or blog, you should use SEO to build a strong web presence for your brand and bypass your competitors to gain new customers.

You might also be interested in our blog “Top 5 Reasons Why SEO Is The Right Investment For Your Business

SEO STRATEGIES

When it comes to SEO, website architecture is foundational. If your website is already ranking highly for target keywords and looking for ways to rank even higher, your SEO campaign might require a few more strategies to succeed. One of these strategies is having the correct website architecture on your webpage. A good website architecture will drive engagement on your site, which in turn will result in a higher ranking on search engines.

What is Website Architecture?

Website architecture is the structure that organizes the arrangement, location, and delivery of content on your website. This includes your webpages’ hierarchy, how and where users find content, and other technical considerations to improve your site’s indexing on search engines.

Why Is Website Architecture Significant for SEO?

Website architecture is significant for SEO in three ways:

  • A good website architecture makes it easy for search engines to find and index all your webpages. If your webpages are not interlinked, Googlebot will not find them or may even fail to index them.
  • Website architecture involves building link authority around your web site. Interlinking your high-priority pages improves your PageRank, which also helps improve your web sites ranking on search engines.
  • Exemplary website architecture enables users to find what they need quickly.

Below, we will discuss the two most common content architectures. We will review silo content architecture vs. cluster content architecture and discover the best way to organize your particular site’s web content.

Silo Content architecture Vs. Cluster Content Architecture

A proper website structure makes it easy for Google crawl bots to navigate and optimise your crawl budget. This makes it easy for site visitors to navigate and find relevant content. A good website structure can be achieved in two main ways; through Siloing or Clustering.

SILO CONTENT ARCHITECTURE

Silo Architecture involves organizing content into groups that relate to a particular topic within your site sitemap. In silo content architecture, the page arrangement is in a hierarchy, from general information pages to specific info pages (top to bottom). Silo content architecture uses a logical and orderly navigation system to make it easier for visitors to navigate your website. Web crawlers are also conversant with indexing silo content architecture, making your pages available directly on search engines for all related queries. In silo content architecture, content is divided into clear, distinct categories. These categories follow a hierarchy to make it easier for visitors and search engines to understand your website’s content and its relation to other webpages on the site.

What are the two types of SEO Content silos?

We have two types of SEO silos: Virtual Content Silos and Physical content Silos. Even though they help you achieve the same outcome, these two use completely different approaches to attain their goals.

  • Virtual Content SEO Silos – This type of content silo harnesses internal links to link pages with matching content together seamlessly. Virtual content SEO silos agglutinate associations between web content using HTML hyperlinks. This makes it easy for your target market to establish a clear connection between your web content and your website’s theme. Since all connections web pages are connected using hyperlinks, tags, custom posts, and categories, website owners do not have to adhere to a strict URL structure, which is the case with physical silos. This aspect of simplicity has made virtual silos more common compared to physical silos.
  • Physical Content SEO Silos- in Physical Silos, website developers organize the site’s topics, themes, and keywords into several subfolders under the main website directory. Each subfolder contains one main category, expanding into several sub-directories containing different related products and services. Most e-commerce websites use physical silo content structures to organize their products. Physical silos help customers find all relevant products and their related products without being overwhelmed by a large number of items. Building physical content silos requires site owners to create a collection of URLs manually with a similar structure.

Steps involved in Building Silo Content Architecture

Siloing a site is a multistep process. The four steps involved are:

  1. Determine Your Sites Theme- This is the first step of siloing your website content. We can determine your theme by focusing on the relevant themes, themes ranking for your website, and the subject of the themes. We also focus on how a user would search for your content and how to implement clear subject themes
  2. Build your site’s theme using Physical Silos – The next step is figuring out how you can implement physical siloing using your site’s directory structure. When done, arrange all the relevant content in directories and subdirectories based on how they relate to each other.
  3. Build your site’s theme using Virtual Silos– Our content experts can achieve this by carefully examining the link structure implemented in your website, applying the necessary linking techniques between the webpages that will reinforce your site themes.
  4. Create Keyword-Rich Content- After creating the necessary silos, the final step is publishing the relevant, expert-quality content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases within appropriate silos.

Pros and Cons of Silo Content architecture

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Siloing,

Advantages

  • Best SEO setup
  • Clean and short URLs
  • Has the simplest user interface
  • Ideal for e-commerce stores and author sites

Disadvantages

  • A complex Technical setup.
  • Strict internal linking rules
  • Requires in-advance planning

CLUSTER CONTENT ARCHITECTURE

Clusters offer a lazier and simpler way of organizing content on a website while still attain the same amount of effectiveness with less planning in advance. In content clusters, website owners do not insert keywords into content, hoping that Google will bite. Rather, it uses a topic modelling and internal linking strategy to improve the content’s user experience, which results in a higher SEO ranking. Cluster content architecture has three main components:

  • The Pillar page — This is a broad, detailed piece of content that acts as the “hub” of the cluster
  • The Cluster content — These are all pieces of content interlinked with the cluster’s pillar page
  • The Internal links — this is the common bond between clusters

Steps involved in Building Content Clusters

Now that you understand what content clusters entail let us discuss the systematic process involved in planning and building this content cluster strategy.

  1. Analysing goals & conducting keyword research- The first step is conducting research for the best keywords. The set of keywords and phrases should be in line with the client’s business goals. This includes the goals, the areas that need more focus, the conversion goals, and the targeted areas. Once we have established these goals, we will have a solid foundation to begin our content development strategy and build our clusters.
  2. Performing a comprehensive content audit- If we are working with a site that already has an extensive archive of content, we always perform a content audit. This audit helps to group all content by topic, taking into account our client’s goals. The topics identified to become the clusters, and all the content related to a specific topic become cluster content.
  3. Establish pillar pages- After we have identified all the cluster topics, the next step is designating a pillar page that will interconnect all the content with the cluster. This page will serve as the map that connects the entire content in the cluster. Unlike all the other pages with cluster content, a pillar page will be broader in scope to make it possible to link to and touch on every aspect and facet of the clusters.
  4. Implementing internal linking- With your pillar pages and clusters established, it is now time to put the final pieces of the puzzle together. Pillar pages and clusters are interconnected using hyperlinks. All cluster content should have a link to the pillar page. The pillar page should also have naturally interspersed links that redirect website visitors to cluster content.

Pros and Cons of Cluster content architecture

Cluster content architecture has the following pros and cons:

Pros

  • Simple to setup
  • Easiest for progressive unplanned expansion
  • Lack of folders makes it easier to add long keywords.
  • Perfect for small and lightweight sites.
  • Interlinking within pages is more flexible.

Cons

  • Dilutes topical relevance if you get too generous with keyword linking.
  • Messy when used in large websites.
  • Not applicable to some web applications, e.g., e-commerce.
  • It can be challenging to conceptualize for some users.

Between Silo Content architecture Vs. Cluster Content Architecture, Which one is better?

Now that you know the two types of content architecture, which one is the best between the two? This is my opinion on this matter. Only use silo Content architecture if you have at least 500 pieces of content organized into a spreadsheet with well-defined categories. These categories should guide your new niches or future expansions that you may want to do. Also, use this type of content management strategy if you are comfortable with tweaking stuff in folders, including creating new categories, pages, subpages, sidebars, etc. Finally, use them if you are okay with all other topics about slugs, google web stories, internal linking, google search algorithm change, keywords, google navigation structures, google search snippets, search console associations, etc. In my opinion, silo content is a more advanced configuration.

On the other hand, use clusters if you have an idea of what you want to start with, but you do not have an outlined plan for expanding the website later in the future. Clusters are also applicable for websites that focus on a narrow niche regardless of the size.

I hope you now know the best type of website architecture for your project. Before settling for a particular type of content architecture, ensure that It best suits your project needs, and it will help your website rank higher on search engines. If you have any further questions regarding whether a particular type of content management system would be beneficial for your SEO strategy, do not hesitate to contact our expert content strategy team. We will be glad to help you solve your content problem and rank higher on search engines.