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Guide to building your first site - Part 3: Building your site (With SILO structure)

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by davids355, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is part 3 of the guide and is all about organising your information, building your site and implimenting a SILO structure if required.

    Part 1 - picking your niche is here-
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/guide-to-building-your-first-site-part-1-picking-your-niche.863733/

    Part 2 - Keyword research is here-
    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/guide-to-building-your-first-site-part-2-keyword-research.864455/

    Organising your data
    By now you should have a lot of data collected from the first two parts of this guide. Its a great idea to get all of this information well organised before you start building your website.

    I think there might be tools for organising this sort of information but I always come back to the simple text files and excel files.
    A good tip here is to use a service such as Dropbox in conjunction with flat file storage so taht all of your data is a) always backed up and b) accessible from wherever you are.

    I typically have a folder for my website and then inside that folder have some text files detailing domain information, login details, notes on the competition and then a spreadsheet with the keywords and the proposed site structure.

    [​IMG]

    The above is an example of the intended site structure and it uses the same example of coffee machines niche - I have listed the keyword and then the search volume next to it. I have also laid the terms out in order of relevance to each other and this is basically what forms our silo structure.

    This structure is useful for several reasons -

    1.It makes the site easy to navigate and relevant to the user - for example if someone lands on the page "filter coffee machines" then they will quite probably be interested in the two sub articles -
    filter coffee machines with steamer and filter coffee machines for your home - so the structure is adding value for the reader.

    2.It adds re-enforces the relevance of each page because you are doing exactly what you would do when you build offsite backlinks - you are linking from a page that is about a particular topic, to another page that is about the same or similar topic so just like a contextual backlink about coffee is going to be valuable for your site so will a contextual backlink on your own site about filter coffee machines be valuable for your page about filter coffee machines for your home.

    3.Aside from the relevance between pages, a good site structure means that when you build backlinks to your site - to your homepage for example - the "link juice" will flow throughout your site effectively.

    Interestingly Google talk about this a little bit on their adwords platforms and they advise that adwords is laid out inline with the structure of your website and they also talk about having that structure in an order similar to a silo structure - this is just a random observation but it reafirms the importance of a silo structure.

    Building your website

    I wasn't going to go into detail about the physical building of the website but I guess I might as well seeing as its relevant.
    So the first thing you would need if you dont already have it is a website host - this may or may not be the same as your domain registrar but personally I would recommend keeping them seperate - IF your host ever goes down for any reason then its much easier to repoint your DNS from your registrar than it is to have to transfer your entire domain.

    For registrars I recommend Godaddy - in my opinion they are the best - fast, cheap and reliable.

    For hosting I recommend any of these comanies (All of which I have had great experience with):

    Host-stage
    powerup hosting
    siteground
    hostgator
    tsohost
    nimbus hosting
    a2 hosting

    I beleive that all of these providers offer backups of some description and I would highly recommend that you avail of that backup service whichever provider you choose - there are loads of things that can happen to your site that will cause it to fail and having a backup in place when that happens will save you so much stress, time and money.

    Once you have set up your hosting then just change your domains nameservers to those specified by your hosting provider.

    Nameserver changes are always advertised as taking 24-48 hours but in reality should propogate within a few hours. You can check that your nameservers have updated here:

    http://mxtoolbox.com/dnscheck.aspx

    And you can check specifically that your domains IP address has updated across the globe here:

    https://www.whatsmydns.net/

    Installing wordpress

    The next step is to install wordpress. Once again, i think that all of the providers above come with CPANEL and also offer "one click installation" of wordpress. if that is the case all you need to do is log in to your cpanel account and look for softilicious / one click installer / wordpress and follow the instructions. The only thing to look out for is that the installer is putting it in the root of your domain - sometimes by default the installer will have a sub-directory such as "wp" already listed just remove that and leave the sub directory empty.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Disclaimer: @Ste Fishkin the MS paint art is for you

    Manual Install

    Just in case anyone out there needs to do a manual installation of Wordpress - this might be the case if you have a hosting provider that doesnt use cpanel for example. Here is the guide (Via FTP, if you have Shell access its even easier but I wont go into that):

    Set up an sql database - if you have cpanel but dont have access to auto installer then you can log in to cpanel and use the Mysql database wizard. If you use another provider just ask them for instructions on setting up a mysql database.

    download wordpress from here -
    http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

    Extract it using 7z or other compression software and then upload it to the root of your website hosting - you want everything inside of the wordpress folder, so your website root should have the wp-content folder, wp-admin folder etc and not a wordpress folder.

    Once you have the files uploaded simply browse to your website and you will be prompted with the wordpress install wizard where you can enter your mysql database details and follow the remaining prompts to create your wordpress install.

    Configuring wordpress

    Once you have installed wordpress you can visit the admin area by browsing to yoursite.com/wp-admin and logging in with the credentials provided to you during the installation.

    The first thing I do is remove any default content - this is normally a sample page and a few sample posts.

    Configuring your theme
    the next thing is to add a theme. If you brose to appearance / themes then you can find plenty of decent (and free) themes available. These will definitely do, but if you have the budget I would recommend a premium theme and the best place for those, in my opinion, is theme forest.

    Once you have your theme installed you want some plugins as well, as follows:

    contact form 7 - for creating your contact forms
    wordfence security - for keeping hackers away
    W3 total cache - to keep your site running fast
    WP social sharing
    Yoast SEO
    visual composer - when looking at themes I would always advise that you look for ones that have visual composer included with them because it makes designing a visually appealing site effortless.

    Configuring permalinks
    You want nice URLs for your pages and posts - this is very important with your silo structure and with SEO in general because it means you can easily have your keywords appearing in your URLs.
    Check in settings / permalinks and make sure you have the option "post name" ticked.

    Setting up your SILO structure
    There are lots of ways of doing this, and there are plugins that will do it for you, but this is the way I do it - it involves some manual labour but it also keeps everything looking natural and not too regimented.

    I have a page targeting each keyword in my list and I structure those pages according to my site layout - for example:

    coffee machines - this is my homepage
    pod coffee machines - this page is a sub page of coffee machines
    the top 5 pod coffee machines - this is a sub page of pod coffee machines

    On the homepage I will link out to all of the second level pages.

    On the second level pages I will link out to all of the third level pages.

    and so on.

    YOu can do this from the sidebar in this format:

    Back to [previous page in hierachy]

    Further information:

    sub page 1
    sub page 2
    sub page 3

    This way you end up with a structure that matches exactly the site plan we created previously, further more we have each topic linking directly to and from nested (and related) topics and we don't have any links between unrelated topics - this is the simplest form of silo structure and it keeps all the links on the site very relevant to each other and allows link juice to filter down accordingly.

    Cross linking between silos

    To further enhance this structure you can also cross link between pages that are on the same level in the structure and relevent to each other.

    You can do this systematically by linking to the previous page and the next page in the same level of the silo structure; for example as per the site layout that I listed above filter coffee machines with steamer could also link to filter coffee machines for your home because they are on the same level - I would add these links again in the sidebar and under the heading related content. This makes more sense if you have 5 pages in your third level and each page links to its "neighbours".

    You can also do it randomly and on each page just have two links out to the most related pages on the same level and in teh same branch of your structure.

    Further more, you can link to these related pages and the child pages from within the content of the page - for example, on the filter coffee machines page you might talk about coffee machines with steamers within the content of that page - this would be the ideal opportunity to link to your filter coffee machines with steamer page.


    Specifically how to set this up

    I create all of my content as pages, I keep a very basic site menu that has just homepage, about us, contact pages and so on, and then I use a page template that has a sidebar built in that I can use on each page to link to the parent, the sub-pages and the select related content.
    [​IMG]

    What you should end up with is a structure where you are forced to browse down through topics that gradually go into more specific detail about the exact same subject OR browse across to very closely related subjects.

    How to automate this

    Rather than setting this up manually you can automate most of it by using the built in sidebar system that comes with wordpress and some plugins and/or custom code.

    There is a good guide here about setting up some code in your sidebars that will automatically show the immediate parent as well as all of the children for any particular page -

    https://wordpress.org/support/topic/display-sub-pages-sub-page-parent-in-sidebar

    Building out your website

    At this point you have your plan, you have the site build and you have your silo structure designed. The next stage is to start putting your content together and posting it on your site - stay tuned for the next guide showing you the best way to do this as well as some tips on how to make your content successful and to maximise its impact on the community around your niche.
     
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  2. vsching

    vsching Power Member

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    Good job man, there goes my writing tutorial idea =)
     
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  3. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    ^^ Haha. Plenty of topics to write about, so you should still do one.
     
  4. Garthog

    Garthog Newbie

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    Thanks for this.

    Question though, are you in the "no posts in silo structured wordpress" camp? I am trying to have it fit into an authority site which would require an informational blog with non-seo content alongside the moneypages.
     
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  5. loedown

    loedown Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lotta data here on these posts, great for newbies. Should be stickied.
     
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  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hmm, not sure about this one. I guess it's still beneficial to have the silo structure, then you could have the blog, and then link from the blog to pages within the silo, it would be OK.
    I guess the problem would be that if you have blog in the menu, you have an "outbound" link on every page of you silo to the blog which is a bit of a leak.

    I wonder if it would work having the blog link only on homepage, then have certain posts in the blog linking to relevant pages in silo and then those pages linking just to that particular post in the blog.


    Thanks :)
     
  7. LoftPower

    LoftPower Elite Member

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    Great read. Keep up the good work providing these tutorials.
     
  8. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Of course, will keep providing these tutorials until I run out of things to write about :)
     
  9. insomnijak

    insomnijak Regular Member

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    Very nice pages/subpages explanation, I did not know about this. I will use WP plugin to turn posts into pages now.

    Tell me about categories. I am a big fan of them, I like to put my main keyword groups articles (4-10) as categories in main navigation menu. Is there a reason not to (SEO wise)? This sidebar navigation you are writing about does not look appealing to me...
     
  10. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yea I know a lot of people use categories in Silos. I don't bother, I just make everything as a page. There are probably more efficient ways to do it I am sure.
    The only bad thing about the way you suggest with the categories in the main navigation menu is that every page will link to those categories which defeats the object of the silo structure - unless you are making those menu items dynamic?
     
  11. insomnijak

    insomnijak Regular Member

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    I like your idea of pages and subpages. So I will make seed keyword article as a homepage, and main keywords articles as categories (pages).
    For small sites that cover one topic (one niche) it is not a problem if every article/subpage link to every category, since they are related.
    If I decide to write something less related, I can always create "blog" category and publish posts there.
    As explained here: http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/how-to-guide-to-building-seo-silos-full-amazon-example.828483/
     
  12. anssoft

    anssoft Junior Member

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    Good post and nice info
     
  13. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is a bit more detailed diagram of how I build my structure - I have category pages then link those to relevent sug pages which target longtail terms. It could be few more layers deep than that depending on size of the site.
    Also for bigger sites I cross link either so that each sub-category page links to the neighbour to its immediate left and right, or links to two other pages across from it that are most relevant.

    And I have just a couple of pages in the navigation that are linked to throughout the site.


    [​IMG]
     
  14. girolamo

    girolamo Regular Member

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    Will you make part 4? Anyway great work- noob friendly.
     
  15. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, part 4 is coming quite soon :)
     
  16. girolamo

    girolamo Regular Member

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    Tnx, looking forward to it...btw how much are this kind of sites earning on average? And do you think it is better to use Maxbounty product as they have higher comision or amazon affiliate?
     
  17. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Well my guide is kind of generic, potential earnings really depends on the type of site you are creating - how big it is, how many keywords you are targeting, what your commissions are etc. You can use a number of different networks, or you can use just adsense. Really depends on your niche - you want to be selling the product or promoting the service that is most relevant to your keywords and hopefully is going to convert the best.
     
  18. Android Tipster

    Android Tipster Regular Member

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    Probably the best guide i've read in a very long time. Thanks for this. Will be keeping an eye on the updates.
     
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  19. Dev!Licious

    Dev!Licious Junior Member

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    I prefer having all my keywords in a single column and then additional columns to specify the type/stage of keyword. I color code the keywords as required as well to make planning things a lot more easier.
     
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  20. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yea that actually sounds like a sensible idea, then you can have more info on each keyword I guess.