[How-To] Guide to Building SEO Silos: Full Amazon Example

splishsplash

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This is chapter 6 of my Amazon Super Guide over at

http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...ite-building-step-step-blueprint-9-parts.html

This chapter is the biggest and most detailed of them all, and the information is quite unique since there are almost no guides on siloing that are as complete as this. I address strict vs light siloing, when to silo, different types of siloing and how to silo with a full example, screenshots and code included. This guide is *everything* you need to know to start siloing right now, without spending a cent on any premium silo guides, themes or modules. (None of them are needed and actually are a hindrance)

With that in mind I decided to create a separate thread for this so it doesn't get lost within my super guide.

Enjoy! :)

How to build SEO Silos: Full Amazon Example


Chapter 6: Building the Site & Siloing


This chapter is going to be more practical and straight to the point. There's not really any theory here. I'm just going to take you through the essential plugins and how to setup custom menus for each page.


I've setup a fresh wordpress site to do this, so I'll take some screenshots to show you what it should look like.


I'm not going to write any articles, and the headlines are going to be simple, like "Best Beard Trimmers", but what it'll show you is how the site should be structured. What we discussed back in the previous chapters will help you decide on titles and headings that are appropriate, so I won't go into that further.


I'm just going to refer to this as 'siloing', because it is. Even though it's not strict siloing, it's actually a better form of siloing. When I talk about site architecture and/or siloing, consider these interchangeable.

When to Silo

I have 3 ways of building websites.

All of them would come under the banner of 'silo'ing in the strictest sense. However, I wouldn't really call the first version siloing. I think I've probably contradicted myself with my terminology. I probably said in previous chapters I don't silo for small sites, but on second reflection, everything I do is actually a form of siloing. The terminology isn't too important. I'll describe the 3 ways, and give you an example for the middle one.

Small Websites

I define a small website as 1 niche, with 1 sub-niche.

This type of siloing is for very small websites, with only 1 topic. For example. "bestblenders.org" (deliberately doesn't exist). Here, you're only reviewing blenders, and nothing else. Not even juicers.

Refer back to http://i.imgur.com/7TEMumc.jpg from chapter 5.

See the brown node, "Best Nose Hair Trimmer"?

Replace that with "Best Blenders", and replace the blue ones underneath, like "The Truth About Nose Hair" with individual blender reviews/supporting blender articles.

Remove everything else. The homepage is where the "best nose hair trimmer" would be.

This is the absolute simplest silo, and it's just ONE silo. :) The reason I'm calling it siloing is because I still use pages in wordpress and make the supporting articles child pages of the "best blender" page. (You'll learn how to do this in the example)

Even though I don't HAVE to do this. There's not much difference between this and creating posts as most basic sites do. The blender supporting articles won't be "beneath" the best blender page though if you're just using posts. You won't have urls like http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/vitamix-professional-series-750/

So even if you don't plan to expand a site, I recommend using the "single silo" structure, which you'll understand how to do for one niche after following the full example below.

Additional Note

Look back at http://i.imgur.com/7TEMumc.jpg

Under electric shavers, we create extra light silos for each brand. You can choose to do this for your small site if you like.

Writing 3000+ word "best blah reviews" articles will rank you for a lot of best/review/top keywords, but you'll have less relevance for brand keywords(Which are actually harder btw. I did an analysis comparing best/top/review keywords with brand)

However, the one advantage you have with targeting the non-review keywords like "braun shaver series 9000" is that there's a LOT more of them, and although the bigger volume ones tend to be harder because you're competing with a) brands and b) big ecommerce sites like amazon/walmart, there are a lot of smaller ones that you will get page 1 for just through sheer topical relevance.

Side Note: Amazon tends to have strong topical relevance for brands/categories, but weak topical relevance for reviews/best of, that's why you can easily outrank amazon for 'best' keywords, but not brand keywords.

Side Note 2: There are 2 core ways to make money in a niche.

1) Create multiple big 3000 word 'best of' guides for different sub-niches and build up your relevancy for reviews. A lot of them tend to be medium comp, so to rank for the review keywords you need at least moderate SEO.

2) To make money without ANY SEO, go super deep into 1 sub-niche. Silo out all the brands. Have comparison pages for the brands and review EVERY product you can find and create even more supporting articles. 100-150 pages, with siloing, and no backlinks and you are going to make money. I can't promise $1000's, but as long as you've not picked a stupid niche, you should hit at least $200-$300/mo up to about $1k/mo. 100 articles for $200-$300/mo might not seem great, but when that money is recurring, it allows you to then reinvest that into your next amazon review site, and this time make it a smaller site with more powerful SEO.



Medium Websites

The live example we'll be using, a shaver site, is a medium site. I define a medium site as 1 niche, with more than 1 sub-niches. Ie, the niche is electric shavers, the sub-niches are face shavers(which are just called 'electric shavers' as they're the common one), bread trimmers, nose hair trimmers and head shavers.


Large Websites

A large website I define as more than 1 niche, with more than 1 sub-niche per niche.

Take our electric shaver site. Make it a "mens luxury products" site, or make it a "Electric Gadgets" site, or a "Grooming" site and you've turned it into a large website.

The key difference here between the way I silo medium and large is this:

In a medium site, you have 1 niche, and several sub-niches. I will keep my secondary menu for each sub-niche with only supporting articles/reviews for that sub-niche, ie, braun reviews sub menu on the braun pages, but I will also, where appropriate link off to anywhere else within the niche. That could be the beard silo page, or even an individual beard trimmer review. This goes against 'strict siloing', but because these are sub-niches inside a niche, I believe it's better not to be too tight with your contextual links.

However, with a large site, I would do traditional silo linking between niches, which means anything inside the electric shaving niche, would only link to say, the silo page for "Luxury Soaps". I wouldn't link to an individual soap review.

Refer back to the family tree image from the last chapter. http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media...ogressive,q_80,w_800/fzmzqdu46zj92varuqxj.gif.

for niche to niche linking, a child can only link to 1) It's direct descendents 2) Parents/grandparents. 3) Uncles/Aunts.

For sub-niche to sub-niche menu linking, a child only links to 1, 2 and 3 as above.
For sub-niche to sub-niche contextual linking, a child can link to ANY descendent below the start of that sub-niche page.


Full Siloing Example

Choosing a Theme


It's hard to advise on this and only something you'll learn with time and experience. Some themes are messy with weird configurations. Try to choose something that looks clean.


The one thing I will say is this.


After installing your theme, go to your homepage and view the source.


You're going to look for the site title and site description. That's the "just another wordpress site" bit.


You should see this


Code:
<p class="site-title"><a href="http://tombelfort.com/" rel="home">tombelfort.com</a></p>
                                            <p class="site-description">Just another WordPress site</p>


I'm doing the example on tombelfort.com btw. I'm not using it just now. I'll be taking screenshots for posterity, but until I need the site for something else the example site will be up there. In the future it's just going to be my personal blog, with general musings on life, business, success and whatnot, so it's quite fine that it's public. :)


Now, in the code above, notice we have p tags for the site title and description. That's what we want, and how it is in the default theme.


Some crazy themes will make the site title/description h1/h2/h3. You don't want that. The only H1 should be your post or page headline name.


Essential Plugins


1. Yoast SEO


A few simple things to configure on yoast.


RF8XbEY.png



jKIyD23.png



11smOAz.png





We don't want categories or tags for these sort of sites. Categories and tags are fine if you're just running a big flat blog without a predefined architecture. We have a known, set architecture here that we're designing with pages.




Continuing Yoast Configuration

Now we strip the category base from category urls. We're not using categories here, but I just do this as a matter of habit. Categories are useful for blogs. So if you decide you want to add a blog to a site, where you'll just write a lot of general content related to potentially anything within the site as a whole, then you would start using categories. This is why I automatically set category pages and tags pages to noindex, and remove them from the sitemap. Even if you use them, you don't want them in the sitemap. It's not a good idea to have google crawl a lot of low quality pages on your site. It makes your site look thin. Categories and tags are just for users, and the small SEO benefit of having some extra category keywords on the article page.

We also want to redirect attachment URLs to parent posts. You definitely do not want dozens, if not 100's of attachment pages indexing in google. This again makes your site look thin. So we'll redirect attachment pages to parent posts.

NxtkSKL.png



All done with yoast!

You'll want to use this configuration for every site.

2. No Follow All External Links

This is a great little plugin. It's actually no longer supported which its a shame, but hopefully it'll keep working with each new Wordpress.

What's great about it is it'll just automatically nofollow ALL external links and if you want to follow a specific link you just do <ahref = "http://externalsite.com/some-page" class="follow"> and it won't add the rel=nofollow to that link.

No configuration required.


Setting up the Site Architecture

The way to set this up is to use pages. To make the hierarchy you just set parent pages. Let's create the first 3 pages to show what it looks like

You can browse tombelfort.com for a while to view the example shaving site. Eventually when I get the time that's going to be my personal blog. I'm never going to have any affiliate links on it btw. It's just going to be my place where I can write about marketing, IM, productivity, life, whatever I feel like. Perhaps something akin to http://www.viperchill.com/. But I'll leave the shaving site up for a while. It'll be there for at least 2-3 months, maybe longer. I've not got plans any time soon to start writing on my blog. Too many other things.

For posterity's sake I'll add important bits here.

Homepage title:
Code:
 Shaving Review Center - The Shaving Market Uncovered

Homepage body:

Code:
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]Some title like this. We're not trying to rank the homepage for anything specific. It's just here to establish topical relevance for the niche as a whole, and pass link juice.[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]This is an important page. Write a good 2000+ words and try to cover a bit of everything.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]Talk about the kind of things on the site, highlight some important points. Just establish broad topical relevance.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]Alternatively, you can just make your homepage like cnn.com and have snippets/topics/categories/sub-headings etc.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1A1A1A][FONT=Merriweather]I've always done text, but I'm sure both are fine. Both will pass juice and establish general topical relevance providing in your cnn version you have the right sub-headings and anchor text etc.[/FONT][/COLOR]


Edit the permalink. You'll be editing ALL the permalinks on the site. You don't want your permalinks the same as your title.

Ie, your homepage is "Shaving Review Center - The Shaving Market Uncovered", your shaver page is "Best Electric Shavers", your braun page is "Braun Electric Shavers" and your braun reviews are like "Braun CT5cc Review". You want the full titles in those pages, BUT, you don't want a spammy url like this

tombelfort.com/shaving-review-center-shaving-market-uncovered/best-electric-shavers/braun-electric-shavers/braun-ct5cc-review/

YUCK! And penguin will potentially nibble at you for that. :)

It should look like this

tombelfort.com/electric-shavers/mens-electric-razors/braun/ct5cc-review/

You can use extra keywords there too, notice I'm using 'razors' and 'mens' etc. Make it look natural, clean and organized for humans and where appropriate use different kinds of keywords like 'mens electric razors' instead of 'mens shavers', which wouldn't go so well with the parent text of 'electric-shavers' anyway.

Here's how you do it.

Numj4eV.png


Make sure you do this BEFORE setting this to the static home page, otherwise you can't edit it.

Now, publish.

Set this as the homepage.

Bb2X1SQ.png




Now open up http://i.imgur.com/7TEMumc.jpg if it's not already open.

You're going to set each child page to have the parent page as its "parent" in wordpress. So browns set parent to the page we just created, yellows to 'best electric shaver reviews', reds to 'braun' and so on.

I'll show you how to do it with one page here.

Edit your best beard trimmer page.

SYyapDc.png


Now you do this for all pages.


I've created all the pages now. Here's the sitemap so you can refer to the URL names your reference.

q71kk4l.png



Creating Your Menus

Next we create the primary menu.

BKtOrQm.png


Now add your primary pages.

Rename them and shuffle them making the highest priority one appear to the left appropriately.

EtiuPcw.png


Note, I only put the brand pages as dropdowns, not the supporting articles for the silo. They will have a sub-menu. I don't want my main menu to be cluttered.


Now for each silo we create a custom menu. I'll show you how to do it for one and you can repeat for them all using my site as a reference.

We'll start with the best electric shaver http://tombelfort.com/electric-shavers/mens-electric-razors/

Go back to menus

Add a new menu.

Call it Brands

Add this plugin: Simple Page Sidebars

Follow the plugin instructions. It's super simple.

That will allow you to create custom menus for each page.

Refer back to http://i.imgur.com/7TEMumc.jpg for structure.

So for best electric shavers we add just the brands.

To have multiple custom menus you need to edit php. I would normally have a Shaver Brands menu, and a 'Shaver Article' menu with the 'how to identify your beard type' articles.

The one menu is fine though. For this example I've just put brands in.


That's all for now, folks. Any questions, feel free to ask in the thread.
 
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T2tkid

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Thank you for this guide. I have been doing the 'simplest' siloing which has been working for me.
But this, this is extensive! I have read it all and am bookmarking this thread to read it again. I have a lot to learn from SILOing.
 

lewwy789

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More great guides your on fire just lately I'm sure this will help many people including me. Nice1
 

problogger99

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Thanks mate. After Homepage body:

Quite few texts have become black and are not visible. Make those white plz.
 

MonkeyJohn

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Great post!

In the last few paragraphs you mention a custom menu plugin, but I cannot see the name.

Thanks.
 

zoewarrior

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Hi Splishsplash

Thanks for your insight on silo. I have some questions.

Under electric shavers, we create extra light silos for each brand. You can choose to do this for your small site if you like.

Writing 3000+ word "best blah reviews" articles will rank you for a lot of best/review/top keywords, but you'll have less relevance for brand keywords(Which are actually harder btw. I did an analysis comparing best/top/review keywords with brand)

For a single sub-niche site, you implement a single silo structure.

Let's take "bestblenders.org"as an example. If I have supporting blender articles such as "which blenders can crush ice" and "blender recipes", the permalink structure will look something like this
http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/blenders-crush-ice/
http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/blender-recipes/

If I decide to create extra silos for each brand such as cuisinart, hamilton beach and kitchenaid and write whatever product reviews that are available, should I create new silos on my site? For example
http://www.bestblenders.org/cuisinart-blender-reviews/cuisinart-velocity/
http://www.bestblenders.org/cuisinart-blender-reviews/cuisinart-hurricane/

Would it increase the topical relevance for cuisinart brand page this way and beat Amazon?

Would it better to both have supporting articles and brand articles based on the above structure OR just lump every article under a single structure http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/all-articles?
 
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davids355

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Definitely the most comprehensive guide to siloing that I have seen. Thanks for sharing.
 

asap1

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I highly recommend everyone to silo structure your sites.

I remember the first time I did it, I was amazed at how much my rankings went up. Its crazy.
 

wisdomkid

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What a wonderful tips.. Am not just bookmarking this thread, am opening it and creating a website out of this, using this method.

Thanks sire... It seems we stop using the "Thanks" button.. This is one of the main reason why we Need this.. +thanks
 

sikandar

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Very comprehensive guide on building Silo sites. Thank you for the great share :)
 

splishsplash

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Thanks mate. After Homepage body:

Quite few texts have become black and are not visible. Make those white plz.

Yep, just noticed and fixed that now. That was from copy and pasting from what I'd written in wordpress into here. :)

Hi Splishsplash]

Thanks for your insight on silo. I have some questions.



For a single sub-niche site, you implement a single silo structure.

Let's take "bestblenders.org"as an example. If I have supporting blender articles such as "which blenders can crush ice" and "blender recipes", the permalink structure will look something like this
http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/blenders-crush-ice/
http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/blender-recipes/



First of all, don't replicate words in the url unless it looks very natural. In most cases never do it. Definitely do NOT have a domain bestblenders, then /best-blenders as your top level dir :)

In this case, the homepage IS your "best-blenders/" page. If your site is "CoolKitchenStuff.com", then by all means have "coolkitchenstuff.com/best-blenders", but not when your entire domain is that.



If I decide to create extra silos for each brand such as cuisinart, hamilton beach and kitchenaid and write whatever product reviews that are available, should I create new silos on my site? For example
http://www.bestblenders.org/cuisinart-blender-reviews/cuisinart-velocity/
http://www.bestblenders.org/cuisinart-blender-reviews/cuisinart-hurricane/

Would it increase the topical relevance for cuisinart brand page this way and beat Amazon?

First of all, the way you seem to be doing it is having the blender brands on the same level as the blenders. Blender brands are a sub-silo of blenders, they go under it, otherwise you're not siloing, you're just creating multiple pages.

You don't have site.com/best-blenders and site.com/brand/, you have site.com/best-blenders, and site.com/best-blenders/brand

But in your case, site.com IS the blender silo, so you have bestblenders.org/cuisinart/velocity-review.

Stop replicating words :) Your page will get a penguin spam penalty. You've got blender twice and cuisinart twice. That is not needed. Which looks more natural :

luxuryproducts.com/mens-shavers/braun/series-9000/9090c-review

or

luxuryproducts.com/best-mens-shavers/braun-reviews/braun-series-9000/braun-9090c-review

Structure your site in a way that's logical and readable for a human.

Remember, just because luxuryproducts.com/mens-shavers has the url 'mens-shavers' doesn't mean your title is just "Mens Shavers"

Your title can be "Best Electric Shavers for Men"

and your h1 can be "Electric Razor Reviews 2016"



Would it increase the topical relevance for cuisinart brand page this way and beat Amazon?

That's an unanswerable question. How long is a piece of string?


Would it better to both have supporting articles and brand articles based on the above structure OR just lump every article under a single structure http://www.bestblenders.org/best-blenders/all-articles?

Lumping everything into "all-articles" isn't siloing.
 

jennyxzxz

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Thanks for sharing, have a better understanding now!! I would like to ask, if my pages do not have supporting articles, but I created another page with all articles. E.G. example.com/articles/best-shaver then link it to the shaver page.

Is this OK? Thanks
 
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