Set up your Website Categories for Authority
This is a key element of creating the correct site structure. Setting up your website using keywords as categories is not exactly the same as finding keywords that you can rank your content for.
This is a fundamental mistake made by the vast majority of marketers.
Of course you need to do your research at the beginning to identify an opportunity and to confirm that the broad keyword or topic has sufficient additional keywords that you feel you can rank for based on search volume and competition.
Keyword research is covered in a separate part module here and I have provided a basic outline of how not to do what everyone else teaches you to do and a simple method to find good opportunities in 2013 using Google+.
For the purposes of this site set up I am going to assume you have done your keyword research and you have found a niche you feel you can rank in that has sufficient potential for additional keywords to rank.
It is important to note here that using this method to set up a site and the way you will be optimising all of your content will have significantly better results with ranking more difficult keywords than you may have been used to using previous techniques.
We have already touched on making it clear to the search engines what the site is about so let’s assume you are going to create a website in the dog training niche.
The first task is to identify your main keyword; this is your primary keyword and must be the keyword that bests describes what your site is about.
For the purposes of this report let’s assume we are creating a website about dog training.
Next you will find 5 additional keywords that are as relevant as possible to your primary keyword, these are known as your secondary keywords.
If you are using word press these 5 keywords will be the first 5 categories in your site.
You will take Google’s view on what they consider to be the most related search keywords to your main keyword by entering your keyword in Google search and scrolling down to the foot of the page. Here you will see a small list of related keywords; these are the keywords in order of search volume related to the main keyword.
Using the search function again now run each secondary keyword through and select 5 keywords that are the most relevant to the secondary keyword.
So in this example I have used dog training tips as a category and got these related search terms. These will be used to base the first 5 articles for each category.
You should now have I main keyword and 25 other keywords split up in to 5 groups of closely related keywords.
These 25 topics will form the basis of the content you are going to add to your new website.
Depending on the niche you can use these topics as titles to write content or find longer tailed keywords that are relevant to these topics with less completion if it’s a more competitive niche you are trying to rank for.
Using a good silo structure will ensure the search engines reward you for the internal structure of your website.
Search engines award top keyword rankings to the site that proves that it the best fit for the relevancy of a subject or theme that matches the user query.
As a result the primary goal of SEO is to improve the website so that the site is about more than targeted keyword phrases – it is about the themes matching those keywords.
We have now set up the website using 1 main theme (Primary keyword) and added 5 closely matching categories (secondary keywords)
More often than not, a website is a disjointed array of unrelated information with no clear central theme.
I made reference to this earlier saying a big problem to creating an authority website structure is the majority of people add keywords and topics that don’t match the theme of the site closely enough.
Such a site suffers in search engine rankings for sought after keywords. Siloing a website will serve to clarify your website’s subject relevance and will lay the groundwork for high keyword rankings.
It is a core building block for search engine optimization and is normally an advanced topic but I will provide the basics here without getting over technical.
The term siloing originated as a way to identify the concept of grouping related information into distinct sections within a website.
Much like the chapters in a book, a silo represents a group of themed or subject-specific content on your site.
The reason this grouping is such a high SEO priority is that search engines award “keyword” relevancy within their index based on the page and then the rest of the site with the most supporting relevant content.
Well ranked websites are founded upon the concept that a website should physically be organized like a master’s degree dissertation
A dissertation has a clearly identified title, abstract, table of contents, then content laid out to reinforce the overall theme of the dissertation as a whole, all with references and footnotes supporting the subject.
Often, there are great websites hidden from widespread search engine results (SERPs) exposure because they lack an organic search engine optimization strategy or their strategy does not include enough attention to clear subject relevance or siloing.
Google’s mission as stated on the company information page is
“To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google uses an algorithm to predictably measure subject relevance in order to award rankings.
By studying search results and high-ranking pages, it’s possible to learn about the ranking factors of the algorithm and how to make a site the most relevant and therefore the accepted authority website in a niche
There are many characteristics of a website that demonstrate subject matter expertise, beginning with a clear understanding of theme and subject relevance.
In order to rank for keywords within Google, Yahoo and Bing, a site must provide information that is organized in a clear structure and language that search engines understand.
When a site’s information has been stripped away from its design and layout, will it be the most relevant of all similarly themed sites?
If so then you have a high likelihood of achieving high rankings and will attract customers researching and shopping for products and services in turn.
Siloing is not all there is to creating authority and getting better ranking, but without it the on-page relevancy battle is lost which is far more important in 2013 than it has ever been
The on-page process of achieving high rankings begins by having a clear understanding of a website’s subject themes. We have created this structure in our new site by identifying the closest related keywords and we have used these to form the spine of the site.
To demonstrate what siloing is take a look at the picture of a jar of marbles below and contemplate how search engines will classify the “theme” of this jar?
In the jar below we see Green Marbles, Red Marbles, and Yellow Marbles mixed together with no order or emphasis.
It would be reasonable to assume that search engines would classify the subject as a jar of marbles.
If we then separate out each group of coloured marbles into separate jars, they would be classified as a jar of Green Marbles, a jar of Red Marbles and a jar of Yellow Marbles.
However, if we wanted to include all three marbles in a single jar, we could create distinct groupings within the jar that would allow the subject themes to remain separate as Green Marbles, Red Marbles, Yellow Marbles as well as the generic term “marbles.”
The first mixed up jar of marbles is a non-siloed websites.
The three separate jars represent separate sites and the last jar equates to one site with topics separated into theme-specific categories, or silos.
The goal for a site that wants to rank for more than a single generic term is to selectively decide what the site is and is not about.
Rankings can be damaged in two common ways: 1) either by including irrelevant content or 2) having too little content about a subject.
Avoid these mistakes by knowing the focus for the site and avoiding irrelevant subject matter.
Contrary to popular myth, haphazardly linking to unrelated (or even semi-related) internal pages will seriously dilute you main site theme ranking.
This, in turn will lower rankings for related keywords because the search engines will not be able to identify what the site was supposed to be about.
By implementing proper siloing, site owners can ensure that their pages rank well for theme-specific keywords, as well as general site keywords. Siloed sites quickly become dominant for important keyword phrases.
Levels of siloing
You have created the basics to your authority structure and have created 5 main categories or sub themes.
As you create content it is important to expand the categories in to sub categories, so using our dog training theme, we might have a category for
Dog training advice
Within this category you can create a sub category that could be,
And you may discover several other possibilities to add further sub categories to stop biting but the maximum number you need to aim for is 3 levels down.
If you have a topic that clearly has potential for more than 3 levels of sub topics simply create another main category and add up to 3 levels of sub categories.
In conclusion, you must ensure all of your content is closely grouped in to categories and sub categories. Never be tempted to add content that is not laser focused and related to the main category and never link to any page internally or externally that is not closely related.
Now you have the basic site structure in place it is time to create some content.
You should always be aware that you are creating content to bring visitors to your website from the search engines and to convert those visitors to customers by buying your stuff so all of your content should be optimised for both