When it comes to marketing in a saturated market, you need to do everything in your power to grab your audience’s attention.
That’s why most brands are turning to visual content to attract and engage their customers using a variety of tools.
But creating visual content and randomly scattering it all over your website won’t do you any good. You must be strategic about it.
You need to create content silos with your visual content.
What Are Content Silos (and Why are They Important)?
In SEO and content marketing, content silos are a technical SEO (and website architecture) strategy in which related content is grouped so that it forms several layers of material on a single topic.
Content silos help you organize your website’s content in such a way that it will have clear keyword-based themes.
These make it easy for both users and search engines to navigate your website.
To achieve this, there are two main types of content silos you can employ:
- Physical silos. Physical siloing involves creating categories using folders in the URL structure of your website. Your folder structure shows search engines and users how your visual content is organized.
- Virtual silos. Unlike physical silos where categories are created using folders, virtual silos are created using internal linking. Each internal link leads to a related page “under” it.
In short, content silos help improve usability and crawlability.
3 Reasons to Create Content Silos with Visual Content
Now that you know what content silos are let’s briefly look at a few reasons you must create them for your visual content.
And just so we’re on the same page, visual content refers to any kind of content that contains imagery.
At the end of the day, your brand can’t afford to ignore visual content in its content strategy.
That’s because research shows that the use of visual content increased by 10.5% from 2018 to 2019.
That’s a testament to the fact that visual content is effective in helping brands achieve their business goals.
If your website features a lot of visual content, it’s advisable to use content silos to keep it well organized. That’s because content silos help improve your:
1. Information Architecture (IA)
One of the biggest reasons brands should create content silos with their visual content is it helps improve their website’s information architecture (IA).
A good IA helps your website users find the information they are looking for fast and as efficiently as possible.
Of course, the easier you make it for your customers to get the information they need, the higher your conversion rates become.
Good IA is crucial for every website. But more so for websites with a lot of product categories.
And that’s exactly what content silos help you achieve.
2. User Experience (UX)
Another benefit you get from organizing your visual content into content silos is that it helps improve user experience (UX).
Because content silos make it easy for your customers to navigate through your website (especially if you have countless products), they’ll have a positive experience on your site.
Of course, UX plays a big role in offering a positive customer experience (CX). And this is important as studies show that CX has become the biggest brand differentiator, ahead of product and price.
3. Search Engine Optimization SEO
SEO plays a huge role in succeeding in running an online business. And content silos are a great way to boost your website’s SEO. That’s because content silos:
- Elicit more clicks. Visitors click through to other related content to get more in-depth information. The more they click, the more search engines deem your website as a valuable resource. More clicks also result in increased dwell time and a reduction in bounce rates. Factors that help boost your SEO.
- Help search engines understand your website better. The internal linking strategy makes it easy for search engines to know what your website is all about. Consequently, this helps them match your content with a searcher’s user intent.
- Improves your website’s authority. The more pages search engines index on a particular topic or theme on your site, the more authority is ascribed to your website.
- Maximize crawl budget. If you have a huge website with lots of pages, creating content silos helps search engines crawl relevant pages on your website. This helps you maximize your crawl budget.
Creating content silos with visual content is something that every brand should be implementing. Let’s quickly dive into how you can do just that.
How to Create Content Silos with Visual Content – 3 Easy Tips
Now that we’ve laid a solid foundation, it’s time to get practical. It’s time to create content silos with your visual content.
1. Define the Main Focus of Your Website
The first step to creating content silos with your visual content is determining your website’s core topics/themes. Of course, this is largely influenced by the products/services you offer.
Or if you’re running a service-based website or an informational blog, it’s determined by your service offerings and what you’re starting to blog about.
The main focus of any website is to push your business goals. In short, it’s to sell your products and services.
For it to succeed in doing so, you have to turn your website into a sales machine.
And that’s where content silos come into play.
If you can define your website’s main focus, it becomes easier to know how you’re going to silo your visual content in a way that encourages conversions.
2. Divide Your Main Topics into Categories
Once you’re clear on your main themes, the next step to creating content silos with your visual content is to create categories. These are subfolders on your website that will deal comprehensively with each topic.
Creating a content silo for their product categories using visual content makes it easier for their customers to find what they need. It also helps search engines understand what your website is about.
For example, if you provide assessment software to businesses like Survey AnyPlace, you may have related categories or sub-topics such as maturity assessments, business assessments, culture assessments, self-assessments, etc:
And that brings us to the next step in our content silo creation.
3. Create a Solid Visual Content Strategy
With your categories created, you must make sure to create a visual content strategy. This starts by understanding your target audience since they determine which type of visual content (and formats) you’ll focus on.
Other elements of a solid visual content strategy include:
- Identify your customers’ pain points or goals they want to achieve
- Group similarly themed keywords into categories
- Determine which platforms you’ll be posting your content on
- Create your visual content
- Publish each piece of content under the relevant silo
- Research keywords your customers use in their search queries
Your visual content strategy is the map that will guide every step you take in creating content silos with your visual content.
As such, you must invest time and resources in ensuring you design a strategy that will help you achieve your business goals.
Best Practices to Follow When Creating Content Silos with Visual Content
Creating content silos is pretty straightforward. However, there are some best practices you must follow to achieve optimum results.
Avoid Keyword Cannibalization
A word of caution is in order if your website has a lot of pages or categories. Watch out for keyword cannibalization. This happens when multiple pages on your website are optimized to rank for the same keyword.
When this happens, those pages will be competing against each other. As a result, each page will have diminished authority on search engines. It will also result in lower clickthrough rates (CTRs) and, ultimately, low conversion rates.
Design Your Linking Strategy
For your content silo to be effective, you must ensure you have a well-planned internal linking strategy.
Sure, all content in a silo is related. But that doesn’t mean you should randomly interlink between the pieces.
In other words, don’t rely on internal linking tools to create the links for you.
Instead, carefully map out which pieces of content should be linked and the particular hierarchy of the internal links.
Pay Attention to URL Structure
When you create content silos, be careful to maintain a simple URL structure.
Simple URL structures make it easier for search engines to:
- Crawl your content
- Understand its purpose
- Know what main topics your website covers
Besides keeping your URLs simple, you must also make them as descriptive as possible.
Don’t Go Too Deep
For your content silos to be effective, make sure your layers don’t go too deep. The recommended depth is three clicks away from the homepage. Reasons for this are:
- It helps maintain a clean URL structure
- Makes for a positive UX
- Improves crawlability
Going too deep with your silos could lead to your website visitors ending up going down a rabbit hole.
As a result, they’ll forget why they visited your website in the first place. This will cause them to leave your website without performing your desired action.
Your content silos need to be designed with an end goal in mind. If you’re a blogger like me for example, your content silos could have the end goal of selling an online course.
If you’re a SaaS company, your end goal might be moving users from your content silos to your service pages to start a free trial.
These pages build trust with your audience and funnel them to what matters most.
With all of the best practices discussed above, remember that you always have the option to hire a freelance seo specialist to help if your team is capped out.
Creating Content Silos for Your Visual Content is the Logical thing to Do
If your website features a lot of visual content, you must employ content silos in your website architecture. Just to recap, this helps you:
- Offer users a positive user experience (UX)
- Show search engines the main themes and topics you cover
- Establish your brand as an authority in your particular topics
Overall, creating content silos with your visual content will help drive more visitors to your website and increase your conversions.
And no matter what niche or industry you’re in, content silos are simply the logical way to go with your visual content.
About the Author
Dustin Howes owns an affiliate marketing agency that is dedicated to helping companies maximize their affiliate marketing efforts. Through group coaching and private consulting, Dustin teaches program managers how to recruit the right affiliates, optimize working hours, and how to take the growth of the program to the next level. Learn more affiliate marketing tips at dustinhowes.com.