Posted on 1/28/2016 in Digital Marketing
By Jeannine Szymczak
There isn’t much out there on the vast internet when it comes to silo-ing your content, save for one great article that I found that went very in depth into the structuring of silos themselves, but not much else. Based off the screenshots of webpages from the article, I’d estimate was written 6 or 7 years ago.
There is even less info on the topic when you try to add buyer personas and conversion optimization to the mix. There seems to be no one who has taken both concepts and merged them into one.
In this post, I’ll try to blend the idea of silo-ing content with the concept of moving visitors down the buyer’s journey to a point in which they convert. It’s proven to be a little difficult to explain, sort of like trying to explain Season 2 of True Detective, so I’ll try my best.
So what’s the problem with my client’s website, why does their content need to be silo-ed, and why is conversion optimization necessary in the first place?
Creating Content Silos
Well, if your like any other digital marketing agency in the world, you’ll know that more often than not your clients content is all over the place and unorganized. To solve this problem, you’re going to have to take a close look at their target keywords, mainly the ones that add the most value and drive the most traffic. These keywords are going to define your silo and all content related to the topic will be related to these keywords. Additionally, make sure that the content features combinations of the keywords in all those good places like within the text, H1 tags, title tags, etc.
Assigning Content to a Silo
Once you’ve assigned keywords to and identified all your silos, it’s time to crawl through the client’s content and map it to a silo. You could use Screaming Frog or similar program to crawl the website for a list of all URL’s, but you’re going to have to read at least a few paragraphs of the content to figure out this next step. You can do this step later if you’d like but you’d just be giving yourself more work, and it is to identify which step in the buyer’s journey each piece of content most appeals to. For example, if the content is speaking about pain points a researcher may be facing before the problem has a name, then it can be categorized as an “Awareness” piece of content.
Once you’ve amassed all the content into a specific silo and within those silos identified where each piece of content falls in the buyers journey, it’s time to see which areas your client is lacking. You may find one of two things (or both) here. You’ll see that either you don’t have enough content to fill out a silo or that the information doesn’t complete a buyer’s journey from start to finish. At this point you and your client need to make the decision to either create new content which fills those gaps or to press ahead. Heed this warning however, if you and your client choose to push forwards without filling in the gaps, you risk losing users who were following your conversion path.
Use Your Silos to Increase Conversions
Once you have all of your client’s content organized into silos and identified at which stage of the buyer’s journey they fall under, and identified your shortcomings, it’s time to put what you have into action.
This can go one of many ways whether it be from a reorganization of the top navigation to changing the way the content on your client’s site is presented. The “Awareness” content should be the easiest to find and the content people are looking for when searching for a name to their problem.
The “Consideration” stage content should be positioned alongside Awareness content in the navigation as well as linked from those Awareness stage content pages. Side bar links, text links within the content, and “image display ads” strategically placed between paragraphs. The hope is that users identify their problem with your Awareness content, then they notice while reading, “Hey, there is more information about this topic right here, why should I navigate off this website and do another search when the answer is right here?”, and move on to your consideration stage content.
Try your best to structure everything so that it keeps moving further down the silo/funnel. At this point (as long as your content is answering their questions and concerns) they will hopefully continue down the path you’ve laid them to the “Decision” stage content where they will hopefully convert.
Baby them, hold their hands, clear the path through the jungle, and ensure that the visitors to the website are always lead down a path. Give them options to flow down the funnel to a conversion point, but at the same time give them the option to convert at any stage. Knowing which point in the funnel your visitors convert at also allows your client’s sales team to determine if they are qualified or not. Lastly, give visitors the option to sidestep from silo to silo, just make sure that whichever path the user chooses that they are always led to a conversion.
Make sure when a user arrives to your website through organic traffic that they are welcomed by a website that has all of its ducks in a row. Organize the content in a way in which it allows people to easily follow through to the Decision stage of the buyer’s journey ending in a conversion. Connect all the content with text links within content, an organized sidebar library, and “image ads” between paragraphs in your content. Hopefully by creating a clear path for the user to follow and organization of content into silos can lead to increased conversions from your organic traffic.
Are you looking for help reaching your audience or strengthening your content strategy? Let us know, we’ll be happy to help steer you in the right direction!