Building an optimized WordPress blog is a critical step to making money online. Whether you intend to build a mini site focused on a narrow topic, an authority blog that covers a broad range of subjects, or a site to promote your small business, creating a site architecture that search engines will love is a must.
Having set up a WordPress blog, building an optimized WordPress blog with solid content is simple, and it involves using what is called the silo or theme architecture. And to best demonstrate this, we’ll look at what has recently been called “keyword sniping.”
Optimized WordPress Blog – The Building Blocks
The concept of building a mini site around a single topic or keyword has been around for a long time. The idea is to focus an entire site around one keyword with the goal of ranking #1 on Google for that keyword. With a #1 ranking, you can then make money from the site through affiliate sales or Adsense. Recently, Court’s Internet Marketing School has run a great series on how to build these sites, which he calls keyword sniping.
The concept of keyword sniping is straightforward. Build a site with about 10 to 20 articles, all focused on the same topic. Each article includes a single link back to the homepage of the site using the keyword phrase as its anchor text. For example, one could build a site about “online identity theft.” Each article published on the site would include one link to the home page with “online identity theft” or close variations as the anchor text.
Of course there is more to building a mini site. You should chose a domain name that includes your keywords. You want to make sure that the h1 tags on every page include the relevant keywords. And you have to get backlinks to your site with the keywords in the anchor text. But from a site architecture perspective, the strategy is simple–include links on all pages that point to your homepage using relevant anchor text. I’ve used this technique to build small niche sites that started making money right from the start.
The power of keyword sniping, however, is in seeing its potential as a building block to even bigger and better things. It’s use is not limited just to building mini sites. In fact, I use the concept right here on The Dough Roller. And that brings us to the silo architecture for blogs and our topic today.
WordPress Silo Architecture
When I first started blogging, I hated WordPress categories. Many blogs would list literally 50+ categories in the sidebar with category names that didn’t fit into any cohesive theme. And navigating to the category page showed a not so helpful reverse chronological listing of articles. To me it seemed like a suboptimal way to organize articles. As a result, I paid little attention to the categories I used, and didn’t even display links to the categories on my home page. Big mistake.
It turns out that categories are a very important part of the architecture of a WordPress blog. And you can think of each category as a mini site. Using the keyword sniping concept, each post within a category should link back to the category page with the relevant anchor text for that category. Over time, you will have many posts pointing to your category page with highly optimized anchor text.
The same thing should be done from each article to your home page. For example, if your site is about real estate investing (shameless plug), then you would link from each article to the home page using the anchor text “real estate investing” or some close variation (e.g., real estate investment, investing in real estate, etc.).
To create an optimized WordPress blog using the silo architecture, there are certain internal linking rules to follow:
- Each article should be organized under one and only one category.
- Each article should link once to the category page it’s organized under using the category page’s targeted keyword as the anchor text.
- Each article should link once to the home page using the site’s targeted keyword as the anchor text.
- Each article should link to other articles within the same category as appropriate for the content of the article.
- Each article should NOT link to articles in other categories. Instead, link to the other category page as appropriate. If you must link to an article in another category, use the rel=”nofollow” in the link. This tells most search engines not to pass page rank to the linked article and helps maintain the theme architecture.
The silo architecture is, in my view, great not only for search engines but also for people visiting your site. It organizes the content of your site in a logical and user-friendly manner. It improves navigation of your site. And it will improve your search engine traffic. You can find other helpful articles on this topic, such as
- Silo Structure SEO and WordPress
- WordPress SEO Tip: Implementing the Power of Theming and Siloing …
- WordPress SEO – Definitive Guide To High Rankings For Your Blog
Now if you’re like me, you still have the problem of unhelpful category pages. If you look at my money management page, for example, you’ll see a typical WordPress category page showing excerpts of the articles in reverse chronological order. But compare that page to my credit card category page. You’ll see that I’ve customized that page to make it, in my view, far more user friendly. It includes an opening paragraph describing the category, links to the WordPress pages that contain credit card offers, and then a listing of credit card articles.
How did I do that? Stay tuned. . . .
Published or updated March 23, 2012.