micromano

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I'm in the legal industry with offices in multiple locations, serving 20+ counties, and 100+ cities and towns statewide. My website has 200+ pages of content, with several of those pages targeted specifically for localities I serve, but the content is not organized by practice area or otherwise siloed. It's been my experience that Google will index and organize your site's content for their search results without any care as to your preferences.

However, I was recently speaking with someone in SEO and content creation who suggested that I restructure my entire website and use silos based on cities or counties. Example: https://biglaw.com/los-angeles/dui-attorney/ and https://biglaw.com/los-angeles/divorce-attorney/.

I'd never heard of this before. I have seen many law firms use the structure: https://biglaw.com/dui-attorney/los-angeles/ and https://biglaw.com/divorce-attorney/los-angeles/, but never the other way around. The reason being that, if you want more detailed pages within those practice areas, you end up with a much, much greater need for content creation, and you run the risk of duplicate content.

For example:
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony/ vs https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/los-angeles/how-to-avoid-alimony/,
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/santa-monica/how-to-avoid-alimony/, https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/marina-del-rey/how-to-avoid-alimony/, or https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimonyin-los-angeles/,
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony-in-santa-monica/, https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony-in-marina-del-rey/.

My question is: For the purposes of greater visibility in local search, should content be siloed according to geographic location rather than practice area of business sub-specialties?
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey stranger :). I have found that flatter URL structures perform better. So domain.com/divorce-attorney-chicago instead of domain.com/chicago/divorce-attorney

You should note that SEOs don't agree on this. I try not to base my strategies on things I read online and do all my own testing instead.

Regardless of how you set up the URL structure, you can still apply the silo concept by making sure all the pages link to each other. IE: when you mention alimony on the Santa Monica page, make sure that page links to the divorce page for Santa Monica and vice versa. Don't have a Santa Monica page linking to a Los Angeles page.

Hopefully that makes sense.
 

micromano

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Hi Joy! Yes, that makes a lot of sense-- and will save me a lot of trouble stacking and redirecting under parent pages. Changing in-page links is a lot easier. Thanks.
 

valentinb13

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Hey stranger :). I have found that flatter URL structures perform better. So domain.com/divorce-attorney-chicago instead of domain.com/chicago/divorce-attorney

You should note that SEOs don't agree on this. I try not to base my strategies on things I read online and do all my own testing instead.

Regardless of how you set up the URL structure, you can still apply the silo concept by making sure all the pages link to each other. IE: when you mention alimony on the Santa Monica page, make sure that page links to the divorce page for Santa Monica and vice versa. Don't have a Santa Monica page linking to a Los Angeles page.

Hopefully that makes sense.
Not trying to hijack the thread — but curious @JoyHawkins how you would go about testing which structure is better? we've done a lot of siloing based on the /service/location/ model as opposed to what the OP was recommended, but without creating a potential for duplicate pages and KW cannibalization (or messing up SEO) I'm curious how you might test this out?
 

JoyHawkins

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We tested it by simply changing the URL and watching what happened to ranking and traffic as a result.
 

andykuiper

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I'm in the legal industry with offices in multiple locations, serving 20+ counties, and 100+ cities and towns statewide. My website has 200+ pages of content, with several of those pages targeted specifically for localities I serve, but the content is not organized by practice area or otherwise siloed. It's been my experience that Google will index and organize your site's content for their search results without any care as to your preferences.

However, I was recently speaking with someone in SEO and content creation who suggested that I restructure my entire website and use silos based on cities or counties. Example: https://biglaw.com/los-angeles/dui-attorney/ and https://biglaw.com/los-angeles/divorce-attorney/.

I'd never heard of this before. I have seen many law firms use the structure: https://biglaw.com/dui-attorney/los-angeles/ and https://biglaw.com/divorce-attorney/los-angeles/, but never the other way around. The reason being that, if you want more detailed pages within those practice areas, you end up with a much, much greater need for content creation, and you run the risk of duplicate content.

For example:
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony/ vs https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/los-angeles/how-to-avoid-alimony/,
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/santa-monica/how-to-avoid-alimony/, https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/marina-del-rey/how-to-avoid-alimony/, or https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimonyin-los-angeles/,
  • https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony-in-santa-monica/, https://lawfirm.com/divorce-attorney/how-to-avoid-alimony-in-marina-del-rey/.

My question is: For the purposes of greater visibility in local search, should content be siloed according to geographic location rather than practice area of business sub-specialties?
Search "bruce clay silos"
Everything you need to know is in this article :)
 

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