When you Google the term “taxonomy,” you will learn that it is a branch of science that focuses on the classification of organisms. So, when you hear the phrase “website taxonomy” you will most likely think about the classification of websites. However, it’s more specific than that, let's explore.
In today’s article, let’s talk about the taxonomy of the website and how it can significantly impact your SEO, especially when you create a website structure that successfully caters to both users and the search engine bots.
So, let’s get started.
What is Website Taxonomy?
Website taxonomy is a system used to classify a website - specifically the pieces of content inside the website - to make it more convenient for website visitors to navigate your site and find the content that they are looking for.
Therefore, a website taxonomy guides the structure of a website by labeling both structured and unstructured pieces of information (this systematic approach also helps the search engine bots to crawl your site).
Also, remember that it is important to have a site structure that is thoroughly organized with pieces of content that are easy-to-search and distributed logically because according to this report by Adobe, 38% of users will abandon a website that is unattractive or poorly organized.
The Importance of Website Taxonomy in SEO
Well laid out website structures drive the benefit of improving user experience by making it easier for site visitors to find the content that they need, thereby keeping them engaged and clicking in a site - signaling the search engines that you are giving your visitors such a great user experience.
Remember that user experience (UX) is a driving factor in SEO and adapting a website taxonomy can help improve your UX.
Here are five specific benefits of leveraging the taxonomy of website:
Drives clickability by presenting related content in your site
Website taxonomy helps you organize your content by topic, sub-topic, news, images, videos, podcasts, blog posts, etc. And as each item shows up, other related content will appear alongside the current content, compelling users to consume more information from your site.
Presenting related content to your audience is such an effective way to please your site visitors and the search engines as well as increase searchability.
Boosts the search and user experience
You see, relying on keyword search will never be enough to show your users the content that they are looking for - this is where website taxonomy comes in to boost your users’ search experience further.
For instance, your website is about dental services. So, to cater to site visitors searching for dental services, you can leverage the systematic approach of taxonomy by using taxonomic nodes such as “teeth whitening,” “teeth straightening,” “Invisalign,” and other industry keywords your target audience is using. By doing this, you are increasing your users’ search experience as they get to see other suggestions that they may deem interesting.
Helps your users find their interests
Taxonomy of the website makes it easier for your site visitors to indulge in their likes and interests, thereby making them engage more on your website. For instance, if a visitor finds one topic in your site interesting, your website taxonomy ensures that the visitor gets more related content on your site.
Increases your site’s chances to be crawled and indexed
You see, the search engine bots analyze your site through semantics - this is improved by website taxonomy by strengthening the concepts and relationships of your content.
Therefore, if you adopt an excellent site taxonomy, you help the bots understand how the pieces of content in your website relate to each other, also making it easier for these bots to crawl, index, and rank your web pages.
Creates better link juice for your website
Link juice is a term used to describe the value of a hyperlink, also referred to as just “link,” connecting to a specific web page in your site. Google already informed webmasters that high-quality links are one of the topmost factors to boost rankings in their search results pages.
In a nutshell, website taxonomy is crucial in achieving an excellent website structure - one that is well optimized for both site visitors and search engine bots - giving easy access to all related content within a particular topic or sub-topic.
4 Different Types of Website Taxonomies
It is vital to maintain a clear taxonomy of the website so that your content can be seen by all means such as through asking, searching, or browsing. Here are four types of taxonomies:
A flat website taxonomy, also known as underlying site taxonomy, is similar to a list - it typically has top-level categories, and they are all weighted equally. However, it is common in websites to have the most important category as the first item on the list.
Small sites commonly used flat taxonomy. However, if you have a small site and you think that a flat taxonomy is the best for it, remember that it is highly recommended that you shouldn’t put all content on one page - it is seen on a number of website structures that were responsibly designed that splitting the content into several pages is the best way to go.
Simply put, the “About” page should only contain the information about you or your company while the “Contact” page should only show how your potential clients or customers can reach your team online and offline. Make sure that each of these web pages will have descriptive and unique metadata, titles, headlines, and content.
A tree or a flowchart commonly represents hierarchical taxonomies wherein the items are arranged according to their importance. Moving down to the hierarchy means narrowing the concept or category that your site visitor is searching for while moving up to through the hierarchy means broadening the category.
Hierarchical taxonomies are suitable for substantial website structures because they allow multiple levels of sub-categories within each category or sub-category.
This site structure or taxonomy organizes content into both hierarchical and associative categories. In essence, each category can be linked to any category, and the relationship between each item has different meanings wherein each relationship appears to be more meaningful to your site users.
Your website structure can start with hierarchical categories, and then they can be interpreted as local and even global navigation. Then, you can connect each piece of content in a meaningful way through contextual navigation such as displaying options like “recommended reading,” “most viewed,” “most popular,” “alternatives,” “most recent,” and even upsells.
A network taxonomy is also suitable for a vast website. Also, keep in mind that when using this kind of site structure, ensure that the categories linking to each other are clearly related to one another.
The facet taxonomy website structure allows you to assign a category to several taxonomies enabling you to classify the category in many ways rather than sticking to a strict hierarchy or a single classification.
One of the facet taxonomy examples is an e-commerce site with shoes as a niche. So, if you visit such a site to buy a pair of hiking shoes, you will encounter different facets such as the shoe brand, size, width, feedback, performance, features, sole quality, shoe weight, color, and price.
4 Different Pages that You Will Have to Create When Building Your Website Structure for SEO
Since adopting an effective website taxonomy often requires breaking your content down to multiple web pages, here are four different pages that will occur when building your site structure for SEO:
An information page focuses on a specific keyword - this kind of page is often extremely helpful for visitors often attracting backlinks or external links to your site. Also, information pages can drive conversions or sales as well as SEO value by internally linking to the important landing or product pages while giving out valuable information to your audience.
Usually, there is no limit to how many information pages you can create, but it is highly recommended to categorize them well so that you won’t have too many pages in the navigation menu.
A category page focuses on generic or broad keywords - this kind of page can bring a tremendous amount of traffic to your site as it leads to a related group of services or products organized as sub-categories.
Remember that your category pages should be your priority when link building as well as having internal links going back to them, especially when there is a new related topic or web page. By doing so, search engines will most likely pick them to show to your target audience when searching for a particular generic keyword.
Product or Service Pages
A product or service page focuses on a single product or service that you are offering - this kind of page attracts long-tail keywords or very specific search terms. It is important that you have a web page for every single product or service that you are offering because just merely listing your services or products in a category page will not help you in succeeding with your SEO.
Make sure to use unique content on each page by adding specific information such as product specifications, service location, product types, service reviews, item colors, sizes, etc.
Blog or News Pages
A blog or news page focuses on providing information, promoting products and services, or showcasing any news about your business or your industry in general - this kind of page gives you the freedom to stray away from the main navigation menu of your website thereby allowing you to write about almost anything.
However, we recommend that you focus on driving niche-specific traffic by publishing related blog posts so that you can attract backlinks, and have more content to use alongside your social media marketing.
How to Create a Website Taxonomy?
Building a website structure with an effective website taxonomy is beneficial for brand new websites. But if you already have a website and you’re planning to overhaul it, you can follow these essential steps:
Do keyword research
Assuming that you have selected five sections of your website taxonomy. The next thing you need to do is research keywords for each section - you can do this by using keyword research tools to get the right keywords to target.
Also, remember that each keyword you choose should be directly related to the content of your taxonomy section or page.
Develop sub-topics for your site structure
Breaking a large topic down to smaller pieces of content or sub-categories can prove beneficial to your user experience and SEO - consider these sub-topics as highly specific areas of the main topic.
Take the topic “Property Maintenance” for example. If you’re a company offering maintenance and repair services, then you could publish a single page that covers everything your potential client might need to know about your services.
The content of this page can showcase the benefits of maintaining properties, your successful projects from different clients, client feedback, and so on. Or you can split each topic into separate sections and create individual pages for “Property Maintenance” related sub-topics.
It will look like this:
Implement your website taxonomy in stages
When building your site structure, you must be prepared for future changes, especially if you will have a reasonably expansive taxonomy or if you are not sure of the categories and sub-categories that you will include in your site. So, allow extensibility by implementing your website taxonomy in stages.
Remember that it will be a continuous creation process, and if you implement it in stages, you will most likely tread the right path, especially when it comes to boosting your SEO.
Use website taxonomy automation tools or tap the experts
There are a few site taxonomy automation tools that you can use to design your website structure or streamline your taxonomy creation processes such as Classr, GlooMaps, and GenerateWP. However, if you want to save time, energy, and money in the long run, you better tap the website taxonomy experts.
Managing Partner, has been building Delante since 2014. Responsible for international SEO strategies. He has a strong analytical approach to online marketing backed by more than 12 years of experience. Previously associated with the IT industry, as well as the automotive, tobacco, and financial markets. Has experience in creating scaled processes based on agile methodologies.
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