Taxonomy in SEO
In biology, taxonomy refers to the classification of all living organisms based on their genetics, behavioral, and biochemical variations. But taxonomy in search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the classification of website content by grouping URLs based on common attributes. Site taxonomy boosts a website’s user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate and find the desired content.
At the same time, taxonomy SEO helps a website get more organic traffic by making search engines identify and understand the content that the webmaster considers important. That is why; webmasters and marketers focus on a variety of factors while implementing taxonomy in SEO. Also, they can achieve multiple goals by grouping related URLs in the most appropriate way.
Major Goals of Taxonomy in SEO
A webmaster can achieve multiple objectives by building website taxonomy – keep website content organizes, keep website visitors engaged, and make the website searchable. Hence, webmasters often boost taxonomy SEO by focusing on content, users, and search engines.
Digital Asset Management
Content is the most valuable digital marketing asset. No business can boost the performance of digital marketing campaigns without managing content assets efficiently. Taxonomy helps businesses manage content assets efficiently by categorizing content using classification schema. Marketers can leverage taxonomy to update, alter, and reuse content assets easily.
Consumers these days expect brands to deliver personalized and customized content. But no organization can deliver personalized content or brand message to consumers without understanding the target audience clearly. Site taxonomy creates opportunities for creating more relevant content for consumers based on their profile information and content preferences.
Businesses generate, nurture, and convert leads by distributing fresh content regularly. But a website can convert visitors into leads or customers only when it keeps them engaged. Visitors often abandon websites that are unorganized or difficult to navigate. Taxonomy keeps website visitors engaged by making it easier for them to navigate the website and find relevant content.
Leading search engines like Google make it easier for their bots to crawl and index by issuing guidelines for webmasters. Taxonomy conveys a website’s structure and architecture clearly to search engine bots. Hence, bots can crawl and index the website effectively. Hence, search engines will increase the website’s search engine ranking by understanding and analyzing the site taxonomy effortlessly.
Different Website Taxonomy Structures
While organizing and classifying URLs based on common attributes, a webmaster has the option to choose from several taxonomy structures. She can boost a website’s user experience and search engine only by the right site taxonomy structure. Here are some of the taxonomy structures used by various webmasters.
Webmasters opt for flat taxonomy while organizing the content of small websites. As the name indicates, this form of site taxonomy does not differentiate top-level categories from subcategories. Webmasters simply add a list of sub-pages to the website’s home page. A visitor can access the desired content by clicking on the appropriate link on the home page.
Webmasters choose hierarchical taxonomy while organizing the content of large websites. They organize related URLs by creating major categories with multiple sub-categories. When a visitor clicks on a major category, she can access the sub-categories.
Also, she can see more sub-categories by clicking on the parent sub-category. The multiple levels often make it difficult for visitors to find and access the desired content. Webmasters boost user experience by reducing the number of levels and grouping URLs based on content type instead of keywords.
While organizing the content of larger websites, webmasters prefer network taxonomy. They build network taxonomy in different ways. For instance, some webmasters prefer connecting various categories while others create hierarchies.
A website’s user experience is impacted negatively when webmasters build complex network taxonomies. They boost user experience by connecting categories with common relationships. Also, they enable visitors to access popular and recently-published content when they access any URL.
Facet taxonomy is implemented by eCommerce websites and online sellers that allow customers to buy multiple products. While building facet taxonomy, webmasters create multiple content categories. Also, they group content related to specific products or attributes. Many webmasters organize website content more efficiently by combining multiple taxonomy structures and avoiding content duplications.
Best Practices for Implementing Taxonomy SEO
While building taxonomy on SEO, webmasters must define goals clearly and choose the best taxonomy structure. At the same time, they should adopt a slew of taxonomy SEO best practices to get more search engine traffic and keep website visitors engaged.
Consider Relevant Keywords and Topics
Webmasters organize content based on either keywords or topics. But they can make the taxonomy effective only by considering both keywords and topics. They should identify the right keywords to understand what visitors are searching for.
At the same time, they should conduct topic research to understand visitors’ interests and preferences. Keyword research and topic research help them group content by creating relevant topic clusters.
Keep in Mind the Target Audience
The taxonomy will keep website visitors engaged by making it easier for them to find relevant content. But webmasters must keep in mind the target audience while choosing taxonomy structure and creating content clusters.
They can boost taxonomy in SEO only by answering important questions like where website users come from, what they search for, how they search for information, and how long they stay on the website.
Keep the Site Taxonomy Simple
While organizing the content of large websites, webmasters often create a large number of categories and subcategories. The increase in the number of categories often makes site taxonomy complex. Also, it makes it difficult for both search engines and website visitors to find relevant information.
Webmasters can boost a website’s user experience and search visibility only by keeping the site taxonomy simple. They need to ensure that the taxonomy does not make the website difficult to navigate. In addition to reducing the number of main categories, they should consider increasing the number of subcategories.
Keep the Taxonomy Flexible
No webmaster can leverage SEO benefits by keeping the site taxonomy static. They must remember that number of URLs will increase as the business grows and the website ages. They have to add new categories in the future based on fresh and new types of content. Hence, they must keep the site taxonomy flexible.
The flexibility will help them scale site taxonomy by adding new categories regularly. At the same time, they can make changes to existing categories quickly according to changes in audience preferences. However, they must not change the site taxonomy regularly as it will affect the website’s search visibility.
Taxonomy as an SEO strategy helps webmasters boost a website’s user experience and search visibility simultaneously. A webmaster can achieve multiple goals by implementing taxonomy SEO. Also, she can group related URLs by choosing from multiple website taxonomy structures. But webmasters must remember that they can achieve better results only by building site taxonomy that can be modified and scaled on demand according to emerging needs.