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Taxonomy In SEO: Best Practices And Strategies

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Taxonomy In SEO

The structure and navigation of a website play a big part in shaping the user experience. However, many website owners neglect this crucial taxonomy in SEO and risk losing sales and Google rankings. The good news is there are lots of ways to stay on top of taxonomy with small consistent efforts.

What Is Website Taxonomy In SEO?

Before we dive into the different strategies for taxonomy website developers can try, we need a clearer understanding of what taxonomy is. Taxonomy is essentially the structure of the website that helps organize your content in the most logical way possible. At least that’s the goal. There are plenty of sites that don’t use efficient taxonomy, end up with a structural mess, and see their SEO fail as a result.

There are two sides to SEO taxonomy.

1) The general layout of the pages and categories on a website.

2) The relationships between pages and the impact on indexing and potential rankings.

Below we will look at some of the taxonomy website strategies that can help with both sides of this issue. First, let’s look at why we should bother.

Why Taxonomy Is Important To SEO

There are two reasons we put so much effort into improving website taxonomy in SEO.

1) It helps visitors and gives them a better experience.

2) It helps the business stay visible and rank higher on SERPs.

3) Avoid duplicated contents effectively

A good website layout is essential because it helps visitors navigate the site and continue their journey. Ideally, they will end up on the landing page from a SERP, find a category listing with further information related to their query, and maybe then take that to a contact form or e-commerce store checkout to complete their interaction with the brand. The problem is that a reported 38% of visitors will leave if they don’t like the layout. They don’t want to waste their time. That is why we need a user-friendly and inviting structure.

On top of this, the internal structure and taxonomy also helps search engines and Google algorithms determine how to rank your site and where it belongs on their SERPs.

Tips On How To Optimize Your Taxonomy SEO

So, now we know why we need to improve SEO taxonomy, let’s look closer at some of the strategies for doing so. The best place to begin if you are starting from scratch is to really think about the best structure for your site.

There are two general approaches to taxonomy that website managers can employ. The best choice depends on the scale and purpose of the website. Sites with taxonomy issues may benefit from adapting the structure within or completely switching to another form.

1. Hierarchical Taxonomy

You might also see this called the parent/child approach. This is a multi-level system with primary and secondary components. This is the best option for any site that is there to sell a product. You will be familiar with this from shopping online yourself. Let’s use the example of an online fragrance store. The landing page may have primary categories up-front, such as women’s, men’s.

From there, this opens up a more detailed secondary list of categories. Perhaps under men’s, there are options to choose by Category and Brands. There is then the option for a Category list by new arrival, gift sets, or any other selling point. This all makes navigation a lot easier.

Hierarchical Taxonomy

2. Lateral Taxonomy

This rejects the hierarchical system for a more level approach with overlapping elements. This makes more sense for informational sites and blogs where owners don’t want a primary category. For example, a pet care blog may have overlapping themes on health, fleas, and disease prevention.

Lateral Taxonomy

Utilizing Categories, Tags, And URLs In Lateral Taxonomy.

Let’s start by looking at some helpful tools for lateral taxonomy and informational sites before we move on to hierarchical taxonomy for e-commerce. Categorization is always going to make a massive difference to the navigation and ranking of your website. This means really thinking about your structure to ensure that you get the best results. Blogs and informational sites can benefit from the following.

1) Improved tags

2) Related pages across categories.

3) URL taxonomy.

Working on your tags for your webpage can transform a site from a confused mess to something a lot more coherent. They allow for a far more cohesive site where Google’s bots fully understand the relationships between pages. In turn, this allows for better indexing and ranking. The tags need to be clear and relevant to the page. Adjust them as needed.

From there, you can make sure there are multiple tags per page to enhance lateral taxonomy SEO. This allows a post to appear on multiple category pages where there are shared factors. For example, if you have a general guide that relates to two interests on your site, you can make sure that it appears in both categories for double the visibility.

On top of this, there is also the chance to use these tags to add links for related posts at the bottom of articles. This makes it really easy to improve navigation across a blog to help readers build knowledge. Furthermore, you come across as more of an authority while providing hyperlinks that Google will appreciate.

Then there is the overlooked issue of URL taxonomy. This makes no difference to visitors but is important for Google rankings Make sure to use simple terms so the bots aren’t confused by the categorizations and intended purpose of the page.

Best Practices: How To Improve Taxonomy Website Features For E-Commerce.

Improved SEO taxonomy is crucial for any company that has an e-commerce store attached to its website. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Optimize Website URLs

Webpages with good urls are a big part of a successful e-commerce store and need to be optimized for SEO. Ideally, you need to sort out ecommerce pages according to their attributes and also the product categories. However, some of the website admin ignore this and do nothing on the URL taxonomy.

Optimize Website URLs

2. Create Awesome Primary And Secondary Categories

As mentioned before, that parent/child approach with primary and secondary categories is perfect for online stores. It helps buyers navigate to the right product category for a time-efficient experience. Is important to remember, that less is more. You don’t want to overwhelm people with options and clutter up the site. That is why it is so important to clean up your categories and descriptions as best you can.

Create Awesome Primary And Secondary Categories

3. Clean up your categorization and hierarchy with controlled vocabulary.

Consistency is important here and a controlled vocab list means that any new tags and categories comply with the language and tone of the website as a whole. Going back to that idea of pet care, this means consistency in language about the animals. Going cute with “doggy” and “doggo” works in blog posts and text, but not so much in random category page listings.

4. Remember to add and remove categories

You might have a brand new product line coming in that requires a category and the right placement in your taxonomy. You want that to be in line with the current model and easy to find via SERPs. You might also have a discontinued line where you need to decommission pages to reduce clutter and add professionalism.

5. Use Schema Markup And Structured Data In E-commerce

Schema Markup data can describe your website and tells search engine the website structures and the page attributes. Don’t forget to implement schema markup including breadcrumbs for your online store if you want to rank better and improve your website taxonomy.

Use Schema Markup And Structured Data In E-commerce

Keep Monitoring And Adjusting Your SEO Taxonomy For The Best Results

Remember that this is an ongoing process that requires a lot of work and adaptation. The site taxonomy you build now might not be fit for purpose next month. All kinds of changes have a domino effect, such as those new product categories or new keyword research for better tags and categorization. You can’t get complacent about taxonomy because doing so creates the risk of competitors outranking you.

You need to stay on top of things, be prepared to make changes, and always think like an outsider. Data and analytics are great, but you also need to take the site on a test run or get a third-party perspective. Think about how the layout benefits or hinders the user experience, as well as what Google bots will make of it all. If something seems superfluous, weak, or damaging, get rid of it or adjust it.

That is where it helps to work with a skilled team to audit the site regularly. They can go over the performance of the site with new changes in mind, highlight potential weaknesses, and work on modifications. Hiring professionals pays off because need that expertise and ongoing support to make this work.

Make The Most Of All The Tools For Taxonomy Website Managers Can Get

To summarize, the benefits of improving website taxonomy for SEO mean that every little strategy and effort pays off. At the start, we mentioned the importance of small consistent efforts, and that is an important takeaway here. Work on perfecting your categorization, tags, and URLs for either a hierarchical or lateral system and adapt to necessary changes. This will all make your site more user-friendly and more likely to rank higher on SERPs.

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