Semalt Explains What Site Taxonomy Is

Guide to Website Taxonomy, Best Practices & SEO Impacts - SEOptimer

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Website Taxonomy?
  3. Why Website Taxonomy is Important
  4. How to Create an Effective Website Taxonomy
  5. Conclusion


Imagine you need the recipe for a simple vanilla cake, and you have to scroll through a long list of other recipes just to find the one you want. If you had another option of a different website with a mo+re organized page and a search bar, which would you choose? You will likely pick the website with a search bar. 

What would also be your answer if you were asked why? My top guess is that you like to find the answer to your question quickly and easily. Turns out that about 38% of website visitors agree with you. Many internet users like to find the answer to their questions at the tip of their fingers. That is why website taxonomy is important. 

It involves the process of organizing your website into categories so that it is easy for a user to navigate through to their needed answers. Read on to find out more about website taxonomy, why you need to take it seriously, and how to go about building an effective taxonomy for your website.

What is Website Taxonomy?

Website taxonomy involves the use of different parameters to structure a website for user intent. In other words, it is the process of categorizing your website so that users can quickly understand what your site is about, find what they are looking for, or navigate their way through.

User intent refers to the backstory of every search a user makes. It involves the 'why' of the terms entered into a search bar. For instance, if a user searches for the recipe for a vanilla cake. The most obvious intent is that the user wishes to make a vanilla cake and doesn't know the ingredients that will go into the bowl. Therefore, the kind of answer the user would be looking for is a website that gives a direct answer to the ingredients and the steps to prepare. Even though there could be a brief introduction to the sweetness of vanilla cakes and the varieties involved, going into the history of vanilla cakes or the health benefits would be way off. 

The process of getting a website to be well-arranged for users to find exactly what they are looking for is website taxonomy. Note that site taxonomy is closely related to domain segmentation where a primary domain is split into several sub-domains. This can only work if the website has several sections including 'contacts', 'about us, and so on, and wishes to have separate subdomains for each of them. If the website does not have a lot of pages, buttons, CTA tabs, and drop-down lists should work just fine. 

Why Website Taxonomy is Important

Though site taxonomy sounds like a great thing, it does more than give your users what they want. As a matter of importance, it does more for you than for your users. Below are a few of the major reasons you should begin to pay attention to your website's taxonomy.


1. Organize your Website: 

The first reason is that you would be able to directly work on the structure of your website. Instead of having all your content jumbled up together, site taxonomy would help you organize your content, blog posts, stores, and so on into different categories. It would also be easier for you to direct your customers into the different categories without having them all on a single page. By this, instead of posting all your blog posts on a single page, divide them based on the categories and subjects. That way, users that are interested in a particular subject don't have to waste time scrolling through irrelevant topics.

2. Helps your SEO: 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It adopts certain tools and services that help to build a website until it is recognizable by search engines. SEO works hand-in-hand with user intents and search engine requirements - but more importantly, search engines. When a user enters a term into a search engine bar, the system works immediately to look through billions of content online that match the provided term. If your website has been fully optimized and has passed most of the search engine's requirements, it would be on the first page of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). By working on your website's taxonomy, you would increase your chances of appearing in SERPs. This is because search engine bots would be able to crawl your pages faster and understand the context of your website easily.

3. Improves Website Visibility: 

When you improve your website's SEO, you directly impact how visible your website becomes. When a user enters the term into the search bar and your website pops up as the first few on the result page, you would likely have more eyes on your website's URL. Usually, search engines (especially Google) use snippets to show the direct answers to the questions a user inserts into the search bar. If your content continually gets promoted through the snippet feature, your website's visibility will skyrocket.

4. Increase Traffic Rate: 

In the same way, your traffic rate would be affected positively. Traffic rate refers to the number of people that visit your site or click on your URL. When your site becomes more and more visible, your chances of getting clicked on would also increase. More people would get attracted to your site - wanting to read more. 

5. Conversion Growth:

 Additionally, your website would be able to begin counting the rate of how many visitors you convert to customers. The more users come to your site for answers and they get the answers they want, the more they'll come back for more. But most importantly, when a customer is satisfied (given what they want),  it would easier to convince them towards your CTA tab. 

6. Builds User Engagement, Conversation, and Trust:

 Finally, by working on your site's taxonomy, you would be able to engage better with your customers, find what they usually search for, provide it, and also build trust. In other words, the more people feel like you can provide what they need, the more they'll stick around until they become loyal. Loyalty in this case means that they go from simply searching for the term (that is, "vanilla cake recipe") to making a request based on your results (as in "vanilla cake recipe from").

How to Create an Effective Website Taxonomy

Creating a site taxonomy can rather be straightforward especially if you outsource it to a specialist that would handle all the ABCs of the process. But if you believe you have the time on your hands to create your site's taxonomy (or you just want to know the steps behind the work), then keep reading through the procedure to create an effective website taxonomy.  
  1. Understand your Users: Recall the definition of user intent. If you don't understand your audience (those that visit your site), it would be difficult to know the reason behind their search. It would also be a little hassling to provide them with the response they need. To understand your users best, create a sample persona of your average user / customer. What are their interests? What is their life like on an average day? Who are they and what do they do? By understanding your users, you would know what they want and how to present their requests.
  2. Conduct Keyword Research: After you have been able to detect who your users are, you want to make sure that you have what they need on your site - one of them is keywords. Keywords are the terms that users primarily enter into the search bar during internet searches. For instance, some of the primary keywords for vanilla cake recipes are 'vanilla cakes' and 'cake recipe'. If your website missed these two keywords, it is almost certain that your site might not be able to provide the right answer to the customers. But aside from primary keywords, research also includes looking for secondary and additional keywords.  
  3. Keep Things Simple: While it is tempting to want to try many ideas and overdo them, it is best to be straightforward. The goal is simple - get your users what they need fast. Trying to do a lot might be overwhelming for your clients and could chase them away. 
  4. Don't be in a Hurry for Results: As great as it sounds on paper, the benefits are not that sudden. Changes occur after a long while of consistency, originality, and intent. When you take your time to always hit your user intent, you would see results sooner than expected. 


Taking out the time to create an effective site taxonomy is one of the best investments you can give to your website. But before you can work on taxonomy, your content needs to be up to standard. If you organize an un-optimized site, it would be like surrounding an abandoned house with flowers. Therefore, improve your chances of being visible and gaining traffic and work on the SEO of your page.

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