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Website Taxonomy Strategy: How to Organize Your Site for Easy Navigation

Having a well-organized website is essential for attracting and retaining visitors that turn into returning customers. A website taxonomy strategy plays a crucial role in this process, helping to structure and organize the content on your site for easy navigation. We will guide you through the importance of website taxonomy and provide you with practical tips on how to create an effective taxonomy for your website.

Site Taxonomy - Adroit

What is Website Taxonomy?

Website taxonomy refers to the hierarchical categorization and organization of information on a website. It involves creating a logical structure that allows visitors to easily navigate through different sections and find the content they are looking for. Think of it as creating a roadmap or directory for your website, guiding users to their desired destination.

Well-designed website taxonomy provides:

Improved User Experience

When users can quickly and easily find the information they need, they are more likely to stay on your site, explore further, and convert into customers. A clear and intuitive website taxonomy enhances the overall user experience, making it more enjoyable and efficient for visitors to navigate your site.

Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines like Google also rely on website taxonomy to understand the structure and relevance of your content. By organizing your site effectively, you can improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive more organic traffic to your website.

Step 1: Understand Your Audience and Goals

Before creating a website taxonomy, it is essential to understand your target audience and determine your site’s primary goals. Consider the following questions:

  • Who are your target audience?
  • What are their interests and preferences?
  • What information are they most likely to search for on your website?
  • What actions do you want visitors to take on your site?

 

By answering these questions, you can tailor your website taxonomy to meet your audience’s needs and align with your business objectives.

 

To better understand your audience, consider using tools like Google Analytics to gather data on user demographics, behavior, and interests. This information can provide valuable insights into what content your audience is most interested in and help you create relevant categories and subcategories.

Step 2: Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is a crucial part of website taxonomy. It helps you identify the most relevant and popular search terms used by your target audience. By incorporating these keywords into your taxonomy, you can optimize your site for search engines and attract more organic traffic.

Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to find relevant keywords related to your industry or niche. Look for keywords with high search volume and low competition to maximize your chances of ranking well in search results.

In addition to identifying keywords, consider the intent behind those keywords. Are users looking for information, products, or services? Understanding user intent can help you create more targeted categories and subcategories that align with what users are searching for.

Step 3: Plan the High-Level Categories

Based on your audience research and keyword analysis, start planning the high-level categories for your website. These categories should represent the main topics or themes of your content. Aim for broad categories that encompass a range of related subtopics.

For example, if you have an e-commerce website selling clothing, your high-level categories could be Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Accessories, and Footwear. These categories serve as the top-level navigation menu items on your site.

When planning the high-level categories, consider the main sections or areas of your website and how they can be grouped logically. Think about the needs and expectations of your audience, and ensure that the categories you create align with their interests and preferences.

Step 4: Define Subcategories and Subtopics

Once you have established the high-level categories, it’s time to define the subcategories and subtopics within each category. This step involves breaking down the main topics into more specific and focused subcategories.

 

Continuing with the clothing e-commerce example, under the Men’s Clothing category, you could have subcategories such as Tops, Bottoms, Active, and Accessories. Similarly, under Women’s Clothing, you could include subcategories such as Dresses, Skirts, Tops, Bottoms and Handbags.

 

To determine the subcategories, consider the different types or variations of products, services, or information you offer within each high-level category. Think about how users would naturally navigate through your site and what subtopics they would expect to find under each main category.

 

As a rule of thumb, if you need more than 7 categories or 7 subcategories under one umbrella, you need to rethink how you categorize. 7 should be your max.

Step 5: Create a Logical Hierarchy

When developing your website taxonomy, it’s crucial to create a logical hierarchy that guides users through the different levels of your content. This hierarchy should reflect the relationships between categories, subcategories, and individual pages.

Consider using numbered headings or bullet points to visually represent this hierarchy. For example:

 

  1. Men’s Clothing
  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Active
  • Accessories

 

  1. Women’s Clothing
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Tops
  • Bottoms
  • Handbags

 

This hierarchical structure helps users understand the organization of your content and makes it easier for them to navigate through your site. It also provides search engines with valuable information about the relationships between different pages on your site, which can improve your search engine rankings.

Step 6: Incorporate User-Friendly URLs

As you create your website taxonomy, remember to design user-friendly URLs that reflect your content’s structure. Avoid using long, complex URLs with numbers or random characters. Instead, aim for short, descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords.

 

For example: yourwebsite.com/mens-clothing/tops

 

User-friendly URLs not only enhance the user experience but also contribute to better search engine rankings. They are easier to read and understand, both for users and search engines. Including relevant keywords in your URLs can also help search engines understand the context and relevance of your content.

Step 7: Test and Refine Your Taxonomy

After implementing your website taxonomy, it’s essential to test its effectiveness and make necessary refinements. Conduct user testing sessions to gather feedback on the navigation experience and identify any areas of improvement.

Pay attention to the analytics data to understand how visitors are interacting with your site and if they are finding the information they need. Use this data to refine and optimize your website taxonomy over time.

Consider conducting A/B tests to compare different versions of your website taxonomy and see which one performs better in terms of user engagement and conversion rates. Regularly review and update your taxonomy to adapt to changing user needs and industry trends.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Website taxonomy refers to the hierarchical categorization and organization of information on a website, creating a logical structure for easy navigation.

A well-designed website taxonomy improves user experience by allowing users to quickly find information and enhances search engine optimization (SEO) by improving visibility in search results.

To create an effective website taxonomy, you should understand your audience and goals, conduct keyword research, plan high-level categories, define subcategories and subtopics, create a logical hierarchy, incorporate user-friendly URLs, and test and refine the taxonomy over time.

User testing allows you to gather feedback on the navigation experience and identify areas of improvement, ensuring that your website taxonomy meets the needs of your users.

About The Author

Todd Brown,
Chief Operations Officer

In his 11 years in digital marketing, Todd Brown has not only served as a digital marketer but as an operations manager for 6 separate marketing agencies where he oversaw radical overhauls of fulfillment processes. Todd built custom tools, systems, and internal processes for these agencies, skills he has been able to leverage to ensure Adroit can deliver high-quality work at a cost-effective price. Todd has the rare talents in marketing of managing and analyzing large amounts of data, implementing marketing attribution automation, and developing real-time marketing reporting.