by Alice Rooney
Sep 14, 2022
Deciding on a website structure that complements user journey and helps search engine crawlers map out your pages can be a complex process. Having as many eyes as possible on your products, services and important long-form content is ultimately the end goal. The method of organising this content in a logical manner is what is known as website taxonomy.
There are a few ways that you can achieve a successful website taxonomy. Stay tuned as we outline some of the methods available to you and how you can apply them to your own site.
What is website taxonomy?
Taxonomy as a definition relates to the method used in classification and organisation – often used in science to classify organisms. In the world of websites and SEO, taxonomy is how content on your website is structured and classified in a way that makes sense to your audience.
To see website taxonomy in action, take a look at your URL structure. For instance, the URL www.peakydigital.co.uk contains a core domain, peakydigital.co.uk, and tells us that this is the homepage of the site. Most sites contain a lot more information than can fit on one page, therefore websites need other categories and landing pages to specify the content on the page and to organise it into relevant sections.
This is where the URL slug comes into play. Using Peaky’s website as an example, we have a ‘services’ category page and a ‘case studies’ category page, both of which are present in the top navigation bar. The URL structure contains the core domain followed by a forward slash and the slug of the page – peakydigital.co.uk/services and peakydigital.co.uk/case-studies. These URL slugs demonstrate the classification and hierarchy of the content on your website.
How does optimising taxonomy improve SEO?
Not only does optimising taxonomy help the user navigate their way around your website, but it also tells search engine crawlers where to find your content. A consistent taxonomy will help Google crawlers find the information they need to map out your site, making it easier for your site to get indexed.
Furthermore, the easier the page is to find, the more importance Google will assign to that particular page. For example, if a page is a) in the top navigation bar on the homepage of your website, and b) the URL slug is directly after the domain, then this page is classified as an important page.
Pair a consistent and simple taxonomy with a robust internal linking and backlink profile, you are well on your way to SEO heaven!
What are some of the most useful website taxonomy methods?
As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid a random and chaotic site taxonomy both for user experience and SEO purposes.
The key to implementing a website structure is to be consistent from the outset and ensure that any new content or pages are added to your website in the same way. Here are two excellent strategies to get you started:
Treat this method in a similar way to folders of Microsoft Word documents saved on your computer. You tend to have a few ‘master’ folders depicting a certain topic, then have sub-folders within the master folder that breaks down the topic into more specific subjects.
The structure on your website will echo this idea by having a few main category pages that indicate your main products or services, then these pages will break down further into your specific offerings.
This method is also known as hierarchical taxonomy. This is because you are assigning importance to your site pages in a ‘top-down’ manner, with page importance lessening as you go further down the hierarchy.
Another useful website structure is known as the flat taxonomy method. This method is great for smaller sites or businesses that have a few core products or services, and want to assign importance to the pages more equally.
Pages are structured directly from the homepage and are designed to be found easily by the user.
Looking to optimise your website taxonomy? Peaky Digital is the agency for you!
Optimising taxonomy on your site is an essential part of your SEO strategy. If you’re in need of some help with sorting out your site structure once and for all, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today or explore our case studies for some inspiration.
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