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Website Taxonomy

Ginny Deering

June,05 2020 12:40 (PM)

As the owner of a Web site, you have probably heard the word, "taxonomy" , but may not fully understand its significance. Taxonomy can be your best friend in your quest for quantifiable return on investment. Taxonomy is the organization and classification of information, and, in webspeak , it is the map users and search engines use to find your information.

Best practices in taxonomy allow the user to waste less time finding information on your site. It promotes brand loyalty, and helps you build relationships with business users, customers and partners by providing positive Web navigation experiences. It promotes better decision-making by providing better quality information, thus increasing ROI on content management systems.

OK, what does taxonomy look like and how do I use it on my site?

You can think of it as a restricted list of words or terms used for categorizing ideas and concepts on your site. It is a controlled vocabulary. The best taxonomies also feature a structure of synonyms for the actual keywords, ideas and themes that comprise your content.

A good way to start a simple taxonomy for your site is to create a list of terms in a spreadsheet. Support those terms with as many synonyms as you can find. Then arrange them in a hierarchy. Other ideas for creating your taxonomy is to look at your competitors' keywords. Don't know how to do that? Navigate to you competitors' sites and, at the top of the browser's menu will be a menu called, view . Drop down until you see page source (Firefox) and the HTML code for the site. The keywords will be somewhere near the top. Since keywords are not subject to copyright, any keyword appropriate to your business is a good one to add to your own taxonomy.