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How Website Taxonomy Can Improve User Experience and SEO

Discover the power of website taxonomy. Learn how it can streamline navigation, boost search rankings, and engage users effectively.

In website design and development, creating an impactful online presence extends far beyond surface-level aesthetics. To truly optimize your website's performance, it's essential to delve into the technical aspects that enhance user experience and overall functionality. One crucial element that often goes unnoticed is the way you categorize and organize your website's content. The strategic implementation of a well-defined website taxonomy can have a profound impact on user experience, influencing various aspects of your business, from brand reputation to sales conversions.

Website taxonomy also has significant implications for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines rely on well-organized and structured websites to determine relevance and rank them accordingly in search results. By optimizing your website's taxonomy, you can provide search engines with a clear understanding of your content's hierarchy and relationships, ultimately improving your visibility and search rankings.

This article delves into the vital role of website taxonomy in enhancing user experience and boosting SEO. We explore the key principles and strategies behind effective website categorization and organization, providing practical insights and actionable tips to help you optimize your website's taxonomy. By implementing these techniques, you can unlock the full potential of your website, ensuring a seamless user experience and maximizing your online visibility.

As you embark on your journey to learn how to build a website, you step into the role of a digital architect, entrusted with the task of crafting cohesive websites and intuitive pathways that seamlessly guide users to relevant pages. You're responsible for so many tasks, from finding the best website color scheme to effectively organizing your content and ensuring seamless navigation.

A website taxonomy is a classification system used to categorize different types of content on your business site. It includes categories, subcategories, and other pages of content by creating a taxonomic structure that improves navigation and helps users find relevant information.

Website taxonomy is a system that affects internal processes and external website users and can help you organize and label content in a way that makes sense for your human users and search engines like Google.

Also known as URL taxonomy, website taxonomy is related to the structure of your URLs and how you organize and label content both on the page and in the subdirectories themselves. Regardless of your site's taxonomy, your domain won't change. So if you get a free domain name because you're worried about the cost of building a website, it will remain the same in your URL structure. However, the subdirectories and slugs that come after the domain name will change depending on how you categorize your content.

When considering website taxonomies, you'll come across different types, each offering distinct advantages. However, the optimal taxonomy for your website depends on how you intend to categorize content based on your specific business type and the way visitors interact with your site. Whether using a website builder or working directly with a designer or developer, understanding your site's taxonomy options can help you make better decisions that enhance the user experience. Your options for categorizing and labeling content include the following:

Hierarchical taxonomy

Hierarchical taxonomy is the simplest type, and many successful businesses use it in their website design. With this taxonomy, you arrange different categories by importance. For instance, if you have several products within the same line, you might highlight the complete line as a top-level category and each individual product as a second-level category.

The content in a hierarchical website taxonomy gets more specific as you move downwards, helping users navigate different sections and categories while getting more in-depth information the deeper they go.

Faceted taxonomy

Facet taxonomy is typically used when topics are assigned to different categories, so they won't fit under a single section of your website. Websites that use a facet taxonomy sort their content by attributes. You can find this type of website taxonomy on many e-commerce sites that allow you to show various versions of the same product on different pages.

Flat taxonomy

Flat website taxonomy is the most simplified type and consists only of the top-level categories with no subcategories. However, each category is just as important as the next and makes a good option for smaller websites that don't have lots of content. For example, your doctor's office might have a website with only three categories: Services, Contact Us, and About Us.

Visitors to this website don't need more navigational options because the doctor doesn't have a lot of content to share. Instead, people visiting this website might be looking for a list of services or contact information to make an appointment.

Network taxonomy

Network taxonomies serve as a way to organize content into categories that are interconnected and have meaningful relationships. To illustrate, consider an example of browsing an e-commerce website. In the website's navigation menu, you may come across a section labeled "Sale." This section encompasses a diverse range of products that are all united by the common factor of being on sale. While these products vary in their specific attributes, they collectively represent a broader range of discounted items available for exploration.

Website taxonomy improves the user experience while supporting your SEO goals. It's also a great way to help you organize content before publishing it on your website. With a proper website taxonomy, you can improve navigation to help users find what they're looking for more easily, enhancing your website performance. The top benefits of a well-organized website taxonomy include the following:

Enhanced user experience

Clear category pages help users navigate through a website easily. Always include your most crucial category pages at the top level to ensure each web page can be found. You should also use subcategories when necessary to help users diver deeper into the website structure and find more relevant and valuable content.

Improved SEO

Taxonomy affects both users and search engines. A well-organized taxonomy helps search engines crawl and index your pages more effectively, resulting in better visibility and higher search rankings. Of course, you should conduct keyword research to ensure you're targeting the right keywords based on your target audience.

Additionally, taxonomy promotes a healthy internal linking structure that helps search engines understand the relationships between different pages on your site.

Consistency and clarity

Consistency is crucial for ensuring your site taxonomy provides a good user experience. By classifying and categorizing pages on your website into different clusters and using the same terminology and organization, you can help users understand the context and purpose of the content on a page.

Scalability and flexibility

Well-organized taxonomy creation allows for scalability and flexibility. When you need to add new pages to your site, you can do so without disrupting the existing structure. Instead, the entire site remains organized and manageable, making it easier to grow your website over time.


Accessibility is a crucial component of the user experience and SEO. A good taxonomy improves accessibility by helping users with disabilities navigate your site while ensuring a smoother browsing experience.

How to implement a website taxonomy

Creating website taxonomy is easy and can help web developers understand how to categorize new content on a page. Even if you're not a developer, you can use effective taxonomy on your website as part of your marketing strategy to enhance the user experience. Luckily, creating taxonomic categories is fairly easy for any website.

Define your goals

Before organizing content and your existing website pages, you should define your goals. What are you trying to accomplish with a new website taxonomy? Some goals you can focus on include:

  • Improving the user experience
  • Enhancing navigation and content discovery
  • Increasing performance in search results
  • Simplifying content management

Research your target audience

Knowing who uses your website and how they use it can help you determine which type of taxonomy is right for you. For instance, many websites use a hierarchical structure your target audience is already used to, so you may be able to find indicators that they use your website in a specific way. You can research your target audience by conducting surveys, interviews, and usability tests to gather as much research data as possible to understand their preferences.

Analyze your existing content

You can use website taxonomy categorization before developing a website or update it regularly to ensure you're meeting your visitors' demands. Analyzing your existing content can help you identify gaps, patterns, and areas for improvement. For instance, do all your category pages have subcategories that make sense, or should some pages be moved to a new category to improve your online marketing efforts?

Develop the taxonomy structure

Once you've learned about your target audience and analyzed your existing content, you can organize your website and blog pages to ensure a consistent user experience. Depending on your discoveries, you can choose any type of taxonomy and incorporate relevant content into the more visible elements on your website, such as the menu and sidebars.

Incorporate tags

Tags can help you further describe and connect related content to enhance content discovery and improve search engine rankings by ensuring you have a robust internal linking strategy. Tags are most commonly used in blog posts, but you can use them on any website page to effectively organize content and make finding information easier for users.

Integrate with website navigation

How you integrate your taxonomy categories with your website navigation will depend on your ultimate goals. If you have a lot of subcategories under each category, it might not make sense to have a mega menu that lists every single page on your site. Instead, you can stick to the most important category pages to improve context and website structure.

Optimize for SEO

Keyword research is an essential component of SEO, and creating a taxonomic structure for your website can help you enhance your SEO efforts by giving you another opportunity to use your target keywords in your URLs. Always use relevant keywords and phrases in your categories, subcategories, and tags so search engines can understand and index your content. Of course, only use keywords that make sense, and avoid stuffing keywords in URLs because it can provide a bad user experience.

Test and refine

Once you've created your new web taxonomy, it's time to see if it meets users' needs. You can conduct usability tests, analyze website metrics, and gather user feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of your new website structure and ensure it enhances the user experience.

Train content creators

Who is responsible for publishing new content for your website? Anyone that interacts with your website and updates content should be trained on the new taxonomy structure to ensure they effectively categorize and tag pages based on their intended functions.

Maintain and update

Your new website structure should provide you with flexibility and scalability that accommodates new content. However, user needs may change over time, so you should continue to gather user feedback and make updates based on changes your visitors would like to see.

Develop a well-structured taxonomy for your website

A well-structured website improves the user experience to support your overall business goals while helping your content rank on search engines. Creating a new taxonomic structure for your website is easier than ever with Mailchimp. Publish and update your content, URLs, categories, and subcategories with our all-in-one marketing tool and website builder. Try Mailchimp today.

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