Website Taxonomy – Everything to Know
If you are just starting out in the industry of SEO, then you more than likely have heard the phrase URL taxonomy or website taxonomy. There are numerous phrase variations and it might be confusing if you haven’t been doing this work for a while. However, you should make sure that your website taxonomy is well-optimized so that your SEO plan can be scaled and increased over time. Here is everything that you are going to need to know about, this so keep reading on to find out more.
Website Taxonomy: What is It?
Website taxonomy is also often referred to as URL taxonomy and it refers to how the pages have been structured into the various content silos. The way that they are structured is directly upon how the subfolders for your URLs have been set up. However, before we can get further into this you need to understand the importance of the URL structure. The 2 main parts of the URL are the final 2 pieces, which includes slug and subfolder.
Any page that you have created recently or that is new, then that is slug or the name of the page. If you are assigning any page a parent page, then the subfolder is named as the parent page. The new page would then be the child page of the previous page, which is why when you are creating various sections for your site that you are reflecting and giving proper names to the URL sections.
There are plenty of examples that you should think about and here are some, including those that would fall under the category of services:
How the URL Taxonomy Can Affect the Architecture of the Site
When it comes to the architecture of your site a critical role is played by the URL taxonomy. You should ensure that your URLs are clean, which can allow for an easier scalable structure that also allows the search engines to crawl your site easier. The easier the URLs are for the search engines to understand, then the higher your ranking is going to be when you are coming up in the search results and this is a great way to visualize the architecture of your site.
What is Hot Garbage or Bad URL Taxonomy
There is such a thing as hot garbage or what is called bad website taxonomy and you need to know what it is. This can happen in a wide variety of ways, especially if you are using WordPress or other sites that would insert dates into the URL. This is what creates longer URLs and nodes and some examples of this includes:
This isn’t the best URL taxonomy that is available because it isn’t grouping the various blog posts under a single section of your website. This is similar to heading to the closest grocery store and searching for fruit in the spices and baking aisle, zucchini in the butcher section and kale in the canned section.
What is Optimized URL Taxonomy?
In some of the URLs above you can see 2 clean silos of content and those sections, which are based on the links, are:
- Available mental health related services
- Mental health issues that they treat
These are clean because the URLs are very clearly defined with a section that they belong to, which is the same topic with a clear and concise relationship to the other sites. A few more examples of other URLs that are clean from this site includes:
Ensure that you are noting how all of these given example URLs are sharing a common theme when it comes to using the same parent page.
How URL Taxonomy is Used by Google
When it comes to your website Google and how it uses website taxonomy is important and it helps in a few ways. It goes far beyond just creating a good site visualization
Having a clean URL taxonomy helps Google in a few different ways and it goes beyond just having a pretty site visualization. Grouping the related pages into these organized silo can help to build a better foundation for the website. Google would be able to crawl the page and understand that the pages that are grouped together are related in some form.
This means that if you have your pages regarding conditions in a single silo, then Google can see that they are grouped together and related based on the common theme, which is that they are discussing health conditions. This would also go for your service pages and having these well-structured can help send Google accurate signals so they understand the relationship better.
Content Silos and Internal LInks
One of the most powerful tools that you have when you are talking about website taxonomy are your internal links. For this part you are going to have to forget the page rank and consider the relevancy of topics. If you are using links from the service pages to the condition based pages, then it can help the users as well as the search engines find the relationships between the topics.
This means that if your service page is talking about some cognitive behavioral therapy, then a portion of that page could be discussing various mental health conditions that can be treated by this therapy. This would create an internal linking opportunity that is natural that would be useful for not only the users, but also the search engines.
This principal could also be applied to the conditions pages about depression and the treatment options. You should ensure that all of the internal links that you are using within the body of the content is relevant and that you are using supporting text.
How You can Optimize URL Taxonomy
You should start by looking at your current URL and seeing if they are easy to understand. However, there are 3 principals to keep in mind when you are optimizing for URL taxonomy, including:
- Is this scalable?
- Is is simple for both search engines and users to follow?
- Is the marketing funnel addressed?
Once you have answered these questions, then you can ensure that all of your links are being optimized for URL taxonomy.
How to Create Scalable URL Structures
When you are creating your URL taxonomy you need to ensure that it is easy to add the newer pages that would fit effortlessly within the taxonomy context. For example, when managing a company website that has numerous locations, then you need to be extra careful with how the URLs are structured. It can be very simple to come up with URLs that are overly complex and it can get out of hand fast.
Non-Scalable Location Based Page URL examples
If your business has numerous locations that cover a few different states and cities or zipcodes, then you need to consider a few things. This means you need to consider how to set up these URLs and some options are:
- Single silo:
- https://www.exampletherapysite.com/location s/north-dallas-office
- State based groups
- City based groups
- ZIP code based groups:
- ZIP code and state based groups
This means that there are numerous options and it means the URLs are getting longer than necessary very quickly. There isn’t a right answer here and it based on how you want it to be set up, but the zip code one isn’t extremely helpful when it comes to the user standpoint.
The main thing here is for you to determine early on just how you are planning to scale your business. Questions to ask includes:
- Are you foreseeing any growth within these individual states and cities?
- Can you use a simple state based directory for your business or is a city level one required?
You are going to want to do whatever makes more sense when it comes to the users and ensure that your website taxonomy is reflecting.
Is Your URL Taxonomy Simple for the Users?
You should make sure that you know that keeping a clean website taxonomy for your users is important. This would help them to heave an easier time when it comes to discovering the content that you have on your website. If you are using the state based or location based URLs, then the experience for searching the website needs to be simple. The URLs must reflect the various breadcrumb path that is the pages that were before them and be easy to understand for any user.
You should always be thinking about URL taxonomy from the time that you are starting to plan your website. The more you know about this, then the easier it would be for you to ensure that all of your URLs are being planned out. This would prevent the users from thinking that the experience of using your website is trash and that it going to be easy for them to find the information that they need and want.