It just takes some basic structuring can help keep your blog tidy through the effective use of ‘Taxonomy management’, in other words the management of tags and categories. As most of us know, WordPress is a really, really useful tool for managing your site’s content – quite simply, it is the perfect Content Management System!
As well as managing your blog’s content, you can manage where your content will be displayed, so that a certain category of posts can be shown in particular areas of your site. For example, you can have one category feed in the side bar, another in the footer and another on the home page.
Therefore, there are two main reasons why good Taxonomy management is important. They are:
1) Indexing Content
2) Site Mapping and Design
Let’s talk about Indexing Content first.
1) Indexing content;
Let’s take a recipe book as an example. We see the way that the recipe book is formatted; there is a table of contents at the front of the book and an index at the back. The table of contents allows the user to find recipes based of their choice for starters, mains etc.. and the index allows the user to search by ingredient.
Setting Your Categories
For Example, let’s say you have a basic list of Categories for your blog. Similarly to the Table of Contents in book format, they are:
Then, you have your Index or in blog terms, your tags, which in a recipe book shows a list of ingredients along with a page number for the recipes that have that particular ingredient. It’s a great system right? WordPress has perfected this Indexing system digitally.
Setting Your Tags
We now have our main Categories set for our blog, now let’s look at some tags. Remember in this example, the Categories are the Table of Contents and the tags are our Ingredients.
Let’s pick strawberries as an example for your tag. Who doesn’t love Strawberries?
They grow in huge abundance where I live, Wexford, Ireland and they are delicious.
Strawberries, in this case can potentially be a tag in all of your categories;
They are versatile little fruits, and can be used as a colourful addition in Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Sides, and Dessert recipes.
Putting the Categories and Tags Together in a Post
Creating a blog post for a recipe called ‘Strawberry, Spinach Salad’ we can set the Category to ‘Sides‘, and ‘Starters’, thus allowing the user to find the recipe in two potential searches within your site. You have optimised your content already!
If ‘strawberry, Spinach Salad’ is further tagged with the keywords ‘Strawberry’ and ‘Spinach,’ this will allow the user to search for a recipe using those tag words as well. If you have a search bar on your website, the post will come up if I search the following; Strawberries, Spinach, Sides and Starters and whatever else the post has been tagged or categorised as.
Google Will Thank You
The same goes for Google. As you have tagged and categorised your content correctly, Google knows that you are looking for traffic for those keywords. There are many other factors at play when it comes to optimising your content for Google but good Taxonomy Management is certainly up there and the giant will reward you for your good website hygiene.
Another note worthy of mentioning here is that since Google cannot see images, it is highly important to alt-tag your images. Alt- tag means alternative tagging, and this is the term used for images only.
So that covers the Indexing side to using tags and categories. My advice to you is to tag and categorise everything. This way Google can map your content and be able to match your posts and pages to those searching on the web.
Now for the next section, ‘Site Mapping and Design’ which allows the user to manage and map the content they have on their site and to keep everything tidy and found easily. It can be a bit more tricky to do but it’s worth looking into if you fancy having more than one blog feed on your site.
2) Site Mapping and Design
This is to do with the design and layout of your site’s content. Like a wire-frame for where things go so you and the end-user can access it easily.
When you or your web developer creates your website you can ask for a blog page.. or, you can ask for two. Perhaps you want different pages for ‘Breakfast’, Lunch, Starters, etc. to show in your navigation menu.
WordPress allows you create a Category page. This means that when you add a new blog post, categorise it correctly it will go into the correct page or pages. In our example the ‘Strawberry, Spinach Salad’ will display in the page feeds of both the ‘side dishes’ and ‘starters’ becuase they are the Categories that we assigned to that post.
Quick Note: I will update this post shortly with a tutorial of how to create a Category page in WordPress.
Here is an example of a website that I designed for www.fullfullco.com. When I handed over the site back to the client I showed them this map which outlines where things will be displayed on the site according to Category usage. This meant that the client only had to create a new post and assign the category.
The map shows that there are four main areas where posts will appear once they have been published. (You can click the map to see it in larger view.)
The areas are:
- Home page Slider -To display posts categorised as ‘On the Go’ with Fullfill.
- Lifestyle Blog area – To display posts categorised as ‘Lifestyle’.
- Recipes – To display posts categorised as ‘Food and Nutrition’, ‘Recipes’ and ‘SuperFood Recipes’.
- Brands We Love – To display posts categorised as ‘Brands We Love’.
All four areas are blog feeds which will display a blog roll of posts in that category. In some cases there are two or more categories assigned to a post so there is maximum potential of getting traffic.
Click on the image to see the full Category Map.
Sometimes, after I create a website, if the user isn’t comfortable with adding new content to different areas of the site, I provide a Categories Map like the one shown here. This allows the website administrator to simply add a post and then categorise that post in accordance to where they want the post to be, without having to mess around with the design themselves.
The Advantages of Tagging and Categorising your Content in a Nutshell:
1. Google will be better able to create a site map of your website if you have strong, clean tags and categories.
2. Your site will be easy to navigate for the end user. Consider this, or imagine an encyclopedia that has no table of content or index!
3. Your content will be easier to manage from an internal perspective. Tip* Websites that have way too many categories aren’t tidy.
Do you manage your site’s content? I would love you to share your thoughts and comments. Let me know if you have a different system or new ideas.
Thanks for reading!
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