For most creative souls, organization isn’t always their strongest side. And when you are frequently jet-setting around the world, it’s already hard not to forget to pack all your essentials, let alone focus on your blog taxonomy and structure.
But ignoring your taxonomy altogether can have a negative impact on your SEO, shrinking your organic reach. We know you want more people to read your travel stories—so let’s fix this issue today, shall we? Here’s a quick refresher of the essential taxonomies and organization best practices for travel publishers.
What is a Taxonomy, Anyways?
Taxonomy is the pro-term describing the process of organizing information—anywhere, not just on the web.
In the blogging realm, this process assumes creating a structural framework for all the content you have on your blog using WordPress taxonomies such as:
- Categories: using various post categories to create a top-line, thematic grouping of posts topics. Typically, categories are hierarchical—one main topic + subtopics.
- Tags are additional cues for describing your posts. They tell readers what your post is all about and allow them to discover similar entries.
Having a neat, well-maintained taxonomy on your blog gives you several benefits:
- Better visibility in search results (a quick SEO boost)
- Improved user experience that translates to lower bounce rates and higher time on page.
How to Create an Effective Taxonomy For Your Travel Blog
Step 1: Brainstorm Your Main Themes.
The process of creating taxonomy is in some way similar to closet organization. Every item you own needs a dedicated place based on certain criteria (e.g. outwear goes on hangers, summer wear goes to drawers in winter, shoes are stored at the bottom shelves etc). On your travel blog, the same principle should apply.
Open several recent posts you’ve written and quickly review them. Do they share similar attributes e.g. travel tips, photo essays, personal entries? Jot down all those themes that come to your mind. Don’t get hung up on this for too long at the moment—you’ll come up with better names later on!
Once you have gone through the majority of your posts take a closer look at your list. Do you see repeating major themes? Can you pin down several specific categories? Ideally, you should strive to come up with 4-6 “drawers” for your content.
Step 2: Brainstorm The Org Structure.
Your category structure will largely depend on how complex and in-depth your content is. Sometimes a simple, one-category structure will do to file most of your travel pieces if you have just started recently.
However, if you have been blogging (and traveling!) for a while now, it’s better to opt for a Parent Category to Child Category (top level to sub level). For example, you can group your posts based on:
- Country > Travel Tips, Photo Essays, Destination Guide
- Trip Type > Solo Trip, Luxury Travel, Group Travel etc.
To come up with ideal org structure get 50% of inspiration from other travel publishers and 50% from travel websites and industry publishers. Because your readers will not browse for travel recommendations like they browse for diary-entry-like content.
Step 3: Create a Rule-Based System.
Having a clear set of guidelines at hand will help you get more consistent with tagging and categorizing your content. Ideally, every post should have 1 category (main + sub still count as one!) and 1-3 highly descriptive tags. Adding more tasks will overload your post and mess up your navigation!
For more tips on managing tags and categories, check this previous post.
Step 4: Document Your System.
Finally, once you’ve ironed out all the details, document your new taxonomy by creating a quick template in Excel or in Google Drive. Your document should include:
- A quick outline of all categories/tags
- The basic instructions for using it (beneficial if you outsource WordPress admin work to an assistant).
Once you are done, start applying your shining new system to your editorial calendar on a regular basis by updating each post with appropriate taxonomy terms. This way you’ll always stay on top of your organization and consistently create different content types for every category on your blog!