If you’re a lifestyle publisher looking to manage your content more efficiently, increase reader engagement and improve SEO, then you need to read this guide. Seriously, read it all and then bookmark it.
Are you a lifestyle Category hoarder? If your WordPress backend counts 79 categories, with 1 to 3 posts under most of them -although only Fashion, Beauty and Travel are part of your menu- then the answer is “yes, I confess: I’m a lifestyle publisher and category hoarder”.
As a blogger you are probably caught up in making important decisions for your site – like choosing the right theme for your blog, solidifying your voice and authority or setting up an editorial calendar. But there is one more thing you should be doing right to enhance your readers’ experience on your blog: taxonomies.
Taxonomies are a great way to group similar content all together, and if used in the right way they can significantly boost the usability of your website! Today, we are showing you how to make the most of WordPress taxonomies.
USE DEFAULT TAXONOMIES CORRECTLY
The most common WordPress taxonomies are Categories and Tags, and both are a great way to help your readers quickly find content on specific topics. While Categories are more predefined (by you of course!) and broad ranging, Tags can be typed in on the spot as you draft your post, and as such are a lot more flexible.
Categories are hierarchical. I.e. you can have Fashion and Beauty as your main categories – and Fashion Week, Casual, Evening / Makeup, Hair as subcategories, respectively.
Tags, on the other hand, are non-hierarchical and are more free-form. You can type key pieces like off the shoulder or bell sleeves as tags; even FW16 or Summer ‘16 if you want to organise your looks by seasons!
CREATE CUSTOM TAXONOMIES
- Creating custom taxonomies is another smart way to group posts more specifically and make it easier for your audience to quickly find what they are interested in – organizing your content more organically.
How and when should you decide to create a custom taxonomy? When you want to index your most popular content further, either by repetition of a theme or by audience interest.
Recurrent topics: Think of Custom Taxonomies as a way to help you organize recurring topics and common factors across your content independently from Categories. For example, if your affiliate links often refer to your favourite shopping destinations, creating a hierarchical Custom Taxonomy called Retailer will allow you to classify your posts by Nordstrom, Shopbop, Net-a-Porter, Revolve and more.
- Audience needs: You can use your Google Analytics data to spot which individual posts are more successful and find their shared features, or explore your Search Terms metrics to find out which content a niche of your audience is after. If you’ve looked at your data with an analytic eye and realised, for instance, that people are not just searching for brands but also that posts with brand names in the title perform best – voilå, there you have it! Create a Brand Custom Taxonomy to ensure your audience can easily reach all your content featuring Self-Portrait, SK-II, Old Navy and the rest of your favourites.
Now that you’ve defined all your taxonomies -custom or not- let’s put them into good use!
ORGANIZE YOUR CONTENT
When creating and choosing taxonomies, you need to think very carefully about the topics you cover and how your readers would approach it. After you draft, for instance, your post ‘Summer Brunch Outfit Ideas’ showing your outfit and shenanigans for the day, you need to decide how to best label it before hitting publish! A great way of doing it making the most out of all your WordPress taxonomies could be:
- Category: Fashion / Subcategory: Casual. If Fashion is a visible tab in your menu, plenty of readers will be regularly checking this category and come across this content! #winning
- Tags: remember you can get a bit more creative with tags since they offer more freedom, and you can highlight important aspects of the content. For instance, you could add lace dress, sandals and summer as tags. These will set this specific post apart from any former (and future) posts under your Casual Fashion subcategory.
- Custom Taxonomy 1 [e.g. Brand]: this is your chance to organize all the brands featured in your outfit organically! For Love & Demons, Rag & Bone… you name it!
- Custom Taxonomy 2 [e.g. Retailer]: was your total look from Revolve? Are you linking to your worn sandals, which you recently found at Matches.com? Let your readers find this information!
FIND (I.E. MAKE!) YOUR OWN TAXONOMY SYSTEM
Through this post we’ve shared with you one example on how to make the most of WordPress taxonomies, but the possibilities are endless! Every publisher has an individual style of conceiving and organizing their content.
One great feature about taxonomies is that they can cross-over between each other, allowing you to classify the same content through different criteria. Applying different taxonomies to your posts simultaneously gives them a lot more depth, as it turns your content into multi-dimensional pieces. Forget about one-criteria content management! Your posts are much more than just Fashion, Travel or Beauty posts – and different taxonomies allow you to show this!
KEEP YOUR MAIN MENU INTUITIVE
Taxonomies can be a fun tool and most importantly, they can truly enhance your readers’ experience by giving a more browsable structure to your blog. They can give a better, more user-friendly structure to your main menu – or they can allow you to create internal links between your content without interfering with your main categorisation and site’s design and layout. How?
It’s important to meet your readers expectations by posting consistently across categories if they’re displayed in your menu. If they are, you are inviting your readers to click, they will want to see fresh content!
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to ‘commit’ to creating regular content for all your Categories, you can keep some of these within your backend without putting them on the spotlight through the menu.
Here is where using other taxonomies (like Tags or Custom Taxonomies) will still help you make this content reachable for your readers, if after landing they want more related content on a particular feature. There’s no harm in keeping your backend organized in one way and the Menu, as it appears on the site, in another way!
A more organized and more intuitive blog means that it’s easier for your audience to find what they are looking for, which ultimately helps you better interact with your readers!
Back to you! How do you use taxonomies to enhance your blog’s performance and what types of taxonomies do you use? Category hoarders welcome!