If you want to win in the content game today, you must have a clear taxonomy. A taxonomy serves to supercharge your content—helping you connect customers with the right content, deliver content across digital channels seamlessly, and analyze content performance on an ongoing basis.
In this article, we’ll walk through the essentials of taxonomy.
Taxonomy can be a confusing concept. Let’s break it down. Here’s how Dictionary.com defines taxonomy:
When it comes to content, this is how we define taxonomy: A system for organizing content in a complex ecosystem. The system often involves:
To clear up some of the confusion around taxonomy, here is what it is NOT:
Today, customers aren’t just looking for any content. Customers now expect the right content at the right time regardless of channel—for the entire customer relationship. And when this doesn’t happen, there are consequences. We found that content is 53% less effective for people who experienced difficulty in finding it. A bad experience getting to the right content also distorts other customer perceptions, including their views of the content accuracy, relevance, and usefulness.
Taxonomy acts as connective tissue, which can make content easier to…
Taxonomy makes content more effective for every business function:
|If you’re trying to do this...||Taxonomy helps by doing this ...
|Improve product experience to increase adoption or reduce churn||Enabling reuse and personalization of product / support content|
|Increase engagement with thought leadership, entertainment, or buying research||Enabling improved content findability and suggestions of related content|
|Increase sales||Enabling improved product / service content findability and suggestions of related products / services / features|
|Make content operations more efficient / easier to scale||Enabling automated reuse of content|
When tackling taxonomy, there are four essential steps to follow.
Think about: What are the objectives + priority uses for your taxonomy? Examples include:
Once you’re aligned, it is time to begin drafting your taxonomy. To do so, you will need:
Common taxonomy types include:
When you know what type of taxonomy you need, you can start to define attributes that connect content in ways that build amazing experiences.
You should always test out your draft taxonomy approach. You can test or pilot the most common use cases and/or the most complicated to implement. Also, consider whether to test:
To make your taxonomy a reality you have to commit to implementing it with the right technology, roles, and processes. You can consider drafting a roadmap for implementing your taxonomy. You need to think through:
You will want to make consistency easy + inconsistency hard. Consider:
Last Updated: June 10, 2021
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