Imagine Myra, a content creator in a marketing team of a fresh produce distributor.
Strawberry season is coming up and Myra is looking to repurpose some of last year’s
content about its benefits. But “strawberry + benefits” does not find her the article she
remembers. To help her search for the right word and tag new content consistently you
should create a taxonomy for tagging content. Read how to do it below.
Remembering, Forgetting, and Findability of Content
Knowledge is information in our heads that we can make sense of. What is left after
forgetting, it is mere information. Maybe someone else remembers it, or it is written down or
saved on a drive. Lucky you, if you have a clue where to start your search!
In content creation, this clue can be a subject we vaguely remember, the author, time,
campaign, target group, or anything relevant to the content. But what if typing our clues into
the search field finds us “0 matches”?
Do we speak a different language? In fact, yes. When we search, we don’t know the exact
words the search app needs in order to find our content. We use associated keywords.
That’s throwing spaghetti against the wall!
By implementing a content tagging taxonomy, we make the same set of tags available for
the 3 parties involved:
● people searching for content
● matching algorithm
● people/applications who tag content
This will boost findability.
What Is a Content Tagging Taxonomy
When creating a taxonomy, the first outcome will be a list of standardized terms: your
content tags. These terms are connected by a structural model. This could look like a mind
map or an indented list.
For implementation, this structure needs to be transformed into a machine-readable file in
a widely recognized standardized format, for example, SKOS or RDF based.
5 Phases Towards a Content Tagging Taxonomy
Everybody feels to own language. So trying to impose a controlled vocabulary can provoke
some resistance. Involving as many stakeholders as possible will result in a taxonomy that
many people own and use effectively.
#1 Research & Scope
Interviews, Brainstorming, Card Sorting with users:
● findability pain points
● ideal search tool
● keyword grouping
Analyze existing vocabulary or taxonomies:
➔ taxonomies relevant to content creation (e.g., content types)
➔ product taxonomy with subject areas
➔ marketing or content strategies contain vocabulary about target audiences, personas,
➢ Find a representative sample and determine content types, subject areas, etc.
#2 Build and Test the Taxonomy
That was some hard work! Now you need to structure the tags you collected. In content
creation, you have two different fields of vocabulary terms related to:
- the content
- the creation of content
Model these different controlled vocabularies into different taxonomies.
Myra’s organization sells fresh produce, like fruits and vegetables. Her marketing content
should rotate through seasonal produce. These subjects fit into a hierarchical taxonomy.
Myra’s content creation tags, however, can better be structured in another taxonomy.
You cannot combine the two models into one taxonomy, but the search application will bring
So, before implementing the new vocabulary, test its usability with the prospective users.
#3 Find Taxonomy Management Tools
Findability starts with your taxonomy, but there is more to searching and tagging. Do you
need AI-enhanced search and auto-tagging? Multiple languages? Integrations? Taxonomy
management tools like PoolParty serve all kinds of requirements. VocBench is a free
The implementation should:
● enforce the use of the taxonomy when tagging new content
● enable users to search for content by using relevant search terms
● provide a feedback feature
#5 Testing and Maintenance
Findability can be measured by:
● number of search refinements,
● search depth after search,
● bounce rate and more.
A usability study measuring completion rate is another option to test your system.
Now, the taxonomy needs an owner to maintain it and protect it from getting outdated or
ineffective. A taxonomy management tool is the best place to do that.
Great, your newly created content won’t get lost anymore!
Final Thoughts on the Content Tagging Taxonomy
There is a lot to take into consideration to improve the findability of your content using a
tagging taxonomy. Hiring a professional taxonomist is a good starting point to categorize
your information in a consistent and accessible fashion.
Do you like the idea of helping content creators like Myra to find their content? The TCLoc
Master offers a great opportunity for you to bridge the gap between multilingual content and
knowledge management to enter the digital communication industry. Apply now!