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Creating Better SharePoint Taxonomy to Enhance Business Value

By CIOReview | Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Today, enterprises leverage SharePoint tools for a wide range of purposes, from creating secured intranets, to well-planned customer portals, to streamlined document management and team collaboration. Besides, applying taxonomy for SharePoint tools proves to be beneficial in managing metadata and enhancing search capability while deploying SharePoint tools. Taxonomy also helps in organizing content, which is the backbone for better customer experience that adds value to the business and leaves a better impact on customers. However, to create Microsoft SharePoint Standard, firms need to build a robust SharePoint foundation via innovative designs, developments, information architectures and enterprise taxonomy.

What is SharePoint Taxonomy

SharePoint taxonomy is all about capturing complete details of taxonomic schema that streamlines the associated objects in proper hierarchical structure during SharePoint implementation. The term taxonomy is generally referred as information architecture of the website that is mostly transparent and assists SharePoint users to locate information. In addition to this, SharePoint taxonomy maintains consistency across a SharePoint deployment and embraces complete enterprise metadata management by setting up unique categories and naming standards. On the whole, by offering foolproof content management strategy, SharePoint taxonomy enables enterprise users and employees to easily track down the information they need in order to solve business problems.

Better Taxonomy Ensures Integrity of Content

Utilizing well-planned taxonomy with the contents can transform and improve communication between enterprise and customers. By offering hierarchical organization of the contents, taxonomy offers better content discovery, eliminating the time wasted on re-creating content that already existed. However, many firms face difficulties while managing the contents due to the issues with taxonomy such as incompatible taxonomies across different business units, taxonomy with poor content organization, complex taxonomies and more.

These challenges occur mainly because of the content or information present in the web. Content editors often fail to enter keywords that make it difficult to search the information on browsers. In addition, writers using their own vocabulary without clear taxonomy could lead to overlapping of content. This poses a challenge for website and other channels, since there is no easy way to classify content outside information architecture.

Microsoft Office SharePoint offers a comprehensive platform for document management on intranet solutions, i.e. developing a detailed structure of integration and data management that ensures integrity of contents.

Below are some of the best considerations that will assist in building better SharePoint Taxonomy.

Focus on Targeted Audience

Taxonomy created by an enterprise must help in converting general browsers into clients by providing appropriate information that they are looking for. Failing to identify appropriate audience makes it difficult to establish a taxonomy that meets everyone’s specific needs. Therefore, it is wise to have a proper communication with the customers, perform usability testing, examine the terms used for search logs and keyword tools. On top of that, performing a competitive analysis would allow enterprises to assess their position against local and international competitors.

Better communication with Customers

Enterprise should comprehend the perspective of the customer on their products and services and allow them to drive the language and complexity of the taxonomy structure. It’s important to ensure the language used to communicate delivers value to the business.

Simplify taxonomy

Taxonomy is not about the product and services, it’s about the users. Therefore, it must be created broad and shallow, not narrow and deep. Moreover, it will be useful if enterprises simplify taxonomy by enhancing search capability by using latest search features, like Refinement Panel and more.

Streamline the information

Taxonomy that is created by enterprises should focus on information that is needed to drive functionality and ensure better search capability, webpage navigation, customization and other customer experiences. This encourages enterprises to deploy tailored SharePoint solutions for the business.

Robust Foundation

Create a robust SharePoint base that offer workspaces with adequate storage and retrieval features, including login and log out functionality, customizable metadata, and views. Besides, adding more features like improved recycle bin functionality for simplified content recovery and enhanced backup and restoration would be of great use.

Step by Step Deployment

To build a flexible SharePoint solution with respect to future changes, consider deploying taxonomy in phases and creating a common framework for content management and integration from which flexible and scalable web applications and Internet sites, can be accessed easily. Deploy elements of the taxonomy when reliable information is available to support the solution.

Making Taxonomy Work Successfully

The Brightside of the taxonomy constitutes enhanced content discovery, better customer service, improved search ability and reduced content management. Apply these best practices outlined above to the enterprise taxonomy and content strategy for the best results.


SharePoint taxonomy sets up the basis for the design and enhances the information architecture of the SharePoint deployment. If the sites are well constructed, then SharePoint taxonomy becomes the powerful tool to embrace data and documents in an organization. By deploying a standard and consistent taxonomy, enterprises can build enduring SharePoint site architecture that will serve users well for a long time. However, developing a firm foundation with information architecture is like designing an adaptable and flexible solution that meets current and future business needs. Without creating a robust foundation, achieving enhanced search ability and better customer service is infeasible. Therefore, enterprise must design a strong base around core business functions to increase the chances of achieving success and persistent growth.