Some of the content on your website truly represents the essence of your business and is designed to deliver your message to a broader audience. These authoritative pieces of content provide the best and most detailed description of a topic you care about.
In WordLift, we call these articles entities. They are the quintessential, self-contained representation of the interests of your target audience. Entities provide a clear context to the reader and help you connect one article to another in a network of meanings.
WordLifting a website is about building this semantic network between entities and articles in such a way that both humans and machines can get the best out of your writings. With WordLift 3.15, we have worked side-by-side with a highly opinionated group of experts to let you finally turn any of your existing content into entities with the simplicity of a click.
Websites are micro-ecosystems within a broader one
In a way or another, all content pieces in a website are interconnected. Also, they are accessible from multiple entry points: users come from organic search, advertising campaigns, social media, referrals, chatbots or even QR codes that you placed somewhere in the physical world.
In a corporate environment, content becomes an extension of the organization. In a personal blog content is the extension of the author’s identity.
In other words, a web page is not just a web page: it is deeply interconnected with other pages inside and outside the website and within a broader ecosystem of shared meanings.
In the era of ecosystems, seeing the big picture is more important than ever, and less likely. It’s not simply that we’re forced into little boxes by organizational silos and professional specialization. We like it in there. We feel safe. But we’re not. This is no time to stick to your knitting. We must go from boxes to arrows. Tomorrow belongs to those who connect.
Peter Morville, Intertwingled
If you organize your website and limit your thinking within the borders of your pages, there will always be an external factor that will introduce a degree of entropy. Much like the virus that decimated dozens of wolves in the ecosystem of the Isle Royale National Park, in Michigan, described by Peter Morville in the first chapter of his book, Intertwingled. If you don’t identify your pillars, anything new will comprimise the overall structure.
Instead, try to look at the big picture and find the pillars of your website and the meaningful connections that constitute its soul. And, of course, as your website grows, you will have to keep on building new pillars that are consistent with your editorial plan.
Much like trying to imagine your website as a castle with aisles that connect rooms and other aisles: small rooms, huge ones… just like your site with cornerstones , articles and other features.
The connections between pillar content and all the other articles and pages that you will write are the vectors that reshape the user experience of your readers.
Look at your content and let WordLift do the rest
You have to think twice and carefully choose the pieces of content that you consider strategic for your website. These articles shall become entities and they will form your starting vocabulary (in WordLift all entities are grouped into a vocabulary of terms).
Look at your content. I can easily guess that many articles are strictly related to the time when they have been published. Dig deeper. You will probably find some texts that have been written to explain a concept or to introduce the name – of a person, an organization, a place or an event that has a pivotal role in your editorial plan.
The purpose of an article is to tell a new story or to express a point of view, an opinion. By contrast, when you write a piece of content to explain something to your readers using fact-based and evergreen information – much like an article in Wikipedia – then your content should become an entity in WordLift.
Now, look at your content assets and answer these three questions:
- are they meant to describe relevant and recurrent concepts in your website?
- can they be used to provide context around your articles? Can readers use them to better understand your texts?
- are they necessary to better understand the connections between other concepts in your vocabulary?
If you can answer yes to at least one of these questions, then it’s a good idea to turn these existing articles or pages into entities. They will become new means to connect your other articles through internal links and semantic recommendations.
If you want to learn more about building your first vocabulary, don’t miss this article that suggests the 8 golden rules to create a vocabulary with WordLift.
A release developed with? and… with the help of our users
WordLift 3.15 brings a major change in the way users have experienced our plugin from the very beginning of their journey. To be honest we wouldn’t have got to this point by ourselves, it would have been way too complicated: we are here thanks to the precious help and dedication of a selected pool of experts that pushed us to the limits and helped us build this new release.
In the last months, WordLift has been chosen to organize content of large editorial websites with hundreds of thousands of pages and a considerable amount of traffic (5M+ visits per month). These websites already had enough content to define, describe and contextualize their core knowledge base. Whether it were articles or pages, it didn’t make sense to create new pages to start up the vocabulary that WordLift needs to structure the content. It was so much better for these users to transform existing content into entities.
It was right in the middle of the summer when we decided to fly both Mark and David to Rome and we engaged with a selected group of highly opinionated digital marketing pros for a 2-day hackathon to explore how to organize vast websites with WordLift’s entity based content model.
We collected the suggestions coming from experienced SEO consultants such as Mark Bryce Sharron and Roberto Serra, and we had the opportunity to talk about WordLift cold start problem with the well-known Italian growth hacker and blogger Raffaele Gaito who gave us the most simple and precious advice:
«Get out of your technical minds and embrace your users’ point of view.»
In other words: simplify the life of your clients.
We worked on WordLift 3.15 keeping his words in mind. As soon as the first prototype was ready we asked our long-time customer and friend Rainer Edlinger to test it on his blog Whisky Circle. For many years, Rainer has been writing premium content about world-famous spots in the Whisky sector and was passionately interested in turning these articles into entities. Thanks to Rainer we optimized the new search box that helps you linking your entities with equivalent entities in the linked data cloud.
So, here we are: WordLift 3.15 is ready and…
you can take it for a test drive ? TRY IT FOR FREE. Here is how it works ?
Build your Vocabulary with the Content you already have
Turning existing articles and pages into entities is super-easy. Just go to ‘Edit‘ from any article or page on your website and change ‘Article’ to the expected ‘Entity type‘.
When you turn a piece of content into an entity, don’t forget to curate it by adding the metadata WordLift needs to describe the entity to machines.
One metadata that really pushes your entity rating up is the sameAs property that allows to you connect your entity with other equivalent entities in the web of data.
Connect your entities with Linked Open Data using the sameAs
When WordLift runs the analysis on your articles, it uses natural language processing to detect the relevant concepts and to connect them automatically with existing resources in the Linked Open Data cloud using the sameAs property.
When you create a new entity from scratch or when you convert a blog post into an entity, you need to manually add the sameAs property and this can be time-consuming. With WordLift 3.15 you can run a simple search that traverses different datasets to find the sameAs links that you need for your entity.
In the metadata fields look for the sameAs field, start typing a keyword and match the corresponding entities. If you can’t find anything, try to use a different keyword or a shorter one. See the gif below, it’s easier than it seems. ?
Do it and you will truly benefit from the wealth of the Linked Open Data on the web. How?
- Your content is enriched with additional information and relations coming from the LOD
- Your content becomes unambiguously identified
- Last but not least, WordLift’s AI-powered content analysis will work better each time that entity occurs on your articles and pages.
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