Semantics and the Fuss about Tags, Hashtags, Data and Metadata

by | Mar 31, 2018 | Intelligent Content

The web is increasingly becoming semantically aware. Intelligent Content is fast becoming the new standard. But what does “semantically aware” mean?

Semantics is what words or phrases mean when used in context. Semantic tagging is using metadata to give your content meaning that a system can understand in order to facilitate automation. Semantically aware means that your content is tagged or labeled in such a way that technology is able to understand it and maximise its use for your purposes – be it automating content generation, search engine optimisation, or content personalisation.

With structurally rich content in place, you have achieved making your content modular, thus it is reusable. You can put together different modules to generate new content. Tagging it with metadata allows the system to identify and search for it, therefore making it discoverable and enabling the automation process.

All this talk about metadata… but what exactly is it? Simply speaking, it’s data (tags or keywords) that give information about other data (your content as a whole). In Everyday Examples of Intelligent Content, we’ve discussed how much exposure we have to these metadata on a daily basis. This further reinforces the idea that the web, where everything is connected, is increasingly becoming semantically aware.

Benefits of Semantically Aware Content

1. Search Engine Optimisation

Search engines are now smart enough to understand the context of searches in the form of phrases or questions. The results are partly based on the metadata tags that we use on the Structurally Rich content we’ve created. These same tags can be then used as SEO keywords and as headers in the published content. For example, it’s late and you’re craving pizza but not sure which pizza parlour is still open at that late hour.A search for “pizza delivery near me” will give results of pizza parlours in your vicinity based on the metadata tags of (1) type of establishment, (2) cuisine, and (3) location.A more detailed search of “24-hour pizza delivery near me” will give results based on metadata tags pertaining to the (1) business hours, (2) type of establishment, (3) cuisine, (4) location. Other results with one or two of the required tags missing would appear lower on the list.

2. Automatically Discoverable and Reusable Content

If your content is tagged with metadata, it becomes searchable, making it discoverable, by both a person searching for that specific information or the machine that needs it to fulfill a purpose.It also becomes reusable, letting you automatically generate different forms of outputs, therefore maximising the lifespan of your content.In Intelligent Content: Structure vs. Freedom and the Surprising Outcome, we gave an example of how e-commerce sites can take advantage of these attributes to push a sale. A rich structure, coupled with Semantic Awareness can work wonders for a remarketing strategy and more.For example, a search for a specific product prompts the system to take note of the tags of that product in order to present options of other items with the same tags. It has let the customer discover similar products and the system has automatically reused content from your library to present the customer with options.If at that instance, the sale did not push through, using the same tags from the initial search, the system could also automatically generate a digital ad to specifically target the customer around cyberspace as a constant reminder of his/her interest in the product.Further down the timeline, a special occasion comes along, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas, the customer could also get an email of gift suggestions that include that particular product that he/she searched for in the first place.

3. Automation of Content Generation

In order to reach a wider range of audience, content is published on different platforms and various outputs. Rather than individually handcrafting these, you can automatically generate new content based on the tags in the source content.As was shown in the above example of the e-commerce site, the suggestion of similar products, the digital ad, and the e-mailer can all be automatically generated.This possibility can extend to social media posts. One platform may be more suited to using video material to engage the audience, another may be more suited to beautiful photos, and another gets more engagements by highlighting interesting features of that particular product. By creating a source material with these modules, content can automatically be generated and published based on the parameters of your Content Strategy.

4. Creating Dynamic and Personalised Content

Let’s delve further into social media. By tagging your content with metadata like location, people, and hashtags, your posts are more likely to appear to people with similar interests are based on your tags. The platform creates a dynamic, personalised content for your audience which helps you target the right people as potential customers.

5. Streamlines Localisation Efforts

Localised material often involves translations. With the use of Structurally Rich and Semantically Aware content, the translation can be done once at the source and reused throughout all the outputs to be generated.It is also easier to generate new content, based on your source, specifically for that locale without having to manually create and translate new content from scratch.

Making your content Semantically Aware facilitates automation and removes the necessity of having to handcraft each and every piece of content needed, saving your company time and resources.

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