Content MarketingSearch Marketing

Lexical Onomies: Synonymy, Antonymy, Hyponymy, Meronymy, Holonymy

As Highbridge researches the content authority strategies we develop for our clients, there’s a methodology associated with the topics we’re producing, gaps we’re identifying, and priorities we’re creating. First some definitions:

What is a Taxonomy?

Taxonomy – the two-dimensional hierarchical classification model of the architecture of the site.

Within your website and content strategies, this is typically the categories – known as the collection – of like topics. On Martech Zone, we have categories like analytics, email marketing, search marketing, social marketing, mobile marketing and more. We developed that taxonomy to be both intuitive to our readers as well as to organize our content appropriately so that search engines could analyze our site hierarchically, recognizing what the key topics are of our site.

What is an Ontology?

Ontology – the mapping of topics for human intent where disparate data are represented in a meaningful, contextual relationship.

Within your website and content strategies, this is typically how you tag your posts and articles. All of the categories, for example, may have millennial marketing associated with the strategies. So we ensure that we properly tag the articles so that a person may easily search and find the articles they’re looking for across the hierarchy of topics.

Having an efficient and organized ontology to properly and concisely tag each article will organize your content much more effectively for your readers. Don’t underestimate its impact! It also helps with internal searches and related articles on your site as well… keeping customers engaged longer and helping drive them closer to a conversion.

What are Lexical Onomies?

Lexical is defined as of or relating to the words or vocabulary of a language. Onomies are the rules or laws associated with a term. Every topic that you’re thinking about writing will have related terms that are utilized by visitors and search engine users. These are known as lexical onomies.

What are the 5 Lexical Onomies

  • Synonymy – similar terms used for the same topic. An example on this site might be the term “infographic”. People also call them “Infographs”, “Info graphics” and “Informational Graphics”. Search engines are typically intelligent about synonymous terms, but not always. Look up synonymous terms and utilize search volume data to decide what’s most popular.
  • Antonymy – opposing or differing terms associated with the topic. While we may have articles for the best practices of email marketing, we may also have articles on the worst practices of email marketing. It’s important that we write about both because visitors and search engine users are looking for both.
  • Hyponymy – specialty terms associated with the topic. Within analytics there are a ton of terms like conversion tracking, campaign management, segmentation, filters, etc. It’s critical that we explore each of our topics and write about each of those specialty terms.
  • Meronymy – the members of the whole topic. A web page is composed of HTML, CSS, scripts, embeds and images. Each of those is a member or part of a web page so when we write about web design or development, we need to be cognizant of every member so that our content completely covers the topic.
  • Holonymy – the whole of a topic that has terms has under it. A hashtag, shortened URL, twitter user, and message are all parts of a Tweet. We can speak about each independently, but it’s important that we discuss the whole as well as the parts.

Thought you were done, right? Not even close. Now that the taxonomy and ontology are defined, it’s critical that you break down every collection and topic and look for associated subjects to write about for it. An easy way to do this is simply to ask the questions – who, what, where, when, why and how.

As it relates to content marketing and our blog, on a given topic I might break it down to many questions or topics. Let’s use an example like mobile marketing and pretend I’m a company that does text messaging.

  • Who are my mobile marketing competitors? Who are the mobile marketing experts I might seek out to interview?
  • What are terms associated with mobile marketing? What are the mobile marketing platforms that can help me? What kind of return on marketing investment can I get with mobile marketing?
  • Where can I go to read more about mobile marketing? Where are statistics, infographics, whitepapers, demonstrations, and videos I can curate and share about mobile marketing?
  • When are the mobile marketing events, conferences, or webinars that I can attend, speak at, or sponsor? When are there certain trends associated with mobile marketing?
  • Why is mobile marketing critical to marketers? Why are marketers failing at mobile marketing?
  • How do I develop a best practice strategy around mobile marketing? How are mobile marketers succeeding? How much are mobile marketing tools?

There are hundreds of other questions but you can get develop a complete content matrix that covers any topic if you work through the taxonomy, ontology, and lexical onomies associated with your products and services.

Next up is to do an audit of your content, identify the gaps, find the competing content that’s performing for competitors, prioritize your content and schedule your content calendar!

Seek to either improve the content that you’ve already written on specific topics to be more complete – or look to write content that exceeds your competitor’s content that’s currently winning search results. That may require taking additional steps like producing videos, infographics, whitepapers, case studies and even podcasts about the topic.

Want a quick start to your analysis? Check out Answer the Public

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and a recognized expert on digital transformation. Douglas has helped start several successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to launch his own platforms and services. He's a co-founder of Highbridge, a digital transformation consulting firm. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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