When you optimize a site for the HTML Web and for the Semantic Web, you’re performing two different tasks that can complement each other, and both of them can be very helpful. But not if you forget whom you’re doing it for.
I had an opportunity to watch a Webinar a couple of weeks ago, and it was about using some software that looked at your messages on your pages and the words that you were using on landing pages and your advertisements, and suggesting semantically related terms to include in those landing pages and in your advertisements.
During the Webinar, we had the chance to ask questions, and I had noticed that the word “audience” hadn’t been mentioned once.
I asked about audiences.
In my opinion, not addressing audiences in any way was a serious oversight.
I don’t believe that you could write an landing page, and advertisement, or even consider offering people something without spending some serious time thinking about who you are offering your products or services to. Or at least do a decent job of creating such an offer. Having some software that can tell you a number of topically related terms to the words in your content might help make it easier for a search engine to find and understand your pages.
But a search engine doesn’t “like” something, and probably won’t share it with others on social networks.
A Search Engine won’t become an “evangelist” for your products or services, and talk about it with others or send their friends to see it.
It’s unlikely that a search engine will laugh at any jokes that the semantic software might insert on the page (OK, it probably won’t have any jokes).
Semantic Software may do a great job of describing words and phrases that should ideally be on a page written for a specific industry, and could potentially cause more people to visit a page or a site because it’s using the right words to help people get to that page.
But is it answering the right questions?
Is it persuading people that you are the one that they want to do business with?
Without any thought to your audience and the problems that they might need to solve, or the aspirations that they would like to climb to, it’s not likely.
I really think that addressing both HTML-based search focusing upon content found specifically upon web pages, and upon Semantic-based focusing upon collecting and sharing information about data that might be found on web pages is a smart approach.
But without creating information on web pages knowing about the audience they are intended for is a mistake.