Here’s why we like glossaries so much: —
- They’re useful – yes, these days people can Google any term they don’t understand, but putting a bunch of related terms together in one context (in this case, the digital ad tech context), is a service to your customers and prospects. –
- They signal selflessness – people instantly get that this is a reference for them, when they need it. Not a sales pitch. —
- They carry your world view – a simple definition sounds like a neutral thing, but in fact it can be a potent carrier of the building blocks of your story. It says, “This is how we want you to think about this thing.” —
- They can be good for SEO – if you do a really good one, and get people to link to it, you can rank not just on the glossary itself but on the terms it contains. The work doesn’t stop at publishing though — it starts there. —
- They can promote your content – acting kind of like an index piece, that links to lots of different, relevant content you’ve already got on your shelf. —
- They can (and should) be fun – glossaries don’t have to be dry. Harry kept this one light and friendly — and sprinkled in lots of winks. Like this one, under E: —
A few things to think about if you do a glossary:
- Pick the scope of your glossary carefully – it would have been hard to do a great job on a topic as big as digital marketing in general. But one on digital ad tech felt do-able. You don’t have to do a glossary that covers everything your company does. If you can pick off a smaller topic and create the best glossary on the web for it… that’s great.
- Think about how comprehensive you need to be – if you can pull off a really definitive glossary, go for it. But it can be good enough to pick, say, 50 key terms and focus on those.
- Think about whether you’ll update it – if the piece becomes popular, it makes sense to update it with new terms and new definitions for existing ones. But that’s an effort, so put enough work into the original one so that it warrants the upkeep.
- Think about whether there’s a gap for it – some areas are really, really well-covered. So pick one that isn’t over-done already. Remember, though, that having it on your site is a benefit to your visitors even if there are other good glossaries out there.
- Consider SEO hygiene – make sure the terms and definitions are on the web page itself, not sequestered in a pop-up light box. You might want to give each term its own page, too. We didn’t but it could be right for you. The Wine Enthusiast did it this way for their glossary of wine terms.
- Think about tone of voice – it’s easy to default to dictionary-speak when you do a glossary. That would be a shame. I prefer them when they’re more like friendly FAQs.