Creating Online Lexica and Online Glossaries

Online Glossaries

Corporate identity, crossmedia and workflow, resilience and synergy – the language of the modern world teems with Anglicisms, buzzwords and special terms whose meaning is not immediately clear to everyone. Online lexica and online glossary texts can provide relief where internet surfers or media users are in danger of getting lost in the jungle of foreign words and digital tech jargon.

Online lexica and glossaries simply and concisely explain a subject’s complicated terms and in this way make the issue being discussed understandable for a wider audience. Online lexica, as a separate electronic database, provide the user systematically organized, general or specialized information that is as comprehensive as possible. On the other hand, online glossary texts are attachments (so-called addendums) to a blog or website, that further define the central technical terms used in the article by providing synonyms, translations or explanatory sentences.
Today’s printed or digital glossaries consist of lists of terms and their explanations, usually arranged in alphabetical order. Their origin goes back to antiquity where it was common to use marginal notes (so-called glosses) to facilitate the reading of written works. The most well-known online lexicon, available in various language versions, is offered by the free-licensed encyclopedia Wikipedia, which is compiled by many co-authors.

Online glossaries and lexica generate more SEO Traffic and higher Conversion Rates

A substantial advantage of internet glossaries over traditional lexica is that the online version can be easily updated at any time. In addition it is possible to enrich entries on digital glossaries with multimedia content like videos or audio samples, and to connect individual lexicon articles in a quick and user-friendly manner via links to related subjects on the website. With online glossaries, operators of internet shops or websites can increasingly direct their customers’ interest towards offers, content or services. On specialized portals and e-learning platforms, in online magazines and on advice sites, more sophisticated content can be conveyed when special words or technical terms are linked to glossary entries. Moreover webmasters increase the quality of their internet sites with well-founded articles, and distinguish themselves as competent professionals.

With correct, well-formulated lexicon entries edited for keywords, website providers can generate Google ranking relevant traffic, as users come across the glossary texts directly via search engines when performing internet research. Technical information made available through online lexica, which evokes curiosity in customers and creates incentives to read further, positively affects conversion rate and the length of stay, which is technically relevant to SEO. Internally linked lexicon terms help significantly increase the website value, crucial to Google and others, and aid in placing offerings higher in search engine results.


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Software, Plugins and Wikis

To create online glossaries you can use standard commercially available software programs, which as a rule provide the entire spectrum of functions. When using these programs, texts and images can usually be comfortably adapted as glossary texts, diverse search fields can be inserted, and entries from other databases can be imported. If the operator built the online portal with one of the popular content management systems (CMS, for example WordPress), then it is advisable to create the online lexicon using special plugins, which vary in the quality and scope of included services. Among these are alphabetic sorting and automatic linking of terms, high quality language versions, descriptive URLs, etc. So-called wikis (Hawaiian for fast) offer another option. Here hypertext documents are used, which in a simpler layout function similar to a CMS, can however be installed quickly, are user-friendly and are often available as open source software. They allow the user to edit a jointly composed article via input windows right in a browser, which makes them especially suited to collaborative projects.

Unique Content Above All Else …

For an online lexicon to achieve the most favorable possible SEO rating, it would seem sensible to not just place the individual entries in a list, but instead put each on its own subpage, which gives the glossary texts greater weight. For good resonance on the website, it is important to fill the online glossary posts with unique content, like annotations on word origin, examples, etc., whereby for search engines a text length of about 200 words has proven to be particularly effective. In any case the entries should include relevant keywords and be SEO optimized, and in addition images (also to be labeled) can be inserted. In support of effective search engine rankings, webmasters should make sure they have a good internal linking structure in their online portal, including linking the glossary entries to the articles (for example self-directed via a plugin), conversely referencing texts on the website from the glossary page, and placing a link to the lexicon in the main navigation. Interesting content in the online glossary can even prompt other website providers to cite on-topic entries as links, whereby external linking, which is integral to search engines, is also improved.