Website Glossary of Terms

SEO & Website Glossary of terms

The arcane world of the web is one of the easiest to be bamboozled for the unsuspecting small business owner. The stakes are high, there’s no official university courses in SEO and technology changes every 6-months so it really is buyer beware.

Unfortunately, its hard to know what you’re buying most of the time. So we’ve created a frequently asked questions to help explain some of the more difficult buzz words used in the world of the web.

Website Glossary of Terms

An ad serving platform run by Google. You can use Adsense to create an income stream through ad placement on your site

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Domain authority is a nominal measure of the power of a website out of 100 and is one of many search engine ranking factors. Domain authority is based on three factors: Age, Popularity, and Size. A new website will have a domain authority of 1, whilst huge websites such as The GAge newspaper have a Domain Authority of 91. Most small businesses generally have a ranking between 12- 25. Once an SEO campaign has been running for 3 months or so the domain authority should increase to 25+. If a small business website has a domain authority over 35+ they are a well regarded website with a solid online profile.

As of August 2015 Google now treats people searching on a mobile phone different from visitors searching on a desktop computer. Often mobile search rankings are similar if a website is mobile responsive. However if a website is not mobile responsive rankings for Google mobile search will be significantly worse than the standard desktop search rankings.

How many pages did each visitor go to when they visited your website. This is on a per session basis reset every 30 minutes if that user is idle on your site.

A session represents the number of individual visits all users have made to your website. Each session is reset every 30 minutes. Therefore a visitor viewing your website at 9am and then revisiting it at 3pm is counted as having 2 sessions.

The number of different pages a visitor goes to when viewing your website. If a visitor goes from your homepage to your pricing page then your contact page this is registered as 3 page views.

XML Sitemap – A list created in standard XML format of the pages you want search engines to find.

White hat SEO – increasing your site’s popularity and ranking through the use of ethical SEO practices.

Webmaster Tools – you can get additional information about your website status with tools such as Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools.

Usability – the more user-friendly a web page is; the more likely it is to attract visitors and increase conversion rates.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) – a web page address.

Target Audience – the demographic or group of people who would be interested in your product or service.

Article Spinning – taking an original or seed piece of content and ‘spinning’ through the use of alternative words and sentences to produce new articles. This practice is not advisable.

Site Audit – performing a review and analysis of site data to ensure smoother user experience and check for problems such as broken links.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – optimising your site to gain a higher ranking in organic search engine results.

Rich Snippet – tags that are used to mark up specific data that Google uses to display in search results, such as a reviews and ratings and addresses and phone numbers.

Return On Investment (ROI) – percentage of profit made above your initial investment. If you invested $100 and earned $150, you would have a 50% return on your investment.

Popup – an obtrusive advertisement, banner or web page that automatically triggers on top of the current web browser.

Popunder – an unobtrusive advertisement, banner or web page that automatically triggers underneath the current web browser.

Penguin – Google Penguin update and penalty was introduced in April 2012 to target unnatural backlink profiles, g., purchased backlinks.

Google Penalty – a search engine penalty that may be applied either from an automated audit or manually after a site review.

Pay Per Click (PPC) – the advertiser pays an amount for every click the advertisement receives, regardless of the outcome.

Pay Per Action (PPA) – the advertiser pays when an action such as email subscriptions confirmed sales or inbound inquiries are completed.

Panda – Google Panda update and penalty was introduced in February 2011 to target low-quality sites engaging in content duplication and negative SEO.

Page Rank – this metric determines the authority ranking of a site or web page based on incoming back links. Page Rank ranges from 0 (least important) to 10 (most important).

Organic Link – a naturally created back link from another website.

Opt In – when a user joins your mailing list or news feed.

Meta Tags – a collection of tags that serve different purposes, including Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords & Meta Robots.

Meta Description – the webpage description that appears in search engine results.

In this image it is the text “With a combined age of 2,695 dog years the We Push Buttons team have been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. In the business world …

Made For Adsense (MFA) – websites purpose-built to make money through the Google Adsense program.

Link Pyramid – a backlink structure in the form of the Pyramid with your website considered the peak. For example your website may have 50 links pointing to it; each of those 50 may have 100 pointing to them, and each of those 100 may have 200 pointing to them.

Link Bait – a piece of content created to attract back links from other websites.

Keyword Stuffing – overusing a keyword or phrase increase keyword density falsely. This type of SEO is bad practice and should be discouraged.

Keyword Density – this refers to the number of times (percentage) a keyword occurs within the text on a page. If you have 100 words and 5 are your keyword – your keyword density is 5%.

Keyword – an important word or search term that you use to optimise and rank your website. 

Inbound Link – a backlink that points users to your website from another site.

Hits – every time a user visits your site, a hit is recorded.

Google Bot – search/ crawler software that indexes the web.

Sales Funnel – usually involves multiple calls to action to encourage users to interact with a site and buy products or services. A predefined funnel will have multiple calls to action, eg., navigate to internal pages > join newsletters > take a quiz > buy products, etc.

Digital Footprint – every web user leaves data behind, and this data or ‘footprint’ can be either active or passive. Passive footprints are collected without the user’s knowledge – tracking a user’s IP address and web movements is the most common form. Active footprints are the result of actively sharing personal data on websites or social media.

If two or more of your web pages feature duplicate or very similar content, this is classified as duplicate content and will earn your site a Google Panda penalty.

A link created by you to an internal page of your website (excluding the homepage).

A user is ‘converted’ when they take up a CTA on your site. Conversions include a range of activities such as signing up to a newsfeed or email list, buying a product or downloading ebooks.

(CTR) – measures the percentage of users who view and advertisement compared to the percentage who click on it. If your ad were seen 100 times and clicked on 80 times, you would have an 80% click-through.

Is a form of search engine optimisation that often involves unethical practices and automated tools.

Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who leave a site without visiting other pages. The lower your bounce rate percentage, the better!

When a website provides a link back to your site, or vice-versa. Only use backlinks from authoritative sites.

Domain Authority is the authority of your website is based on the analysis of data such as popularity, traffic, social media shares and so forth. A site with high volume traffic and a low bounce rate will have a high authority ranking.

The collection and analysis of data from your website, including the number of visitors, time spent on pages etc., using Google Analytics.

An affiliate is a company or service that is connected/ affiliated to you. Affiliations usually involve commission-based sales or advertising of goods and services.

A Google network that allows advertisers to place ads across Google products.

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Virtual Private Server (VPS) – a virtual server usually running Windows or Linux that can be accessed.

Usability – the more user-friendly a web page is; the more likely it is to attract visitors and increase conversion rates.

Apache web server configuration file that creates redirects, blocks spammers and increases your websites security.

RSS stands for really simple syndication and is basically a simple way to view news and blog posts. RSS feeds are used regularly in automation programs.

When previously registered domains are not renewed; they become an expired domain that can be bought and used again.

Digital books that can be accessed in a variety of formats including PDF and for ebook readers like Kindle and Kobo.

(CMS) – user-friendly systems that help you manage and publish online content including text, images and videos. WordPress, Magento, Joomla and Drupal are all examples of a Content Management System.

CTA – words or buttons designed to encourage the site user to perform a particular For example, clicking on a link, leaving a comment or making a purchase.

A link that points the user to a nonexistent page and returns a 404 error. All links on your site should be regularly checked to avoid broken links.

CMS stands for Content Management Systems which basically allows businesses to take control of their website with only a few hours training. If you are looking at designing a new website make sure your web designer uses a CMS that is well regarded, has a large user base and is Open Source so you can change web designers if things don’t work out.

WordPress is by far and away the best CMS for small business, artists and freelancers and is now running 24% of all websites on the internet.

If your needs are more advanced and you need a complex website running to 10,000+ pages then Drupal is our CMS of choice.

If you are looking for E-Commerce solutions then do your homework as there are choices galore. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like a 2nd opinion.

JQuery is a library of JavaScipt functions collected to make coding in JavaScript easier and more efficient for web developers. JQuery is used to create animation, graphics and applications on websites.

If you see the term SSL every time you log into an eCommerce website there is good reason.

SSL is the web standard security technology that encrypts confidential information such as credit cards. If you are looking at setting up an eCommerce website you will need an SSL certificate. There are a number of companies offering SSL certificates from $45 per year to $500 per year so do your homework into what SSL company is best for your business.

UI or User Interface Designer is a professional that works solely on the usability of a website. Can the visitor find what they are after within a few seconds? If they can’t then either the UI designer hasn’t done their job or you need one.

Breadcrumbs are used to help people navigate successfully through large websites. They generally appear underneath the menu and tell the visitor which page they are on and how they got there. If you have a complex website such as an eCommerce website, a huge blog, or deep levels of page categories then breadcrumbs are advisable to assist users in being able to navigate through your website. If you have a small site then breadcrumbs can be an unnecessary distraction.

PHP is an open-source coding language used for websites and online applications such as WordPress.

PHP is a server side scripting language so the PHP code is processed before it reaches visitors computers. With websites that have been built using PHP a visitor cannot see any of the PHP code as it is processed on the server prior to the HTML or CSS being sent to the visitor browsing on the web.

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets refer to a coding language that is responsible for the visual aspects of your website but not the actual content of your website.

Examples of CSS include:

  • Typography
  • Colours
  • Menu Colours
  • Menu Size
  • Font Size
  • Thumbnail Size
  • Background images

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is the basic programming language that controls how the worlds web pages are formatted.

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