Glossary – web and internet marketing type terms

SEO No Comments | Date Published: 30 November 2012
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It’s really easy when you are in any particular business to use jargon and acronyms on the assumption that everyone knows what you mean.

In our training programmes we always teach the importance of simplicity in language and understanding and using the words your customers use.

However, I know that occasionally I also drop the odd acronym into conversation! And I also know how confusing some of the technical jargon can be. So I thought I would collate this glossary of terms to help provide some sun to banish the foggy clouds!

This list will grow I am sure, so if there are any terms you’d like me to add, please just drop in a comment and I will do my best!

And if you still do not understand any of the terms, do please let me know. If you don’t understand then you can be sure that many others will not as well

Many thanks and happy reading!

301 redirect When a webpage is permanently redirected to another webpage. The search engines will assume your webpage has been permanently moved to the new location. Good for SEO
302 redirect When a webpage is temporarily redirected to another webpage. The search engines will keep the original webpage location in the index as will assume the move is only temporary
404 page The error page that shows when the page that a link points to no longer exists. This 404 page can be customised for your site.
Alt tag The alt tag, or more accurately the alt attribute, refers to the alternate text that is associated with a graphic/image on a web page. The text is read out by screen reader browsers for sight impaired visitors, and can help search engine rankings
Anchor text The text used for links pointing into your website or from one webpage to another
blog Originated as ‘web-log’ and got shortened to ‘blog’. A website or web pages dedicated to publishing time based articles, opinion, comment etc.
Body copy Referring to the main block of words that appear on any particular web page
Breadcrumbs The journey that the user takes to find a particular page, represented as links at the top of any webpage
Broken anchor An error in a link that means the link cannot be followed (resulting in a 404 page)
Canonical URL / Canonicalisation Referring to when a visitor can find the same content through multiple page URLs. For example your home page through AND AND Best to avoid this for Google
CTR Click Through Rate – the percentage of how many clicks you receive to your website through an advertising campaign, compared to how many times your advert is seen
Conversion When a site visitor completes a required action on your website. For example purchases a product or downloads a white paper.
Conversion % The percentage of your site visitors that complete a required action on your website – for example purchase a product or download a white paper. Is normally calculated on the number of unique visitors over a certain period of time but can also be calculated based on total number of visits to your site.
CPC Cost per Click – the amount you pay for each click you receive to your website
CPI Cost per Impression – referring to the cost of your advert being seen once
CPM Literally means Cost per Milleur – however this is Latin so actually means Cost per thousand – referring to the cost of 1000 impressions of your advertisement
Crumb trail See breadcrumbs
CSS Cascading Style Sheets – enables web developers to have control over how webpages look. Styles for headings and links, etc, can be set and then applied to multiple pages
domain See website domain
Dynamic IP address See also IP addressIP addresses are assigned to your computer by your Internet Service Provider. A dynamic IP address can change (but not necessarily) each time you connect to the internet.
Followed (in link terms) Links from a website that search engine bots follow and recognise for SEO purposes
Google + (plus) Google’s social media platform allowing for sharing of information, connecting with others, live communication, etc
Google Places Now incorporated into Google + Local, Google Places is Google’s local search functionality allowing a user to search for businesses locally to where they are, or for a specific named location. It is free for a business to create a Google Places / Google+ Local page, and helps ensure the business will be found for location searches
Header tag An html tag that is added to a heading on a page that denotes its relative importance over other text on the page. Can be <H1> to <H6>
http Hypertext Transfer (or Transport) Protocol, the data transfer protocol used on the World Wide Web or in more simplistic terms, the set of rules for transferring files (text, graphic images, sound, video, and other multimedia files) on the World Wide Web.
impressions An impression is when your advert is displayed by a website.
Inbound links Links that point TO your website from other websites
Indexed Referring to the search engines —the page has been visited and captured by the search engine algorithm but this does not necessarily mean that the page is ranking well for any particular search term
IP address IP stands for Internet Protocol. The IP address is an address that identifies a particular PC or device on the internet. Every computer or device needs an IP address in order to access the internet. An IP address is made up of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255, separated by three dots. For example “″. See also Static IP address and Dynamic IP address
Keyphrases / keywords The terms that are entered into the search engine search boxes by actual visitors, when they are looking for a particular product, service or information
Keyword density How many times your keyword appears on a page compared to the number of words on a page – used to be used as an indication for SEO, but is not anymore
Meta Description The html description given to a particular webpage. Generally made up of a sentence or sentences that clearly describe the web page. Is often used by the search engines when results are displayed from a search under the link (snippet).
Meta refresh When a webpage is redirected to another webpage after a slight delay. Is usually used when you want site visitors to see a message before moving onto a different page
Natural listings See ‘organic listings’
No-followed (in link terms) Links from a website that search engines are specifically instructed, via html code, to NOT follow for SEO purposes. The bots can physically follow the links but the links are not recognised for SEO purposes
ODP Open Directory Project—a major website directory—
Organic listings When a search is conducted, webpages are listed generally in three areas – sponsored advertisements appear in the right hand side column and at the top of the search returns, and other webpages appear in the main body of the webpage. It is these central, non-paid for listings that are termed Organic listings
Outbound links Links pointing from within your website to other external websites
PDF Literally ‘Portable Document Format’ – a  file format created by Adobe Systems, Inc. that is highly portable across computer platforms and just requires a PDF reader and not the underlying software to be viewed. PDF documents have a .pdf file extension
PPC Pay Per Click – literally advertising for which you pay for each click you receive to your website.
Ranking Refers to where a particular page may be listed when a user runs a particular search in a search engine
RSS Really simple syndication, or rich site summary – it is an easy way to share information on the web via means of a feed of data
SEM Search Engine Marketing – usually considered to include both SEO and PPC marketing
SEO Search engine optimisation / search engine optimiser – the process of making sure your website is as attractive to the search engines as possible in order that the pages will rank as high as possible for searches  (without having to buy sponsored advertising) / someone who will do this
SERPS Search Engine Results Pages – the list of sites that appear after a search is run, under and to the left of any sponsored advertisements.
Snippet The text that appears below the link in a listing in the search engine. The search engines will either display the meta description associated with the web page or a block of text from the page itself—usually the first text encountered on the page
SSL Secure socket layer – in simplistic terms this is the secure internet protocol that allows for sensitive information to be transmitted securely over the web. An indication that a webpage is protected by SSL is when https:// is displayed for the website rather than just http://
Static IP address See also IP addressIP addresses are assigned to your computer by your Internet Service Provider. A static IP address never changes
Sub directory A sub directory is a sub part of an overall website and is usually recognised by a slash after the domain name with a word which is the name of the sub directory. Eg
Sub domain A sub domain is a part of an overall domain, and is usually represented by a second word and dot before the domain name – eg is a subdomain of
Title tag An html tag that refers to the text that appears in the topmost bar of the browser window for a particular web page, or in the tab of the page in the browser. This will often appear as the link when a page gets returned for a search in a search engine
TLD Top level domain – this refers to the extension to your domain name – ie or com or net etc. They generally refer to the organisational structure, country of origin or purpose of the website. For example is a UK website, edu is an educational website.
URL Literally ‘uniform resource locator’ – the location of a particular webpage on the internet. Is more usually known as the web address of the page.
Website domain A website domain, sometimes just called a domain, is most commonly known as the name of the website. This is more memorable than the actual IP address (where the site is located) and allows visitors to find and return to a web page more easily eg

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