Web Development & Design Terminology Cheat Sheet
A glossary of website design and development terminology. This cheat sheet will assist you in navigating various website marketing, website development, and design terms.
A/B Testing: This is an online marketing testing technique, testing one variable at a time to see which is more effective.
Acquisition: Refers to the point in time when a visitor to a website becomes a qualified lead or customer.
AdWords: The pay-per-click (PPC) search engine marketing (SEM) program provided by Google.
Akismet: A widely used application for blogging platforms, such as WordPress, that functions as a filter for trapping link spam, comment spam and other forms of undesirable user-generated content.
ALT Attribute: A line of text used to describe the content associated with a non-text based file, typically an image. A traditionally strong correlation exists between use of keywords in these attributes and high rankings for the pages that contain them.
Anchor Text: The anchor text is the text that the user clicks on for a link. Optimizing these links can help with SEO results.
Application Programming Interface (API): A document interface that allows software applications to interact with other applications. For an example the Twitter API.
Backlink: A link to one website from another. More backlinks, especially from credible sources, help increase organic SEO rankings.
Blog: An online platform for a person, group or people or a compay to publish written content accompanied by images and/or videos.
Blogger: An person who generates content for blogs, either personal or professional.
Bounce Rate: Refers to the percentage of a given page’s visitors who exit without visiting another page on the same site. This term is often used in e-commerce in conjunction with merchandise shopping carts. Also known as “abandonment rate.”
Brand Awareness: The extent or level to which a potential consumer can recall and identify a particular product or service. Increased brand awareness is one of the two customary important goals for a digital advertising campaign (the other being a conversion of some kind).
Breadcrumbs: A navigation trail on a website that allows you to see where the current page is in the hierarchy/structure.
Broken Links: Links to pages which no longer exist or have been moved to a different URL without redirection. These links usually serve pages with the “404 error” message.
Browser: A software program with a graphical interface that people use to navigate all the information available on the internt. Examples include Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer.
Cache: Serves static versions of dynamic web pages to reduce server load, bandwidth and increase page speed.
Call to Action (CTA): A phrase included within an ad, or a graphic element such as a button, which invites the audience to take a certain action.
Canonical: The preferred/main page when multiple pages have very similar content. If there are multiple versions of similar pages, the canonical rel tag tells the WebCrawler that the page linked is the definitive version. Each non-canonical page must link to the canonical version with this link.
Captcha: A challenge/response test to reduce spam. Usually asking people to type in the characters they see in an image or solve a simple math problem.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): A web language used to apply styles to web elements such as font size, colour, background & alignment.
Categories: Ways to organize content on a site, especially blogs. This can help with SEO results as well by including main keywords in the category titles and URL structure.
Chuck Norris: The guy who invented every word in this dictionary. Before breakfast. In case you didn’t already know. He is more commonely known as an American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter. He is the reason all things are possible. Clearly.
Citation: Mention of your business name or address on another web page, with or without a backlink.
Clean Code: All websites are written with code. Clean code just means that the code is streamlined and organized, making it easier for search engines to crawl it.
Click-Thru Rate (CTR): The percentage of people who actually click on a link after seeing it.
Content Management System (CMS): A computer application that supports and organizes digital content using a simple and user friendly interface. WordPress is an example of a CMS.
Content: Any text, image, video, audio, app or other material published on the Internet for audience consumption.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): The process of analyzing data and consumer behavior to optimize conversion rates on websites.
Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who completed the conversion and divided by the total number of users who visited your website or web page.
Conversion Tracking: The line of code that allows it to be possible to monitor how many conversions have occurred during any specific time period.
Conversion: A desired action taken by a website visitor, such as making a purchase, registering for an event, subscribing to an e-newsletter, completing a lead generation form, downloading a file, etc.
Cookie: Information stored on a website visitors browser. A cookie tracks the visitors movement on the website and is used to remember the visitors behavior and preferences. These do not transfer across browsers.
Copywriting: The use of words to create compelling text usually used to sell products or capture peoples attention.
Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): The cost of acquiring one customer. Typically calculated by dividing the total amount spent on an advertising campaign by the number of customers acquired through that campaign.
Cost-Per-Lead (CPL): How much an advertiser pays, on average, for each ad click that results in a lead conversion. CPL is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on a campaign by the number of leads generated.
Crawler: An automatic function of some search engines that index a page, and then visit subsequent pages that the initial page links to. As the cycle continues over time, search engine crawlers or “bots”/”spiders” can index a massive number of pages very quickly.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): A type of software that covers a broad set of applications and helps businesses manage customer data and interactions, helps facilitate sales and marketing efforts, assists with customer service and manages employee and vendor needs. Salesforce is an example of a CRM software.
Dashboard: Any area of administrative control for operating applications, especially social media settings, blogging software, and user profiles for websites that offer multiple customization options.
Dedicated Hosting: Website hosting that is not shared with anyone else. You have a dedicated server serving only your website without sharing resources with other sites.
Deep Linking: When you create a backlink to an inner page of a website (any page that isn’t the homepage).
Digital Marketing: An umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet. This includes mobile phones, paid advertising, social media, blogging and any other digital medium.
Disavow: The Google Disavow tool that allows you to tell Google which backlinks it should ignore when calculating your sites ranking.
DNS: Stands alternately for “Domain Name Service,” “Domain Name Server,” and “Domain Name System.” The DNS is a name service which allows letters (and numbers) that constitute domain names to be used to identify computers instead of numerical IP addresses.
DoFollow: A backlink that can be followed by search engine spiders/crawlers/bots.
Domain Name: A unique name made up of letters, numbers, dashes and periods to identify a website such as www.matthewwoodward.co.uk
E-commerce: Electronic commerce is the buying or selling of products/services on the internet.
External Link: A link on a web page that points to a web page on a different site/domain name.
Funnel: When you guide web users through a predefined funnel that usually has multiple calls to action. For example visit website > buy product > buy upsell > join newsletter is a “funnel.”
Geo-Targeting: The practice of search engines displaying results dependant on your location.
Google Analytics: A free, browser based tool that allows users to track many different statistics concerning an owned website. It is also links with Google Adwords and allows the opportunity to better track conversions and consumer behavior.
Google Trends: A tool that shows search density by keyword. It can show the keyword popularity in comparison to others, as well as popularity over a given amount of time.
Header Tags: These page elements represent different levels of headings in HTML. From the largest (H1) to the smallest (H6), these define the titles/headings and sub-headings of web copy. For SEO and reader benefits, headers should contain keywords wherever possible. Also known as “h-tags.”
HTML: Hypertext markup language (HTML) refers to the text-based language which is used to create websites.
Hyperlink: Known as “link” for short, a hyperlink is a word or phrase which is clickable and takes the visitor to another web page. This page can be within the same site or on a completely different site.
Impression: When a user views an online advertisment or web page. This can be referred to as a web page visit as well.
Inbound Link: A link from another website directed to yours, also known as a “backlink.”
Index: The actual collection of data and websites obtained by a search engine, also known as “search index.”
IP Address: This series of numbers and periods represents the unique numeric address for each Internet user.
Java: Java is a powerful programming language which is independent of platforms, meaning it can run on multiple computers and operating systems.
Keyword Density: The percentage a keyword appears on a page in comparison to the rest of the text. If you have 100 words but 3 of those are you target keyword: you would have a 3% keyword density. You typically don’t want a keyword density higher than 2.5%.
Keyword Research: The processs of researching words and phrases to determine their search volumes, commercial intent and level of competition in search engines.
Keyword Stuffing: When a keyword phrase is used excessively throughout a web page to falsely increase keyword density. This is not encouraged nor is it a best practice.
Keyword: A word or phrase relevant to your line of business that you want to optimize your website and web pages for to appear in search results when people are looking for content related to those words.
Landing Page: A web page a user lands on. This is commonly from clicking on an online advertisement or a link.
Lead: A potential customer. In digital advertising a lead is someone who has given you their contact information, often by signing up for a newsletter or filling out a form to download gated content.
Link Building: The process of increasing the amount of links to your website. It may involve generating more interesting or newsworthy content, creating a blog, asking clients to link, plus many other techniques. It is good for SEO to build both a high quantity jof links to a website, preferably from credible sources.
Listings: A website’s presence in a search engine or directory, and is not necessarily indicative of its search engine positioning.
Lookalike Audience: An group of people who are similar to your existing customers which helps improve your conversion rates. You can use Lookalike Audiences when running online digital marketing campaigns.
Marty McFly: Michael J. Fox’s character in the “Back to the Future” trilogy. His body begins to disappear if he can’t fix the accidental changes he made to the past! Great Scott!
Meta Description: The description of a web page that appears in search engine results pages.
Meta Title: The title of a web page usually seen in the browsers taskbar or in search engine result pages.
Microsite: A microsite is a small website. These are typically used for promotional purposes for a new product launch, event, special initiative, etc. They can also be set up to be a series of dedicated landing pages for advertising campaigns.
Mobile Search: Any internet search conducted via a mobile device.
NoFollow: A tag that can be added to links telling search engines not to follow them or give them any weight when calculating rankings. Any paid or affiliate link should have the nofollow tag.
NoIndex: A tag used to tell search engines not to index the current page.
Off-Page SEO: Search engine optimization techniques that are applied without making changes to your website such as link building or increasing social signals.
On-Page SEO: Search engine optimization techniques that are applied by making changes to the website.
Organic Link: A backlink to your website that is created naturally by another webmaster.
Organic Search Results: Also known as “natural” search results. These are search engine results that have not been paid for, but instead generated by content and SEO efforts. These results are generated by search engine algorithms.
Outbound Link: A link on a web page that points to a web page on a different site/domain name.
Page Rank: A Google based metric that determines how authoritative a site or web page is based on the incoming backlinks.
Page Title: The title of a web page.
PHP: A programming language also known as Hypertext Preproccesor and is usually used to serve dynamic content and interactions with databases.
Plugin: A file or bit of code that can be easily installed to add new functionality to a website or content management system.
Position: Same as “page rank” in reference to search engine listings.
Query: The term(s) entered into a search engine or search bar on a website by a user.
Redirect: A link redirecting a user to a new landing page. This is common if the URLs on a website change and traffic needs to be redirected.
Return on Investment (ROI): ROI is the percentage of profit from a given marketing initiative.
Robot: Also known as “bot.” See “crawler.”
Search Engine Algorithm: A unique formula that search engines use to determine the significance of a web page. Many factors are taken into consideration in an algorithm, such as the relevance of the content on the web page, backlinks, how well the web page is optimized, its credibility, etc. Each search engine has its own algorithm and they constantly change and update.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Using search engines to market to your target audience either through search engine optimization or paid search campaigns.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Optimizing your website and strategy to gain higher rankings in the organic search engine results.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page of results you see after conducting a search in a search engine such as Google.
Search Engine: A website that allows users to search the internet for specific information by entering keywords.
Search Term: The precise word or phrase(s) entered into a search engine by a user (also called a “query”).
SEO Best Practices: A series of techniques used to best optimize content and websites. There are a handful of tactics used that are considered to be “best practices.”
Shared Hosting: Website hosting that is shared with other websites. The servers resources are shared equally between the users which is fine for smaller sites.
Site Audit: Conducting a full review or analysis of a site to meet a variety of goals. Such as ensuring a smooth user experience by checking for broken links or an indepth SEO audit to identify onsite SEO problems.
Site Speed: How fast a website loads: the faster it loads the better!
Sitemap: A page that links to all other pages on the site allowing spiders to easily find all of the pages on your website.
Spider: A bot or piece of software that is used to crawl the internet and index data.
Style Sheet: A design template used for defining the layout of multiple pages within a website, most commonly seen in the form of “CSS” (cascading style sheets).
Tag: A keyword (often in a string) which is attached to a blog post or media file. Tags help organize content so it’s easier for a user to find.
Target Audience: A group of people that will be interested in your product/service/blog: eg my target audience is internet marketers and small business owners.
Title Tag: A form of meta-data used by search engines to categorize web pages by title. Search engine algorithms traditionally value title tags to determine/categorize page content.
Traffic: How many people visit your website.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL): This string of letters and numbers separated by periods and slashes is unique for every web page.
Unique Visitor: A visitor to a website that is only counted once in a given time period despite the possibility of having made multiple visits (or sessions). This metric is determined by a users’ cookies.
Visit: The number of people that reached your website.
Webcrawler: (Sometimes called a bot, robot or spider) Search engines work by indexing all available web pages and scoring them based on a number of factors to gauge their trustworthiness or popularity.
Webmaster Tools: Usually meaning Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools you can get additional information about your websites status in the search engines.
Webmaster: The owner of a website.
WordPress: An open source CMS which is used for blog publication. This is one of the most widely used content management systems in use online.
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