A form of redirection that sends users to a web page’s current address from a former address. 301 redirects let search engines maintain the page’s original rankings.
The act of testing visually different versions of web page or conversion form on users to determine which performs best for conversion rate optimization.
The HTML field that describes an image’s contents. Alt text aids search engines with no other means of discerning images, and lets visually-impaired users with screen readers know what the images display.
A term that refers to collecting and analyzing data on user behavior, as well as the programs (e.g. Google Analytics) that make this analysis possible. Analytics is key to optimizing site design, marketing campaigns, and personas.
A form of credit that websites receive from search engines when other credited sites link to them, improving the linked site’s search ranking and authority in turn.
A link from one website to another. Earning relevant backlinks to gain authority is an SEO strategy called link building.
Synonyms: Inbound Link
Black Hat SEO
A term for unethical SEO strategies that search engines (e.g. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines) penalize, as opposed to the allowed white hat SEO.
A website area in which contributors publish content related to a company’s priorities, usually through an open-source Content Management System. Blogs ideally improve SEO via keyword rankings and additional landing pages, and content marketing via the posts’ value to users. The term “blog” originated as an abbreviation of “weblog”.
A horizontal bar above site content allowing users to navigate the site and view their current position.
An HTML element specifying the preferred URL for duplicate content that otherwise has multiple URLs. Search engines transfer the content’s rankings to the canonical URL whereas duplicate content otherwise ranks poorly.
(See: Content Management System)
Content Management System
Web-based programs such as WordPress that allow webmasters to publish content such as blogs and websites over an established foundation of code, requiring little HTML knowledge.
The practice of marketing through compelling content on blogs and other official publications. Content marketing benefits brand awareness by offering valuable user experience to leads who may develop brand loyalty as a result. See our Content Marketing page for more information.
A user’s completion of a measurable goal on a web page, such as sales, subscriptions, and downloads.
The percentage of conversions per visitor traffic. Dividing conversions by visitors and multiplying by 100 yields this percentage.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Improvement of a site’s conversion rate through strategic changes in website design and content. A/B tests, satisfaction surveys, and analytics benefit CRO by showing which versions of a website perform best. See our Conversion Rate Optimization page for more information.
Synonyms: Bot, Spider
An acronym for “Cascading Style Sheets”, a text-based stylesheet language that determines how style features such as color and font will appear when web browsers render HTML as web pages.
A paid or unpaid registry of websites. Directories such as Yahoo! Directory and Dmoz categorize businesses and relay their contact information, improving their visibility in local search particularly.
A website’s main address, every web page branching off it. Long-running domains tend to rank well.
Content identical or very similar to content from other websites or web pages. Duplicate content tends to rank poorly, but a canonical URL can resolve this for one’s own duplicate content.
Online buying or selling of products and services. Businesses based primarily on ecommerce, such as online retailers, benefit most from national SEO.
(See: Natural Link)
Any form of marketing that sends messages to leads through a list of their email addresses. Businesses often build this list from opt-in forms subject to conversion rate optimization, and often choose email marketing for its high ROI and potential to keep customers updated. See our Website Development page for more information.
Content displayed on a web page before users scroll down. Google’s Page Layout Algorithm penalizes pages with too many ads above the fold.
The new practice of establishing a virtual perimeter around a physical location. Digital marketers often use geofencing to trigger advertisements on visitors’ mobile technology. See our Conversion Rate Optimization page for more information.
The increasingly common practice of delivering localized marketing content to leads through tracking of a target’s physical location via their smartphone location services. See our Conversion Rate Optimization page for more information.
The internationally dominant search engine founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google made crawlers and algorithms the norm for search engines, which previously relied on directories. Other search engines include Bing, Yahoo, Wolfram Alpha, and Duck Duck Go.
Text that goes through a heading tag, from H1-H6, to appear larger on a web page. Headings often incorporate keywords to benefit SEO.
A designated web page that links users to all pages on a specific topic or keyword, often receiving updates and internal links from relevant pages.
An acronym for “Hypertext Markup Language”, a text-based markup language that both search engines and users can read. An HTML file contains all the content of a web page, and associated CSS files determine how web browsers will display the content visually. SEO involves strategic uses of HTML tags.
The organizational and navigational structure of a website. Webmasters often build taxonomies on top of information architecture to create additional navigation.
The most important word or phrase in a web page’s content. Sites have effective SEO when their keywords match users’ relevant search queries, and keyword research is the method of identifying such keywords.
The percentage of keywords per words on a page. This measurement no longer benefits SEO, and search engines penalize sites with abnormally high keyword density.
The SEO practice of finding and implementing keywords to optimize a website’s search rankings for the terms. Relevance, search volume, and competition all play a role in choosing keywords. Various methods and tools exist for conducting keyword research.
Latent Semantic Indexing
Search engines’ indexing of commonly related words. Algorithms such as Hummingbird determine content’s authenticity based on LSI, allowing them to catch keyword stuffing when keywords have few related terms surrounding them. Long tail keywords often factor into LSI.
A prospective customer or client. Digital marketing strategies such as content marketing attract leads by offering something valuable (e.g. information, free samples) in exchange for potential conversions.
(See: Latent Semantic Indexing)
The SEO practice of earning backlinks from relevant, high-authority websites. Websites with many backlinks rank highly and earn authority. Link building methods include guest blogging and other partnerships, earning natural links through effective content marketing, appearing in directories, and paying for links.
A form of SEO that most benefits primarily-local businesses, such as brick-and-mortar establishments -as opposed to national SEO. Local SEO relies heavily on long tail keywords and geotargeting. See our Local versus National SEO page for more information.
Long Tail Keyword
A highly specific series of words with low competition and search volume. Local businesses benefit from targeting long tail keywords because searchers with specific needs are more likely to convert.
Data that describes websites’ content to search engines.
The description of web page that SERPs display. Contributors often input meta descriptions in order to use keywords and engage users. Otherwise, search engines automatically generate meta descriptions from the page’s content.
A form of SEO that most benefits primarily-national businesses, such as online retailers reliant on ecommerce -as opposed to local SEO. National SEO relies heavily on branding. See our Local versus National SEO page for more information.
A backlink that one website earns from another without having requested it.
SEO practices that improve search rankings through outreach rather than page content, as opposed to on-page SEO. They include link building, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.
SEO practices that improve search rankings through page content rather than outreach, as opposed to off-page SEO. They include keyword research, content marketing, correct HTML use, and information architecture.
A dynamic characterization of a business’ target audience based on demographic and behavioral data and company goals.
An acronym for “pay-per-click”. PPC is advertising one’s website through Google AdWords and other venues that one pays whenever users click ads on SERPs. These venues let businesses bid on keywords based on competition, cost, and search volume. Like SEO, PPC is a form of search engine marketing that requires analytics and compelling copywriting. However, PPC has consistently proven to be more expensive than SEO. See our Website Development page for more information.
The maintenance of a business’ good reputation. The term “reputation management” originated in public relations, whose specialists aim to make businesses’ official websites and positive mentions the first search results while addressing criticism transparently and taking action against libel. See our Website Development page for more information.
Return On Investment
A measure of the net return per cost of a given investment. Analytics software divide revenue by cost and multiply by 100 to determine ROI.
(See: Return On Investment)
A computer program that lets users access indexed web pages based on relevant search queries. Search engines use crawlers to index pages and algorithms to rank them. The two forms of search engine marketing, SEO and PPC, rely on inferences as to how the algorithms work. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the most popular search engines.
Search Engine Marketing
An acronym for “Search Engine Optimization”, the goal and practice of improving a website’s visibility in SERPs. Searchers tend not to look past the first results page, so SEO is crucial for increasing a site’s traffic and conversion rate optimization. SEO has two components, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The first improves search rankings through website development strategies such as keyword research, the second through outreach strategies such as link building.
National SEO and local SEO involve different strategies depending on a business’ regional scope. Search engines designate tactics as white hat SEO or black hat SEO based on whether or not they are allowed. Like CRO, SEO requires knowledge of analytics and personas in order to keep up with search engine and user behavior. See our “What is SEO?” page for more information.
(See: Search Engine Marketing)
An acronym for “Search Engine Results Page”, the search engine page that displays the most highly-ranked search results to users based on particular queries.
An acronym for “social media marketing”, any form of marketing that utilizes social media platforms. SMM can greatly improve brand awareness for national and local businesses alike, but involves a dynamic interplay of analytics, personas, and marketing goals. See our Website Development page for more information.
The practice of labeling and categorizing site content, usually by topic or type. Taxonomies such as “tags” or “related content” let users navigate the site in addition to the overarching information architecture. See our Website Development page for more information.
An acronym for “uniform resource locator”, the string of letters pointing to a website’s permanent address. Canonical URLs ensure that pages rank well.
The ease of using a given consumer product. User experience relies on both the usability and desirability of a product.
A user’s impression of a product based on its usability and desirability. In website development, UX designers aim to make website design, information architecture, and content as intuitive and engaging as possible. See our Website Development page for more information.
(See: User Experience)
Any work that goes into creating a website, from coding to content creation. SEO, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization work in conjunction with website development. See our Website Development page for more information.