At Serial Coders, we are committed to transparency and education for our clients. We want to make sure you have a complete understanding of the language we use when we talk about your website and its performance vis-a-vis digital marketing and SEO.
A free, widely-used pay-per-click (PPC) search-engine marketing (SEM) program provided by Google. Users design short text ads, bid on keywords or key phrases, then pay Google when customers click on their ad. It is a fast way to attract new customers to your site, but it can be expensive.
Rules that Google and other search engines use to determine the order of search results. Each search engine has its own algorithm that gets updated on a regular basis – for example, Google updates 500-600 times per year, which means SEO is constantly evolving. 71% of users search on Google, which is why ‘googling’ has become nearly synonymous with searching on the web, and why SEO experts focus so much on Google’s latest algorithm.
A useful free tool from Google which reports on metrics such as site visits, traffic sources, user demographics, devices, and more. Data can be sorted and segmented or organized into goals. Digital marketers and SEO experts rely on Google Analytics for many insights, but we also use third-party tools to gain more in-depth understanding.
A link from an outside website to your website. High-quality backlinks are crucial to your site’s SEO score, and a huge factor in how Google determines your website’s authority. High authority means high position in organic search. Also see ‘links’, ‘anchor text’, ‘inbound link’, ‘outbound link’ ‘follow vs. nofollow’, ‘domain authority’ and ‘page authority’.
Short for “weblog.” A blog is a collection of informal ‘posts’ usually created by the site owner. Blog posts can be conversational in tone, and are a useful tool for keeping your site content fresh and contributing to your brand’s personality. They generally appear on your site in reverse chronological order, with the most recent post at the top.
“Boosts” are one-time ad spends that are used in social media to attract additional traffic to a specific post. When you boost that post, you pay a fee to show it to more viewers in your network.
When users enter your site and exit without visiting any other pages, that is called a bounce. Bounce rate is the percentage of users on each page that bounce. Bounce rate is a useful metric to evaluate, because a high bounce rate often points to a problem on the page. Also known as “abandonment rate.”
Also known as “dead links,” broken links do not link to the desired page when clicked. Often, the user will see a “404 Error” page when they click a broken link. When a SEO expert audits a site, fixing broken links is a top priority.
In digital marketing, a campaign refers to specific efforts (usually paid) to attract users to your site. In Adwords, a campaign refers to an ad with a set of target keywords and designated ad spend, focusing on a desired outcome or goal.
Serial Coders’ trademark interview process for new clients. Clarity Coaching is intended to guide fruitful dialogue between client and agency, resulting in the building blocks for a custom website and specialized marketing strategies.
Often the most important metric on the website, conversion refers to the completion of a desired action, such as making a purchase, submitting a form, or signing up for a newsletter. Web conversion tracking is usually configured through Adwords and Analytics, and can be customized depending on what your website’s major goals are.
The number of visitors to your site, or a segment of visitors, divided by the number of conversions.
Total cost of any PPC campaign divided by total number of leads or customers, also called “conversion cost”
Sites like Google and Facebook allow you to pay for targeted traffic to your website. You agree to pay a fee for every click. The fee amount is determined by the market value of the keywords you bid on.
Percentage of people who actually click on a link after seeing it, usually in an ad.
Sometimes referred to as “spiders” or “bots”, crawlers are used by search engines to index or “crawl” a page, as well as any pages that the initial page links to.
a score (from 0-100) developed by Moz that is designed to predict how well a website will rank on search engines. It is a useful metric for comparison to competitors and measuring site performance over time.
A list of websites, often niche or industry-specific, where website listings are compiled by hand rather than by a crawler. These lists are usually well-structured, reviewed and regularly updated by professionals.
Direct contact with current, past, or prospective customers using email as the delivery method. As with direct mail marketing, email marketing serves to build loyalty, trust and brand awareness as well as serving the traditional purpose of soliciting sales. Email gives marketers the ability to have frequent, smaller interactions with contacts, ideal for building relationships rather than explicitly limiting interaction to sales contacts.
In Digital Marketing and SEO, goals provide a framework for measuring your conversions. Tracking your goals helps you assess how well your visitors are converting.
An abbreviation for Hyper Text Markup Language, HTML is used to describe the structure of a website. HTML categorizes the sections to communicate, which elements are headers, which are body text, and which are images. CSS is then used to provide styling rules for each of these categories. For example, if HTML says this is body text, then CSS says to make it red, size 14 font and bold. A web browser interprets the two languages (HTML & CSS) and translates them into the visual presentation of a web page that you see on your computer monitor.
A link to one of your pages on a website other than your own. This can be thought of as a type of citation, and is used by search engines to determine how important your website is, or how valuable your content is to the rest of the internet. To determine your site’s value, search engines look at how many places your pages are referenced, what kind of other websites refer to your site, and how often those references are actually used.
In its broadest sense, an impression can be thought of as a ‘view’ of a piece of content or media. It is measured by the number of times the item is ‘served’, aka the number of times the page with the given content loads, aka the number of times the media or content is rendered by a browser (because a user has requested to view it).
Why such a roundabout definition? When it comes down to measuring impressions, it doesn’t matter whether the end user actually views a piece of content, it only matters if it was displayed to the end user.
In traditional marketing, an example is the number of people estimated to have been shown a billboard. Whether they actually looked at it is not a measure of the impressions, only whether or not they were exposed to it.
In digital marketing, an impression is the first measurable statistic of an ad—how many people were exposed to it? The next step is measuring how many people exposed to the ad acted on it, called ‘engagement’.
Note: Impressions are most useful for measuring an ad or campaign intended to build brand awareness since it is a measure of exposure, not action.
A search engine’s database of all discoverable digital content on the internet.
The purpose of an index is to enable faster search results. Content is stored in plain text and then organized—in part with the help of keywords and metadata—into topical categories.
Imagine how much faster it is to find an important file in a well-organized filing cabinet rather than hunting through a whole stack of papers. When a user enters a search query, the engine can prioritize its search in relevant categories of its index rather than scanning every single possible website in its database for relevant content. By decreasing the scope of the search, time to results is decreased too!
A keyword is a specific word or phrase that describes content. For a search engine user, it is the words used to query a specific topic or solution to a problem. For marketing managers and business owners, it is the words used to describe site content.
Search engines want three things to match for an ideal search result—the word or phrase entered into the search box by the user, the words use by the business owner to categorize their page, and the actual relevance of the content on the page to the keywords.
Stands for Key Performance Indicator. A set of quantifiable measurements that demonstrate progress (or lack thereof) toward a specific goal. They must be both measurable and crucial (‘key’) to achieving the goal, and their results must serve as a compass, allowing you to continuously realign operations toward the goal.
A page specifically for the purpose of capturing leads, usually in response to a marketing campaign. When a user clicks on any digital ad, it should take them to a page built for and dedicated to people who clicked on that specific ad.
Best practices dictate that landing pages are free from distraction, containing only a minimal amount of explanatory copy plus the actionable portion. The actionable portion is most frequently:
- A form for capturing leads or potential customers
- A button to guide interested customers through the sales funnel
A digital connection between one piece of content (image, text, file, website) to another piece to content that a user can access by clicking, tapping, or hovering.
The practice/process of exchanging links with other websites to increase the number of backlinks to your pages and content. Search engines recognize the quantity, but more importantly the quality of these links in determining the importance of your website. The ultimate goal of link building is to increase search ranking by making your website appear to be a valuable source of information.
The practice or process of producing content that is so high quality that other websites will link to it organically, without solicitation or exchange. Link attraction is the ultimate SEO goal.
Stands for My Client Center, a Google Adwords feature. It is an umbrella account used most frequently by agencies to manage multiple clients’ Adwords accounts in a single, centralized location. MCC provides performance and budgetary information for clients’ Adwords campaigns.
Plain text used to describe a page to search engines. A site’s meta tags are not displayed on the front end of a website. Instead, they are contained in the source code. Meta tags most frequently include information like keywords, page description and page title. When you search for something on Google, the title of each page result is usually specified in the source code of that page with a meta tag.
Data used to track performance of a specific marketing effort (i.e. ad or campaign). In any campaign there are limitless data that can be tracked, metrics are the ones that are meaningful in judging performance.
The three most common digital marketing metrics are traffic, conversions and revenue. The right choice of metrics varies based on the purpose of each marketing effort.
HTML tag used for links. Nofollow tells a search engine that the link target should not be considered any more important just because it is referenced. Links are DoFollow by default. A DoFollow link improves the search engine ranking of the page it leads to by indicating that it is an important reference. Since links are DoFollow by default, a site owner must choose to tag links or link types with NoFollow.
The NoFollow tag is frequently used for the comments section of blogs, preventing the comments section from being hijacked as a marketing medium. It may also be used when referencing a brand. If a site owner does not want to endorse a brand but needs to refer to it, using the NoFollow tag allows the site owner to link to the brand website without influencing the search rankings of the brand website.
Example of Nofollow Link:
Unpaid search engine listings in order of actual relevance of the content to the user’s query. Also called ‘natural listings’.
Any link that takes you from one site to another, external web page. Your website should incorporate outbound links as well as inbound links, because a link establishes a concrete connection between you and the rest of the Internet. There are two types of outbound links, nofollow and dofollow. The following example features 4 outbound links:
When planning travel adventures, the first step is picking a cheap destination. Then you’ll want to find unique accommodation, the best restaurants near your place and any cool events or concerts happening while you’re there.
A single document primarily written in HTML. This HTML is translated by a web browser into the visual display seen on a computer monitor or mobile screen. A web ‘site’ is several related pages. For example, your car mechanic may have a Home page, About Us page, Services page and Contact Us page that make up the complete site.
A metric measuring the expected authority of a single web page as a resource to the rest of the web. The metric is a 0-100 logarithmic scale developed by Moz. The value corresponds to the likelihood of a page to appear and rank highly in organic search results. The higher its Page Authority value, the more likely the page is to appear in organic search engine results and rank near the top of the list.
Page Rank was developed for Google with the primary purpose of ranking websites from most to least important and relevant when considering a user’s query. While formerly the only method for ranking websites, it is now just one of many algorithms used in determining the importance of a given page.
(Pay Per Click): A way of billing online advertising, where clients pay a fee each time, and only when, their ad is clicked. Pay per click ads are most often seen on search engine results, with ‘sponsored’ ads appearing on a page with organic listings.
In social media, a profile is the user’s self-described personality, situation or status using content (i.e words, images and video).
The act of, and text included in, conducting a database search. Most frequently, a query is the phrase used and act of requesting something from a search engine.
The position of a specific web document in a list of search results.
“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” but in the form of links.
Taco Palace is a hip taco chain. They’ve partnered with a local hot sauce company, Hair On Your Chest Heat. Taco Palace puts a link on their site to the Hair On Your Chest website, and Hair On Your Chest returns the favor with a link to the Taco Palace website.
Note: reciprocal links work best when the industries are related, as in the example above.
Also called a 301 redirect.
The digital equivalent of a forwarding address
Imagine you found a great fashion website, we’ll call it funkysombreros.com. A month after your discovery, you want to buy a hat for your friend but funkysombreros.com have changed their address to funkyhats.com to appeal to a more international audience. In order to make sure that anyone with the old address can still find great hats (and sombreros), a redirect has been put in place to send any traffic for funkysombreros.com to funkyhats.com. You still get your hat, they still get to keep you as a happy customer. Everyone wins!
In short, a redirect ensures that even if you put in an old web address, you’ll still end up in the right place.
Return on Investment. A metric for evaluating the efficiency of an investment by comparing what you get from an investment to what you put into it.
Put simply, ROI = (Gain from investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment.
A program that crawls web documents for keywords and returns any relevant content.
A word, phrase or expression used to request relevant content from a search engine. Also called a query.
Segment / Segmentation
Division of customer groups into categories, usually based on how you will most effectively market to them.
Since a product or service is rarely applicable to absolutely everyone in the population, segmentation is necessary. As a tool, it allows you to tailor marketing efforts to groups with common needs, especially those most likely to want or need what is being offered.
(Search Engine Marketing): Marketing for the purpose of improving page ranking in search results. Primarily refers to strategic use of keywords in paid advertising.
(Search Engine Optimization): The strategic use of keywords, primarily by enriching site content with relevant keywords, for the purpose of improving site ranking in organic search results.
SEO also aids in making a web page as easy as possible for a search engine to appropriately categorize for the end user.
(Search Engine Results Page): The paginated list of results a search engine provides in response to a query.
Media channels dedicated to user-generated content. Social media is markedly participatory in nature when compared to traditional media; it is driven by human interaction.
A keyword used to aid in classifying content. Most frequently, tags are attached to content but not actually part of the message of the content.
A type of tag that defines the title of a page for search engines. A way for a page to tell a search engine what its preferred name is. Also used by search engines in categorizing a page. The title is shown in search engine results—it is the name of each listing.
The number of visitors to a website. Think of a highway—imagine traffic as visitors traveling to, from, and around the location that is your site.
(Uniform Resource Locator): The specific address of a file or piece of content on the internet.
URLs have the following format:
A seminar conducted over the Internet.
A list, in .xml format, of all the files on a website. A sitemap tells search engine bots how to read the website. It should only includes pages and content that the webmaster wants the search engine bot to index and thus make available for search.
A video-based social media platform. Users upload and share their own videos and watch/interact with other users’ videos.