A


A/B Test

Also known as a split test, it involves testing two versions of the same page or site to see which performs better.

Above the Fold

The content that appears on a screen without a user having to scroll.

Accessibility

The degree to which a website is available to users with physical challenges or technical limitations.

Action

A specified task performed by a user, which results in the affiliate being awarded commission. Actions include purchasing a product, signing up for a newsletter or filling in a form.

Ad Server

The technology that places ads on websites.

Affiliate

The person who markets the products of the merchant. Also called a publisher.

Algorithm

A mathematical, computational or statistical method pre-determined to take a number of variables into account and output a single, quantifiable result that is a function of all the variables. A good example of a commonly used algorithm is the ones used by Google to determine which pages rank more highly on SERPs.

Alt Tag

Information that is displayed if an image cannot be displayed; used by search engines to determine what an image is.

Alt Text

The “alt” attribute for the IMG HTML tag. It is used in HTML to attribute a text field to an image on a web page, normally with a descriptive function, telling a search engine or user what an image is about and displaying the text in instances where the image is unable to load. Also called Alt Tag.

Analytical CRM

Software that assists a business in building customer relationships and analyses ways to improve them.

Anchor Text

The visible, clickable text in a link.

Annotation

A comment or instruction (usually added as text) on a YouTube video. A YouTube annotation may contain links directing users to other pages within YouTube or, if a brand is willing to pay, to outside websites.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

The process of optimizing mobile and web applications for the specific web stores they are distributed in.

Application

Software that is developed specifically for smartphones and other mobile devices. Also known as an app. There are two types: mobile web apps and native apps.

B


Backlink

All the links on other pages that will take the user to a specific web page. Each link to that specific page is known as an inbound/backlink. The number of backlinks influences your ranking, so the more backlinks, the better – get linking!

Blog

A type of website that allows users (bloggers) to post entries on different topics and often allows readers to comment on these posts.

Blogosphere

The world of blogs, bloggers and blog posts.

Bluetooth

A short-distance wireless transfer protocol for connecting devices.

Bookmarking

Saving the web address of a web page so that you can easily refer back to it again. Bookmarks can be managed with a browser, or with an online tool.

Bounce Rate

The number of people who view one page and then leave a website without
viewing any other pages.

Branding (or visual identity or corporate identity)

How your logo, colors and styling elements are translated from traditional print-based assets to digital.

Breadcrumbs

Links, usually on the top of the page, that indicate where a page is in the hierarchy of the website.

Business to Business (B2B)

When businesses sell products/services to other businesses and not to consumers.

Business to Consumers (B2C)

When businesses sell products/services to consumers.

C


Call to Action (CTA)

A phrase written to motivate the reader to take action (sign up for our newsletter, book car hire today, and so on).

Canonical

The canonical version is the definitive version. In SEO, it refers to a definitive URL.

Caption

Text that appears over a video that labels a scene, identifies a location or person, or narrates dialogue onscreen. Captions can be either open or closed.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

A programming language that defines the styles (fonts, colors, and so on) used to display text and content. Web pages are among the places in which this language is used.

Click Path

The journey a user takes through a website.

Clickthrough

A click on a link that leads to another website.

Clickthrough Rate

The total number of clicks on a link divided by the number of times that link was shown, expressed as a percentage.

Collaborative CRM

Umbrella term for all the interactive options for serving customers. It is people- based customer support that includes: collaborative browsing, web-based text and voice chat, desktop sharing, application sharing, file transfer, and phone support.

Commission

The bounty paid by a merchant to an affiliate when the affiliate makes a successful referral.

Common Short Code (CSC)

A special number or code that can be used to address SMS and MMS messages from mobile phones or fixed phones, usually to get something in return.

Community Guidelines

The rules and principles that community members must adhere to when communicating on a brand platform.

Content Audit

An examination and evaluation of the existing content that a brand publishes.

Content Management System (CMS)

A system that allows an administrator to update the content of a website, so that they do not require a developer to do so.

Content Strategy

A plan that outlines what content is needed for a web project and when and how it will be created.

Convention

A common rule or tried-and-tested way in which something is done.

Conversion

Completing an action or actions that the website wants the user to take. Usually a conversion results in revenue for the brand in some way. Conversions include signing up to a newsletter or purchasing a product.

Conversion Funnel

A defined path that visitors should take to reach the final objective.

Conversion Rate

The number of conversions divided by the number of visitors, expressed as a percentage.

Cookie

A text file sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. Cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as site preferences or the contents of their electronic shopping carts.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

The amount paid when a certain action is performed by a user.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The amount paid when a link is clicked on.

Count

Raw figures captured for data analysis.

Credibility

How trustworthy, safe and legitimate a website looks.

Crowdsourcing

Taking a job traditionally performed by a professional and distributing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.

Customer

A person who buys or uses goods or services, with whom a company should develop a relationship.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The profitability of a customer over their entire relationship with the business.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A strategy for managing a company’s relationships with clients and potential clients. It often makes use of technology to automate the sales, marketing, customer service, and technical processes of an organization.

Customer-Centric

Placing the customer at the center of an organizations business planning and execution.

Customer-Driven

Allowing and encouraging customers to drive the direction of a business.

 D


Data

Statistics and facts collected for analysis.

Data mining

The process of analyzing data to discover unknown patterns or connections.

Database

In email marketing, the database is the list of prospects to which emails are sent. It also contains additional information pertinent to the prospects.

Domain Name

The easy-to-read name used to identify an IP address of a server that distinguishes it from other systems on the World Wide Web: our domain name is springdesigngroup.com.

Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS converts a domain name into an IP address.

Double Opt-In

The act of getting subscribers to confirm their initial subscription via a follow-up email asking them to validate their address and in that way opt-in again.

DPI

Dots per inch (in an image). On the web, the screen resolution is 72dpi.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion

In paid search advertising, this allows keywords used in searches to be inserted automatically into advert copy.

E


Editor

A person who determines the ultimate content of a text, traditionally understood in the newspaper, magazine or publishing industry context.

Email Service Provider (ESP)

A service that helps you design and send emails.

Embedding

Taking video from an online video provider and posting it elsewhere on the web.

Event

A step a visitor takes in the conversion process.

F


Feature

A prominent aspect of a product that is beneficial to users.

Flash

A technology used to show video and animation on a website. It can be bandwidth heavy and unfriendly to search engine spiders.

Focus Group

A form of qualitative research where people are asked questions in an interactive group setting. From a marketing perspective, it is an important tool for acquiring feedback regarding new products and various topics.

Forum

A website where users can engage in discussions by commenting on threads or previous posts made.

Funnel

In web analytics or conversion optimization, an established set of steps a user should take in reaching a goal, such as making a purchase.

G


Geo-targeting

Also known as location-based services. Delivering specific information or content to a user based on their geographic location. Mobile devices can enable this with high precision through features such as GPS and other location-based services.

Global Page Elements

Items that appear on every page of a website.

Goal

The defined action that visitors should perform on a website, or the purpose of the website.

Google AdWords

Google’s search advertising program, which allows advertisers to display their adverts on relevant search results and across Google’s content network.

H


Hard bounce

The failed delivery of email communication owing to an undeviating reason, such as a non-existent address.

Heading Tags

Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, and so on) are standard elements used to define headings and subheadings on a web page. The number indicates the importance, so H1 tags are viewed by the spiders as being more important than H3 tags. Using target key phrases in your H tags is essential for effective SEO.

Heat Map

A data visualization tool that shows levels of activity on a web page in different colors.

Home Page

The first page of any website. The home page gives users a glimpse into what
your site is about – very much like the index in a book, or a magazine.

House List

An email database a company generates itself without purchasing or renting names.

HTML5

A broad range of technologies that allow for rich media content and interaction on the scale of Adobe Flash, but unlike its counterpart does not require additional third-party plugins. It allows rich multimedia content to be displayed that can easily be viewed by users, computers and devices. HTML5 is the next
iteration of the HTML standard.

Hyperlink

A link in an electronic document that allows you, once you click on it, to follow the link to the relevant web page.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

The code language predominantly used to create and display web pages and information online.

Hypothesis

A supposition that is tested in relation to known facts; a proposition based on reason but not necessarily assumed to be true.

I


iFrame

Stands for inline frame. An HTML structure that contains another document – you can draw information from another website to display, such as with Facebook tabs.

Impression

Each time an advert is shown.

Information Architecture

The way data and content are organized, structured and labelled to support usability.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address

An exclusive number that is used to represent every single computer in a network.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The company providing you with access to the Internet, e.g. MWEB, AOL, Yahoo.

J


JavaScript

A popular scripting language. Also used in web analytics for page tagging.

K


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A metric that shows whether an objective is being achieved.

Key Phrase

Two or more words that are combined to form a search query – often referred to as keywords. It is usually better to optimize for a phrase rather than a single word.

Keyword

A word found in a search query. For example, searching for “blue widgets” includes the keywords “blue” and “widgets”.

Keyword Frequency

The number of times a keyword or key phrase appears on a website.

Keyword Rankings

Where the keywords or phrases targeted by SEO rank in the search engine results – if your targeted terms do not appear on the first three pages, start worrying.

Keyword Stuffing

The process of putting too many keywords into the meta data of the website, or using many irrelevant keywords. Search engines can penalize websites using this practice.

L


Landing page

The first page a user reaches when clicking on a link in an online marketing campaign. The pages that have the most success are those that match up as closely as possible with the user’s expectations.

Lead

A person who has shown interest in a brand, product or service and could be converted into a customer.

Link

A URL embedded on a web page. If you click on the link, you will be taken to that page.

Link Bait

A technique for providing content that attracts links from other web pages.

Listening Lab

A testing environment where the researcher observes how a customer uses a website or product.

Log File

A text file created on the server each time a click takes place, capturing all activity on the website.

M


Market share

In strategic management and marketing, the percentage or proportion of the total available market or market segment that is being serviced by a company.

Mass Customization

Tailoring content for many individuals.

Merchant

The owner of the product that is being marketed or promoted.

Meta Data

Information that can be entered about a web page and the elements on it to provide context and relevant information to search engines.

Meta Tags

Tags that tell search engine spiders what exactly a web page is about. It’s important that your meta tags are optimized for the targeted key phrases. Meta tags are made up of meta titles, descriptions and keywords.

Metric

A defined unit of measurement.

Micro-Conversion

A small conversion in the path to a conversion, such as going from step 1 to step 2 in a checkout process.

Microblogging

The practice of publishing brief text, image and video updates, usually limited to
between 140 and 200 characters.

Model

A strategic visual representation of a process to which a company adheres.

Multimedia Message Service (MMS)

A media-rich extension on SMS, which allows picture, sound or low-quality
videos to be sent on a wireless network.

Multivariate Test

Testing combinations of versions of the website to see which combination performs better.

N


Native Mobile Application

A mobile application designed to run as a program on a specific device or mobile operating system.

Navigation

How a web user uses the user interface to navigate through a website, and the elements that assist in maximizing usability.

Null Hypothesis

The default or general position, usually implying that where there is no statistical difference, there is no difference between the populations specified in the original hypothesis.

O

Objective

A desired outcome of a digital marketing campaign.

Online Reputation Management (ORM)

Understanding and influencing the perception of an entity online.

Open Rate

The percentage of emails determined as opened out of the total number of emails sent.

Open Source

Unlike proprietary software, open-source software makes the source code available so that other developers can build applications for the software, or even improve on the software.

Operational CRM

Entails supporting the “front-office” business processes, which include customer contact (sales, marketing and service).

Opt-in

Giving permission for emails to be sent to you.

Opt-out

Also known as unsubscribe. The act of removing oneself from a list or lists so that specified information is no longer received via email.

Organic Results

Also known as natural results. Search results served by the search engine’s algorithm. The search engine does not charge website owners to list these results.

P


Page tag

A piece of JavaScript code embedded on a web page and executed by the browser.

PageRank

Google’s secret algorithm for ranking web pages in search engine results pages.

Paid Search Advertising

Usually refers to advertising on search engines, sometimes called PPC advertising. The advertiser pays only for each click on the advert.

Permalink

A unique URL that points to the permanent location of a single blog post and its associated comments and TrackBacks.

Persona

A character created to define a group of readers in order to speak to them as though they were a unique reader. Usually a hypothetical character created to represent and personify a set of traits.

Primary Research

The collection of data to present a new set of findings from original research.

Proprietary Software

Any software that one or more intellectual property holders own and license to others in exchange for compensation, subject to certain restrictions. Licensees may not be able to change, share, sell or reverse engineer the software.

Prospect

A potential customer.

Prototype

Interactive wireframes that have been linked together like a website, so that they can be navigated by clicking, scrolling and so on.

Q


QR code

Also known as a 2D barcode. These are scannable barcodes that can be read
by certain mobile applications (by taking a photo of the barcode). They contain
information such as a URL.

Qualitative Data

Data that can be observed but not measured. Deal with descriptions.

Quality Score (QS)

A measure used by Google AdWords to indicate how relevant a keyword is to an
ad text and to a user’s search query.

Quantitative Data

Data that can be measured or defined. Deal with numbers.

R


Ratio

An interpretation of data captured, usually one metric divided by another.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

RSS allows you to receive updates without requiring you to visit web pages in your browser constantly.

Referrer

When a user clicks on a link from one site to another, the site the user has left is the referrer. Most browsers log the referrer’s URL in referrer strings. This information is vital in determining which queries are being used to find specific sites.

Referrer

The URL that originally generated the request for the current page.

Research Methodology

Methods employed in research for reaching results.

Responsive Design

Designing a website so that it changes depending on the device on which it is displayed.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The ratio of profit to cost.

Revenue Share

Commission structure where the affiliate earns a percentage of a sale.

Robots.txt

A file written and stored in the root directory of a website that restricts the search engine spiders from indexing certain pages of the website.

S


Sales Force Automation

A type of program that automates the business task of sales associated with effective implementation, productivity forecasts.

Sample size

The number of respondents in a sample of the population.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The process of improving website rankings in search engines.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The actual results returned to the user based on their search query.

Search Engine Spiders

Programs that travel the web, following links and building up the indexes of search engines.

Search Term

The keywords a user enters when searching on a search engine.

Secondary Research

The collection of existing research data.

Segmentation

Filtering visitors into distinct groups based on characteristics in order to analyze visits.

Sender alias

The name that is chosen to appear in the sender or from field of an email.

Sender ID

A method used by major ISPs to confirm that an email does originate from the
domain that it claims to have been sent from.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

An extension of SMTP that stops email spammers from forging the “From” fields
in an email.

Sentiment

The emotion attached to a particular mention – positive, negative or neutral.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

The page that shows the results for a search on a search engine.

Session

The period that a user with a unique cookie spends on a website during a specified amount of time.

Short Message Service (SMS)

Text messages that can be sent to mobile phones from the Internet or from other mobile devices. Usually limited to 160 characters.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

A protocol for sending messages from one server to another.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

A simple XML-based protocol to allow for the exchanging of structured information over HTTP.

Sitemap

On a website, a page that links to every other page in the website, and displays these links organized according to the information hierarchy. In UX terminology, this is the visualized structural plan for how the website’s pages will be laid out and organized.

Social Media Dashboard

A service that allows you to centralize management of your social media properties.

Social Network

In the online sense, a type of website model where individual members become part of a broader virtual community.

Soft bounce

The failed delivery of an email owing to a deviating reason, such as an overloaded mail box or a server failure.

Spam

Email sent to someone who has not requested to receive it – EVIL!

Split Test

Also known as an A/B test.

Sponsored Results

Search engine results that are paid for by the advertiser.

Stakeholder

A person or organization with an interest in how a resource is managed.

Statistically Significant

A sample that is big enough to represent valid conclusions.

Strategy

A set of ideas that outline how a product line or brand will achieve its objectives. This guides decisions on how to create, distribute, promote and price the product or service.

T


Tactic

A specific action or method that contributes to achieving a goal.

Tag

In social media, tags indicate or label what content is about.

Target

A specific numerical benchmark.

Taxonomy

Classification and division into ordered categories, usually hierarchical. In social media, taxonomy can refer to the categorization of content on the Internet.

Text

Text emails or plain text emails do not contain graphics or any kind of markup.

Thumbnail

The still image that is shown at the start of the video. This can be selected, and
can make a video more enticing.

Tone of Voice

The register, formality and personality that comes through in the text.

TrackBack

A mechanism used in a blog that shows a list of entries in other blogs that refer to a post on the first blog.

Traffic

The visitors that visit a website.

U


Unique Forwarders

This refers to the number of individuals who have forwarded a specific email.

Unique Selling Point (USP)

The aspect that makes your offering different from your competitors’.

Universal Resource Locator (URL)

A web address that is unique to every page on the Internet.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)

A messaging protocol used to connect mobile devices with a service provider’s computers, often enabling a variety of applications and creating a real-time connection that allows two-way interaction.

URL Shortener

A web tool that creates a shorter version of a full URL.

Usability

A measure of how easy a system is to use. Sites with excellent usability fare far better than those that are difficult to use.

User Experience Design (UXD)

The process of applying proven principles, techniques and features to create and optimize how a system behaves, mapping out all the touchpoints a user experiences to create consistency in the interaction with the brand.

User Interface (UI)

The user-facing part of the tool or platform – the actual website, application, hardware or tool with which the user interacts.

User-centered Design (UCD)

The design philosophy where designers identify how a product is likely to be used, taking user behavior into consideration and prioritizing user wants and needs, and placing the user at the center of the entire experience.

V


Video Search Engine Optimization (VSEO)

Optimizing videos for search engines, similar to to the way in which one would optimize a website to rank higher on the SERPs.

Video Syndication

The process of distributing and getting search coverage for videos.

Views

The number of times a video has been seen. Multiple views can come from one user.

Viral Video

A video that becomes immensely popular, leading to its spread through word-of- mouth on the Internet via email, social networks and other hosting websites.

Visitor

An individual visiting a website that is not a search engine spider or a script.

Vlogger

Video blogger. A person who produces regular web videos about a chosen topic on a video-enabled blog.

W


W3C

World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees the Web Standards project.

Web Application Framework

Software used to help create dynamic web properties more quickly. This is done through access to libraries of code for a specific language or languages and other automated or simplified processes which then do not need to be coded from scratch.

Web Server

A computer or program that delivers web content to be viewed on the Internet.

White List

A list of accepted email addresses that an ISP, a subscriber or other email service provider allows to deliver messages regardless of spam filter settings.

Wireframe

The skeletal outline of the layout of a web page. This can be rough and general, or very detailed.

Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi)

The transfer of information from one device to another over a distance without the use of wires.

X


eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

A standard used for creating structured documents.

XML sitemap

A guide that search engines use to help them index a website, which indicates how many pages there are, how often they are updated, and how important they are.

3


3G

Third Generation of mobile communications systems. A set of wireless protocols or standards used to transmit data to and from mobile devices. It is faster than previous generations, offering users a wider range of advanced services while achieving greater network capacity.