Here is a Glossary of Digital Marketing terms used on this website:
Accessibility – How accessible a website is to everyone – in particular users with any form of disability (e.g.dyslexia, colour blindness) or using less common means of accessing a website, such as a mobile phone. Accessible websites can be used by more users, are a legal requirement in many countries and are widely considered best practice.
Web Analytics – A type of software for analysing the behaviour of visitors to a website. WebScan looks for modern Web Analytics tools which deliver full detail on user experience (such as Clicktracks, WebTrends, or Google Analytics). Using a proper Analytics tool is essential for any website if you wish to understand how people are using it.
Alternative text – It is possible for non-text content in a web page to have an ‘alternative text’ equivalent. For example, an image or video might have a text description. Although this text is invisible to the vast majority of web users, it is important: Alternative text can be seen by search engines such as Google, and images and video cannot. Similarly, users with disabilities may be unable to see images, and rely on Alternative text to understand this content. See also Accessibility.
Broken link – A link which when clicked upon doesn’t do what you would expect – most often, a error appears like “Unable to find this page”.
Cookies – A type of technology used to track users visiting a website. Although sometimes essential (especially for e-commerce sites and login areas), some users will block cookies and search engines cannot use them, so it is important that websites work without them.
CSS – CSS is an extremely common form of technology used to format webpages. Using CSS makes webpages smaller, faster, better optimised for search engines and more accessible. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.
Domain name – The part of a web address that you buy to hold a website, e.g. www.google.com. All other pages in your website are just extensions of the domain name, e.g. www.google.com/news.
Flash – A very common technology used to display animations on a website. Almost all non-trivial animation on the web is powered by Flash, including the majority of video. Flash comes in different versions which not all computers support, so it is important that websites handle this correctly.
Incoming link – A link into your website, from another website, often valuable – see SEO.
Keywords – Something that someone would search for in a search engine, “key-words”. It is common practice to consider what keywords a website should score highly for (e.g. “car insurance”) and then optimise a website for them.
Metadata / Meta-tags – Literally “data about data” – usually information about a web page. Metadata is important because webpages can provide information about themselves which search engines use to understand that page. For example, the text that appears in Google underneath the name for your website.
Outgoing link – A link from your website to another website.
Popup – A window which opens automatically when you view a page, hence “pop-up”. These are widely considered an extreme annoyance and over 70% of web users block them, meaning websites which use them will have that content ignored 70% of the time.
Printability – How well webpages appear when printed. It is possible to write webpages so that they appear different when printed – it is best practice to use this technique to fit the printed page, and hide unnecessary parts of the page (such as menus). Many users print webpages to pass them to other people, especially for meetings or recommendations.
Readability - How easy content is to read and understand.
Search Engine – A website used to search the Internet – most commonly Google, Yahoo and MSN.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. The process of improving a website so that it appears higher in search engine results. Correctly used, SEO is usually the best way of increasing qualified visits to a website.
Spiderability – Whether search engines can see the content in this website. The process of exploring a website for content is known as ‘spidering’, hence ‘spider-ability’. Spiderability is utterly essential for websites that wish to score highly in search engines.
Stylesheets – See CSS.
URL – A web address, e.g. www.google.com. Stands for Uniform Resource Locator.
URL chopping – Chopping the end off a URL (web address) to try to go ‘up one level’ in a website. For example, chopping www.example.com/news/article1 to www.example.com/news. Users and search engines do this, yet some sites crash or reveal sensitive information when they do.
URL format – How well formatted the URLs (web addresses) in a website are – in particular whether human beings could understand or memorise them. Bad URLs are harder to market and sometimes even ignored by search engines – see SEO.
W3C Compliance – W3C is the standards body for the Internet, and they define how web pages should be written for maximum compatibility. W3C Compliance is an evaluation of how well a website fits these standards, meaning the website was usually written to a high standard.