If you are not familiar with search engine optimization, use this SEO glossary to help you with unfamiliar online marketing terms.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is a process of revenue sharing that allows merchants to duplicate sales efforts by enlisting other web sites as a type of outside sales force. Successful affiliate marketing programs result in the merchant attracting additional buyers, and the affiliate earning the equivalent of a referral fee, based on click-through referrals to the merchant site.
Algorithm – A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank listings in response to a query. Search engines guard their algorithms closely, as they are the unique formulas used to determine relevancy.
ALT Text – Also known as alternative text or alt attribute. An HTML tag (ALT tag) used to provide images with a text description in the event images are turned off in a web browser. The images text description is usually visible while “hovering” over the image. This tag is also important for the web access of the visually impaired
Anchor Text – Descriptive, clickable text in a hyperlink.
Arbitrage – A practice through which web publishers – second tier search engines, directories and vertical search engines – engage in the buying and reselling of web traffic. Typically, arbitrage occurs when such publishers pool client budgets to engage in PPC campaigns on Tier I search engines (Google, Yahoo!, MSN). If the publishers pay $0.10 per click for traffic, they typically resell those visitors to clients who bid $0.20 or more for the same keywords. Successful arbitrage requires that the arbitrageur must pay less per click than what the traffic sells for. The variation called Affiliate Arbitrage involves a web site owner or blogger bidding on keywords from programs such as Yahoo! Search Marketing or Google AdWords, who then links the ads, either to their own web site, or directly to a merchant site displaying ads (from programs such as the Yahoo! Publisher Network or Google AdSense).
Backlinks – All the links pointing back at a particular web page on the owner’s website. Also called inbound links.
CPC – Cost Per Click, advertising where you only pay when your ad is clicked.
Cascading Style Sheets or CSS – An addition to your HTML, a web site’s “cascading style sheet” contains information on paragraph layout, font sizes, colors, etc. A cascading style sheet has many uses as far as search engine optimization and web site design are concerned.
Click Through Rate – The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, they see links to a variety of web pages. Three of the 10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 30 percent click-through rate. Also called CTR. Source: Webmaster World Forums
Competitive Analysis – As used in SEO, CA is the assessment and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of competing web sites, including identifying traffic patterns, major traffic sources, and keyword selection.
Conversion Rate – Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you had 100 visitors and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro-conversions (for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or signing up for a service).
Crawler – Automated programs in search engines that gather web site listings by automatically crawling the web. A search engine’s crawler (also called a spider or robot) “reads” page text contents and web page coding, and also follows links to other hyperlinked pages on the web pages it crawls. A crawler makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine’s index, or database.
Deep Linking – Linking that guides, directs and links a click-through searcher (or a search engine crawler) to a very specific and relevant product or category web page from search terms and PPC ads.
Description Tag – Refers to the information contained in the description META tag. This tag is meant to hold the brief description of the web page it is included on. The information contained in this tag is generally the description displayed immediately after the main link on many search engine result pages.
Domain Name – Refers to the web address you type into the address bar in a browser to get to a website. It is also referred to as the URL. (seodoesmatter.com)
Doorway Page – A web page specifically created in order to obtain rankings within the natural listings of a search engine. These pages generally are filled with keywords and are meant to funnel surfers into the main web site. This practice is generally considered an outdated spam tactic. This term is not to be confused with a “landing page.”
Hyperlink – A method of connecting or moving from one webpage to another webpage. Typically done with keyword(s), graphics, or the web URL address. (http://www.seodoesmatter.com)
Internal Linking – A link pointing to another page within your own web site.
IP Address – Acronym for Internet Protocol. This is the numeric address of a website.
Keyword / Keyword Phrase – A specific word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search field. Includes generic, category keywords; industry-specific terms; product brands; common misspellings and expanded variations (called Keyword Stemming), or multiple words (called Long Tail for their lower CTRs but sometimes better conversion rates). All might be entered as a search query. For example, someone looking to buy coffee mugs might use the keyword phrase “ceramic coffee mugs.” Also, keywords – which trigger ad network and contextual network ad serves – are the auction components on which PPC advertisers bid for all Ad Groups/Orders and campaigns.
Keyword Density – The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase is used in the body of a page. This is a percentage value determined by the number of words on the page, as opposed to the number of times the specific keyword appears within it. In general, the higher the number of times a keyword appears in a page, the higher its density.
Keyword Stemming – To return to the root or stem of a word and build additional words by adding a prefix or suffix, or using pluralization. The word can expand in either direction and even add words, increasing the number of variable options.
Keyword Stuffing – Generally refers to the act of adding an inordinate number of keyword terms into the HTML or tags of a web page.
Keyword Tag – Refers to the META keywords tag within a web page. This tag is meant to hold approximately 8 – 10 keywords or keyword phrases, separated by commas. These phrases should be either misspellings of the main page topic, or terms that directly reflect the content on the page on which they appear. Keyword tags are sometimes used for internal search results as well as viewed by search engines.
Landing Page / Destination Page – The web page at which a searcher arrives after clicking on an ad. When creating a PPC ad, the advertiser displays a URL (and specifies the exact page URL in the code) on which the searcher will land after clicking on an ad in the SERP. Landing pages are also known as “where the deal is closed,” as it is landing page actions that determine an advertiser’s conversion rate success.
Lead– Consumer’s information (contact information such as name and email address) collected that is interested in your business/product/service; a potential customer.
Link Farming – The attempt to substantially and artificially increase link popularity.
Link Popularity – Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL. There are typically two types of link popularity: Internal and External. Internal link popularity typically refers to the number of links or pages within a web site that link to a specific URL. External link popularity refers to the number of inbound links from external web sites that are pointing to a specific URL. If you have more “links” than your competitors, you are typically known to have link cardinality or link superiority.
Long Tail – Keyword phrases with at least three, sometimes four or five, words in them. These long tail keywords are usually highly specific and draw lower traffic than shorter, more competitive keyword phrases, which is why they are also cheaper. Oftentimes, long tail keywords, in aggregate, have good conversion ratios for the low number of click-throughs they generate.
Niche – A defined group of people interested in a similar issue or topic; A distinct segment of a market which can be narrowed or broadened.
Organic Search Listings – Listings that search engines do not sell (unlike paid listings). Instead, sites appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included, regardless of payment. Paid Inclusion Content is also often considered “organic” even though it is paid for. This is because paid inclusion content usually appears intermixed with unpaid organic results.
PageRank (PR) – PR is the Google technology developed at Stanford University for placing importance on pages and web sites. At one point, PageRank (PR) was a major factor in rankings. Today it is one of hundreds of factors in the algorithm that determines a page’s rankings.
RSS – Acronym for Rich Site Summary or Real Simple Syndication, a family of web feed formats that leverages XML for distributing and sharing headlines and information from other web content (also known as syndication).
Reciprocal Link – Two different sites that link out to each other. Also referred to as Cross Linking.
Robots.txt – A text file present in the root directory of a website which is used to direct the activity of search engine crawlers. This file is typically used to tell a crawler which portions of the site should be crawled and which should not be crawled.
SERP – Acronym for S earch Engine Results Page. The page delivered to a searcher that displays the results of a search query entered into the search field. Displays both paid ad (sponsored) and organic listings in varying positions or rank.
Sitemap – Refers to HTML sitemap and XML sitemap
XML sitemap is specially formatted files that have links to your pages. The XML sitemap can be submitted directly to search engines.
HTML sitemap is a webpage created with links of your own web pages for users looking for direction to specific pages. They can be categorized to fit the need of the website.
Subdomain – Refers to a folder within a domain used for distinct products or topics. (maps.google.com)
Title Tag – An HTML tag appearing in the <head> tag of a web page that contains the page title. The page title should be determined by the relevant contents of that specific web page. The contents of a title tag for a web page is generally displayed in a search engine result as a bold blue underlined hyperlink.
URL – Acronym for: Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the global web address. It can also be called the domain name.
Verticals – A vertical is a specific business group or category, such as insurance, automotive or travel. Vertical search offers targeted search options and PPC opportunities to a specific business category.
Viral Marketing – Also called viral advertising, viral marketing refers to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness. The awareness increases are the result of self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can also harness the network effect of the internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly. Source: Wikipedia.