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Glossary of Terms

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Above the Fold: The part of a website that can be seen on a standard monitor without scrolling down.

Alt Text: The unseen descriptions of images on a website. These descriptions are used for blind users on a screen reader as well as what appears if the image link is not available. This text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image. It is used for image optimization and should contain keywords and be descriptive of the image.

Analytics: In internet marketing, this refers to the information available in reports and data points about visitor, actions and interactions with your website. There are several analytical tools available to see this information.

Anchor Text: The clickable text in a hyperlink. This text should be relevant to the page you are linking to, not just generic text. GOOD: small business SEO / BAD: Click here


Backlinks: This is an incoming link to your website from another web page. Quality backlinks with good anchor text, from other relevant sites are critical to website optimization.

Black hat SEO: Aggressive website optimization practices that usually do not follow search engine guidelines.

Bounce Rate: Refers to the percentage of visitors to a website that leave after viewing only one page. This information can be determined through your analytics. A high bounce rate may mean that you need to work on the page to engage the visitor more.

Burned: This is a term to describe a website that has been completely blocked from a search engines results page.


Call To Action: A distinct and prominent directive displayed to the visitors on a website. A phone number with “Call Now” text or a form mailer requesting their information are two forms of call to actions.

Citations: Any mention of your business on the internet. A complete citation should include the correct company name, address and best phone number. These citations are used as part of the search engine algorithms to verify the business’ existence.

Click-Through Rate: The percentage of people who click on a link or internet ad. This number can be determined by reviewing your analytics. Click-through rates are used to determine ad cost and the effectiveness of an internet advertising campaign.

CMS: Content Management System. This is an internet application created to make it easier for people to create, edit and manage their websites.

Conversion Rate: This number refers to the number of sales you get from your website in comparison to the total number of visitors. You can determine this by comparing your website analytics to your sales information.

Cookie: Small bit of data stored in a visitor’s browser after they visit a website. This information can be sent back to the website’s server with information about the visitor and their web browsing activity.

Cost Per Click: See Pay Per Click

Cost Per Impression: This is a method of advertising a website, but instead of paying each time the ad is clicked, you pay for the amount of times the ad is seen. This type of advertising is good for creating brand awareness.

CSS: This is the abbreviation for Cascading Style Sheet. This is a behind the curtain document used to tell browsers how a web page should look.


Directory: A listing of businesses or people based on a categorization. In SEO, directory listings are used for correct citations. There are paid and free directories.

Display Ad: These are graphical, rich media ads paid for by the businesses. They are typically displayed as banners next to content on web pages. They can be targeted based on demographics and cost.

Domain Escrow Company: A third party service used for domain purchase. These companies are used to ensure that the person buying the domain gets the domain, and that the seller receives their money. They hold the purchase money in a trust account until the entire transaction is complete.

Domain Name: The unique name that identifies a website. It is the easy way to reach a specific website without knowing the exact numeric address. The easiest example is the White House. The physical street address of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is similar to a website’s IP address. When you tell someone you went to the White House, that is similar to giving the domain name, without having to say you went to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

Duplicate Content: Large blocks of written content across different websites that completely match or are very similar. Duplicate content can cause harm to your website’s ability to rank in the search engines.


Email Service Provider/ESP: Any company that offers bulk email or email marketing services. They often offer trackable metrics and analytics as part of their email services.

End User: In internet marketing, this refers to the person who actually uses your website.


Facebook Remarketing: This is a form of advertising to people based on information retrieved from cookies on their computer that follow their browsing activity. You can then advertise to then based on their browsing history directly in the Facebook feed.

Flash: Is a form of animation used to show videos or complex animation on a web page. It is not as widely used now, instead HTML 5 is preferred.


Geo Targeting: In internet marketing this refers to advertising to people based on where they are located. This information can be determine by their IP address and internet service provider. This allows you to narrow your target audience and extend your ad budget by advertising to a smaller area of people.

Google+: This is Google’s social networking platform. Many believe that using Google+ helps with the optimization and page rank of your website.


Header Tag: h1 – This is usually the title of your page or a brief description of the importance of the page. There should only be one header tag on a page and it should contain the primary keyword for that page. Correct use of header tags impacts your search rankings

HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. This is a common programming language for creating websites.

Hyperlink: This is a word or image that acts as a link to another website, page of content or area on the same page. They are commonly used to help the end user easily navigate a website.


Impression: In internet marketing, this refers to each time your paid ad is shown. This is the basis for the Cost Per Impression marketing model.

Inbound Link: Also known as a backlink or incoming link.

Indexed: This refers to the search engines catalog of each website available. Once your site has been indexed by the search engines it is available to be shown when a person types in a search query

IPTC: The International Press Telecommunications Council, sets the industry standard for administrative, descriptive, and copyright information about images and is key to protecting images’ copyright and licensing information online.


Javascript: This is programming language often used to build the interactive and moving parts on a webpage


Keyword: This refers to the search query typed into a search engine by a user when they are looking for something on the internet. Webpages are created to rank for certain keywords and search engines use their algorithm to show relevant websites based on the words typed in.

Keyword Density: In internet marketing this refers to the number of times a certain keyword is used in the copy of a webpage in relation to the total number of words. Over using a keyword can lead to a penalty for keyword stuffing

Keyword Research: Refers to the work done by a search engine optimization company to determine the best keywords for your market and goals. Keywords can be picked for their ability to convert to sales as well as for impressions and popularity. Keyword research is a very important part of the initial design and creation of a website.


Landing Page: In internet marketing, this refers to the page the end user lands on when they click on either a free or paid link.

LinkedIn: Social networking platform primarily used by professionals.

Link Building: This is the process of acquiring links to your website from other websites. This is a major component of SEO. However, buying links or getting links from irrelevant or spam sites can harm your website rankings.

Link Authority: A type of ranking system used by the search engines to determine the strength of links to or from a website.

Local Search: Term used to describe search queries for products or services located near to the person making the search.  Ranking in local search results is an increasing part of website SEO.


Meta Description:  This is the short descriptive text that shows up in the search engine results list.  It should be written to entice users to click on your website, by including keywords and related information.

Meta Tags: The small pieces of information about your webpage that are not normally seen by the end user.  This information is used to tell the search bots about the page, author and website.

Mobile Compatibile: Refers to a website that is viewable on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This does not necessarily mean they are optimized for mobile, but they will work on mobile devices.

Mobile Optimized/Responsive: Refers to a website that is designed specifically for a smartphone or tablet. These sites do not require the user to pinch or zoom to read the text.

Movable Type: A common blogging platform and CMS.


Natural Language Search: Search query entered into in a search engine that uses regular spoken words. i.e. “What is the temperature?” Based on your geo location the search engine will return the current temperature and the forecast for your location.

Neighborhood: Term referring to the location where your website is hosted. Your ‘neighborhood’ can effect your search rankings if your website is hosted with other malicious or spamming websites.


Offsite SEO: Type of search engine optimization that takes place away from your website.  This optimization includes social media marketing, link building, and citations.

Online Reputation Management/ORM: The practice of monitoring and shaping public perception of a business. Often times this includes managing review sites such as Yelp and Google Reviews.

Organic Results: Also known as Free results. These are the results displayed on the search engine results page because they are relevant to the search query. They are not purchased and can be very valuable because they are freely obtainable with quality SEO.


Page Rank:  This is a ranking system created to determine the authority of a web page.

Page Stickiness: Content on a website that is intended to get users to return to the site and spend a longer amount of time on that site.

Pay-per-Click/PPC: A type of internet marketing where businesses pay the search engine each time someone clicks on their ad.

PHP:  A common programming language used to design websites.


Quality Score:  In search engine paid ads, this is a pricing variable used by Google that can influence both the rank and cost per click (CPC) of your ad. To determine the order in which ads are listed, each ad has the following formula run against it: amount you are willing to pay or your bid  * the quality score give to your ad.


Redirect:  When a visitor lands on a page and is immediately transferred to a different page.  This can often happen without the end user even noticing the transfer.

Retargeting:  A type of marketing using cookies on a person’s computer to show them ads based on their search habits and history.

Rich Snippet:  This is the extra information that show up under the search results  They are used to give the person searching a better understanding of what is on that page and why it is relevant to what they are searching for.

Robots:  AKA crawlers and spiders.  These are programs that move around the internet, searching websites and reporting back to their servers.  These are used by search engines to index the website content to determine their search engine results.

Robot.txt file:  A small piece of code placed on your website to tell web crawlers which directories can or cannot be read. It is important to make sure your file is current and accurate so that you do not block the search engines crawlers.


Schema Markup:  Refers to code you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.

Search Engine Algorithm: A complex system used by the search engines to return results to the user based on the query. The results displayed are determined by many factors and these factors change regularly. The algorithm is intended to serve the user the most applicable and useful results based on the search request. This is done by looking at the user intent, the phrase typed in, and the sites indexed that meet the search criteria.

Search Engine Optimization/SEO: The business of helping the visibility of a website in the organic search results. Consists of many facets and changes with every algorithm update.

Search Engine Results Page/SERP: The list of results returned by a search engine when a person enters a search query. This page can contain both organic and paid advertising.

Semantic Search: Process by which the search engines try to return more relevant results by determining the searcher’s intent and the contextual meaning of the search terms entered.

Site Audit:  A complete analysis and reporting of a website’s design and performance.  A site audit should be performed before any work is done to your website to set benchmarks and goals.  This report can highlight issues that need to be fixed and areas that can be improved.  Any SEO specialist should be able to provide a site audit before and after their work on your site.

Site Speed:  Refers to how fast a web page loads.  Site speed is a factor in search engine rankings because it impacts the end user experience.

Sitemap: A list of pages on a website. Should be accessible to web crawlers, bots and users. Is used as a road map to help define the structure and hierarchy of the website.

Sitelinks:  The links to other pages in a website that appear under paid ads.

Social Media Management: The business of monitoring, contributing, and measuring a business’ presence on social networks.

Social Media Marketing/SMM: A form of internet advertising that utilizes social networking sites.

Social Signals: Links, Likes, Follows, Plus 1’s or other social media sharing metrics. While social signals may not directly relate to search engine results there is evidence that they are impacting search rankings.

Sponsored Listing or Ads: Same as PPC or pay-per-click ads.

Straight Number: A telephone number where the prefix and number are all the same number. i.e. 808-222-2222.


Top Level Domain/TLD:  Refers to the last portion of a domain name.  For example, the domain name www.adaptingonline.com is part of the .com Top Level Domain.

Tracking Code:  A small piece of code placed on a website to track data about the site and the visitors behavior on the site.


Unique Visitor:  Refers to a single visitor to a website regardless of how many times that visitor goes back the site.  This is information that can be determined by review site analytics.

URL:  The internet address for a website.  This is the common address you type in to your browser to reach a website.


Vanity Number: A telephone number that spells out something. i.e. 800-FLOWERS.

Video Hosting Service: A third party service that allows people to upload videos to their servers. These are typically used to keep the video overhead off of your own site so it does not affect page speed.


Web safe color: Consist of 216 colors that display clear on any computer monitor.

Web safe font: Fonts that typically display well on any computer or browser.

Website Hosting Company: A company that allows the general public to place their website in space accessible to the world wide web.

Webspam: Describes webpages that are designed to spam search engine results using black hat SEO tactics.


XML Sitemap:  A document behind the scenes of a website that helps the search engines better understand your website when they crawl it.


YouTube:  A video sharing website owned by Google.  It is a powerful search engine of its own where you are able to run ads before during and after the videos.


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