We at Industrial Web Solutions have found that in many conversations about the World Wide Web, terms get thrown around but never explained. We want to make sure that you are as informed as possible about the way that the online world works. This glossary has been created by Industrial Web Solutions staff, based on questions they have been asked by customers. We hope it will be as helpful to you as it has been for our current clients.
Tracking and Reporting:
Alt text or alternative text is used with graphical images to ensure a clear description of the image in case someone who is visually impaired is using a screen reader or the web browser doesn't display the image. It is a good idea to optimize images and graphical links with keywords that describe what the image is as it relates to the content of the page.
A banner ad is an internet marketing initiative that posts a carefully worded and designed advertising graphic on a web page that when clicked takes the end-user to the advertiser's web page. Many sites sell banner ad space on their websites based upon the number of visitors who will see the ad in a given month.
A blast email is an email sent to a group of people at one time. It could be a newsletter sent to people who have signed up to receive it, or a Internet Marketing initiative informing your existing customers of a special you are running. Blast email is an effective way to reach out to your clientele.
Pronounced cash, cache refers to the version of your website currently being stored in the database of a search engine. When a search engine refers to having cached your page, it has scanned and stored your page content in its database, which will allow users of the search engine to view it. The cached version of the page may not reflect what is on the actual page on your website if your website content has changed since the last time the search engined cached it.
A click through or CT occurs when a person clicks on your email or web advertisement through to the landing page or website. The click through rate or CTR is the number clicks on the ad divided by the number of ad impressions (viewable to others) multiplied by 100. The goal is to have the highest CTR possible.
A client is the application that runs on a person's computer and relies on a server to perform some operations. In common terms the personal computer or workstation itself is often referred to as the client. A web browser is an example of a client because it executes functions on the personal computer or workstation as opposed to the web server.
ColdFusion is a scripting language for writing web pages that interact with databases.
A conversion goal is an action you wish a site visitor to take on your website. This may include submitting a contact form, submitting a request for quote or submitting an order. You can measure the success of your conversion goals using tracking.
Conversion rate measures the successful completion of a desired action on your website or from your web advertising. For example, if filling in the contact form on your website is a desired conversion goal then the form would be coded with special tracking script so that each time the form was submitted the tracking application would record the action. The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of times the contact form was successfully submitted (goal) by the number of times the contact form page was viewed multiplied by 100. This formula can be applied to any desired action (conversion goal) that can be tracked with tracking code.
When a person visits a website, a cookie is a small text file of information stored locally on the person's computer by a web server. It is used principally to identify the user. It helps the web server verify, track, and manage specific information about the user such as browsing preferences or the contents of the user's electronic shopping cart for example. A first-party cookie is the text file associated with the host domain, or web server that created it in the first place. It can only be read by that server. A third-party cookie, on the other hand, is not associated with the host domain but with a third-party url such as in the case of a banner ad hosted by another site.
Cascading style sheet or CSS refers to a file used for storing formatting information for a web page or web site. Rather than formatting the text and layout of a web page within the page itself, the Cascading Style Sheet allows one to specify styles to parts of the website, within the page, and perform the formatting based on the information stored in the sheet. This allows pages to be more streamlined and allows changes to a style to be performed in one place, which will change the look of all content with that style associated.
In a pay per click campaign your daily budget amount refers to the dollar amount you are willing to spend before the search engine program stops broadcasting your ad for the day.
A domain name is nothing more than a memorable alternative naming of a numerical IP address. This is what is licensed from a domain registrar and generally takes the format of "yourcompanyname.com".
A domain registrar is a company or organization that is accredited by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to register available domain names to the public. Every domain name is unique, and may only have one owner. The registrar tracks the ownership of the domain, and controls the information associated to it. The registrar will not allow individuals who are not recognized as the owner of the domain to make any changes to the information associated to it.
A dynamic web page has all or part of its content created using information retrieved from a database. For example: If you have ever registered for a website, and seen a page display your name in a welcome message, you are looking at a dynamic web page. The database tells the page who you are and what your name is. It knows this because of the information you provided when you signed into the site. The page displays your name dynamically, just as it does when other members of the site sign in.
An end-user is the person who will ultimately interact with your web pages or website application. If you are reading this, you are our end-user. Thanks.
HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a standard programming language used to build the static elements of a website. Static refers to the fact that the web page has fixed content that remains on the page as opposed to a dynamic web page where the content is generated anew by the server every time the page is requested.
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It defines how information is formatted and transmitted on the World Wide Web and tells a web browser or web server what actions to take in response to various commands.
A hyperlink is simply words or a graphic on a page that when clicked on take the user to another web page within a site, another website or other web content on the same page.
A hypertext link is simply words that when clicked on take the user to a specified web page that, when best SEO practices are employed, announce the content of the page to which it points. For instance, if you were to click a link that says "Our Products" you would not expect to go to a page that does not contain products. The text of hyperlinks should inform the user of where they are going.
An image file is used to display photographs and graphics on a web page or other electronic documents. The file can be in one of many different formats. Each format has characteristics specific to it that make one type better for some uses than others. The images displayed in this website are all image files stored on our server and delivered to your browser when you visit each page.
An inbound link is a link to your website from someone else's. Inbound links are considered very important by many search engines, as they count a link to you from another site as an endorsement of your site. Many other factors are considered by the search engines when reviewing inbound links, such as the relevance of the site the link is coming from. But overall, having other sites link to yours is beneficial to your search engine ranking.
When a search engine reads the pages of your site and inserts your pages in their search results, it is called indexing. After the Search Engine has indexed you, you will show up in their search results for the terms they decided apply to you. The process of attempting to guide the Search Engines into including you in the results for the words and phrases you want is called Search Engine Optimization.
Internet marketing refers to initiatives to promote your business via the World Wide Web. There are many internet marketing options available including blast emails, banner ads, and search engine marketing
An IP address is a series of numbers that identify Internet users. IP stands for Internet Protocol. All users of the Internet have an IP address, as do all websites. When you type in a website address, like www.industrialwebsolutions.com, you get to the correct site because computers across the Internet match the name you typed in with the IP address of the server where the website is hosted.
And when you visit websites, they can record your IP address, which is given to you by your Internet Service provider. Websites often use this information to determine what region of the world their site is being visited from. Your IP address is with you wherever you go.
A keyword, or keyword phrase, is a word or phrase used to find products, services or information within a search engine. The search engine in turn delivers relevant web pages it has indexed to the end-user by matching as closely as possible the keywords used in the search. See search engine optimization.
KWP (stands for Keyword Phrase). A Keyword Phrase is a series of words that can be entered into a search engine that allow the search results to be more specific. For example: "Pirate Ship" is an example of a keyword phrase. Entering Pirate Ship will bring you different and more specific results than searching for either "Pirate" or "Ship" on their own.
A landing page is the first page viewed after clicking a link from a search engine, sponsored listing, email ad, banner ad, or other web advertising. This page may be the homepage of your website or a content page designed specially for a particular marketing campaign. It is best to have this page optimized both for keyword performance in the search engines and to ensure the best possible conversion rate.
Link popularity refers to a search engine recognizing that a page has been linked to often from high ranking web pages of similar content. Popularity is determined by the number of relevant and high ranking inbound links a web page has. The popularity of the inbound link that links to your web page serves to boost the popularity of your web page respectively. It is as if your web page has just received a significant popularity vote.
Meta data refers to the meta tags associated with a web page. These tags provide information about the web page that is not normally seen by the site visitor. Meta tags are used by web browsers and search engines to learn more about a web page and its content. Optimizing web pages for enhanced search engine performance, a process called search engine optimization, involves placing keywords and accurate descriptions relevant to the web page content in the meta tags and title tag.
The navigation path refers to the order of web pages visited on a single website by a site visitor. The navigation path can let you know what users of your site tend to be looking for. For example, if you go the home page of a website, see a link to a news article and click on it, then your navigation path would be Home --> News Article.
An online directory is a website that allows users to browse and search for information within a specific topic. In many cases, the directory will charge a fee to the companies listed within it and may employ human editors to verify listings. A directory can be a valuable resource when searching for something very specific, as you will be able to search within a specific category for what you need, and only receive results within that category.
Search engines want to list, in order of relevance, the web pages that match closest to the search query. Organic search refers to search results listings that are not paid inclusion but are "naturally", or "organically", generated by the search engine. Each search engine has its own proprietary algorithm to determine the relevancy of your page content to the search query made by the user. In plain English, that means someone out there wants what you offer. If you present what you offer the way the search engine wants (determined by the algorithm) you may get listed in the top spots.
A page requested refers to the specific web page a web server has been asked to deliver. For instance, when you clicked on this page, the server recorded the fact that it delivered the page to you.
PageRank is Google's metric for determining the value of a web page by the number of links coming into it (inbound links). Google uses this metric as part of its formula for determining which pages get to be listed in the top ten spots, for example, on Google's Search Engine Results Page or "SERP".
PageRank also considers the PageRank value of the inbound link. Yahoo! Directory and the Open Directory have high PageRank. If a person clicks through to your web page from your Yahoo! Directory listing, for example, your PageRank has the potential to increase. If you can increase your PageRank to 6 or better you are likely to achieve good organic listing positions on the Google SERPs.
Paid inclusion refers to the opportunity to pay a fee to a search engine directory to have your listing reviewed by the directory's human editor and hopefully accepted for inclusion in their online directory. Yahoo Directory and Business.com are examples of online directories that offer a paid inclusion program to advertisers. This is not the same as the search engine's web directory.
Pay per Click or PPC is a type of search engine marketing that allows you to bid on keywords and a ranking position in the sponsored listing section of the search engine results.
A referrer is a web analytics term meaning the url or IP address from which a visitor came before arriving at destination page. The referrer could be an internal web page, a link from another website or a link from a search engine.
A search engine is a program that searches text documents for specified search terms or keywords and returns results listing documents where the keywords were found. On the internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN and ASK, among many others, help people to find information on the World Wide Web.
It is possible to prepare documents through a process called search engine optimization so that they are ready to be scanned and indexed by the search engines.
Search engine marketing refers to the advertising and sales initiatives designed around keywords or search terms that people use to find the types of products or services a business offers. The theory is that you can attract potential customers who are actively searching for what it is you offer by writing textual ads and presenting website content that matches the search term used to generate your listing in the search engine results.
Search engine optimization is the process of preparing web pages, including meta data, images, links and code, with relevant keywords and content so that search engines will rank the pages high in the natural search listings for these relevant keywords. The idea behind search engine optimization is that your web pages will receive a greater numbers of visitors who are interested in what you have to offer if they can find you within the search engines' top listing spots with the keywords you optimized for organically.
A server log is a file created and maintained by a web server. The log contains the activity of the web server and records information about the users accessing the website. Information recorded by server logs includes: referrers, keywords, page requested, IP Address and more.
Server-Side describes actions that take place on the server in a client-server relationship. If you fill out on online form and receive an email from a website, the email was generated and sent as a server-side function.
A sponsored listing is a textual advertisement that appears in a designated section on the search engine results page, apart from the organic search engine results and usually in blue, whose advertiser pays for the opportunity to appear there. Costs are generally incurred on a pay per click basis, which is determined by competitive bid on keywords and desired listing position.
SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a cryptographic security protocol recommended for all ecommerce, financial institution and other websites that manage highly personal or secured information such as social security numbers, credit card information and account details. Installing an SSL Certificate on your server will let customers know that their sensitive information is being transmitted over the internet (from their browser to the web sever) in a format that cannot be intercepted and stolen along the way.
A tag is a term used in HTML to define the text enclosed within them. In some cases, the tag will specify that a word should be bold or italicized. But, with Meta tags the text is defined for the search engines. The 'description' and 'keyword' tags tell the search engines what that web page is about. The meta tags are not visible to a visitor looking at your site, but are always read by the search engines.
TCP/IP is a term used to describe the communications protocol that the Internet runs on. It is also known as the TCP/IP Protocol Suite, and consists of the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP). TCP/IP which is based upon technology pioneered in the 1970's allows computers to communicate within a building or office, or around the world via the Internet.
A title tag is the title of a web page that appears at the top of the web browser to announce the page. It is the descriptive text that should identify the web page content. Title tags often become the clickable hyperlink to the web page from the search engine listing as a result of a natural search. Title tags are often search engine optimized with relevant search terms or keywords to achieve top rankings in the search engine's natural search results.
Tracking refers to measuring the activity associated to an initiative. For example, adding reporting to your website will allow for the tracking of visitors and the pages they visited. Tracking a blast email will allow you to see the number of people who opened or clicked on the email you sent. It is virtually impossible to measure the success of any initiative without some kind of tracking in place.
A URL or Uniform Resource Locator is commonly known as the string of information you type into your web browser to reach content over the Internet. Technically, this is known as a Universal Resource Identifier (URI) but the use of the term URL has remained the common term. The URL of this website's home page is http://www.industrialwebsolutions.com. The http:// tells your browser how to interact with the resource, and the www.industrialwebsolutions.com identifies the resource, which is the home page of our site.
The user-agent refers to any device or platform that is able to request and display web pages. These include a web browser, mobile phone, search engine crawler, PDA (personal digital assistant) or screen reader.