Updated: Sep 5, 2019
Unfamiliar waters are always intimidating. Especially when the waters are a rapidly changing ocean of terminology that is extremely important for the success of your website. Surprisingly, ‘bounce rate’ is not the tempo at which a ball bounces, and ‘clickbait’ is not used for fishing (it might be used for phishing though!). Feeling confused? Worry no more. We have created the ultimate glossary of online marketing terms specifically for small business owners and service providers, from our photographer friends to eCommerce beginners.
After reading our glossary you will not only be able to understand the online jargon, you’ll also know how to apply it to promote your own business. While you'll probably never (and shouldn't) build your own website, you have to know these words so that can hire the right people, keep on top of your rights and move your tech forward to better serve your marketing strategy.
A/B testing Comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. The difference between the two compared versions (called A and B) should be specific, for example – the color of the ‘Contact me’ button, a title on the homepage, or the cover photo of an image gallery. You'll also see that many business owners use A/B Split Campaigns are great for email marketing - essentially you get to choose two different subject lines and see which one works best with the highest open rate.
Let’s say you’re a business owner: one of your website’s purposes is to make potential clients contact you. You could compare two versions of your Contact page, where the contact form or phone number appears in a different design or location.
Alt text A textual description that informs search engines about the content of an image on a website. It is extremely important to enter an alt text for every picture, as it helps your website rank better on Google.
Blog A regularly updated website where an individual, a professional or a small company shares their experiences, tips and observations, along with related images and links. For travel business owners, blogging is essential for both branding purposes and for improving their website’s ranking in search engines, who adore freshly updated websites.
Bounce rate The percentage of visitors who navigate away from a website after viewing only one page. If the BR in your website’s analytics is extremely high, you might want to improve the content of your homepage (it’s A/B testing time!) and make sure all your website’s pages are linked to one another and are easily accessible.
Branding The process involving creating a unique name and image for a product or a service-based business, using a consistent theme throughout all marketing and sales materials. Branding aims to differentiate your business from competitors in order to attract loyal customers. Make sure both your offline and online presence have the same tone and style, including your website, business cards, logo and social media channels.
Caption A title or brief explanation that presents a link, image, an event or any other social media post. A caption should be sharp and witty, completing the element it is posted with. It will largely determine if your followers click your post – or not.
Clickbait An eye-catching image or text with the main purpose of attracting attention and encouraging visitors to click on a link. In social media marketing, this could be an example of a very successful caption. Warning: for the sake of your SEO, don’t force it, by writing delusive captions that aren’t related to the content of your post. Otherwise, people will leave your page as soon as they land on it (see Bounce rate).
Content marketing A marketing approach that involves the creation and sharing of valuable and relevant content (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) to attract a defined target audience and stimulate interest in one’s products or services. To find out more, see definitions for Blog and SMM.
Contact form An element on a website that allows users to communicate with the site owner. It has fields for filling in your name, address and type of comment. For small business owners, it’s an absolute must. Make sure to connect your contact form with a current email address to receive messages from potential clients.
Conversion rate The percentage of your website’s visitors who perform a desired action (book your services, subscribe to your newsletter, buy your products, etc.).
CTA (Call To Action) The element of a marketing message that persuades a person to perform the desired action, as in “Buy now”. For example, a CTA on a personal trainer’s homepage would lead to their Contact page or any other option to book their services.
Domain name A friendly and memorable name that is given to a certain IP address on the web. Simply put, it’s a website’s address on the world wide web. In “www.sandramclemore.com”, “SandraMcLemore” is the domain name.
Digital marketing All the marketing efforts delivered through digital channels, such as search engines, websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. A digital marketing strategy includes an online portfolio and website optimized for search engines, social media presence, a blog, and even paid advertising campaigns on Facebook or Google.
Email marketing See Newsletter.
Email signature A block of text at the end of an email message which contains the sender’s name and contact information. For a greater impact, make sure to add a signature with your logo, business name, social media profiles and a link to your online portfolio.
eCommerce The buying and selling of products and services by businesses and consumers over the Internet. Check out the complete eCommerce checklist for starting an online store.
Engagement Not the event that leads to a wedding, but a metric that measures public shares, likes and comments on social media posts. The engagement rate and quality allow you to evaluate whether a post was successful and can improve your online marketing strategy.
Fresh content Updating your website regularly with new content will improve its SEO ranking and will encourage your website visitors to come more often.
Facebook There’s a 99.9% chance you know what it is, but here’s the definition: Facebook is an extremely popular social networking website that allows users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
For small companies: an irresistible tool for online marketing. Having a dedicated Facebook page for your business makes it easier for potential clients to find and contact you, as well as to admire and share your work. Here are the latest Facebook features you need to know about.
Golden triangle In web-design, this is the viewing pattern of a web page created by tracking users’ eye activity. This area attracts the main focus of attention and is most likely to receive user clicks and engagement. The triangle runs from the top left corner of the page to the top right and diagonally down and across to the bottom left corner above the fold.
Conclusion: your main message, Call To Action (see CTA) and contact details should fall inside this magical area.
Google A popular search engine, as well as a verb that refers to searching the Internet using the Google search engine. See SEO for more details.
Google My Business A free tool for businesses to manage their presence across Google. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers find you and tell them the story of your business. If you have a physical location (photography studio, hotel, store, etc.) it is extremely important to make sure your business’ name, address and contact details are all up-to-date. This is critical for your local SEO efforts.
Google Analytics A powerful web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic. Check your website traffic regularly, be it after sharing an image on social media, running a paid campaign, or simply on a weekly basis. Check out the “Audience” section to learn about your visitors, “Behavior” to understand what type of content engages them the most, and “Acquisition” to evaluate your paid campaigns and general traffic sources.
Google+ A social networking platform by Google. Not very successful in terms of popularity, but essential for improving your website’s ranking in Google’s search results. If you’re marketing your business in social media, it’s worth to invest an extra couple of minutes on sharing your content on Google+ as well.
Hashtag A word or phrase preceded by a pound sign (#), used to identify messages on a specific topic. They are extremely useful for promoting content on social networks, especially Instagram and Twitter. Read our guide on how to use hashtags in social media. Bonus tip: whenever you share a photo on Instagram or Twitter, make sure to use relevant hashtags to grow the post’s exposure beyond your followers. Creating a specific post for a trending hashtag is always a good idea.
Influencer A person who has the power to influence many people, mostly through social media, in a specific field or professional area. If your Instagram (or Facebook/Twitter) profile is extremely popular, you might be contacted by brands regarding paid posts to promote their message or product within the context of your channel.
Instagram A popular online photo sharing and social networking platform. For travel entrepreneurs: your ultimate go-to online marketing channel. Sandra McLemore has some amazing training, Power Sessions and courses to get you started and winning on Instagram.
Internal linking A link on a web page that leads to another page, image or document within the same website. On top of improving navigation, valuable internal links improve your website’s SEO.
Java Not the coffee, nor the island in Indonesia, but a type of coding language. It has been replaced by HTML5 on all many websites for optimal performance.
Keywords In SEO: a two to five word sentence that describes what your business or website is about. Keywords make it possible for people to find your web content (site or social media accounts) via search engines. Learn the magic of finding the perfect keywords for your website.
Landing page A standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective (promote a product, invite to an event, etc.). For example, if you’re running an advertising campaign with a special offer (i.e. 20% early bird discount for Valentine’s Day), it’s better to create a dedicated landing page, with a clear description of the offer and an attractive call to action (see CTA).
Layout (or Gallery) The way images on your website are showcased.
LinkedIn A social networking site designed specifically for the business community. It’s often an overlooked social platform, which you can only benefit from.
Local SEO An online marketing approach, in which a website is optimized for promoting products or services to its local target audience.
Logo A graphic representation or a symbol of a business name, often uniquely designed for quick recognition. It is recommended to follow logo design trends within your area of expertise.
Meta tag A snippet of text that describes a page’s content. Meta tags don’t appear on the page itself, but only in the page’s code, telling search engines what a web page is about. Make sure to update the meta tags (SEO title and SEO description) for each of your website’s pages. Include your focus keyword and location for better results.
Microsite A branded content site that lives outside of the company’s main website. For photographers: with Photo Albums you can create a handy microsite for your clients in a click. They can access their dedicated website, and easily share photos with their friends and loved ones. The album will have your branding on it – a win-win for both sides. Did we mention it’s completely free?
Mobile friendly Smartphones may be man’s new best friend, but the actual meaning of this term relates to the ease of use of a website from a mobile device, especially the small screens of iPhones, Samsungs and their counterparts. Calling all small business owners: your website has to be mobile-friendly, as that’s how most of your potential clients will be looking for you. Worry not – it’s easy to enable the mobile-friendly version of your website.
Newsletter A regularly distributed email publication that is generally about one main topic of interest to its subscribers. You can offer your website visitors the option to subscribe to a newsletter, where you’ll share news, special offers, stunning photos, or anything that might interest your target audience and grow their loyalty. It’s called email marketing, and once you get the hang of it, you can earn 10xtimes more than you do now. Sandra McLemore has some amazing resources. Check out her Email List Building course, it's a true game changer!
Networking Interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. Social media has really made it simple to maintain connections almost effortlessly. As they say – you like mine, and I’ll like yours. Still, keep in mind that offline networking is no less important. Be it a photo shoot stylist, a wedding designer, or just a happy client – they are all extremely valuable contacts to have both online and offline.
Online portfolio A compilation of one’s work in digital form. The purpose of an online portfolio is to give a prospective client a sense of who you are, what you can do and whether you meet their expectations.
For photographers and designers: an absolute must-have in the digital era. The chances of getting hired without an online portfolio are as low as the exposure of a pitch-black photo.
Online advertising See PPC.
Organic traffic Traffic that comes to your website as a result of unpaid search results. The main purpose of optimizing a website for search engines (SEO) is to drive as much free traffic to a website as possible.
Paid directories An online list or catalog of websites that have an enlistment fee.
Pageviews A web analytics metric defined as the total number of pages viewed on a website within a given amount of time. This metric may indicate whether your website visitors are engaged enough with the content to explore it further than the homepage. The higher your Pageviews number is, the better.
Pinterest A social media platform that allows users to organize and share images and videos from around the Web. Users create pinboards in different categories and save their respective content. From sharing original ideas for a photoshoot to wowing viewers with your most stunning photos – Pinterest users can easily attract new visitors to their website. Here’s how a small business can make the most of what Pinterest has to offer.
PPC Stands for Pay-Per-Click, a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked on. Running a PPC campaign on Google or Facebook can grow your customer reach, but requires a thorough study in order to make the investment in paid advertising profitable.
QA (Quality Assurance) A way of preventing mistakes or defects in manufactured products or in this case, online services. Before publishing your website or sending a newsletter, show it to your close friends or anyone whose opinion you trust. Ask them to navigate through the website, review the content, follow the links, and give you honest feedback. If an error is spotted, it’s better that your friends find it, and not your potential clients.
Ranking In SEO, ranking refers to a website’s position in the search engine results page. Ranking depends on more than 200 factors like content relevance to the search term, or the quality of links pointing to the page. The best way to rank is to work with your web designer to ensure your site is setup correctly, and then put weekly fresh content onto it.
Referral traffic These are visitors to your site that come from direct links on other websites rather than directly or from searches. Referral traffic increases the “page rank” of your blog, which boosts its position in Google’s search results.
One way to obtain referral traffic is by writing a review on your blog about a product or service, and then offering that brand to add a link to your article on their site. Traffic from social networks also counts, thus adding a Facebook “Like” button on your website or blog can boost referral traffic by 50%.
RSS (Rich Site Summary) An Internet technology standard that allows people to receive updates to web-based content of interest. If you have a blog, make sure to add an RSS button, so that your readers can get your updates automatically in their RSS feed.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) An area of website development that seeks to improve the site’s visibility in search engine results. SEO methods include improving a website’s content, navigation, User Experience, external and internal links, and more.
SMM (Social Media Marketing) A form of digital marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a channel to reach existing and potential clients. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden their customer reach. Learn how to create a content strategy for social media.
Target audience A particular group of people, identified as the intended recipient of an advertisement or message. Your website content, social media activity and any other form of marketing should be addressed to your target audience.
Testimonial A written or spoken recommendation of a product or service from a previously satisfied customer. Testimonials can increase your conversion by more than 50% (that’s the difference between yes and no). Ask clients to write a review of your services, and add it to a dedicated recommendations section on your website. Video testimonials work even better than textual ones.
Twitter An online news and social networking website, which allows users to publish short messages up to 140 characters (aka tweets). It is a useful marketing tool if your work is relevant in real time, for example – photojournalism.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) Simply put, it’s the address at which a website is found. The URL is composed of your domain name (see Domain Name) and your extension (.com, .net, .photo, .org, etc.).
USP (Unique Selling Proposition) A factor that differentiates a product or a service from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever of its kind.
UX (User Experience) This refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. Make sure your website provides an optimal user experience. We just happen to have a beginner’s guide to mastering UX right here.
Video marketing Thanks to the latest integration of video in popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, video is the most promising type of content marketing in the last couple of years.
Wix Video is the best tool to showcase your videos and the ones extracted from different platforms (like YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook) on your website in an easy and simple process.
Watermark In the online world: a symbol or a design embedded into a digital intellectual property (such as a photo) to identify its originator or owner. For photographers: to prove that you are the owner of an image and to avoid online image theft, it is recommended to protect the photos you post online with a watermark. Here’s how to easily watermark and protect your images.
Website A connected group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity, usually maintained by one person or an organization and devoted to a single topic or several closely related topics. For photographers: see Online Portfolio.
Wix A cloud-based web development platform that allows users to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites through the use of online ‘drag and drop’ tools. In other words, it’s a user-friendly website builder which allows you to create a stunning website without writing a single line of code. And it’s free!
Xenopus Well, it’s not related to web marketing, but we couldn’t find a word starting with an ‘X’. Didn’t you always want to know what a xenopus is? Apart from being a useful word for scrabble, xenopus is a type of an aquatic frog native to sub-Saharan Africa, widely used as a model organism in biological research.
YouTube A video sharing service that allows users to watch videos posted by other users and upload videos of their own. Learn how to start a successful YouTube channel for your biz now!
Zebra See Xenopus.