- by Judd Lyon
- Jun 8, 2008
- Filed in: Search engine marketing
Every industry has confusing jargon, and unfortunately Internet marketing is no exception. Acronyms heaped upon acronyms, smothered with abbreviations, with some euphemisms sprinkled on top – it's a sure recipe for uncertainty. Here's a shortlist of the most important terms to know:
15. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is the umbrella term that refers to the activities used to promote a website. These include search engine optimization (SEO), which is tweaking your site to make sure people can find it, and other methods such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
14. Pay-Per-Click Advertising
A performance-based advertising system in which the advertiser is charged based on the number of times their advertisement is clicked rather than by the number of impressions. The most well-known pay-per-click program is Google Adwords.
13. Page Titles
The title of a web page as designated in the HTML title element. Page title's show up at the top of your web browser as well as in the search results. One of the best pieces of information you can provide to your users and to search engines, page titles are the low-hanging fruit of SEO and are dead simple to implement.
12. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
The page displaying the results the user queried, typically containing a page title (see #13), description and link.
11. Meta Tags
The HTML code (called a tag or element) that provides information about a particular web page. They aren't visible to the user and include things like a description of contents, author information, etc. Currently, most search engines ignore or heavily discount the majority of meta elements, although a few are still useful.
10. PageRank (PR)
PageRank is the name of the patented method Google uses to rate websites. Each site is ranked from 1-10 (10 being the highest) based on Google's proprietary algorithm. It's largely based on the number and relevance of sites linking to yours. You can find out your PageRank by installing the Google Toolbar, or by visiting sites such as What's My Page Rank.
9. Unique Visitor
An individual who views a site during a certain period of time (i.e., example.com had 3,333 unique visitors on Wednesday). You can measure this and other metrics by viewing your server's log files or via a web analytics program such as Google Analytics or Mint.
Short for robot, refers to an automated software program. In search engine terminology, a bot (also called a spider or crawler) follows the hyperlinks on websites, and stores (“indexes”) copies of them for later retrieval. Google's bot is called the GoogleBot, Yahoo's is called Slurp, and Microsoft has the MSNBot.
The words and phrases used by viewers searching for information. For instance, a user in Austin, Texas looking to buy a guitar might search for “Austin music stores.” One of the primary objectives in search engine marketing is to identify and incorporate the right keywords into your site. Tip: Think in your customer's language and terms, not yours.
6. Organic Search
The search engine results that come up based on the search engine's formula, not as a paid placement. Also called “natural” search.
5. Landing Page
The web page a viewer “lands” on after clicking a link or advertisement. Properly designed landing pages increase response rates.
4. Inbound Links
The links on other websites that point to your site. Perhaps the most important factor in the ranking of your site, inbound (alternatively "incoming") links are seen as a vote of confidence in the eye's of search engines, most notably Google. Quality and quantity are important, with preference being given to sites relevant to your topic.
3. Bounce Rate
A web statistic stated as a percentage that refers to people who leave (or “bounce”) from that page without viewing any other pages on your site. The lower the better, most sites are in the 40% - 60% neighborhood.
2. Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
An online advertising term that describes the percentage of clicks compared to the number of impressions. An ad with 15 clicks per 100 impressions has a click-through-rate of 15%.
1. Conversion Rate
The percentage of visitors who take a particular action (usually a purchase, registration, or task) defined by the website owner, compared to the total number of visitors. If five people out of 100 sign-up for your email list, your conversion rate is 5%. Conversion rates vary by industry and objective, (typically from 1% - 5% for e-commerce sites). It's the best measure of the effectiveness of your website and therefore the most important stat to keep track of.
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