We hate jargon, techie-speak or
anything that makes it harder for you or your clients to
understand the written or spoken word.
However, like in any industry, there
are specific terms that are used to provide accurate
meaning, detail in descriptions or to ensure that we are
There is no getting away from it, if you want to be in
control of your website development project, then you must
at least have a modicum of understanding of what is going on
out there in the scary world of technology.
glossary also includes terms and phrases that we use at
Business for Business, on our training courses and when
delivering our consultancy services. so this will also serve
as reminder or recap to help you.
To help with this, we've
included this glossary and explanation of terms. You can
see more like this - or some of the items expanded on - in
INTERNET MARKETING How to Get a Website that Works for Your
Business by Nigel T Packer, Managing Director of
Business for Business.
(see Google Adwords)
Is the process of setting up and managing
Adwords programmes. Google used to offer a service for
this, then a system called jumpstart to do this job, but has
discontinued. Most companies will contract a professional
to ensure their adwords spend is being used wisely, as while
in principle adwords are relatively easy to operate, in
practice it is a lot harder to get it right and achieve a
Affiliate or Associate programme
A method of online marketing, where one
website promotes or sells the services or products of
another company for commission, often measured as 'click-thoughs'
or via the website statistics or analytics data. Commission
is paid when a user clicks on the link embedded in the
affiliates website and then makes a purchase. The key to
building online success through affiliate marketing includes
choosing the products to promote well, making them highly
relevant to your visitors, and generating targeted traffic
to the website. Not as easy as it sounds!
A contraction of
alternative text. The alt-text will be displayed in the
place of an image in cases where the image is not displayed,
such as when images are turned off (now an out-dated
practice, it used to be common to speed up the download of
websites in pre-broadband days) or where the website is
experienced through the medium of a screen reader, used by a
person with visual impairment. The Disability
Discrimination Act and website accessibility standards
require or recommend that alt text is always provided for
images. However, it is not used to literally describe an
image, more to state its purpose or contribution to the
overall communication. Alt text can be an important
Search Engine Optimisation and
Search Engine Marketing
relates - in this context - to analysis of
website statistics, feedback or web analytics. Analysis can
be as much of an art as a science, gathering data is one
thing, but the interpretation of it requires a great deal of
knowledge and experience.
Creates the illusion of movement by
displaying a series of images,
while they can be used effectively in websites to
illustrate, they are commonly
overused and more commonly irritate than help
Sounds painful, and you probably can't afford
it. Where a website that might have a shop, or some other
system that the users can interact with (the front end) is
integrated with some business system (the back end) such as
stock control, accounting, delivery tracking or similar.
Adverts or advertising
Advertising that is embedded into a website
other than that of the advertiser that is intended to
attracted traffic to the website of the advertiser via a
hyperlink. Animation, sound, video and now interactivity is
often employed to attract attention, however this strategy
can backfire as the phenomenon of 'banner blindness' results
in users consciously ignoring any element of a webpage that
looks like an advert. Money can be earned by the owner of
the site displaying the ad when a user clicks on an advert.
This is tracked through website stats, logs or analytics.
The term 'banner' now refers to a horizontal ad size of 468
x 60 pixels. While there are many other shapes and sizes in
use, the term banner is also used to describe any advert.
The success of banner advertising - which can be lucrative
in many cases - relies on a depth of understanding of
online promotional techniques and value judgement of
relevance to the user.
Barriers to task completion are a major
user experience problem. Anything that prevents the
user doing whatever it is they came to the website to do
could be considered a barrier: whether it might be a menu or
navigation system that does not fit in with the users'
mental model, or a flashing advert that is sufficiently
irritating to distract from the task in hand.
A social networking site, launched in 2005 it
became popular with younger users. Acquired by AOL in 2008,
they sold it on in 2010 due to falling numbers of users who
have moved to FaceBook and other social media platforms.
Bid (see also
The amount that an advertiser is willing to
pay for a search term - keyword or keyphrase - that will
trigger their advert
The term used by graphic designers or
typographers to refer to the 'main' text of a page, as
distinct from headings or other elements.
When a website visitor or user 'bounces' back
out of the site after visiting only one page. Commonly
understood to indicate that they have not found what they
are looking for and therefore leave. Of course, it could
also indicate that they have found what they are looking for
quickly and efficiently and have no need to visit another
page due to the efficiency of the website and the
effectiveness of the
promotional campaign, inbound links and landing pages.
A website analysis term, refers to the
percentage of visitors who leave the website after only
viewing a single page. It is calculated as a percentage of
the total number of single page visits divided by the total
number of visits. It is generally accepted that a low
result for a bounce rate is good, indicating that a higher
number of visitors view a number of pages in the site before
leaving. (However, this depends on the objectives and
nature of the website, and the
that is being employed, there are
specific situations when a 100% bounce rate would be
considered a success.) Like any other statistics or data
analysis, this needs to be considered in context with your
website strategy and objectives.
A term that most people in business are familiar with, but
have difficulty defining or understanding. Your brand is
your value in the eyes of your customers, value being
different to what you actually sell or deliver. Statistics
indicate that as many as 90% of people will purchase from a
trusted brand as opposed to a generic one. Brand is
combination of what you present to the customer - over which
you have some control, and the amalgamation of customer
perception, over which you have none. Brand identity is a
crucial success factor and forms the major part of the value
of any business and online is often the first contact of any
detail that a customer has with a company's brand.
application or some software that is used to view (or to
browse) the internet. The most popular at present are
Internet Explorer and Firefox with approx 57% and 23% of
market share respectively.
Business goals and
A Caption is explanatory text about the contents of an
image, usually positioned below. Unlike
alt-text, it does not usually describe the image, but
provides additional information (e.g. the names of the
people in a group photograph) or some explanation of the
context or similar. Image captions are best provided as
text and have implications for
Search Engine Optimisation and
Search Engine Marketing.
A user experience technique used to help develop content
structures for information architecture that is user
centred. Particularly useful for product databases, or
where there is a lot of information. A very low- tech
process, conducting card-sorting exercises are
straightforward, however, like other usability or
user-centred design techniques, the difficult part lies
in the interpretation of results.
A click through occurs when a website user
'clicks through' and advert or other link to arrive at an
advertiser's or affiliates website.
Not an internet term at all, to clarify our
use of these terms, we use client to indicate a client of
Business for Business, and the term customer to mean our
clients' customers - the users of the website, the people
who source or buy products or services from you, the client.
CMS - Content
A software system that is now commonly
embedded into a website that allows the website owner or
administrator to add content and sometimes to manage the
existence of pages to their website without requiring the
intervention of the website developer or designer.
A usability inspection method, a user experience expert
would perform a cognitive walkthrough to determine if a
sufficiently easy path to completion of a user's task is
present in a website, or whether barriers to task completion
exist. Task scenarios would be constructed from the
specification of the website and then role-play performed. A
highly skilled and easily misled process in the
inexperienced, it takes a holistic view to catch problems
that may not be exposed by other
user experience methods
A type of button or navigation item on a website that is
distinct from any other in that it initiates some kind of
function (as opposed to navigating or linking to another
page) such as 'send', 'submit', 'add-to-basket', 'pay',
'login', 'search' etc. It is recommended that the design
and appearance of command button is used consistently, and
is visually differentiated from the design of menu buttons
that are for hyperlinking to other pages or websites.
A website can be said to consist of a number
of different basic categories. This can be defined this as
functionality and content. Content can consist of text,
images (photographs or illustrations) and other media such
as animation, sound and video.
A broad term, which is used in this context
to refer to success criteria of a website, or the criteria
against which a
website is evaluated.
CSS - Cascading Style
A system where the
style - the design and visual appearance of the website page
elements, including colours, fonts or typefaces, spacing etc
- is kept separate from the content of the webpage (and also
the code that controls the functionality of the website and
the relationship of the pages). Styles are created and
named then applied to the elements on the pages, such as
headings, body text etc. One of the advantage of the use of
CSS technology is that if a change is required to - for
example - the font or typeface used for a heading, then when
this change is made in the CSS, the style will 'cascade'
throughout the website wherever the style has been applied.
This means that never mind how many pages there may be in
the site, the style will remain consistent. It can also be
used to apply different presentations to a range of devices,
from mobile technology with small viewing screens to
screen-readers for users with visual impairment. CSS is
notoriously difficult to get right, and many
websites we review suffer badly from unskilled or
An IT term that can be
understood as the lowest level from which information (and
subsequently knowledge) can be extracted. Data is often the
result of gathering metrics of some kind (such as website
Google analytics) and can be used to produce a variety
of visual outputs such as graphs.
A collection of related data, that is organised or
categorised into an appropriate structure. Databases
consist of data fields (a type of data, e.g. name, address,
post code) and the content is organised as a series of
records (all the data of a specific occurrence, e.g. Mrs
Jones. 42 high street, CF12 etc). Database systems are used
to manipulate this data to produce meaningful information.
Databases are commonly used in websites to manage large
amounts of data, such as product catalogues, particularly
where the data may need to be manipulated by the user to
suit their own needs, using search, category views,
filtering etc. (e.g. a computer hardware database might be
filtered to show only HP laptops between £400 & £500)
The term refers to the characteristics of a
population, used in marketing (and internet marketing) to
refer to the characteristics of a target customer or
audience. A demographic profile, would provide enough
information to be able to create a mental picture, e.g.
single, male, age 18-24, Higher educated, etc. Used to help
develop a marketing strategy or plan. Typical demographic
data include age, gender, income level, race or ethnicity,
but the important factors are those that affect their
ability or willingness to purchase the product or service on
website design brief)
Marketing (see also
Refers to any marketing material or message that reaches
customers by communications directly addressed to the
customer. This could be physical via the post office or
call centres, or virtual, via email addresses, when it would
In the context of files on a computer, directory is an older
term that is now replaced by the term folder, and refers to
a file system structure. In the context of Internet
Marketing, a directory is an organised collection of links
to websites, and were very popular before search and search
engines became the main method of internet users finding
what they were looking for. A directory display lists of web
pages based on categories, not on keywords as a search
engine does. Yahoo is a well known example, which while
also offering a search facility started out as, and still
is, fundamentally a web directory.
Also understood to refer to the website
address or URL, the domain part of the domain name actually
means the end part that indictes the type or country of
origin, e.g. in the URL
www.microsoft.com, '.com' is the domain. In
www.bbc.co.uk '.co.uk' is
Domain Name Registration
The process or registering or purchasing the right to use a
particalur website address/URL or domain name. In concept
this is a similar idea to purchasing a car registration
number, providing it is available and meets certain rules
you can have it. Now very cheap (often just a few pounds)
there are countless agencies online that will carry this out
for you. The choice of name however is another matter and
impacts on online success and should be considered to be at
the very core of the
website strategic planning.
Downloading, Download (see also
Downloading is the process of receiving data
from some remote system, in this context from a website (or
more accurately a web server that is hosting a website). A
download can refer to a file that is offered for
A highly successful online auction and
trading website, founded in 1995, now operating in over 30
Essentially an e-book is an electronic version of a book.
While containing the same elements as a printed book: text
and images (plus all the other stuff like introductions,
dedications, copyright statements etc) instead of it being
printed on paper, bound and then read, it remains in a
digital form, so it is readable on computers or other
digital devices. Many printed books are now also available
as ebooks, although now many ebooks are being produced
without their printed equivalent.
A term that is sometimes used interchangeably
with ecommerce, it is really more than ecommerce, and can
involves business processes that cover every aspect or
function of a business including supply chain management,
electronic processing of order, customer support and
relationship management and so on. E-business is carried out
online, and also using intranets, extranets, or a
Is the practice of buying and selling of
products and services using the internet (and other
electronic networks). The amount of ecommerce has grown
exponentially in recent years,
and surpassed all
Is an online
website and membership organisation
that offers networking events, business
support and networking groups for entrepreneurs and small
business owners. Founded in 1998, it has now been surpassed
in popularity by
Is a form of direct marketing, which uses
email to send commercial (or fundraising) communications to
an audience. They could be to acquire new customers, to
send advertisements to an existing or potential customer
base for special offers, promotions or similar or to
encourage customer loyalty. It is the most cost-effective
form of direct mail due to the relatively low cost of an
individual transmission (relative to the printing and
mailing out of physical direct mail). It has other
advantages, in particular the ability with many email
marketing platforms to be able to track opening and
click-throughs from the email, enabling the marketer to
gain feedback on the success of the campaign.
Is the process of
ebooks and other digital media via the internet. There
are numerous platforms available, the most common/popular
being Amazon's Digital Text Platform, which prepares ebooks
for viewing on the Kindle ereader, and for sale on the
Amazon website. Many other file formats and other platforms
An e-reader is device used to view and read
ebooks. This can take the form of a physical hand-held
device such as the Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle, or can be
piece of software that allows a computer to read the e-book
format, or a downloadable app or similar that enables
smartphones or other devices such as the ipad to display the
Not seen so often now as a term, but refers
to a website or system on the internet that is in effect a
private network, but external to the business or
organisation that operates it, users would normally access
an extranet via some system of login and password or other
secure or controlled access.
If by some chance you've never heard of it,
Facebook is a
social networking site, started in 2006. Now the
subject of a feature film, it has experienced unprecedented
exponential growth far beyond any predictions and now lists
over 500 million active users, with over 50% using the site
every day. Facebook fan pages can be used effectively to
promote particular types of business and generate brand
awareness and if done well can be successful without the
need for enormous budgets. Facebook
also now offers a system of contextual advertising, similar
in principle to
The file path, refers
to a unique location in a file system. This is exactly the
same in a website as on a computer, where the file path
often describes a series of named folders within the
architecture of a website, on a web server. The detail of
the file path can have an impact on
A broad term referring in this context to how easy (or
difficult) it is to find something online or on a particular
site. Creating good findability would - according to the
specific situation - include
search engine marketing (SEM),
search engine optimisation (SEO) and evaluation and
online advertising campaigns, other forms of
website promotion, such as
email marketing and
social media. Creating good findability within a site
is a function of
user experience and requires customer focused
information architecture among other things. To
optimise internal findability, tasks and paths to task
completion in particular would benefit from analysis among
Used in the phrase 'below the fold',
refers to the part of a webpage not visible without
scrolling. The term derives from newspaper publishing where
it is common or practical to fold a paper due to its
(including enquiry forms, feedback forms, web forms)
A general term referring to areas of a webpage where a user
can ether enter details (e.g their name, in a text entry
box) or choose from options (e.g. in a drop down list) that
is then either submitted to some function or controls the
Form fields include:
Text entry boxes
and scrolling text boxes (that are not limited to
the number of characters, a scroll bar appears if you
enter more than can be viewed at one time),
Drop down lists,
where clicking on an arrow button 'opens' the list which
'drops down' often with a scroll bar.
usually round, radio buttons allow the users to make an
'either-or' or 'pick-from-a-list' choice.
Tick or check boxes
are used so that user can indicate all of the items that
apply in this case.
A form will usually
command buttons that allow the information to be
'submitted' or 'sent' and for the form to be 'cleared'
A technique where are group of people
representative of your business customers are facilitated in
an exercise to make some kind of value judgement. Focus
groups are very valuable but are often misused to seek
feedback about a website, where the participants are asked
what they think of it, or if they would use a certain
function or similar. The fundamental principle to be aware
of is that what people SAY, and what they DO, are not
necessarily the same thing and the only way to really test
how your website performs for your users is to do just that,
test it, with representative users.
In the context of a website, this is what facilities are
available or provided on the website for the user to carry
out some function - other than simply linking or navigating
to another page or website (hyperlinking
or linking). Functions might include login and/or register,
sign up for a newsletter or similar, add an item to a
shopping cart, choose delivery options and make payment,
search and filter categories or criteria, book a flight or
room, or register for an event and more.
Gif (pronounced with the g as in good) is one of the main
types of image file used online. Gifs are made up of flat
colours and hard edges so are commonly used for logos,
graphic elements and also for animations when they are
referred to as animated gifs.
(website or business goals)
We think that the fundamental objective of a
website is to meet or help to meet, wholly or partially,
some business or organisational goal. Without this clearly
in mind, it is too easy to be seduced by fancy features or
sold facilities that serve no clear purpose. This is the
underpinning of our strategic approach.
This one probably doesn't need an explanation as such, as a
search engine, Google is leader globally, currently listing
around 85% of search market share (this has fallen by just
under 1% in 2010, data
Also offers a number of other services including Analytics,
Adwords and Maps
AdWords is the name of Google's advertising, also called
sponsored links. It is currently the most popular
pay-per-click (PPC) website-targeted advertising.
The adverts includes text (the
most common), banner, and rich-media ads for local,
national, and international distribution. Google's text
advertisements are short, consisting of one headline and two
additional text lines. The adverts are only displayed when
they are triggered by a search term chosen by the
Advertisers select and
bid the maximum amount they will pay per click for the
search terms words that will trigger their ads to be
displayed. When a user searches on Google, ads for those
‘trigger’ words are shown as "sponsored links" on the right
side of the screen and above the main search results.
Adwords are cost effective as
you only pay when the ad is clicked on by the user, not
simply when it is displayed.
Google offers a free detailed analytics and statistics
system for use in websites. It is aimed at the marketing
world and details supplied include visitors, referrers and
so on. It integrates seamlessly with
Google Adwords so that users can track and review online
campaigns. Considered to be the most widely used web
analytics/statistics service it is initiated by including
some code into a webpage or series of pages and accessed
online via login and password.
As well as keyword search, google offers
maps. Users can search,
zoom in and browse
or focus on
an address or post code or search by business category and
find businesses in a given area (local search). In turn it
is possible to enter and edit details about a business,
pinpointing its location as well as appearing in results for
Hash Tag (#tag)
Used on short message services such as
twitter, a hash tag refers to a word or phrase preceded
by a hash (#) symbol which will appear in search engine
results or trending websites.
Head Tag, Head Code, HTML Head, (see
HTML has a section - usually at the beginning - called the
head tag, or sometimes (inaccurately) described as the head
code. This area is not visible to the user, but contains
and supplies information to the browsing device or browser,
search engines and so on. The head tag contains the title,
metatags such as the keyword list and description as
well as other details.
Header or Heading
This means just what you think it does, the
same as a printed document a heading for a page or
paragraph. However, in websites headings can be far more
important for both
search engines and
Heuristics literally means 'rule of thumb' a
heuristic analysis is carried out when the use of a system
to be evaluated may be highly subjective and experience many
variables or similar. Heuristic analysis or evaluation can
only be carried out by an expert or someone with a wide
experience in the field. In this context the
would be used to refer to a
Usability or User Experience evaluation of a website.
Would be carried out to try to identify
potential barriers to a good user experience and prioritise
actions to overcome these.
Hierarchical Structure (see also
Hierarchies or hierarchical structures are
often used for websites, they often represent a
straightforward and convenient method of categorising and
structuring information and pages in a website.
Additionally as the concept of a hierarchy has been around
for thousands of years, people are familiar with them in
their everyday lives, and are so prepared to work within a
hierarchical structure without the need to learn a new
Used to be considered the standard unit of measurement for
website success, the term 'hit' actually refers to a request
to the server (that hosts your website) to display a file.
The term was often mistakenly understood to indicate the
number of visitors. However, if you consider that a webpage
will be one file, but if it contains three pictures and your
logo, they will represent four more files making 5 in all,
then the site would register 5 hits, not one visitor.
A small piece of code in a website that records and displays
the hits or number of visitors or a website. A decade or so
ago, it was quite normal to see hit counters on a website,
or to be informed that, "You are the 7852th visitor to this
site!" their use has been superseded by other technologies
and in any case were a geeky toy that didn't really have a
purpose other than to say you had one. If in 2012, you
encounter a web developer who offers or includes a hit
counter in your website, run like the wind.
Hosting is a service provided by a company that rents or
leases space on a server (computer) so that individuals,
businesses or organisations can make their websites
accessible via the world wide web. The cost or scope of
hosting varies with the services or functionality required.
Stands for HyperText Markup Language and is
the original building block of websites, invented by Tim
Berners-Lee at CERN for keeping track of his research
notes. It is still used to construct many websites, often
now in conjunction with other programming languages
A function that allows a user to click and be immediately
transferred to a specific predetermined destination. A core
functionality of the internet, hyperlinks are at the centre
of website development and use. Hyperlinks can be internal
(from page to page in your website), external and outgoing,
where you provide a link to another website; or external and
incoming (see also
Link Juice) where another website links to yours.
A broad term referring to pictures, these
could be photographs, drawings or other types of
illustrations. Images are one of the content types that are
important on a website, not only in terms of how they
visually communicate to the user, also in how the
image captions are used to contribute to
Search Engine Optimisation and
Search Engine Marketing
In the context of websites, refers to various
methods and principles of organising, structuring and
labelling content, bringing many principles of information
and library science, visual design and architecture to
play. Good information architecture will be intuitive to
the user, offering good information scent and visual cues.
It may also need to accommodate different types of user, in
differing situations. Not often an easy task!
An important concept in information foraging
theory, website users rely of various cues and clues in the
information and visual environment in order to
subconsciously estimate the likelihood of a particular path
providing them with their goal.
A private computer network that used the same
technology and methods as are used on the internet. It
usually refers to a network within an organisation,
sometimes referring to the company's own website, but that
contains information and resources, that are made available
only to those inside the company. Now often an important
element in larger companies and organisations and a focal
point for dissemination of information, other forms of
communication and also for teamwork and collaboration.
Stands for Internet Service Provider, a
literal description for a company that provides internet
services such as internet access, web hosting and more.
Programming languages or script languages used to create
specific types of Web functionality or content, or to meet
specific standards. If you are a programmer, you will
already know what they are. If you are not, that is
definitely all you want to know about them, not how they
work but that they exist and that your web developer will
probably talk about them e.g.
jpeg (pronounced jaypeg) is one of the main
types of image file used online. There are others, but they
are less common. Jpeg (which is an acronym for joint
photographics experts group – but you don’t need to know
that) are used for photographs and contone (from continuous
tone) images, those which have blended and shaded tones and
colours. see also
We use these terms interchangeably, the
difference between the two is exactly as you would expect, a
keyword is a single word, an a keyphrase contains more than
one word. They both refer to the terms that your customers
use to describe your products or services the terms that are
typed into search engines and hopefully result in your site
A group of websites that link to all the
others in the group. Used to be a popular method of
creating link juice. Most are now created by automated
systems. While a website will benefit (in search engine
results) from inward links, the use of link farms are now
considered by search engines to be spamdexing (a contraction
of spamming the index) This is less likely to result in good
search engine listings, and more likely to result in the
website being blacklisted.
Geek (not Greek) slang that has fallen into
common use (which is of course how many new words enter
language), it refers to
SEO, and in particular how inward linking (hyperlinks
from other websites linking into your website) affect the
success of this activity. Link juice can come from a lot of
sources, but the better respected (and therefore ranked)
they are, the better the juice.
Is a business social networking website. Launched in 2003,
it is currently the leader in professional networking, with
more than 90 million registered users in more than 200
countries and regions.
The process of searching with some
geographical or regional constraints, so that the results of
the search are not just to do with 'find what' but also
'find where'. E.g. London Hotel, Car rental Glasgow. Local
search systems and website are populated by advertising -
whether paid or not - from businesses that want to feature
when users search for specific products and services in
specific locations. This can be highly effective due to
The process of accessing a restricted or private area of a
website or other network or system by supplying details that
identify you as a valid user. This is often simply a
username of some kind, and a password, and may include some
other identifying information which would have previously
supplied during a registration process.
Describe the inclusion in a website of a system that will
allow users to register themselves as a user, then login at
a later time to access specific information, or refers to
the process of a user registering with the site, or logging
in and a later point.
A broad term referring to a method of transmission of a
communication, can refer to advertising media, digital media
multimedia etc. The may be used (in the context of a
website) to describe features or content other than text or
images, such as video, audio and animation.
A bank account that offers the facility to
accept payments by debit or credit card.
Has its roots ancient greek and literally
means 'behind' or 'hidden'. It is not a word in its own
right and is always a prefix (the first part of a word).
Metadata is information about data. Metadata in effect
describes other data.
Metadata is always provided in pairs: the name, e.g.
keywords; and its value or contents, e.g. the keyword list.
An item of HTML, found in the
head tag of a website that contains the metadata in the
form of metanames about a webpage. Search engines use the
information in metatags.
Short text used for headings and headlines,
limited to approximately 40-60 characters. Good microtext
would effectively convey the content of the item it
represents, offering good
information scent. It should not be deliberately
cryptic (or clever, a play on words, a pun or similar).
(pronounced emmpeg) It actually stands
for moving picture experts group, a committee that works to
establish and maintain standards for audio and video
compression (a method making files smaller so they can be
distributed). In common usage an mpeg file is a
(compressed) audio or video file.
A social networking site, that
was very popular, now overtaken by
facebook, in early 2011 it cut its workforce by nearly
half. Myspace is continuing to 'rebrand' and reposition
itself as a portal for music and other entertainment.
Nanotext is an even shorter version of
microtext, usually refers to the first two words of
headings, headlines or content. Research shows that the
first 11 characters are crucial due to user behaviour, in
particular how people read on the internet.
Accurately they refer to a state of
connectivity relative to computer or communications
technology. In common use today, it refers to the internet,
so online is on the internet, whether it is a person who is
online (and is browsing the internet or looking at a
website) or the marketing campaign in online (an online
campaign, through a website, or social media or similar).
Offline being the opposite - not on the internet, in the
real or physical world.
Online transactions (see
Considered to be a philosophy, or a methodology, the terms
describes practices of development that offer access to the
end products source materials. Open source software offers
its original source code to be made available to the public
(including other developers), anyone (with the skills) can
modify and distribute without paying fees or royalties of
any kind. Examples include linux - operating
system, moodle - open learning environment, joomla
- web dev/content
management system, mozilla firefox - web
Optimised, Optimisation (see also
Literally: make optimal; get
the most out of; exploit fully; get the maximum use out of.
In the context of websites is often used in a phrase with
'search engine' as in 'search engine optimisation', or
'optimise for Google'. We also use it in conjunction with
user to refer to the 'optimum user experience', or more
rarely 'user or customer optimised'.
The page title, an item of
metadata, controls the text that is displayed in the
title bar at the top of the browser window. It also
controls the first line displayed in the search engine
results (Google) pages.
PayPal is a service that allows you to send and receive
money online. Many websites including eBay accept paypal as
a method of payment. It can also be used to send money to
anyone with an email address. The money can either be in a
paypal account, or a bank account or credit card. The
service is free to sign up, but fees charged are based on
the value and who the funds are being transferred to or
A website that charges for access to information does so by
presenting a paywall: a screen that requests payment for a
one off access or a periodical subscription for continued
access. The user would then
login or register to access the required information.
This applies to sources of academic or industry information,
and more recently to the press, The Times newspaper
introduced a paywall in 2010.
A persona is a set of information that is
used to personify a target customer or similar. A fictional
character is created to represent each different user type
that might use a website or buy a brand or product. They
are useful in decision making where a user or customer's
behaviour, needs, desires or limitations is taken into
Pop-ups or Pop-up
Still in the top-ten list of things that
people hate about websites, a pop-up is an advert (or other
information) that 'pops-up' uninvited, on top of the page
you are looking at (often irritatingly blocking your view or
even worse - following your mouse movements around!
A variation on the pop-up, is the when a new
browser window containing an advert is opened behind what
you are currently viewing, hidden under the active window.
These do not interrupt the user immediately and aren't seen
until the current window is closed. They tend to cause
anything from confusion (what's this? where did it come
from?) to irritation in the user and are best avoided.
Pay-per-Click advertising (see also
A paid advertising model, used on websites
where advertisers pay the advert host when the advert is
clicked, (pay per click) and the user is therefore
transferred to the advertiser's website or similar. The
most popular is currently Google adwords, facebook also has
pay-per-click advertising system. Advertisers either bid on
a keyword phrase (for advertising on search engines) or a
fixed price may be used for content based websites.
It is at the source of
advertising income on websites and used everywhere online.
An online profile is all the information
used to identify a user. In the context of social media, it
could be understood to include more than just a name or
username, password and so on, but also the values of that
user, their needs and limitations, what they are trying to
convey and how they behave or react in given situations.
One of the four basic elements of the
marketing mix: product, price, promotion, placement. It
refers to the communication to potential purchasers, to
persuade or influence, or inform or influence a purchasing
Although the questions that users have when
they visit websites are obviously infinite, observation of
user behaviour demonstrates that they can be broken down
into 4 main stages:
1. Where am I (whose website, where in the website
2. What can I do here (find info, order, shop, pay,
sign up etc)
3. How much (is the product, effort do I have to
make, do I have to give away for the info I want etc)
4. How do I action (my purchase, enquiry, contact
Understanding how these questions influence the approach to
optimising the website users' experience and may be part of
A term that refers to relationships
between things: ranked higher, lower, first etc. In the
context of search, it could be understood to be related to
the search engine results. High rank and high results and
achieved by a mixture of techniques and activities,
keyword density, and inbound links (link
juice) among other things.
A general term, any physical or virtual
element, that might be renewal or non-renewable that is of
limited availability but needs to be consumed in order to
produce an outcome and hopefully gain benefit. In this
context, we would consider resources to be time, money and
A mechanism in twitter that allows users to
re-post another twitter users content, while indicating that
it is from another user. It is both a means of user
commentary, and a useful way to promote content as well as
measure audience reaction.
ROI - Return on
Usually expressed as a percentage, is the
ratio of money (or other resources) gained (or lost) on some
kind of investment.
A system used fr providing users with frequently updated
content such as news items or blog posts. The provider
offers a feed link to which users register (sign up) and the
content is then displayed automatically and viewed via a
reader program on their own computer, or website.
A term that is used to describe a potential situation or
projected course or action usually lined to an event.
Scenario development is used in many kinds of planning,
including websites, to guide decisions and test strategies.
A term meaning 'look' or 'look for'.
Search is now the most common way of a user finding a
website, and often used within websites to locate the
desired destination, information, or product. Search and
browse are the fundamental ways in which people use the
A website that
offers to opportunity to search for information based on
keywords or keyphrases. The results are usually offered as
some kind of ranked or prioritised list and may contain
websites, images, and other types of files. Some search
engines can also access information inside databases or
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A form of, or factor in internet marketing that promotes
websites by increasing visibility in search engine results
pages (SERPs). This could be through a number of techniques
including search engine optimisation (SEO), or some paid
inclusion or contextual advertising such as
The process of using a variety
of methods to improve the visibility of a website (Or
webpage in the search engine results. Refers to the
'natural' or algorithmic listings, not the paid or sponsored
listing or results. SEO is not enough on its own to create
online success, it should be used as part of a whole
strategy. That said, SEO is an essential success factor and
should not be neglected. SEO has suffered in recent times
from bad press, due mainly to unscrupulous practitioners who
make unsustainable offers or promises and whose short term
results may appear to be good, but often end up in bans or
blacklisting. If someone offers to 'guarantee' you results,
then run a mile, no-one can guarantee results in any type of
If your website is to carry out financial
transactions such as credit or debit cards, then this type
of information needs to be encrypted and on a secure
web server. Your ISP (internet service provider) or web
developer would organise this on your behalf.
In the context of a website, this refers to a facility seen
on websites that allows (and by its presence encourages)
users to share the webpage's content with others using
social media such as delicious, digg,
linkedin. Often indicated by the word 'share' or a
group of icons.
Shopping Cart / Basket
An essential and integral part of
ecommerce, the shopping cart or basket is used as a
mental model for the user to more easily understand the
concept of what is happening (there is no actual physical
shopping cart or basket, or maybe there is sometimes when
you order groceries..) when they purchase goods on a
One of a number of programming languages used to create
specific types of Web functionality or to meet specific
standards, in this case on the
web server side of things. If you are a programmer, you
will already know what they are. If you are not, that is
definitely all you want to know about them, not how they
work but that they exist and that your web developer might
talk about them e.g. "They probably
use an SHTML script for that,"
The term site map can refer to a list of
web pages, accessible to search engine robots or spiders
that index your website, or that is available to your
website users as a reference, or map to what they are
looking for (if all else fails).
It might also refer to a
document used in
website planning, often organised in a
hierarchical or semi-hierarchical structure.
Social buying sites, such as Groupon, BuyWithMe and
LivingSocial, offer discount deals via a concept of
"collective buying". The sites operate in slightly different
ways, but they all deliver customers to retailers in return
for a cut of the total revenue, while they build customer
bases by offering good deals.
e-mail offers go out to subscribers, discounts are valid for
a set period e.g. 24 hours, and typically the voucher for
the item purchased will be valid for a year.
website operator will then pay the merchant directly, after
taking a cut.
has been very fast during the last year or so, and looks set
to continue at a rapid pace into next year. With a both
simple and lucrative business model, other sites that are
expected to grow include Groop Swoop, TownHog and eWinWin
Internet and other Technology used for social interaction,
where communication becomes interactive dialogue. Built on
the concept and foundations of
Web 2.0. There are many different types including:
social networking sites, blogging and microblogging, content
communities, wikis and collaborative projects, virtual
communities and virtual games
An online platform or service that offers
the facilities and functionality for individual users to
build a interaction with a network of social contact among
people. Often there is a base of some common interest or
thread. Most interaction takes place on the internet, or
via email or instant messaging. Social networking sites
offer users the opportunity to share information, ideas,
activities, events and interests among other things. The
most popular social network sites include
the social network for professionals
The use of email and other digital messaging systems to send
unsolicited and unwanted bulk messages indiscriminately.
The volume of spam is exceptionally high, and the subject of
legislation in many areas, although die to low operating
costs and barriers to entry, together with the difficulties
involved in identifying and holding to account the
distributors, spamming remains economically viable and so
A system for sorting email input against
criteria, specifically for the removal of spam. Rejection
of spam uses a number of techniques, the main problem of
which is false positives, where a valid email to a user who
might wish to recieve a message, or may even have opted in,
is filtered out by an automated system.
Email marketing techniques are used to minimise the
likelihood of this occurring.
website statistics, (see
The name given to words that are filtered out from text in
search terms, e.g. idf a search was made on the term: 'The
Book of Instructions', the search processing would 'stop'
and filter out 'the' and 'of' searching only on
'instructions' and 'book' This is to eliminate very common
words that have no specific 'keyword' meaning.
The process of developing a plan of
action to achieve a particular outcome. Derived from
Website strategic planning
would include identifying and setting objectives for the
website to meet or contribute to business or organisational
goals, identifying and profiling customers, researching the
industry, direct and indirect competitors activities, and
other activities that will enable the development of a
website specification and design brief, together with a
promotional or similar plan
A task is an objective or question that a
user might seek to complete on a website. Tasks can be very
simple: find the phone number, to complex, compare the
specifications of a range of high-tech products and
determine the best value for money, then purchase. The
important thing to realise is that website users are
The process of identifying and analysing
the probable and desired tasks that a user might need to
complete in order to meet the website's
objectives (and therefore the business's objectives) or
the tasks that a user independently or unexpectedly sets out
The concept of testing exists in all product design, but in
the world of website design is far less often practiced to
any great extent. Testing can take place on a number of
levels: technical - does it actually function on a technical
level, or are there any errors in the site under every
circumstance that it might possibly be subjected to. See
user testing and
The most common form of communication on
the internet. Text is the main content that is found on
most websites, in addition to images, and other media such
as video. One of the advantages of text, is that a search
engine can read it, and therefore it can contribute to the
Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
A tweet is a text micro-blog post of up
to 140 characters (the same as a text message) that are
distributed by twitter and displayed on a users page (on
twitter) or on compatible devices (such as a smartphone with
a suitable app) or SMS. Tweeting is the action of sending a
A website launched in July 2006 that has
gained popularity at an exponential rate and has nearly 200
million users. It is a social networking and micro-blogging
service, users can send or read messages - called tweets.
Upload, or Uploading (see also
Uploading is the process of transmitting or sending data to
some remote system, in this context from a website (or more
accurately a web server that is hosting a website). A
upload occurs when a website is updated in content or
Also know (inaccurately) as the
domain name, a website is addressed via a URL (stands
for Uniform resource locator, but you are not likely to need
to know that). A URL commonly takes the form of
www.bricksandmortar.com, or www.papermakers.co.uk
URL shortener or
A technique or tool
to make a URL substantially shorter in length. This might
be useful in order for it to be used where there is a
restriction on a number of characters - such as twitter.
Refers to how easy it is to use or learn
to use something, usability is a quality factor in
everything that is made by people (as opposed to naturally
occurring) and so would include everything from
informational signage to a door handle, and from a coffee
machine to a car. Website usability specifically includes
how effectively the interaction between a user and a website
occurs (or might occur)
and is examined on many levels including the structure of
the information, the navigation systems and the nature and
construction of the actual content and more.
The person who is using a website. From a business
objectives viewpoint this term could be substituted with
'customer' or 'stakeholder'.
User centred design seeks to develop products that are based
around what users (customers) need, want or more
specifically will easily use, as opposed to assuming that
the user will change their behaviour or learn how to use
it. Some user centred design however, might seek to
improve the overall or long term system of interaction and
therefore behaviour as it is more efficient or intuitive, or
examine natural behaviour and develop new concepts based on
this. An example of this might be the development of a
graphic user interface (with a mouse and icons) for using a
computer instead of memorised and typed commands. Or the
touch-screen interface of a smartphone superseding the old
numbers on buttons keypad.
User experience is highly subjective as
it not only includes practical aspects such as ease of use
(usability) and efficiency of a system, but also looks at
the experiential, affective and value aspects related to the
user's perceptions and even feelings. It is a dynamic
concept and related to changes over time, differing users
and the context in which something is used.
The process of testing a website's
usability by observing users - who ideally would be as
close as possible to the website's target customer -
carrying out sample or representative tasks, and then
measuring and/or evaluating the results.
Technology that records, processes,
stores or transmits sequences of images that when viewed at
an appropriate speed give the illusion of motion.
Streaming (or streaming video)
Multimedia that is presented to or viewed
by the user while it is still being downloaded or delivered
to the viewing technology. In other words, where a user
does not have to wait until the whole of the video file has
been downloaded before starting to watch it. This is very
very common now, and most internet users will have seen this
without really realising what was happening.
A buzzword that refers to a marketing
technique (or more strictly, a marketing outcome - a
campaign can 'go viral', be clear that viral is a result,
not an activity) that is used to achieve a marketing
objective - such as increase in sales or brand awareness -
through some kind of self-replication, in the manner of a
virus. A viral campaign might include the use of video,
games, distribution of images, text messages and more in
order to promote word of mouth distribution, enhanced by
social networking technology.
When a hyperlink has been clicked on and
destination reached, that page or destination is considered
to be 'visited'
Visited hyperlink colour
An HTML facility and an attribute of a
webpage that allows hyperlinks to be assigned a specific
colour once their destination has been visited by the user.
A much underestimated advantage when it comes to the the
user orienting themselves on a website, and out of fashion
with web designers at present. The result of the absence of
visited link colours is very difficult to observe, but user
testing is conclusive, that without them, users miss out a
substantial portion of a website, revisited pages over and
over while following their own misguided logic.
The term is associated with user
generated content as opposed to users being only consumers
of content supplied by others. Social media, blogs and
micro-blogs, video sharing, wikis and more.
Web or Website Address (see
Analytics (see also
A program that is used by search engines to
provide up-to-date data. The programs, also described as
spiders or robots, automatically visit pages and the
destinations of hyperlinks on those pages, create a copy for
later processing and indexing, which allows search engines
to provide fast responses to searches. The term can also be
used to describe other uses, such as harvesting email
addresses to be used as spam or similar.
Used interchangeably with website developer, it refers to a
person or company that produces websites. Those who call
themselves web designers are usually from a design
background and may (or may not) be formally trained in
graphic design or similar discipline.
Used interchangeably with website designer, it refers to a
person or company that produces websites. Those who call
themselves web developers are usually from a technology
background and may (or may not) be formally trained in
software development or similar discipline.
An individual page in a website.
In order for your
web site to be available to the world, it needs to be stored
it on a web server. Most companies use an
ISP to provide this, often arranged by your web
A collection of web pages that link via a system of
hyperlink to each other in some relationship or
architecture. A website can consist of numerous pages,
elements, media or functions that are organised together in
an architecture that is designed to meet the needs of the
website's target users (customers).
Website Design Brief
Detailed instructions and information given to a website
designer or developer that provide the background
information, specification and requirements for the website.
Not to be underestimated in its importance, more websites
that fail to meet their objectives are produced due to the
lack of a suitable or detailed brief (or lack of any brief
at all) than possibly any other reason. This warranted an
entire chapter in the
INTERNET MARKETING How to get a website that works for your
business. A website design brief template is also
included in this website, however, its use is most effective
in conjunction with the
website planning training course.
We use the term website evaluation to refer to an assessment
and evaluation process that examines a website against user
experience or website usability
criteria, standards and research and aims to identify
barriers or problems that are likely to arise in its use by
the target (and other) user groups.
Crucial for the success of any website,
whether for the
promotion of a business, the dissemination of
information for a public sector application or where the
website is the business. Lack of
website planning can only result in failure. Planning
should include a series of stages, including objective
feasibility, customer profiling,
competitor research, specification/design brief
development, and so on.
Programming languages used to create specific
types of Web functionality or content, or to meet specific
standards. If you are a programmer, you will already know
what they are. If you are not, that is definitely all you
want to know about them, not how they work but that they
exist and that your web developer will probably talk about
them e.g. "We'll need to use XHTML
to do that, OK."
Youtube was the first major and is still the
most popular video sharing website. Online since 2005,
users can view video, upload their own videos and share them
with others including embedding them into other websites.
Now owned by Google, Youtube is an excellent example of
success of a web 2.0, user-generated content website. While
much of the content is provided by individuals, many
businesses, multinational corporations and marketing
professionals use YouTube as a
promotional platform or as part of a
social media campaign.
From the german zeit=time and geist=spirit,
it broadly translates to 'the spirit of the times'
and is used to indicate trends in activity or otherwise, it
refers to a general cultural or social climate, political or
intellectual direction or general ambience or mood
associated with an era or other time period. From our
viewpoint in the context of this glossary, the Google
zeitgeist is published each year and is a categorised list
of the most popular search terms, which might (accurately or
otherwise) be used to make some judgement of online activity
- for the previous year - and through this some observed
trend, or theoretically for predicting activities in the