A/B testing is an experiment where two variants of a page (version A and version B) are shown to users at random, and statistical analysis is used to determine which one performs better.
Accessibility refers to designing and developing a website that allows users with disabilities to use the website to the same level as other users. This includes using ARIA landmarks to describe the role of a form or image labels for screen readers.
A bookmarking service that can be added to a website by using a web widget. Once added, visitors can easily bookmark or share an item on the website to other (usually social) sites such as Facebook or Twitter.
In an agile team, team members will work in sprints. A sprint usually consists of five phases: design, develop, test, deploy and review. A sprint length can range from one week up to one month.
Alexa rank is a measure of website popularity. It ranks millions of websites in order of popularity, with an Alexa rank of one being the most popular.
Short for application. An app performs a function on your mobile phone or computer.
Application Programming Interface (API)
An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. It defines the data formats that should be used, the kinds of calls or requests that can be made and how to make them, the conventions to follow and more. You’re using an API when using apps like Facebook, checking the weather on your phone or sending an instant message.
At Tag (@)
The @ symbol was originally used in email addresses. It is now also used to tag users in messages on social networking websites. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more use the @ tag.
The window of time that sales can be linked to specific actions on adverts. Facebook automatically works on a 28 day click, 7 day view attribution.
An image that represents an account on social networks and forums.
Also known as server-side, it powers what users see on the frontend. It can be broken down into four components of a “stack”: the server, the database, the operating system and the coding language.
A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. Backlinks are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links”, and the number and quality of these links are one of the most important ranking factors.
An online design portfolio-based community recently acquired by Adobe, developers of industry-standard design software such as Photoshop and Illustrator.
A free URL shortening application. They also provide analytics on links.
Black/White Hat SEO
White hat SEO activities refer to any technique used to increase a website’s rank that follows search engines rules, while black hat SEO goes against those guidelines. More generally, white hat SEO means ethically promoting a website without resorting to spam and other such black hat activities.
The idea of white hat/black hat comes from hacking, with white hats being benevolent hackers and black hats being disruptive and unethical. Here at Passion we always use authentic and ethical white hat techniques.
Short for web log. A blog is a website that is maintained by one user or a group of users, where the user or users create and post content. Some are used for personal purposes (such as an online diary) and others are run by brands or corporations. A company that maintains a blog uses it as a personable front for potential clients while still maintaining an interesting online presence that can be used for SEO purposes.
A person who writes a blog.
The blogosphere refers to all the blogs that exist on the internet.
A traditional method for bloggers to list other blogs they recommend. The popular blogging service WordPress has retired the blogroll in recent updates.
A temporary storage space for data. When you visit a website, the requested files are automatically stored in the cache. If you return to that same website in the future, your browser will use the files from the cache to load that website faster.
A campaign is made up of marketing messages with a specific aim. A campaign may aim to raise awareness, raise funds or increase the sales of a product.
If there are multiple versions of similar pages, the canonical rel tag tells the WebCrawler that the page linked is the definitive version. Each non-canonical page must link to the canonical version with this link.
Central Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a computer software or an application that uses a database to manage all content, and it can be used when developing a website. WordPress is an example of a CMS.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
A metric to measure ads to see how many impressions resulted in a click through to a site. CTR equals clicks divided by impressions.
Clicks refers to clicks on an ad including interactions such as “see more”, “page likes” and “view comments”. Not to be confused with link clicks.
Cloaking refers to the “black hat” practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides users with different results than they expected.
An online response given by users as either an answer or reaction to a post or message.
A term used on LinkedIn to describe the people you are directly associated with on the website. You must accept an invitation from them or they must accept an invitation from you before you are connected.
Any form of online media that can be read or watched, or that provides an interactive experience. Content often refers to written materials like blog posts, but also includes images, videos, infographics and more.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps a website to provide content to a user faster while lowering the burden on the website’s server. This content could include images, videos and files.
A metric to measure how many visitors convert (what constitutes a conversion can vary depending on your goal). Conversion rate equals the number of conversions divided by visitors.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
A conversion rate refers to how many people go from just browsing to making a purchase or becoming a customer. We don’t need to tell you a high conversion rate is desirable!
CRO means designing both PPC adverts and the specifics of the website to maximise viewer usability and the conversion rate.
Each time your browser accesses a website, it creates a cookie. They make a user’s online experience easier by saving browser information. Cookies can help sites keep a user logged in, remember their site preferences or give them relevant content. However, some people can find cookies intrusive.
Core Web Vitals
Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. The Core Web Vitals report can be found in Google Search Console and shows URL performances grouped by status, metric type and URL group (groups of similar web pages).
The report is based on three metrics: LCP, FID and CLS. If a URL does not have a minimum amount of reporting data for any of these metrics, it is omitted from the report.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate social responsibility is the ethical behaviour of a company, such as improving the welfare of their employees as well as the local community.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
The cost you pay for each individual click. This can include clicks to expand ads and profile clicks or link clicks, which are clicks on the ads that take users to another destination. CPC equals cost divided by clicks.
Audience lists using uploaded customer data and matching users on a social network.
An online news website that has a unique algorithm. The site lets its readers submit articles and allows people to vote whether or not they liked the article. The articles with the highest number of votes appear at the top of the page while the less popular stories move down the page.
A website that collects and hosts links to other websites, much like a search engine but done by humans rather than WebCrawlers. The humans collecting the links are not going to be fooled by spam, but they cannot index nearly as many links as a search engine and generally stick to one topic.
A discovery phase is the initial step of a design process where a UX designer seeks to gather as much information about the target audience, users and the client’s goals as possible. Tools used in this phase are user interviews, stakeholder meetings, user persona development and UX workshops.
A domain name is a website’s address that a user types into the browser when they wish to visit the site. Every website is identified by its IP address, and the domain name is a human-friendly label for the numbers in the IP address.
An online community where designers can upload examples of their work.
A directory of email contacts for potential business or outreach leads.
Facebook is the brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg and portrayed in the film The Social Network – if you haven’t at least heard of this website, we’re surprised you managed to navigate to this page! It is arguably the most popular social networking site.
Users create profiles and connect with their friends, find posts and pages about their interests and ‘like’ various pages. They can chat with their friends and share photos and posts, along with a host of other things. Companies can also maintain a corporate page to promote themselves.
The revenue comes from advertising based on individual users’ interests that they divulge as they interact with the site – these are known as targeted ads. To find out more about advertising on Facebook as well as other social media sites, see our social media services page.
First Contentful Paint
How long it takes a browser to render the first piece of content after a user navigates to a page.
A large group of people arrange to get together at a specific time and place to surprise the public with a performance for a brief time, then disperse as if nothing happened. The performance could entail acting, dancing and singing, all with the aim to entertain and spur curiosity. Many companies use this method to generate awareness.
A social network based on picture sharing. Users can store and share photos here.
The act of choosing to see the posts of someone on a social media website such as Twitter or Instagram. Once a user follows someone, their posts will automatically appear in the user’s newsfeed.
An online discussion board where people can hold conversations with one another. People can post messages about whatever topic they wish in order to generate an online discussion.
A social networking app that provides personalised recommendations of places to go near a user’s current location based on their previous browsing and check-in history.
The average number of times an ad has been shown to an individual.
Having fresh content means that a website’s pages have been updated or new content has been added. It is an important ranking factor but it’s not as important as quality or relevance.
Fullstack developers work in the frontend and the backend of a website rather than exclusively in one part.
The practice of search engines displaying results dependent on where you are. If you want a new pair of shoes it is useless to you if shops 5,000 miles away are at the top of the results page and they don’t deliver.
A system that allows developers to store and manage their code. It enables you to track any changes made, and reverse them if any issues arise.
The technology that powers Google’s PPC advertising. It facilitates targeting adverts to specific searches, and the adverts appear above and to the right of the organic searches. To find out more about Google Ads see our pay per click information page. Google Ads used to be called Adwords.
A free, browser-based tool that allows users to track many different statistics concerning an owned website. This tool is vital for SEO and all marketing channels to understand the performance of a website. For instance, a webmaster will be able to track which search engines users who arrive on the site are using, how many visitors there are, where they are located, which pages they visited, how long they stayed for, which actions they performed and more.
Google offers up to $10,000 in free PPC advertising for eligible charities. Please check out our Google Ad Grants page for more information.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in the Google search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Google Trends is a free tool provided by Google that shows how frequently a keyword is entered into Google’s search engine relative to the site’s total search volume over a given period of time. It’s useful to understand search trends for broad topics.
A hashtag is a user-generated tagging system that helps other users easily find messages with a specific theme or content. By placing the # symbol before a word, it is then highlighted as a tag. Phrases must not use spaces.
Twitter can analyse how many people are talking about something by tracking hashtags. This has been used to track natural disasters and disruptive events in real-time as many people tweet about them.
High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) Design
Following the approval of the lo-fi templates, high-fidelity prototyping begins. These are realistic and detailed designs — all interface elements, spacing and graphics look just like a real app or website.
How many people have visited a certain website.
Text that is highlighted and takes you to a certain page when clicked. They are used to refer the user to other content or to help the user navigate a website.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
Hypertext Markup Language is the code that the World Wide Web is written with. If you right-click on this page and select “view code”, you can see this code. Interestingly, this code is all a WebCrawler sees.
Other types of codes are used on the internet, such as Flash, but search engines cannot view this material at all. The latest version is HTML5, which incorporates features that were previously only seen with Flash.
When a post or ad is displayed to a user, this is called an impression. Whether or not the user has clicked on the post or ad or bought anything isn’t taken into account.
Someone who is an expert in a certain field and/or has a large following, particularly on social media. Influencers hold a lot of power when they communicate their opinions to their following, often affecting others’ opinions and behaviour.
A photo sharing social network that differs from others as it runs solely as a mobile application. The application allows users to take photographs that they can then apply filters to. The user’s photos are automatically shared on Instagram, but with the option to share them on other social networks at the same time.
Instant Message (IM)
IMs are texts that are delivered in real-time. This can occur one-to-one or in group messages. IM platforms (such as Facebook Messenger, iPhone Messages and WhatsApp) usually allow users to share photos and videos, live record and video call.
inVision is a cloud-based digital product design platform that helps development professionals and businesses of all sizes create and manage prototypes. It allows users to collaborate, test and experiment with designing templates and ideas on a digital dashboard.
A programming language used to create applications that can run on a digital device.
A term or phrase that a user will search for on a search engine. It is important to have your business’ website associated with relevant keywords so that it will appear when those words are searched for.
Keyword stuffing refers to the black hat practice of including certain keywords or numbers on a web page in an attempt to manipulate the website rankings in the Google search results. Often these keywords don’t read naturally and are obviously forced into the copy.
The specific webpage on a website that a user is taken to when they click on a search engine result or a PPC advert. While this could simply be the homepage, often it is more helpful to the customer (and therefore a business’s profits) if they are taken to a page that is specific to their search terms.
For instance, if you clicked a PPC ad for ‘Passion Digital SEO’ and ended up on the social media marketing page, that would be disingenuous for both us and you.
Landing Page Views (Facebook and Instagram)
The number of times an individual clicks a link from Facebook or Instagram and successfully loads the destination page.
An action made by a user on social media that represents approval.
The like button allows users on social media and other websites to express that they like, enjoy or support certain content. Some websites, most notably Facebook, now allow for other reactions, such as “love” (to show you love a post), “sad” (to show you find the content of a post sad), “angry” (to show you the content makes you angry) and more.
Content that was created specifically to attract links that tends to be interesting, useful, controversial, unique or a mixture of all four. The end goal is for this content to be linked to by others. Link bait can be any kind of content, from an interesting infographic or a funny video to a picture of a cat with some text on it. Link bait is vital for creating a high search rank.
The process by which you increase the amount of links to your website. It may involve generating more interesting or newsworthy content, creating a blog, asking clients to link to your website and many other techniques. It is the goal of SEO to build many good links to a website.
Clicks on a hyperlink through to a specific location either on or off Facebook. Not to be confused with clicks.
A social network where professionals can connect with one another.
Long-tail keywords are longer (more than three or four words) and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point of purchase. These keywords are searched for fewer times a month than generic keywords and therefore have less competition. For example, “shoes” is a generic keyword while “smart black boots online” is a long-tail one.
An audience list assembled by algorithms that resembles another group of users. They can help businesses find new potential customers to target.
Low Fidelity (Lo-Fi) Design
The first and most important role of lo-fi prototypes is to check and test functionality rather than the visual appearance of the product. Content can be applied at this stage to ensure the suggested layouts suit the desired copy.
An idea, joke or concept that people share. Memes can be images, videos or text. Typically a meme comes in the form of an image with supporting text.
The opposite of a keyword. If a user searches something you have deemed a negative keyword, certain results of yours will not show. This is useful if you have a link, page or product that is easily confused with something else. For example, if you sell eyeglasses, you could make “drinking” a negative keyword so that your products won’t show up if someone searches for drinking glasses.
A hub, often on social media, that consists of the posts a user sees from the people and brands they follow. On Facebook, the newsfeed is made up of friends’ posts. On Twitter, it is known as a timeline and is made up of tweets of those you follow. The newsfeed is constantly refreshed with new posts.
Since 2005, Google has been using a term that can be implemented into the “rel” code of a link. While a normal link to another website counts as a “vote” in that website’s favour, a “nofollow” command stops Google and most other search engines from counting a vote. It does not stop their WebCrawlers from following the link, however.
A noindex tag is a meta tag that you can add to your website HTML code to prevent a page from appearing in the SERPs. This can be done to avoid duplicate content or to stop PPC landing pages from getting indexed by search engine crawlers.
These are the results of a web search that have not been paid for. The positions of these results should be organic since they reflect the popularity and trustworthiness of the website without being influenced by paid advertising.
PageRank (PR) is a mathematical formula invented by Larry Page (one of Google’s founders) that judges the “value of a page” by looking at the quantity and quality of other pages that link to it. However, Google has stopped updating the toolbar that used to tell webmasters about the page rank of a site from 1-10. Although is no longer a metric we can see, the quantity and quality of links is still a massive ranking factor for websites to be shown higher up on search engine results page.
PageRank indexes all the accessible webpages on the web and ranks them by how many important websites link back to a particular page. The higher the rating, the further up the results page they are than similar websites with lower ranks. Other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, use similar systems.
Partial/Exact Match Anchor Text
The anchor text is the text that the user clicks on to access a link. It is also what a WebCrawler uses to decide what the linked page is about. Therefore, a link to your website with anchor text that has the exact keywords you want for your website is ideal – or at least, it used to be.
Google has taken measures to penalise too many links with the same anchor text as it is inorganic. Instead, it is more effective to include some keywords in the anchor text, perhaps separated by a few words, which will create a partial match. It is becoming better to use partial match anchor text rather than exact match anchor text.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
While SEO improves a website’s standing in the unpaid section of a search engine, PPC focuses on paid results, which are also found on search engines. On Google, they are above and to the right of the main (unpaid) results.
The website being advertised only has to pay when these paid links are clicked, and more popular keywords are more expensive. These adverts are targeted at specific search terms.
Images that are chosen from websites or within the Pinterest community. These images are then placed onto image boards.
A social network for people to create image boards.
Framework that runs software and presents content.
A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a mobile device or computer, often available as part of a series.
On each social network you are given a profile you can fill with personal information about yourself.
The process of updating every server across the web with new information on your website’s server or domain, for example if you were to change the IP address of your website. These changes can sometimes take up to 72 hours to change worldwide.
Quality Assurance (QA)
Quality assurance, or QA, is a quality testing process that ensures that an organisation delivers the best products or services possible. it’s undertaken by multiple internal personnel.
The number of individuals who have seen an ad at least once.
A social news site that is made up of users who share and leave comments on news stories and other content.
The action a Pinterest user takes when pinning an image from someone’s board onto one of their own.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
A metric to measure the efficiency of an ad campaign by comparing your cost to conversion value. ROAS equals conversion value divided by campaign cost.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment (ROI) tells you if you’re getting your money’s worth from your marketing campaigns. For example, if someone puts £200 into an ad campaign, a good return on investment is any business they receive from that ad that generates more than that initial investment.
An action on Twitter where one user shares a tweet from another user with their following. The action resends the message to their newsfeed with the original user’s username attached and tagged.
A robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages on your site the crawler can or can’t go to. This is used mainly to avoid the crawlers finding pages that are not important or are not meant to be ranked organically; it is not a mechanism for keeping a web page out of Google. To keep a web page out of Google, you should use noindex directives or password protect your page.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of growing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website to users through branded and non branded keywords. SEO refers solely to unpaid search engine results and excludes direct traffic. Visit our SEO page for more information.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
You probably see them every day – it is the page that is displayed when you search with a search engine. It will have a list of results relevant to your search, as well as PPC adverts. The goal of SEO is to move a website to the top of the results page for relevant searched terms.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Secure Sockets Layer ensures that all data transmitted between a website’s server and a browser remains encrypted. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate by looking at the web address: if the URL starts with “https”, the website is secure. You’ll also see a padlock symbol in the browser bar.
An action made by internet users to pass on any form of information (whether it’s a photo, video, article etc.) to their friends, followers and connections. Most social networking sites have features that make this process very easy.
A video chat programme that is free to use. You can also use it for texting and leaving video and voice messages for other users.
A messaging app where the message disappears after a short time.
Made up of users who partake in social interactions using social websites, networks and applications.
Social Media Monitoring
The act of proactively monitoring and tracking social media activity.
Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
The act of driving traffic through social media channels to reach a certain goal.
As the amount of links pointing to a website tells a search engine how popular it is and therefore how high up the website will be on the results page, some people attempt to create vast amounts of links to a website to try to increase its apparent popularity.
There are several ways to do this, but they are all unethical. While spamming was useful in the past, search engines are getting better at distinguishing these unethical links and ignoring them. It may produce short term success nowadays, but a search engine will penalise websites that have many spam links to them in the long run.
The action of choosing to get updates and information from a certain site. It is much like signing up to receive monthly magazines.
Since computers cannot understand text in the way humans can, tags can draw attention to certain aspects of a webpage or other online content for a WebCrawler to use, or for the website’s own search system. For instance, a user may tag a video with its relevant actors.
A stream of conversations. For example, a list of comments on a blog post.
A video sharing social network.
Time to Interactive
How long a web page takes to fully respond to a user’s interactions.
An event or topic that is popular and is widely discussed online.
Someone who has the intention to get a negative emotional response from others online. They generally post controversial, provocative and/or irrelevant messages for their own amusement. Their real views on issues do not necessarily match the antagonistic comments they make.
A microblogging platform and social network that allows users to post and share images, text, videos, links and quotes.
A video live streaming service.
A social media website where users can post short messages known as tweets (up to 280 characters) for anyone who is following them to see. It is sometimes known as microblogging as it is similar to blogging but with a strict limit to what amount of text can be posted.
Companies and individuals both use Twitter, and the platform is a great way to maintain a social media presence. It is often used to talk about political issues, as well as for posting about one’s personal life or company/brand updates.
An individual who is using an application or a website.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
The main purpose of this testing is to validate the software against the business requirements. This validation is carried out by the end-users who are familiar with the business requirements.
User Experience (UX) Design
User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects like usability and function.
User Generated Content (UGC)
Any type of content that is created by people instead of brands.
User Interface (UI) Design
The user interface (UI) is the point of human-computer interaction and communication in a device. This can include display screens, keyboards, a mouse and the appearance of a desktop. A user interface design within tech circles is commonly linked to the design of software or computerised devices, focusing on looks or style.
A persona in user-centered design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type who might use a site, brand or product in a similar way as the character.
Certain bits of information or content are said to “go viral”. This means they spread from person to person very quickly, much like a virus. They are typically shared via the internet. Memes can often spread like this.
Much like a blog, but documented using video instead of written content.
Several years ago the web was “one way”, meaning that users were only able to consume information – they did not contribute to the web themselves. Web 2.0 is the idea that users are now able to influence websites and add information to them.
A WebCrawler, sometimes called a spider or spiderbot, is an Internet bot that systematically browses the web, typically for the purpose of indexing websites. Googlebot is Google’s own web crawler, and the most famous of them all.
A basic skeletal image or set of images that display the functional elements of a website or page, typically used for planning a site’s structure and functionality at the very beginning stages of scoping with a client.
A CMS that is used for blog publication. There are currently over 70 million WordPress sites in the world.
World Wide Web (WWW)
The World Wide Web (‘WWW’ or ‘web’ for short) is a collection of webpages found on the internet.
A document in XML format that categorises a website’s relevant files, posts, pages and more. Although this document can be viewed by humans, it is not intended for human use. Its purpose is to help search engine crawler bots easily find all of a website’s given pages.
A global video community where users upload and share videos.
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