Glossary of web terms

Here’s a glossary to help you with some frequently heard website terms and technical SEO jargon. These are terms you will read about as you evolve your website.

Many of them are included in my SUCCESSFUL WEBSITE GUIDE, which you can download here.

Glossary of Web Terms

Website terms

Address bar

On a browser (see below) the address bar is the field in which you type a website address. On most browsers you can now use the address bar to search too.

Avatar

An avatar is an icon or a picture that represents a user/business on social media, forums and directories. Your avatar might be a photograph of you or your logo – although if you are networking online I always recommend using a nice photograph, a close up of your face. There’s a trend for circular avatars at the time of writing.

Browser

Chrome, Edge and Safari are all browsers. They are programmes which transform the code of a website or search engine. Once rendered by the browser websites look organised and stylish to our eye. We don’t see the code that we might not understand.

Browsers themselves have lots of different features. You may see that a website looks different in one browser to another. Browsers live up to their name – they exist so that we can browse the web.

Domain name

Means website address. My domain name is kaydee.net. We no longer need to refer to the ‘www’.

A domain name will always end with a suffix, like .com, .co.uk, .org or.fr.

For more information see my post ‘What is a domain name?

Domain

Domain refers to everything that is hosted under one domain name. A website, a blog and a shop could all have different designs but be hosted on one domain. Having everything hosted on one domain is important for SEO because content strengthens the domain.

Hosting

Hosting like renting space on the internet so that a website or blog can be visible to the public. Businesses rent space on a powerful computer called a server which hosts the files that make up the website. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide this service.

ISP

Acronym for Internet Service Provider. An ISP is a gateway to connect to the internet.

There are Tier 1 and Tier 2 ISPs. Tier 1 ISPs are at the top of the internet access pyramid – they are connected all over the world via huge cables.

Tier 2 ISPs distribute services from Tier 1. They charge businesses a fee for internet access, to host a website, domain name and email addresses. They run lots of powerful computers which allow us to access services. Tier 2 ISPs you may have heard of are Namesco, A2 Hosting, GoDaddy and SiteGround.

Rendering

When a browser renders a page they read the code, understand the order in which it should be shown to a human and then puts it onto our screens in that order, so it looks pretty or at least legible. Rendering basically means translating.

Suffix

The end of a domain name, after the dot. The suffix of this domain name is .net. Other popular suffixes are .com, .org. There are domain name country suffixes such as .co.uk (United Kingdom), .fr (France) and .es (Spain).

SEO terms

Bounce rate

Used in analysis, especially Google Analytics. It refers to visitors who arrive at the website from search engines and then leave, by hitting the back button or closing the window. Bouncers do not move on to visit another page. They could be on the page for a second or 5 minutes.

Indexing

The process of adding web pages into a search engine’s database. The Google bot crawls the page and analyses its content, then decides where it will rank in comparison to similar web pages.

Keyword / key phrase

Words used on web pages to target an audience. See my post ‘What is a key phrase?‘.

Landing page

Can have a few meanings. In SEO terms it means a page geared around a search term, which will be competitive on a search engine. Landing pages bring traffic into the site – people land on them via the search engines.

Landing page can also mean a page that is developed for people to instantly find information. A landing page for a launch is common, and would encourage people to buy a product or service.

It can also mean a landing page for data capture – where people complete a form and subscribe to a newsletter.

PageRank / rank

The position on which your page/post appears on a SEARCH ENGINE RESULT PAGE (SERP) when a user enters a search term.

Search query / search term

Making a search on a search engine like Google or Bing. See my post ‘What is a search term?‘.

SERP

Search engine result page. The term used to refer to the page rendered when someone does a search on a search engine. These results are ever changing.

Traffic

Visitors to a website. Measuring website traffic is like measuring footfall in a shop or restaurant. Traffic comes onto the site, moves around to different pages or posts and leaves. Encouraging and tracking traffic on a website helps to improve it.

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