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A quick quide to online marketing terminology

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No industry is complete with some casually thrown around buzz words or three and four letter acronyms. So if you’re in the online/digital marketing world then here are some of the key words, phrases and acronyms that you should be aware of.

PPC – pay per click. This is a version of online advertising where you pay a set amount each time someone clicks on the link that you’re advertising. This is in comparison to paying for other results such as impressions or conversions. It’s a term thrown around a lot when talking about advertising on Google.

SEO – search engine optimisation. I’ve spoken about this in a few previous blog posts, about what mistakes you might be making and also how to use social media to improve your SEO. Essentially, this is how much search engines like your website when people search for specific search terms. If you have a website with lots of information about ballroom dancing lessons then it’s likely that terms related to this such as “learn the waltz” or “main steps in a tango” would result in a good ranking on Google, but “learn to rap” probably wouldn’t bring up your website in the results. Or these would happen if your SEO is good.

Alt Tags – descriptions given to images on a website, sometimes called alt text. These are the descriptions that you’re encouraged to fill out when you upload an image to your website. It’s the text that is shown when you hover your mouse over an image, and also if an image fails to load, it’s the text that will be shown to the reader, both of which mean it should be a good descriptor of the image. Screen readers also pick up on alt tags so it’s important to help the visually impaired who rely on such technology.

AdWords – paid for search results in Google. It’s mainly a PPC tool where you bid on certain search terms in an effort to get an advert for your website to come up when people search for relevant terms.

Analytics – usually used when referring to the Google Analytics tool. It’s pretty simple as it’s just as it sounds – analysing something, and in this case, analysing your web metrics.

CSS – cascading style sheet. There’s no real need to know the definition, but CSS defines how HTML elements will work on your website, including font, colours and layout. These are kept in CSS files.

Blog – web log. Yes, really! These are the traditional web-based version of a journal, a log of what’s going on. I’ve already bleated on about the benefits for businesses that blog.

CTR – click through rate. ‘Clicking through’ refers to clicking on a link (often in an advert), and the click through rate is the number of click throughs that occur per hundred ad impressions and it’s expressed as a percentage.

CMS – content management system. These are systems that allow you to edit websites without any real technical development and coding skills and knowledge, WordPress is an example of a CMS.

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