Glossary of Web Marketing and Web site optimization terms

Internet Marketing & SEO Glossary

The glossary consists of terms and definitions commonly used by Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization professionals. The purpose of the glossary is to provide a foundation for better understanding of online search and it's role in Internet Marketing today.



A/B Split testing Two different versions of a web page (version A and version B) are created and tested for the same offer. Version A is normally an existing design (“control” in statistics lingo); and (B) version is the “challenger” with one copy or design element changed. Each version is randomly presented to a site visitor with the goal to determine which version drives the more desired result. Above - the - Fold The section of the web page that is visible without scrolling. Absolute URL versus Relative URL An absolute URL is made up of the following components: a protocol identifier, a hostname (the name of the server machine) and the path to the specific filename. When you want to link to a document on other server you need to use an absolute URL such as Here, the protocol is identified as http (HyperText Transfer Protocol, the standard protocol of the Web), the host is , and the path is web/index.html A Relative URLs provide a pointer to another document relative to the location of the current document. When you need to point to another document within the same site (on the same server), it is common to use relative URLs. Accessibility At its core, web accessibility is about building web sites, applications, and pages so that there are as few barriers to use as possible for anywone, regardless of ability and the device used to access the information. Designers apply different techinques and principles to make web content more accessible to people with vision, mobility, auditory and cognitive impairments which also improves accessibility for those using slower Internet connections. Acquisition versus Retention The content of the web page or any other electronically delivered marketing message often depends on whether the objective is to acquire a new customer or encourage loalty and repeat purchases from existing customers. Acquisition efforts are more likely to focus on encouraging a customer to take an action, while retention effort is focused on building relationship. Active Window The central portion of computer screen real estate "above the fold" which constitutes the area Web site visitors are most inclined to focus on. It is the area in which you want to keep the visitor actively engaged in the conversion process at all times. Ad Advertisements a searcher sees after submitting a query in a search box of a search engine, a web directory or a web site. Most search engines and web directories display a mix of natural search listings and paid ads. Four Pay Per Click Ads commonly appear at the top – above the organic listings and another seven ads - on the right side of the Web page. Ad Title, Ad Copy, Ad Display URL and Ad Destination URL Online ad usually consists of three major parts: Ad Title - that serves as ad headlines, As in print advertising the headline of the web ad is probably the most important part. Most of the web seachers make up their mind whether the ad is relevant to the search phrase by reading the Ad Title. Ad Copy - the main text of a clickable search or context-served ad. It usually makes up the second and third lines of a displayed ad. Internet advertisers usually use Ad Copy lines to describe product features and benefits the customers get from using the product. Ad Display URL - is the last line of the Ad that displays the address of the web site. Note, Ad Display URL could be different from the exact Ad Destination URL the advertiser is sending traffic to. Affiliate The publisher/webmaster who is in an affiliate relationship with e-commerce site with the goal of making a commission for referred sales. As e-commerce continues to evolve, e-commerce affiliates are no longer restricted to website owners. Bloggers and members of different online community forums can be affiliates as well. Many emerging affiliate programs are now accepting bloggers and individuals, not necessarily webmasters, to be affiliates. Affiliates use their own website, blogs, PPC campaigns, SEO campaigns, RSS and email, as well as a number of other means. Affiliate Fraud Bogus activity generated by an affiliate in an attempt to generate illegitimate, unearned revenue. See also Click Fraud Affiliate Marketing Affiliate Marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts. The reward is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a hybrid model. The Affiliate Marketing industry has four core players at its heart: the Merchant, the Network, the Publisher and the Consumer. Affiliate Merchant A wholesale or retail merchant in an affiliate marketing relationship. Affiliate Network An affiliate network is a a value-added intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs, and allows websites offering affiliate programs (typically online merchants) to reach a larger audience by promoting their affiliate programs to all of the publishers participating in the affiliate network. Affiliates are generally able to join affiliate networks for free, whereas there is generally a fee for merchants to participate. AIDAS “Attention, Interest, Desire Action, Satisfaction” - elements of the conversion message that establish and sustain the prospect‘s persuasive momentum from initial contact up to and beyond the “close.” Alternative Text - alt attribute of <img> element alt - is HTML, XHTML attribute that allows to specify a string of alternative text to be displayed in place of the image when the image is unavailabe (corrupted or not found). It is also what non-graphical browsers write in place of images, and what spoket browsing devices read to the users with vision impairments. The W3C recomments that alternative text be provided only when the image contains content relevant to the document. An alt attribute with an empty string (alt=“ ”) is recommended when the image is purely decorative. Arbitrage Arbitrage is a practice through which web publishers engage in the buying and reselling of web traffic taking advantage of a price difference. If the publishers pay $0.10 per click for traffic, they typically resell those visitors to clients who bid $0.20 or more for the same keywords. Successful arbitrage requires that the arbitrageur must pay less per click than what the traffic sells for. Automatic Optimization Search engines identify which ad for an individual advertiser demonstrates the highest CTR (click-through rate) as time progresses, and then optimizes the ad serve, showing that ad more often than other ads in the same Ad Group/Ad Order. Average Time on Site Average Time on Site or Average Visit Length (AVL) shows for how long people stay on the Web site. Why is it important for Internet Marketers? Simple: the longer people stay the more likely they are to buy. Long visits reflect the stickiness of the site acheived by creating content that has value to the Web site visitors. back to top


B2B Business-to-business (B2B) describes commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer. Contrasting terms are business-to-consumer (B2C), business to employee (B2E) and business-to-government (B2G). The term "business-to-business" was originally coined to describe the electronic communications between businesses or enterprises in order to distinguish it from the communications between businesses and consumers (B2C). It eventually came to be used in marketing as well, initially describing only industrial or capital goods marketing. Today it is widely used to describe all products and services used by enterprises. Many professional institutions and the trade publications focus much more on B2C than B2B. This is a strange development as most sales and marketing people work in B2B. B2C Business-to-consumer (B2C, sometimes also called Business-to-Customer) describes activities of businesses providing services or selling products to end consumers. An example of a B2C transaction would be a person buying a pair of shoes from a retailer. The transactions that led to the shoes being available for purchase, that is the purchase of the leather, laces, rubber, etc. as well as the sale of the shoe from the shoemaker to the retailer would be considered (B2B) transactions. B2B Marketing Many clear distinctions can be found between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing. The two categories employ similar marketing programs such as direct marketing, internet marketing, and advertising and public relations. But they differ in what these programs say, in the execution of these programs and the result of the marketing activities. Both B2B and the B2C employ the same initial steps in developing a marketing strategy. From the point where you spot who the customer is and why they want to hear your message, the marketing activities diverge. Although the goal of B2B marketing is to convert prospects into customers, the process is longer and more involved. A B2B company needs to focus on relationship building and communication using marketing activities that generate leads that can be nurtured during the sales cycle. B2B companies use marketing to educate various players in the target audience because the decision to purchase is usually a multi-step process involving more than one person. B2C Marketing B2C marketing focuses on a group or target consumer in order to disclose, sell or market services or goods to the community. Its ultimate aim is to change shoppers into buyers as forcefully and constantly as possible. B2C is product driven and maximizes the value of the transaction. B2C companies employ more merchandising activities like coupons, displays, store fronts (both real and Internet) and offers to entice the target market to buy. B2C marketing campaigns are concerned with the transaction, are shorter in duration and need to capture the customer’s interest immediately. These campaigns often offer special deals, discounts, or vouchers that can be used both online and in the store. For example, the goal of an email campaign for a B2C company is to get consumers to buy the product immediately. The email will take the consumer to a landing page on the web site that is designed to sell the product and make purchasing very easy by integrating the shopping cart and checkout page into the flow of the transaction. Any more than a couple of clicks and the customer is likely to abandon the shopping cart. Backlinks Backlinks (also known as inbound links, incoming links, inlinks, and inward links) are hyperlinks on Web sites and Web pages pointing to a particular Web page. Backlink can be from within the same website but more commonly refer to those links coming in from other websites. The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page. The way the pages of your Web site are linked to each other, and the way your Web site is linked to other Web sites, has a significant impact on your Web site’s search engine visibility. Search engines often use the number of backlinks that a website has as one of the most important factors for determining that website's search engine ranking. Webmasters often employ various techniques to increase the number of backlinks pointing to their website It is important to note that attaining an optimal popularity component is not simply obtaining as many links as possible to a Web site. The quality of the sites linking to your site holds more “weight” than quantity of sites linking to your site. Since the Yahoo directory is one of the most trusted sites on the Web, a link from the Yahoo directory to your Web site carries far more “weight” than a link from a dozen of smaller, less visited sites. Ban (Also known as “Delisting” ) Refers to a punitive action imposed by a search engine in response to being spammed. Can be an IP address of a specific URL. Behavioral Targeting Behavioral targeting is a technique used by online publishers and advertisers to display content more relevant to the interests of people who demonstrated similarities in how they act and react in their online environment. Behavioral data can be combined with demographic and past purchase history in order to produce a greater degree of granularity in the targeting. Publishers and advertisers apply behavioral targeting to increase the effectiveness of their online campaigns, typically through increased conversion rates or increased spending levels. Behavioral targeting techniques may also be applied to improve the visitor experience. Blog A contraction of the term “weblog”. A blog is a type of website, usually maintained by a blog moderator with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. As an opportunity to provide rich, hyperlinked, dynamic content, blogs are increasingly employed as an online marketing tool. Blacklist (Also known as “Blocklist” ) The practice employed by Internet Service Providers of blocking an IP address or series of IP addresses to prevent the receipt of e-mail messages from a server that is suspected of transmitting SPAM. Bounce Rate Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left the Web site from the entrance page). Tracking the bounce rate metrics is a way to measure the quality of traffic coming to the Web site and the quality of entrance (landing) page. A high bounce rate generally indicates that site landing pages aren't relevant to the Web site‘s visitors. Browser Compatibility Browser Compatibility refers to the degree to which all displays and functions of the website work correctly in both current and old versions of most popular web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Mozilla and Safari) Buying Funnel The buying funnel is the information gathering process the buyer goes throuhg before they are ready to take an action. As a buyer navigates through the buying funnel the information typically presented in stages with the goal to motivate a buyer first, then to help a buyer with comparing options and finally to help him/her to overcome fears and bjections of the final closing stage. back to top


CAC Customer Acquisition Cost CAC is one of the KPI to measure the effectiveness of your e-commerce Web site. CAC refers to the cost associated with acquiring a new customer. To determine your customer acquisition cost, divide your marketing expenses (you may also include the cost of maintaining your e-commerce web site) by the total number of actions taken by unique prospects over a specific period of time. For an e-commerce website, this would be the number of orders you receive from unique new buyers during the specified time frame. Notice that as you increase your Web site‘s Conversion Rate by optimizing the Buying Funnel of your Web site, the Customer Acquisition Cost will go down and the profitability of your Web site will automatically improve. CAG - Customer Acquisition Gap CAG is is one of the KPI to evaluate the performance of your e-commerce Web site. CAG is the way of measuring the cost of not getting customersfrom your traffic. It is calculated by subracting your Cost per Visitor (CPV). The result will be a negative dollar amount, the size of which may surprise you. As you work to improve the Conversion Rate of your Web site, your CAG will decrease (become less negative) and you will see the gap starting to shrink. CPA - Cost per Action (Also known as Cost per Acquisition ) CPA is a frequently used term in affiliate marketing world. CPA is an online advertising pricing model, where the advertiser pays for each specified action. The actions defined in a cost-per-action agreement relate directly to some type of conversion, with sales and registrations among the most common. CPC - Cost per click In Pay Per Click world CPC refers to the cost associated with each click. CPV - Cost per Visitor Cost per visitor is one of the very useful KPI to measure the cost of the traffic that your Web site gets from different traffic sourses. To calculate the CPV divide your total marketing expenses plus your web expenses by the number of unique visitors to your site. It is a simple calculation to get an important number that many companies overlook. CRR - Customer Retention Rate CRR is another useful KPI to evaluate and track your e-commerce Web site performance. CRR is an essential ingredient of your long-term profitability. It indicates the ability of your Web site to generate repeat business. To calculate the CRR you divide the total number of repeat customers within a given time frame by your total number of unique customers. CSS CSS is a W3C standard for defining the presentation of the web document. Presentation refers to the way a document is displayed or delivered to the end user, whether it‘s on a computer monitor, a cell phone display, or read aloud by a screen reader. In other words, CSS is the mechanism for providing of style instructions (typography, color, alignment, layout and so on) to elements in a document that has been marked up with XHTML, HTML, or any XML language. Calls to Action A word or a phrase that offer the opportunity for and encourage the Web site‘s visitor to take action. For example, “Order”, “Book this room”, “Add to your wish list”, or just “Read more”. Calls to action are motivations for the visitor to move further into the sales process. Click Fraud Click fraud is a type of Internet crime that occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link. In 2004, California resident Michael Anthony Bradley created Google Clique, a software program that he claimed could let spammers defraud Google out of millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. Authorities said he was arrested while trying to blackmail Google for $150,000 to hand over the program, believed to be the first arrest for click fraud. Charges were dropped without explanation on November 22, 2006; both the US Attorney's office and Google declined to comment. Business Week suggests that Google was unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution, as it would be forced to disclose its click fraud detection techniques publicly, and as it also makes money from fraudulent clicks. Cloaking Cloaking is a technique in which specific keyword rich content is served up to the search engine spider that is different then what is presented to a human Web searcher. In other words, a human reading the site would see different content than the search engine robot reading the site. Most of the time, cloaking is implemented in order to improve search engine ranking by fooling the search engine's algorithms and programming that determine what makes a site rank high or low in that engine. Cloaking is a violation of Google‘s webmaster quality guidelines, specifically the principle of “Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users.” Most of commercial search engines will delist the Web site when deceptive cloaking is detected or reported. Closing Sentence The last sentence of the interactive online communication, which must reinforce the desire to take action. Code to Text Ratio The Code to Text Ratio represents the percentage of actual text (for example text from paragraphs and the text inside an anchor XHTML element ) in a web page. The Code to Text Ratio represents the percentage of actual text (for example text from paragraphs and the text inside an anchor XHTML element) in a web page. There are many controversial opinions in SEO world around Code to Text Ratio. Most SEO experts are inclined to agree that Search Engines use this ratio to determine the relevancy of a Web page - the higher this value the more chances to get higher ranking. This statement was actually confirmed by one of the Google employees John Mueller - Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Zurich, Switzerland - “...The optimal ratio is 42% at least as close as you can get to that. Apart from that, I'd worry more about the usability on your user's systems (how fast does the page load? does it work in all browsers?)”. Content All the copy, graphics and audio/video media files that presented to a Web site visitor. Effective content is engaging, useful, informative, educational, professional and entertaining. Content Web Site The Web site with the basic objectives to increase readership, the level of interest and the amount of time visitors spend on the site. Conversion A process whereby a visitor of the converted into a buyer. Conversion Rate Conversion rate is one of the key metrics used to evaluate the effectiveness of the e-commerce Web site. Conversion rate is reflecting the percentage of Web site‘s visitors converted into buyers or subscribers (in case subscription is the desired action). It is calculated by dividing the number of Web site‘s visitors who completed a desired action (making a purchase, accepting a free gift, setting an appointment or signing up for a newsletter) by the total number of visitors in a given time period. Crawler (also called a spider or robot) Automated programs in search engines that find and fetch Web pages, a process called crawling or spidering, and build lists of words and phrases found on each Web page. back to top


DNS Abbreviation for Domain Name Service, a network of servers that translate web site names (such as into the Internet Protocol addres (IP address such as that are used to uniquely identify any device connected to the internet. Doorway pages Pages setup specificly for search engines. Once the visitor reaches the page, they are then redirected to another website. Doorways are usually small pages, crammed full of keywords, designed solely for the purpose of gaining high rankings. They usually look awful and a site which uses a lot of doorway pages is likely to be banned (penalized) by search engines. back to top


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Features versus Benefits Features address the attributes of the product or service. They describe it, what it includes, and how big or small or robust or thorough it is. Benefits, on the other hand, address a prospect‘s emotional needs and communicate how the product or service will improve his/her quality of life or make him/her feel better. Benefits are more effective in driving actyion. back to top



Hits This generally means ALL requests from a webserver including requests by a web browser for a document (html page), a script, a multimedia file, or an image (, jpeg's, gif's or other images ). Hits is generally not very meaningful in quantitfying search engine traffic. Because one page may have lots of images, and another may be mostly all text, hits become an articulary poor measure of a site‘s performance and even worse measure of how a site performs in comparison to other sites.


Indexer Search engines keep an index (or database) of the words and phrases they find on each Web page they are able to crawl. The part of the search engine that places the Web page into the database is called an indexer.



Key Performance indicators (KPI) KPI are financial and non-financial metrics or measures to help evaluate the progress of a project or campaing toward its goals. Usually the KPI metrics are identified and validated by stakholders at the beginning of the Marketing Campaign during the Planning stage. Good KPI mesurements

The fundamental elements of the satisfaction are:









SERP SERPS stands for Search Engine Result Pages. Spider See Crawler





W3C The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web (abbreviated WWW or W3). It creates and oversees the development of web technologies including XML, HTML, and their numerous applications. They also keep their eye on higher-level issues such as making content accessible to the greatest number of devices and users (see Accessibility), as well as laying a common foundation for future development, thus making web content “forward compatible.” back to top




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