SEO, Paid Media & Marketing Glossary

Welcome to the SEO and Marketing Glossary

Cut through the marketing jargon with our handy glossary, covering terms within SEO, paid media and more.

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404 Error

404 status codes mean “not found” and are generated when a user tries to access a page that doesn’t exist. This can happen because the content has moved and the link users followed is now dead or broken, or even when the user has entered an incorrect link.

Of all the status codes, this is probably the one you are most familiar with, as it’s very easy to come across when moving around a website.

 

A

Above the Fold

Above the fold in regards to a website means the content that is visible before the user scrolls. In other words, this is the content that is visible on the physical screen of their device.

Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue, sometimes referred to as “banner blindness”, occurs when your audience has seen your ads so often they no longer pay attention to them. This usually happens because the creative hasn’t been changed in a long time, likewise with their positioning or size. You may have experienced something similar at home, when perhaps you haven’t noticed something in your house or on a regular walk because you become so used to seeing it.

Algorithm

The question on all of our lips! What is the Google search algorithm? Essentially, it is the process in which Google indexes website content into tailored search results for your queries. They examine many factors, from content to technical considerations to competition and engagement.

Anchor Text

Sometimes referred to as the ‘link label’ or ‘link text, the anchor text is the clickable text containing an HTML link. This is often lit up in blue or another colour with an underline to identify it as different to the normal text.

ASO – App Store Optimisation

App store optimisation refers to employing techniques that can improve the visibility of an app within the app store search engine and increase conversion rates. Like search engine optimisation, many factors are involved that need to be considered when optimising your app.

 

B

Ad Fatigue

Ad fatigue, sometimes referred to as “banner blindness”, occurs when your audience has seen your ads so often they no longer pay attention to them. This usually happens because the creative hasn’t been changed in a long time, likewise with their positioning or size. You may have experienced something similar at home, when perhaps you haven’t noticed something in your house or on a regular walk because you become so used to seeing it.

B2B

B2B stands for business-to-business and refers to the transactions and sales conducted between two businesses rather than between a company and the individual consumer. This includes the business between entities like wholesalers and retailers or between manufacturers and both of the former.

B2C

B2C stands for business-to-consumer and refers to the more typical mode of business where the transaction takes place between the business entity and the individual customer. Groceries, clothing, entertainment etc., are all examples of B2C transactions.

Bots

Bots, also referred to as crawlers or spiders, are scripts and programs set to perform a series of automated tasks, which in SEO is usually to follow the links on a webpage and process the content they find.

Bots like Googlebot or Bingbot are what visit a website and understand the information it displays and then index them on the corresponding search engine.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric common among analytics tools that shows how many visitors come to the webpage and immediately leave without engaging with the content, i.e scrolling or clicking. In general, the lower it is, the better. Many things can affect the bounce rate, such as the speed of the web page, popups and interstitials, poor content and so on.

Google is moving away from bounce rate with the advent of GA4, removing the metric in favour of a general “engagement rate” metric.

 

C

Campaign (PPC)

In PPC, a campaign is a set of ad groups (ads, keywords and bids) that share a budget, location, targeting and other settings. Your Google Ads account can have a number of campaigns running at the same time.

Canonical

A canonical URL is the URL identified as the most representative for the page content, which in simple terms can mean the “main version”” of a page.

A good example of when canonicals are necessary is in regard to duplicate content – something that search engines try to avoid, as serving a user multiple of the same thing is never useful.

This can become an issue for eCommerce sites, which may have 100s of pages with minor differences due to filtering or sorting for users. For example, /clothes/dress?colour=black and /clothes/dress?sort=price:low may be virtually identical to each other, but also to the root /clothes/dress page. The only one that may be useful to a user searching – and therefore, the one we’d want to be indexed, is the latter; therefore, the former two pages should use the latter as the canonical URL.

Good use of canonicals helps to control the crawl budget of your website and keep the right content indexed, as well as helping when content has been syndicated to ensure it points to the original.

ccTLD

ccTLD stands for “Country Code Top-Level Domain”, and this is the bit at the end of a web domain that identifies the country or geographic area it pertains to. For example, our website is pushon.co.uk, and the .co.uk is what identifies us as a UK-based site. .ie refers to Ireland, .com is (usually) the USA, and so on.

Others don’t necessarily identify a location, rather they identify what type of organisational body you are, which can be called TLDs. For example, .gov, .edu, .org.

CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) distributes content to users via a network of servers across an area. These are usually geographically positioned to deliver content to users as fast as possible, so a user accessing the site from the other side of the world doesn’t have to wait as long as they are actually downloading the content from the server closest to their location.

CDNs are a great way to speed up your website, particularly when your user base may span a large region.

Click

A click is measured as when a user clicks on your result, whether that is an organic search result or one of your campaigns served through paid search, display, shopping or Performance Max. This is different to an impression, which records how many have simply seen your result.

Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks the result for your site receives per impression it has within the search results page, whether that is an organic result or a PCC campaign. If a result has 500 impressions and 50 clicks, it has a click-through rate of 10%. This data is viewable per domain and per URL within Google Search Console, or within Google Ads for paid campaigns.

Clickbait

Clickbait is content on the internet that has the sole purpose of attracting as much attention and as many clicks as possible to the page, regardless of the content’s reliability or accuracy. The headlines tend to be misleading or outright dishonest as a way of coaxing users to their websites. “10 things guaranteed to make you lose weight”, ” Leading Banker Reveals 5 Ways You are Losing Money”, “These Celebrities Were Caught!”: these types of titles are increasingly common and make spotting clickbait easy for those who are internet savvy, but many still fall victim to it.

Cloaking

Cloaking in SEO refers to a “black hat” tactic that is generally frowned upon. When a website is cloaking, they are serving the human user a different set of content to the search engine crawlers and bots as a way to try artificially rank their page for the topic.

They recognise the crawler usually through their User-Agent, IP address or HTTP headers. This can also be done in JavaScript, as search engines would typically not execute the JavaScript on the page, so the raw HTML page compared to JS may be incredibly different, however, it is becoming more common for search engines to execute the JS as well these days.

If search engines like Google catch a website doing this, they risk being penalised in search, which is very hard to come back from.

CMS

CMS stands for “content management system” and they act effectively as a database where one or multiple users can create, edit and remove content on the website it manages.

Many will be familiar with WordPress, one of the most popular CMS in the world that helps users build a website without much programming knowledge. Other popular CMS are more tailored to specific kinds of websites, such as Magento (now Adobe Commerce), a popular eCommerce platform.

Conversion

A conversion is when a user comes to your website (or app) and completes a desired action that contributes to your business goals. The specifics of the action depend entirely on your business, the most common conversion usually being a purchase. Other common conversions include making an account, signing up for a newsletter, submitting a form and downloading an app or file.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the action bringing them in. This depends on the platform you are using to track the rate, as in Google Analytics the conversion rate is typically the number of conversions divided by the number of sessions, whereas in Google Ads it is the number of conversions divided by the number of clicks which represents the rate at wich a click on a PPC ad resulted in a conversion.

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Conversion rate optimisation (or CRO) is the practice of increasing how many users are converting on your site. This process usually consists of investigating your analytics, and your audience to find the pain points in customer journeys and the areas of the site they are very engaged with to make website changes that help them.

Core Web Vitals

The core web vitals introduced by Google attempt to measure the user experience of a page, consisting of three main elements: loading, interactivity and visual stability. You can find this report in Google Search Console.

Learn more about what core web vitals are and how to optimise them. 

 

D

D2C

D2C stands for ‘direct to consumer’, meaning the process of a manufacturer selling its products directly to its consumers via its eCommerce store. This is different to the traditional model of Manufacturer > Wholesaler > Distributor > Retailer > Consumer. As you can see, D2C cuts out a significant chunk of the typical journey.

Disavow

To disavow is to request certain links from other domains to be ignored by search engines in your backlink profile. This usually consists of submitting a .txt file to the search engine that contains the URLs you wish to be ignored formatted in a specific way. Sites may opt to do this when their site is adversely affected by spammy, artificial links.

Domain Age

Domain age is how long the site has been registered and maintained, which can be identified by looking up the WhoIs record. The domain age is roughly used to determine the “maturity” of a website, similar to how you may assume that someone fresh out of school would have less impact in a field compared to someone with a decade of experience.

Domain Authority

Domain authority put simply is the overall score of a website’s strength, calculated using elements we know search engines look for like backlinks. Stronger websites tend to do better in search and pass on more value through their backlinks, so building your domain authority is an excellent way to measure how well you are likely to do in search.

Domain Name

The domain name is the address of your website, the part that can take you to the front door, so to speak. For example, our domain name is pushon.co.uk!

Your domain name needs to be recognisable and, of course, related to your brand. This is why you rarely see sites use something different to their brand name when creating a website.

The domain name also contains the TLD, which helps to identify what geographic area your site pertains to or even what type of organisation it is.

 

E

Engagement Rate

The engagement rate is a critical metric to any website or ad as it identifies how relevant it is to your audience. It measures how much users are engaging with your content; therefore the higher, the better.

 

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content optimised for search that will remain “fresh” and relevant over a long period of time. Typical types of evergreen content include guides, lists, reviews and so on.

An article like “How to prepare chicken or turkey for a roast dinner” would be evergreen, however, “How to prepare your Christmas turkey” would not as there are only certain times the content would be relevant.

 

F

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel – now the Meta Pixel – is a piece of code that is added to your website that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and track what happens when people see them, as well as build out your audiences. This is essentially an analytics tool that enables you to leverage this data.

Faceted Navigation

Faceted navigation is the practice of narrowing down a list of results through filtering and sorting, typically on category or archive pages. You will likely have encountered facets on an eCommerce site, a job site or booking sites for hotels and flights where a user can filter by things like price, colour or size etc.

Favicon

A favicon is an icon that represents your website, usually displayed in the address bar of your browser when accessing the site, within bookmarks and occasionally in SERPs.

 

G

Gated Content

Gated content is any content that requires user information to access it. Sometimes this can be submitting your email and name, making an account or even signing up for a subscription. You may be most familiar with this phenomenon on journalism sites, which often give away 1-5 free articles a month and then require a subscription to read freely.

Googlebot

Googlebot is the name used to represent Google’s web crawlers, which visit websites and build out their index of the web. There is both a desktop crawler (that simulates a desktop user) and a mobile crawler (that simulates a mobile user) that fall under this name.

 

H

Header Tags

A header tag, sometimes referred to as a title tag, are tags used within the page HTML to represent the hierarchy or importance of the title and, therefore, the content that follows it.

An H1, for example, represents the main page title and therefore should summarise what the page is about. There should also only be one of them per page. An H2 can be used more, although still sparingly, and should represent the main sections of content you’d find on the page.

At PushON, we liken header tags to writing an essay at school; an H1 is your essay title, an H2 would be the title of your main sections, and further H3s and H4s would be the titles of smaller sections within them.

HTML

HTML (hypertext markup language) is a programming language that has become a crucial part of web development. It describes the page’s structure and tells the browser how to display the content for you, the user.

When search engines crawl your site, the HTML is what they are trying to read (in most cases), which is why it’s crucial for it to be optimised and easy to understand.

 

I

Impression

Impressions count how often your organic or paid results have been seen within search engine results. It doesn’t identify whether or not they have engaged with your result, simply that it has been seen.

Infographic

Infographics are a visual representation of data, usually intending to be easier to understand and aesthetically pleasing, therefore making them very shareable in terms of content marketing.

When done well, an infographic can be a great content piece for digital PR and link building, or it can be placed on your website and generate traffic.

Interstitial

Interstitials are usually ads that overlay the web page, often during a natural transition point, such as loading a page or scrolling. What makes them interstitials is how they cover most of the page, with other types coming in the form of banners, popups and dialogues.

An interstitial can become a problem for SEO when it starts to impact the useability of the site, something that Google’s Core Web Vitals are trying to measure.

 

J

JavaScript

A simple explanation of JavaScript is that it is a programming language that enables dynamic and interactive web experiences. It works alongside the CSS and HTML of a page and will most likely be behind anything that moves, refreshes or changes on your screen, such as a social media feed updating.

JavaScript can sometimes cause issues for search engine crawlers when the content of a page is inaccessible due to their inability to interact with the page, but when used correctly, it can enhance the user’s experience and create a page readable for search engines.

 

K

Keyword Cannibalisation

Keyword cannibalisation is an SEO term used to describe when more than one page on a site is targeting the exact same query. For example, if an eCommerce site sells furniture, having a page for “Shop Kitchen Furniture” and “Kitchen Furniture Items” could be cannibalisation.

This causes a problem regarding SEO because now search engines have to figure out which one to index for “kitchen furniture”. Either they pick one, and the other sees no traffic, or they pick both and split the traffic… and the page authority. Both are likely to see drops in conversion rates.

Knowledge Graph

The knowledge graph populates the extra panels you often see in Google search results that contain relevant information to the search query, often trying to answer your query immediately without having to click on a different website.

The knowledge graph acts more like a mind map that understands how different entities relate to each other, so when you search for someone like Zendaya, you may see extra information about the media she has starred in, the awards she has won, trivia about her and her social media.

Alternatively, you could search for something short form, such as “time in India”, and immediately get the Indian timezone and current time. This data comes from various sources, notably Wikipedia and other trusted databases.”

An example of Google's knowledge graph using the example Zendaya and the various entities relating to her. Pictures of her, her social media and information from her Wikipedia page are all shown in Google's search results.

 

M

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel – now the Meta Pixel – is a piece of code that is added to your website that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and track what happens when people see them, as well as build out your audiences. This is essentially an analytics tool that enables you to leverage this data.

 

O

Orphan Pages

Orphan pages are pages on your website that have no internal links leading to them, completely isolating them. This causes a problem in regard to SEO because users and search engines alike won’t be able to find them.

 

P

Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel – now the Meta Pixel – is a piece of code that is added to your website that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and track what happens when people see them, as well as build out your audiences. This is essentially an analytics tool that enables you to leverage this data.

Penalty

A Google Penalty is when your site is penalised within their search algorithms, usually in the form of your search rankings dropping dramatically or even your site being removed from the index together. Penalties occur when Google believes your site is guilty of black-hat SEO tactics, such as cloaking, hidden text or spam.

 

Q

Query

In regards to SEO, a search query is the actual string of words and characters a user searches with a search engine like Google. Sometimes the term query is conflated with the term keywords, however, there is a subtle difference between the two: “query” is the real-world application of the term, the thing that was actually searched, whereas a “keyword” is the abstraction of that term that is targeted by marketers. For example, you might be trying to rank for the keyword “dress shirt”, but the query a user searches could be a range of things, including “shirt white”, “formal shirt”, “shirt for best”, and so on. These could even be misspelt as well.

 

R

Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets are the more enhanced search listings that Google displays on search results pages. Additional data and formatting create a “richer” experience tailored to answering the user intent more efficiently. This can be lists, images, reviews, product information, videos and more as Google is constantly experimenting.

Having a rich snippet can increase the click-through rate to your site as they grab attention and show expertise/validity on the subject matter.

There’s no hard and fast way to guarantee a rich snippet for your site, but creating high-quality and well-formatted content is one of the most helpful things you can do. Furthermore, appropriate use of structured data can help Google understand the information on your page more easily, which can help gain rich snippets.

Robots.txt

The robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers what they can and cannot access when crawling your site. This file sits at the root of a site and helps to regulate these bots and crawlers so as not to overload your site with requests and manage what can get indexed.

We at PushON like to describe this file as the highway code for a site where the sitemap is the map used to find your way. These two files can be leveraged to keep search engines focused on the content that matters.

One important thing to remember is the robots.txt file is not mandatory, it is up to the crawler to obey them.

 

S

Session

A session is a group of user interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. This can be a user landing on your website, visiting multiple pages (each individual pageviews), submitting a form (an event) and then purchasing a product (an eCommerce event). Each of those interactions was individual but together made up one single session from a user.

By default, a session lasts until 30 minutes of inactivity in Google Analytics, but that can be adjusted without your own settings. This means that if your user starts a session and interacts with your site but then gets up and leaves their desk for 30 minutes or doesn’t return to the tab for 30 minutes, that session will count as closed. If they return after that, it will be treated as an entirely new session.

SKU

SKU stands for “stock keeping unit” and is used by retail businesses to keep track of their inventory. They vary from business to business, each opting for specific characters or numbers to identify information for their systems to recognise, be it size, colour, material, price or other variations.

In terms of the digital space, SKUs help to feed into your CMS to get accurate stock availability.

Social First Strategy

Social first strategy is when you take social media into account throughout all elements of campaign planning. At PushON, we start with collecting the necessary data around audiences and platform-specific trending topics, as well as any useful marketing data that applies to the current strategy. With that in hand, we then begin to build out the content.

Status Code

A status code – or response code – is the HTTP response for the request of the page. These are always comprised of a three-digit number, where each band signifies a different response.

200 is a success, meaning the browser and the server can communicate and show content for the user.
Anything beginning with a 3 indicates a redirect, the most common being the 301 redirects which indicate that the requested URL has permanently moved and that a new page will be requested. Anything beginning with a 4 indicates that nothing is found, the most common of which is the 404, which usually servers an error page by the website explaining that the requested URL cannot be found.

Finally, anything with a 5 usually indicates a server issue. A 500 error will be served when the browser has made a valid request, i.e. the page exists, but the server cannot return the page.

Store View

In Adobe Commerce, store views allow you to create your website in multiple languages yet manage them all from one consistent place.

Storefront

Regarding your Magento (now Adobe Commerce) site, the storefront is the front-facing part of your site that the customer sees and interacts with, allowing them to shop, purchase and explore.

Structured Data

In SEO, structured data is a method of tagging the content on your page to present it in an easier-to-digest manner. The way this is done is through schema.org, essentially an online dictionary for those tags sometimes referred to as schema or markup.

Using schema can help improve your search appearance because search engines better understand what directly corresponds to what. For example, if you are using product schema, the search engine will be able to more easily understand the price, availability, item condition, review ratings and so on, and can show all of this information in search.

 

T

Thin Content

Thin content is content that has little to no value to users. It may offer no depth on a subject, be repetitive (or even duplicate content), poorly automated, and contain little evidence to back up any claims or doorway and affiliate pages.

Title Tags

A title tag is the HTML element that specifies the web page’s title. This title is then (usually) displayed as part of the snippet within search engine results pages and as the headline you see on a browser tab.

Topical Authority

Topical authority is a concept within SEO where a website creates a hub of quality content focused on becoming the go-to for a certain subject. This can be in the form of guides, how-to’s, videos and so on, usually held together by a central pillar page that collates all those pages.

This is to help search engines understand what your site’s main content is, aiming to therefore rank better overall for the said topic and encourage users to your website. From a user perspective, this is also really helpful, as all of their questions and concerns can be answered in one place, thereby building trust for your brand.

 

U

UGC

UGC stands for “user-generated content” and is any form of content that has been posted to your website by the users rather than the brand. This can be in the form of comments, images, videos and more. In the eCommerce space, this often comes in the form of product reviews or comments on articles.

URL

URL stands for “uniform resource locator”, essentially the web address, and is the reference that specifies the site’s location on its computer network and the way to retrieve it.

The URL acts as the address for where to find our website.

User Intent

User intent refers to the intention behind a user searching a specific query. These are usually categorised into one of three ways:

  • Do: a user is tying to do something, like making a purchase,
  • Know: a user is trying to find out information or research,
  • Go: a user is trying to find something, like a website.
 

V

Virtual Product

A virtual product in Magento (now Adobe Commerce) is a product type for non-tangible items such as subscriptions, memberships, gift cards, or online services. Aesthetically it appears just the same as a simple product on the front of the site, however, there are no configurable or customisable options.

Virtual Product

A virtual product in Magento (now Adobe Commerce) is a product type for non-tangible items such as subscriptions, memberships, gift cards, or online services. Aesthetically it appears just the same as a simple product on the front of the site, however, there are no configurable or customisable options.