Explaining Common Web Design Jargon – 15 Terms To Know

1. Search Engine Optimization

Commonly referred to as simply “SEO”, Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting traffic from the organic results on search engines such as Google by utilizing many strategies to get your website to rank better on Google search results.


2. Google Adwords/Pay Per Click

Also known as Google AdWords, Google Advertising is an ad service provided by Google that enables businesses to set a budget and pay for their website to come up on the first page of search results for a set of desired keywords in a determined geography. The benefit to this is the business only pays when someone searches for a product or service and actually clicks on the ad to view the advertisers website. When done right, this is a very effective form of digital marketing.


3. Social Media Optimization

Commonly called “SMO”, Social Media Optimization optimizes awareness of company and their products via social media. SMO directs people from social media to a company’s website for more information and boosts overall engagement with customers for your brand.


4. Click Through Rate

Often called “CTR”, Click Through Rate is the number of clicks that your website receives divided by the number of times is shown within search results: clicks divided by impressions. For example, if your website shows in search results 1000 times and is clicked on 50 times then your CTR is 5%. Websites with better click through rates are also said to move up in ranks overtime.


5. Landing Page

A Landing Page is a dedicated page that you create on your website to serve a specific set of information to the visitor in which you are trying to get the visitor reach a goal. For example, if you were selling a book about digital marketing, you could send an email to a prospect and when that prospects clicks the link they would go straight to a page that is all about that book and if the goal was for them to buy then you would make that visible and clear multiple times on the page to try to guide them to that end goal. Many times, on landing pages, you do not include any other links or information about any other product or service being offered besides the one you are trying to get the visitor to choose on that landing page. This is a very effective practice if you are funneling your traffic properly to the correct landing pages for your business.


6. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free Web analytics service that helps you better understand your website traffic. With this tool you can find out how many hits you are getting, how long they are staying for, where they are coming from, what pages are they looking at and a lot more! Read our post about Google Analytics to find out more here.


7. Call to Action

A Call to Action should be included on all pages throughout your website where you are trying to direct a visitor to do something. Common calls to action include asking a visitor to fill our a form for a free consultation or quote. Others could be a free download in exchange for information.


8. Conversions

A conversion is typically a sale or lead being generated through your website. For example, if a visitor comes to your site and either buys a product, calls, emails, submits a form or downloads a resource then that would be a conversion. That being said, you can decide what is a conversion for you as some businesses also track conversions such as time on site, social shares, etc.


9. Retargeting

Retargeting or Remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of traffic after they leave your website through banner ads. Ever notice when you leave a site they seem to follow you around? Those companies are using retargeting and it is very effective! Learn more on our blog here. 


10. WordPress

WordPress is a free publishing software and content management system, that allows open source publishing of websites that can be installed locally on a web server. It is one of the most, if not the most, popular frameworks to build websites on because of its ease of use, scalability and wide availability of templates.


11. Responsive Web Design

Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries.  The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.


12. 301 Redirect

A 301 redirect is a method of telling web browsers and search engines that a web page or site has been permanently moved to a new location. Usually a 301 redirect includes the address to which the resource has been moved. For example, if you got a new website, most of the time, the URLs are going to change and it is very important to make sure the old URLs get forwarded to the new ones. You can learn how to create 301 redirects here.


13. Content Management System

A Content Management System (CMS) is simply a system that allows you to edit your organization’s website on your own without needing any higher level technical knowledge.


14. Domain

A website domain is the name of the website or URL.


15. Web Hosting

Web hosting is a service that allows organizations and individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet.


The following list of vocab words may seem like a shorthand version of a web designer’s textbook, but it will be essential when it comes to understanding your website and its entire design. These key words will be very important when having discussions with your web designer about your site, and will eliminate a majority of the confusion you will have when web jargon is being used in the conversation.