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Digital Marketing Basics: Website Terms You Need to Know

Updated: Mar 11, 2022

We all know digital marketing can be overwhelming. And here at Cat's Cove we sometimes get bogged down in the nitty gritty details. But maybe you're just starting out with your business, and maybe you just need to know the basics to get your head around your new website, search engine optimization or some other aspect of your digital marketing.

So in our Digital Marketing Basics series we’re aiming to do just that - break down terminology and concepts into language that you can understand to help demystify and educate.

So today we're going to review some key website terms. These are terms you'll need to know if you're using a website builder like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy to create your own website, or even if you're having a web developer do it for you.

Website Terminology

‘SEO’ - SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely it is that people will be able to find you online and interact with your business. If your website doesn't 'rank' or show up in search engines, it will be very difficult for potential customers to find you unless they type in your exact website address. Read more about SEO here.

Homepage - Some people think homepage is the term for a website in general. But 'homepage' is not the same thing as 'webpage'. A home page is the default or front page of a site. It is the first page that visitors see when they type in your website address. Your homepage typically serves as a table of contents for your site, with a menu and often links to other pages on the website.

Hamburger Menu - A hamburger menu is an icon that typically consists of 3 or 4 horizontal lines stacked on top of each other, not unlike the parts of a hamburger, hence the name. It is most often used on mobile websites and was designed to take up less space on the screen. When clicked, this version of a menu typically opens up into a side menu showing all the other pages on the site.

Mobile Responsiveness - We all know that people use their phones for everything, and accessing websites is no different. Mobile responsiveness refers to whether a website is optimized to be functional and aesthetically pleasing on devices of different sizes. This has become more and more important in 2022, as up to 70% of websites are accessed on phones or tablets. (Need help optimizing your website for mobile? We've got you covered.)

Optimizing images for Web - Image optimization is about reducing the file size of your images as much as possible, without sacrificing quality, so your page load times remain low. If you upload a bunch of very large photos to your website, it can significantly slow down your site speed, as the large images have to load every time someone tries to go to your page. Want a great tool for shrinking your images for web? Try Squoosh. Image optimization is also about SEO, or search engine optimization. By naming your images appropriately, or in ways that describe the image and use important keywords, your images can be found on Google, which can help bring more people to your website.

H1 Header - Headings don’t just make the content on a webpage better organized and easier to read. They are also critical to good search engine optimization, or the steps you take to make your website easier for search engine bots to crawl or 'read' and index the pages on your site. If bots can’t crawl a page, they can’t rank it. H1 Headers give bots a clear indication of what a page is about and should be used for the most relevant information on each page.

Anchor - An anchor tag, or anchor link, is a web page element that links to another location on the same page. They are typically used for long or text-heavy pages so that visitors can jump to a specific part of the page without having to scroll as much.

Meta description - A meta description is a brief summary of a web page that is displayed as part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP). Meta descriptions are meant to give the user an idea of the content that exists within the page and how it relates to their search query.

This picture shows an example of a meta description, or the text that shows as part of the search engine results. This text is very important for enticing people to click through to your website.

Favicon - A favicon is a small 16×16 pixel icon that serves as branding for your website and typically shows on the tab in your website browser. Its main purpose is to help visitors locate your page easier when they have multiple tabs open. Favicons are not to be confused with logos but are sometimes the same. Due to its small size and resolution, the favicon is sometimes a tiny version of a logo or just part of a company’s original logo. Not having a favicon is a big mistake because it's a lost opportunity for branding and it also makes your website look incomplete.

An example of a favicon. Favicons are tiny images that you can see on web browser tabs. They help identify your website and also help people stay organized when they have many tabs open on a browser.

Content - Web content refers to the text, images or other elements published on a website. Web content is the key behind traffic generation to websites. Creating engaging content and organizing it into various categories for easy navigation is most important for a successful website. Also, it is important to optimize the web content for search engines so that it responds to the keywords used for searching. So next time your web developer asks you for content, they’re likely asking for more words and images to populate your site!

Site Speed - Your site speed refers to how quickly site visitors are able to see and interact with your website content. If a website takes ages to load, this will lead to a higher bounce rate - or how quickly someone leaves your website after arriving. A website’s bounce rate measures how many visitors leave a page without performing a specific action, such as buying something, filling out a form, or clicking on a link.

Hyperlinks - On a website, a hyperlink (or link) is an item like a word or button (like this) that points to another location. When you click on a link, the link will take you to the target of the link, which may be a webpage, document or other online content. Websites use hyperlinks as a way to navigate online content. Links are important for search engine optimization.

Header and Footer - Typically the header and footer are the top and bottom sections of a website that remain the same whichever page of your site your visitor navigates to. The header and footer typically define the style and design of a website and contain links to other pages, a logo or title of the website, and contact information.

Call to Action (CTA) - A Call to Action on a website is an instruction to the visitor in order to encourage them to take some kind of action. A Call to Action might be simple instructional text, such as “call us now”, “find out more”, or “subscribe to our Newsletter”. CTA's are a great way of generating more engagement from your website visitors and getting them to take certain actions. They are also a good way of directing people to stay on your website by keeping them interacting.

Have more questions about websites terminology? We'd love to hear there. Chats are always free at Cat's Cove, so don't be shy - reach out!

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