53 Essential Terms: Internet Marketing and SEO Glossary

On January 7, 2011, wrote:

In my experience with Internet Marketing and SEO, I have come across a multitude of Internet marketing  and SEO terms.  A lot of these terms usually have very vague or technical definitions that leave you confused and frustrated.  I know how you feel, trust me, I have been there.

Fear not, I have compiled a list of internet marketing and SEO keywords in layman’s terms for you people that are new to SEO and internet marketing.

1. Anchor text , anchor linkWhen you are reading content, and a word is clickable and contains a link.

2. Backlink, back-link – a link from an outside website (outside source) that points back to a website.  (i.e. all the links that connect back to your blog)

3. Broken link – a link that fails to connect to it’s intended destination

4. Cloaking – When a website presents one version of itself to the user and another version to the search engine.  By cloaking, you can show your users the normal page, and show a search engine a keyword stuffed splash page thus boosting your ranking.  DO NOT DO THIS.  If a search engine finds out you are employing this black hat SEO practice, you will be severely penalized and potentially banned from Google (i.e. BMW Germany and Google)

5. Contextual marketing –This is specific targeted promotion of products or goods based on the interests and behavior of the user.  Basically, from what you search and what you view, advertisers can tie ads to your demonstrated interests.

6. Conversion ratio – This is the number of online sales divided by  the number of hits (visits) you or your landing page receives.  Conversion ratio could be applied to subscriptions, email address harvesting or other online business goals.

7. CSS – Cascading Style Sheet – Used for programming, this document will tell the browser how to display websites.

8. Domain Name – website name – Domain name is or URL (Universal Resource Locator) is a unique  alphanumeric name and attached to a certain IP address. While every address has an IP address they also have domain names for simplicity.  (i.e. www.google.com, www.cnn.com)

9. Duplicate Content – indicates similar or even identical content on different websites and can result in penalties from search engines.

10. Email marketing – business promotion and brand recognition/management through the use of email broadcasts.  While much email marketing is successful for some marketers, it has also taken on some bad connotations because of spam abuse.

11. External links – links pointing to a website from outside sources, different from backlinks when the website the links are pointing to is not yours.

12. High quality links – links from highly ranked and relevant websites

13. Hit – a single visit to a website from a person or automated program

14. Host / webhost / hosting server – The host or webhost is the company you choose to put your website online.  Using their hosting servers, they will provide the space for you on the internet and register your domain.  (i.e. Host Duplex, Go Daddy)

15. HTMLHyper Text Markup Language.  It is a language of programming used to display websites and display elements in a formulated manner.  It is up to the browsers to read the language and display said elements.

16. Impression – a single view of the web page or an advertisement by the Internet user.

17. Internal links – links in a single website that link to other elements or pages within the same website.

18. Internet Marketing – a broad term, internet marketing refers to the business promotion and brand management of a company through the use of various avenues via the internet.

19. Internet Traffic The number of visitors a website receives

20. IP address – Internet Protocol is a unique numeric address identifying any device connected to the Internet.

21. Delivery – When you are in Chicago and Google search ‘grocery store’ and on the same laptop do the same search in New York City and receive only local results.   The process to provide this service is called IP delivery.  Through a user’s IP address search engines will be able to bring th user content relevant to their location.  This method is being used not only by Google but by many internet marketers.

22. Keyword – Words used by search engines to find relevant websites based on organic searches.

23. Keyword Phrase – A combination of words used by search engines to find relevant websites based on organic searches.

24. Keyword stuffing – excessive use of keywords in the content of the web document which commonly results in penalties by the search engines.  Keyword stuffing is a large reason as to why meta keywords have become outdated.

25. Landing Page – a landing page is a web page designed to be highly relevant to an advertisement or query.  These are very useful for pay per click advertising.
26. Link bait – Useful, interesting, or entertaining content that coaxes users to visit a website.  (i.e. lolcats)

27. Link building – a crucial SEO process where a company will create as many backlinks, external, and internal links as possible to increase click through rate, conversion ratio and page rank for a search engine results page (SERP).

28. Link juice – expression refers to overall quality of the links linking to your website.  All external links affect your page rank score to search engines.  Higher quality links have more ‘link juice’ thus being more beneficial.

29. Long tail keyword –similar to keyword phrase, this is multiples permutations of keywords to create a search query.  These keyword phrases are more specific and prevent greater opportunities for advertisers to provide highly relevant ads.

30. Low quality link – Links from low-ranked or irrelevant websites

31. Market analysis – A broad term used to research the ‘temperature’ of a certain market.  This includes identification primary and secondary markets, buying patterns of consumers, etc.

32. Market value – this expression refers to the expected price obtained for sold goods or services in a given time period.

33. Meta DescriptionThis is the short paragraph under the link for each item in a search engine results page (see #5 in link).  While the description itself will not drastically affect rankings, an interesting and captivating meta description will attract more users to your site.

34. Meta tag – Information enveloped in the head portion of an HTML document.  Meta tags provide various information about the website to the search engine allowing for better indexing and cataloging.

35. Nofollow link –This is a meta tag that tells a search engine not to follow (click on) a certain link.  This is useful for keeping the search engine on your page and for maximizing the ‘link juice’ on your page.

36. Off-page SEO – This includes all the tactics you can employ to optimize a website without directly changing website elements.  This includes external link building, link baiting, being active in online communities, and many more.

37. On-page SEO – In contrast to off-page SEO, on-page is SEO consists of the tactics one can employ to directly optimize the elements of a website.  This includes title tag optimization, meta description optimization, keyword phrase strategies, internal link building etc.

38. Organic Search Results – Also known as natural search results, organic search results are optimized through natural means, and not through paid advertising.  This includes content optimization and link building.

39. Page Rank – a hypothetical value of a web page. Page rank reflects how pertinent the information on your relates to a given search query.  Google describes its page rank as for “entertainment purposes only”.

40. PPC – Pay-Per-Click – PPC is an online marketing strategy where a business will pay each time when a user clicks on their link.  Examples of PPC are the advertisements on the right hand side of a SERP in a Google search.

41. Redirecting – This is an instruction telling a search engine to go into another page. This is a valuable technique because often you can have duplicate content.  When the search engines do not know where the authority lies, they will spread the link juice to the separate pages.  By applying redirects, you can tell the search which site is the original page thus preserving all link juice.

42. RSS Rich Site Summary This allows subscribers to get laters updates from a specific website.

43. Search Engine – A search engine is basically a computer program which searches documents for certain keywords and then after indexing those documents, the engine will display those documents in a certain order of results.  The big three search engines are: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

44. Search Engine Marketing – SEM –SEM is a branch of internet marketing that deals with business promotion through the use of search engines.   SEM deals with organic website positioning through SEO, paid online advertisement  and contextual advertising.

45. Search Engine Optimization – SEOThis is a process that utilizes multiple techniques to increase visibility to users by boosting websites higher on a search engine results page thus creating more visits.

46. Search Engine Spider A computer program deployed by the search engines to travel the internet and gather data from websites and index them for the search engines.

47. Search engine submission An online request to a search engine to catalog your website or a web page.

48. Search term  or search query– A single word or phrase used used to pull up results in a search

49. SERP – A Search Engine Result Page The page that appears showing the results from a given search query

50. Social media marketinga specific online marketing strategy based on the utilization of online social media sites i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc.

51. Unique VisitorUnique visitor is a new person who visits a website once in a certain period of time.  If they visit the same website 10 times in one day, they will only be counted once.


52. Web Analytics – This is the analysis of a given website that tell the webmaster number of visitors, conversion rates, and other performance factors intended to understand and optimize web usage

53. Website Traffic – The number of total visitors a website receives in a given period of time.

I’m sure there are some I have left out.  Leave a comment if you think I should add to the glossary!


Stay Connected, Subscribe to the Lakeshore Branding blog feed via RSS, email and you can follow Lakeshore Branding on Twitter!

What do you think? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *