Glossary of website terms

If you have invested in a website or are considering investing in a website you will find it helpful to learn some of the familiar terms used in relation to websites and search engine marketing (SEM).

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is a term used to describe the percentage of visitors to your site who only visit the page they first land on and do not visit any other pages on your website.

You can find more information about the term bounce rate in Wikipedia.

Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a term used to describe ‘doing stuff’ to a website to help get it to rank (or to appear) on the first page of the search engine search results when a person searches for your products or services.

When building a website, there are a number of key things that should always be done as a matter of course to give your website every chance of ranking well. Some of these things are in the back-end/code and you will never see. Other things such as integrating key words/key phrases into specific areas of your website such as headlines, body copy, image descriptions etc and in specific ways, are often visible from the front end of your website.

SEO is not an exact science and while there are literally hundreds of things we can try in order to get your website to rank well, the results are never guaranteed.

There are many factors that will affect how well your website will rank – some we have control over but can often can take time to implement which is costly. Other things we can try we don’t have a lot of control over and don’t always know if they even work but sometimes it is worth a try. There are a lot of ‘myths’ about what does and doesn’t work when it comes to SEO – some are true, some are not and some… well nobody really knows.

SEO can be a very time consuming task and many things need to be tried and tested over a period of time, and monitored to see what works and what doesn’t. The results don’t happen instantly. To guarantee the best results requires constant monitoring, testing, tweaking, more monitoring etc. The biggest problem is that to a large degree no one, not even the most experienced SEO expert, really know how the search engines such as Google and Yahoo rank pages.

Do you need to understand SEO?

Yes and no and it depends on your circumstances.

The potential of your website is huge… if you have done your research and you know you have the right products or services to be promoting online.  It really is one of those marketing tools where the more you put into it the more you can get out of it – if it is done right.

Your website is no different from having a physical store or office in some respects

If you want a successful physical store, there are certain things you have to do such as fit it out with fittings appropriate for your target market, spend time researching the best way to layout your store for maximum results, continue to rearrange and adjust the placement of items and monitor the results to find the most effective combination, spend time in your store getting to know your customers, pay the lease (or rates if you own it), keep it looking nice and up to date etc.

If you want a successful website there are certain things you have to do if you want your online marketing investment to work for you.

You can set up a physical store, get someone to sit at the till and hope for the best but you are not likely to enjoy much success with this approach. It is the same with websites… you can get a website built, sit back and wait for… well luck really… the more you are prepared to put into your website the more you will get from it.

We really want you to understand this as it takes time and effort to create a website, unless you have the budget for it, you will need to take some time to help create your website and carry out ongoing maintenance if you want your website to be successful.

Does your site need to be Search Engine Optimised and to what extent?

Yes if your income depends solely on the performance of your website or if you want your website to perform to its optimum. If your site is more of an information site to back up other areas of your marketing material then you may not need to invest time or money into SEO. You also may be one of the lucky ones whose products or services are unique, specific and will rank well naturally. Another situation where you may not need to worry too much about this is if you have an older site that has been around for awhile and is already ranking well – there are ways we can create a brand new site and retain the ranking of your previous site.

There are things you can do yourself to help improve the ranking of your website if you are willing or able to put the time into learning more about SEO.

SEO often comes down to how much time or money have you have available to invest in this area… and how important your website is to the overall success of your business. There are unlimited resources on the internet and many great books on the subject to help you understand this area more. As with any business, if you are serious about creating a successful online business or want to make the most from your website then we do encourage you to put some time into understanding SEO and online marketing. If you are on a limited budget there are many things you can do yourself to help in this area when we are building the website which will reduce your final cost and there are many things you can do on an ongoing basis once the website is finished.

Key words and phrases

Key words and key phrases play an important role in whether your website will be found easily or not by your target market. There are many places that they can be applied to help your site rank well including headlines, copy and image titles.

The challenge is in figuring out what key words and/or key phrases your target market use to search for your product or service and deciding on how specific you want to be.

You are close to your product or service and may ‘think’ your target market will use a specific term to find you. In reality your target market doesn’t know your product as intimately as you do so are likely to use something quite different to describe your product as what you would first think.

A perfect example is our industry. We automatically think that if someone needs our services they will google ‘graphic design’ or ‘brand creation’. There are many business professionals that will use these key phrases but there are also many that wont. Some may search for ‘logo design’ or ‘printing business cards’.

We will provide further information to this article in the future. In the meantime we suggest you spend some time researching key words and key phrases to learn more about how this can impact on the success of your website… and in other areas of your marketing.