A / B testing
Also referred to as “multivariate testing”, A / B testing uses a variable, such as landing page design or the colour of an advert, to improve the performance of a particular campaign.
Above the fold
A term borrowed from the newspaper industry to describe the area of a web page that a user can see without scrolling down. Around 80% of eyeball time is above the fold.
Google’s search engine advertising platform. Advertisers can bid to have their advert appear in the “paid” or “sponsored” results for relevant keywords. Find out how content marketing and PPC can work together.
A revenue model that allows website owners to earn revenue by sending visitors to a third party website. Payments are usually on a cost-per-click basis.
A meta-tag used to describe an image. This tag is used by Google to rank and index pages containing images. Read more about alt tags and Google’s Penguin update.
A word or phrase that links to a particular web page. Google follows links to find and index new pages and it uses anchor text to help understand the content of those pages. Over-engineering anchor text on third party sites could lead to your site getting hit by Google’s Penguin update.
The practice of writing or commissioning articles and getting them published on third party sites in order to acquire brand or anchor text links. Article marketing has some brand and direct traffic benefits, but the priority is usually to acquire “follow” links that help boost search performance. Read more about article marketing since Google’s Penguin and Panda updates.
The value added to a piece of content by the reputation of its author. The impact of author rank is limited right now, but Google is expected to make greater use of it in the future. Read more about author rank.
Link farms, article directories, low quality blogs and other websites created solely to give out links are regarded as “bad neighbourhoods” by Google. Since the Penguin update, links from these domains will cause your website more harm than good.
Black hat SEO
Tactics that infringe Google’s webmaster guidelines. Black hat SEO is designed to trick Google into giving a web page a better ranking than it deserves. Google applies various penalties to sites when it identifies evidence of black hat tactics. Here are 4 old black hat tricks you should avoid.
Originally called “weblogs”, a blog allows anyone to create and publish content. Blogs are usually updated regularly with relatively short articles or posts that often reflect the views of the author. Blogs may be private or available to the public on the internet. Free platforms, such as WordPress and Blogger, make it easy for anyone to start blogging. Read our 5 simple ideas for improving your blog.
A snapshot or copy of a web page stored by Google. Cached pages are used to speed up the process of searching the internet and navigating web pages.
A conversion opportunity, such as a sign-up box, form, download or enquiry button. An action that website owners want their visitors to take. Check out our tips for creating clickable calls-to-action.
CMS (content management system)
A platform used to create and manage content published on a website, often referred to as the “back-end” or “admin area”.
A creative and talented individual who spends his or her time producing, planning, editing, optimising and strategising in this exciting, expanding industry.
The creation and publication of different types of content to support marketing campaigns. Read more about content marketing strategy.
Misuse of copyrighted material. This can be an expensive mistake and one that content marketers need to have a very tight handle on.
CRO (conversion rate optimisation)
Tactics and strategies used to increase the conversion rate on a website or a particular web page. The conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action (sign-up, download, call etc).
CTR (click through rate)
The percentage of users who click on a particular link or advert. Click through rate is usually calculated by taking the number of times the link has been clicked and dividing that figure by the total number of unique views it received.
Custom news marketing
Tailored news articles written in line with an editorial brief and keyword strategy to support specific marketing objectives. Read more about custom industry news.
Usually an internal link directing users to a page further down a website’s hierarchy.
A false statement (or a statement you can’t prove is true) that has the potential to damage a person’s reputation. Defamation / libel is another really important area of media law for content marketers.
As part of Google’s Penguin update, webmasters were given a new tool to disassociate themselves with links from weak domains. The idea was to help website owners that has been targeted by negative SEO and encourage anyone involved in black hat link building schemes to confess their sins before Penguin hit their rankings.
Sites with stronger domain authority tend to perform better in search. There are a variety of tools to measure domain authority and a number of contributory factors from the age and size of your site to inbound links and social footprint.
Text content that appears on more than one URL may be considered duplicate by Google. Since the Panda update, Google has been trying to purge its index of duplicate content in an effort to improve the user experience. This makes unique content, whether it’s a news story, blog article or product description, an essential part of building an engaging, search-friendly website.
A fluid document setting the rules and broad direction for your content marketing strategy.
A collaborative document that allows you to keep tight control over your content marketing strategy without having to do all the work yourself. For some ideas about how to populate your brief and calendar with ideas, read our 10 steps to content marketing awesomeness.
Producing relevant and useful content that can be delivered to interested parties via email as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Read more about email marketing.
A term that usually referred to editorial content that’s not tied to specific event or point in time. Evergreen content will have a longer shelf-life and can help you drill into your long-tail keywords.
Strategies and tactics designed to promote and brand, product or service via the world’s largest social media site. This may include creating or enhancing a Facebook profile and the active sharing of appropriate content. Read more about Facebook marketing.
The name given to Google’s new search algorithm that went live in September 2013, but wasn’t formally announced by Google until the following month. Google Hummingbird will drill into search queries to determine the meaning behind them and serve up more specific results. Read our tips on adjusting your content strategy for Google Hummingbird.
The search value or Page Rank passed between web pages by a “follow” link.
Google Panda update
An update to Google’s search algorithm that targeted low quality web pages containing thin or duplicate content. Panda was launched in March 2011 and attracted criticism from some website owners due to the dramatic impact it had on their traffic. Read more about Google Panda.
Google Penguin update
An update to Google’s search algorithm launched in May 2012. Penguin sought to remove the credit websites had previously received by “over-optimising”. Tactics targeted by Penguin included stuffing meta tags with keywords and acquiring high volumes of anchor text links from weak domains. Read more about Google’s Penguin update.
A separate search index limited to select domains that Google believes are bona fide news providers. Unlike the main index, your site won’t appear in Google News unless you have submitted a formal request for consideration. Getting in to Google News used to be a useful SEO tactic as new content was picked up much quicker than in the main index.
Google search algorithm
The mathematical formula Google uses to determine where a web page should appear in its organic results for a given keyword search. In October 2013, Google replaced its old algorithm with a brand new one called Hummingbird. Read more about Google Hummingbird.
Making use of Google’s social media platform to create, share and promote relevant pieces of content. Read more about social media marketing.
Also referred to as a Google’s “crawler” or “spider”, Googlebot is the tool Google users to discover and index web pages.
an important HTML tag that allows website owners to mark up the most important text on the page. You should only use one H1 tag per page or you will dilute its impact. Usually your H1 will line up with your page title. H1 tags remain an important ranking signal, but like page titles and links they have been targeted by spammers.
H2 and H3 tags
if the H1 tag is the header, title or headline, think of H2 and H3 tags as sub-headings. Unlike H1 tags, H2 and H3 tags can be used more than once on the same page. Your H1, H2 and H3 tags should form a hierarchy, flagging important text for Google and other search engines.
HTML (hyper text mark-up language)
The common language used to write web pages. HTML tags control how content appears to users and helps Google to crawl and index that content.
A link on a website that points to a particular page on a third party site. If this is a “follow” link, Google will use it to rank the destination page. Read more about how to build links post Penguin.
How many of your pages have made it into Google’s search results? It won’t matter how good your content is, if Google hasn’t indexed it, it won’t appear in Google’s search results.
Recent developments in your niche that can generate excellent content ideas.
The use of infographics as part of an integrated marketing campaign. Infographics can be used to attract inbound links, encourage social media engagement and drive on-site conversion. Read more about infographics.
A link from a web page that points to another page on the same website. Internal links are used to direct users around websites. Google will also use them as a ranking factor.
A word or phrase that relevant prospects are likely to search for.
The process of identifying appropriate keywords, most commonly for an SEO or AdWords campaign. Keyword research typically looks at factors such as search volume, competition and relevance.
Over-use of search terms on a web page designed to fool Google into awarding a higher search ranking. There is no hard and fast rule for how often a keyword can be used on a page before it becomes “keyword stuffing” or “spammy”. Read about how Google’s Penguin update is targeting keyword-stuffing.
A web page designed to receive visitors directly from organic search results, sponsored links or online ads. A landing page will usually feature a specific call-to-action or conversion opportunity. Read more about our landing pages or learn how newspapers create powerful landing pages.
A broad term used to describe the various strategies and tactics used by website owners or marketers to acquire links from third party sites. These links will send direct traffic and (as long as they are “follow” links) will improve organic search performance. Read more about building links with guest blogging after Google Penguin and Google Panda.
The various links pointing to and from a website form that website’s link profile. A website’s link profile will help to determine how its pages perform in search and how much value it passes when it links to third party sites. Over-engineering your link profile will lead to your site getting hit by Google’s Penguin update. Read more about recovering from Google Penguin.
Strategies and tactics that use LinkedIn, the world’s largest social network for professionals, as part of a marketing campaign. This may include creating and optimising company pages; sharing relevant pieces of content; and using individual profiles to promote a brand, product, service or topic. Read more about social media marketing.
A meta tag describing the content of a web page. It will not usually be visible to users, but Google will crawl this tag and use it to summarise the page when it is returned in search results.
A meta tag listing target keywords for a web page. Google no longer uses this tag to index or rank pages.
Descriptive information attached to a web page or page element (such as an image or a video) that will be visible to Google and used for crawling and indexing content. Check out our top tips for optimising your meta tags.
Employing SEO tactics that breach Google’s rules with the specific aim of damaging a website’s search performance. For example, buying links from weak domains and having them point to a competitor’s landing pages. Webmasters can now clean up their link profile using Google’s Disavow Tool.
No follow link
A link appearing on a web page that points to a page on a separate website. Adding a “no follow” tag will mean Google uses the link to discover and index the page but does not use the link as a ranking signal. Sites can use “no follow” links to discourage spammers from targeting them. Links in Tweets, for example, are “no follow”.
Strategies and tactics designed to make web pages easier for Google to crawl and index. On-page SEO refers to changes or improvements to the site and excludes off-page elements, such as link building. Read more about on-page SEO and other search tips from sites that rank well.
Named after Google co-founder Larry Page, Page Rank is the weighting or authority Google assigns to a particular web page. Page Rank scores are available through various free online tools, although “Toolbar Page Rank” lags the actual Page Rank Google uses, often by some months. Page Rank uses a logarithmic scale, so it is not a simple mark out of 10.
Also referred to as a “title tag” or an “HTML title”, this meta tag is crawled by Google and used as an important ranking factor. Check out our tips on fixing up your page titles.
A popular pricing model used by online advertisers, including Google and Facebook. Advertisers pay a fee each time their adverts are clicked on. Read about how PPC and content marketing can work together.
Press release marketing
The creation and distribution of press releases to encourage mainstream media and bloggers to write about a particular brand, product or service. Press release marketing may also use search engines, social media and email to drive traffic to a website.
paid promotional campaigns to drive relevant traffic towards your blogs, interviews, graphics, video and other high value content. Read more about Promoted Content.
The 200 or so different factors that Google uses to determine where a page should rank in its search results for a given keyword.
RSS (really simple syndication)
A popular method for sharing content. Users can subscribe to an RSS feed using an RSS reader, such as Google Reader. Website owners can use RSS to share their content on third party sites and social media without duplicating it. RSS is also used by Google to crawl and index recently-published pages, such as blog posts or news stories. Read 3 reasons why you need RSS.
SEM (search engine marketing)
A broad term used to describe the various strategies and tactics designed to promote a website or individual web pages in Google’s search results. SEM includes both organic and paid search.
SEO (search engine optimisation)
A broad term covering strategies and tactics designed to make website pages easier for search engines to crawl and index, the aim being to improve where those website pages rank in organic search results.
SERPs (search engine results pages)
The common acronym used to describe the results page when a user runs a Google search.
SMO (social media optimisation)
The use of popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to promote a brand, product or individual piece of content.
Google uses some signals from social media to index and rank pages. With Google+ there is a direct link with better search performance, but with other social platforms it’s more subtle. Read more about understanding the relationship between social media and SEO.
Unsolicited communications, traditionally emails and text messages, but now more commonly used to describe low quality web pages. So-called “over-optimisation” tactics, such as keyword stuffing, are often referred to spam or “spammy”.
Sweating your content assets
finding opportunities to re-use content you’ve created on different platforms or using different content types. Mining your existing content is a great way to make the most of the time and money you’ve invested in your content creation. Read more about sweating your content assets.
Using the micro-blogging service, Twitter, to promote content as part of a marketing campaign. Tactics may include optimising profiles, actively growing followers and identifying appropriate content to tweet about. Read more about Twitter marketing.
URL (uniform resource locator)
The unique address assigned to pages on the internet.
A broad term used to describe how users (as opposed to Googlebot) interact with a website. It can include areas such as aesthetics, functionality and site speed. Taking steps to improve user experience will often help search performance and conversion.
usually quite brief video updates, shared along with a transcript or related article on your company blog. Take a look at some of our video blogs to give you an idea what they look like.
Using video to promote a brand, product or service. Video marketing will involve the creation of original content and the sharing through search and social media as part of an integrated marketing plan.
White hat SEO
The opposite of black hat SEO, referring to strategies and tactics designed to improve how a web page ranks in Google’s results. Unlike black hat SEO, these strategies and tactics will not breach any of Google’s guidelines.
The creation and promotion of extended articles providing in-depth information on a particular topic. Websites will often offer whitepapers for download in order to grow their marketing database and build their brand authority. Read more about whitepaper marketing.
XML (extensible mark-up language)
A common mark-up language often used to deliver content to websites. Read more about how XML can support your content marketing.