Jargon Buster: Terms explained in plain English

Terms Explained - any not covered here, just contact me!

Web design

Alt Tags

Mainly used for screen readers (programs that can read the contents of a website back to somebody with sight difficulties). They provide a way to describe an image to a screen reader. Keywords can be used in the alt tags to help your search engine position.


A trail displayed usually in text format to show what pages you have navigated through to get to where you are. These are normally found at the top of a page and make it very easy to jump back to a previous page. example: Customer Support > Jargon Buster

Conversion rate

In internet marketing, conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions based on subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators. If the prospect has visited the web site, examples of conversion actions might include making an online purchase or submitting a form to request additional information or a phone call.

Conversion funnel

Conversion funnel is a technical term used in e-commerce operations to describe the track a consumer takes through an Internet advertising or search system, navigating an e-commerce web site and finally converting to a sale. The metaphor of a funnel is used to describe the decrease in numbers that occurs at each step of the process.

Domain Name

A name that identifies a computer or computers on the internet. These names appear as a component of a Web site's url (universal resource location), e.g. craigencer.com. This type of domain name is also called a hostname. A domain name must be purchased for a website and it helps your search engine position if the domain name includes keywords (see below). Example: If you offered a service such as plastering in London, a great domain name choice would be london-plasterers.co.uk. I can advise and deal with the purchase of a domain name.


A mini graphic created that is often found next to a doman name in the address bar, helping branding.


Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast.


Hypertext Markup Language is the original and predominant markup language for the creation of web pages. It provides a means to describe the structure of text-based information in a document by denoting certain text as headings, paragraphs, lists, and so on.


The internet system devised and used by all web sites is the link between a domain name and your hosting. It tells the domain name where to look for your webpages.


The leading online payment processing provider on the internet and one of the most affordable. Most payment processing companies charge a set up fee and then a percentage of each transaction or a set monthly fee. There is no setup fee with paypal and their standard charges are around 4% of a transaction and it is relatively easy to install 'buy now buttons' on a web site and people can either pay from their paypal accounts or credit cards. All payments taken and processed are completely secure.

Search Engine

An information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system, such as on the World Wide Web. The most popular search engine currently is Google, though this varies around the world and there are specialist search engines.

Web analytics

Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Web analytics is not just a tool for measuring website traffic but can be used as a tool for business research and market research.

Web standards

Web standards is a general term for the formal standards and other technical specifications that define and describe aspects of the World Wide Web. In recent years, the term has been more frequently associated with the trend of endorsing a set of standardized best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and development that includes those methods. Web standards are not fixed sets of rules but a constantly evolving list of finalized technical specifications of web technologies released by standardization bodies.

Search Engine Optimisation


Words that people use to search for something on the internet. I make sure that the words you expect people to use to find your type of service / product are included in the content of your site and also in the metatags (see below). This all helps your search engine position for these terms over time.


Information that is added into the code of your site to help search engines understand what your website is about. This consists of a page title, description and keywords and the first two will show up in search engine returns so they are important to get right and need to be unique to help in ranking (see below).

Pay per click marketing

Pay per click (PPC) (also called Cost per click) is an Internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher (typically a website owner) when the ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC 'display' advertisements are shown on web sites with related content that have agreed to show ads. Google is widest used such system with their advertisers using 'addwords', and displayers using 'addsense' and Google getting a cut in the process. Data is available to the addword campaigner on a historical basis. The directed traffic from these sites also helps the SEO ranking of the site.


An indexing system used by search engines to help position web sites in an descending order for certain keywords. The ranking of each page of a web site will be different, reflecting their content and number of links to that page. Google provides a free ranking checker:

White hat versus Black hat

SEO techniques can be classified into two broad categories: techniques that search engines recommend as part of good design, and those techniques of which search engines do not approve. The search engines attempt to minimize the effect of the latter, among them spamdexing. Industry commentators have classified these methods, and the practitioners who employ them, as either white hat SEO, or black hat SEO. White hats tend to produce results that last a long time, whereas black hats anticipate that their sites may eventually be banned either temporarily or permanently once the search engines discover what they are doing - further information.