Digital marketing can be very confusing for small businesses, because the terminology doesn’t seem to make any sense. It’s definitely not easy to understand your own Internet marketing strategy if you aren’t familiar with the key terms and phrases your digital marketing company is using.

Here’s a quick list of the most essential terms that will have you talking like an industry pro!

  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization! SEO services optimize your website according to the way Google views it. SEO focuses on getting your webpage onto a top-ranked spot on a Google SERP.
  • Domain Authority: The scale that Google uses to “grade” the legitimacy of websites so that they can be ranked on SERPs is called domain authority.
  • SERP: “Search engine rankings page.” When you type a keyword into Google’s search box, the resulting list of website links is called a SERP. Over 80% of all Internet activity starts by searching for a keyword and ending up on a SERP!
  • Organic versus Inorganic Links: Inorganic links on a SERP are the paid ads, usually located above and below the organic links. Those 10 links in the middle are called “organic,” because they appear naturally based on factors like relevance and popularity; no one can pay to have those organic links appear on a SERP.
  • Inbound Links: When another website creates a hyperlink back to your website, the link is called a backlink or inbound link. Depending on the DA of the other website, this could help or hurt your website. Usually it helps.
  • Outbound Links: When you create hyperlinks to other websites, the link is called an outbound link. This has no effect on the DA of your own website but it’s a convenient way to cite sources for your readers.
  • Metadata: Information stored in every webpage — but not necessarily visible to anyone visiting the page — which gives information about the page’s content to Google’s “web crawlers.”
  • HTML and CSS: HTML stands for “hypertext markup language” and CSS stands for “cascading style sheet.” These are easiest to understand if you think about them as languages. HTML is the language used to code and create the format of your website, and CSS is the language used to define elements like fonts, headings, and colors.
  • Sitemap: A document that’s created by you (or your web design service) to map out your entire website and make it easy for visitors to find certain pages.
  • Responsive Web Design: This is important for designing mobile websites. A responsive web design will automatically adjust the dimensions and format of a webpage depending on the size of the screen it is appearing on. A poor mobile website can actually ruin your entire SEO strategy! Four of five consumers use their smartphones to shop these days, and over 50% of consumers say they won’t make a purchase online from a company if its mobile website is bad.

It’s definitely important to understand all of these digital marketing terms, even if you’ve decided to leave the entire operation up to the professionals. But it’s also important to note that these terms are just the tip of the iceberg! Make sure to let us know if there are other digital marketing words or phrases you’d like us to go over.