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Struggling to tell your ROAS from your elbow? Here’s your guide to understanding the secrets of the digital dark arts.

301 Redirect

This is when one URL has been permanently moved to another URL. When you create a new site, you may have traffic that goes to your old site, 301 Redirects will make sure that your old URLs are redirected to a corresponding page on the new site. For example, imagine you are a digital marketing company that offers SEO which has it’s own page and therefore own URL on your old site, with a 301 this unique URL will redirect to the new landing page for SEO on your new site. Get it now?

302 Redirect

Similarly to 301 Redirect, a URL has been moved to another URL but only temporarily. You tend to use these while your website is going through maintenance and you need to display a holding screen until it’s complete.


This one is simple. A 404 error page is when a webpage can not be found. Go Fish.


Most websites will have a Call To Action, which is a goal that a company wants users to reach before leaving the website. The CTA for Ecommerce sites are likely to be a user purchasing an item, or even to subscribe. Abandonment is when users leave a website without any transactional or goal orientated information, so for Ecommerce sites this will be when a user has gone onto a website but has not purchased a product or service.

Above The Fold

Above The Fold refers to the part of the web page that is visible to users when the web page is first loaded. Naturally, users interact more with this part of the page than the lower part of the page as it is the first thing they see and it is not always made obvious that users need to scroll down for more information. Therefore, a site’s Above the Fold is where the most important copy should be placed but it also needs to look attractive and enticing, so it should not be overcrowded with information. Basically, it is all about balance.


Google Adwords is an advertising network that is ran by Google. Companies will often bid on adverts that will appear in certain SERPs. Adwords gives their users a lot of information, so they can decide which phrase is better to bid on. So for instance, if a footwear company wants to sell more flip flops then it may want to advertise on Google, but many companies will probably want to be advertised on the “flip flop” SERP, so it would be wiser to bid on a keyword phrase that is more niche such as “cheap flip flops for holiday”. An Adwords account will show users the most popular search terms, how often it is searched and the average CPC.

Affiliate Marketing

This type of marketing is often commission based. The simplest way to explain affiliate marketing is through an example, so here goes. Have you ever signed up to a club and the owner of that club says “if you recommend us to a friend and that friend then signs up, we will reward you”?
Affiliate marketing works in a similar way. An affiliate site will promote another companies product, accompanied by a link to the site of the merchant of that product, which could result in a user purchasing that product.
The merchant is happy because they have gained a sale and therefore rewards the affiliate site for the part they had to play in the sale.


Google uses various algorithms which impact on a sites position in Google’s search results. Google will analyse the words on your site and match them with the keyword phrases that are typed into Google’s search bar. From this analysis, Google determines the rank given to your page within that search result, which is why the copy on websites generally needs to be optimised, as no matter how good a website looks if it is not relevant to keywords then no one will be able to find it.


Is digital marketers right hand man (or woman!). It is a free service from Google that allows companies and agencies to keep up to date with various statistics and analytics, such as the amount of traffic that a website has, conversion rates and so on. Basically, Google Analytics is your saviour, it puts all of the important information in one place allowing you to see how your website is performing.

Anchor Text

Anchor Text is a piece of clickable text that takes a user to another web page (i.e. hyperlink), so it is “anchoring” the content of one website to another. These links are important in SEO as well as driving traffic to your website. Best practice would state that the anchor text should be reflective of the content it is linking to but in reality a natural link profile wouldn’t look like this in its entirety so having a natural link profile will comprise a mixture of types of anchor text. And there is an excellent blog on the subject here (hint: this is anchor text) from SEM Rush.


Backlinks occur when one site links to another site. Most links will lead users to a homepage of another site, however it is usually better in terms of a sites DA if this backlink directs users to the most relevant landing page. For instance, if a cosmetic ecommerce site sent one of their products such as a anti-wrinkle cream to a blogger, then it is ideal that this blogger links to the category page of that product (i.e. skincare category page), as this will allow users to browse the other available products plus possibly resulting in more potential purchases. Backlinking is one of the best ways to increase the Domain Authority of your website.

Below The Fold

Yep, you guessed it! Below the Fold is the opposite to ‘Above the Fold’. It is the part of a webpage that is not instantly viewed by a user when a web page is first loaded unless they scroll down. However the fold is becoming less relevant, and although the smart move is to still place the most important information ‘Above the Fold’ many users are learning to scroll down.

Black Hat SEO

Are a set of ‘naughty’ practices in the SEO world. Companies that use Blackhat SEO practices do it in order to try and increase their Domain Authority in search engines. Practices include hiding text, such as putting keywords on a website but in white against a white background so they cannot be seen but will still result in a surge of website traffic.

Bounce Rate

Is a good indicator when it comes to determining the relevance and quality of your website. A bounce is defined as a single-page session, when it comes to percentages a high bounce rate is considered as bad, as it often indicates that users have not found your site enticing enough to click through the rest of the site. Another reason why high bounce rates are considered as a negative is because of relevance, if a person has searched “Red Shoes” and an Ad appears that sells black trainers then users will leave the site instantly as it has no relevance to their search nor their needs.

Bounce rates are considered to be a concern over 50%, with anything under 30% considered to be very good.

Breadcrumb Trail

As we all know, some websites have tons and tons of pages and sometimes it can be hard to remember exactly where you started. This is where breadcrumb trails come in, it is a type of navigation that allows users to see where they are in terms of the structure of the website (p.s. It is great for increasing a site’s usability).

Call To Action

Every PPC Ad is meant to encourage traffic to the site, the site will then try and entice users to reach the goal of that site, such as booking a consultation. This ‘goal’ is better known as the Call To Action.

Citation Flow

One of two important ‘flow metrics’ that will be read and considered by Google when ranking a website. Citation flow is relatively new to the SEO world. The metric allows you to predict how influential a URL might be purely based on how many sites link to it. Flow metrics are reactive and update daily, meaning they are far more accurate and reliable. A nice way to think about this is if you only had one friend talking about and recommending you, it’s far less likely somebody will believe the reference. However, if multiple friends, colleagues, managers and other sources are all speaking highly of you, the better your ‘citation’ flow would be. It’s all about strength in numbers.

Click Through Rate

Is a ratio that is converted into a percentage and is a great indicator of how your chosen keywords are performing, as it calculates both the amount of users who saw the advert and the number of users who clicked onto the site from this advert. These numbers are then put into a formula which gives a percentage, a high CTR is ideal and will often depend on the quality of the Meta-Data.

Conversion and Conversion Rate

When a user takes a desired action such as booking a consultation then they have converted. A conversion rate is the percentage of users that have converted, for example if a 100 users visit your site and only 10 of the user’s ‘Book a Consultation’ then the conversion rate will be 10%.

Cost Per Click

While the phrase “The Best Things In Life Are Free” is a nice idea, when it comes to digital marketing nothing is free. When a company decides to set up a PPC Ad which would ideally include a keyword (that is searched frequently), they have to bid on a keyword which comes at a price, this price will then be charged by Google every time a user clicks on this ad, hence the term, Cost Per Click (CPC).

Deep Linking

As stated before, backlinking is so important, especially when these links have a high quality score and high domain authority as encourages more traffic. Backlinking is even more important when it links to a relevant page, this is what deep linking is, when a backlink is created that links to any page that isn’t the homepage.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority explained, a 3rd Party metric from Moz, seen by many in the SEO fraternity as the gold standard in determining a site’s perceived authority by Google and other search engines. The score is out of 100 and gets progressively harder the higher up the scale you go. As a rule of thumb a Domain Authority of 40+ is pretty respectful for most businesses with sites 60+ dominated by larger content publishers, charities and public bodies. Factors such as your site’s technical health and size and quality of your backlink profile are crucial in determining your domain authority.
Check your site’s Domain Authority here at Open Site Explorer.

Domain Name

A unique combination of letters, dashes and symbols that make up the name of a website. Once the domain name has been purchased, no one else can purchase the same name, much like a car registration.


Is the buying or selling of a product/service online. This type of buying and selling is rapidly becoming more important especially as there are now a lot of trusted retailers who have started to sell a majority of their collection online. Local businesses have also been taking advantage of this new technology and development.

Email Marketing

The internet has so much data on users, what they have been surfing, what their mum, sister, dad and cat are called but more importantly for marketers the internet has users email addresses. This allows for direct marketing for the 21st century, instead of handing out leaflets to people on the street and pushing them through letterboxes, email marketing allows companies to be marketed to thousands of people who are part of the target demographic with a click of a button.

H1 Tag

Is short for ‘Heading Tag No.1’ and is the most important heading tag. All web pages are structured with a hierarchy, making life far easier and quicker for search engines to understand and return better results within their results pages. When thinking about SEO the H1 tag should be used effectively to communicate and emphasise exactly what a page is about. By making your H1 super relevant to the landing page in question, you are telling search engines that this piece of text, or heading is super important and should be read and considered first. Although H1 tags are important for SEO it also needs to be easy for users to find, so it would be useful if the tag was made to stand out through bold, italics and so on.

H2 Tag

Is short for ‘Heading Tag No. 2’ it is a subheading. H1 and H2 tags can be seen as being on a hierarchy of importance, with H1 tags being more important, however H2 tags should reinforce the points made with H1. For example:

Online Training Courses

Discover the Benefits of Online Training Courses

Header tags are a key component to SEO; help improve your rankings within search engines. Check your pages now and see if you’re using your H1, H2 correctly!


The amount of users that have visited your site.


Stands for HyperText Markup Language and is the programming language used to build websites.


HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Which might sound like something from Star Trek, but is in fact what the World Wide Web is founded upon. Hypertext is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web to transmit data. It basically translates the code into what you see on a web page – graphics, content, colours, videos and so on.

Internal Link

Blogs are becoming increasingly important for companies, as it allows users to do more on sites, but also helps promote your business on even more SERPs. However, when users are actually on your site then it is better for users to spend a decent amount of time browsing the site as this decreases the sites bounce rate and also may mean that the user will participate in the CTA. An internal link helps with this as it links one web page to another web page on the site, for instance a link which takes a user from a service page to a case study page that relates to that specific service.


When a user types a word or phrase into the search bar of a search engine such as Google, the search engine will try to search through various sites that include the words featured in the search and show the sites that are most relevant to this search. Keywords are a main factor in digital marketing as having the right keywords integrated into your site can results in a higher page rank on SERPs.

Keyword Density

Is the amount of keywords that feature on a page in comparison to the rest of the copy on the page. There needs to be a balance as stuffing a page with keywords can result in a penalty and is also unnecessary.

Landing Page

A landing page should be able to do two things: be a page that a user can land on whilst browsing the site as well as have the capability to be a relevant stand alone webpage that should feature in SERPs. Landing pages are great for SEO as it expands your chances of moving higher up the SERPs.

Meta Description

Otherwise known as Meta Data. Every site that appears on a search result will have a title that ideally should include a keyword as well as a little description that shouldn’t be longer than 300 characters. This little snippet allows companies to try and encourage users to click on their site. Again, the meta description should include at least 2 keywords as this will encourage trust from the user.

Offsite SEO

Is when SEO techniques do not involve making changes to your website. There are various off-site factors that could lead to a higher page ranking such as an increase in backlinks which improves Google’s perception of a sites trustworthiness, relevance and authority. Linking is particularly important, especially if it is from a site with a high DA as it effectively means a site is vouching for the quality of another site.

Onsite SEO

Also known as On-Page SEO. Onsite SEO refers to the optimisation of a site, this optimisation can include uploading or changing content to match or become more relevant to the keyword research that has been conducted. This kind of SEO has to be constantly maintained and updated as much like everything with the internet it is not static.

Page Rank

Is named after Larry Page who is a founder of Google, it tells you the quality of your web page and how authoritative it is. This is determined by the number of backlinks a web page has and how relevant it is to search terms.

Page Title

Also named as a ‘title tag’ it is effectively the name of the page and will often appear in the menu and navigation bar on a site, it is a key content signal and is crucial to Google when determining the relevance of a web page. You may be thinking, it’s just the name of a page, how can that be important? In SEO everything is important, and page titles are often used as landing pages that will appear in SERPs and therefore must be relevant to the content of that particular page.

Pay Per Click

Is a type of advertising model in which a company pays for every user that clicks onto their Google Advert. PPC can connect a site with thousands of users instantaneously, but it has to be done properly, and believe me it is easy to get wrong. Keyword research is crucial to PPC as it demonstrates the most popular searches for users in relation to the product/service a company is trying to sell through their site which can then be translated into the wording of the PPC advert.


A plugin is a piece of software that can be uploaded and added to WordPress sites, in order to expand the functionality of a WordPress site and well some of the available plugins just make a website look great. There are some plugins that are free to download, but the ones that you have to pay for will have more support and opportunity to develop, so may be better in the long run.

Quality Score

Quality Score is a Google Adwords metric and as it suggests, is a measure of the quality of your ad campaigns which is provided at the keyword level.

It measures aspects like the keyword relevance to the destination landing page, along with the user engagement stats such as time on site, conversion rate and bounce rate. It is therefore basically telling you whether the keyword you are bidding on is a sensible and whether you are sending the traffic to the right on your site. If this was important enough, Google declares that the amount you will pay in the auction is in part calculated based on what the keyword quality score is and therefore it will determine your ad rank. It is not discussed enough as it should be and unbelievably I’ve sat across from so called PPC experts who’ve declared it’s irrelevant. You can read more about it here….

Reciprocal Link

Remember when social media started many years ago, and you used to say to your best friend “if you like my photo, i’ll like yours” well, reciprocal links can be seen as similar to that, as it is when two sites link to one another. Some websites may want to link to one another, as they are both part of the same parent company, but beware as Google keeps an eye on reciprocal links so ensure that you aren’t excessively using them.

Return On Investment (ROI)

The formula of ROI is often used to determine the efficiency and profitability of a company. Many investors will use the formula in order to compare the profitability of each of their investments, for instance if one investment comes back with a 10% ROI compared to another investment that gave you an 80% ROI, then you know that the second investment was a wiser choice and will probably continue to invest.

The formula:

Gain from investment – Cost of Investment ÷ Cost of investment = ROI.


1,500 – 1,000 ÷ 1, 000 = 0.5 (50%).

Robots Text File

Webmasters use a file called a Robots Text file to direct search engines how to crawl their site. There might be areas of your site you want to keep confidential and not findable in search results, you can stop these from being crawled by placing the consistent url fragment in the robots file and then the crawler will leave it well alone.

Search Engine Marketing

If a company that sold footwear approached a traditional marketing agency with the goal in mind that they wanted to be more visible to their target demographic, then one of the things that they would do is put an ad in a fashion magazine, right? Well with Search Engine Marketing, or SEM (as the cool kids call it), it is very similar. The aim of SEM is to help a company rise through the SERPs gradually, by optimising their website content, so they are more relevant to the keywords that are actually being searched by users.There other techniques involved in SEM such as PPC.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO refers to the process of optimising a website so that it’s pages rank well for target keywords or search queries. It will try to balance creating copy that is not only relevant to the products and/or services that a site is offering but also to the keywords and phrases that people are searching for. Whilst PPC can connect companies to thousands of potential customers in minutes, SEO is a longer process, which needs to be constantly updated and maintained to not only rise through the ranks but to also to stay there and fend of the competition. You can read more about our SEO tactics here.

Search Impression Share

You might think that just because you have an enabled Adwords campaign with active keywords that you’re ads are appearing every time someone searches for that keyword. Well the breaking news is that they don’t and your ads will only be visible for a % of the total searches possible.

You lose the opportunity for ad to display if your Ad Rank isn’t high enough to appear on the Page 1 results or your Budget is limiting the amount of times you’re allowing Google to display your ad. Your Search Impression Share is a reflection of how many times this is happening and Google very handily provides the supporting metrics of “Search Impression Lost to Rank” and “Search Impression Lost to Budget”.

Check to see what your Search Impression Share is and read our blog here to find out what you can do to improve it.


A SERP is a very popular term (can you not tell by the amount of times we use it), well although it sounds daunting, a SERP simply stands for the hundreds of results pages that appear every time a Google Search is conducted. Search Engine Results Page, simples.

Software as a Service

Software as a service (SaaS) is when the service is typically provided to the client on a monthly basis. It is an attractive model for many businesses as it prevents the needs for large up front investment. Whilst it means you never actually own the technology, as you are effectively renting it, it means the service provider is heavily incentivised to retain your business into the long term. Therefore SaaS model means that both the business and the service provider benefit into the long term and are invested in future success.


Stands for Uniform Resource Locator and it is a human friendly reference to a website location. Every URL is unique and depending on available domain names will often include the name of the company.


Is pretty much what it says on the tin, how easy is a website to use. Every website has a Call To Action, a goal that they want a user to reach. Usability is so important because no much how much traffic comes to a website, if the user does not have a satisfactory user experience and finds the site complicated then this will result in a high bounce rate rather than a high conversion rate. For instance, if a newspaper company wants users to subscribe but a ‘Subscribe Now’ button isn’t highly visible on the site or the subscription form has a high number of question then users will find it off putting and will not convert.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Is any content that is created by users of the site, so for example, social media platform YouTube is made up of user-generated content, as the videos are uploaded by users and various channels, with YouTube creating little content themselves.

Web Hosting

It’s all well and good creating a beautiful website, but you want people to see it, right? This means you need to publish it, this is where web hosting comes in. Some companies buy a server space and then hosts its client’s sites on the server and that my friend, is web hosting.

Website Traffic

Website Traffic can be compared to customers entering a shop. Put simply, it is the number of users that enter a website. With a shop, if few people are coming in, you know there is a problem, it could be the window display, for instance. Well it is the same with a website, if the Meta Data (which is the first thing users will see) isn’t enticing than users are less likely to click onto the site.

Whitehat SEO

Remember what SEO is? Well, Whitehat SEO refers to the techniques, tactics and optimisation strategies that follow good practices and policies. These techniques include keyword research, which will then be integrated into a website in order to increase their likelihood of rising through the SERPs. While Whitehat SEO isn’t as quick as Blackhat SEO is more ethical, increase a sites reputation and could lead to a higher conversion rate.


A wireframe is a literally a 2-d sketch of a web page before any graphics or text has been added, mapped out with lines and blocks to show where content will need to be added later. It is a useful first step in website design because it maps out where the important elements and functionality need to go and are to be included before the creative branding and graphics are added.

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