Communication is key to any successful relationship. Get ready to become a smarter person because I’m about to teach you 25 web terms that everyone should know in today’s digital age. This knowledge will help you to better communicate with your in-house or outsourced web development team.
In this video, I transform into a bad stereotype of a web developer inspired by one of my favorite TV shows, Silicon Valley. I’ve got my hoodie, a massive energy drink and I’ve placed stickers all over my macbook pro.
We begin with URL. A Uniform Resource Locator is the unique web address for any website, image or document online. Google’s last report in 2016 indexed (or counted) over 130 trillion of these. The full address (http://www.bos.com) is the URL and bos.com part is called the domain name. Short domain names… like BOS.com… are hard to come by and if you want one, you’re probably going to have to pay big bucks – sorry Logan International Airport. Since most .coms are already taken, there are now many alternatives to choose from – everything from .love to .pizza… we decided to go with .digital for our site (workspace.digital).
While we’re on the topic of accessing web content, let’s talk QR codes. Thought you’d never have to look at these odd little squares again? Think again… quick response codes are making a big comeback now that we all have smart phones with highly capable cameras. Don’t believe me? Just order a coffee… QR code. Or take a tour of BOS HQ where you can scan any office or workstation and get details like product information and pricing. You don’t even need a QR reader app anymore!
SEO – or search engine optimization – is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results… Organic meaning you don’t pay for the results…which is ironic since I get about 100 emails a day from solicitors asking for all my money to make this happen.
Achieving organic results can be complicated and hard to achieve. If you don’t want to figure out things like back-linking, on-site optimization, meta tags, alt tags, off-site optimization, ect. and wait the average 3-6 months for results… then consider paid search. You can use either PPC (which stands for pay per click) or try CPM – which means cost per thousand impressions (technically, “cost per mille”). In Latin, French and Italian, Mille means one thousand.
Just know… Google is Forbes’ second most valuable brand in the world, and parent company Alphabet is worth over $600 billion for a reason… paid search is expensive. Plus… if your competitors are mean and slightly unethical, they could even commit click fraud where they click on your paid listings to waste your money and drive up the cost of your campaign.
Whatever you do…understand that the web is full of spiders, bots and crawlers. These are funny names for programs which canvas the web to index it. If they can’t find your site or don’t like what they see when they do… you’ll have a hard time being found online.
Now let’s talk about what happens when you finally do get to a website? A small piece of data called a cookie is stored on your computer by your web browser. Internet Cookies are not programs or viruses. They are meant to improve your web experience and help speed up the internet. That said, new varieties of cookies like Flash Cookies or Zombie Cookies are starting to raise concerns around privacy. The origin of the name cookie is also something of a mystery. Inspired by Hansel and Gretel? A Cookie Monster Easter Egg? Magic Ticket? Chinese Fortune? All I know for sure… is that cookies are delicious!
Above the Fold – from the olden days of newspapers. Above the literal fold in the center of the paper was content visible on the newsstand. Now that news is online, the fold is what users see on your website before they have to scroll down. The fold is approximately 600 pixels from the top of the page.
What’s a pixel? The smallest element of an image on a computer. More on that in a future video. But you may want to look into tracking pixels… which are virtually transparent images that load on web pages to allow ad servers to read and record your cookies. Which, to me, seems kind of like stealing from the cookie jar!
UX – or user experience, isn’t only a web term… but for website design, it relates to the process of enhancing a visitor’s satisfaction while he or she browses your site. And don’t confuse this with UI – or User Interface Design… which is the combination of visual and interaction design.
One great way to improve both UX and UI is by creating a responsive website. Meaning the site will adapt according to how someone is viewing it. Desktop… laptop… tablet.. vertical tablet… smart phone… you get the picture.
You can also use modern web design trends such as parallax scrolling to improve UX and UI. The parallax effect happens when the website’s foreground and background scroll at different speeds… creating a visually appealing multi-dimensional effect.
And today, most sites are built on a CMS – or content management system. We use WordPress for all of our sites… it’s wonderful… with a powerful back-end that requires little-to-no coding knowledge.
Fun Fact – visual editors like the ones in the WordPress CMS are called WYSIWYG editors… which literally means ‘what you see is what you get’. You design in an application that closely mimics what the user will see.
Finally… let’s talk about KPIs – or key performance indicators. These are ways to measure the effectiveness of your website. There are many of these you can look at. Here are a few common ones:
Bounce Rate. You go to BOS.com but… what?!? This isn’t the Bank of Springfield. You leaves the site before clicking anywhere else. You bounced.
Uptime is the measure of how long a site is viewable and useable. Downtime on a site may translate into poor customer experience and lost revenue.
Page views per Session – You go to Workspace.digital, love it, read 10 blog posts, watch 4 videos and then browse our full list of tech and agency solutions. All of this is a single session. Sessions end at midnight on the day a session was initiated or after 30 minutes of inactivity.
And finally, Conversion, the most coveted KPI where your visitor takes your desired action. For example, if you fill out our Connect form letting us know you would love to come to our space to talk about hiring us… you’re converting. Conversation can take many forms… like purchasing a product or opting into an email list.
You can increase many of these KPIs through the use of clear and strong CTAs – or Call to Actions. Consider CTAs such as, ‘buy now’… ‘start here’… or ‘be sure to like and share George’s amazing video’.
Finally – you can track most KPIs through the use of Web Analytics – which is the process of measuring, collecting, analyzing, and reporting web data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing usage.
So by now you’re either a web terms genius or fast asleep. If you need any help with your website…please let me know. Workspace Digital is a full service digital marketing agency and can create a phenomenal online presence for you!