Our Key Terms for the Modern Marketer series defines words every marketer should have in their vocabulary. As relevant terms change and buzzwords are redefined, we offer up the most current definitions so you can maintain your Modern Marketer status.
Marketing Automation Edition
Social Media Edition—Part Three
Social Media Edition—Part Two
Social Media Edition—Part One
Content Strategy Edition—Part Two
Content Strategy Edition—Part One
A redirect from one URL to another. Typically, 301 redirects direct traffic from your old site to your new site, but can also direct traffic from old or abandoned web pages to new pages that have taken their place.
A page users land on when they attempt to access a page that does not exist. Oftentimes, this is the result of a misspelled URL or occurs when users attempt to access a page that has been deleted. To avoid user frustration, a 404 error page should explain why the page is not accessible and should direct users to your site’s homepage or primary navigation to find what they might be looking for.
Above the Fold
Content positioned in the upper half of a webpage that is visible to users without the need to scroll down the page. Above the fold also refers to results featured at the top of search engine results page before needing to scroll. For example, Google typically displays five or six results above the fold. Fun fact, this term comes from the world of print journalism. It traditionally refers to the upper half of a folded newspaper, which contains the most important story of the day.
Established guidelines to ensure your website is easily accessible for all users. Some accessibility requirements include font size, color contrast, and responsive design. Another accessibility suggestion includes adding alternative links that allow blind users to navigate your site via a web voice reader.
Any code that isn't part of the presentation of a website. It's what goes on behind the scenes. Some common languages used for back-end development include PHP, Python, and Ruby. As opposed to front-end development, the end user does not see what is developed on the back end.
The essential first step of a website redesign project, covering much of the goal setting, research, and planning—often labeled the discovery phase.
The process in which a website or web application is tested across multiple browsers (e.g. Safari, Chrome, Firefox). Browser testing checks the compatibility of your site with different browsers and ensures your site works across all browsers before it's launched.
Call to Action (CTA)
Action-oriented text, images, banners, or buttons used to persuade users to click through to another offering on your website. Calls to action should be eye-catching and located in an easy-to-find spot that follows the flow of the webpage. They should always communicate exactly what a user will get if they click on the CTA. You can find an example of a CTA at the bottom of this post!
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
The language that determines the way a site will look to the end user. CSS is responsible for the front end of a website, and sets global styles for fonts, colors, image size, menu style, and more.
The process of researching, organizing, writing, and editing any information made available on a website. Content strategists work in close proximity with UX strategists to determine what content should be elevated on certain webpages, while copywriters actually create the content outlined by the content and UX strategists.
Content Management System (CMS)
A software system used to control all content on your website, designed to simplify the creation and publication of content without needing to know HTML. Some commonly used content management systems include WordPress and Drupal.
The name of your website. A domain is what people type into their browser to land on your homepage. Our domain, for example, is oliveandcompany.com. Domains do not all end in .com, though. Traditionally, the .com extension is typically used for commercial websites, whereas .gov is used for government sites, .edu is used for education institutions, and .org is used for various organizations. Multiple other domain extensions exist and many have recently been introduced, including .agency, .blog, and .healthcare.
The first page users are brought to when they type your domain into their browser, though it is not always the first page a user sees when they first visit your site. Oftentimes, users arrive at your site by clicking through banner ads or email promotions, in which case they are typically directed to a landing page. Your homepage should communicate the most essential information about your business or institution. It should introduce certain information found within the site's internal pages, encouraging users to further explore the website.
Serving and maintaining your website files on a web server. A web hosting service is what allows you to create a website that is accessible to everyone who is connected to the internet.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
The way information is designed and organized on a website. Information architecture is the hierarchy, order, labeling, and placement of information. Typically included in the information architecture is the site map, wireframe, and any content features included on the site.
Used to communicate information about your site to search engines. A meta tag is a short HTML description of what's on each webpage and is used to improve SEO. Search engines use the information in a meta tag to categorize your website and display its information in search engine results. Meta data also encompasses page titles and ALT tags, which are used to categorize and optimize images on a webpage.
Visual representations of a brand’s identity, voice, and personality. Moodboards are collages showcasing color schemes, style, structure, type treatments, imagery, and design examples. They represent the mood you want users to experience when visiting your site, and are most often used at the start of the design phase of a redesign project.
Elements on a website that help users navigate through the site. These elements are represented in global, primary, secondary, and local navigation. Global navigation refers to site links that are present on every page of a website. Primary navigation is most commonly displayed as a horizontal menu bar at the top of a website, where links to highly trafficked or more important pages are displayed. Secondary navigation offers additional navigational support in another area of your site besides the top menu bar. Lastly, local navigation—also called sub-navigation or page-level navigation—refers to menu options within a given category. Local navigation typically directs users to webpages on a lower level within the site hierarchy.
An interactive web experience that first came from the visual effect of 2D scrolling video games. Background images move at differing speeds to create the illusion of depth on a website. inTacto's microsite, Flat vs. Realism, is a particularly fun introduction to parallax web design.
A website that adjusts to fit the size of the screen it is being viewed on. Flexible images, fluid grids, and the site menu adjust to fit desktop, tablet, or mobile device screens.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Helps search engines, like Google and Bing, understand and interpret the information on your website in order to rank higher in organic search results. SEO uses meta data to categorize your website and display it in these results.
A document that shows the hierarchy of a website’s pages. Creating a site map takes place either during or directly after the blueprint process. Wireframes and content are determined based off the site map.
Refers to the layout of a website, specifically websites created using a content management system. Your website will likely be made up of many different templates since different pages may have certain, distinct looks. Template can also refer to a pre-designed website theme.
User Experience (UX)
The interaction a user has with a website. User experience strategists conduct research on existing sites to determine what users are searching for when they land on a homepage or landing page, and then make adjustments and recommendations for the updated site design to ensure it meets users’ needs.
The basic skeleton of a website that helps ensure a website redesign project is headed in the right direction. Wireframes allow for discussion and refinement of certain elements early on in the project process. Wireframes are used to show hierarchy of content and to determine how users will get from one part of the website to the next.
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