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The Top 14 Web Terms You Need to Know

web terms

The Internet is big place. They don’t call it the world wide web for nothing! With the constant expansion of technology online, navigating and understanding what you see and read can sometimes get confusing. To help unleash your inner web master, check out these 14 web terms you need to know!

1. HTTP and HTTPS 

These four (or five) letters start off every web address your computer, mobile phone, or tablet visit. It stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and directs the transfer of information between your web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) and the websites you visit.

HTTPS is the same as HTTP, except that the ‘s’ stands for secure. Web addresses that begin with HTTPS establish a secure connection between your browser and the website you’re looking at, meaning all communication and information that is transferred is encrypted. More and more websites, even those that are not carrying confidential information, are starting to use HTTPS connections.

2. Encryption

This is the process of coding a message so that it can be read by only the sender and receiver. Online, an encrypted connection, aka your HTTPS web addresses, protect your connection from interference by intruders or hackers.

3. SSL Certificate

A website with an SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer, means the website has purchased some level of security and requires web browsers to establish a secure, encrypted connection. There are various levels of SSL certificates that can be purchased from SSL companies like GeoTrust and DigiCert. You can identify websites with SSL certificates by their web address, which will start with “https” and a lock symbol will appear in your web browser navigation bar.

4. Content Management System (CMS)

If you’ve ever had a personal or business website, you are probably familiar with a CMS. These applications are used to organize, upload, and manage content on a website. Some of the most popular content management systems are WordPress, Wix, and Drupal.

5. Responsive Design

Your website’s performance has become more and more important in having a successful online presence. A website has a responsive design when it automatically reformats and scales to fit the screen of whatever device is being used to view it. It creates an optimized visitor experience and is highly important in boosting your SEO and increasing your website’s search results ranking.

6. Site Map

Within every website there is a hierarchy of information. When visitors search your site, a site map allows them to see the hierarchy of the content on your website, which helps them navigate and find the information they are looking for much faster. Having a site map also helps to increase your SEO ranking. 

7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This online marketing strategy is employed to increase the traffic, or amount of visitors, to a website by obtaining a high ranking on the search results page of a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.). Typically, SEO strategically places keywords within your website’s content: blogs, page titles, URLs, etc. in order to gain a higher ranking in search results.


8. Meta Tag Description

This aspect of SEO is a string of text that appears as a description of the content on a web page in search results. Ideally, meta tags should be no more than 155 characters long and contain one keyword.

9. Inbound Marketing

This method of marketing utilizes call-to-action statements, landing pages and forms, and other online marketing tools to reach out to potential new consumers, also called leads, and help them move through the sales funnel. Rather than using the regular sales-pitch, in-your-face approach, inbound marketing garners interest by offering website visitors premium content that can be obtained in exchange for their contact information.

10. Call-to-Action (CTA)

A statement or phrase within a blog, social media post, or on your website that is used to encourage potential consumers to visit your website. Its goal is to elicit a response or immediate action from consumers. For example, a CTA could be anything like “Click here to receive your FREE eBook,” or “Start your free 30-day trial!” When users click on the link, they are redirected to a web page where they will fill out a form with their contact information, sign up for an account/email list, etc.

11. Landing Page

This is a web page reached by visitors who click the link in your CTA, whether on your blog, on social media, or some other online source. This page often displays a form, where visitors will input their contact information (e.g., name, email, etc.) in exchange to download content from your website.

12. Gated Premium Content

Content is considered gated when it can be obtained or downloaded only after a web visitor fills out a form on your website with their contact or other information. Premium content can be any type of content, including PDFs, eBooks, podcasts, or even informational whitepapers.

13. Lead

Anyone who fills out a form on your website, whether to download premium content, sign up for a loyalty program, or create an account, is considered a lead. Leads are visitors to your website that have shown interest in your business’s products or services and are potential customers that can be moved through the sales funnel.

14. Lead Nurturing

Once a visitor to your website has become a lead, they are ready to be moved through the sales funnel. In order to do so, they need to be contacted by you via email, phone, or in-person. Lead nurturing is the collection of efforts and communications used to move leads through the sales funnel and turn them into loyal customers. 

Knowing your way around the Internet starts with understanding key web terms. Once you know the basics, you’re on your way to mastering the web and successfully marketing your business online. The next step is building a well-design website and growing a strong online presence through social media!