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Website Development 101: Learn the Lingo

Every profession has it’s own lingo, and I’ve found over the years that many so-called experts use jargon and buzzwords to confuse clients into thinking they’re more knowledgeable than they really are. You’ve likely heard acronyms like CMS, PPC, SEO, and others tossed around like candy at a parade. Don’t let unscrupulous web vendors use buzzwords to weasel their way into your budget – learn their lingo and take control of your marketing. Below are a few commonly used web marketing terms that are often misused or misunderstood:

  • CMS: Content Management System – a software system that enables users with little to no programming knowledge to manage a website. Most systems include functionality for authoring, collaboration, and workflow management. A CMS may be proprietary or open source.
  • CSS: Cascading Style Sheet – A style sheet language that controls the look and formatting of a website. External style sheets allow web managers to update the style of an entire site by updating a single file.
  • HTML: HyperText Markup Language – The programming language used for websites.
  • Index: The library of results a search engine has against which searchers can enter a search query.
  • Organic Rank: A website's ranking by a search engine on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Companies cannot pay to achieve a higher organic rank.
  • PPC: Pay Per Click – PPC is a type of paid search advertising for which you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. One of the most common PPC platforms is Google AdWords.
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing – SEM includes both paid and organic methods of promoting and optimizing a website in an effort to increase its visibility.
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization – Methods for improving a website’s organic rank on search engine results pages
  • SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages – the pages of results that are returned by a search engine when a search query is submitted.

Now that you have the lingo down, it’s time to dive in to your next web project. Stay tuned as I continue Website Development 101 with a series of posts that will walk you through the process of building a new website. Have a web or digital marketing topic you’d like to learn more about? Message me on Twitter @lindseygravity.