Marketing you can measure™

Digital Marketing Glossary: The A-Z of Industry Terms

It’s fair to say that the world of digital marketing is jam-packed with marketing lingo, jargon or any other term you prefer to use. With acronyms, initialisms and buzzwords flying around all over the place, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the meaning behind them.

That’s why we’ve compiled this handy list of common digital marketing basic terms and terminology for you to reference the next time you run into a term or phrase that mystifies you.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

  • A.I (Artificial Intelligence): A.I uses machine learning to imitate human response, performance and intelligence.
  • A/B testing: The process of testing 2 variants (A and B) to see which delivers better results.
  • Abandonment rate: An analytics feature that lets you see the percentage of people who began a defined conversion process but did not complete it.
  • Actor: Any human involved with a service or system that is referenced in the solution design.
  • Adaptive Design: Related to responsive design in that the way content is structured changes depending on which device and/or screen size it is viewed on. The difference is that with adaptive design only information that is pertinent or easily consumed on that device is displayed. For example, a desktop website might show a QR code while on mobile it would need to be a direct link because the mobile can’t scan its own screen for the code.
  • Ad exchange: A platform that facilitates ad placement bidding. Effectively an online, automated auction house.
  • Ad extensions: Additional information about your business that can be added to ad copy, such as an address, phone number or links to specific pages on your website.
  • Ad scheduling: The process of scheduling ads to automatically show at specific times of the day.
  • Ad server: An ad server is used to store, manage and display ads to users on a website.
  • Aesthetic Design: More usually the concern of the creative industries, aesthetic design makes things look good even if they don’t function well.
  • Aesthetic-Usability Effect (AUE): The phenomenon that recognises that users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as one that is more usable than it actually is.
  • Affiliate marketing: Refers to the process of earning a commission by promoting someone else’s products or services.
  • Affordance: The perception of what an element can do before it is interacted with. E.g. a button that looks like it can be pressed.
  • Affinity Map: A way of grouping insights from a user research exercise. E.g. an exercise asking people their favourite communication method could then be sorted into affinity based on persona type matched to face-to-face, telephone, chat, email etc.
  • Algorithms: The mathematical formula behind systems and programmes. Frequently used in relation to Google’s workings.
  • Anchor text: The clickable text displayed in a hyperlink that’s usually blue and underlined. The anchor text should give a clear indication of the page or file it’s linking to.
  • Anticipatory Design: An approach to design where decisions are anticipated and made on behalf of customers to reduce cognitive load, such as prefilling forms with known information.
  • API (Application Programming Interface): A set of tools and protocols used for building, developing and interlinking software and programmes.
  • Apophenia: The human tendency to perceive patterns that aren’t there. For example, when you hear a new song that you’re convinced you heard years ago but couldn’t possibly have done so.
  • Audiences: An audience – or target audience – is a specified group of consumers who become the recipients of marketing efforts.
  • Authority: A website’s ‘authority’ correlates with its popularity. A site’s authority is based on factors like traffic, backlinks and social shares.
  • Automation: The method of controlling or operating processes via automatic means.

B

  • B2B (Business-to-Business): B2B refers to communication or transactions from one business to another.
  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer): B2C refers to communication or transactions between a business and consumers.
  • Backlinks: This is when other websites link back to your website.
  • Behavioural Research: One of the main strengths of user research is the ability to define the difference between what people say and what they do. Behavioural Research records and analyses people’s unconscious physical and emotional reactions to different situations to identify the differences between ‘say and do’ for better understanding in problem definition.
  • Bid modifiers: Bid modifiers let you make adjustments to bids without altering your campaign’s targeting or ad groups.
  • Biometrics: Refers to the scientific measurement of human characteristics, emotion and body language.
  • Biometric Testing: Physical measurement of emotional reactions to situations that can then be used to quantify behavioural research.
  • Black hat SEO: SEO strategies consisting of unethical and unprofessional techniques such as keyword stuffing.
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who land on a website but then leave without looking at other pages.
  • Broad match: Refers to a keyword match type for PPC advertising that offers the broadest reach and widest range of targeting.
  • Business Experience (BX): What happens when meeting customer or user needs becomes core to the business strategy of an organisation and also refers to the processes that are put in place to meet that strategy.

C

  • Call To Action (CTA): The elements of a design that tell a user what they need to do to interact with a process, usually a button, link, or an icon.
  • Canonical tags:A suggestion to search engines that the content on that specific URL is not the master version of the copy.
  • Card Sort[ing]: A method where subject matter experts take cards or Post-It notes of different topics and organise them into categories and priorities to create a logical taxonomy. There are three types of card sort, closed, open and hybrid. In closed the participants sort a pre-determined set of cards, in open they can create their own cards, in hybrid they can do both.
  • Chunking: The act of putting related information groups together, such as section headers, images, copy and links, separated from other chunks of information for ease of recognition and assimilation. See Law of Proximity
  • CMS (Content Management System): A content management system (CMS) allows web editors to manage content displayed on a site. WordPress is an example of a content management system.
  • Cognitive Attention: a measure of the mental effort expended in order to selectively concentrate on one aspect while ignoring other things.
  • Cognitive Biases: There are more than 100 documented cognitive biases, and errors in judgement formed, consciously or unconsciously, by personal beliefs that make it difficult to recognise the validity of opposing data.
  • Cognitive Load: The amount of information that ‘working memory’ can hold at one time.
  • Content: The information that sits within the IA, this may be media, rich media and/or copy.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing is an ongoing activity, using created content to engage customers. The content is usually valuable and made with the intention of influencing people’s behaviours.
  • Conversion rate: The ratio of users who complete a specific action (such as filling out a form) compared to the total number of users. Conversion rate is calculated as a percentage.
  • Conversion Rate (system): the rate at which visitors to a specific site, page, or screen, complete an intended flow or action.
  • Conversion Rate (customer): the rate at which user of a product or service become advocates for the brand.
  • Cookies: A file used by websites that stores data on a user’s computer based on their activity on the site.
  • Copy: Is the written content on a page or component, it is usually identified as an area of text that has to be read to be understood, rather than simply recognised, like a label. Think of Copy as a wall and Text as the bricks. Text does not always have to be read, it just needs to be recognised, such as a label. See also, micro-copy.
  • CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): The average amount it costs to acquire a conversion through paid activity.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): How much you have to pay for every click on your advert or link.
  • CPM (Cost Per Mille): Also called Cost Per Thousand, this is the price that advertisers pay for a thousand impressions or views of an ad.
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): CRM focuses on managing positive interaction and communication with clients in order to achieve optimal client satisfaction and retention.
  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation): The systematic process of using test and learn techniques to identify which aspects help to improve website performance by encouraging more users to take a specific, desired action.
  • CTA (Call To Action): Content that encourages a user to take a specific action – e.g. “Buy Now” or “Download Free Trial”.
  • CTR (Click Through Rate): Click through rate measures the success of an ad or email in terms of user interest.
  • Customer Experience (CX): Experience Design over the long term. It’s what happens when users become customers.
  • Customer Journey Map: Illustrates a customer’s interaction with a product or service along a timeline.
  • Clickstream: A illustration of where and what the user clicks on to complete a particular action on a website.

D

  • Dark Pattern: AKA Anti-UX, are tricks used in websites and apps that cause unintended user action, like buying or signing up for things that the user didn’t want, such as opting in to marketing emails or unknowingly agreeing to subscribe to a service.
  • DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimism): A display ad technology that creates personalised ads based on data about the viewer at the moment of ad serving.
  • Design Debt: Related to UX debt but usually confined to problem areas of interaction and UI that have been left unchallenged, usually to achieve short-term goals.
  • Diary Study: A qualitative research methodology where participants are asked to record their activities, both physical and emotional, around a service or product over several days.
  • DMP (Data Management Platform): A unified technology platform used for collecting, organising and activating large sets of data from different sources.
  • Domain name: The part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular company or organisation. No two websites can have the same domain name. For example, in the web address https://www.coastdigital.co.uk/glossary, the domain name is ‘coastdigital.co.uk’.
  • DSP (Demand-Side Platform): A system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through one interface.
  • Duplicate content: A substantial amount of identical content that features on more than one website or multiple places on the same website.

E

  • E-Commerce: Buying and/or selling products or services on the Internet.
  • Email address: Similar to a physical address, and email address is what allows people to send emails to you, and for you to receive them.
  • Email lists: An email list is a collection of emails received through websites, blogs or other medium. These are usually used to send marketing emails and offers.
  • Email marketing: A type of direct marketing that targets customers or prospects via emails sent straight to their inbox.
  • Emotional Design: is how Experience Design measures and meets the emotional and psychological needs of a user to mitigate what we would label negative reactions.
  • Empathy Mapping: A quadrant diagram that expresses a user’s reactions in terms of what they do, what they say, what they feel and what they think. Very useful for micro-analysis of pain points.
  • Engagement Map or Matrix: Identifies where tasks and motivations come from, relational users such as those in a persona, or non-relational users such as casual readers of an article online.
  • ESP (Email Service Provider): A company that provides an email platform or tool to help you send marketing messages via email.
  • Ethnological Study: The in-depth research of a distinct user-type and the culture that helps shape their motivations.
  • Exact match: Refers to a keyword match type for PPC advertising that offers the most specific and precise control over ad targeting.
  • Experience Design: Is designing to meet the demands of a customer or user when brand, service, product, interaction, content, and user needs all come together. The terms UX, CX and BX all sit within the area of Experience Design.
  • Experience Mapping: Is a visualisation of an entire end-to-end experience that any person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. This provides context across a timeline of typical flow to help identify common pain-points.
  • Expert Review: A heuristics-based evaluation used to identify usability problems in an online product or service.
  • Eye tracking: Technology that measures optical movement, visual attention and point of gaze.

F

  • Facilitator: Somebody who designs and conducts a usability test or user research session.
  • Featured snippet: Also known as ‘position zero’, the featured snippet is an answer box that sits at the top of Google’s SERPs that aims to answer a user’s query by using featured copy from a relevant site.
  • Fidelity: Usually lo-fi or hi-fi, or low or high. Low fidelity designs are wireframes that do not utilise media, they’re used for rapid testing of solutions without the distraction of images. High fidelity design utilises media to closely mirror final designs.
  • Field Test: A usability process whereby a participant is observed as they undertake a typical task in their own environment.
  • First-party data: Data about your audience that you have collected yourself, as opposed to data collected by a third party.
  • Fitt’s Law: The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. In essence, make things easily selectable, ensure they are in context and don’t conflict with other areas of interaction.
  • First Click Testing: A testing/research approach with the aim of discovering if the first click a user makes on an interface, to carry out a given task, is clear.
  • Flat Design: A minimalistic approach to UI utilising 2D controls and bright colours to emphasise content over interaction.
  • Floating Action Button (FAB): A ‘sticky’ element of a screen that is always in view regardless of how the screen is scrolled.
  • Font: The characteristics of a typeface within text, for example, the size (15px), styling (Italic) and weight (bold). Times New Roman. Is a typeface, a font of Time New Roman might be Times New Roman, 12pt, Bold. If Copy was a wall, Text would be the bricks and a Font will describe the colour, shape, and texture of the bricks.
  • Funnels: A marketing strategy based on ‘funnelling’ prospects through multiple stages of a customer journey in order to reach the end goal of a specified conversion.

G

  • Game Theory: The process of modelling the strategic interaction between two or more ‘players’ in a situation containing set rules and outcomes, the most familiar model of which is conception and expression (challenge) meeting interpretation and perception (opposition).
  • Gamification: An interaction design model that brings elements of gaming into a process to increase engagement.
  • GDPR: Refers to the General Data Protection Regulations: laws brought in in 2018 to better protect people’s personal information.
  • Geo-targeting: A targeting method that serves content to site visitors based on their location.
  • Google Ads: Google’s self-serving advertising platform that lets marketers serve ads across Google and partner networks.
  • Google Analytics: A free Google tool that measures and reports on website traffic.
  • Google Search Console: A free web service that allows webmasters to monitor website performance and visibility.
  • Google Tag Manager: A free tool that allows you to host a variety of tracking codes, pixels, and tags – thus removing the need to rely on developers and hard coding of each tag.
  • Graceful Degradation: the practice of designing and developing a product in such a way that it continues to perform acceptably in sub-optimal conditions such as being used on a legacy device or browser.
  • GSR (Galvanic Skin Response): GSR is biometric technology that measures the levels of sweat on someone’s skin to reflect their emotional response to stimuli.
  • Guerrilla Testing: a method for carrying out quick rough and ready usability tests by applying the core principles with people who lie outside the solution design team.

H

  • Happy Path: A customer journey that acts like and delivers exactly what the customer wants with no problems.
  • Hashtag (#): Used on social media platforms as an identification of a certain theme or topic whereby the subject matter is preceded by the hash symbol.
  • Heatmap: A visual summary of how users interact with a specific webpage. Heatmaps identify ‘hot spots’ where page aspects have high interactivity levels. This tool is widely used for conversion rate optimisation.
  • Hicks Law: The time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices on offer, which is a long way of saying keep it obvious and simple!
  • Heuristic Evaluation: The process whereby an interface’s usability is measured against industry-standard usability principles.
  • Home Page: The main landing page that the user is greeted with when visiting a site. Often confused or conflated with landing page. A landing page can be anywhere within a site, whereas a home page is the landing page of the entire site.
  • Hostname: A label attached to a host on the Internet, allowing an individual server to be identified. For example, www.coastdigital.co.uk is a hostname, whereas coastdigital.co.uk by itself is a domain name.
  • Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI): A field of study concerned with the design and use of computer technology and how humans interact with it, primarily on an ergonomic level.

I

  • Impression: When an ad is displayed to a user, this is called an impression – as the ad has been seen. Whether or not the ad is clicked isn’t taken into account.
  • Impression share: The actual number of impressions your ads receive vs the number of impressions they could have potentially received. Impression share is influenced by many factors such as budget and keyword bids.
  • Index: Google’s list of websites. If a site has been ‘indexed’, it is included in Google’s list of the web.
  • Information Architecture (IA): A focus on the organisation of information within digital products to meet user needs. The structure of a page, its headings, the placement of relevant content, the call to actions (CTAs) and how and when the user can interact with elements on that page and can navigate to other pages, are the primary concerns.
  • Interaction Design (IxD): this is how humans interact with products and has five aspects or dimensions, words, visuals, touch, time, and behaviour.

J

  • Jacobs Law: Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know but also expectations of how your site behaves will be formed by experiences you have no control over.
  • JavaScript: A programming language that is commonly used for building website features that require user interaction.

K

  • Keywords: Popular words, terms or phrases that help to optimise a site’s ranking position. Keywords also allow paid search advertisers to bid for ad placements as sponsored links on SERPs.
  • Keyword research: The process of researching words, terms or phrases around a certain subject to determine their popularity.
  • Keyword stuffing: An unethical, black hat SEO technique that refers to the over-optimisation of a webpage through excessive keyword density.
  • KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): Used to reflect the performance and success of an activity in relation to the goals originally outlined.

L

  • Lab Test: A usability process whereby a participant is observed as they undertake a typical task under controlled conditions.
  • Landing page: A page on a website that serves as a destination page for users who have clicked through from an advert or link elsewhere on the web – including SERPs.
  • Law of Proximity: Users assume that elements or objects that are positioned close to each other are related. See Chunking.
  • Lead generation: Refers to the identification and cultivation of prospects who may be interested in your service or product offering.
  • Lead: A lead is someone who has shown or may show interest in your service or product offering.
  • Link building: The process of getting other websites to link to yours. The higher the authority of the other site, the more valuable the link.
  • Local search: The process of utilising a search engine’s database of local business listings in order to target audiences based on their specific geographic locations.
  • Long-tail keyword: A keyword phrase that contains three or more words. Long-tail keywords are used to target more specific, niche demographics.
  • Lookalike audience: Used for Facebook advertising, a lookalike audience is a pool of prospects who closely resemble an existing audience. Targeting a lookalike audience is a good way to reach new people who are more likely to engage with your ads.

M

  • Machine learning: A subset of A.I. that refers to an algorithm’s ability to learn from pattern recognition and inference in order to improve functionality.
  • Man-Machine Interface (MMI): Similar to HCI and is often used interchangeably, but MMI stems from of an industrial process concerned with the operation of hardware or machinery more than software.
  • Market research: A planned effort to gather information about target customer groups (or markets) preferences.
  • Mental Model: the expectations of a user before they experience a product or service. The more the solution matches the user’s mental model the easier it is for them to use it.
  • Media: Any illustrative element in a product, such as pictures, video, or audio.
  • Meta description: The copy displayed underneath the website page link on SERPs.
  • Meta titles: A meta title is the name of a web page. The meta title helps both search engines and users to understand what type of page it is.
  • Micro-copy: Is the small bits of text on a screen that helps users navigate it, such as labels on CTAs, or hint text on input fields.
  • Micro Interactions: The on-page interactions on a page, such as accordions or dropdown menus that affect only the information on that page.
  • Miller’s Law: The average person can only keep 7 (plus or minus 2) items in their working memory.
  • Mockup: Similar to a prototype but static. They can’t be clicked through or interacted with essentially a picture of what the final design will look like to set and confirm final layouts and styles.
  • Multivariate (MV) Testing: A test of multiple potential solutions, not limited to web pages, any number of related solutions can be tested.

N

  • Native advertising: Online ads that blend in with the platform on which they appear in terms of their look and feel.
  • Negative Space: AKA White Space, the part of the screen with no text or images that help the user frame associated content.
  • Neurodiversity: The multitude of different ways that people can understand and act upon information, formed from cultural and societal norms, learning and emotional engagement, in a non-pathological sense. Usually associated with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental speech disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysnomia, intellectual disability and Tourette syndrome but being neurodiverse isn’t a disability it is simply recognising the fact that everybody perceives the world differently.
  • NoFollow: An identifier tag that tells search engines not to follow that page or give it any weight in search rankings.
  • NoIndex: An identifier tag that tells search engines not to index a specific page.
  • Non-Touch Interface (NTI): Interactions such as voice, gesture, and environmental monitoring that affect user experience but do not require a screen. E.g. Siri.

O

  • Observer: Somebody who watches and records a participant’s actions and reactions during a user research study or usability test.
  • Organic listing: Also known as ‘natural’ search results, organic listings are SERP results that are not paid for. Optimising organic listings is the whole point of SEO.
  • Organic search: When Google (or another search engine) is used to display results for a search term. Any non paid results in the SERPs will be organic results.

P

  • Pain Point: An area of the user journey that the user finds difficult, inconvenient, or impossible to navigate. Pain points cover three distinct levels or areas.
    • Interaction-level pain point: whereby a user has to navigate a business feature that they don’t want to. These are where most digital pain points occur.
    • Journey-level pain point: whereby a user’s expectations are not met, for example a delay in or unexpected charge for delivery only showing up on check-out.
    • Relationship-level pain point: Whereby a user feels betrayed or tricked into action they wouldn’t have undertaken.
  • Participant: Somebody who is the subject of a usability or research study.
  • Pareidolia: The ability of people to recognise patterns or impose patterns that aren’t there in a visual way, because they look similar to patterns they have encountered before. E.g. As lnog as the lsat letetr and the fsirt ltteer of a wrod are crorcct yuor mnid can sitll raed the wrod. For eaxlmpe the wodrs in tihs seenntce, eevn thugoh tehy are msisplleed, can still be raed beascue you regconsie the ptatren of the wrods. (This will really upset any copywriters checking this). Pareidolia is an aspect of Apophenia but is concerned only with visual patterns.
  • Personas: A quick portrait of user types used to briefly describe goals and behaviour used in UX design and marketing campaigns.
  • Persona Spectrum: A subset of normal personas dealing with inclusivity, same user type, same user needs, same tasks, but framed within cultural, cognitive or disability needs.
  • Platform: A digital interface where marketers can share their content and messages to a chosen audience. Facebook, MailChimp, and Sizmek are all examples of digital platforms.
  • PMP (Private Marketplace): A private marketplace is an invite-only, RTB auction wherein a select number of buyers can bid on ad inventory.
  • PPC (Pay Per Click): An advertising model where advertisers pay a certain amount whenever a user clicks on their ad.
  • Prägnanz: People will perceive ambiguous or complex concepts or images in the simplest form possible because it is the interpretation that requires the least cognitive effort.
  • Problem Statement: Before a solution is even considered a problem statement in the format of a user need provides a ‘human-shaped’ understanding of the problem. E.g. ‘The user needs to amend their details’ would suggest a number of potential ways to help the user with their problem, and is different to a technical problem statement, which might be ‘the system needs a text box.’
  • Programmatic advertising: Real-time automated buying of advertising through a technology platform.
  • Prototype: A way of developing an interface or design to simulate website or app functionality. Typically forms part of a testing process.
  • Progressive Disclosure: A design methodology that lets a user gather information over several stages and at their own pace. This is particularly useful when designing for Neurodiverse user types.

Q

  • Qualitative Evidence: Unmeasurable data that is gathered by recording the emotional and behavioural responses that users have when moving through a product or system.
  • Quality score: A metric used by Google to determine the quality and relevancy of a site based on its ads, keywords and landing pages.
  • Quantitative Evidence: Measurable data that is gathered gauging the emotional and behavioural responses that users have when moving through a product or system.

R

  • Ranking(s): Refers to the hierarchy of websites on any given SERP. SEO is the practice of optimising websites to improve their rankings and help them reach the top positions.
  • Real-World Model: We all have a model in our head of the way the world works, how doors open, how wheels turn, what shoes are for. When we mimic a real-world model it makes it easier for a user to understand the system we have designed. For example, we know what a printer looks like so by using an icon shaped like a button we know it will print the document we’re working on.
  • Recognition Not Recall (RnR): RnR is a UX fundamental that suggests that recognising something is easier than trying to remember it. For example, asking “What is the capital of Portugal” will get you fewer accurate answers than asking “Is Lisbon the capital of Portugal?” The same is true for elements in a design, especially user journeys, recognising where you are is easier than remembering where you are.
  • Redirect: A method that takes a user to an alternative page to the one they clicked on. If, for example, the intended page is out of date for whatever reason, the user will end up on a different page that houses an updated version of replacement content.
  • Remarketing: The method of keeping your offering in front of people who have shown previous interest. Also known as retargeting.
  • Responsive Design: Is the way that a website is structured so that regardless of which device and or screen size it is viewed on, the available content is still the same.
  • Rich-Media: Any interactive element in a product, such as pictures, video, or audio, Rich-Media is different to just media in that the user can control or change it.
  • Rich snippet: Refers to structured data markup that can be added into existing HTML to allow search engines and users to better understand the information a page contains.
  • Robots.txt: A file created by webmasters that tells search engine bots not to visit certain pages of a site.
  • ROI (Return On Investment): A measurement of a business’ or campaign’s profitability. ROI is calculated by dividing the net profit by the cost of investment.
  • RTB (Real-Time Bidding): Allows advertisers to bid for the ability to serve ads on a webpage that’s being opened at any given time by any given person.

S

  • Scenario: Primarily used within user testing, a scenario is the setting by which a series of tasks need to be completed to reach a final goal. For example, ‘You can’t remember your password, how would you go about retrieving it?’
  • Schema markup: Code installed on a website that helps search engines return relevant, informative results.
  • Search Engine Rankings: Your search engine ranking indicates what position your website appears for specific keywords in the SERPs.
  • Search query: The words or phrases users type into a search engine when conducting a search.
  • Segmentation: The process of dividing an audience of potential customers into groups based on different characteristics or criteria.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing): Search Engine Marketing is an umbrella term for digital marketing practices that aim to increase a website’s visibility in SERPs.
  • Semantic search: Information in a search engine’s algorithm that identifies the contextual relevance and user intent behind any given search query.
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): The process of optimising websites to increase their ranking and visibility in the SERPs. SEO incorporates many different factors.
  • Serial Position Effect: The effect whereby users have a propensity to remember the first and last items in a series before other items.
  • SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages): The pages that a search engine returns following a search query.
  • Sessions: A group of user interactions performed on a site that take place within a given timeframe. A session starts at a user’s point of entry to a site and ends when they exit that site. Sometimes referred to as a “visit”.
  • Sitemap: A comprehensive list of all the pages that exist on a website.
  • Skeuomorphic Design: The opposite of flat design, it reinforces the notion that objects, especially controls, should mirror their real-life counterparts.
  • Spider/Crawler/Bot: An automated programme that visits or “crawls” websites to collect information about them in order to understand their function and relevance.
  • Structured data markup: HTML code that generates rich snippets.
  • Subdomain: A subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain – for example, coastdigital.co.uk is a subdomain of co.uk (and co.uk is a subdomain of uk).
  • Synesthesia: is the phenomenon in some people in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to an involuntary response pathway. For example, someone may see shapes when they hear music, or hear sounds when seeing colours.

T

  • Task Flow: A series of steps that users complete for a specific task. Task flows are similar to user flows, except they’re generally linear without multiple branches or paths.
  • Taxonomy: Taxonomy is the science of naming, describing, and classifying of data in a hierarchical structure of content, and metadata. E.g. Site content is the parent of a page content, that is the parent of subject content, which is the parent of multiple topic contents, which in turn are the parent of a keyword.
  • Text: The words that copy is made of. Think of Copy as a wall and Text as the bricks. Text does not always have to be read, it just needs to be recognised, such as a label. See micro-copy.
  • The fold: The portion of a website that is visible and on display when the page loads.
  • Third-party data: Data that is obtained from outside sources.
  • Tracking pixel: A snippet of HTML code on a website that is used to track data such as user behaviour and conversions.
  • Trading desk: Where online media buying occurs as a managed service.
  • Traffic: The amount of visits a website gets is referred to as traffic.
  • Typeface: A recognisable set of written characters, or glyphs, that share a common design. For example, Times New Roman. Is a typeface, a font of Time New Roman might be Times New Roman, 12pt Bold.

U

  • UI design: UI – or User Interface – design refers to designing software for electronic devices based on optimal usability and user experience.
  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator): A URL is the address of a webpage or resource on the Internet.
  • Usability testing: The process of evaluating the functionality of a product or service by getting people to test it.
  • Use case: Describes the actions a user would need to do within a particular user journey or fulfil a scenario, as they interact with multiple actors or systems.
  • User-Centred Design (UCD): The design principle that stems from how a particular person or distinct type of user interacts with a product or service and how to adapt that solution to their needs.
  • User Experience (UX): Experience Design over a short period, in digital this may be a website or app, or what needs to happen to ease a journey within that digital product.
  • User Flow: Usually a series of boxes and arrows and decision points that illustrate the complexity of how a user navigates a system or interaction point.
  • User Research: A psychological study of a distinct user type that forms a body of evidence on their emotional and physical needs, especially around how they deal with Pain-Points.
  • User Testing: Misnamed, it’s actually usability testing of a product or service with an actual end-user.
  • USP (Unique Selling Point): USPs are what make your company/products/services unique. Unique selling points help you stand out against your competitors.
  • UX (User Experience): UX is the consideration of user needs. User experience is the core of a successful campaign because it deals with appealing to the people who will actually visit your site.
  • UX Debt: Related to design debt not necessarily to do with interfaces as these are any engagement problem areas in a product or service that have been left unchallenged, usually to achieve short-term goals.

V

  • VARK: The way people learn can differ from person to person, VARK lists these ways as Visual, Auditory, Reading (and writing) and Kinaesthetic. When asking a customer to learn something new leveraging these styles, wherever possible, to personal learning styles can improve results.
  • Visual Hierarchy: The visual clues on a screen that draw the eye and suggest an order of importance.
  • Visual Hooks: The element of a page that the user instantly focuses on.
  • Vlog: A video blog.

W

  • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI): Both a set of standards and a set of support materials to ensure that the web, and other digital mediums, are open to those with different physical and cognitive abilities.
  • Webinar: A seminar that takes place on the Internet.
  • Webmaster: The person responsible for a website’s organisation and maintenance. The webmaster is often the owner of the website.
  • White hat SEO: Ethical and professional SEO techniques that reflect ‘best practice’ marketing efforts.
  • White paper: An authoritative guide that helps readers understand a specific topic. See some examples of our white papers.
  • White Space: AKA Negative Space, the part of the screen with no text or images that helps the user frame associated content.
  • Wireframe: A wireframe is effectively a blueprint of a website. Wireframes are a visual representation of where content elements will sit on a specific page of a website.
  • Working Memory: The focussed but limited amount of information that a user has in mind when working through a problem.
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): The developers of international standards for digital communications including WAI.

Z

  • Z-shaped pattern: This derives from western cultural patterns whereby the user’s eye travels from left to right and then from top to bottom in a continuous Z shape pattern.
Georgina

Let’s chat

Whether you’ve got a quick question or you want to run through the details of your next big project, we can help. Speak to one of our experts on 0845 450 2086 or send us a message.