Jargon Buster Part 1 – What the Heck is my Web Developer on About?
Do you know your SEO from your SERPs? Your backend from your front-end?
We’re all guilty of rattling on about a topic we’re familiar with, without considering the fact the person we’re speaking to may have no clue what we’re on about.
When you work in a world where web terms are used as everyday language, it’s easy to forget that some folk have little or no understanding of this terminology.
Whether you’re a developer who wants a quick way to communicate these terms to your clients, or if you’re someone who is in unfamiliar territory, this post is for you.
This term gets banded about a lot, but do you know what it means?
URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. Simply put, it’s another name for a web address, you know, the one you type into your web browser. E.g. https://eggdesign.ie/
When you type in a URL, your browser actually finds an IP (Internet Protocol) which is a series of numbers that would look something like this 64.72.976.234 – imagine if you had to remember these each time you wanted to access your favourite website- not very user friendly! So, using what’s known as a DNS (Domain Name Server), your browser (thankfully) translates the URL into the IP and takes you where you need to go.
Front-End & Backend
Web developers and designers may work on either your front-end, backend, or both.
The front-end of your website is the visitor facing side. It’s what you see when you type in a URL and visit a website.
The backend of your website is the behind the scenes area. It’s where the features of your website are controlled, from functionality to design and where your CMS (Content Management System) is located (if you have one).
CMS (Content Management System)
A CMS is a backend tool that manages the creation and modification of your content. It separates the content from the functionality and design of your site and allows for modifications, leaving the content intact.
A landing page is the first page that your visitors will land on after having searched for your site using a search engine or having typed the URL into their browser.
The landing page can vary depending on what search terms the person may have input. So, after clicking the link they could land on the first page of your site (homepage) or a page naturally relevant to the search query.
Every page on your site that is indexed by a search engine has the potential to be a landing page. Using SEO on each indexed page will increase the likelihood of that page being found.
Usually, a landing page will carry a specific CTA (Call to Action) for the visitor.
There’s a lot to indexing, however for the sake of keeping it simple we’ll just cover the basics.
Search engines index web pages in order to access and retrieve them quickly and efficiently. The search engine will collect data from the web and store it in its index. This index is then used to deliver search engine results.
In order for your site to rank higher on the SERPs (search engine results pages), each indexed page of your site should be optimised for search engines (SEO). Of course, this is in order for your site to be found better and to increase your site’s traffic.
Another term you’ll have heard frequently is SEO (search engine optimisation). If you want your site to be discovered organically, your content needs to be optimised for search engines.
There are a variety of ways this can be done but SEO parameters are continually changing so you need to stay up to date.
An easy optimisation tactic is to use quality keywords and make sure your content is well written and engaging so people want to share it across other platforms. This will also help you get higher up in the SERPs.
Nice and easy, SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page.
CTAs (calls to action) are of great importance on your site. Your site should use a variety of CTAs to encourage your visitors to progress further. Typical examples are ‘learn more’ and ‘contact us’. These hyperlinks will lead to a specific page or area on a page and help improve your user journey. Well placed and well-timed CTAs will improve your conversion rate as well as reduce your bounce rate.
Keywords are the words and phrases searched for using a search engine. If your content contains valuable keywords, this increases the chance of your site appearing higher up the SERPs.
A bounce rate quantifies how many visitors access your site and then leave (bounce) without progressing further by clicking a link or moving to the next page. Of course, you want your visitors to stay and look around, so if your bounce rate is high in relation to your hit rate, your site may need an overhaul.
CRO or Conversion Rate Optimisation is a way of optimising your site to encourage visitors to convert to customers or subscribers etc. If you’re selling a product or service, you want your conversion rate to be at a decent level and there are many ways you can optimise your site for this. Something as simple as having the right CTAs may improve conversion but ultimately, nothing beats having a well-designed site with top quality content.
So, there you have it. Of course, this barely scrapes the surface but you should have enough of an understanding now to confidently use these terms when chatting to your developer.
More to come – Keep your eye out for Part 2!
Louise is a Kent based freelance writer and VA (among other things). When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard with a cat on her lap, you’ll find her roaming the streets of London selling beer or teaching Yoga to beginners.
If you’re interested in hiring her or just fancy a chat, you can contact her via her website https://louiseharman.com/ or LinkedIn.