Jargon Decoded: Simplifying Digital Terms

Every industry has its own set of jargon that comes with it. It seems inevitable of course but it's very tricky when there are parts of the industry that you need to understand but you get lost in the language. Here are a few plain-English translations for those of you still getting up to speed on the digital world.

Adwords - this is a form of 'pay-per-click' advertising. The pay-per-click refers to the fact that you only pay when a person clicks on your ad. Adwords is run by Google and it allows anyone to set up ads that will be displayed based on the search term entered by a user. It's one way that your business can appear at the very top of some search results. Organic search results (i.e. unpaid results) appear below the ads.

Blog - it's what you're reading now! It's a place where people can share ideas, knowledge and connect with others. You will find tons of them on Wordpress, Blogger and within business or personal websites. When you have a business, a blog can be good for your SEO (see below) as it ticks a few boxes as far as content, keyword density of the site, and regular updates with fresh content.

Bounce Rate - One place you'll see this is in Google Analytics, this indicates how many people have just viewed one page of your website. It's not usually a good thing. It means they came to a page (either from search results, a social media post or another link perhaps) and they did not find any other reason to look at anything else on your website. Sometimes it's just not a fit or they clicked accidentally but if you consistently have high bounce rates you'll want to review your content and the layout of your website and adjust it to encourage people to stay a while.

CRM - Customer Relationship Management. A CRM is a system that helps you manage your customer interactions - there are plenty out there to choose from and they vary in their features. They can help you keep track of contact details and who was last in touch with the person. Many of them also have automated processes that can move them through your sales pipeline. Read my tips on choosing a CRM for your small business.

Ecommerce - just a shorthand way of talking about a business that sells things online. You might have a website but it might not be an ecommerce website if you don't sell anything directly on the site.

Keyword - these are words that people use to search for you, or your industry or product. If you aren't sure what they might be, or have never looked into it (you didn't base your keywords on assumptions did you?), have a look at Google's Keyword Planner (you'll need an Adwords account which is free though they prompt you to setup an ad to access it. You can just disable it straight away and then access your account tools.)

Keyword Density - how many times a keyword appears in a site, page or blog article.

Podcast - an audio file created by anyone who has something to say! You'll find they range on all sorts of topics and at varying lengths. Basically it's the new version of a radio show but you can access it anytime and pause/rewind/fast-forward. Find them on Sticher, iTunes or directly on the host's website.

Reach - the number of people that see a post (very often used in social media.) It's also important to pay attention to engagement numbers which are tracked when people click, react, share or comment on your posts as well.

Responsive - this describes a website that can be viewed across all devices smoothly. The menu will likely change, images will resize themselves and the content will reorder based on the size of the device being used (mobile, tablet, desktop). Google penalises websites that aren't mobile-friendly by placing them lower in search results on a mobile. Sites these days need to be responsive so that all users have a positive experience with your site. (You can check if yours is responsive by resizing your browser window - if your content changes as you shrink the window, your site is responsive.)

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation. This refers to creating a website with the goal of attracting a high organic search ranking. The reason SEO is always a hot topic is that without paying for Adwords (see above), good search results are a key way of getting in front of your potential customers. Google ranks your site on a number of ever-changing factors - some of which include how often your site is updated, how often keywords appear, the number of people visiting your site, the number of people linking to your site and even how quickly your website loads. (This is just a fraction of the massive list of factors they use and the weighting of it can change as well.)

User - this is a person who interacts with your site or app. Customer/client may not fit for everyone so this is a more general way to talk about the people who visit your website.

So, that's a short list of some terms you might run into as you work on your business' digital presence. If there are any terms you want to know, please ask in the comments and I can decode them for you.