Online Terminology 101

Updated: 7 days ago

Having an online presence is almost essential for the success of any business. Setting up a website, navigating social media and understanding the almost coded language used online can be daunting.

Online Terminology 101

Here are some of the most common online terms defined so for those of us without a degree in computer engineering.

  • 404 Error – A screen message that appears when someone tries to visit a site that does not exist.

  • Banner Ad – A type of digital image ad that can be placed across different websites.

  • Blog – Short for “web log.” A blog is a web page or a website that is regularly updated with new fresh written content designed to attract new visitors and engage existing visitors.

  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors to a website that leave immediately without clicking or interacting with any portion of the page, according to For example, if 100 people visit a website, and 50 of them immediately leave, the website has a bounce rate of 50 percent. Websites aim to have as low of a bounce rate as possible, and averages tend to be anywhere between 40-60 percent.

  • Click through rate (CTR) – The percentage of users who click on links in web pages or marketing emails. According to CTR is significant because it measures how many users are actively engaging with linked content on a site.

  • Hashtag – A popular phrase beginning with the symbol “#.” Used primarily in social media as a way for tagging content for users to find.

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – A set of codes used to tell a web browser how to display a webpage.

  • IP Address (Internet Protocol) – An individualized number that identifies a device using the internet to communicate over a network. Every device has a unique IP address, and can be used to locate and differentiate that device from all other devices when using the internet.

  • Mentions – Mentions are ways of referring to a person or account on social media (@yourTwitterhandle on Twitter).

  • RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feed – A way to keep track of updates to multiple websites in one place, instead of having to manually check in on every single site individually. An RSS Feed is where all updates are tracked together, in an easily viewable format.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – a way of improving a website’s performance and its position in organic search engine results.

  • Slug – The portion of a URL that comes after the .com. For example

  • Spam – A general term that includes many different disreputable activities in digital marketing.

  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – The address of a web page. The URL refers to what specific web page a web browser is viewing.

  • User-generated content (UGC) – Social media content (posts, photos, videos) posted by users about a brand or product, not by companies or organizations themselves. For example when Lipton reposts a picture of an Instagram user drinking an ice tea, that’s UGC.

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