In this section, we have put together a glossary of all of many key terms that are used online. There is so much jargon in this industry which causes many people a great deal of confusion. Our clients tell us that their learning curve is huge! So, we are aiming to lift the fog a little by explaining some key terms in a simple and straight forward way.
If you still don’t understand something, or there is a term that we have forgotten to include, send us an email and we will answer your question as soon as we can.
||Broadly, eCommerce is the buying and selling of products and services over the internet. It requires a website at which the goods or services are offered for sale, an order process and a way to pay for the item.
||Shopping cart software is software to assist people to make purchases online. The software allows online shopping customers to place items in the cart. Upon checkout, the software typically calculates a total for the order, including shipping and handling (i.e. postage and packing) charges and the associated taxes, as applicable. The software allows customers to “place” items in the cart. Upon checkout, the software calculates a total for the order, including shipping and handling (i.e. postage and packing) charges and the associated taxes, as applicable.
||Payment gateways are often required by a bank who provides merchant facilities to encrypt sensitive information (such as credit card numbers) to ensure that information passes securely between the customer, the merchant and the bank that approves the credit card transaction.
||An SSL certificate (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer) authenticates the website and its owner, and also encrypts the communication between the website and its user. It is usually a required component of an ecommerce website, particularly where credit cards are processed “on-site”.
||A merchant facility is the service for processing credit card payments over the internet. In Australia, most banks will offer merchant facilities to people with shopping cart websites, to enable them to receive payments via a credit card. The bank will approve or decline a credit card payment (based on the validity of the card at that point in time) and then transfer the funds into the merchant’s bank account. Paypal is an example of a non-back provider of merchant facilities.
||Paypal is a credit card (and now bank account) processing service, owned by eBay. It is an extremely popular method of making and receiving payments and, as such, is a viable alternative to having merchant facilities provided by the banks. We recommend that our clients use Paypal initially to keep the costs of setting up an ecommerce site to a minimum.
|Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising:
||Pay per click advertising is essentially the process of placing an ad on the internet, which is keyword sensitive, and paying a set amount each time a person clicks on the ad. This can be an extremely effective form of advertising as you are only paying when the ad “works” (i.e. a person clicks on the ad to be taken to the relevant website).
||Google Adwords is the name of Google’s pay per click advertising program. It is the biggest and most popular of all the PPC programs.
||A “banner” is a graphic (or flash file) that is found on a website and is usually used to promote your own product or service, or someone else’s. If a website receives a lot of traffic, then other companies will pay money to advertise o that website. A banner is usually linked to a web page – so that when it is clicked on, the person is taken to another webpage or website.
|Cost Per Click (CPC):
||“Cost per click” is the term used to describe the amount paid (or willing to be paid) each time a person clicks on a PPC ad. This figure could be 10c per click, $1.10 per click, or $10.10 per click, depending on how competitive the keyword is that is being advertised on.
|Click Through Rate (CTR)
||CTR stands for “Click Through Rate”. This refers to the % of people that have clicked on an ad (such as a PPC ad) or a banner or a link (out of the total number who have viewed the ad). So, if 1000 people have viewed an ad, and 33 people have “clicked” on it, then the CTR is 3.3%.
|Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):
||Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising a website to improve the ranking of a webpage, for a particular keyword, within a search engine. This is a very complicated and time consuming process as the method (or algorithm) by which search engines decide the relevance of a particular site to a keyword is constantly changing.
||This describes the tasks that are required to change a website itself to make it more likely to get higher rankings for a particular keyword (or set of keywords). It includes such things as improving the page content, using keywords in page titles, using ALT tags for images (i.e. keywords in the text description for an image) and managing outgoing links.
||This describes the bundle of activities that can be done “off site” to promote a website and to increase its rankings. The most important form of off-site optimisation is link-building.
|White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO:
||“White hat” SEO is the legitimate actions that can be done to increase ranking while “black hat” SEO are prohibited actions such as cloaking and backdoors. Using black hat techniques can get your website blacklisted from the search engines (which means your listing will be removed altogether). So, it is much better to practice “white hat” SEO.
||Email marketing involves collecting email addresses from people who are interested in your products or services, then sending out regular email newsletters to that mailing list. Each email must have an option (or instructions) on how to “unsubscribe”. This is legitimate email marketing and is not spam!
||A key word is a search term that is entered by a person into a search engine (like Google or Yahoo or NineMSN). Commonly, people type in multiple word phrases into a search engine – these are made up of “key words”. Keywords are the most important concept in internet marketing. It is essential to understand what keywords your potential customers will use to look for products and services like yours.
||Affiliate marketing is the process of providing a financial incentive for others to promote your product or services. The incentive could be either a payment for each lead, a % of each sale or a fixed amount per sale. If a person clicks on an affiliate link then the “owner” of that link is credited with that lead (and possible sale).
||A domain name is the address at which a website can be found (e.g. www.mysite.com.au). Just about all websites will have their own, unique domain name. A domain name must be registered with a domain registrar, with a registration fee paid on an annual (or bi-annual) basis. Along with a domain name comes the right to use that address for email (e.g. email@example.com).
||Hosting is the service that makes a website accessible via the internet. A website is made up of files (text, graphics, audio etc) that need to be viewed by someone wanting to see that website. The files are stored on a host server that is permanently connected to the internet. When you pay for hosting, you are paying for the physical space that your website sits on, the maintenance of the service (so that your website is always available), and various other functionality such as email, web statistics and backup software.
||A server is a bank of hardrives that are permanently connected to the internet. This is where websites (and the various files, databases and software that they require to run) are stored. Your web host should maintain these servers to ensure that they fail as infrequently as possible (in other words, they have a high “uptime”).
||A company that is accredited to issue domain names. If you want to register a domain name (such as a .com or a .com.au) then you will register it with a domain registrar.
||“Delegation” is the address that links your domain name to the place your site is actually hosted. This is why you can shift your website from place to place and people can still find it! It is a bit like moving house and telling the post office to re-direct your mail to your new address – you can move as often as you like, but as long as you keep updating your re-direction notice at the post office, your mail will always find you.
|Domain Name Server (DNS):
||This is the address where your website is actually located. So, Webcare hosting clients will know that there DNS address is ns1.webcare-hosting.com and ns2.webcare-hosting.com.
||“cPanel” is a type of hosting account manager. If you have a hosting account with “cPanel” (WebCare’s hosting account uses cPanel), then you log in to your cPanel account to access your hosting features (such as email manager, statistics, FTP, back up etc).
|POP3 vs IMAP :
||IMAP (Internet Messaging Access Protocol)
- Emails are stored on the server.
- Sent messages are stored on the server.
- Messages can be synced and accessed across multiple devices.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol)
- Emails are stored on a single device.
- Sent messages are stored on a single device.
- Emails can only be accessed from a single device.
- If you want to keep messages on the server, make sure the setting “Keep email on server” is enabled or all messages are deleted from the server once downloaded to the app or software.
||An email client is the software package that you use to check your email. The software is usually (though not always) installed on your computer). Common examples include Microsoft Outlook (or Outlook Express), Apple Mail, Eudora and Mozilla Thunderbird.To check a POP3 email account from your computer, you need to set up a new email account within your email client.
||Webmail is an internet-based method for accessing email, which doesn’t require software to be installed on your computer. This means that you can access webmail from any computer with an internet connection (as long as you can remember your username and password!). This makes webmail very popular for travellers and people without their own computers. People tend to use webmail to access free email accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo. Most hosting accounts also include webmail facilities so you can access your POP3 mailbox when you are away from your primary computer.
|Free eMail Account:
||Common examples of free email accounts include Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo. It is a good idea to have at least one free email account – as it can set it up to provide a great deal of anonymity on the web.