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SEO Glossary and SEO Definitions

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C

COA – Acronym for Cost of Acquisition and is defined as how much it costs to acquire a conversion (desired action), such as a sale.

CPA – Acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (sometimes called Cost Per Action depending on the campaign goals), which is the total cost of an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions. For example, if a campaign spent $,1000 and resulted in 20 conversions, the CPA is ($,1000 / 20) or $50 .

CPA or “Cost Per Acquisition” – Also referred to as “Cost Per Action.” This is a metric used to measure the total monetary cost of each sale, lead or action from start to finish.

CPC – Acronym for Cost Per Click, or the amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a searcher to the advertiser’s web site.CPC is calculated by dividing ad spend by clicks.

CPM – Acronym for Cost Per Thousand Impressions (ad serves or potential viewers). CPM is a standard monetization model for the display ad space, as well as for some context-based networks serving online search ads to web publishers and sites.

CPM or “Cost Per Thousand” – A unit of measure typically assigned to the cost of displaying an ad. If an ad appears on a web page 1,000 times and costs $5, then the CPM would be $5. In this instance, every 1,000 times an ad appeared, it would incur a charge of $5.

CPO – Acronym for Cost Per Order. The average dollar amount of advertising or marketing necessary to acquire an order. Calculated by dividing marketing expenses by the number of orders. Also referred to as CPA (Cost Per Acquisition defined above).

CTR – Acronym for Click-Through Rate or the number of clicks that an ad gets, divided by the total number of times that ad is displayed or served. CTR is calculated by total clicks / total impressions = CTR. For example, if an ad has 100 impressions and 6 clicks, the CTR is 6%. CTR also uniquely factors into Yahoo's, Microsoft's and Google's paid search Quality Score and directly impacts your minimum keyword bids.

Campaign Integration – Planning and executing a paid search campaign concurrently with other marketing initiatives, online or offline, or both. True paid search integration takes all marketing initiatives into consideration prior to launch and drives consistent messaging, image, tracking offline conversions, supporting brand awareness, increasing response rates and contributing to ROI business goals.

Canonicalization – Google's newest answer to duplicate content, and is defined as the process of picking the best URL when there are several choices; this usually refers to home pages. In addition, “Canonicalization is the process of converting data that has more than one possible representation into a "standard" canonical representation. This can be done to compare different representations for equivalence, to count the number of distinct data structures (e.g., in combinatorics), to improve the efficiency of various algorithms by eliminating repeated calculations, or to make it possible to impose a meaningful sorting order.” Source: Wikipedia

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS – An addition to your HTML coding, a web site’s “cascading style sheet” contains information on paragraph layout, font sizes, colors, etc. A cascading style sheet has many uses as far as search engine optimization and web site design are concerned by removing excess code and improving crawlability.

Click Bot – A program generally used to artificially click on paid listings within the engines in order to artificially inflate click amounts. This is the primary reason for the growing concern surrounding click fraud.

Click Fraud – Clicks on a Pay-Per-Click advertisement that are motivated by something other than a search for the advertised product or service. Click fraud may be the result of malicious or negative competitor/affiliate actions motivated by the desire to increase costs for a competing advertiser or to garner click-through costs for the collaborating affiliate. This typically results in negative performance for the advertiser.

Click Through - When a user clicks on a hypertext link on either a website or a paid ad text and is taken to the destination of that link

Click Through Rate – The percentage of those clicking on a link out of the total number who see the link. For example, imagine 10 people do a web search. In response, they see links to a variety of web pages. Five of the 10 people all choose one particular link. That link then has a 50 percent click-through rate (clicks / impressions = CTR).

Client-side Tracking - Client-side tracking entails the process of tagging every page that requires tracking on the Web site with a block of JavaScript code. This method is cookie based (available as first or third party cookies) and is readily available to companies who do not own or manage their own servers. The most common form of client-side tracking is Google Analytics.

Cloaking - The process by which a web site can display different versions of a web page under different circumstances. It's most common use is to show an optimized or a content-rich page to the search engines and a different page to humans for SEO benefit. Most major search engine representatives have publicly stated that they do not approve of this practice. As such, cloaking is typically known as a Black-Hat SEO practice.

Comment - The text or instructions contained within a web page's “comment” tag. “Comments” are used in a variety of situations, such as communication between web developers and Cascading Style Sheets. This is especially useful for blocks of code (such as analytics tracking) that should not be manipulated.

Competitive Analysis – Typically used in SEO and link building, competitive analysis is the assessment and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of competing web sites, including identifying traffic patterns, major traffic sources, and keyword selection.

Consumer Generated Media (CGM) - Refers to posts made by consumers to support or oppose products, web sites, or companies typically through social media sites. which are very powerful when it comes to company image. It can reach a large audience and, therefore, may change your business overnight.

Content Management Systems (CMS) - In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document centric collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content. The market for content management systems remains fragmented, with many open source and proprietary solutions available. Source: Wikipedia.org

Content Network – Also called Contextual Networks, content networks include Google and Yahoo! Contextual Search networks that serve paid search ads triggered by keywords related to the page content a user is viewing.

Content Targeting – An ad serving process in Google and Yahoo! that displays keyword triggered ads related to the content or subject (context) of the web site a user is viewing. Contrast to search network serves, in which an ad is displayed when a user types a keyword into the search box of a search engine or one of its partner sites.

Contextual Advertising – Advertising that is automatically served or placed on a web page based on the page’s content, keywords and phrases. Contrast to a SERP (search engine result page) ad display. For example, contextual ads for digital cameras would be shown on a page with an article about photography, not because the user entered “digital cameras” in a search box.

Contextual Distribution –The marketing decision to display search ads on certain publisher sites across the web instead of, or in addition to, placing PPC ads on search networks.

Contextual Link Inventory – To supplement their business models, certain text-link advertising networks have expanded their network distribution to include "contextual inventory". Most vendors of "search engine traffic" have expanded the definition of Search Engine Marketing to include this contextual inventory. Contextual or content inventory is generated when listings are displayed on pages of Web sites (usually not search engines), where the written content on the page indicates to the ad-server that the page is a good match to specific keywords and phrases. Often this matching method is validated by measuring the number of times a viewer clicks on the displayed ad.

Contextual Network – Also called Content Ads and Content Network, contextual network ads are served on web site pages adjacent to content that contains the keywords being bid upon. Contextual ads are somewhat like traditional display ads placed in print media and, like traditional ad buys, are often purchased on the same CPM (cost per thousand impressions) model for purchased keywords, rather than a CPC basis.

Contextual Search – A search that analyzes the page being viewed by a user and gives a list of related search results. Offered by Yahoo! and Google.

Contextual Search Campaigns – A paid placement search campaign that takes a search ad listing beyond search engine results pages and onto the sites of matched content web partners.

Conversion Action – The desired action you want a visitor to take on your site. Includes purchase, subscription to the company newsletter, request for follow-up or more information (lead generation), download of a company free offer (research results, a video or a tool), subscription to company updates and news.

Conversion Rate - Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you had 100 visitors and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro-conversions (for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or signing up for a service).

Conversion Rate – The number of visitors who convert (take a desired action at your site) after clicking through on your ad, divided by the total number of click-throughs to your site for that ad. (Expressed as: total click-throughs that convert / total click-throughs for that ad = conversion rate.) For example, if an ad brings in 150 click-throughs and 6 of the 150 clicks result in a desired conversion, then the conversion rate is 4% (6 / 150 = 0.04). Higher conversion rates generally translate into more successful PPC campaigns with a better ROI.

Copyright – Protection and ownership of works or expressions fixed in a tangible form, including words, art, images, sounds, and music. Copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to copy, display, license, or expand the work. Copyrights cover virtually any original expression; and the protection arises under common law as soon as the original expression is created (fixed in tangible form). However, proving ownership of the original expression may be difficult legally, unless the work was displayed or used publicly at a verifiable point in time.

Crawler – Automated programs in search engines that gather web site listings by automatically crawling the web. A search engine's crawler (also called a spider or robot) “reads” page text contents and web page coding, and also follows links to other hyperlinked pages on the web pages it crawls. A crawler makes copies of the web pages found and stores these in the search engine's index, or database. Also known as a bot and spider, a crawler is a program that search engines use to seek out information on the web. The act of “crawling” on a web site is referred to when the crawler begins to search through documents contained within the web site. Also see Index.

Creatives – Unique words, design and display of a paid-space advertisement. In paid search advertising, creative refers to the ad’s title (headline), description (text offer) and display URL (clickable link to advertiser’s web site landing page). Unique creative display includes word emphasis (boldfaced, italicized, in quotes), typeface style and, on some sites, added graphic images, logos, animation or video clips.

Custom Feed – Create custom feeds for each of the shopping engines that allow you to submit XML feeds. Each of the engines has different product categories and feed requirements.

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