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Internet marketing terms every attorney should know

The lawyer marketing landscape has changed forever. Consumers who once used the Yellow Pages and other print media to search for lawyers have now overwhelmingly migrated to the Internet. Recent research indicates how important the Internet is to local search, and how radically consumer search patterns have changed.

Every lawyer now needs to be familiar with the new language and marketing terms applied to the online world. To that end we offer the following glossary of Internet marketing terms:

Analytics: Software that monitors every website visitor’s actions and saves that information to be organized and utilized for decision making.

Black Hat SEO: Describes unacceptable and unethical methods of improving website rankings on search engines. Any misrepresentation of your website to search engines is usually considered to be "black hat".

Blog: A blog (web log) is a type of website or part of a website usually updated regularly and maintained by an individual or business with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Blogs can inform or entertain. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages and other media related to its topic.

Bot: An automated program that reads the text and hidden coding on websites. The information is then stored in a database for future reference. The rankings of websites on search engines are determined by relevance, which is based on the information gathered by the bot. Also known as a spider, crawler or robot.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who only view one page of a website before exiting.

Cache: Refers to a collection of previously visited web pages that is saved on your computer as "cookies". This saved data helps speed up loading times for future visits to the same web pages. If changes are made to a web page after caching, those changes may not be displayed on your cached version of the page until the page is refreshed.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The ratio of clicks to impressions (displayed ads) expressed as a percentage.

Cost Per Click (CPC): A bidding system for paid advertising; the maximum amount one is willing to pay for a click. Advertisers are only charged when a user clicks an ad.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): A bidding system for paid advertising; the maximum amount one is willing to pay for 1,000 impressions. The number of clicks does not affect cost.

Direct Navigation: Accessing any website by typing the website address directly into your internet browser.

Domain: A website’s internet address typically typed into the address bar on a web browser.

Hyper-link: Also referred to as a "Link". Includes text based links or images that can be clicked to take you to another webpage on the internet. This includes back links (also called citations), outbound links and internal links.

Impression: Any time an internet listing is displayed on a user’s computer screen.

Index: The database of a search engine or directory. Used to save information for retrieval.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address: A unique identification number for each system (computer or network) connecting to the internet. It can be used to determine geographic location of users, among other things.

Link Building: The process of creating an infrastructure of hyper-links & links for your website; allowing you to link to pages within your own site, link out to other sites, and allow other websites to link to you. The most important aspect of link building is acquiring links from other websites that point back to your site ("inbound links" or "back links"). An inbound link is interpreted as a vote of confidence by search engines and a website with more high quality, inbound links will usually show up higher in search rankings.

Local Business Listing: A free listing on search engines, Internet yellow pages & directories showing the physical location of your business on a map along with other information such as phone numbers, websites, and services. These listings appear when a search query includes a geographic term to specify location. For listings & businesses within your local area, no geographic search term is needed to display a local listing.

Meta Data (Tags): Includes the description and keywords associated in the site internal code with each webpage. These are determined by whoever is responsible for marketing a website and usually relate closely to what is displayed on the page. This information is not visible on the webpage itself, but hidden in the source code and read by the search engines to help determine relevancy to search queries. These include Title tags, Description tags, Alt tags (for images), H1 tags (for headlines) and keyword tags.

Organic Search Results: Also referred to as "natural" or "algorithmic" search results. Includes all non-paid search results or listings displayed on search engines. Organic search results are determined by computer algorithms that assign a position/ranking based on the quality of a website and its relevance to users.

Page Views: Refers to the number of times a web page is seen on a website. Each time a web page is accessed by an internet user, a page view is counted in the website’s analytical records.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC): Also referred to as "Paid Search Marketing". An ad campaign that applies bids to particular keywords phrases and shows certain advertisements based on the keywords searched. These keywords compete in a real-time auction with competitors’ selected keywords. Ranking and placement of ads is determined by a combination of the relevance of targeted keywords and the highest bid. The highest bidder is not always listed first if they manage low quality/irrelevant campaigns.

Referring Sites: A website that sends visitors to another website via hyper-links.

Refresh: A function used to eliminate all cached versions of a web page from your computer. The new web page will then be displayed with the most up-to-date information.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): The process of getting a website more exposure across digital as well as traditional media. This includes email marketing, cross promotions, URL placements on business cards, stationery and in email signatures, PPC and more. SEO is a subset of SEM.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of enabling search engines to properly "see" a website. Tactics include ensuring the site contains highly relevant content for searchers, as well as highly valued inbound links. These are the two most important factors, but there are many other elements involved with SEO. The purpose is to attain the highest website rankings possible for targeted keywords & search queries on search engines.

SERP: Also known as a "Search Engine Results Page". The resulting list of web pages provided by search engines after a search is performed. This includes every listing shown in the results, including paid and non-paid listings.

Server: Any computer that stores information about a website and delivers it to other computers upon request. The text, graphics and multimedia visible on a website are delivered to computers using servers.

Social Media Marketing: Creating a presence on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that engage your best customers in social "conversations" and build your brand more subtly that through traditional advertising methods.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): Another name for a website address; for example www.websitesforlawyers.net.

Website Development: The process of creating a customized website for a company from the ground up, including creative design, graphic design, content development & copy-writing.

White Hat SEO: Describes commonly accepted and ethical methods of improving website rankings on search engines.

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