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Analytics Toolkits

Website Analytics Toolbox

By Steven Snell on June 22nd, 2009

Effective analysis is a big part of running a successful website. In this post we’ll look at more than 75 tools, resources, and articles that can help you in various aspects of web analytics. If there are other items that you think should be mentioned, pleas leave a comment.

Page Analysis Tools:

These tools will provide an analysis and evaluation of various factors of a page or site. Each tool works a little bit differently, but the data from all of them can be obtained quickly and used in your analytics work.

Trifecta from SEOmoz
Enter your domain and tell Trifecta if you want to measure a page, a blog, or a domain and it will analyze the strength. Trifecta uses information regarding inbound links, buzz about your brand online, and traffic numbers.

Trifecta

Website Grader
Website Grader, provided by HubSpot, will provide a very thorough report and grade for your website’s SEO. You’ll need to enter an email address to use the tool.

Website Grader

SEO Analysis Tool from SEO Workers
This tool will provide a lot of information on a given page, including an analysis of meta tags, anchor text, links on the page, keywords etc.

Popuri.us
Enter your domain and this tool will quickly provide the PR, Alexa ranking, in-bound link information, and more.

Similar Page Checker
Enter two URLs and this tool will show how similar they are in percentage format (to help with avoiding duplicate content penalties).

Google Wemaster Tools
The free webmaster tools from Google provide useful information on indexing, sitemaps, links, and search queries.

Xinu
Xinu provides information on any URL regarding links, rankings, indexed pages, and more.

Page Speed:

Load time can have an impact on a site’s visitors. Testing and analyzing page speed is much easier and more effective with these tools.

Self SEO Page Speed Checker
With this simple tool you can enter several different domains at once (such as yours and some of your competitors’) and it will show the time it takes to load the page, making comparison easy.

Page Speed Checker

YSlow
Yahoo’s YSlow is a Firefox add-on that works with Firebug to provide data and suggests ways to improve performance of the site.

Other page speed tests:

Spider Simulators:

Spider simulators can help you to see how a search engine interacts with your site.

Stats:

Tracking stats is a major part of web analytics. There are countless programs that you can use for stats, some are free and some are paid.

Google Analytics
Probably the most popular free stats/analytics option, Google Analytics provides loads of information about your visitors, where they are coming from, and what they are doing on your site. There are also more advanced options to set goals and conversion tracking.

Google Analytics

Clicky
Clicky provides real-time analytics with tons of features. There is a free plan and the paid plans run from $4.99 per month to $49.99 per month.

Clicky

Crazy Egg
Crazy Egg focuses on providing visual representations and actionable data. Some of the most useful tools are the Heatmap and Confetti, which can help you to see exactly how visitors are interacting with your site. Plans range in price for $9 per month to $99 per month.

Crazy Egg

Mint
Mint is a self-hosted analytics program that provides all of the basic stats, plus some more advanced features like feed subscription patterns. The license costs $30 per site.

Mint

OneStat
OneStat is a professional analytics program that offers enterprise level analytics, as well as server monitoring.

Heatmaps and Related Analytics:

Seeing how your visitors are interacting with your site can help you to improve things like conversion rates and ad clicks.

Clickdensity
Clickdensity provides a heatmap other usability tools. A free trial is available, and plans range from $5 - $400 per month.

Clickdensity

ClickTale
ClickTale can be used to track mouse movements and clicks from visitors.

ClickTale

ClickHeat
ClickHeat is open-source software that creates a visual heatmap of clicks on a page to show where visitors are clicking and how often.

Link Analysis:

There are tons of great tools and resources for analyzes the links that are pointing towards your website.

Technorati
Technorati tracks blog links. You can enter your URL and see what blogs are linking to you.

Technorati

SEO Link Analysis Firefox Add-on
This Firefox extension will information such as PageRank, anchor text and nofollow status.

SEO Link Analysis Firefox Extension

Linkscape
Linkscape from SEOmoz provides information about links pointing towards a domain. Pro members get added data that isn’t available on the free basic report.

Link Popularity Checker from Mike’s Marketing Tools
See how many links the major search engines are recognizing for a URL.

Link Popularity Tool from Marketleap
You can enter 2 URLs for comparison with this link popularity checker.

Link Popularity Checker from SEOCentro
This link popularity checker will compare up to 3 URLs at a time.

Link Popularity Comparison Tool
SEO Book also has a free link popularity tool that will compare up to 3 URLs.

Back Link Analyzer
This software from SEO Book is a link popularity tool plus it provides the anchor text used on the links.

Backlink Watch
Enter your URL and this tool will provide details about the links point back to you.

Link Harvester
Link Harveter is SEO Book’s tool for sorting and querying through the backlink databases from Yahoo! and MSN.

Majestic SEO
Majestic SEO will provide information about in-bound links and anchor text.

Backlink Checker Tool
See what pages are linking to you, along with their PR and Alexa ranking.

Analyze Backlinks
Enter a URL and this tool will provide link information including anchor text, number of total links and number of outbound links.

Link Diagnosis
Check out the details of your own in-bound links or those of your competitors.

Reciprocal Link Checker
If you make reciprocal links with other website owners, you can paste in a list of up to 50 URLs and this tool will crawl those URLs to look for a link to your site. You can use this periodically to make sure that the sites are still linking to you.

Reciprocal Link Checking Tool
A similar tool provided by SEO Book.

Xenu’s Link Sleuth
Free software that checks for broken links.

Dead-Links.com
Enter a domain name and it will crawl the site looking for dead links.

W3C Link Checker
The dead link checker from W3.org

SERP Trackers:

Testing and tracking search engine rankings for specific keywords is a common task for website owners, SEOs and marketers.

Rank Checker Firefox Add-on
This add-on from Aaron Wall can track multiple search phrases on major search engines. There are a number of options and presets that make this a very valuable tool.

Rank Checker Firefox Add-on

Search Engine Ranking Checker from Mike’s Marketing Tools
This is a simple ranking checker. Enter a URL and search phrase and it will show you the rankings in major search engines.

Other SERP Trackers:

Premium SEO Tools:

These tools will cost you some money, but serious marketer (particularly those that do client work) the price is likely to be justified.

Raven SEO Tools
Raven is a comprehensive suite of marketing and SEO Tools. It can help you with keyword research, link building, social media, social media monitoring, SERP tracking, analytics and ROI, and more. The price is $79 per month with a 30-day free trial.

Raven SEO Tools

Web CEO
Web CEO contains 12 tools in the suite (download rather than web-based). There is a free version as well as two paid versions to choose from.

Web CEO

Pro SEO Tools from SEOmoz
A collection of useful tools available to Pro subscribers. Many of the tools are also available in a limited version for free.

Pro SEO Tools

Trends:

Analyzing trends can help you to improve your website’s visibility by providing information that is in demand.

Google Alerts
For brand management or industry monitoring purposes, you can set Google Alerts to email you when something new is added to the Google index.

UrlTrends
Enter a URL and it will provide a report showing some useful information such as link data. You can upgrade to a paid account for some added features. Paid plans range from $8 to $15 per month.

Popular Searches from SEOmoz
Shows the most popular searches from a variety of sources for a given day.

Competitor Analysis:

These three websites can help you to get some basic, but helpful, data about the websites and visitors of your competitors.

Compete
Compete provides estimated statistics from any website. Pro plans with added data start at $199 per month.

Compete.com

Alexa
Alexa ranks websites according to traffic and provides estimated statistics.

Alexa

Quantcast
Quantcast also provides data on any website, including some interesting demographics info.

Quantcast

AdSense:

For those who use AdSense to monetize their website, analysis on impressions, CTR and CPM is a necessary for maximizing results.

AdSense Notifier
AdSense Notifier shows your AdSense earnings in your Firefox toolbar so you don’t have to login to AdSense to see it.

Analytics Integration for All
Blog post from Google about intergrating AdSense and Analytics.

How Do I Link My AdSense Account to Analytics?
Instructions from Google.

SEO Toolkits

Conducting An SEO Audit To Troubleshoot Problems & Tune-Up Performance

by Lisa Barone on 06/03/2009 · 5 comments | Internet Marketing Conferences

SMX Advanced

If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three people to keep me amused and enlightened for the rest of my days, it would be the three speakers slotted in this session. Because they are all awesome. And I love them. And I am crazy in the head.

Speaking we have some of my favorite people in search - Vanessa Fox, Adam Audette and Derrick Wheeler.  You so wish you were here.

Up first is Derrick Wheeler, my original SEO crush.  He explains how the search engines work. There are these things called spiders. They crawl your site, typically starting on your home page and venturing to all the other different pages on the site.  Then they take all the info and add it to their index so that people can search for it.

Here, he drew it out for you.  That makes total sense, right?  Stick to the day job, Derrick.

site audit

Organic search engine optimization is the process of systematically satisfying the needs of search engines and the needs of your users. Here’s how it works without the crazy drawing.

  1. search engine crawls your site
  2. search engine indexes your site
  3. users perform queries
  4. search engines rank appropriate pages
  5. users click on ranked listings
  6. users take action and/or interact with the site

Successful troubleshooting requires data. Use your log files and or Webmaster tools to see how the engines are crawling and indexing your site. Understand your keyword phrases and check your rankings on a monthly basis to see how you’re doing over time. Understand how many visits you get from search engines. Understand the paths people are using to get to the different pages of your site. Have success events built in. Try to understand what the value of a user is. [I know, they BUY THINGS! #imssosmart]

He’s done for now.

Adam Audette is up next.  He’s groggy.  Vanessa asks if “groggy” is a euphemism. Hee. We’re all “groggy”.

Site audits are part art, part science.  Site audits are a lot of work and rely on experience. Problem solving is crucial. It takes time to learn deeply and find all the new ways you can fail.  You have to be MacGyver. He’s our man.

Part Art: Follow your nose. A site or navigation just “smells wrong” sometimes. You have to dive in and figure out why. It takes diligence to dive in and find out what the problems are. It requires trust. The company has to trust you to find their issues.

Part Science: We use set tools. It’s very calculated in the processes. We’re always looking at a set number of factors and we’re documenting everything.

A framework for SEO Audits

On- Page

  • Domains
  • Sections & Categories  (how are they related to interior pages)
  • Pages (product pages on an e-commerce site)
  • Media (images, videos, etc)

What About Deliverables?

  • Summarize
  • Keep it Prioritized
  • Keep it Actionable
  • Build in Follow-up
  • Sizzle Matters

Off-Page

  • Backlinks (quantity, quality)
  • Social Media Signals
  • Cache Dates, Indexed Pages
  • Toolbar PageRank

The Big 4 Factors

  • URLs
  • Site Architecture and Navigation
  • Product-level pages
  • Site Latency

Document the issues. Explain the problem, the impact and then offer some recommended solutions.

Cool Tools

Vanessa is up. She starts off apologizing to me because she’s going to go super fast. Vanessa obviously hates me. I still have a secret yearning to braid her hair.

She shows an ugly flow chart and says that search is like an iceberg. You only see the tip when you see the traffic loss. When people call her panicked, they always think its a ranking problem and that it’s a penalty. The truth is it could be any one of a number of things. You have to dive in to see if it’s a crawling issue, a relevance issue, etc.

Search engines haven’t quite grown up yet. They’re still like babies.

When you’re diagnosing a problem, make sure you really have a problem. If you had a traffic drop, did you really drop or do you just not have the traffic?  If your ToolBar PageRank drops, have things really changed or is Google just trying to mess with you? When you look at a problem, make sure it’s really an issue and that you’re not just making it up. The same applies to relationships. Get the data first.

And then benchmark. Look at the top ten rankings you have and use tools like Rank Checker (SEOBook) to get a report of what page ranks and where. For crawling, she likes to have people run a script over the server logs to help you categorize pages. If you have a hotel site, you’d want to categorize property pages, regional landing pages, review pages, profiles, etc. If you can categorize those separately and see the crawl for each section, it can help you see where the problem is and if you really have one.  You can also get this information from Google (and Microsoft).

She looks at a bunch of extractable link issues. But again, since she HATES me, she doesn’t pause or stop clicking long enough for me to get them down. I see how it is, Vanessa.

She flips through a bunch of different checklists (luckily, some are listed on her site, so you get links!).  Things like:

If you have an affiliate feed, they’re only going to show so many pages with the same stuff.

If your rankings drop for ALL your keywords: Did the site rank for different queries before? Did you change the site content dramatically?   Check to see if you’ve been penalized, review the guidelines, identify the issue and then FIX IT. Then request evaluation. Not before.

The first step in diagnosis is to find the root cause. Word.

[Vanessa RAN through her presentation, but I very much recommend you look at the Resources section of Jane and Robot. There you'll find a bunch of tools and different checklists. I'm going to lunch.]

Web Design Toolkits

There are specialized terms referring to all sorts of aspects of web design. For someone just getting started in web design, or someone looking to have a site designed, all the technical jargon can be overwhelming. Especially the acronyms.

Below is a guide to industry terms that should get you well on your way to understanding what web designers are talking about. In addition, we’ve provided some resources for each term to give you more in-depth information.

A

Accessibility

Basically, this is the ability of a website to be used by people with disabilities, including visually impaired visitors using screen readers, hearing impaired visitors using no sound, color blind people, or those with other disabilities. A website with low accessibility is basically going to be impossible for those with disabilities to use. Accessibility is particularly important for sites providing information to those with disabilities (healthcare sites, government sites, etc.), though it is an important aspect to consider when designing any site.

Screenshot

AJAX

Stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. AJAX is typically used for creating dynamic web applications and allows for asynchronous data retrieval without having to reload the page a visitor is on. The JavaScript on a given page handles most of the basic functions of the application, making it perform more like a desktop program instead of a web-based one.

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Anchor Text

The text a link uses to refer to your site. This can make a big difference in your site’s search engine results. See also: Backlink.

Automagically

A portmanteau that combines “automatically” and “magically.” Generally, it refers to something that has a complex technical process that’s hidden from users, so that something almost appears to work by magic. If you think about it, many modern internet-based technologies could be classified as “automagical.”

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B

Back End

The back end of a website is the part hidden from view of regular website visitors. The back end generally includes the information structure, applications, and the CMS controlling content on the site.

Backlink

Backlinks are links from other sites back to your own. They’re sometimes also referred to as “trackbacks” (especially on blogs). Backlinks have a huge impact on your sites search rankings. Lots of backlinks from high-ranking sites can greatly improve your search engine results, especially if those links use keywords in their anchor text.

Bad Neighborhood

A “bad neighborhood” refers to the server where your site is hosted. A site hosted on a server that hosts other sites that spam or use black-hat SEO practices can end up penalized by search engines solely because of their proximity to those sites. In other words, be very careful about which web host you choose, what their terms of service are, and how strictly they enforce those terms if you want to avoid being penalized because of what your neighbors are doing. Linking to sites in bad neighborhoods can also have a negative effect on your search rankings.

Screenshot

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can refer to two different things: the rate at which data can be transferred or the total amount of data allowed to be transferred from a web host during a given month (or other hosting service term) before overage charges are applied. It is generally referred to in term of bits-per-second (bps), kilobits per second (kbs), or other metric measurements. Lower bandwidth internet connections (such as dial-up) mean data loads slower than with high bandwidth connections (like cable or fiber).

Below the Fold

This term is a carry-over from newspaper publishing days. In newspaper terms, “below the fold” means content was on the bottom half of the page (below the physical fold in the paper). In web design terms, “below the fold” refers to the content that is generally going to be below the point first viewable to the average website visitor in their browser (in other words, viewers would have to scroll down to see the content).

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Resources

Bounce Rate

A website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave the site from the same page they entered the site, without clicking through to any other pages. This can be a good indicator of how good a website’s navigation is, as well as an indicator of the quality of the site’s content (a very high bounce rate doesn’t bode well for either of those things).

Breadcrumb

Breadcrumbs are the bit of navigation elements that generally appear near the top of a give web page that show you the pages and subpages the appear before the page you’re on. For examples, on a blog, the breadcrumbs might look something like: Home > Category > Year > Month > Post (or they might be a lot simpler that that). The breadcrumbs term comes from the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.”

Screenshot

Browser

Browser refers to the program a website visitor is using to view the web site. Examples include Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.

Screenshot

C

Cache/Caching

Cached files are those that are saved or copied (downloaded) by a web browser so that the next time that user visits the site, the page loads faster.

Cascading Style Sheets

Also referred to simply as CSS, Cascading Style Sheets are used to define the look and feel of a web site outside of the actual HTML file(s) of the site. In recent years, CSS has replaced tables and other HTML-based methods for formatting and laying out websites. The benefits to using CSS are many, but some of the most important are the simplification of a site’s HTML files (which can actually increase search engine rankings) and the ability to completely change the style of a site by changing just one file, without having to make changes to content.

Screenshot

Client-Side

Client-side refers to scripts that are run in a viewer’s browser, instead of on a web server (as in server-side scripts). Client-side scripts are generally faster to interact with, though they can take longer to load initially.

Content Management System

Also known as a CMS, the Content Management System is a backend tool for managing a site’s content that separates said content from the design and functionality of the site. Using a CMS generally makes it easier to change the design or function of a site independent of the site’s content. It also (usually) makes it easier for content to be added to the site for people who aren’t designers.

Comment

In web design terms, a comment is a bit of information contained in a site’s HTML or XHTML files that is ignored by the browser. Comments are used to identify different parts of the file and as reference notes. Good commenting makes it much easier for a designer (whether the original designer or someone else) to make changes to the site, as it keeps it clear which parts of the code perform which functions. There are different comment formats for different programming and markup languages.

CSS

See Cascading Style Sheets.

CSS Framework

A CSS framework is a collection of CSS files used as the starting point to make XHTML and CSS web sites quickly and painlessly. They usually contain CSS styles for typography and layout.

Screenshot

D

Deprecated

Deprecated code is code that is no longer included in the language specifications. Generally this happens because it is replaced with more accessible or efficient alternatives.

Deprecation from Wikipedia
Deprecated Tags and Attributes in HTML from HTMLQuick.com
Disabling Deprecated HTML Using CSS from David’s Kitchen

DHTML

Stands for Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. DHTML fuses XHTML (or any other markup language), the DOM, JavaScript (or other scripts), and CSS (or other presentation definition languages) to create interactive web content.

Dither

In GIF and certain other image formats, there is a limited color palette used for each image. Because of this, not all colors in an image are presented. Dither is used to approximate these colors by combining pixels of different colors side by side.

Screenshot

DNS

Stands for Domain Name Service (alternately Domain Name System or Domain Name Server). Basically, it’s the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with the IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. In turn, when someone types your domain name into their web browser, those DNS servers translate the domain name to the IP address and point the browser to the correct web server.

Doctype

The doctype declaration specifies which version of HTML is used in a document. It has a direct effect on whether your HTML will validate.

Screenshot

Dom, The

Stands for Document Object Model. It’s a language-indpendent, cross-platform convention for representing objects in XML, XHTML, and HTML documents. Rules for interacting with and programming the DOM are specified in the DOM API.

Domain

The domain is the name by which a website is identified. The domain is associated with an IP address. Domains can be purchased with any combination of letters, hyphens (-), and numbers (though it can’t start with a hyphen). Depending on the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.), a domain can be anywhere up to 26 to 63 characters long.

DTD

Stands for Document Type Definition. DTD is one of several SGML and XML schema languages. It provides a list of the attributes, comments, elements, entities, and notes in a document along with their relationships to each other.

E

E-Commerce

Short for electronic commerce. It’s the buying and selling of goods online, through websites. Products sold through e-commerce can be physical products that require shipping, or digital products delivered electronically.

Screenshot

Elastic Layout

An elastic layout is one that uses percentages and ems for widths paired with a max-width style to allow the site layout to stretch when font sizes are changed. It’s ability to flex to accommodate the browser width and reader’s font preferences are where it gets its name.

Screenshot

Element

In XML, an element is the central building block of any document. Individual elements can contain text, other elements, or both.

Em

Em is a unit of measurement for sizing fonts and other elements within a web page relative to the item’s parent element. A 1em font is equal to the point size for the font already defined in the parent element (2em would be twice the current size; .5em would be half the current size).

Embedded Style

An embedded style is a CSS style written into the head of an XHTML document. It only effects the elements on that page, instead of site-wide as a separate CSS file does. Style in an embedded style sheet will override styles from the linked CSS file.

Ex

Ex is a measurement for font height or size relative to the height of a lowercase “x” in that font family.

Screenshot

Extensible Markup Language

Otherwise known as XML. XML is a markup language used for writing custom markup languages. In other words, XML describes how to write new languages (it’s sometimes referred to as a “meta” language because of this). It also serves as a basic syntax that allows different kinds of computers and applications to share information without having to go through multiple conversion layers.

Screenshot

External Style Sheet

This is a CSS document that is written in a separate, external document. The biggest advantage to using an external style sheet is that it can be linked to by multiple HTML/XHTML files (which means changes made to the style sheet will effect all the pages linked to it without having to change each page individually).

F

Favicon

Favicons are tiny (generally 16×16 pixels, though some are 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed in the web address bar in most browsers next to the web address. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in either .ico, .gif or .png file formats.

Screenshot

Fixed Width Layout

A fixed width layout has a set width (generally defined in pixels) set by the designer. The width stays the same regardless of screen resolution, monitor size, or browser window size. It allows for minute adjustments to be made to a design that will stay consistent across browsers. Designers have more control over exactly how a site will appear across platforms with this type of layout.

Screenshot

Fluid Layout

See Liquid Layout

Focal Point

The focal point of a web site is the spot on a web page that they eye is naturally drawn to. This could be an image, a banner, text, Flash content, or just about anything else. You want to make sure that whatever is acting as your focal point is the most important part of your site.

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Fold

The fold is a term carried over from newspaper design and pagination (where the fold referred to the physical fold in the paper). The fold in a website is the point on the webpage that rests at the bottom of someone’s browser (in other words, to see anything below the fold, they would have to scroll down). There are varying opinions on how important the fold is in web design.

Font Family

Font family is a group designation for defining the typefaces used in CSS documents. The font family tag generally lists multiple fonts to be used, and usually ends with the generic font category (such as “serif” or “sans-serif’).

Screenshot

Font Style

In CSS, the font style refers solely to whether a font is italic or not.

Font Weight

The font weight refers to how thick or thin (bold or light) a font looks.

Front-End

The front-end is basically the opposite of the back-end. It’s all the components of a website that a visitor to the site can see (pages, images, content, etc.) Specifically, it’s the interface that visitors use to access the site’s content. It’s also sometimes referred to as the User Interface.

G

Graceful Degradation

Graceful degradation refers to a website’s ability to have elements that may take advantage of the capabilities of newer browsers done in a way that allows users with older browsers to still view the site in a manner that at least allows access to basic content. It also applies to making sure that if one small portion of your site doesn’t work in someone’s browser, it doesn’t break your entire site for them.

Screenshot

Graphical User Interface

Also referred to by its acronym: GUI. A graphical user interface uses an input device (like the mouse) and visual representations of how the user is able to interact with a web application. In other words, it’s all the front-end stuff you see on a web application. It’s purpose is to allow you to interact with a web application without having to enter code.

H

Hexadecimal

Also referred to a “hex” numbers, they are a base-16 numbering system used to define colors online. Hex numbers include the numerals 0-9 and letters A-F. Hexadecimal numbers are written in three sets of hex pairs. Because screen colors are RGB (Red, Green, Blue), the first pair defines the red hue, the second pair defines the green hue, and the third pair defines the blue.

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Hit

Contrary to popular belief, a hit does not represent a single visitor to a website. A hit is actually a request for a single file from your web server. This means one page can actually generate multiple hits, as each page generally has more than one file (an html or other base file, a css file, multiple images, etc.) and each one is requested from the server whenever the page is loaded. Some marketing people like to quote hits to unknowing consumers as the number makes their site sound like it’s getting a whole lot more traffic than it actually is.

.htaccess

The .htaccess file is the default directory-level configuration file on Apache servers. They are also known as “distributed configuration files.” Configuration directives contained in the .htaccess file apply to the directory in which the file is placed as well as all of its subdirectories. Within the .htaccess file things like authorization and authentication, rewriting of URLs, cache control and customized error responses can all be specified.

HTML

Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the primary language used to write web pages. HTML is primarily intended as a way to provide content on websites (with CSS handling the layout and stylistic options), though it can also be used to determine how that content is displayed.

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HTML Tag

Also referred to as an HTML element, an HTML tag is the bit of code that describes how that particular piece of the web page it’s on is formatted. Typical tags specify things like headings, paragraphs, links, and a variety of other items.

HTTP

Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server.

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HTTPS

Similar to HTTP, HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, alternately, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, it’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, but this time it’s done over a secure, encrypted connection.

Hyperlink

A hyperlink is a link from one web page to another, either on the same site or another one. Generally these are text or images, and are highlighted in some way (text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight). The inclusion of hyperlinks are the “hyper” part of “hypertext.”

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Hypertext

Hypertext is any computer-based text that includes hyperlinks. Hypertext can also include presentation devices like tables or images, in addition to plain text and links.

I

iFrame

Short for Inline Frame. An iframe is used to display one or more web pages within another normal web page (one that isn’t a frameset page).

Image Map

An image map is used in XHTML to allow different parts of an image to become different clickable elements (and can also allow some portions of the image to have no clickable element).

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Inheritance

In CSS, elements that don’t have a pre-defined style will take on the style of their parent element within the document tree.

Inline Style

Elements with CSS written directly around the element it affects, instead of in a separate style sheet or header style.

L

LAMP

Stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP (or sometimes Perl or Python), and is referring to the specifications of a web server (defining the operating system, web server, database, and scripting language, in that order). One of the advantages of LAMP setups is that the software used is all free and open source.

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Landing Page

A landing page is the page where a visitor first enters a website. Oftentimes, a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor (usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign).

Link Farm

A link farm is any website setup specifically to increase the link popularity of other websites by increasing the number of incoming links to that site. While some link farms are single pages listing unrelated links, others consist of networks of sites that contain multiple links back and forth to one another. Search engines can generally recognize these types of schemes and often remove link farms from their directories and penalize the sites linking to and from them.

Liquid Layout

A liquid layout is one that is based on percentages of the browser window’s size. The layout of the site will change with the width of the browser, even if the visitor changes their browser size while viewing the page. Liquid layouts take full advantage of a person’s browser width, optimizing the amount of content you can fit onscreen at one time.

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M

Markup

This refers to the coding applied to a text document to change it into an HTML, XML, or other Markup Language document.

Meta Data

Meta data is the data contained in the header that offers information about the web page that a visitor is currently on. The information contained in the meta data isn’t viewable on the web page (except in the source code). Meta data is contained within meta tags.

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Meta Tag

A meta tag is an HTML tag used to include meta data within the header of your web page.

N

Navigation

Navigation refers to the system that allows visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, but links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another are included in navigation.

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Nesting

Nesting refers to putting one HTML element within another element. When this is done, the elements have to be closed in the reverse order from how they were opened.

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Non-Breaking Space

A non-breaking space (also referred to as  ) is a white-space character that isn’t condensed by HTML. It’s primary function is to hold open table cells or add spacing between words (or a the beginning of paragraphs if an indent is desired).

O

Open Source

Open source refers to the source code of a computer program being made available to the general public. Open source software includes both web-based and desktop applications. Open source programs are generally free or very low cost and are developed by teams of people, sometimes comprised mostly of volunteers.

P

Pageview

A pageview is a request for an entire web page document from a server by a visitor’s browser. In other words, for each page view your site had, someone (or a search engine spider) looked at that page.

Permalink

Short for “permanent link.” Generally used only on blogs, a permalink is a link that is the permanent web address of a given blog post. Since most blogs have constantly-changing content, the permalink offers a way for readers to bookmark or link to specific posts even after those posts have moved off the home page or primary category page.

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Plug-In

A plug-in is a bit of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. It’s most often used in conjunction with a CMS or blogging platform. Plug-ins are a way to extend the functionality of a website without having to redo the core coding of the site. Plugins can also refer to bits of third-party software installed within a computer program to increase its functionality.

Progressive Enhancement

Progressive enhancement is a strategy for web design that uses web technologies in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing those with better bandwidth or more advanced browser software an enhanced version of the page.

Property

Property is a CSS term and is roughly equivalent to an HTML tag. Properties are what define how a style should appear on a given web page.

Pseudo-Element

A pseudo-element is an element used to add a special effect to certain selectors.

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Pseudo Class

Like pseudo-elements, pseudo classes are used to add special effects to certain CSS selectors.

R

Really Simple Syndication

Also referred to as RSS. RSS is a standardized XML format that allows content to be syndicated from one site to another. It’s most commonly used on blogs. RSS also allows visitors to subscribe to a blog or other site and receive updates via a feed reader.

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Resolution

Refers to the physical number of pixels displayed on a screen (such as 1280×1024). Unlike in print, display resolution does not refer to the number of pixels or dots per inch on a computer screen, as this can be changed by changing the resolution of the screen (which, of course, does not change the physical size of the screen). The resolution of an image, however, is often referred to in terms of pixels per inch, though this has very little effect on how the image is displayed on screen.

S

Schema

Generally, a schema is an XML document used in place of a DTD to describe other XML documents.

Script

Generally refers to a portion of code on an HTML page that makes the page more dynamic and interactive. Scripts can be written in a variety of languages, including JavaScript.

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Selector

In CSS, the selector is the item a style will be applied to.

Semantic Markup

In semantic markup, content is written within XHTML tags that offer context to what the content contains. Basic semantic markup refers to using items like header and paragraph tags, though semantic markup is also being used to provide much more useful context to web pages in an effort to make the web as a whole more semantic.

Server-Side

Server-side refers to scripts run on a web server, as opposed to in a user’s browser. Server-side scripts often take a bit longer to run than a client-side script, as each page must reload when an action is taken.

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SGML

Stands for Standard Generalized Markup Language. It’s a markup language used for defining the structure of a document. SGML isn’t mentioned very often, but it’s the markup language that serves as the basis for both XML and HTML.

SOAP

Stands for Simple Object Access Protocol. It’s an XML-based protocol exchanging information across the internet to allow an application on one site to access an application or database on another site.

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Specification

A specification is a document that offers an explicit definition and requirements for a web service or technology and generally includes how the technology is meant to be used, along with the tags, elements, and any dependencies.

T

Tag

A tag is a set of markup characters that are used around an element to indicate its start and end. Tags can also include HTML or other code to specify how that element should look or behave on the page. See also HTML Tag.

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Template

A template is a file used to create a consistent design across a website. Templates are often used in conjunction with a CMS and contain both structural information about how a site should be set up, but also stylistic information about how the site should look.

U

URL

Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A site’s URL is its address, the item that specifies where on the Internet it can the found.

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Usability

Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to your site to use your site in its intended manner. In other words, are navigation, content, images, and any interactive elements easy to use, functioning the way they were intended, and that your intended target visitor will not need any special training in order to use your site.

V

Valid

Valid web pages are those that return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. In other words, the code used on the page conforms to the specifications for that version of HTML/XHTML. This can be checked through various validation services, most commonly the one from W3C.

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W

Web Page

A web page is a single document, generally written in HTML/XHTML, meant to be viewed in a web browser. In many cases, web pages also include other coding and programming (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, or ASP). Web sites are generally built from multiple interlinked web pages.

Web Server

A web server is a computer that has software installed and networking capabilities that allow it to host web sites and pages and make them available to internet users located elsewhere. There are a few different setups that can be used for a web server, including the LAMP setup mentioned earlier.

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Web Standards

Standards are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium for standardizing website design. The main purpose of web standards is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites that will appear consistent across platforms.

X

XHTML

Stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. Basically, XHTML is HTML 4.0 that has been rewritten to comply with XML rules.

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XML

Stands for Extensible Markup Language. XML is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages. It’s an extensible language because it allows for the user to define the mark-up elements.

Further Resources

About the author

Cameron Chapman is a professional Web and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience. She also writes for a number of blogs, including her own, Cameron Chapman On Writing.

Medios Digitales

Introduction to digital media

There are six main types of digital media channels or communications tools which marketers should review when developing their online media plans. This document gives a short introduction to each technique with examples.






16 Free Google Search Marketing tools

A complete list of the free tools from Google which can help with your Search Engine Marketing. I have never seen them together in a single list, so I've created one. This list will grow, so please let me know of any I'm missing or which you find most useful.






One of the most popular takeaways from my Search Engine Marketing and Digital campaigns training courses are free tools from Google to help with online marketing analysis. Most marketers don't know they exist!

I have been referencing them for years, starting with the Google Keyword Sandbox about 5 years ago, but the number keeps growing with 5 or 5 good new tools in 2008. I've never seen them all listed in one place with a description of what they are best for, hence this list

Which is your favourite? Mine is the Google Keyword Tool which shows you how the customer thinks when they search - what qualifiers do they add as they look for products and suppliers.

Best free tools from Google for search marketing

Search Marketing Tool Best for… What to watch for…

1. Google Keyword tool : Descriptive words or phrases tab

Finding popularity of keyphrases related to a keyword

Quickest method to find number of searches with different qualifiers related to a topic. No one should write copy without it!


Best to set to exact match for more precise results. Can export to CSV. Provides results for individual countries.

Have to select relevant country.

See my Keyword Tool Tutorial

2. Google Keyword Tool : website content tab

Recommending range of keywords for a page

The Keyword tool also has a site-specific tool recommending top keyphrases to optimise for, for a specific site. Useful to compare to words you are targeting from SEO/PPC. Does Google think your site is about the same themes as you do?!

You can use this for a single page, e.g. homepage or for an entire site if you check the box.

See my Keyword Tool Tutorial

3. Google search-based keyword tool

 

Identifying relevant keyphrases for a page

A similar tool to the to the site analysis tab of the Google Keyword Tool , this can be used to identify popularity of keyphrases relevant to a particular page, so can be used to expand keyword list for paid search marketing.

New in December 2008, I personally find this inferior to the standard Google Keyword Tool. However, it does have better integration with your AdWords account so better for identifying new keywords which is why Google built it – more competion, more ad revenue.

4. Google Insights for Search

 


Quick summary of keyphrase popularity by country, hot topics.

Great for showing seasonality for generic terms in different countries.

Doesn’t work so well for lower volume terms


“Rising Searches option at bottom can be useful for finding market opportunities

5. Google traffic estimator

 

Estimate paid search traffic and costs for a specific position

Part of AdWords, but does not require access to Google AdWords to use. Shows relative volumes between keyphrases well.


Can compare broad vs phrase vs exact match for the same keyword to see number of qualifiers used to see importance of long-tail keywords for a phrase.

Only gives clicks/day for #1 position if you set max bid amount high, so have to multiply this by 5-20 times depending on type of search to get an indication of actual search volume.

Less accurate, particularly for low-volume phrases. Results <0.1. clicks/day can be significant for SEO in some niche sectors. Results fluctuate.

See end of my Keyword Tool Tutorial

6. Google Ad Targeting Preview tool

 

View Google search results in different countries

To view how paid and natural search results appear when accessed from different countries in different languages.

You can also use URL hacking for the same effect using these two parameters which are relevant:

It is generally said that the best option to perform well in a given country is to use a country-level domain e.g. company.fr, company.de (with a sufficient number of backlinks). This video post shows another option – using the Geotargeting facility in Google Webmaster tools to specify a country for each sub-folder which is submitted as a separate URL.


There is also a Firefox plug-in, the

Google Global Firefox Extension

7. Google Webmaster tools

 

Reviewing pages in Google’s index

Too many facilities to list exhaustively, but most useful features for SEO are:

  • Submitting Google Sitemaps enables you to compare pages in index to pages submitted (some SEOs believe this is unnecessary)
  • Number of external and internal backlinks by page

    • Google webmaster tools is intended for sites you own or manage which you can verify. It can’t be used for competitor sites. In which case the Yahoo! Site Explorer is the best free if clunky option to see internal and external backlinks.

      8. Google Trends

       

      Showing seasonality in searches

      Searches can be trended through time to see relatively popularity.

      Gives search volume estimates if logged in via Google Account.


      Can be useful for comparing brand strength.

      9. Google Trends for Websites

       

      Showing relative popularity of sites

      New in 2008, Google Trends for websites can be used to compare site audience levels / popularity and gives limited information on top searches for sites.

      Gives unique visitor estimates if logged in via Google Account

      10. Google AdPlanner

       

      Comparing site popularity and demographics

      Also new in 2008, Google AdPlanner gives an estimate of the number of unique visitors and page views of larger competing sites in sector by country.

      Similar to Google Trends, only tends to work for larger sites. But it does include demographic estimates.

      11. Google Adwords campaign reports

      Gives an accurate indication of the relative number of impressions (searches) in period for a particular phrase for Google AdWords advertisers.

      Figures only available if you set up keyphrases for advertising.

      Have to use [exact match] since broad match is inflated. May also include impressions on content network sites. May underestimate or give the wrong relative values if daily budget too low for some campaigns.

      12. Google Suggest

       

      Show alternative phrase qualifiers

      Shows related phrases and additional qualifiers in order of popularity.

      Originally available in Google Labs http://labs.google.com/ now only available as part of Google Toolbar and less valuable since it used to show number of results.

      13. Google Advanced Search

       



      Date of page and related pages

      The most useful of the Advanced Search syntax for the SEO are:

      • Date: (how recent the page is)
      • Where your keywords show up (e.g. in title, links to the page):
      • Page-specific tools : Find pages similar to the page (“related:” syntax) and Find pages that link to the page (“link:” syntax)

      You have to expand the link “Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more” to see some of these.


      Note that the page-specific tools are not comprehensive, i.e. link: doesn’t give all backlinks.

      14. Google Analytics

      Analysing search terms driving site visitors.

      The Traffic section of Google Analytics gives:

    • Number of visits to site from different search keywords broken down into paid and natural
    • Top referring search terms to a page

      • For search engine marketing, this is most useful for comparing natural to paid search keyphrases overall or for a page. It needs a tweak to reveal actual searches from paid search for an AdWords campaign.

        15. Google Analytics URL builder 

        Implementing campaign tracking

        Specify parameters for tracking different types of online marketing campaigns from paid search, to banner ads, to email marketing in Google.

        Many basic installations of Google Analytics don’t have tracking setup to compare campaigns or keywords. This tool is useful for illustrating the principle through adding different parameters.


        16. Google conversion optimizer 

        Improving conversion rates

        Use the conversion optimizer for AB or Multivariate testing.

        Analyse and improve conversion rates for content combinations on different page types



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