What do these web design words even mean?

Sometimes we web developers get a little “big for our britches” and talk about our industry like you’re supposed to know exactly what we mean when we say “Organic Search” or “Responsive Web Design”.  Of course we understand it, it’s what we do but I’ll just bet when we sit down to talk with you about your website and you start talking about your industry, we’re going to stop you at least once and say “Wait, what does that mean?”.  You shouldn’t be expected to have a full understanding of what we do.  You should expect that we do and that we’re going to take care of you.  We’ve built a list of some basic terms that people ask about.  This is a short list.  You’re welcome to submit any “web related” term in the comments and we’ll do our best to explain it.

Browser – This is how you look at websites.  The most common ones are Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge and Internet Explorer.  You’re using one of these to look at this website.

URL – When we ask you what your URL is, we want to know what your website address is.  An example is https://www.e-worc.com.  Is it http or https?  Do you usually type www or not?  Is it a .com, .net, .edu or something else?  We really want the whole thing but we can usually work our way through it.

SEO –  This stands for Search Engine Optimization.  These are the things we do on your website and other people’s to help you get found by search engines (we’ll get to that in a minute) and by people.  This has to do with how we structure your website, what we name your images, how we write the content in your site, how we place you in social media and on directory websites… everything that happens that is directly associated with properties that you manage.

SEM – This is Search Engine Marketing.  To put it simply, this is what happens when you pay to get ranked on a Search Engine.  You’ll know it as Google Adwords or Pay Per Click.  We help you define a list of words that people type in Search Engines (there’s that word again) that you want your website to come up for when they do.

Search Engines – The most famous one of these currently is Google.  We’re so wrapped up in Google that when someone asks us a question, we say “Google it”. There are other search engines – Yelp, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Quora, Ask and believe it or not, there are more.  About 85% of us humans use Google so we that’s usually where we focus SEM (see above).

That’s a good start.  There’s more.  There’s a lot more.  We’ll add to this list as common ones come up.  Like I said, email us or comment and we’ll respond.