14 online terms you need to know now

publication date: Jun 23, 2014
author/source: Simren Deogun

Simren Deogun photoOnline marketing and fundraising can be daunting. It tends to function like a special club—you can either talk the talk or not. And if you can’t, it makes it very difficult to know what you should be doing, what’s on trend, who to work with, and whether or not you’re being taken seriously.

More oftehn than not, the most difficult part is the jargon. All those technical terms that people like me (guilty as charged!) use, who live and breathe all things digital.  

So, here are 14 terms you should know for the second half of 2014. 14 terms so that you can confidently talk to your web team, to your digital agency, to your board, and to me!

  1. AODA
    AODA is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. There are specific stipulations under the act that refer to web accessibility, such as ensuring your website is easy to navigate and all images have alt tags (described next!).

    Learn more here

  2. ALT tags
    Critical in ensuring your online properties are accessible, ALT tags are used to describe a graphic on a website or in an email. You might see them if you roll over the graphic or if the graphic does not load; otherwise they live behind the graphic, hidden from regular view but clearly visible to text-to-speech readers and search engines.

  3. CASL
    CASL is Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation that will take effect on July 1, 2014, which governs the sending of commercial electronic messages (or CEMs) to ensure they are sent to only those who have provided consent.

    Learn more about CASL here.

  4. Content management system (CMS)
    Content management systems, like WordPress or Drupal, are designed to make websites easier to update and change without needing to know how to program or code.

  5. Information architecture (IA)
    Put simply, the structure and labeling of content on your website or any online property. Represented through a flow chart, creating an IA is a critical exercise when redesigning your website or rewriting web content and should always be undertaken after defining a clear strategy, including your target audiences.

  6. Landing page
    Any webpage that lives either inside or outside an existing website that is designed to deliver a specific message and/or encourage a specific action. It is also often used for testing user behaviour. You often reach a landing page from an advertisement.

  7. Location-based marketing
    All about delivering messages and experiences to an individual based on where they are, typically via their mobile device.

  8. Multiplatform
    Our world is now one of many screens. Multiplatform (or cross-platform) refers to adjusting your web properties, applications and content to be used and consumed across many devices and operating systems.

  9. Multivariate testing
    The process of testing multiple components of a webpage or website in a live environment. Whereas A/B testing is comparing two components head-to-head, multivariate is designed to have many splits where you can test various combinations of copy, buttons, calls to action, styles, etc. and track all of them to determine which combination works best for your audience.

  10. Native advertising
    A type of online advertising that is designed to look, feel and operate as if it’s a natural part of the surrounding environment.

    For some great examples of native ads, see here.

  11. Opt-in/opt-out
    Consent has always been a hot topic online, with the development of CASL, it’s even more important to understand the language. To opt-in is to provide express consent to receive specific communications from an organization. To opt-out is to unsubscribe and lets an organization know that you no longer wish to receive future communications.

    What’s really most important to note here, beyond the definitions, is to understand that the terms of consent respect your user’s wishes and that everything is accurately tracked.

  12. Responsive
    Responsive web design is a specific approach to web design that focuses on creating and developing websites with different devices in mind. It is an approach that considers how the website will look, feel and operate from desktop to tablet to smartphone (from the largest screen to the smallest).

  13. Retargeting
    Described as big brother-ish, retargeting is a commonly-used and effective technique layered on to traditional digital advertising that ensures a user who has clicked on an ad but has not taken the desired action will continue to see the ad up until a specified limit. A nominal cost is associated with adding retargeting to any ad campaign but the gains can be very fruitful since it qualifies the user before working too hard to serve the ad(s) to them.

  14. User experience (UX)
    In online terms, very simply the experience that the user has while interacting with your digital property (email, website, application, etc.). Great UX centres on simplicity, ease of use and useful functionality.

For questions, please reach out to me at simrend@stephenthomas.ca or follow me on Twitter @SimrenDeogun for lots more digital stuff!

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