Every month, I will feature 5 words and provide its definition. The words will be terms that I think small businesses should know, but find that many of them do not! Here is last month’s 5 Web Terms in case you’ve missed it.

Backlink

(inward link/incoming link/inbound link/inlink)

A backlink is any link that sends clients back to your website, whether from someone else’s website or from another page on your own. They are used to assess a site’s popularity and are the means by which Google determines page rankings, putting good link building at the forefront of optimization. The more backlinks there are to your website, the higher your site will rank in search results. This does not mean, however, that spamming links will automatically lead to better page rankings – the quality of backlinks is also taken into consideration, and the PageRank system is constantly being updated to favor relevance over sheer quantity. Several backlinks from established sites specializing in your industry/market or related areas of interest, or from trustworthy domains (such as.gov) will be considered more favorably than a vast number of backlinks from sites with content irrelevant to your own.

Want to learn about how to get more backlinks for your site? Find out more about our SEO services today.

Breadcrumb

A breadcrumb is a navigation system designed to help users find their way around websites with lots of content – the series of links after “You are here” at the top of this page are a breadcrumb trail. They are only really necessary for large websites or sites with hierarchical content structures. Breadcrumbs can be location-based, showing the user which levels of the site’s hierarchy they have navigated through to get to the current page. Attribute-based breadcrumbs show how a page is categorized – this is particularly useful if your business sells many products organized by type. Alternatively, breadcrumbs can simply show the path the user has taken to arrive at the current page. Breadcrumb trails are an easy way to make your site more user-friendly and can reduce your bounce rate, but they shouldn’t be used in place of a primary navigation system.

To see an example of a breadcrumb, look on this page and you can find it right above the title of this blog post where it says “You are here:”.

Cookies

Sorry to disappoint you, but this one isn’t about food either. Cookies are a way of storing data about site users so that they can be identified in the future. Whenever a user sets preferences or takes advantage of customizable features, this information is stored in a text file and saved onto their computer. The next time they visit, this information will be used to reinstate their chosen preferences. Cookies are used to log in to site accounts, remember the content of shopping baskets, show personalized content based on previous activities, and generally create unique user experiences.

RSS

I bet you see this icon a lot. That’s an RSS Feed icon. RSS is a useful way of keeping current and potential clients up to speed with sites that frequently produce new content (such as blogs), without having to manually check for updates. It provides a constant “feed” of your site’s content; RSS users can subscribe to your feed and have new content automatically pushed to their reader as it is published. RSS readers are now commonly integrated into web browsers, as well as being available as desktop-based applications and on mobile devices.

To see an example, check out our feed here.

(Sans) Serif

These are two different styles of typography (font). Serifs are the little details on the ends of letters in serif fonts – the small crossbars at the bottom of a “p”, for example. The most widely known example of a font with serifs is probably Times New Roman, due to the years it spent as the default font on Microsoft Word. These fonts are intended for the body of an article or piece of text. Sans (without) serif fonts, such as Verdana, Helvetica, or Arial, are intended for use as headlines. However, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Well-judged use of mainly sans serif fonts can give your site design a sharp and contemporary feeling, and considered use of mainly serif fonts can lend an air of authority. However, it is worth being careful – the wrong sans serif fonts will make your site seem like it is trying too hard to be cool, and too many serifs will just seem stuffy. There is, after all, a reason why most news websites tend to use a combination of the two.

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