301 Redirect 

A redirect is used when a webpage is moved to a new URL. The redirection sends a visitor from the old URL to the new page. 301 redirects should always be used to make sure bookmarked links and search engine indexes can automatically find a new page.

404 Error

When a visitor attempts to view a page that doesn’t exist or that has been moved or deleted, the server will return a 404 error to the visitor.

Active Users

The number of users who visited your site or opened your application and had an engaged session.

Algorithm Update

A revision to the methods of evaluating webpages that the search engines use to rank webpages in the search results. Google uses an algorithm called “Page Rank”.

ALT Text 

A text description of your images that is written in your website code. This is so search engines and accessibility tools for the visually impaired can understand what images are on your page.


Digital analytics is a set of technical tools that allow users to define, create, collect, verify, and transform digital data into research, reposts, analyses, and recommendations. Google Analytics is a common platform used for evaluating and monitoring the performance of a website.

Anchor Text

The physical text on the webpage that contains the link to another webpage or website. Anchor text helps users and search engines know what content your webpage is linking to. Anchor text is often underlined and a different colour.

Average Position 

This is a Google Ads metric that describes where ads for a given keyword usually appear on the search engine results page (SERP). Position 1 & 2 appear above the organic results, while positions 3-6 appear along the right side-bar beside the organic results. Generally ads in the top positions get more clicks.

An incoming link to your website (also called an inbound link). The number of incoming links on a site can signal the popularity of the site to search engines.

Bounce Rate 

Bounce rate is calculated as the percentage of sessions that are not classified as engaged sessions. This is different from how the bounce rate was measured in Universal Analytics. 

Canonical URL 

Often duplicate content is created under different URLs in error. By using a canonical URL, visitors and search engines are directed to the correct webpage or version of the content. Canonical URLs ensure the correct page has authority.


The process of increasing the number of website users that become paying customers by focusing on the user experience on the website.

CPC (Cost Per Click) 

CPC is a metric related to the pay-per-click method of online advertising. It is the amount you pay when a user clicks on your ad. Your cost per click is dependent on your maximum bid on the keyword, the quality score of your keyword, and the quality score rank of other competitors for the same keyword.

CPM (Cost per Impression) 

CPM is a bidding style where you pay based on the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). In Google Ads CPM is your cost per 1000 impressions. This bidding style works best for those trying to increase brand awareness, rather than driving sales or website traffic.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) 

This is a part of the website programming code that defines the visual aspects of a website (ie. Headers, backgrounds, and links).

CTR (Click Through Rate)

The percentage of impressions an ad or organic result received that ended in a click to the webpage.

Data Thresholding

Google Analytics will limit the display of information to protect the identity of an individual user based on demographics, interests, or other signals present in the data.


A directive that tells search engine crawlers not to include a webpage in their index. De-indexing a page will usually prevent it from appearing in the search results.

Direct Traffic

Users that access your website by directly entering the URL into their browser or by using a bookmark.

A directive that tells search engines to ignore harmful or low quality inbound links.


The main web address of your site (example: www.yoursite.com).

Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a metric coined by the popular SEO tool MOZ. This metric is used to estimate the ability for that domain to rank in the search result. This metric is best used during competitor research to compare domains, as it is not a ranking factor on Google.

Engaged Session

Sessions that lasted 10 seconds or more, had 1 or more events occur, or when 2 or more page or screen views occurred.


Events allow measurement of user interaction with a website or app. Examples of events that can be tracked in GA4 include button clicks, scrolling, form submissions, video engagements, or purchases.  Event data is used to measure conversions in GA4.

Selected search results that are displayed prominently at the top of the search engine results page. Featured snippets answer a query immediately without requiring a user to navigate away from the search engine.

Google’s digital advertising platform. The platform allows advertisers to pay to display advertisements on the search results (Google Search), on YouTube, or on websites (Google Display). Google Ads can be displayed as an image, text or video.

Google Analytics

An analysis tool that allows website owners to get insight into the user activity on their website. Google Analytics is free to the general public with the ability for a paid option with upgraded features (Google Analytics 360). This tool allows website owners to create dashboards and reports of their website performance. The current version of Google Analytics is called Google Analytics 4 (or GA4). The previous version was Universal Analytics (UA).

Google My Business

A free local listing on Google available to businesses.

Google Search Console

A free tool that is developed by Google and allows website owners to gain insight on how their webpages are indexed and ranked in the Google search results.

Google Web Master Tools 

A service provided by Google that can help identify technical and content issues with your website.

Headings: H1 or H2 

Headings on a website that are written into a website’s programming code. An H1 heading is a main heading, while H2, H3, etc. are sub-headings. Headings are an easy way to inform users and search engines about the content and structure of a webpage.


A programming language that is used to create webpages. Search engines read your code to understand what is contained on the webpage.


This stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol’. HTTP is how data is transferred from server to internet browser.


This stands for ‘Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure’. HTTPS uses a secure sockets layer (SSL) to encrypt the data is that is transferred from the website to the browser. Having a secure website is a minor ranking factor for Google.

Impression Share

A Google Ads metric. Impression share is the number of times an ad was shown divided by the estimated number of times an ad was eligible to be shown. Ad eligibility depends on bids, quality scores, and targeting settings. Impression share can be used to guide bid and budget adjustments.

A link from one page of a website to another page on a website. The structure of a website’s internal links can inform search engines about the website content and intent.

Indexed Pages

The pages of a website that have been analyzed by a search engine and stored (indexed) in the search engine database of webpages.


A programming language that can carry out tasks while a user is browsing the site. JavaScript allows the user to interact with tools and features on a webpage. For example, JavaScript may validate user input, load a form, calculate a field, or change a colour or image on a website.


A word a user has typed into a search engine. By optimizing the use of targeted keywords in your webpages, search engines will associate your webpage with the words users are searching for.

Keyword Cannibalization

This occurs when multiple pages on a single website are competing to rank for the same search query on a SERP.

Keyword Stuffing

The process of loading or repeating keywords in a website’s meta tags, visible content and anchor text to try and gain an unfair advantage on the SERP.

Knowledge Graph

A database of entities that include facts and information on people, places or things and their connections. Google uses this database to develop knowledge panels or carousels at that top of the search results for relevant queries.


Standing for ‘key performance indicator’, a KPI is a value that measures how successfully an action is contributing to a goal.

Landing Page

The first webpage a user sees when they arrive on a website.

In digital advertising, landing pages are often created for specific ads and campaigns to capture leads and generate conversions.

The process of connecting your website to other sites through inbound links. Having more links can improve your search engine rankings. However, having bad quality or irrelevant links can also damage your ranking. As an SEO best practice, you should only link with relevant websites and avoid linking with directories and forums.

Local Citation

Web-based references to local businesses including name, address and phone number (also known as NAP). These citations can also be referred to as a ‘business listing’.

Long – Tailed Keyword

Search terms that consist of multiple words in a phrase and are often highly specific with a lower search volume.

Meta Descriptions

A description that is included in the HTML code of your webpage. Meta descriptions often appear on the search results page below the page title. They give both search engines and visitors an idea of what the webpage is about.

Mobile-First Indexing

Starting in 2018, Google began rolling out mobile-first indexing. This means that search engine crawlers index your webpages based on their mobile version over desktop.

New Users

Number of users who interacted with your site or launched your app for the first time. first_open or first_visit are the events that trigger this metric.

Links on a webpage that are marked up with ‘rel=”nofollow”’ will not pass PageRank to other webpages

On-page SEO

Search engine optimization tactics that take place on a webpage of a website. This can include: updating HTML tags such as the page title, headings and the meta description, adding image ALT text, including useful internal links, optimizing the page content for a targeted phrase or concept, and optimizing URL structure.

Organic Traffic

Users that click through to your website from a search engine.  

Most organic traffic is from users who typed a query into a search engine, but users from some voice search platforms are also considered organic traffic.

Organic Search Results

The website listings that appear on the results page of a search engine, usually below the paid advertisements. These results are ranked by the search engine algorithms to provide users with the most relevant results to their search query.

Orphan Page

A page on a website that is not linked to from any other pages on the same site.

Page Authority

Page Authority (PA) is a metric developed by MOZ to predict the likelihood a page will rank higher in the search results relative to other pages in a similar category.

Page Speed

A ranking factor for search engines, page speed is the time that it takes for a webpage to fully load.

Page Title

Page titles can be seen at the top of the browser window. Page titles should always contain keywords that are related to your business. Search engines use this information to understand what a webpage is about.


A pageview is counted each time a webpage is loaded in the browser. It is a standard metric in Google Analytics.

Visits to your website that come through a paid digital advertisement.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click)

An online advertising method where you pay only when your ad is clicked by a user. Google Ads is a common form of PPC. Google Ads PPC ads appear at the top and left side of Google search engine results pages. They can also appear throughout Google’s display network (i.e. YouTube).

Quality Score 

A Google Ads measurement of the suitability of your Google Ads. Your quality score for any given keyword will affect the cost of a click. The lower your quality score, the more expensive your clicks. Low quality scores also affect impressions (the number of times your ad is shown). Google does not publish their exact algorithm for quality, but it depends on three factors: CTR (largest), relevance of ad text, and landing page quality.

Referral Traffic

Traffic that comes to your website from another website, for example users that access your website through a link on a social media platform.

Rich Snippet

The title and description preview seen on the search engine results is called a snippet. When these traditional snippets are enhanced with by other elements they are referred to as rich snippet, for example, a result that displays site links or star ratings. Using schema markup will improve the likelihood of a search result displaying as a rich snippet.

Search Volume

The number of times that a keyword was searched in a given period of time. Most of the time search volume is presented as monthly search volume.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

 This is the page you see after you type a search keyword into a search engine. The websites that appear are based on the relevancy of your search query and a variety of SEO parameters.

Semantic Markup 

Semantic markup allows search engines to understand the content and structure of a website. By leveraging structured semantic markup in the website’s architecture and content, a website will inform search engines of the specific value and relevancy of it’s content.


Schema is one version of a semantic markup language.

Links that appear beneath a website listing in the search results. Up to 6 sitelinks can appear for a single organic listing. Up to 4 sitelinks can also be displayed under paid listings.


A type of digital map of a website. When made available to search engines, a sitemap makes it easy for search engines to index and display your website in their results pages.


A computer program that scans a website and collects a variety of information including page titles & descriptions, number of indexed pages, inbound & outbound links, redirects, and site errors.


The number of online users who visit a website.


See Data Thresholding.

Total Users

Total number of unique users who logged an event


The web address of a page on a website (example: www. yoursite. com/contact).

UTM Parameters

“Urchin tracking module” (UTM) parameters are simple code attached the end of your URL to provide additional data about the click such as source, medium, campaign name and term. UTM parameters are commonly used in analytics packages and other digital platforms to track how users move between websites.

XML Sitemap

A digital map of a website that provides a list of every page on a website that the search engines are to crawl.