301 redirects: If the URL of one of your pages changes (you get a new domain, for example), a 301 permanently redirects search engine results to the new page with minimal effect on your search engine rankings. You will have to access the server to set up a 301 redirect, so this might be an instance in which you’d rather hire someone to do it for you.
Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs create a visible text path that helps your users understand your website’s structure. You can see them in action at the top of this article (Home > Services > Website). They also make it easier for search engines to crawl your website correctly. Plus, breadcrumbs often show up on SERPs (defined below), which can get you more clicks.
Canonical tags: Used primarily for SEO reasons, a canonical tag is a snippet of code that tells a search engine which version of a URL is the “right” one. For example, you can access our website by going to “business.org,” “https://business.org,” or “https://www.business.org.” They all take you to the same place, but without canonical tags, Google would view them as different pages. With canonical tags, it knows they’re the same, which can help your search engine ranking.
CMS: CMS stands for content management system. As the name suggests, it provides a way for you to easily add and update website content with several collaborators. WordPress is probably the best-known CMS, though you might also have heard of Drupal and Joomla.
Domain name: A domain name is what people can type into the address bar of their browser to access your website. Ours, for example, is business.org. Domain names can have a variety of different suffixes, from the familiar (.com, .net, .org) to the less common (.store, .boutique, .online) to the niche (.hockey, .diamonds, .pizza).
Drag and drop: A builder that lets you point your mouse at an object, select it, and drag it to reposition it is a drag-and-drop builder. Wix and Squarespace are two of our favorite drag-and-drop builders.
Hosting: Hosting is the service that gives your website a home on the internet. Web hosting providers act a little like landlords, leasing internet space to you. You can fill that space with all your stuff (your actual website) and let your users visit.
Meta descriptions: This is a brief chunk of text (usually 160 characters or less) that offers a short description of what your page is about. Google and other search engines show meta descriptions on SERPs.
Mobile responsive: This just means that your website looks good on all screens, whether a customer is on a desktop, tablet, or phone. In most cases, this translates to things like swapping out top navigation links for a hamburger icon or stacking pictures and text instead of displaying them side by side.
Plugin: You can add plugins, also called apps, to your website builder to add more functionality. You’ll find plugins that track your inventory, add chat with your users, and much, much more. Not all website builders support plugins.
Schema: Another SEO tool, schema is a set of tags you can add to your site’s code that changes the way it appears in search engine results. For example, with schema you can add things like star ratings and publication dates to your page’s search engine results, as seen in the screenshot below.
SEO: SEO is short for search engine optimization. It basically means tweaking your website to make search engines like it more. That way, when someone searches for words related to your business, your site will show up higher in the rankings.
SERP: This stands for search engine results page. In other words, it’s the list of websites that Google (or Bing) shows you after you search for a keyword. The higher your site appears on a SERP, the better.
SSL certificate: SSL is an acronym for secure socket layer. SSL certificates encrypt any information sent between your website and visitors, which keeps that information out of the hands of spying third parties. A lock to the left of your URL indicates you have an active SSL certificate. Up-to-date SSL certificates are not only a security best practice but also a boost to your search engine rankings.
WYSIWYG: A WYSIWYG editor is a what you see is what you get editor. Think of it as the opposite of coding a website, in which you type in lines of code that then get translated to a finished product. With a WYSIWYG editor, you don’t need to know code because the platform (whether drag-and-drop or menu-based) lets you see exactly how your finished product will look as you build.
XML sitemaps: A file that lists the URLs of all the pages on your website that you want search engines to find and display is an XML sitemap. It can also contain details like when you last updated a page. Sitemaps make it easier for those engines to list your website, in turn helping your SEO.