Explained: Website Terms for Online Business

May 03, 2021

Love it or hate it, every industry has acronyms and jargon that no one else can understand. Dive deep enough into any sport, hobby, career, or even culture and you’ll find the same thing. 

 

But oh boy, was the web lingo ever confusing when I first got started. It was during the purchase of my first domain that I realized I had no idea what I was doing. 

 

Me: I want a website that has my business name attached to it.

Internet: Oh, you want a hosted domain connected to your online platform? No problem! Just purchase the domain, modify the nameservers, update the DNS settings, and assign the page rules to properly forward to your site. 

Me: 🤮

 

At the time I just wished there was a normal human I could speak to who could translate this lingo and make sense of it all.

 

Maybe you can relate. 

 

One thing I know for certain is that when you live and breathe websites, you start talking like a robot, and despite being super aware of how unhelpful this is to non-techy people I’ve been guilty of it from time to time. How embarrassing!

 

In an attempt to be that normal human I’d like to give you a translation of sorts for some of the most common terms you’ll encounter during your online business journey. Even if you have zero interest in doing your own website work, you’ll still need to know these basics.

 

Let’s get started! I’m going to use a real estate analogy to keep things as straightforward as possible. 

 

  • Domain: This is the actual web address you purchase either separately or as part of a website package. It’s the thing that starts with “www”. For example, my domain is www.lindsaytuckerinc.com. Think of your domain as a piece of online real estate and the way you get there is by entering the address in your browser. 
  • Platform: There are lots of ways to use your domain depending on your business needs. If you’d like to sell digital products like courses, you need a platform that has all the bells and whistles to set you up to do just that. Your platform is your house, and you can choose anything from a modest studio apartment to a high-end mansion. My platform of choice (Kajabi) falls into the mansion category because it literally does everything. I can send email, share my blog posts, have a membership, run courses and so much more, all on one platform. So maybe Kajabi is more like a mansion that comes with a gardener, housekeeper, chef, and butler! 
  • Landing Pages: A landing page is a dedicated webpage that serves a single purpose. What sets it apart from your general website is that visitors go straight there, usually from a link that was shared on social media. It’s a great way to ensure people see a specific promotion or content, without getting distracted by the rest of your website. Think of it like offering up a guest suite for the night. Maybe they’ll take a walk around the other parts of your home but they’re specifically invited to the guest suite. 
  • Offers: In Kajabi every item up for sale is part of an offer. Offers are needed to tell your platform specifically what the purchase includes and what to do when it’s made. The offer consists of a price, product(s) to include, timing of when the purchaser gets access to the products, options for a confirmation/welcome email, tags, and more! They can feel intimidating at first but consider your offer like a gift basket that should be opened on a special occasion. It’s packed full of great stuff and you want your customer to have the full experience by waiting until your launch date to open it. 
  • Tags: A fun way of helping you keep track of what your site visitors have purchased or signed up for. With each new action they take, your platform essentially gives them a key to a different room in the house so you know who has access to what. Assigning a tag is super helpful for when you want to email only the folks who’ve signed up for a particular course or freebie, for example. You may think you won’t need or want to tag anyone but trust me on this. You will. 
  • Email list: There’s lots of talk in the online business space about “list building” as a tool to grow your audience. With social media platforms having full control of any page or group you create (I’m lookin at you, Facebook), you risk losing access to your community anytime the rules change. The only way to grow your audience and have full control over how and when you communicate with them is by having them sign up to be on your email list. This is usually in exchange for something of value, like a free training guide or video series. Once subscribed, you can send emails to anyone on that list because you own it outright. Having a list of ideal clients, whether big or small, gives you the chance to connect and build lasting relationships. And really, that’s what business is all about. Your email list is as good as a paid off mortgage. And to be clear, any group, list of followers, or subscribers you have on social media platforms are like renting from a landlord who gets to arbitrarily choose your rent amount each month. Heck, they can even evict you without warning! Proceed with caution.
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization is particularly confounding, even for online businesses that have been around for a while. The idea behind SEO is there are things you can do on your website to favourably show up in search results, like on Google. “Ranking high” means your website gets closer to the top of the list when someone searches for a term or word related to your business, and there’s big money to be had for those on top! Have you ever walked by a property with the family name on a sign, address proudly displayed on the front of the house, and a nice mailbox by the road? That house has great SEO. Easy to find and no question about who lives there. That’s what you want for your website too. 

 

The online space definitely has a language all of its own but there’s no need to shy away from learning some of the basics. Just like when visiting a new country, it’s helpful to know how to ask for directions to the bathroom. 

 

Are there any other web terms that have you confused? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list. 

 

These and other foundational items will be laid out in my upcoming Caring for Your Kajabi Website course. Get on the email list (below) to get updates and learn more! You’ll also get a free guide to Setting up Your Kajabi Sales Page.

 

 

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