QuickGuide to
E-Commerce...E-commerce Terms / Definitions

Affiliate: Any web site or business that provides links or sales to your site through their own marketing efforts.

Affiliate Marketing: Revenue sharing between online advertisers/merchants and online publishers/salespeople, where compensation is based on performance measures, typically in the form of sales, clicks, registrations, or a hybrid model.

Affiliate Tracking: Software that tracks clicks, sales or other performance measures to determine revenue sharing or commission.

B2B: Generally refers to selling products or services to other businesses.

B2C: Generally refers to selling products or services to end consumers.

Banner: An advertisement or image displayed on one or more web sites to attract visitors to your site.

Caching: The storage of web files on a computer or server so they can be accessed quicker by the end user.

Click-through: The act of clicking on an online advertisement (banner) to the advertiser's web site.

Conversion rate: Also Transaction Conversion Rate... The percentage of visitors who take a desired action on your web site.

Cookie: Information stored on the users computer by a web site. The information can be recalled by the web site at a later time.

Cost-per-click: Online advertising payment process where payment is based on qualifying actions such as clicking on a banner or search engine listing.

Directory: A search service that arranges the web pages in it's database (often through a registration process) into categories and subcategories.

Domain Name: A user friendly name that represents a location on the Internet. 

Doorway Page: A page made specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords. Also... an entry point through which visitors pass to reach your web site's main content.

E-commerce: Generally refers to the exchange of goods or services via the Internet. Also e-business... both electronic sales via the Internet and business to business transactions via a dedicated connection (modem or broadband).

E-commerce catalog software / solution: Generally refers to a fully functional online catalog site management system. Management functionality generally includes products, shipping, sales tax, sale pricing, featuring products, sales, payment processing, order processing as well as marketing features.

Email Marketing: The use of email to promote or market your products or services.

Email Spam: Unsolicited commercial email.

Ezine: An electronic magazine generally on the web or delivered through email.

FFA: Free-for-all... Sites that have no qualifications for adding a link to your web site. Generally these sites provide little or no traffic to your site.

Forum: An online discussion where visitors may read and post information or comments.

.gif: Image file format used widely on the web.

Hit: Any request for any file located on the web.

Home page: The opening page of your web site.

Impression: A single instance of an online ad being displayed.

Inbound link: A link from a site other than yours.

JavaScript: A scripting language used in the development of web pages. Generally refers to client side web programming.

.jpg / .jpeg: Image file format used widely on the web.

Keyword: A word used to perform a search.

Key phrase: A phrase used to perform a search.

Keyword density: On a web page, the keywords as a percentage of indexable text on the web page.

Keyword research: The search for keywords related to your web site. Also... the analysis of which words or phrases are used by visitors to locate sites similar to yours. Also... the analysis of which key words or phrases will yield the highest return on investment.

Link popularity: A measure of the quality and quantity of sites that link to your site.

Link text: The text (words) used to create a hyperlink.

Log file: The files that maintain a record of the requests for resources on your web site.

Merchant Account: A bank service account that allows you to accept credit card transactions. Just one part of the process of accepting online credit card orders. (See Payment Gateway)

META tags: Tags that describe various aspects of a web page. META Keywords, META Title, META Description are the most commonly used.

Natural Search Results: The non-paid listings displayed as a result of a key phrase search using a search engine. Featured, pay-per-click and sponsored listings are generally used by less than 40% of search engine users. This makes natural search placement over twice as effective as paid search results.

Navigation: Generally referred to as the structure and process of moving from one page or section of a web site to another.

Opt-in email: A process for allowing people to request email from you.

Opt-out email: A process for allowing people to request that you stop sending email.

Page view: A request to load a single HTML page.

Payment Gateway: An internet service that connects your e-commerce site with your Merchant Account. A gateway accepts your order information and connects to your Merchant Account to authorize and transfer funds.

Pay-per-click: Used to describe those search engine services that charge for creating visitors to your site. The cost of each visitor is determined either by a BID or FLAT FEE that you are charged each time a search engine user clicks on a link to your site from these sponsored links.

Permission marketing: Marketing based on getting a users consent to receive information from your company or web site.

Pop-up-ad: An ad that automatically opens a new browser window.

Reciprocal links: Mutually agreed upon links between two sites.

Search engine: A program that indexes web documents and attempts to match those documents with search words or phrases enter by a user.

Search engine optimization: The process of building web pages target toward getting higher ranking in search engines.

Shopping Cart: Generally refers to the portion of an e-commerce site that maintains a list of the products chosen by a visitor to purchase. Can be stand alone (using an HTML or other product presentation format) or part of an e-commerce solution.

SPAM: Unsolicited commercial email.

Spiders: Software used by search engines to locate new Web pages for their document databases.

Unique visitors: An individual visitor to a web site at least once within a fixed time frame.

URL: Universal Resource Location - Location of a resource (web page, file, image, etc.) on the Internet.

Web browser: A software application that allows you to view resources (primarily HTML web pages) on the Internet.

Web design: The creation and coordination of information in a web site.

Web hosting: A computer that is always connected to the internet and provides access to web resources for a web site.

Web Resource: Any HTML file, image or other computer file that can be reached through a URL.

Web site traffic: The number of visitors and visits to your web site. Can be measured in Hits, Page Hits or Unique Visitors.


Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Tracking
Conversion rate
Domain name
Doorway page
E-commerce solution
Email marketing
Email spam
Home page
Inbound link
.jpg / .jpeg
Key phrase
Keyword density
Keyword research
Link popularity
Link text
Log file
Merchant account
META tags
Natural Search Results
Opt-in email
Opt-out email
Page view
Payment gateway
Permission marketing
Reciprocal links
Search engine
Search engine optimization
Shopping cart
Unique visitors
Web browser
Web design
Web hosting
Web resource
Web site traffic


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