6 Web Design & Branding Words I Didn’t Understand Until I Joined nine10 – From A nine10 Administrator

6 Web Design & Branding Words I Didn’t Understand Until I Joined nine10 – From A nine10 Administrator

Working at a marketing agency without a design, writing, web, or marketing background is always intriguing. Since I fill the administration position on the team, often I encounter words and phrases that I’ve never heard before as I talk with other team members and clients.

So, I’m sharing the top six terms and phrases that I’ve learned since starting at nine10.


Well, when I started at nine10 and I heard the staff talking about SEO & SEM, I did a quick internet search – you know, you got to try to keep up sometimes. To be honest, I didn’t even know what the initialisms stood for. And, I certainly couldn’t tell you what they meant before working here.

Now I do, though. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and SEM is Search Engine Marketing.

My personal definition of SEO relates to how a search engine provides you with certain results for specific terms and phrases. For example, if you searched “Digital Marketing Training”, several courses would appear from various businesses and colleges that have marketing courses. You might even see information about our training program pop up. When you say SEO, you’re really talking about making sure your website is set up so that users see your services when they Google something.

SEM is similar to SEO, but it’s paid for. When you search a topic and you see “Sponsored” posts as a result, that’s SEM. If you see those ads, then you know that an organization is performing SEM.

These fancy things don’t just happen when a person searches either. I used to think it was all by magic. But it’s not. It’s all thanks to designers and programmers making sure that your website is set up correctly – that certain words and phrases are “connected” to the website – so Google and other search engines know what to show its users.

I’ve also learned that organizations should want to be in the top five results from the search. To be honest, I kind of knew this beforehand, too, as I usually only click one of the top five results. Being in that top five maximizes the reach and advertising for your business – plus, it’s a good way to get me as your customer!


At first, when I heard the word Canva, I immediately associated it with a canvas and colour palette. To me, this was likely tied to nine10’s branding division.  After a bit, I started thinking it was template software, something like PowerPoint. Now, after some help from the team, I know it’s an editing software similar to Photoshop and InDesign but much, much simpler to use.  It also helps non-designers create consistent branding.

Though, in all seriousness, I may still get fact-checked on this one.


I am a certified Microsoft Specialist, so when I heard the term “WordPress” I immediately thought that this had something to do with Microsoft Word. Maybe it was plain text in a document that was configured as behind-the-scenes instructions for your website? I didn’t know for sure, but that felt right.

Honestly, I see this ‘word’ so much within our website hosting portal and I can now firmly say that it is a type of website that can be built and designed for your company. Beyond that, I’d connect you with the web team!


I see ‘Wiki’ all over the place.  I knew that it had to do with websites but was not sure what it meant.  It is actually a website or online resource by definition.

Google Doesn’t Have Eyes

Our Education Manager Nicole’s been saying to me that “Google doesn’t have eyes.” While I knew this wasn’t a technical term like SEO or SEM, I still didn’t understand what she was really getting at.

When I asked her, she told me that you need to have text associated with your pictures online. I still did not understand what the problem was with posting a picture without text associated.

Luckily, I work with a bunch of people who train others. So, she directed me towards a post made on Facebook. Now, I understand the “issue” with posting photos without text, as it’s harder for Google to understand what is in the photo. You know, because Google doesn’t have eyes.

Final Thoughts from the Admin Team

I’ve still got a lot to learn about websites, branding, digital marketing, and the whole industry in general. But, at least I’ve got these six terms figured out.

Now, on to the next six!

Alix Calfa

Alix Calfa

Originally from BC, Alix works full-time from our Grande Prairie office. In her day-to-day role, she works closely with our team to design & build websites, along with the occasional logo & any other client need.


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