The Ultimate Digital Marketing Glossary: 108 Terms all Marketers Should Know
From ‘301 Redirects’ to ‘YouTube’, and ‘Alt Text’ to ‘UTM Tracking’, we’ve put together your ultimate guide to all things digital marketing. Whether you’re new to the industry or just need a quick refresher, we have 108 helpful terms that all marketers should know.
301 Redirect: A permanent redirect from an old URL to a new URL. This is a commonly used method to keep pre-existing traffic directed to a website when the website is redesigned or a web page and its URL are updated.
404 Error: An error message displayed when a URL cannot be found. If you are removing a page completely from a website, you, or a developer, will add a 404 redirect to note that the page no longer exists.
A/B testing: Creating two versions of creative (ex: ad copy, an email, an image, a landing page) to test against each other in a campaign to see which one your audience responds better to. This is a frequent testing method used in all forms of advertising. When creating the two versions, it is good practice to only make one change from version A to version B, so you know what your audience is responding to.
Above the fold: Placement on a website that is above the bottom cut off of the screen. Often, companies will put forms, videos, or the most relevant information to that page above the fold so it is the first thing a user will see — no scrolling needed.
Ad: A paid method of communicating with a potential customer through different mediums, including mail, email, the internet, phone, or print. In digital marketing, this often includes display ads and search, which present information using copy and images to get a user to click through to the corresponding web page.
Ad fatigue: This is what happens when users are over-exposed to the same ad and it results in less clicks and conversions. Commonly used in Facebook, advertisers will use this as a benchmark to determine when to update ad creative so they stay relevant and give users a positive advertising experience.
Ad group: In a pay-per-click account, these are the subcategories that contain ads, targeting a group of keywords. These are often broken out into various ‘themes’ that make up a campaign.
Algorithm: In digital marketing, this is a complex set of rules search engines and advertising platforms use to choose which ads a user sees first. This is normally made up of keyword bidding, ad relevance, quality score from the landing page, optimization on the website, and other various factors.
Alt text: Or Alternative Text, is a word or phrase used to tag an image in the HTML to tell the user or Google Bot (see: ‘Bot’) what that image contains. This is a common form of SEO on a website. This gives Google another chance to see what your website contains, as well as another opportunity for users to reach your website by searching on relevant keywords.
Anchor text: The clickable text used to link a user from one site to another, generally related to what it is linking to, formatted as blue underlined text. This is a common method to improve your internal linking structure or linking within your own website.
Attribution: Determining which touch point of the marketing process is responsible for the conversion. Often in advertising, it takes multiple methods of advertising to reach a customer before they convert or make a purchase. Attribution allows one or multiple methods to “get credit” for the conversion.
Audience: The target demographic to focus your ads to attempt to convert. The audience can vary depending on marketing channel, content, product, service, etc. It is also common for an advertiser to have multiple audiences.
Audit: A full scope look at how a website is performing. Often for SEO purposes, this gives the company in-depth look at all aspects of their website, and tells them where they can improve for a more optimized website.
Backlink: An incoming hyperlink from one website to another. Having a large number of backlinks can improve your website’s performance and searchability from a search engine. When a separate website or domain links to another website, they are essentially endorsing that site, and giving them “juice.” When these links come from reputable sites, like a .gov, .org, or well-known company, the power for that website grows.
Bid: The price a marketer will pay to show their ad. Used in pay-per-click advertising, this often refers to keyword bidding, and the amount an advertiser will place on a keyword so Google will consider them in their algorithm.
Bing AdCenter: A platform for SEM where users can manage their pay-per-click advertisements on Yahoo! and Bing. It is the Microsoft alternative to Google AdWords.
Blog: A website or web page that consists of personal or informational posts, often in chronological order, to reach an audience interested in that subject. Digital marketers often use or recommend blog posts or pages to improve a company’s content strategy, putting more information about that industry out to the web.
Bots: Also referred to as a ‘Googlebot’ or ‘Spider,’ a bot is a web crawler that discovers new or updated web pages or websites. When a user enters a search query to a search engine, Google’s bot will crawl the internet to find the most relevant results for the user’s search.
Bounce rate: A term used to describe the percentage of users who leave after only viewing one page of a website, as opposed to clicking on links or navigating to other pages. This helps determine user interest and can serve as a metric to help businesses decide what aspects of their website to optimize.
CTA or Call to Action: A word or phrase used in marketing to get the audience to take an action. Common examples of popular calls to action are “Buy Now,” “Contact Us,” “Call Today,” “Download Here,” “Learn More,” etc.
Campaign: Made up of one or multiple ad groups, a campaign is a top-level category in a PPC account used to organize products or services offered. A PPC account can have multiple campaigns, often broken up by services/products, branded, or competitors.
Channel: The avenue or outlet an advertiser chooses to use to market to their audience. Common marketing channels can be Google, Email, Social Media, Organic, or Paid.
Clicks or Ad Click: The total number of clicks on an online ad. This is most frequently how a company will track traffic, leads or conversions, by seeing how many times a user will click on their ad when they see it in their search results.
CTR or Click Thru Rate: The percentage of times a user will click on an ad if they are exposed to it. If the average user is shown an ad 1,000 times, but they only click on it 350 times, the click thru rate (350/1,000) is 35%.
Conversions: The act of a user completing a desired action from an ad. This can be any action like downloading a pdf, filling out a form, making a purchase, clicking on an ad, or calling a business. In paid advertising, conversions help a business see how well their advertising is doing, and if users are interacting with them.
CVR or Conversion Rate: The percentage of times the average user will convert from an ad if they have clicked on it. If the average user clicks on an ad 500 times, but they only convert from that ad 120 times, the conversion rate for that ad (120/500) is 24%.
Cookie: A small digital file that is stored on the backend of a user’s computer after they visit a site. This can stay on a computer either permanently or temporarily. Users can clear their cookies, or clear cache, to remove any temporarily stored cookies from their website. Cookies can be used by a business to learn about their customer, how they interact with their website, and remarket back to them based off of their interests.
Copy or Ad Copy: The text associated with an ad. Copy can also be referred to as the main content on the pages of a website, but when talking about ad copy it is usually in reference to the headlines and description that accompany the ad.
CPA or Cost per Acquisition: Or also referred to as cost per conversion, it is the amount a business or advertiser will spend on one conversion from an ad. If a company is spending $500 and they have 20 conversions, their cost per acquisition ($500/20) is $25.
CPC or Cost per Click: The amount a business or advertiser is paying per one click on their ad. If a company is spending $500 on advertising and they have 200 clicks on their ads, their cost per click ($500/200) is $2.50.
CPL or Cost per Lead: The amount a business or advertiser is paying per one lead from an advertisement. If they are spending $500 on advertising and they have 100 leads, their cost per lead ($500/100) is $5.00.
CPM or Cost per Thousand: The amount a business or advertiser is paying per 1,000 impressions of an ad. If a company is spending $1,000 in advertising and they have 4,000 impressions, their cost per thousand (($1,000/4,000)x1,000) is $250.
Crawl or Crawling: The process of scanning a website to discover new pages, updated pages, or removed or redirected pages. This is done by a Googlebot, or ‘Spider,’ either when a user uses a search engine, or when an advertiser is indexing (see: Index) a website from the backend.
Creative: The imagery of an advertisement. Creative is the meat of the ad that is meant to draw in the audience’s attention and get them to perform an action.
Dashboard: A place to see all important metrics at a glance. Most often used in Google Analytics, this workspace allows an advertiser to track the most important metrics to their business over a designated period of time and determines how users are interacting with their website.
DSP or Demand Side Platform: A system that provides the technology for advertisers to purchase ad space through a real-time bidding auction. Essentially, if you are wanting to promote a display ad, you could use a DSP to get your ad on a third-party website. When a user reaches that website, the DSP technology will analyze the user’s demographics, interests, and hobbies (all collected through the cookies on their computer), compare that with the advertiser’s bids, and make a real-time decision on who wins that ad placement. DSPs algorithm will combine ad relevancy and interest with bid strategy to determine which advertiser ends up on top.
Demographics: Statistical data relating to the general population or the smaller groups within it. Generally, demographics are broken down by age, gender, location, income, occupation, ethnicity, and race. It is a common practice in marketing campaigns to target advertisements towards one or several demographics.
Display Advertising: A type of online marketing that uses images or video to communicate their ad, rather than text-based advertising. Display advertising is used across platforms like Google AdWords, AdRoll, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
Domain: A name used in URLs to identify web pages and where they belong. For example, in the URL www.fujisanmarketing.com/blogs, the domain name is fujisanmarketing.com.
Domain Authority: The measure of power a domain name has, and how it ranks in a search engine. The domain authority is based off of three main factors: age, popularity, and size.
DKI or Dynamic Keyword Insertion: A feature in Google AdWords that allows an advertiser to customize their ads based off of what their users search for. To enable this feature, a small, special piece of code is placed in the ad text that tells a search engine when a customer uses one of their keywords, or to replace the code with the keyword that triggered their ad.
Email List: An audience list used specifically for email marketing. An email list can be curated in a variety of different ways, whether that is opt-in or subscribing to content (a customer asks to be on the list), gated content (a user must input their email in order to download or receive content), or when a user becomes a customer by completing a purchase and including their email in their information.
Email Marketing: A type of content marketing specifically sent through email. Email marketing can be used to distribute content, sales promotions, services, or used to develop relationships with potential customers.
Frequency: The number of times an ad makes an impression on one person. Often, advertisers will limit the frequency of an ad so a user doesn’t experience ad fatigue by seeing the same ad too many times, and develop a negative connotation with that advertiser.
Google AdWords: Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. AdWords allows you to build, manage, and optimize campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords within a single account.
GA or Google Analytics: A platform in Google that tracks and measures various metrics of a website to show an advertiser or company how a user interacts with their website, and how their website is performing as a whole.
GTM or Google Tag Manager: A platform in Google that manages all tags for a website in one place, allowing the advertiser to easily change, update, or add new tags or code snippets to their site without having to go into the backend of the website.
GSC or Google Search Console: Previously named Google Webmaster Tools, it is a service for webmasters to monitor, maintain, and optimize their web presence. Common areas of focus in GSC are site indexing, site traffic, and crawl errors.
H Tags: Commonly referred to as the Header tag, or <h1> tag in HTML, it is the title of a page, and will stand out among the rest of the text on a page. Other header tags in HTML include h2, h3, h4 and so on. This represents the hierarchy of titles and subtitles on a page. Google uses these tags when they crawl the backend of a site to get an idea of what that page is about.
HTML or Hypertext Markup Language: A coding language used to create a website. The letters, symbols, and numbers within a text file will determine what a website looks like and how it will perform.
Impressions: The number of times an ad is seen by a potential customer. This can be through a search engine results page or through display advertising, and a user does not need to interact with the ad for it to be considered an impression. This is a common metric tracked in pay-per-click campaigns.
Inbound Link: Similar to a ‘backlink,’ it is a link directing users to a website from a separate or third-party site. Having a high number of inbound links is very beneficial towards a website’s SEO and domain authority because it is essentially boosting — or endorsing — that website.
Index: The process of gathering and recording all pages on a particular website. This is a commonly-used feature of Google Search Console, where Google will crawl a website to index all current pages, add any new or updated pages, and remove any deleted pages.
Keyword: In Search Engine Optimization, it is a word or set of words that help make up a site’s metadata and describes what is on a web page. When used correctly, a keyword should help users find a web page based on their search terms.
Keyword Research: The practice of researching what terms or phrases people frequently search for and using that data to make informed decisions regarding which keywords a business should be targeting in their own campaign. If done well, keyword research can help businesses rank higher for their targeted terms.
Keyword Stuffing: The practice of loading a page with keywords or phrases in an effort to manipulate the site’s SEO rankings. These keywords can often appear out of context or, in some cases, irrelevant to the page itself. While this used to be a common SEO practice for some companies, Google has since discouraged this practice by lowering SEO scores when caught.
KPI or Key Performance Indicator: A measurable value determined by a company to indicate how well an account is performing and used to evaluate success.
Landing Page: A solo web page with a focused sales pitch that is designed to get a visitor to take an action. In a PPC ad, the landing page is the URL destination a user lands on when they click the ad. Different versions of landing pages are often tested against each other in ad campaigns so account managers can see which page performs better.
Lead: A conversion from an ad that gives information on a potential customer that a sales team can then convert into a sale. This is a commonly used metric or KPI in any PPC Account.
Lookalike Audience: In Facebook, this feature allows for an Account Manager to upload an existing client, customer, or subscriber email list to Facebook so Facebook can find those existing user profiles, then find other profiles who are similar in demographic, hobbies, interests, and occupation, creating an entirely new target audience for the marketer. This allows a marketer to reach a brand new audience who, because they are similar to the existing customers, will most likely be interested in their product.
Marketing Automation: A software or tool that helps automate marketing processes or actions. Oftentimes, it is used for email marketing, social media, or other tasks that require repetition. Examples of marketing automation software include HubSpot, MailChimp, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign.
Metadata: Often in the form of tags, it encompasses the descriptions or keywords used to describe a web page’s content. The two most basic forms of metadata are meta description and meta title, however this can also include the author, when it was created, any open graph tags, and how long the document is.
Meta Description: A tag in the HTML of a web page consisting of key words and phrases that gives a short summary on what the page is about. When properly optimized for SEO, search engines will scan this part of the site to see if that page is relevant to a user’s search. This tag is also kept to a limit of ~160 characters.
Meta Title: Similar to the meta description, this is also a tag in the HTML of a web page that acts as the page title. When properly optimized for SEO, search engines will read this tag first and will continue with the description to determine if the page is relevant. Also referred to as a title tag, this is kept to a 50–60 character limit.
Mobile Search: An online search performed from a mobile device, such as a smartphone. As we saw in 2017, mobile search is beginning to dominate the search space, surpassing desktop searches.
New Users: In Google Analytics, this is the category of people who visit a site for the very first time. It is common for an account manager to track the number of sessions to a website from a new user, so they can see how many new potential customers are visiting their site.
NoFollow: A value that can be assigned to a rel attribute to tell a search engine that the outbound hyperlink should not influence the link target’s ranking in a search engine index. It allows one site to link to another without influencing that site to rank better.
OG or Open Graph Tag: This allows an advertiser to have control over how information is passed from a website to social media. For example, a company can set the image, title, and description they want to show on Facebook for whenever someone posts that website’s domain to Facebook.
Organic Traffic: Users coming to a website on their own through a search engine, like Google or Bing. Unlike paid traffic, these users are coming to a website unprompted and uninfluenced by advertisements. This is a common metric that business owners strive to increase.
Outbound Link: A link that comes from your website that allows the customer to leave your website and move to another domain. These are often paired with a NoFollow that removes the Inbound link for the other website (See: NoFollow).
Page Speed: The time it takes for the content on a web page to load on a browser or mobile device. While this is highly important for user experience, this is also becoming an increasingly important part of SEO optimization; the slower a page loads, the fewer pages search engines can crawl within their allocated crawl time. From a user experience standpoint, the slower a page loads, the higher the bounce rate will tend to be.
Page Views: The number of times a user has visited a web page. Whether there are unique users visiting a page, or the same user visiting a page multiple times, they are all counted as a page view. This is a common and useful metric to track in Google Analytics.
Paid Search Traffic: The number of users that come to a web page through a paid advertisement, typically through a PPC channel such as Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising.
PPC or Pay-Per-Click Advertising: A form of online advertising in which advertisers only pay for their ads when a user clicks on them. Common PPC channels are AdWords, Bing, and Facebook.
Pixel: A piece of code used to track a goal that lives in the backend of a website. Different platforms have various pixels that all service different purposes. Pixels can track conversions or form fills, count purchase orders and revenue from users that come through an ad, and they can even tag a user’s computer by placing a cookie on their browser that allows the company to remarket their goods and services back to them after the user leaves their site.
Programmatic Advertising: The use of software to automate the buying of digital ad space. The buying and selling of ad space is automated through a series of algorithms to ensure that ads are seen by the right audience. By automating the process, buying ads becomes more fine-tuned and cost-effective for buyers and publishers.
Quality Score: Used by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, it is a metric used to measure the quality of ads, and can influence CPC and ad rank. Better quality scores may result in lower ad costs and better positions above organic results. Some factors that can influence quality score include CTR, load times, copy, and landing page quality.
Query: Another word for search term, a query is a word or phrase a user types into a search engine in the hopes of finding a specific result.
Reach: The total number of views content receives over a specified period of time. With paid reach, a business will pay money to have an ad with higher visibility within a targeted time frame and demographic, while organic reach requires SEO to have users find the business themselves.
Remarketing: Similar to retargeting, remarketing is Google AdWords’ solution that is specific to their network. However, remarketing is confined to email and phone. For example, if a person browses a shopping website and abandons their cart, a remarketing email may be sent to that person to remind them of their almost-purchase.
Retargeting: When ads for a business’ product or service are shown across the web to people who have visited their website previously. Remarketing reintroduces the product or service to those who are more likely to buy, because they have already shown interest in the past. When a person browses a website, a cookie tracks them anonymously, and shows them targeted ads based on their browsing behavior.
RLSA or Remarketing Lists for Search Ads: A Google AdWords function that allows businesses to create lists based on customer behavior from their website visit. Depending on the parameters set, businesses can add tags to certain pages of their website, adding customers who visit those pages to a list. Google will then attach cookies, so when the customer searches for similar items, you can bid more for keywords, or target ads to the customer directly.
ROAS or Return on Ad Spend: Refers to the value, monetary or otherwise, a business will receive from the money they put into advertising.
Robots.txt or Robots Exclusion Protocol: A text file used to guide how a search engine can and cannot crawl a website. It may be advantageous for a business to hide web pages with similar content so those pages will not be indexed by a search engine. The robots.txt file of any website can be found by entering /robots.txt to the end of the URL.
ROI or Return on Investment: The benefit received from a certain investment compared to the cost. In technical terms, the formula is (gain-cost) divided by the cost, but can be based on a number of metrics. For example, a business’ ROI in digital marketing could take into account the cost of the investment in addition to leads and conversions as part of the equation.
Search Engine: A software or platform that searches the Internet based on user queries. The search engine will then present the found information in the form of a search engine results page (SERP).
SIS or Search Impression Share: A metric used within Google AdWords defined as the percent of impressions received on an ad divided by the total amount of impressions that were available for that ad. It is used to give businesses a benchmark for their ad performance, such as whether or not it would be beneficial to increase budget in order to gain more impressions.
SEM or Search Engine Marketing: A form of PPC marketing that targets users’ search engine results in the form of relevant ads and results.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization: Incorporating factors such as keywords, good copy, and backlinks in order to drive traffic and affect the visibility of a site organically. This is done by optimizing the content of a web page and increasing its relevance to certain keywords. By doing so, the website is more likely to show when a user searches for the targeted keywords.
SERP or Search Engine Results Page: The resulting list a user receives after typing in a search query in a search engine. It may be a mix of ads and organic search results.
Sessions: The duration of time a user spends on a particular web page. It is a useful metric for determining engagement and may require better content and a friendly user interface to increase average session duration.
Sitemap: A structured list of the pages within a website that helps search engines index the site. Having a sitemap helps users find and navigate the site based on their query.
Spider: Also known as a web crawler, it is a bot that helps search engines index websites. This enables users to find relevant search results more efficiently.
Tag: Also known as a pixel or web beacon, tags collect and receive data based on user interaction with a web page. These tags can help integrate third-party applications, set cookies, and gather user information.
Trigger: Often attached to a tag, it is an automated response that occurs based on a user action and allows the tag to fire. For example, reaching the “Thank You” page after successfully completing an online order may mean a cookie is then set to the browser to collect further information that may be used later for remarketing.
URL or Uniform Resource Locator: Also called a web address, it is typically displayed in a browser’s address bar and used to specify and identify a location on the World Wide Web.
UTM Tracking: A function that can be managed within Google Analytics, a UTM code is a small addition of text to the end of a web URL that allows businesses to track their web traffic. UTMs can be integrated with social media posts, emails, and even other web pages to give businesses an idea of which efforts are leading traffic back to their website.
Value Proposition: A statement promising a service, good, or feature that a customer would benefit from when purchasing a product or service.
Variable: In the A/B testing process, it is the metric that is being tested or changed to determine which option works best, depending on a business’ goals. The variable may include the headline, CTA, ad copy, layout, or timing.
Web page: A single page that lives on a domain within a website on the World Wide Web. They are a document written using HTML and display data that can usually be accessed by anyone.
Website: An address on the Internet made up of a collection of web pages that are connected to one another in order to host information and data.
WordPress: A free and open-source content management system that allows businesses to integrate plugins, themes, and other services with an pre existing website. Businesses often use it for its content management and creation ability.
XML Sitemap: A tool that helps search engines more effectively crawl a website. It is useful for businesses with large sites or with a significant number of web pages that are not linked to each other. Having a sitemap will help organize this data so it can be properly cataloged by a search engine.
Yoast: A web-optimization company, they offer advanced WordPress plugins and services to help the functionality of user websites. This includes keyword and SEO analysis, Google integrations, and XML sitemap integrations.
YouTube: A video-hosting website and marketing platform that employs Google Adsense to help businesses target ads. Because of the diverse audience of YouTube, it is often a good choice for marketers who want to improve their SEO.
Still have a term you aren’t quite sure about? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help out!