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121 Digital Marketing Terms You Should Know

One thing you should know about digital marketing is that it can be done by anybody as long as you spend time learning the fundamentals. After all, the heart of digital marketing...

Anissa Maligat
Anissa Maligat November 3, 2020

One thing you should know about digital marketing is that it can be done by anybody as long as you spend time learning the fundamentals. After all, the heart of digital marketing lies in connecting with your audience when and where it matters.

Digital marketing has evolved into one of the most dynamic industries, especially in the light of the recent COVID-19 lockdown. Staying on top of all the developments and changes is a must for anyone wanting to make a big splash out of their marketing campaign in the current climate. With the right strategy, you can boost your brand’s web presence and sales. 

If you need an in-depth look at digital marketing and what every business owner should know about, you can check out our definitive guide.

In this blog, we’ll equip you with the need-to-know terms about digital marketing. Whether you’re an aspiring marketer or a business owner looking to expand your reach, one of the first things you need to do is familiarize yourself with industry jargon that’ll pop up anywhere from conversations to tracking campaign progress. 

By getting a good grasp of these little concepts, you can understand the bigger picture.

Knowing Your Digital Marketing Terms

We understand how difficult it is to catch up on all the new developments that crop up in the digital world. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of basic marketing terms so you can stay in the know.

A

A/B testing

A/B testing is a commonly used testing method in advertising, and it involves testing two versions of a creative to see which one gains more engagement.

Ad

An ad is a paid means of reaching customers via mail, print, email, and other mediums. Digital marketers use display ads on search platforms to attract potential leads online. Display and search ads are designed to entice people to click through relevant copy and eye-catching visuals.

Algorithm

An algorithm is a set of rules that lets computer programs review data to provide users with the most relevant response to their query. Search engines and ad platforms determine the ads they serve to users through algorithms. Keyword bids, ad relevance, and other factors all comprise an algorithm.

ALT tags

ALT tags, or alt text, are an on-page element used to describe an image. It plays a part in boosting your search rankings.

Anchor text

Anchor text is a clickable text used to link users from one site to another, and it may contain either an inbound or outbound link. Typically, websites build a better internal linking structure by using anchor text.

Analytics

Analytics involves the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. In digital marketing, obtaining precise data is possible using digital platforms that help marketers measure success and plan future campaigns with accuracy.

AMP

This digital marketing acronym stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages.” AMP is Google’s joint project with several tech companies and content publishers. It’s an open source framework that helps webpages load faster for mobile users. AMP uses less JavaScript and CSS but uses a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

API

Application Program Interfaces, or APIs, are a series of computer programming rules which allow an application to extract information from a service. This information is then used by the program or in data analyses.

Attribution

Attribution assigns credit to the marketing source that turned a lead into a customer. Marketing attribution lets you identify crucial touchpoints in the customer journey. 

Audience

In digital marketing, an audience refers to a brand or company’s target demographic. Marketers create ads to encourage this specific set of users to convert. Different factors such as marketing channels, content, and products can help you determine your target audience.

Audit

An audit lets brands and businesses see website performance and identify areas for improvement.

B

B2B / B2C

These are acronyms used to describe who a company sells to. B2B stands for “Business to Business” and refers to companies that sell to other businesses. Meanwhile, B2C or “Business to Consumer” refers to companies that sell directly to consumers.

Backlink

A backlink is an incoming hyperlink from one website to another. More backlinks translate to better performance and more traffic to your website. Additionally, a website with backlinks from reputable sites will translate to a higher domain authority.

Blogging

This online marketing term is short for web log or weblog. Blogging helps people engage with enthusiasts of specific subjects through personal or informational posts. It’s a core component of inbound marketing because it contributes to website traffic, thought leadership, and lead generation.

Bots

Bots are web crawlers that find new or updated web pages or websites through search engine crawls. “Googlebot” or “spider” is another term for a search engine bot.

Bounce rate

Bounce rates can apply to websites and emails. Website bounce rates refer to the percentage of people who land on your web page but leave before visiting other pages on your site. Email bounce rates, on the other hand, refer to emails that weren’t delivered to a person’s inbox because they were returned by a recipient mail server.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer’s brand recognition. Greater brand awareness means more potential for conversion or sales.

Brand identity

Brand identity describes the visible elements of a brand, such as its color, design, logo, and writing style for better customer retention.

Buyer persona

This is a marketing practice where you compile data and ideas from market research to create a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. The more familiar you are with your customers, the more effective your marketing strategies will be.

Buyer’s journey

The buyer’s journey is the process that a customer goes through to know, consider, and choose a product or service. It has three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. 

C

Call-to-action

A call-to-action is a text link, button, or image that encourages a website user to visit a landing page and become a lead. Some examples include “Subscribe Today” on website popups or “Download Now” on app websites.

Channel

A channel is a marketer’s chosen outlet for promoting a product or service to their target audience. Google, email, social media, and organic and paid searches are common online marketing channels.

Chatbot

A chatbot is a program built with artificial intelligence used to automate customer interactions with a company. Chatbots usually answer basic, frequently asked questions.

Churn rate

This refers to the number of customers you weren’t able to retain. To calculate churn rate, take the number of customers you lost during a certain time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the beginning of that period.

Clicks

Both PPC and analytics use this digital marketing term. Analytics see clicks as any user action on a website performed with the click of a mouse. These actions include browsing, downloads, page exits, and other actions. Meanwhile, clicks performed in the context of PPC measure how many times a user clicks on an ad.

Clickbait

Clickbait is a frowned-upon practice in which users are “baited” with a photo/phrase that piques a person’s interest but the content is totally different from what was suggested.

Click-through rate

Click-through rate (CTR) is a digital marketing metric used to represent the number of times a visitor clicks through your content divided by the total number of impressions a piece of content receives.

Conversions

Conversions happen when a site visitor completes your desired goal. That goal can be anything from purchases to phone calls. A conversion turns that visitor into a potential lead or customer.

Conversion path

This refers to a series of website-based events that facilitate lead capture. The simpler that path is, the more likely you’re going to get conversions.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who completed an intended action such as filling out a form or subscribing to a YouTube channel.

Copy

Copy is the text that users see on ads or the content on webpages. Ad copy refers to an online ad’s headline and description, while web copy covers blog posts, product descriptions, and other forms of website content.

CPA

CPA, or cost per acquisition, is how much a business spends per ad conversion. It’s also known as cost per conversion.

CPC

Short for cost per click, CPC pertains to how much a brand or business pays for clicks on their ads. CPC is a term often used in paid search.

CRM

CRM is a digital marketing acronym that stands for “Customer Relationship Management.” CRM usually refers to a system or tool that manages customer data and tracks engagement with buyers.

Crawl / Crawling

A crawl involves checking websites for new, updated, deleted, or redirected web pages. Search engine bots or web crawlers go through this process when people use search engines or when indexing a site from the backend. Site crawls play a huge role in search rankings as they help search engines ensure a website shows up on relevant searches. 

CRO

CRO is an acronym that stands for Conversion Rate Optimization, and it helps marketers increase campaign goal actions, such as filling out a form or subscribing to their email list. CRO gives businesses a closer look at the buyer’s journey, a user’s actions when visiting a site, and the factors that influence or prevent buying decisions.

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing refers to the act of soliciting ideas or content from a group of people. Allowing subject matter experts to contribute for you is one way to get quality content for your brand in a short amount of time.

CSS

Short for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS is a programming language that gives your entire website its style, like colors, fonts, and background images.

D

Demographics

Demographics are statistics related to the general population or its smaller groups. Some demographic categories include age, gender, and location. Generally, marketers will create campaigns for one or more demographic groups.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing encompasses every marketing effort that involves using electronic devices or the internet. This can be divided into several channels: search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), content marketing, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and email marketing.

Display advertising

Display advertising lets marketers promote a product or service through images and videos. Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram are some platforms that show display ads.

Domain authority

Domain authority can predict a website’s likelihood to rank on search engines as defined by Google’s PageRank algorithm. It uses a logarithmic scale of 0 to 100 to determine a website’s authority.

E

E-books

E-books are electronic versions of books. Companies usually offer these for free in exchange for personal information to be stored in the company’s database.

Email marketing

Email marketing focuses on sending targeted content via email. It lets marketers share valuable content and promote products or services to potential customers. Plus, marketers can connect with leads and customers through email marketing.

Engagement

Engagement refers to user interactions with your content, including likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms.

Engagement rate

While engagement represents how users interact with content, your engagement rate reflects how many interactions your content gets. Likes, shares, and other forms of online engagement determine this metric.

Event tracking

Event tracking is a commonly used method in analytics and social media. It assesses specific user behaviors so you can track the customer’s journey.

Evergreen / Evergreen content

Evergreen is a term used to describe content that will remain valuable over time and ages well. Examples of evergreen content include primers, definitive guides, glossaries, how-to’s, and trend studies.

F

Featured snippet

A featured snippet is a search result that answers a commonly asked question right away. Google typically shows a featured snippet on the first page of results for a relevant search query.

Feed

This is a generic term that refers to the stream of content from other friends/companies when you log into your social media network.

Flywheel

The marketing flywheel helps a business grow through its customers. The process takes the momentum of happy customers as a springboard to drive referrals and repeat sales. The flywheel model has three stages: attract, engage, and delight.

Friction

This is what you call an element in your website that is confusing, distracting, or stressful for visitors, causing them to leave your page.

G

Google Ads

Google Ads is Google’s PPC advertising platform. With Google Ads, you can create, manage, and optimize any paid campaign from a single account. The platform lets you produce and set ad groups, ads, and keywords, as well.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics tracks and measures a website’s metrics. It gives businesses a closer look at user interactions with their website and overall site performance. If you’re planning to improve site traffic and other metrics, Google Analytics can help.

Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is an online platform that lets businesses appear on Google. Companies use it to reach local customers and to boost local search rankings. On GMB, businesses can list their websites, physical addresses, and other details for easier searches.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a tool that helps webmasters ensure optimal site presence on search engines and monitor their indexing status. It analyzes a web page’s clicks, impressions, and other metrics related to its search visibility. Plus, you can use the Googlebot tool to crawl new content.

Google Tag Manager

As its name suggests, Google Tag Manager manages all of a website’s tags. It also makes modifying, updating, or adding tags or codes to a website much easier.

Geotargeting

In social media and search engine marketing, geotargeting is the technique of using a user’s location to craft more relevant ad copies.

H

H / Header tag

This tag serves as your webpage’s title. It corresponds to several HTML codes, from H1 to H4, and so on and so forth. All header tags on a website show how the page organizes titles and subheadings.

Hashtag

A hashtag is a word or phrase spelled out without spaces with a pound (#) sign in front of it. This is used to group together posts about the same subject online.

HTML

Short for HyperText Markup Language, HTML is a basic electronic language used to write web pages and is considered the core of every web page.

HTTPS

HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is the HTTP protocol’s more secure variant. It makes data transfers between websites a lot safer. HTTPS websites are secure and they are the only sources that read user data.

I

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention.

Infographic

These are shareable images containing bite-sized info and increase your chances of being found via social media.

Impressions

Impressions measure how often a potential buyer sees an ad or a web page. User interactions don’t necessarily count as impressions.

Index

Indexing takes place when a crawler gathers and records all of a website’s pages. You can use Google Search Console to check if your site has been indexed.

J

JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language used to create animated or moving media for a web page. It makes some of a website’s elements interactive.

K

Keywords

Keywords are words and phrases that searchers type into search engines or enter using voice search. They determine the topics that web pages get indexed for in search engines like Google and Bing. Moreover, keywords are also added to metadata to provide from site context to search engines.

Keyword density

Keyword density is the number of times that a keyword appears on a website or a webpage in terms of overall word count. To compute keyword density, take the number of keywords you’ve mentioned and divide them by the total number of words on the page.

Keyword research

Keyword research is all about identifying commonly searched terms or phrases and choosing the right keywords. With well-executed keyword research, businesses can boost their search rankings.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing involves placing out-of-context or irrelevant keywords into a webpage or piece of content. A website can manipulate their search rankings by stuffing their content with keywords, however, it could lead to a Google penalty.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

A KPI helps businesses assess an account’s performance. This metric also measures a campaign’s overall success.

L

Landing page

A landing page is a web page containing a form that is used for lead generation. These pages usually revolve around a marketing offer (like a free e-book) in exchange for valuable personal information such as an email address.

Lead

A lead is what you call a person or company who has shown interest in purchasing your product or service. This happens when people fill out forms, subscribe to blogs, or exchange information for a coupon.

Lead generation

Lead generation is a marketing process that involves sparking interest in people who may be interested in buying your products.

Lead nurturing

Also known as drip marketing, this practice involves developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) to attract and gain leads and push them further down the sales funnel.

Link building

Link building is a process where website owners work to earn links to their site from other websites to improve search engine rankings.

Listicle

This is a type of article that uses bulleted/numbered lists to provide valuable, easy-to-digest info.

M

Marketing automation

Marketing automation is any software or tool that helps automate repetitive marketing activities such as email marketing or social media. It offers a smoother sales process, enabling businesses to focus on other valuable activities.

Marketing funnel

This refers to the process that a customer goes through from the moment they learn about your business until they complete a transaction. There are six stages in a typical sales funnel: Awareness, Discovery, Evaluation, Intent, Purchase, and Loyalty. But these could vary depending on a company’s business model.

Metadata

Metadata are descriptions optimized with keywords, and they provide context to search engines about a website’s content. Generally, these elements function as tags for a website. Meta descriptions and meta titles are the most common types of metadata.

Mobile search

Mobile search encompasses user searches performed from any mobile device. Page speed and mobile-friendliness are essential when searching on mobile. 

N

New users

New users are new website visitors. Google Analytics lets you track new user sessions to help you see how many potential customers visit your website.

Newsjacking

This is the practice of capitalizing on a trending topic to get people to talk about your brand. Newsjacking must be done with extreme caution, however, especially for sensitive topics such as violence, discrimination, or mental health.

Nofollow

The nofollow tag tells search engines that an outbound link doesn’t endorse the web page it links to. It can also mean that a page isn’t linking to another because of the commercial relationship between the pages. By using the nofollow tag, you can link to other sites without influencing them to rank higher.

O

Omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing lets businesses deliver unified experiences to customers across various channels or devices. It helps brands gain loyal buyers, boost brand recall, and increase revenue.

Organic traffic

Organic traffic describes the visitors that end up on your site through organic (unpaid) search results. The term represents users that visit a website on their own, without any influence from online ads. Creating relevant content and optimizing a website can help boost organic traffic.

P

Page speed

Page speed is the time it takes for website content to load on browsers or mobile devices. It’s essential for user experience and SEO. Bots can only crawl a few pages with a slow page speed, and a slow-loading website is more prone to a high bounce rate.

Page views

Page views represent how many times a user visited a website. It includes visits from unique users and repeat single users.

Penalty

In SEO, a penalty is a corrective action that a search engine takes against a website. A website that fails to comply with search engine policies can receive a penalty.

Personalization

Personalization in digital marketing focuses on using user behavior and context to create tailored content. Advanced machine learning and automation help in delivering tailored experiences.

Pixel

A pixel is a code in a website’s backend that helps businesses track goals such as conversions, purchases, and revenue. Additionally, a pixel puts a cookie on a user’s browser to help companies remarket their products and services.

PPC

PPC, or pay-per-click, is an online advertising model that involves displaying ads on search engine results pages, blog networks, and affiliate websites. Every time a visitor clicks these ads, the advertiser pays a fee.

Position Zero

Position zero is another term for a featured snippet. It describes a search result found on top of the search engine results page (SERP).

Prospect

Prospect is a term used to describe a potential customer. Marketing campaigns focus on turning prospects into customers.

Q

Quality score

Quality score is a metric that measures online ad quality. It can also make an impact on an ad’s CPC and ranking. Businesses will spend less on ads and gain higher search rankings with a better quality score.

Qualified lead

A qualified lead has a high chance of turning into a customer, and is often found at the latter stages of the sales process. These users are more likely to buy a product or service.

Query / Search query

A query is a word or phrase that users enter in a search engine in the hopes of finding specific results. Businesses build content around specific queries to boost their search engine rankings.

R

Reach

This refers to the number of people who have seen your post. Unlike impressions, reach counts multiple views of the same person as a single unit.

Remarketing

Remarketing is a digital marketing method exclusive to Google Ads, covering email and phone calls. An abandoned cart email is an example of a remarketing campaign— it is sent by websites to customers who have items on their carts but haven’t checked out yet. 

Responsive design

This is the practice of developing websites that adapt to the device that the person is viewing the website from.

Retargeting

An online marketing technique where marketers display ads to people who have already visited their site or are part of their contact database.

ROAS

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is the value that businesses can gain from their ad spend, and it measures the amount a business gets for every dollar spent on advertising. Moreover, ROAS helps companies see how effective a campaign, ad group, ad, or keyword is.

Robots.txt

Robots.txt is a text file that tells search engines how they should or shouldn’t crawl a website. Adding /robots.txt to the end of an URL will show a website’s robots.txt file.

ROI

In digital marketing, return on investment (ROI) is a term used to measure the profitability attributable to advertising or marketing campaigns.

S

Search engine

A search engine is a computer software or digital platform that takes user queries and finds specific results for those terms. It displays those results on a search engine results page (SERP).

Search intent

Search intent is the goal behind a user’s search query. Search intent can be informational, navigational, or transactional. 

SEM

In PPC, search engine marketing involves serving up relevant results for specific user queries. It lets companies offer products or services to customers online.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines. It covers several aspects, including on-page, local, and e-commerce SEO. In an age where everyone uses Google, having a high search ranking bodes well for your brand or business.

SERP

A search engine results page (SERP) shows results for certain user queries entered on a search engine. 

Sessions

Sessions measure how long users stay on a web page, and these include multiple and single visits. Marketers determine user engagement with a website through this metric.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a structured list of a website’s pages for easier indexing. It also helps users navigate a website more easily.

T

Title tag

The title tag tells users what a web page is all about. Users will see this tag on browser tabs and search engine result pages.

Traffic

This refers to the number of users who visit a given website or web page. The number of user visits or sessions count as site traffic. Businesses use this metric to see how successful they are at attracting their target audience.

Tracking code

A tracking code is a script that sends data to Google Analytics, Google Ads, and similar platforms. It lets analytics tools track visitor data.

Trending topic

This refers to a subject matter that is talked about a lot on social media. Identifying trending topics can help you create content that resonates with your audience.

U

UI

User Interface (UI) is what you call the elements of a website that people interact with. A good UI provides a user-friendly and intuitive experience.

Unique visitor

Much like social media reach, a unique visitor refers to a single person who visits your website.

URL

A Universal Resource Locator (URL) is essentially a website’s Internet address and is used to locate websites online. Browsers show URLs on their address bars.

User-generated content

User-generated content is created by a brand’s follower with the aim of promoting that brand. This type of content helps in building trust and user engagement.

UTM

In Google Analytics, a UTM code is text added to the end of a URL. Companies can track web traffic through this code. Plus, businesses can see the sources that drive site traffic when they add UTM tracking to social media posts, emails, or other web pages.

UX

Also known as User Experience, this refers to the overall experience a customer has with a brand, such as their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy.

V

Voice search

Voice search integrates speech recognition and search queries, letting users speak questions instead of typing them out. It mostly applies to virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Viral

Viral is a term used to describe a piece of content that garners a huge amount of views, usually in the millions.

W

Webinar

This refers to an online seminar or presentation hosted by an individual or a company. Some brands conduct free webinars in exchange for obtaining personal info like email addresses and phone numbers.

Web page

A web page is a single page within a website’s subdomain. Developers use HTML to create web pages for a website which can include blog posts or service pages.

Knowledge is Power: Jumpstart Your Marketing Success

Getting the hang of marketing jargon is just the first part of your journey to online success. With a better grasp on the marketing fundamentals, you can take bigger strides and get started on your digital marketing campaign. Since you’re still starting out, consider partnering with Growth Rocket to create an effective strategy that’ll drive significant results. Get in touch with us today.

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