A Handy Glossary of Our Most-Used Digital Marketing Terms

Digital marketing is awash with acronyms and terms that sound nearly identical. They’re all meaningful to us, but we know they can be a bit of a blur for people who don’t spend all day in Google Analytics and Facebook Ad Manager.  We try not to use acronyms or jargon in our client communication or public-facing posts.

But sometimes, there’s no other way to say “cost-per-conversion” without saying “cost-per-conversion.”

Here’s a glossary of the marketing terms we use most often.

Term

Definition

A/B Testing
A data-driven method for testing variations in a campaign to determine which variation performs best.
Asset
Any single item used in a marketing campaign. For example, an Instagram post or an event flier.
Backlink
A link from one site to another. More backlinks increase a website’s authority, a factor in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm.
Bidding
In paid advertising campaigns, marketers indicate how much they are willing to pay for ad space by making a bid. Bidding strategy is determined by end goal, such as gaining impressions, clicks, or conversions.
Bounce rate
The percentage of site visitors who leave without taking any actions. The lower the bounce rate, the better.
Campaign
A strategic, coordinated marketing initiative composed of multiple assets, clearly defined goals, and trackable metrics. For example, a social media campaign to promote a new product launch might consist of a mix of organic social media posts, promoted social posts, and influencer partnerships.
Conversion
The desired end goal of a website or campaign when a prospect turns (converts) into a customer.
Cost-per-click (cpc)
The total spent on an ad campaign divided by the number of clicks on the ad.
Cost-per-conversion
The total spent on an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions.
Creative
The copy and design elements of a marketing or advertising campaign.
Customer Segmentation
The practice of dividing the entire pool of customers into smaller groups—based on shared interests, demographics, or other factors—for the purposes of creating highly targeted, more personalized advertising or marketing campaigns.
Display ad
An ad with both text and an image that appears on websites and in app interfaces.
Key performance indicator (KPI)
Metrics that demonstrate progress toward a campaign goal or business objective.
Lead generation
The act of attracting potential customers and raising their interest in a business or brand.
Link building
The practice of generating backlinks to increase a website’s authority and search engine rank.
Local SEO
Improved search engine rank specifically for businesses serving a local area, such as a restaurant, service provider, or retail shop.
Marketing Calendar
A schedule of marketing activities designed to establish timelines and help plan, track, and monitor the progress. A well-designed marketing calendar supports critical business objectives and cross-functional operations.
Marketing plan
The go-to-market plan to implement a marketing strategy.
Marketing Strategy
The long-term plan to achieve a company’s goals by reaching prospective customers and turning them into actual customers. A good marketing strategy includes product, price, place, and promotion (the “Four Ps) and integrates traditional and digital channels.
Off-page seo
The practice of improving elements external to a website, such as backlinks, to improve its search engine rank.
on-page seo
The practice of improving elements of a website, including content relevance and quality, to improve its search engine rank.
open rate
The percentage of emails that are opened in a given campaign. The higher the open rate, the better.
Pay-per-click (ppc)
An advertising model designed to generate website traffic in which advertisers pay each time an ad is clicked.
remarketing
A strategy in which companies market to customers who have already visited their site through channels including paid advertising and email.
Retargeting
A strategy in which companies show targeted ads to customers who have already visited their site.
return on advertising spend (roas)
The ratio of revenue from advertising conversions to advertising spend.
search ad
A paid listing on a search engine results page that appears before organic (unpaid) results for the same search.
search engine marketing (sem)
SEM means using paid methods to improve a business’s placement on a search engine results page (SERP) for specific keywords or search queries.
search engine optimization (seo)
A collection of strategies designed to move a website higher in search engine results so people interested in a product or service are more likely to see that company’s listing in search results.
Search engine results page (serp)
The page of results produced by a search engine.
Social ad
Ads that appear on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok.
social listening
The practice of tracking social media mentions and conversations to gauge customer sentiment and trends. Social listening can detect shifts in customer sentiment, reveal pain points, and provide meaningful comparisons between competing brands.
technical seo
The practice of improving a search engine’s ability to crawl, index, and understand a site with a goal of increasing the site’s search engine rank.
toolkit
A kit including everything that is needed to set up and launch paid advertising campaigns, including visual assets, brand assets, keywords, and more.
traffic
The volume of visitors to a web site or landing page.
workflow automation
Any process that uses automated if/then logic to trigger a sequence of events. We use workflow automation in processes such as sending targeted email marketing campaigns or creating retargeting ads based on a site visitor’s shopping behavior.
youtube ad
Ads that appear in YouTube. Often, these are video ads that play before, during, or after a YouTube video. YouTube ad options also include ads that help users discover content (such as in search results or suggestions for what to watch next) and banner ads overlaid on video content.

Term & Definition

A/B Testing

A data-driven method for testing variations in a campaign to determine which variation performs best.

Asset

Any single item used in a marketing campaign. For example, an Instagram post or an event flier.

Backlink

A link from one site to another. More backlinks increase a website’s authority, a factor in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm.

Bidding

In paid advertising campaigns, marketers indicate how much they are willing to pay for ad space by making a bid. Bidding strategy is determined by end goal, such as gaining impressions, clicks, or conversions.

Bounce rate

The percentage of site visitors who leave without taking any actions. The lower the bounce rate, the better.

Campaign

A strategic, coordinated marketing initiative composed of multiple assets, clearly defined goals, and trackable metrics. For example, a social media campaign to promote a new product launch might consist of a mix of organic social media posts, promoted social posts, and influencer partnerships.

Conversion

The desired end goal of a website or campaign when a prospect turns (converts) into a customer.

Cost-per-click (cpc)

The total spent on an ad campaign divided by the number of clicks on the ad.

Cost-per-conversion

The total spent on an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions.

Creative

The copy and design elements of a marketing or advertising campaign.

Customer Segmentation

The practice of dividing the entire pool of customers into smaller groups—based on shared interests, demographics, or other factors—for the purposes of creating highly targeted, more personalized advertising or marketing campaigns.

Display ad

An ad with both text and an image that appears on websites and in app interfaces.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

Metrics that demonstrate progress toward a campaign goal or business objective.

Lead generation

The act of attracting potential customers and raising their interest in a business or brand.

Link building

The practice of generating backlinks to increase a website’s authority and search engine rank. 

Local SEO

Improved search engine rank specifically for businesses serving a local area, such as a restaurant, service provider, or retail shop.

Marketing Calendar

A schedule of marketing activities designed to establish timelines and help plan, track, and monitor the progress. A well-designed marketing calendar supports critical business objectives and cross-functional operations.

Marketing plan

The go-to-market plan to implement a marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategy

The long-term plan to achieve a company’s goals by reaching prospective customers and turning them into actual customers. A good marketing strategy includes product, price, place, and promotion (the “Four Ps) and integrates traditional and digital channels.

Off-page seo

The practice of improving elements external to a website, such as backlinks, to improve its search engine rank. 

on-page seo

The practice of improving elements of a website, including content relevance and quality, to improve its search engine rank.

open rate

The percentage of emails that are opened in a given campaign. The higher the open rate, the better.

Pay-per-click (ppc)

An advertising model designed to generate website traffic in which advertisers pay each time an ad is clicked.  

remarketing

A strategy in which companies market to customers who have already visited their site through channels including paid advertising and email. 

Retargeting

A strategy in which companies show targeted ads to customers who have already visited their site. 

return on advertising spend (roas)

The ratio of revenue from advertising conversions to advertising spend.

search ad

A paid listing on a search engine results page that appears before organic (unpaid) results for the same search. 

search engine marketing (sem)

SEM means using paid methods to improve a business’s placement on a search engine results page (SERP) for specific keywords or search queries.

search engine optimization (seo)

A collection of strategies designed to move a website higher in search engine results so people interested in a product or service are more likely to see that company’s listing in search results. 

Search engine results page (serp)

The page of results produced by a search engine. 

Social ad

Ads that appear on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. 

social listening

The practice of tracking social media mentions and conversations to gauge customer sentiment and trends. Social listening can detect shifts in customer sentiment, reveal pain points, and provide meaningful comparisons between competing brands.

technical seo

The practice of improving a search engine’s ability to crawl, index, and understand a site with a goal of increasing the site’s search engine rank.  

toolkit

A kit including everything that is needed to set up and launch paid advertising campaigns, including visual assets, brand assets, keywords, and more.

traffic

The volume of visitors to a web site or landing page. 

workflow automation

Any process that uses automated if/then logic to trigger a sequence of events. We use workflow automation in processes such as sending targeted email marketing campaigns or creating retargeting ads based on a site visitor’s shopping behavior.

youtube ad

Ads that appear in YouTube. Often, these are video ads that play before, during, or after a YouTube video. YouTube ad options also include ads that help users discover content (such as in search results or suggestions for what to watch next) and banner ads overlaid on video content.

NATALIE MICHEL

NATALIE MICHEL

CEO & Founder

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