It can be confusing making sense of all of the jargon used in digital marketing. Complicated and wordy terms can be enough to put off most non-marketers from engaging with their marketing campaigns. It’s intimidating to discuss any topic when words are thrown around without clarification. Communication barriers can emerge between a company’s marketers and the rest of the team, inhibiting important conversations regarding budgets and marketing campaign performance that are essential for the growth of businesses.
Here is a simple glossary of important terms which will allow you to understand your marketing campaigns with confidence.
Alt text – A description of the content displayed in an image. Two main uses: it describes the image for the visually impaired and outlines the image for bots to understand, improving Search engine ranking.
Anchor text – The Text in a hyperlink (often a CTA’s like ‘Read More Here!’).
A/B testing / split testing / multi-variate testing – Separating website traffic into two variations and comparing their performance against each other. For example, sending some users to your website with a current CTA button and some to your website with a recently optimised CTA button and then comparing how each performed and choosing the most successful button.
Backlink – A hyperlink connecting one webpage to another. Increasing backlinks is a great way to improve SEO performance.
Bounce rate – The proportion of website visitors who exit the first page of your website without any further interaction.
Bot/Spider – A Search engine tool which navigates your website and ranks it in their search engine based on the relevance and authority of your content in relation to the query of the user.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) – Method to increase the proportion of visitors into paying customers, or any other desired action a company decides.
Click through rate (CTR) – Proportion of users who clicked an advertisement and arrived on your landing page.
Cost per acquisition (CPA) – The financial cost of gaining each new customer which is calculated by dividing the overall cost of an advertising campaign by the amount of customers acquired in the same time frame.
Call to action (CTA) – A link (often a button) which outlines a specific action for the user to take on your web page for example “Buy now!”.
Earned media – Publicity gained without paid advertisement, for example another company writing a blog post about you or performing an interview.
Impression – A single display of an advertisement to an online user.
Inbound – Modern marketing method which aims to get customers to reach out to the company. Examples include content marketing like blogs and social media which add value to customers and gain brand loyalty (we've got a whole guide to Inbound Marketing here).
Keyword – Important words used by search engines that most accurately convey the contents of a webpage.
Longtail – Niche products and services which tend to have less demand but higher conversion rates due to low competition and consumers desire to purchase.
Landing page – The first page of a website a user comes into contact. Varying based on the hyperlinked clicked, for example a search engine may take a visitor to the website homepage but a paid advert could take a user the page of the product advertised.
Meta tag – A piece of code which defines the contents of a webpage. Frequently used by spiders to analyse a website.
Meta description – Short amount of text underneath website hyperlink in a search engine.
Organic search – Ranking in SERPs without the use of paid advertisement, through SEO.
Outbound – Traditional marketing method where the company reaches out to potential customers. For example direct mail like leaflets, Television adverts and cold-calling.
Pay per click (PPC) / Cost per click (CPC) – Paid advertisement, like Facebook adverts, which’s cost is based on the amount of traffic generated to a site due to clicking on the advertisement. For example, the cost of a company paying for Facebook advert.
Paid media – Marketing promotion through paid advertisement like PPC or display ads.
RSS – A technology which allows users to subscribe to content and receive alerts when new content is released.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Tailoring website content to match queries and rank better on SERPs for greater exposure through search engines.
Sitemap – A file of code which describes to search engines the content and layout of website allowing them to rank the site.
SERPS (Search engine results page) – The pages displayed in search engines which are ranked to best match the query of the user.
Search engine marketing (SEM) – Promoting websites by improving their presence in search engines, either organically or through paid advertisement.
Session – The duration of time a web visitor was on your site, with a maximum time capped to 30 minutes of continuous browsing of your website. Longer than 30 minutes will count as a second session.
Tracking code – A piece of code which records the actions taken by website users and sends it to analytic tools like Google Analytics for further use.
Web traffic – The amount of data being sent to web servers as a result of visitor to the site.
User-generated content (UGC) – Pieces of content, for example t-shirt designs, which have been created by the consumers rather than the company.
User experience (UX) – All parts of the end-user’s interaction with your brand, product and service.
Understanding these key terms is a great way to engage in a more detailed discussion of the performance of your marketing campaigns and evaluate them against your business objectives, creating real improvements within your company.