The industry of digital marketing is one that is chock full of acronyms, insider terminology and technical jargon- and for an outsider, figuring out what some of these terms mean can be a daunting task. With this in mind, we have created our very own Digital Marketing Jargon Buster, which will explain to the layman what some of these digital marketing terms are, across different areas of the industry like SEO, web design, PPC and more.
General Digital Marketing Terms
The world of digital marketing is one that has many different channels and approaches, all with their own merits and drawbacks- as well as unique performance metrics and jargon to get to grips with. In this section, we’ll explore some of the more general digital marketing terms that you might encounter when first dipping your toes into the industry.
Affiliate marketing is a channel of marketing that lets you promote a product or service on another company’s website, at the cost of a commission fee for every conversion or item sold.
Bounce Rate is a metric used across many different channels of digital marketing. It reports the average number of readers/site visitors that leave a page without being drawn into further actions, such as clicking another link or visiting other parts of the website.
Content marketing is a channel of marketing that’s focused on the creation, publishing and distribution of content to a specific target audience. Types of content can include blogs, infographics, videos and emails, among others.
A conversion is simply the name given to a goal completion in an advertising campaign. For example, someone clicking on an ad of yours and then purchasing the advertised product or service could be classed as a conversion for that campaign.
CPC, which stands for Cost-per-click, is a marketing metric which determines how much you as the advertiser had to pay for every successful click from an ad. CPC is usually used within channels of marketing with paid ads, such as PPC or Paid Social advertising.
A CTA, or Call to Action, is any form of device that is used to instigate an action from a website visitor, such as clickable buttons, links and forms- often to generate some form of lead or conversion.
The CTR, or click-through-rate, is a metric that calculates the percentage of people who “clicked through” an ad or link upon seeing it.
Email marketing is a channel of digital marketing that is based on sending out email campaigns, sometimes to different audiences and customer groups depending on the approach.
Impressions are a type of metric that shows you how many times your ad was rendered on a web page- but not necessarily how many people actually viewed the ad itself. Impressions are useful for showing you what the overall reach of an ad in your campaign was.
A landing page is a page on your website, primarily created to convert visitors into leads (for example, after a user clicks on an ad). The page a user lands on after clicking the link from an ad or external link is known as the landing page.
Paid social is another form of paid advertising like PPC, wherein advertising campaigns are created on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram and delivered to different audiences.
Remarketing is a marketing strategy that targets people who have already interacted with your website or app. This means you can position ads in front of these audiences with messaging designed to reel them back in.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising your website in order to make it rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. Unlike channels such as PPC, SEO is an entirely organic process.
A SERP, or search engine results page, is simply the page that shows the list of results whenever you enter a query into a search engine like Google.
PPC, which stands for Pay-per-click advertising, is a type of advertising model wherein advertisers pay every time a user clicks on one of their ads. Paid search ads are identified from organic listings by an “ad” tag and are commonly seen towards the top of the SERP page.
Website Design is the process of planning out, coding and creating a website. Web designers will be responsible for the overall look, layout, structure and functionality of websites.
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SEO specifically is an area of digital marketing that can have some intimidating bits of vocabulary to get your head around. To help you get to grips with some of these terms, we’ve outlined some of the most common SEO terms you might encounter, what they mean and when they come into effect.
Anchor text is the name given to the text of a link; this text should adequately convey the context of the page the link is taking you to and is often keyword optimised.
Black Hat SEO
Blackhat SEO is the name given to any underhanded tactics used for page optimisation purposes. A good example would be to add hidden, keyword-optimised text onto a page that holds no value to the user.
Backlinks are simply the name given to any external links from another website to your own, and getting good quality backlinks is one of the best ways to improve the domain authority of your website or page.
Crawling is the process by which a search engine finds and returns results to users when they enter a query.
Domain Authority is a metric from the website Moz and is seen as an excellent general barometer of the quality of a website; taking into account things like site size, health and backlinks to give you a score out of 100.
Featured snippets are a unique type of answer box that can sometimes appear in the SERP depending on the type of query entered. You might see, for example, a featured snippet in response to a direct question with a clear cut answer, such as when something happened or how old something is.
Header Tags are used to help you structure the content on a page, with the H1 tag being the page title, and then H2s and H3s in descending order relating to different subcategories of the page. On this page, for example, you will see that each term we cover will be titled with a H3, and will be sitting under a broader, H2 category (such as “SEO Terms”).
Meta Descriptions are HTML elements that describe the contents of a page. Search engines will usually use the meta description of a page on the SERP so long as they are under the suggested 155 character limit, and they provide an opportunity to optimise your page as well as entice visitors to click through to visit the page.
A Meta Title is, like Meta Descriptions, an optimised HTML element- that serves as the page title for search engines. Meta titles should clearly describe the contents of the page, and should never exceed the character length of 60 characters.
On Page Optimisation
This is the practice of optimising the content, layout and structure of pages on your website in order to make them more valuable and rank higher for key terms. Some standard practices of on-page optimisation include:
- Optimising page content for keywords
- Optimising metadata for keywords
- Increasing the number of internal and external links on a page
Robots.txt Files are files added to a website, that tell search engines which parts of your website they should and shouldn't crawl. This is useful for tagging pages on your website that don’t need to, or shouldn’t be, crawled, such as form completion “thank you” pages.
Schema Markup is a type of code you can add to a page, for the purpose of providing more information to web crawlers on what your page is and what it’s purpose is. For example, a page listing products can have ProductSchema added, which will help crawlers understand what the page is doing and can help it to rank better.
Tip: Want to learn more about SEO? Visit our SEO service page here.
Web Design Terms
Website design is one of the more technical aspects of digital marketing, with various coding and programming terms that can be quite difficult to get your head around, especially for a beginner. Below we have listed some of the common website design terms and acronyms that you may come across when working on developing or updating your website.
The backend of a website is simply the parts of a website that are hidden from regular website visitors. The back end usually includes things like the information structure, applications, and the CMS.
Breadcrumbs are navigation elements that appear near the top of a web page, showing you the hierarchy of pages and subpages that appear before the current page you’re on. You might see these on blog or product pages; in this instance, they might show you the category of product that the page belongs to- Home > Category > Product.
Standing for Content Management System, a CMS is a backend tool that is used for easily managing a website’s content.
Standing for Cascading Style Sheets, CSS’s are used to define and format the look and feel of your website, outside of the HTML file(s).
DNS, or Domain Name Service, simply refers to the thing that converts IP addresses into domain names. When a URL is typed into a browser, DNS servers return the IP address of the web server associated with that name.
An element is the main building block of any document in XML. Individual elements can hold things like text, other elements, or even both.
The front-end of a website contains all the components that a site visitor can see, such as images and content, and is the interface that visitors use to access a website’s content.
HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the standard markup language and code used for displaying documents and pages in a web browser.
HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is the primary protocol used to transfer data over the web from a web server to a browser, for example, in fetching HTML documents.
HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a widely used extension of HTTP that protects the data transfers between your browser and server from being intercepted by attackers.
UX stands for User Experience, which is one of the most important considerations a web designer has to make; whether or not the planned structure and design of a website lends itself to a good overall experience for the user.
A wireframe is a low-fidelity design layout for websites, giving an outline of the structure and layout of the site, as well as a way to plan the overall direction of the user interface.
Standing for Extensible Markup Language, XML is the principle markup language that is used for writing other, custom markup languages.
Tip: Want to learn more about Web Design? Visit our Web Design service page here.