A Digital Marketing Glossary for Beginners of Every Level

Digital marketing can make or break your business model!

Digital Marketing – Any marketing efforts carried out in a digital space (i.e. online).

Above the Fold – Any website content that appears on screen before scrolling. Originally used in print media to refer to the front page of a newspaper that appeared above where the paper was folded.

A/B Testing – The process of testing two different versions of something in order to compare analytics and determine the effectiveness of each version. Used to optimize an ad campaign, landing page, or any other aspect of digital marketing.

Analytics – The collection and interpretation of statistical data involving the way users interact with a website or ad. Typical analytics data includes number of visitors, time spent on page, CTR, and bounce rate.

Attribution – The act of identifying the steps a customer followed through a marketing funnel in order to give credit to each step. A typical example of steps might include PPC ad to landing page to thank you page, or blog 1 to blog 2 to landing page to thank you page. You can read more about attribution models here.

Banner Image – Also called the Hero Image. Banner Images are the main image displayed at the top of a website.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors to a page that did not interact with that page (click on any other links) before leaving the site.

An example of a carousel from a Google search results page.

Carousel – A collection of Rich Cards displayed on a SERP.

Cookies – Short text files sent from a website to a user’s computer. Cookies are usually used to retain login credentials, identify former visitors, and customize a website experience.

Conversion – When a visitor or lead becomes a customer. A conversion occurs at the time of a sale to the visitor or lead.

CPA  – Cost-Per-Acquisition. The dollar amount associated with acquiring one customer. The number is determined by dividing the total number of customers by the total dollars spent on an ad campaign.

CPC – Cost-Per-Click. The dollar amount spent each time someone clicks on an ad.

CPM – Cost-Per-Thousand. The dollar amount spent for every thousand impressions an ad generates. Sometimes, luck and a bit of snark can net you an incredibly effective CPM.

CTA – Call-To-Action. This is a phrase designed to entice a visitor to click on a corresponding button or link with the purpose of converting that visitor to a lead or conversion.

CTR – Click-Through-Rate. The percentage of visitors that click on a CTA.

eCommerce – Selling a product or service on the internet.

Featured Snippet – A summary of a search query answer chosen by Google to appear at the top of a SERP. Google uses featured snippets to answer search queries more efficiently and without the need for the user to visit another web page.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. The standard system of code used to create web pages. HTML tells a web browser how to display a page.

Impressions – Ad impressions are the total number of times your ad is viewed or displayed on a page. The ad does not need to be clicked on to count as an impression.

Web page impressions are counted as each time a page listing appears on a SERP produced by a search (the listing does not need to appear on a SERP that has actually been viewed – if your listing appears on page 3 but the user only views page 1, this counts as an impression).

Inbound Marketing – Marketing techniques oriented towards guiding customers to products/services through the Buyer’s Journey. Inbound marketers use content, social media, and SEO to gently guide consumers to their products/services (as opposed to more direct advertising, which is part of Outbound Marketing).

Interstitial Ad – (See Pop-up Ad).

Keyword – A word or phrase used to define the contents of a page or ad for SEO purposes. Keywords are used by search engines to to decide which pages or ads will be displayed in a SERP or as a part of an ad campaign.

Keywords are also used by users to initiate a search query. When you “Google” something, what you type are keywords.

Landing Page – Any page of a website that a visitor is directed to. Usually used as the destination of a CTA or ad.

Lead – Any visitor to your website who has expressed interest in your product or service, usually by leaving contact information like an email address.

Link – Also called Hyperlink. Any text that when clicked on transfers the user to another file, document, or page. Usually made visually distinct by changing the color and underlining the linked text.

Listing – A web page’s link, URL, and description as displayed on a SERP.

Meta Data – Meta data specifies page titles, descriptions, keywords, and authors. Meta data is not visible on a web page, but can be viewed in the source code.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click. The most common means of ad pricing, where the advertiser pays a set amount for each click an ad receives.

Pop-up Ad– Also called Interstitial Ads. Any ad that appears separate from the actual web page. These appear before reaching a page, over the page content, in between pages, or upon exiting a page. These are generally considered the worst idea ever.

Retargeting – The process of continuing to advertise to someone who has previously visited your site. Retargeting is accomplished using cookies.

Rich Card – A visual summary of web page content on a SERP created with Schema HTML. Usually displayed near the top of the SERP in a carousel with other cards.

Rich Snippet – A sample of a page’s content displayed in a SERP listing in addition to the description. Rich snippets are created using schema HTML.

Schema – Specialty HTML used by web designers to help search engines display certain content from a web page directly on a SERP listing. Schema is a type of structured data.

Search Engine – A program that identifies web pages, images, video, or other content that contains keywords specified by a user. Search engines are used by browsers to index the internet. Popular search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and YouTube (yes, that YouTube).

SEOSearch Engine Optimization. A series of techniques used to increase a site’s ranking on a SERP and the number of visitors to a site. Broken into two groups: White Hat and Black Hat.

  • White Hat SEO is any SEO technique approved by search engines.
  • Black Hat SEO is any type of SEO technique that will be penalized by search engines.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page. Any page of a search engine that displays the results of a search query. When you “Google” something, the results are displayed on a SERP.

Spider (or bot, robot, webcrawler) – A program used by search engines to discover (or “crawl”) web pages in order to index their content on a SERP.

Source Code – The fundamental component of a computer program. Source code tells a computer how a program functions. Web page source code (which is written using HTML) can be viewed by right clicking on a page and selecting “View page source” from the menu box that appears.

Snippet – The description of a web page on a SERP listing. Located under the title and URL. Snippets are a part of the meta data of a web page.

Structured Data – Specialty HTML used by web designers to help search engines understand the content of a page. Check out our Schema mark-up code guide here!

Tim Berners-Lee – Inventor of the World Wide Web. Thanks, Tim! While he didn’t invent the internet, he did make it possible for anyone/everyone to use it.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator. A website’s address on the internet.

Visitor – Anyone who views a website without (or before) leaving contact information (a lead) or making a purchase (a conversion).

Web Browser – A software application that allows users to access information on the internet. Browsers use search engines to index the content of the internet. Popular browsers include Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.