Updated: 3 days ago
New to the online space? Here is a glossary of terms related to digital marketing.
Above the fold
All of the information that is viewable on a web page prior to scrolling.
Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)
A framework for building web pages that is used to provide an easier, faster mobile experience.
Adaptive Web Design
A style of website design that creates web pages of different sizes in order to appear appropriately on devices with different screen sizes. It differs from Responsive Web Design in that it is actually multiple websites of different sizes rather than a single website which is coded to adapt to different screen sizes. Today, Responsive Web Design is now the recommended style, and Adaptive Web Design is no longer the recommended style for creating responsive websites.
The method used to decide the cost and placement of digital advertising on certain ad networks. A new ad auction occurs each time an ad is placed on an ad network.
Additional information that can be included in paid search ads. Often used to provide more detail and improve a user’s interaction with an advertisement.
A collection of ads and keywords that share a similar theme. Ad groups live within a Campaign.
A group of websites that have ad inventory for advertisers to purchase. In the digital space, popular ad networks include Google Display Network, Google Search Partners, and Facebook Audience Network.
A place for advertisers to create advertising campaigns and select where to show their ads from the available inventory. Google & Facebook are two of the largest ad platforms.
The rank of an ad in a given auction compared to other ads in that auction used to determine the ad’s position. Ad rank may be different in each auction.
Alt Text [images]
A textual description of an image on a web page. This helps search engines understand what is in the image and can be read aloud by a screen reader for blind users.
The clickable words of a hyperlink. Example: Intigress is a digital marketing agency in Bend, Oregon. In this example “digital marketing agency” is the anchor text.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
A branch of digital marketing focused on strategies and techniques designed to improve visibility of apps in the app store. This can include optimizing the apps meta data with targeted keywords, enhancing app creatives, and more.
A method of assigning full or partial value of an action to various touchpoints along the customer journey. There are several different types of attribution models that marketers use such as first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution models.
Average Cost Per Click (CPC)
The average price an advertiser pays when a user clicks on their ad.
Average Cost per Conversion (also known as Cost per Acquisition or CPA)
The average amount of money spent to generate each conversion. This is calculated by dividing the total cost of advertising during a period of time by the total number of conversions over the same period of time.
Average Cost Per Thousand Impressions or Cost Per Mille (CPM)
The average cost for every 1000 impressions that are received. This is measured by dividing the total cost of advertising by the number of impressions then multiplying by 1000.
A metric used to define the order of appearance of listings and ads on search engines.
An incoming line from an external website to another website. For example: A link from a local Chamber of Commerce to one of the member businesses would be a backlink to the member business.
A type of display advertising which appears alongside regular content on a website or app. Most often this ad type includes an image or graphic. Although the dimensions of banner ads range in size, common dimensions include 720×90, 300×250, and 160×600.
Bing Webmaster Tools
A free tool with reports used to monitor how a website is being crawled, indexed, appearing, and performing in search results on Bing.
Black Hat SEO
Using malicious or mischievous SEO techniques that are against search engine best practices and use policies. It is often used to try to exploit or take advantage of loopholes in search engine algorithms in order to improve search rankings quickly.
Body (also known as HTML Body Element)
The area of HTML code containing all of the page information, such as images, tables, text, and hyperlinks.
Bot (or robot)
See definition for Crawler.
The percent of sessions where a user only visited one page or did not complete any predefined events before leaving the website.
A term which refers to how familiar or recognizable a brand is to a particular audience. Also an objective for marketing or advertising campaigns which is typically measured by the number of impressions, frequency of impressions, or views that a campaign receives within a given time period.
An element on a page or SERP result that shows the navigational trail a user took or could take to reach the page they are on. On a webpage, the trail is a series of links to other pages and is most often located at the top of the page. Example: Home / Shop / Backpacks
Information about a business (see NAP+W) that is listed on websites and platforms such as Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other similar sites.
Call Ads (formerly call-only ads)
A type of advertisement used on mobile devices that allows the user to click on the advertisement to directly call the business rather than have to first visit the business website or dial the business phone number themselves.
Call To Action
A phrase used to prompt a certain action or immediate response such as “Learn More” or “Sign Up Today”.
Call Tracking Number (CTN)
A phone number on a website that is used for tracking purposes, such as to determine how consumers found the business or their reason for calling.
Campaign [Digital Advertising]
A collection of ad groups or ad sets centered around a common goal
Canonical (also known as a canonical link element or canonical tag)
An HTML element that is used to avoid duplicate content problems by telling search engines which page of content is the preferred version.
In Google Analytics, the Channel refers to the general group of sources that directed a user to a website. There are both default channels built into Google Analytics, such as social, organic, and direct, as well as the option to create custom channels.
A computer program used to simulate a chat or conversation via either text or voice. Chatbots are often used to help users find frequently requested information and enhance the user experience by providing 24/7 connectivity and support. Chatbots can be used on a variety of platforms including SMS, webchat, smart home devices, and smart speakers.
Any mention of a business online.
A Google Ads metric which notes the percentage of clicks your ads received out of the estimated total number of clicks your ads were eligible to receive.
The number of times a user clicked on an ad or listing.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
The number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions received expressed as a percentage. This can also be thought of as the average likelihood that a user will click on your ad or listing after seeing it. It can be helpful in determining the quality of a listing or ad.
A type of Black Hat SEO in which a website delivers different content to the search engine than it delivers to users.
A single code snippet placed on a website, which holds other tracking codes or pixels and information on when to “fire” those other tags and pixels. The container tag code should be placed on every page of a website and allows for a single tracking code to be used, rather than placing many individual tracking codes on a website. Using a container tag, the individual tags are added via a separate user interface (UI) instead of editing the website’s code. A popular example of a container tag is Google Tag Manager.
Content Management System (CMS)
A software or system used to organize the creation and management of digital content. Common examples include WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
A branch of marketing focused on creating content to capture the attention of potential customers. In the digital marketing space, content marketing can include blog articles, email campaigns, social media posts or videos, and much more.
A defined action of importance (e.g. making a phone call or reaching a thank you page on a website) deemed valuable to a business. Conversions are used to help measure the effectiveness and return on investment of digital marketing campaigns and strategies.
Conversion Rate (CVR)
A measurement of how often a click turns into a conversion calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of clicks on an advertisement or listing.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
A strategy used to increase the number of users who take a certain action (which has been deemed a conversion) on a web page.
A piece of code that is stored on a user’s browser to track how a user interacts with a website or advertisement for a website, and to store user information such as username, or language preference, etc.
1st Party Cookie
A cookie set by the owner of the domain a user is currently viewing. This cookie is used to collect first-party data.
3rd Party Cookie
A cookie set by a third party used to submit information to a company other than the owner of the domain a user is viewing. 3rd party cookie use is being deprecated from most internet browsers in 2023.
A term used to describe web browsers that do not support the use of third-party cookies.
Core Web Vitals
A set of page experience signals which are being incorporated into Google’s search ranking algorithm as a known ranking factor. Core Web Vitals include measurements of a website’s Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Cost Per Click (CPC)
The amount an advertiser pays for a click on a digital ad.
Cost Per Conversion
The price an advertiser pays for a conversion action. Most often abbreviated as CPA, meaning cost per (conversation) action.
Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
The amount an advertiser pays for one thousand digital ad impressions.
A program designed to browse and read the web by following hyperlinks. Search engines use the information a crawler finds to build an index.
The act of moving through website pages to read the content in order to appropriately index it. Search engines use programs called crawlers or bots to crawl the web.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
A software or technology used to collect and store information about a business’s customers and potential customers that is designed to help improve customer relationships and communication. Common CRM examples include SalesForce, Hubspot, Zoho & Pipedrive.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
Code used to style a web document.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
The total cost it takes to acquire one new customer, which often includes marketing expenses and employee wages.
Customer Data Platform (CDP)
A technology used to combine data from multiple sources and tools for better organization and analysis of customer interactions and information.
The phases a customer goes through while interacting with your business. There are several schools of thought on what the Customer Journey looks like, such as the AIDA marketing funnel or McKinsey Loyalty Loop.
See Meta Description.
Advertising (paid placements) on any digital platform. This can include social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook as well as on search engines like Google or Bing and individual websites.
Digital Advertising Audit
An inspection or examination of a business’s current digital advertising performance and tactics.
The segment of marketing which refers to any marketing initiatives performed in the digital landscape. Common types of digital marketing include email marketing, SEO, SEM, digital advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing among others.
Advertising that is shown on a web page that a consumer is using. Most often in the form of images, banners, video, or rich formats (animations or slideshows).
A group of websites where display ads may be shown. For example, the Google Display Network (GDN) is a display network comprised of over 2M websites that can show ads to users when the advertiser uses the Google platform to advertise.
A search ranking score from 1 to 100, created by Moz, used to measure the SEO weight a website domain carries in the eyes of a search engine. A higher score indicates a more authoritative domain.
The amount of time between when a user clicks on a result on the search engine results page and when the user returns to the search engine results page.
A specific ad type in which the content of the ad is dynamically generated. Dependent on the ad platform and type of ad, content may be generated based on website content, previous user behavior, or search behavior.
Any media exposure that does not come directly from your business. This includes things like shared posts, reviews of your business, or mentions from another site.
Stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trustworthiness and is used in SEO to describe the quality of a website or content. The term comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.
Metrics used to measure how engaging a website is. These often include bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, and social shares.
A specific action or occurrence on a website. Events may be automatically tracked or a business may choose to define its own events. These business defined events are typically tracking information important to the business such as how many people clicked to download, submitted a form, or visited a particular page. Events may also be time-based, such as sessions that lasted at least two minutes.
The page from which a visitor leaves a website.
Facebook Business Manager
A platform created by Facebook designed to help marketers manage the Facebook ads and pages of multiple businesses from one central account.
A reverse listing appearing on the search engine results page with the information above the link to the website. A featured snippet is a type of rich result.
A display advertising metric which counts the average number of times a user has seen an ad. Video, display, and social media advertising often measure the frequency; however, search ads do not include the frequency measurement in their reporting.
Using a person’s location to trigger a response when a person enters or leaves a virtually fenced area. For example, a person with GPS enabled on their cell phone enters a one-mile radius of a smoothie shop and they are sent a text message with a 10% off coupon for that smoothie shop.
Appending a location-based term to a keyword, such as “Dentist in Bend.” Here, Bend is the Geo-modifier.
Showing ads to people based on their physical location. Locations are usually determined by IP address or mobile GPS signals.
A free tool that collects data and organizes the data into reports used to show how users interact with websites.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
The next generation of Google Analytics which incorporates machine learning to surface user insights. It can be used with both web and app properties and is now the default version of Google Analytics.
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)
Google’s knowledge panel for local businesses. It contains business information provided by the business and the business’ customers along with additional automatically generated information pulled from other sources on the web.
Google Merchant Center
A free tool that can be used by retailers and e-commerce businesses to submit a product feed to Google. The product feed contains information about the products which Google uses in rich results including results that appear on the Google Shopping tab.
Google Search Console
A free tool with reports used to monitor how a website is being crawled, indexed, appearing, and performing in search results on Google.
Google Tag Manager
A free tool used to organize website tagging and tracking codes all in one place.
Headers (also known as HTML Headers)
An HTML element that defines the introductory content. This information is displayed on the actual web page often in a larger font to tell users what the next section of text will be about. There are headers of different weights which function as sub-headers. This information is important for the user experience as well as telling search engines the information contained on the page and how important it is.
A data visualization tool often used in digital marketing to show how users have interacted with a website.
An interaction that results in data being sent to a tracking solution (i.e. Google Analytics). One session can include multiple hits such as page views, events, or social interactions.
Code which tells the search engines the written language of the web page being indexed.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
A web resource protocol indicating that information is transferred over a secure connection.
A connection from one page, element, or document on the internet to another.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
A method of transferring data over the internet.
IDFA or Identifier for Advertisers
A technology formerly used by Apple to allow advertisers to track and target users within iOS14 devices. As of the iOS14.5 update, users of Apple devices need to specifically opt-in to allow the information to be passed to app owners.
The number of times an ad or listing appeared. This does not always mean that a user actually viewed the ad or listing. Multiple impressions can come from the same person if that person saw the ad or listing more than once.
A measurement of the number of times an ad was shown out of the total number of times it was eligible to show. This can help measure how much of the available audience an ad is reaching.
Impression to Conversion Rate (Imp CVR)
A measurement of how often an impression turns into a conversion, calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of impressions.
A method of collecting, arranging and categorizing the information that crawlers, bots, or spiders find on websites.
A link from one page to another page on the same website.
See Digital Marketing.
A programming language used to create interactive or dynamic elements on a web page.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
Any important metric used to measure success as it relates to a marketing goal.
A word or phrase used to match website content to a user inquiry. In paid search advertising, this word or phrase is used to match a search query to an ad. For search engine optimization, this word or phrase is used to create content that will be relevant to users when found in a search query.
The maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click in an ad auction.
A measurement of the occurrence of a keyword on a page or website in relation to the total number of words on the same page or website.
Using a keyword an unnecessary amount of times in an attempt to attract attention from search engines for that keyword in order to rank for that keyword. This is not a recommended tactic, and is, therefore, a form of Black Hat SEO.
A collection of information about real-world objects and entities that search engines use to create knowledge panels. Introduced by Google in 2012.
A box of information that appears on the search engine results page and is meant to give the searcher a brief look at the information available on the web about the topic. The knowledge panel is automatically generated by the search engines and is shown for entities that are included in the knowledge graph.
The web page a visitor first encounters when visiting a website.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) (also known as Latent Semantic Analysis or LSA)
A technique that uses statistical formulas to determine the meaning of a body of text based on the context.
The process of creating and capturing consumer interest in a product, service, or business. This is usually measured by counting conversions, collecting contact information, or newsletter sign-ups.
Lifetime Value (LTV)
The average amount of revenue one customer will bring to a business over their lifetime. Lifetime may be defined as the average time someone remains a customer.
A slang term used in SEO to describe the value of links pointing to another site.
Local Service Ads
A Google Ad format that uses a pay-per-lead pricing model and is only available to businesses that are verified by Google. This ad type is only available in certain areas and only to specific types of businesses. Local Service Ads are managed on a separate platform outside of Google Ads.
Search engine optimization focused primarily on a business which only serves customers at a certain location.
A Facebook Ads audience type comprised of a group of users defined by their similarity to another group of users. In order to create a Lookalike Audience, there must first be a custom audience to act as a base or seed list.
A action brought against a website when a human reviewer at Google has flagged the website as having pages that are not in compliance with Google’s guidelines. A manual action typically results in pages or entire websites being omitted from Google search results or ranking lower in the search results.
A keyword setting for search engine ads that refines when an advertisement is eligible to show based on how keywords are used in a user’s search query.
See Keyword Bid.
In Google Analytics, the Medium refers to the way a user came to a website. Examples include “organic” meaning they found a website via an organic listing in the search results, “none” meaning they came directly to a website by typing it into the browser, or “referral” meaning they came to a website via a link on another website.
A summary of a page’s content that appears on search engine results pages but does not appear anywhere on the actual page. This is critical for search engines to understand page contents as well as giving users an idea of the information they will find after clicking the link.
Mobile First Indexing
Indicates that the mobile version of a website is the version that is crawled and indexed by search engines. Any information that does not exist on the mobile version of a website is not indexed.
A measure of how easy a website is to use and access on mobile devices.
An acronym for name, address, phone, and website that is often used in relation to citations or business listings as a part of Local SEO.
See Organic Listing
An HTML tag intended for web crawlers, which requests that the crawler does not index the page.
Optimization Score [Google Ads]
Google’s attempt to quantify the health of a Google Ads account based on automated findings which includes a set of recommendations and a projection of the impact of implementing those recommendations in the given ad account.
A listing on the SERP that is achieved without directly paying the search engine. The entire field of search engine optimization is dedicated to improving the performance of organic listings on the SERP.
Any digital platform or medium that a business fully controls, such as the business website, social media profiles, and Google My Business.
Similar to domain authority, page authority is a search ranking score from 1 to 100, created by Moz, used to measure the SEO weight a specific web page carries in the eyes of a search engine.
Page Experience Signals
A selection of measurements used to better understand the user experience of a website. Page experience signals include Core Web Vitals, mobile-friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitials.
Page Head (also known as HTML Head Element)
The information contained in a web page prior to the body, which defines information about the contents of the page. This is commonly where tags, such as Google Analytics tags, and metadata are placed in a web page’s code.
A metric from 1 to 100 that measures how quickly a website page loads. According to Google, Page Speed is a ranking factor as it has a direct impact on user experience.
Pages per Visit
The number of web pages an average user views during a session on a website.
Any advertising placement earned via a payment. See also Digital Advertising.
Any type of paid marketing or advertising including pay per click advertising or social media advertising.
Penalty (search engine)
A negative action against a website brought by a search engine for ignoring or intentionally violating policies or best practices.
Phone-through Rate (PTR)
An advertising metric measuring the number of phone calls received from an ad divided by the total number of times the phone number was shown in an ad.
An invisible image file placed on a website that is used to pass information, such as a cookie, to a server. Pixels can be used to determine touchpoints with a brand across different platforms.
Another name for a featured snippet. So named because it shows up above the first traditional, organic result on the SERP.
PPC (Pay per Click)
A type of digital advertising in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their advertisements.
An automated bidding method used to purchase display ad inventory for a specific audience. Often called real-time bidding (RTB).
Progressive Web Apps
A type of web page that functions like an app and is designed for a more immersive user experience. Learn more about Progressive Web Apps.
A score out of 10 given by Google Ads to indicate how closely related an ad & landing page are to the keywords. Since Quality Score is one of the factors in Ad Rank, it can have an impact on the number of times an ad is shown and the price an advertiser pays for ads.
A component of the Google algorithm that uses machine learning to determine the most relevant results for search queries, especially queries that are entered for the first time.
These are items that are used in search algorithms and impact how and where a webpage appears on search engine result pages.
A display advertising metric which counts the number of users who have seen your ad. Video, display, and social media advertising often measure reach; however, search ads do not include reach in their reporting.
In Google Analytics, this is the website a user visited prior to visiting another website. Typically the user clicked on a link to the website they are visiting from the referring website.
Remarketing / Retargeting
Showing advertising to an audience who has already interacted with a business in some way. For example, showing an ad to people who have visited a business’ website, but not yet purchased anything.
Responsive Web Design
A style of website design which ensures that the website appears appropriately on devices with different screen sizes.
Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
A performance metric used to describe the amount of revenue generated from spending on advertising. It is calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the actual spending on advertising.
Return On Investment (ROI)
The amount of revenue returned to a business in regards to the amount spent to create that revenue.
A listing on the search engine results page which includes more than the standard title, web address, & description. For example, a result that also includes ratings or images is a rich result.
A file used by webmasters that give search engine robots [like Googlebot] directives on how to crawl a website.
A methodology used to improve a website’s performance in organic search results. At its core, this means helping search engines better understand a website’s contents and providing users a better experience.
Search Engine Optimizer (SEO)
A person who practices SEO.
An inspection or examination of a website and its digital performance as it relates to search engine optimization tactics.
Session Duration (also known as Time on Site)
The amount of time an average user spends on a website calculated per session.
A group of interactions or hits with your website. A session may include several web page visits and interactions or it may contain just one. A new session begins if a user visited a website via one campaign, leaves and comes back via a different campaign. A new session will also start after midnight or after 30 minutes of inactivity. This means a single user might have multiple sessions in a single day or over several weeks.
Shopping Ads (also known as Product Ads)
A digital ad format designed specifically for products that are sold online.
Similar To Audiences
A Google Ads audience type comprised of a group of users defined by their similarity to another group of users. In order to create a Similar To Audience, there must be a seed audience to act as a base or seed list.
Sitelink (or Sitelink Extension)
A type of rich result that shows links to various pages on a website, resulting in a larger listing for the website on the SERP. Sitelinks are sometimes automatically generated by search engines if deemed relevant to the user’s search query.
A file in a specific format used to provide information to search engines about the content on a website and the relationship between the content. Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to crawl websites and find pages to index.
The organization of a website including it’s page hierarchy and internal link structure. A well organized site structure can have a positive impact on both user experience and SEO.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
A branch of digital marketing focused on marketing businesses on social media platforms using both paid and unpaid tactics.
Social Media Optimization (SMO)
A branch of digital marketing focused on strategies and techniques used to effectively market a business on social media platforms. Social Media Optimization can include enhancing profile information, planning and posting organic content, engagement, and more.
In Google Analytics, the Source is the origin of the user prior to visiting a website for any type of traffic, whether it is organic, paid, social, referral, or direct
See definition for Crawler.
A small data file that enables encrypted connections between a web server and a browser to ensure site security.
Code written in a specific way that allows search engines to understand the content more clearly. It is used to display information in search results in a particular way with the goal of enhancing the search engine user’s experience.
A group of people that a business is trying to reach with it’s message, products, and/or services. This group is defined by a common set of characteristics such as demographic information, interests, or past purchasing behavior.
An HTML element that defines the title of a web page. This is displayed in search engine results, but not on the actual page.
An instance of interaction between a customer and a brand.
Tracking Code (or Tracking Snippet)
A piece of code that monitors how a user is interacting with a website. The code is stored on each page of a website and sends data to an analytics tool to be used by businesses for marketing purposes and other business purposes.
A measurement used by Google to indicate the number of times users choose to watch a video ad.
Universal Resource Locator (URL)
The online address of a resource, website, or page.
A code appended to a URL that can change the functionality of a website or be used as a tracking dimension. A parameter often starts with a question mark and is followed by the items that define the parameter after an equals sign.
User Experience (UX)
A phrase used to describe how a visitor interacts with a website.
User Interface (UI)
The conduit on a display that allows a human to interact with a computer more easily.
People using a website. The same person may be counted as multiple users if that person uses multiple unlinked devices to access a website.
A type of conversion in which a user views an ad, but does not click on the ad and later completes a conversion action.
View-through Conversion Window
A conversion setting in Google Ads which defines the maximum length of time that a view-through action will still be attributed as a view-through conversion. As an example, if the view-through conversion window is set to 30 days, any conversion action completed by a user who saw an ad but did not click on the ad within 30 days of seeing that ad will be counted as a view-through conversion.
Refers to any search query conducted using voice technology. This can be a search on a mobile device or on a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
White Hat SEO
Using approved SEO techniques and best practices to improve search rankings over time.
A metalanguage which allows users to define their own customized markup languages, especially in order to display documents on the internet.
A highly valuable SEO plugin for WordPress websites that helps website owners to optimize their sites for search engines.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
The moment at which a buyer decides he or she is going to make a purchase and researches that purchase.
301 redirect (permanent)
An HTTP status code which signifies that the web page a user is trying to reach has been permanently changed to another page.
302 redirect (temporary)
An HTTP status code which indicates that the web page a user is trying to reach has been temporarily moved.
404 broken page
An HTTP status code which signifies that the web page a user is looking for could not be found on the website’s server.
I hope this article helps you towards understanding various terms used in Digital Marketing. For any guidance you can contact us & we will be happy to assist. With the business dynamics changing rapidly in today’s world, every business, be it small or big needs to have an online presence and be a part of the global digitization. A start-up, SME running a brick & mortar business or an entity with established footprints in the online domain, all need to survive in this cut-throat competitive business world. It is apparent that we look at new strategies & ideas on how we can use the power of the Online World. Ceresphere Consulting focuses on setting this stage for your online presence & more importantly on the growth of your business digitally. Contact us for assistance in the Digital space.