Digital Marketing Terms For Dummies - 46 Must-Know Phrases

Just kidding! This post about digital marketing terms is by no means directed at dummies. As the founder and owner of a digital marketing agency, a huge part of my job here at Bixa Media is educating clients. While the digital age has been in full effect for quite a while, you’d be surprised at how little people know about digital marketing. Actually, I would say most of the general population has little to zero knowledge about digital marketing.

I cannot tell you how many times friends, family and strangers ask what I do. When I respond with “digital marketing”, the immediate reaction is: “What’s that?”. I then go into my spiel which is: “I help companies make money online by creating a website for them, driving traffic to that website, and then ensuring that traffic turns into customers”. At that point, most people understand that I “design websites”, which really is only a small part of what we do here at Bixa Media. And in fact, this is one of the main reasons I decided to start Bixa Media: I saw an opportunity for small and medium businesses to get a big impact from digital marketing services, but knew that most did not have the knowledge, resources or time to get the assistance they needed.

Working on a new website? Be sure to download these 6 simple tips to help you save time and money during the process.

Inspired by the continual need for digital marketing education and by the request of a client, I have decided to create a glossary of digital marketing terms. Have some additional terms you want me to add to this list?  Tell us in the comments below or email me.

Digital Marketing Terms

Above The Fold: In web design, this refers to everything visible on the upper portion of website, prior to scrolling.

AdSense: This is a Google-run program that allows website owners to get paid for showing targeted ads on their site.

AdWords: A Google-run advertising program where interested parties can bid on relevant keywords to show their clickable ads in Google’s search results.

Affiliate Marketing: A way of making money online by allowing others to market their product or service on your site.

Algorithm: The various factors a search engine uses to rank websites. The weight of each factor constantly changes and the algorithm is kept a secret in order to protect the search engine against spammers.

Anchor Text: This is the visible text of a hyperlink. It does not always correspond to the URL the link goes to.

Autoresponder: A set of emails delivered, as users subscribe, over a pre-set timeline.

Avatar: An avatar is a personalized graphic or image that represents a computer user or online author.

Backlink: Also known as an inbound link, this refers to an outside link that points to your website or web page.

Banner: An advertising banner is a clickable ad on a web page.

Black Hat SEO: An unethical way of improving your website ranking. While it may get you quick short-term results, the risk is not worth the reward. Once search engines discover you are engaging in black hat SEO, they will penalize you and the loss in business can be devastating.

Blog: A blog is a website in which the posts are arranged in chronological order, usual with the most recently published at the top. A blog can be updated by one individual or by a group.

Bounce Rate: This is a website performance metric defined in percentages. It measures the number of single page visits against the total number of visits. Generally speaking, you want users to stay on your website longer and browse multiple pages. Consequently, the lower the bounce rate, the “better” your website performs.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR): CTR is one way to measure online advertising performance. It is defined as the number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions). Normally click-through-rate is expressed as a percentage.

Content Management System (CMS): A content management system is a program used to manage content for a website, including editing, publication, modification, and maintenance. Three very popular content management systems today are WordPressJoomla, and Drupal.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): CPA is an online advertising pricing model. The advertiser pays per predefined action (form submission, purchase, etc. It s also be known as Cost-Per-Action.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): CPC is another online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays every time someone clicks on their ad. The actual price per click can vary greatly.

Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM): Another online advertising pricing model, CPM is the cost per 1,000 impressions.

Conversion: An online conversion is a goal that you set, such as a purchase, signup or form submission.

Destination URL: In online advertising, this is the actual URL of the page that users will reach after clicking on your ad.

Digital Marketing: Digital marketing is the act of promoting brands through various digital channels such as websites, email, cell phones, etc.

Display URL: In online advertising, this is the URL that is displayed on the ad, which may vary from the actual URL the ad directs clicks to. For example, a Bixa Media ad may have a display URL of www.bixamedia.com, but actually send people to www.bixamedia.com/our-services/.

Email Marketing: One of the best online marketing channels in terms of ROI, email marketing is the practice of sending people emails in the hopes of eventually selling them a service or product.

Hashtag (#): The # symbol is used before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter. It helps to categorize posts and allow them to show up more easily in search. For example, if a Bixa Media tweet uses a hashtag #digitalmarketing, it will show up in the Twitter search query “digital marketing”.

Keyword: A specific word or phrase that Internet users type into search engines (like Google, Bing, or Yahoo) in order to find a service, product or specific information.

Keyword Stuffing: Keyword stuffing is an unethical SEO technique that loads a page with keywords in an unnatural way in order to influence search engine ranking.

Landing Page: A landing page is the web page that users are directed to after clicking on an online ad.

Link Building: This is the process of building links to a website in order to positively influence search engine ranking. The key to link building is ensuring that links are high-quality and relevant to your site.

Mobile Website: A mobile website is a site formatted specifically for viewing on a mobile device.  It often places focus on different content and allows for an easier browsing experience on a cell phone.

Opt-In: To opt-in is to give your approval to be on an email marketing list for a specific brand, company, or organization.

Opt-Out: To opt-out means that you don’t want to receive emails marketing a product, service or brand.

Organic Search: Organic search refers to the unpaid listings (not advertisements) that appear when making a query on a search engine.

Outbound Link: Outbound links are links on your website that send visitors away from your website.

PageRank: PageRank is a number assigned to each web page by Google and used to determine its importance. It is essentially a “grade” between 1-10 (10 being the best). PageRank is one of the factors that determines how high a webpage ranks in the search engine results page.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): PPC is an online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays each time someone clicks on their ad.

Reciprocal Link: A reciprocal link is when two websites link to each other.

Responsive Website: A responsive website is one that resizes and adjusts its formatting based on the device that is used to view it.

Retweet: A retweet is the re-posting of someone else’s Tweet. It can be used to measure popularity of a Tweet.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication): An RSS feed allows to you stay up-to-date about selected information and websites, without having to browse or go to the specific URL. The content is delivered to you via an RSS Reader. Common RSS Readers include Google Reader and FeedDemon.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The process of increasing a website’s ranking for relevant search terms via various on-page and off-page factors including: link building, quality content development, and site organization.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): SEM is a form of online advertising in which websites pay to include their listings for relevant queries in the search engine results page. For example, Bixa Media could pay to be included in Google results for phrases like “digital marketing”, “web designer”, etc.

Social Media Marketing: Social media marketing is the process of promoting a brand, company or organization through social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, etc.

Subscribe: Subscribing means giving approval to be included on an email marketing list for a specific brand, company, or organization.

Tweet: A tweet is a post on Twitter, a microblogging service. A tweet must be 140 characters or less.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): URL refers to the specific and unique address of a web page on the Internet.

Unsubscribe: To unsubscribe means you do not want to be included on an email marketing list for a specific company, brand,  or organization.

Web Analytics: Web analytics is a tool used to measure a website’s performance by tracking metrics like visitor behavior, content (un)popularity, and traffic sources.

White Hat SEO: White Hat SEO is the use of ethical SEO practices to influence a website’s ranking.

Working on a new website? Be sure to download these 6 simple tips to help you save time and money during the process.