Digital marketing: a comprehensive glossary for 2024

In part two of our 2024 web-world definitions series, our Wilmington, NC team is covering the dynamic realm of digital marketing. There are a multitude of terms and concepts that shape the strategies and success of digital marketing campaigns. If you’re a small business owner looking to understand the intricacies and jargon of digital marketing, we hope this glossary can serve as your guide. We have broken down these terms into relevant categories and defined them below:

Main Types of Digital Marketing:

digital marketing glossary

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A form of digital marketing that involves promoting websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Within Search Engine Marketing, there is Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Email Marketing: A digital marketing strategy that involves sending promotional content, such as newsletters and seasonal sales, to a group of people using email.
  • Content Marketing: The creation and distribution of content online that is relevant/useful to your target audience. Videos, Blog Posts, Newsletters, etc are all considered content marketing. 
  • Social Media Advertising: The use of social media platforms where businesses pay to promote their products/services to reach and engage with a targeted audience. This is also known as Paid Social.
  • Social Media Marketing: The use of social media platforms to connect with an audience to build a brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This is organic, meaning you’re not paying for the engagement/traffic.
  • Affiliate Marketing: A performance-based marketing strategy where affiliates promote products/services in exchange for a commission. 
  • Influencer Marketing: Similar to affiliate marketing, this is a collaboration between popular social media users (influencers) and a brand to promote products/services.

Content & Strategy:

  • A/B Testing: A method of comparing two versions of a web page or app against each other to determine which one performs better.
  • Brand Positioning: The unique space a brand occupies in the minds of its target audience, distinguishing it from competitors and influencing perceptions through strategic messaging and differentiation.
  • Target Audience: The specific group of individuals/demographics identified as the most likely consumers for a product or service, guiding strategic efforts to tailor content and campaigns for maximum relevance and engagement.
  • Buyer Persona: A detailed and semi-fictional representation of an ideal customer, based on market research and real data, helping marketers understand and address the needs, preferences, and behaviors of their target audience more effectively.
  • Retargeting: Displaying targeted ads to users who have previously shown interest in a product or service, aiming to re-engage and encourage them to complete desired actions (convert).
  • Search Intent: The goal a user has in mind when typing a query into a search engine. Before utilizing a keyword in SEO or PPC, it is important to ensure that the search intent aligns with your offerings. You can do this by searching the term yourself and checking that the top results are relevant to your business. 
  • Keywords: Terms people enter into the search bar when looking for a desired result. These terms/phrases can be strategically utilized within a website’s content and advertisements to enhance visibility on search engine results pages and attract targeted organic traffic. 
  • Longtail Keywords: More specific and less common search queries, usually consisting of three or more words.
  • Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page displayed by search engines in response to a user’s query, featuring a list of relevant web pages, ads, and other content. The goal of SEO is to show up in the first few organic search results on the first SERP. A company can also show up at the top of this page with PPC marketing, such as Google Ads. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Our digital marketing specialists are here to help!

Analytics & Metrics:

  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Cost-per-Click (CPC): The cost an advertiser pays for each click on their advertisement.
  • Cost-per-Lead (CPL): The cost associated with acquiring a new lead through a marketing campaign.
  • Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA): The cost an advertiser incurs for each specified action, such as a sale or form submission.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement.
  • Call-to-Action (CTA): A prompt or instruction encouraging the audience to take a specific action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  • Engagement Rate: A metric that measures the level of interaction users have with content, often calculated as a percentage of total interactions to impressions.
  • Conversion Funnel: The process or journey a potential customer goes through from being unaware of a product or service to making a purchase.
    • Top of the Funnel: Efforts to create awareness about a product/service for new prospects.
    • Middle of the Funnel: Efforts to enable consideration of a product/service for people who are already aware.
    • Top of the Funnel: Efforts to drive people who have already considered your product/service to make a purchase (convert).
  • Impressions: The number of times an ad or piece of content is viewed.  
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI): Quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of a campaign or overall marketing strategy.
  • Core Web Vitals: A set of specific factors Google considers important in a webpage’s overall user experience. These are significant metrics for SEO success. 
  • Google Analytics 4 (GA4): The latest version of Google Analytics, providing insights into user behavior on a website. The old version, Universal Analytics (UA), no longer processes website data.
  • Google Search Console (GSC): A free tool provided by Google that helps webmasters monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their site’s presence in Google search results. If you’re trying to work on your business’s SEO, this is a great resource for keyword data, page indexing, and more. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC): A digital marketing model where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked. This is also called “Paid Search”. Common forms of PPC marketing include Google Ads and Bing Ads. 
  • Paid Ads: Advertisements for which the advertiser pays a fee to have them displayed.
  • Lead Generation: Employing online strategies to attract and capture potential customers’ interest, encouraging them to provide contact information or engage with a brand, ultimately generating qualified leads for further marketing efforts.
  • Landing Page: A standalone web page specifically designed to receive traffic from pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, with the goal of converting visitors into leads or customers through a focused and compelling call-to-action.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency or profitability of an investment.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): A metric that measures the revenue earned for every dollar spent on advertising.
  • Quality Score: A metric used by search engines to measure the relevance and quality of an ad, affecting its position on the page and the cost-per-click.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of optimizing a website’s content, structure, and other elements to improve its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive organic, non-paid traffic.
  • Backlink: ​​A link from one website to another, considered as a vote of confidence. 
  • Backlink Building: The process of acquiring backlinks to improve a website’s domain authority.
  • Link Juice: An SEO term referring to the value a link passes to another site/page. 
  • Guest Blogging: A backlink building strategy that consists of writing and publishing content on someone else’s blog or website in exchange for a link to your website. 
  • Domain Authority: A metric that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
  • Featured Snippets: A summary of an answer to a user’s query displayed at the top of Google’s search results. Structuring parts of a website’s content to answer specific search queries can increase the chance of showing up as a featured snippet. 
  • Local Pack: A set of local business listings shown in Google’s search results.
  • Organic Traffic: Traffic driven to a website naturally through search engines, not through paid methods.
  • Ranking: The position a website holds in search engine results for a specific keyword.
  • NAP: A business’s name, address and phone number. If your business has changed any of this information, it is crucial for SEO success to audit your online directory listings to ensure consistency. 
  • Citations: Mentions of a business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites.
  • Online Directories: Online platforms that list businesses’ information. A popular example is Yelp. 
  • Google Business Profile (GBP): A profile that allows businesses to manage how their information appears on Google Search and Maps. Previously known as Google My Business. A robust and keyword-optimized GBP is significant to SEO success.  
  • Alt Text: Descriptive text that provides context to images for search engines and visually impaired users. It is important for SEO to ensure every image on your website has accurate, descriptive alt text.
  • Duplicate Content: Identical or substantially similar content appearing in more than one place. This can hurt SEO results if there is duplicate content on multiple pages of a site.  
  • Keyword Stuffing: An outdated and frowned-upon SEO practice involving the excessive use of keywords within a webpage’s content, aimed at manipulating search engine rankings but often resulting in a poor user experience and potential penalties.

Technical Terms:

  • Image Compression: The process of reducing the file size of an image without significantly affecting its quality. This helps your SEO results by improving the website speed. 
  • Sitemap: A file that provides information about the structure of a website, helping search engines index its pages. You can create a sitemap of your website and submit it to Google through Google Search Console, to ensure Google’s understanding of your website. 
  • Indexing: The process of search engines collecting, parsing, and storing data to include in their databases. Ensuring website content is being properly indexed is important for SEO. You can access this information through Google Search Console. 
  • Internal Links: Links from one page on a domain that lead to another page on the same domain. These can help drive visitors to various pages on your website. 
  • Outbound Links: Links from a webpage on a domain that lead to a different domain.
  • Anchor Text: The clickable text in a hyperlink.
  • H1 Tag: An HTML tag used to indicate the title of a webpage. There should only be one H1 tag per page. There are H2 tags, H3 tags, and so on. These are used to indicate the hierarchy of the webpage’s content. 
  • Schema Markup: A code added to a website to help search engines provide more informative results for users.
  • Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: HTML elements that provide concise information about a webpage’s content, helping search engines understand its context and assisting users in deciding whether to click on the link. When you are looking at a SERP, this is the content you see for each website. 

Whether you’re optimizing for search engine rankings, running PPC ads, or engaging with your audience on social media, a solid understanding of these terms is the key to success in the dynamic world of digital marketing. Happy marketing!

And don’t forget, if you need a team of experts to take your business to the next level with digital marketing, contact the WordwrightWeb team today!

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