Digital marketing can sometimes be cluttered with jargon and abbreviations so to help you out, we’ve compiled an A to Z Guide to Digital Marketing terms.
Whether you’re completely new to the world of Digital Marketing, or you just need a quick refresh; we’ve got you covered with the definitions of the most popular buzzwords below.
Now, this is a chunky read, so feel free to add to our A to Z Guide to Digital Marketing to your bookmarks to dip in and out of, and refer back to, when needed!…
The text displayed to a user who sees an advert, normally either a paid search or social ad.
Additional pieces of information which can be added to paid search ads to help make ads more informative for users. Ad Extensions include sitelinks, click to call, reviews, location etc.
Alt text, or alternative text, is added to the code of a website to describe the appearance/function of images on a page. The Alt text helps provide image context and descriptions to search engine crawlers, enabling them to index and image correctly. They also aid visually impaired users, who are read the alt text to help them understand the page content.
An HTML attribute of the IMG tag. It’s the text that gets displayed in case the image can’t be loaded.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source coding standard for publishers. The aim for AMP is for publishers to be able to load sites quickly on mobile since mobile responsive could be clunky and slow because desktop resources are heavy.
The visible text that is contained in a link.
A link from one website to another. Backlinks are viewed by Google as ‘votes of trust’ and so gaining backlinks to your site from others helps to improve the authority of your site.
The task carried out to find backlinks that competitor sites have achieved so that we can flag up opportunities to obtain more backlinks to our client’s site.
The name for all SEO practices that are known for being manipulative or unethical, and in the long run can hurt your website, or even get it banned from search engines.
A bot, sometimes known as a ‘crawler’ or ‘spider’, visits websites to crawl the content, in order for it to be ranked and included in search results.
The percentage of website visitors that leave immediately without clicking or interacting with any portion of the page. Average bounce rates tend to be between 40-60%, however, the lower the better.
Code that is added to a webpage to indicate whether a piece of content is original or duplicated from somewhere else. Content taken from other places should point the canonical to the original source URL. Canonicals can be used to avoid duplicate content issues within a website.
The percentage of website visitors that carry out conversions (complete a specified goal). For example, if you had 10 site visitors and 3 completed your goal, the conversion rate would be 30%.
How much a conversion is worth or the monetary value of products bought.
When a user takes the desired action or completes a specified goal on your site. A conversion can be many different things from buying a product to signing up to an email list.
The amount spent on paid advertising campaigns.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
Also known as Cost per Conversion, CPA is a paid advertising metric. It measures how much has been spent to acquire a new lead/customer or conversion. It is calculated using the following formula:
CPA = Amount Spent (Cost) / Number of Conversions
Cost per Click (CPC)
The average amount a click to your site (from a paid ad) has cost. It is calculated using the following formula:
Cost per Click = Amount Spent / Clicks
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of users who clicked through to the site, after being served an ad. It is calculated using the following formula:
Click-Through Rate = Clicks / Impressions x 100
Websites that list businesses either in a certain location or with similar themes. Directories can be helpful for SEO purposes of building backlinks to your site.
Domain Authority (DA)
A search engine ranking score, ranging from 1-100, developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating factors such as linking root domains and the number of total links – it is a good indicator of how authoritative your site is deemed by a search engine.
Your unique address on the internet. e.g. www.mysite.com.
Content that appears in more than one place (i.e: at multiple web addresses). If there are multiple pieces of the same or “appreciably similar” content in more than one place on the internet, search engines find it difficult to decide which version is more relevant to the search query. Google also reports pages with little content (thin content) as duplicate pages.
A link on a webpage that points to a webpage on a different site. i.e: If another website links to you, this is an external link to your site.
A special kind of organic search result displayed at the top of the results page when Google finds content that specifically answers a user’s question. The featured snippet block displays a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, as well as a link in an emphasised layout.
Followed links, sometimes referred to as ‘Dofollow’ links, allow search engines to follow them and reach the site being linked to, also passing on link equity.
An online advertising platform developed by Google, where advertisers can pay to display ads to users searching for their products or services. It’s the tool we use to create, manage and optimise PPC campaigns.
A tool we use to collect and analyse data about traffic coming to a website including the number of visitors, pages visited, transactions carried out etc.
Header Tags (h1, h2, h3 etc)
Header tags are used to categorise text headings on a web page. They are the titles and subcategories of a web page and help indicate to readers and search engines what the page is about.
They use a cascading format where a page should have only one H1 (main title) but beneath can be multiple H2s (subtitles) and every H2 can have H3s beneath (sub-subtitles).
Stands for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is a set of codes that tell a web browser how to display a webpage.
Image Alt Tags
An alt tag, also known as “alt attribute” and “alt description,” is an HTML attribute applied to image tags to provide a text alternative for search engines.’
A term used in PPC advertising that represents how many times an ad was shown to users.
A backlink pointing to your website.
Indexing is the process of adding web pages into Google search – Google bots will crawl your site and index your pages.
A link on a webpage that points to another page on the same website. e.g: a link from a product page on your site to your ‘Delivery’ page would be an internal link.
A number describing how often a specific phrase appear in a piece of text. To calculate it divide the number of times your keyword appears in a piece of text by the total number of words this piece of text has, and then multiply the result by 100.
Keywords (fat-head & long-tail)
Important words or search terms that you want to optimise and rank your website to appear for in search results.
- Fat-head keywords are generally one or two words in length, they are broad keywords which tend to bring the most traffic to your website. However, as there will be a lot of people targeting these keywords, competition can be fierce.
- Long-tail keywords contain 3 or more words and although the traffic volumes are generally much lower they tend to convert better as they are usually more specific search queries.
The position your website appears in search results for a given keyword.
Keyword research is carried out to discover a range of keywords that have good search volumes and will bring traffic to your site. You can then target these keywords by optimising your site copy to include them in relevant places.
The practice of taking a word or a phrase and repeating it too often in a piece of copy.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
LSI keywords are keywords that are similar to your main one – keywords that are usually found along your main keyword in the natural language. LSI is a way of checking whether the text is genuine or just stuffed with random keywords purely for improving rankings.
Link building is the practice of gaining backlinks to your site from other websites. They’re also known as ‘external links’ or ‘inbound links’.
The total number of different websites (domains) linking back to you.
Each domain could be linking to you from different pages on their site, meaning the number of inbound links is higher than the number of linking domains.
Link Equity/Link Juice
A search engine ranking factor based on the idea that certain links pass value and authority from one page to another. The value passed from the linking page depends on its authority and relevance
The process of grouping companies or people that respond similarly to marketing strategies, in order to tailor marketing communications to each segment. Learn more: Market segmentation, how to do it yourself
Metadata is what appears on search engine results pages when a website comes up for certain queries and is made up of meta titles and meta descriptions.
Short snippets of text displayed on search results pages, underneath the result link. They provide users with a short description of what the page is about before they click.
The page titles that are shown in search engine results, they tell a search engine what the web page is about, and affects how the page is ranked.
Links your page has acquired naturally without you actively building them.
A tag added to links telling search engines not to follow them or give them any weight when calculating rankings.
A tag which tells search engines not to index the page. You can also noindex entire sections of websites with the robots.txt file.
SEO techniques that take place outside of your website and are used to improve the position of a website in the search engine results page. Implementing off-page SEO techniques makes your site accessible from more places, resulting in additional traffic which tells search engines your site is useful to visitors and therefore improves rankings.
The term used to describe and group together SEO activities that are carried out on the site, to help improve web page rankings in search engines. This includes tasks such as optimising on-page copy to ensure it targets keywords, writing metadata, improving the speed of your website and creating a robust internal linking profile.
The source of website traffic that comes through clicking on a non-paid search engine result. Organic traffic is the main measurement of an SEO campaign.
The search results which appear that are not paid-for ads. They appear below the 4 paid search ads at the top of the results. Organic search results can also be made up of local business information, images and video results as well as featured snippets.
A marketing strategy used to build brand awareness and gain links back to your site. It involves reaching out to contact the right people (people who share an interest with your business) at the right time to give your business brand awareness. This could be by writing a blog post or article and getting it featured on a relevant blog.
An algorithm created by Google to calculate/estimate the importance of a given website.
Pages per Visit
The average number of pages users view during a visit to your site.
The number of pages that people have viewed in total.
The process of separating web content into pages.
A paid search metric that describes, on average, where your ad has appeared in the search results. An avg. position of 1 means your ad always appears in the top position, whereas an avg. position of 1.7 means your ad usually shows in either 1st or 2nd position on the page.
An online paid advertising model, where advertisers pay a certain amount each time their advert is clicked on.
Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are to a user. Higher quality scores generally lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
A way for a web browser to take a user from one page to another without the user clicking or making any input. There are various types of redirects which serve different purposes.
- 301: Used to redirect a visitor from one web page to another web page. This type of redirect is to be used for permanent redirects.
- 302: Used to redirect a visitor from one page to another web page, used for temporary situations only.
A type of paid ad allowing advertisers to target customers who have already visited their site, in an attempt to get the user to return and complete the desired action.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
A paid search metric that demonstrates the profit made compared to the amount of money spent on the ads.
Rich Results aka Rich Snippets
Rich results are search results that go beyond the standard blue link, they may include a carousel, image or other non-textual UI elements.
A text file that is placed in the root of the website hierarchy and is created to communicate with search engine bots and instruct them on how to crawl pages on their website. The file informs the web robots about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned.
Code put on your website to help search engines return more informative results for users. This can include rich snippets displaying ratings or reviews which can help drive higher CTR’s. Schema is a vocabulary used to define structured data. (Schema.org)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is the name given to the marketing tactic that works to improve search engine rankings by increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your site through organic search results.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
It means marketing via search engines. Marketing or promoting your products or services via search engines can be done in two main ways. Either optimise your site so it appears at high in organic search results, or pay for the clicks directly, in which case your site is listed in the ads section.
The SERP or Search Engine Results Page is the list of results returned by the search engine to a user when they submit a search query.
The interactions one user takes within a given time frame on your website (Google Analytics defaults that time frame to 30 minutes). Whatever a user does on your website (e.g. browses pages, downloads resources, purchases products) before they leave equals one session.
The average length of a visit on your website.
How fast a website loads – the faster it loads the better!
A file or page on a website that lists all of the pages and posts for search engines to see. This helps search engines quickly understand all of the content that they should be aware of on a website.
Refers to implementing some type of markup on a webpage, in order to provide additional detail around the page’s content.
Time on Page
The average amount of time users spend on pages on your site. This metric can help you understand which pages aren’t performing well.
How many people visit your website.
The number of different people who view a website over a period of time. Unique visitors are tracked by their IP addresses so if the same visitor reaches the website multiple times, they will only be counted once in the unique visitors metric.
The address of a specific web page.
User Generated Content
Content created by users on your website. This could be by submitting a comment or review, creating a forum topic or uploading images or videos. YouTube is a great example of a UGC site.
This how users interact with a website – where they click, which pages they visit etc. UX can be shaped and improved by testing different page layouts, CTAs, colours and content to see what works best.
White Hat SEO
A set of all SEO practices and techniques that search engines encourage you to use.
A list of pages you want search engines to find created in a standard XML format.
Anything we’ve missed in our A to Z Guide to Digital Marketing?
If there’s anything you’re still unsure of or new terms you’d like explaining in more detail, please feel free to get in touch – we’re always happy to help.