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A Comprehensive Guide To Digital Marketing Terms

digital marketing terms

Whether you’re new to the world of digital marketing, or a veteran in the online space, it’s easy to see that digital marketing lingo grows by the day.
It can be difficult to keep up sometimes, but we’ve got a list of the essential (and the non-essential) digital marketing terms you need to grow in the world of digital marketing.
This list changes often, so be sure to keep an eye on it!

A Guide To Digital Marketing Terms – From A To Z

A

A/B testing

A type of method in marketing research where 2 similar (but not exactly the same) scenario are used to see which one would perform better in a marketing strategy.

Above the fold

The section of the web page which is visible without scrolling.

AdSense

The advertising service provided by Google.

AdWords

An online advertising platform created by Google which allows people to bid to display their ads.

Algorithm

Sets of rules that search engines use to determine the rank of a website.

ALT text

The text you give to an image – this helps people with visual disabilities understand your page better by using text-to-speech software that explains what you’ve written down, and also helps search engines understand what you’re trying to show people.

Analytics

The study of data found through marketing campaigns to gain a better understanding of what’s working and what isn’t.

Anchor text

The clickable words in text.
For example: KlickSense is a digital marketing agency in Somerset West. In this case, “digital marketing agency” is the anchor text.

Audit

Often useful for SEO purposes, an audit is an in-depth look at how a website is performing. 

B

B2B

A business that sells a product or service to other businesses.

B2C

A business that sells a product or services directly to customers.

Back end

The part of a website users can’t see – this is where all of the admin and website maintenance is handled.

Banner ad

A graphic that’s usually displayed across the front page of a site.

Blog

A page that’s updated regularly with personal thoughts or business matters.

Bounce rate

The percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing a single page.

Browser

A computer program with a graphical interface which allows users to navigate the internet.

Buzzword

A word or phrase (usually jargon) that’s trending.

C

Caching

The storing of web files for use later on.

Call to action (CTA)

The part of a marketing message that tries to persuade a person to perform a specific action.

Click-through

The process of clicking on an online ad and going to the advertiser’s destination.

Click-through rate (CTR)

The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions (expressed as a percentage).

Conversion Rate

The percent of visitors who take a desired action.

Content

Anything that provides data in a digital space.

Infamous digital marketing lingo, cookies are bits of information stored by a website to remember preferences in the future.

Cost per click (CPC)

The cost paid for every click on an ad.

Cost per lead (CPL)

A payment model which bases payment on the number of qualifying leads an ad generates.

Copywriting

The art of producing text for advertising, or other forms of marketing (like this blog post).

Crawler

A term used to refer to the robots used by search engines to find and index web pages.

D

Direct traffic

This digital marketing term refers to any visitor who comes to your site directly (by typing the URL in, or bookmarking your page)

Description tag

An HTML tag used to provide information to search engines (more on HTML later).

Domain authority (DA)

The weight search engines give your site.
The higher your DA, the more likely you are to show up on search results.

Domain name

The name associated with an IP address.
For example: www.klicksense.com – “klicksense” is the domain name.

E

Effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM)

A way to measure the revenue you make for every thousand impressions.

Email marketing

The act of promoting products or services via email.

Engagement

A digital marketing term used to describe actions such as liking, commenting, and other types of interaction with followers.

F

Favicon

A small icon used by browsers to identify websites. It’s found on the tab of a page.

Feature snippet

A piece of information pulled from a website by Google and displayed as a search result.
It’s used as a quick answer to common questions, such as “what is”, “how old is”, and so on.

Front end

The part of a website users can see and interact with.

G

Geo-targeting

A method of detecting a visitor’s location to serve location-based content or advertisements.

Guest blogging

Writing a blog tha’t’s published on another blog as a featured author.

Google My Business (GMB)

A free web tool designed to help businesses increase their visibility on search engines.

H

Hashtag

A type of metadata used on social media to increase your visibility when people search for a specific hashtag.

Heatmap

A method of monitoring where people click on your site, and how much, using colours to indicate activity.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

The coding language used for designing basic websites.

Header tags

Used in HTML for classifying headings on a page. In short, they tell the search engine what your core topics are, and how you’ve organised it, which determines ranking.

Text, image, or any other icon that, when clicked, takes a user to a specific link.

I

Impression

A single instance of online advertisement being displayed

A link from another site to your site.

Inbound marketing

A marketing model which focuses on bringing visitors in, instead of pushing its offerings to them.

Indexing

The way in which search engines organise and store your site’s data for searchers.

J

JavaScript

A scripting language designed to make websites interactive.

K

Keyword

A word or phrase used to search for something online.

(In this instance, “digital marketing terms”, and “digital marketing lingo” are the keywords we’ve used.)

Keyword cannibalisation

When a keyword is used too many times on different pages, and the ranking of those pages drops because of competing rankings.

Keyword density

The amount of times a keyword appears in a specific page.

Keyword marketing

Using specific keywords to make yourself visible to people search for that keyword.

(Like this blog!)

Keyword research

The research done to find keywords that are related to your website, or content, which will bring the most visitors in.

Keyword stuffing

The act of using keywords too often (and unnaturally) on a website for SEO purposes.

Keywords Tag

A meta tag used to define the primary keywords on a page.

L

Lead magnet

A specific deliverable that’s offered to prospects in return for contact information (usually an email address).

The process of growing the number of inbound links to a website to increase domain authority.

A tool used to check for broken hyperlinks.

Log file

A file that records and stores the activity on a web server.

Long-tail keyword

Used to refer to keywords that contain more than 3 words. These are generally easier to rank for, but much more specific.

M

Manual submission

Adding URLs to search engines individually, and by hand.

Map pack

Google search results that feature multiple businesses on a map for searches with local intent, such as a “near me” search.

Marketing plan

The part of a business plan that outlines the marketing strategy for a product or service.

Meta search engine

A search engine that displays the results from other search engines.

Meta tags

Tags placed in the HTML or XHTML documents to define a web page’s content for search engines.

Mobile-first

A digital marketing term used when creating something online – since most people use their phones to search for things, making sure it’s optimised for mobile use will provide the best results.

N

Navigation

The way somebody moves across a website

Name, address, phone number (NAP)

NAP is a digital marketing term used to refer to the name, address, and phone number of a business – usually for setting up GMB listings.

Netiquette

The code of conduct for acceptable online behaviour.

O

Off-page SEO

SEO tactics that go off of the website to improve its ranking.

On-page SEO

SEO tactics that focus on things such as content, and keywords to improve a site’s ranking.

Opt-in email

When a recipient specifically requests to receive emails

Opt-out 

A type of program that automatically includes recipients unless stated otherwise, or to remove yourself from an email list.

Optimisation

In digital marketing lingo, optimisation refers to getting the most out of content, advertising, etc.

The unpaid entries in search engine results that come from people finding your page through searching by themselves.

A link to other sites from your site.

P

Pay-per-click (PPC)

An advertising model which is based off of paying for click-throughs.

Podcast

A series of video (vodcast) or audio files that are shared over the internet, and usually contain in-depth conversations about specific topics.

Pop-under ad

An ad that displays in a new browser window behind the current browser window.

Pop-up ad

An ad that displays in a new web browser in front of the current one.

Portal

A site that features commonly used services. It normally serves as a starting point to the web, or a niche topic.

Position

Also known as ranking, position refers to where you show up on search results. This is dependent on your site’s performance, and overall visitors, among other things.

Q

Quality score

The ranking of AdWords according to Google’s ranking. This is used to determine whether or not an ad will show if the bidder wins.

Queries

A term for things that users type into the search bar. For example, “digital marketing lingo”.

R

Remarketing

A marketing strategy that focuses on advertising to people who’ve already visited your site.

Return on investment (ROI)

The ratio of profit to the amount invested.

Responsive web design

Refers to a website that adjusts or “responds” to a user’s screen size.

Rich results

Search results that show more than just the link and some meta information. Usually used when searching for specific products.

Robots.txt

A text file that tells crawlers what pages to index and view.

S

Schema markup

HTML code that’s added to the website’s HTML to provide search engines with more information about a specific place, product, person, or service. 

Second level domain

The domain right before a top level domain.

For example, in www.klicksense.com, “klicksense” is the second level domain.

Search engine

A program that finds indexed documents, and matches them to a user’s search requests.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Used to refer to paid digital search engine advertising (like PPC).

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

The process of choosing targeted keyword phrases, and ensuring that a site ranks well when those phrases are searched for. 

Search engine results pages (SERP)

Pages that show the results of a user’s search.

Short-tail keywords

Keywords that consist of 3 words or less. These are broader, but more difficult to rank for.

Site structure

Refers to how you organise the content on your site.

Stickiness

Refers to the amount of time spent on a site. A “sticky” site is enticing, and invites users to spend a lot of time on it.

Social media traffic

A digital marketing term that refers to the amount of people that visit a site from a link on a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram.

T

Technical SEO

SEO done to improve the site’s ranking by working to make it easier for crawlers to navigate through the site. 

Text ad

Advertising that uses primarily text-based hyperlinks.

Title tag

The HTML tag used to define the text in the top line of a web browser – it’s also used by search engines as the title of search listings.

Top level domain (TLD)

The most generic domain name (.com, .org, etc.)

U

User interface (UI)

The UI refers to how a device and software interact with the user.

Unique visitors

The amount of individuals who have visited the website at least once within a certain time.

Urchin tracking module

Simple code that’s attached to a URL to track visitors from that link.

Uniform resource locator (URL)

The address of a web page.

User experience (UX)

UX refers to how a user interacts with a website or app.

Good UX is easy to use, and offers a lot of results with minimal effort.

V

Viral marketing

A marketing phenomenon that encourages people to share a marketing message.

Vlog

A blog that publishes video content.

W

Web browser

The software you use to browse the World Wide Web.

Web hosting

The business of providing the storage, connectivity, and any other services needed to maintain a website.

whois 

A utility that provides ownership information about second-level domains.

Wireframe

The wireframe refers to the first instance, or “draft” of a website or app design.

X

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

A coding language that allows computers to better understand web information.

XML sitemap

Considered a website “roadmap”, XML sitemaps help crawlers naviagate the pages on a site.

Y

Yoast

A plugin that helps increase SEO scores and online visibility.

Your money or your life (YMYL) pages

Pages that can have an impact on mental, physical, financial, or emotional well-being of the readers. Examples include news sites.

Z

Zero-party data

Information people voluntarily share with companies

Conclusion

While this list is long, it’s definitely not complete. With new terms popping up every day, you can be sure to check back here and find new digital marketing terms!

What Are The Basic Terms In Digital Marketing?

SEO, SMM, PPC, Email Marketing

What Are The 3 Pillars Of A Digital Plan?

People

Processes

Technology

Which Digital Marketing Course Is Best For Beginners?

Google’s Digital Marketing & E-commerce is considered the best digital marketing course for beginners.