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What’s new with digital marketing? Everything. The digital landscape is in a perpetual state of evolution. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but the bare necessities remain the building blocks of the industry. 

Our comprehensive guide to digital marketing terms attempts to define common digital marketing jargon in layman’s terms.  Since the digital sphere’s lexicon is endless, we’ll keep adding to this post, so keep checking in. 


analytics: within a marketing context, analytics is the study of data obtained through marketing campaigns to gain a better understanding and improve marketing efforts. Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyse your website traffic.

alt text: alternative text or alt attribute is a text description of an image on a web page. It helps search engines understand the image contents and can be read aloud by a screen reader for blind users.

anchor text: the clickable words of a hyperlink. Example: KlickSense is a digital marketing agency in Somerset West, Western Cape. In this instance, “digital marketing agency” is the anchor text.

audit: an extensive view of how a website is performing. Often for SEO purposes, an audit gives a brand an in-depth look at every aspect of their site and recommends areas of improvement for website optimisation.


B2B: a business that sells products or provides services to other companies.

B2C: a business that sells products or provides services to consumers.

bounce rate: in the context of web analytics, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing a single page. In email marketing, it is the percentage of emails in a campaign that is undeliverable.

buzzword: a word or phrase, often an item of jargon that is trending at a particular time. 


call to action (CTA): refers to the copy or piece of content intended to compel the audience to perform a desired action.

click-through rate (CTR): is the average number of users who clicked on a specific link. It is often used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign. 

conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who take a desired action.

cost per click (CPC): the cost or cost-equivalent paid per click-through.


direct traffic: direct traffic refers to an internet user going directly to a webpage, either through a URL search or saved bookmark. 

description tag: an HTML tag used by web page authors to provide a description for search engine listings.


eCPM: effective cost per thousand impressions (technically, “effective cost per mille”).

engagement: a term used to describe user interactions such as likes, shares or comments on social media.


featured snippet: a piece of information that Google pulls from a website and displays directly in the search results to provide quick answers to common questions (such as ‘who is……” or “how old is…”).

front end: the front end of a website is all sections that can be seen and interacted with by internet users.


geo-targeting: a method of detecting a website visitor’s location to display location-based content or advertisements.

guest blogging: writing a blog post to be published on another blog as a temporary featured author.


heatmap: a graphical representation of data where varying degrees of a single metric are shown using colours.

hit: request of a file from a web server.

header tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.): header tags are used in HTML for classifying text headings on a web page. In essence, they are the titles and major topics of a web page and indicate to readers and search engines what the page is about. 


impression: a single instance of an online advertisement being displayed.

inbound link: a link coming from another website to your website. 

inbound marketing: a marketing methodology designed to draw visitors and potential customers in instead of pushing a brand, product, or service onto prospects. 


keyword: a word or phrase used to perform a search on a search engine.

keyword density: the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page in ratio to the total number of words on a page.

keyword research: the process of researching popular search terms that internet users enter into search engines when looking for products, services, or general information. 

keyword stuffing: the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into website and meta content in an attempt to artificially increase the page’s rankings. Keyword stuffing is a search engine optimisation technique and is considered webspam. 


lead magnet: a specific deliverable offered to prospects in return for contact information, typically to join an email list.

link building: the process of increasing the number of inbound links to a website. A popular search engine optimisation technique used to increase search engine rankings.

link text: the text contained in (and sometimes near) a hyperlink.

long-tail keyword: a keyword phrase that is longer in length and hyper-specifically matches a user search query. 


map pack: refers to a Google search result that features multiple businesses on a map section displayed for queries with local intent, such as a “near me” search. 

meta tags: or meta elements are tags placed in the head section of HTML and XHTML documents to define a web page’s contents. 

mobile-first index: refers to the Google ranking of mobile content for indexing and ranking. For the most part, Google uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking a site. 


NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number): an acronym for local citations. Consistency in name, address, and phone number citations is an important aspect of local SEO campaigns. A business’s NAP should be listed across local citation websites and directories to build local SEO authority.

netiquette: short for network etiquette, the code of conduct regarding acceptable online behaviour.


organic search: refers to a search engine’s search results which cannot be influenced by paid advertising. Organic search results are ranked according to their relevance. 

outbound link: also referred to as an external link, an outbound link is a link from your website to a different website. 


pay-per-click (PPC): an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, in which advertiser’s only pay when the ad is clicked. 

position: the placement in a search engine’s search results, where a website ranks for a specific query or keyword. 


remarketing: a marketing strategy that targets people who have visited your website. 

responsive web design refers to a website creation that adjusts or “responds” to a user’s device’s screen size.


search engine marketing (SEM): typically refers to paid search engine digital marketing, ie. PPC campaigns. 

search engine optimisation (SEO: a marketing strategy to enhance search results and build brand awareness. It is an organic marketing approach meaning it does not involve paid channels. 

search engine results pages (SERP): the pages that feature a list of search results when an internet user performs a browser search.

short-tail keyword: a search term made up of no more than three words. They typically refer to very broad topics rather than specific ones. 

stickiness: the amount of time spent on a site over a given time period. A “sticky” website entices a reader to stay on the website. 


title tag: an HTML code tag used to give a web page a title. It can be found in the browser bar, as well as the search engine results pages. 


unique visitors: individuals who have visited a website (or network) at least once during a specific time frame.


web hosting: the business of providing the storage, connectivity, and services necessary to serve files for a website.

website traffic: the number of visitors and visits a website receives.

website usability: the ease with which internet users are able to use a website.


XML sitemap:  lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all to ensure the algorithm understands your website structure.

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