Digital Marketing: Definitions and terminology.

Digital Marketing Definitions and terminology

fundamentals of marketing

Digital Marketing Definitions and terminology. Here you have it, your definitive list of must-know marketing terms. Whether you’re new to marketing or just need to brush up on some terminology, this post will share the most important marketing terms.

Digital Marketing Definitions and terminology

We’ve put together your ultimate guide to all things digital marketing. Whether you’re new to the industry or just need a quick refresher, we have helpful terms that all marketers should know.

Calls to action

We’ll start with one of the most important pieces of online marketing, your Call to Action. This is an instruction provided to your audience as a way to provoke a response.

Calls to action typically use a verb, such as “Save Now” or “Buy Today”. You’ll find them in banner ads, on website landing pages and in social media posts, to name a few.

Bounce Rate

As you drive traffic to your site, you’ll encounter what is called the Bounce Rate. This is when a visitor arrives to your website but leaves after visiting only one page.

They’re said to have bounced and your bounce rate is the percentage of those visitors. A bounce rate can apply to an entire website or a single page.

Click-Through Rate

Now the traffic that bounced had to come from somewhere, whether it was an advertisement or an email, you’ll want to be measuring your Click-Through Rate.

As marketers, we’ll often measure performance by how many clicks an ad receives. Every time an advertisement is shown, it counts as an impression and the click-through rate is how many clicks were received in relation to the amount of impressions.


Alright, let’s shift gears now and look at the term Abandonment. This is when a user does not complete the goal you intended for them. A user is following a particular path, say to check out, from an eCommerce store or to complete an online form for more information and then they leave in that process.

In marketing, we aim to reduce that and that’s what we call abandonment.

Ad Impression

As you begin to scale up your marketing efforts, you’ll encounter paid advertising and the term Ad Impression. Each time your advertisement is displayed to a user, it counts as an impression.


Impressions are often tied to Frequency and frequency is the amount of time a single user will see your advertisement. If you had 10 impressions of an ad, with a frequency of two, then five people would have seen that advertisement.

Conversion Rate

When a user completes your goal, whether its buying a product or downloading an application, they’re said to have converted and your Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors who entered into this experience and actually completed the goal.

To understand how a user converted or when, we need to use what is called a Tracking Pixel. These are tiny one by one pixel images that are installed on your website to track conversions, website visits and ad views.


Now, advertising only make sense if it brings you a positive return on investment. To discover that, we’ll look at our Cost per Acquisition. You may also hear this referred to as CPA or in some cases Costs per Action.

This is how much it costs you per goal completion. So if you ran an advertisement with a goal of getting an application download and that ad costs you $ 100 and if one person downloaded the app, despite the hundreds that clicked on it, the cost per acquisition for that single user would be $ 100.

That CPA will then be compared to your Lifetime Value or LTV. Every customer has a value. Some will buy once and never return, others will become repeat buyers.

Your lifetime value is a prediction of the net profit recognized to the lifetime of that customer’s relationship with you. Typically, with paid advertisements, you want your cost per acquisition to be lower than your lifetime value.

Here I’ll be referring to visual images, either static or animated that are used to generate brand awareness or entice a user to click.

Landing Page

Most banner or display advertisements will contain a call to action. Now, when you run these advertisements or share an offer, it’s important that the user arrives on a page this is specific to your promotion. If you don’t use one, it’s unlikely that they’ll convert and this page that they first arrive on, is called the Landing Page.

Organic Result

Finally, let’s look at an Organic Result. When you conduct a search, on say Google, you have two types of results.

Paid results, which are typically the first couple of links and then organic results, which are not paid and instead achieve their rank through search engine optimization.

As we progress through this course, I’ll do my best to clarify these concepts as we encounter them, but feel free to return to this movie to brush up on these definitions anytime.

A/B Testing

Testing done to compare two variations of something against a variable. Often done to test the effectiveness of marketing tactics such as email marketing, landing pages, and different types of ads.


Google’s advertising system in which marketers big on specific keywords to make their PPC ads appear in search results.

Affiliate Marketing

When a publisher (website with a lot of traffic, for example) receives compensation for leads that come from featuring an advertiser.


An incoming hyperlink from one website to another. Having a large number of backlinks can improve your website’s performance and searchability from a search engine. When a separate website or domain links to another website, they are essentially endorsing that site, and giving them “juice.” When these links come from reputable sites, like a .gov, .org, or well-known company, the power for that website grows.

Bounce Rate

The number of website visits in which a user lands on a page, doesn’t interact with tit, and then leaves the site.


Content Management System (CMS). Web Applications that make website management simple and secure. Example: WordPress.

Content Marketing

The creation and sharing of online content (videos, images, infographics, articles, etc.).

Anchor text

The clickable text used to link a user from one site to another, generally related to what it is linking to, formatted as blue underlined text. This is a common method to improve your internal linking structure or linking within your own website.


Clickthrough Rate is the number of clicks an ad receives divided by the number of times the ad is shown (clicks divided by impressions = CTR).

Email Marketing

Emails that solicit something to users. Used to promote, advertise, request, connect, or even just build loyalty.


The amount of interaction a piece of content gets from users. Measured by likes, shares, comments.


Content that has value that last past the publish date and continue to be used and referenced by users long after it’s created.

Google My Business

A free tool for businesses and brands to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Used to verify and edit business information.


The number of times a user sees or interacts with an ad in any way.

Inbound Link

A link on another website to your own website.

Influencers/Influencer Marketing

Marketing that uses leaders or popular icons of a market to promote your brand.


Topics and phrases that get indexed in search results. In paid search advertising, advertisers try to rank for keywords relevant to their business that users will search for.


The measurement of how well a company is achieving its business objectives


A user who shows interest in products or services (people who fill out information forms, request more info, etc.).

Link Building

The process of trying to get external pages to link to a specific website or page on a website.

Long-Tail Keywords

Specific search phrases containing keywords of 3 or more words.

Marketing Automation

A software or tool that helps automate marketing processes or actions. Oftentimes, it is used for email marketing, social media, or other tasks that require repetition. Examples of marketing automation software include HubSpot, MailChimp, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign.


Snippets of text that describe a page’s content and appear in a page’s code. Meta is comprised of Meta Keywords Attribute, keywords that are relevant to the page; Title Tags, text search engines use to as the “title” of the whole page; and Descriptions, which provide information about the page under its listing on a search engine.

No-Follow Link

A link used to tell search engine crawlers not to follow back to linked websites. Used to avoid search violations or affiliations with spam.

Off-Page Optimization

Incoming links and references that impact the ranking/indexing of a webpage in search results.

On-Page Optimization

SEO based on a single webpage that work with the mechanics of a specific page (title tags, the URL, HTML).

Rich Snippets/Text

The term used to describe a data markup that site managers can add to their existing HTML that allows
search engines to better understand each page’s information.


An acronym for return on investment. ROI measures the benefit, or return, on expenditure.


An acronym for search engine optimization. SEO is the process of manipulating a website or web page to in turn effect its position in search engine’s unpaid results.

Social Media

Digital platforms designed to allow the creation and sharing of information.

Viral Content

A piece of content, such as an image, video, or article, that rapidly spreads online through social sharing and website links.

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