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Most Common and Most Commonly Misunderstood Digital Marketing Terms Every Marketer Needs to Know to Stay Ahead of the Curve

Nathan Johnson - September 28, 2020 - 0 comments

Digital marketing is essential to a successful small business, especially one ambitious enough to earn over $1 million a year. Digital marketing encompasses far more than placing an ad and hoping it performs well. There are strategies, tools, and numbers that all feed into a successful digital marketing campaign to promote your business. Knowing the terms related to digital marketing can help you efficiently and effectively promote your business.

A reliable and extensive resource like the glossary below can guide you through your digital marketing journey. Bookmark this glossary and refer to it as often as you need as you encounter new terms or need a refresher on the terms you already know.



301 Redirect – Sending someone from one website to another website through a redirect which is used for permanent redirects. So, if more than one website exists for a business but all visitors should be funneled to the preferred site, a 301 redirect will facilitate that action.

302 Redirect – Sending someone from one website to another website through a redirect. Used for temporary situations, such as redirecting to a website promoting a special sale, product, event, or as a placement while another website is being updated.

404 Error – An error message appearing when a visitor tries to access a webpage that does not exist.


A/B Testing – Comparing two types of the same variable to see which one performs best. Consider this form of testing in digital marketing when changing copy, call-to-actions, landing pages, or other online promotion tools.

Above the Fold – The initial content a website visitor sees before scrolling down a webpage.

Ad Extensions – Extra information added to online ads to increase click through rates. For example: reviews, address, pricing, callouts, app downloads, sitelinks, and click-to-call can be included in an ad to make it more informative and more likely to encourage clicks.

Ad Manager Account – A Facebook advertising account. It allows you to run ads on the social media platform’s ad network, one that reaches an expansive audience.

Ad Network – Grouping of websites or apps where ads can appear. For instance, Google has a search ad network a display ad network.

AdWords – The primary platform for PPC advertising. It is used by advertisers to place ads on Google search results pages, YouTube, and Google ad network sites.

AdSense – Google platform that allows websites to earn money by publishing Google network ads on their website.

Ad Servers – Automated servers that help you request, bid on, and place your ads on websites and monitor their progress.

Affiliate Marketing – Performance based marketing in which affiliate partners are rewarded with payments or discounts by a brand for the amount of visitors or customers brough in by their advertising.

Alexa – Home assistant device that responds to voice commands regarding requests such as current weather, playing music, questions, etc. Voice search has the potential to became a large SEO component.

Algorithm – In digital marketing, usually refers to the sets of processes Google uses to order and rank website in search results. Google algorithms include Penguin and Panda. “The core algorithm” is the main ranking algorithm in SEO.

Algorithm Update – A change made to a Google algorithm, which will change the rankings of websites. Hundreds of algorithm updates are performed each year.

Analytics – Allows webmasters to collect statistics and data about website visitors. Digital marketing relies on this information because it gives a good picture of website visitor tendencies, where web traffic comes from and how visitors react on the landing site.

Anchor Text – Clickable words in a hyperlink. It provides context about the destination site, which Google uses to rank linked websites in relation to SEO keywords.

API (Application Program Interface) – A way to get specific information from other applications or websites. This information can be used far various uses. High quality API makes developing programs easier.

Automation – The use of computer programs to perform repetitive tasks that would normally be performed by a person. Automation can be used by marketers to target specific audiences. In digital marketing, that can include automated emails sent to potential customers and relevant content being sent website visitors to encourage their conversion into actual customers.

Average Position – Allows advertisers to see and understand where on Google search result pages their ads are showing up. Four available ad positions are at the top of a search result page. If the average position of your ad is 5 or higher, your ads are showing at the bottom the page.


Backlink – A clickable link that allows a website to hyperlink to another website using html href code. Google uses backlinks to help determine organic rankings, as these links represent the support of other websites and encourage more traffic to the hyperlinked website.

Banner Ad – A digital image ad that can be placed across various websites. Common ad sizes vary from square (250 x 250) to Large Leaderboard (970 x 90).

Behavioral Targeting – Attracting a specific audience by using customized advertising created by utilizing previous web browsing behavior.

Bing – A significant web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft that provides search services for web, video, image and map search products.

Bing Ads – A platform that allows creation and placement of ads and provides pay-per-click advertising on both Bing and Yahoo! search engines.

Black Hat – An unethical digital marketer or SEO that breaks search engine guidelines to artificially rank websites. Nefarious tactics are used, such as duplicate content, spammy link building and negative SEO.

Blog – A web log, which is a webpage or a website that is regularly updated with new written content. Digital marketing relies heavily on blogs to relay content that attracts new visitors and retains current visitors.

Bot – Automated program that visits websites for various reasons. Sometimes used by search engines to rank websites and add them to search indexes. A bot can be also by used for spamming purposes hindering website. Also referred to a crawler or spider.

Bottom of the Funnel – Last stage of the buying process when potential customers are close being converted into actual customers. Digital marketing often uses funnel-based sales sequences intended to lead customers to take an action, such as purchasing a product, watching a product demonstration, or agreeing to a free consultation.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of visitors to a website that leave immediately without clicking or interacting with any portion of the page or advanced to subsequent pages.

Bread Crumbs – Links at the top of a web page or in a search result, often near the title, that help the user navigate the site. They can also be in search engine results through specific schema markups, helping users find related pages.

Business Manager – A Facebook platform that allows marketers to manage multiple pages and ad accounts in one central location.


Campaign – One of the most important digital marketing tools. A campaign is a series of advertising messages that promote a product or service. A common theme is used throughout the campaign as they are run on search and display network advertising platforms like Google and Bing, social media, email, or other digital platforms. Campaigns can also refer to digital marketing strategies or projects.

Canonical (rel=canonical) – Piece of code added into the html head of a webpage to indicate if content is original or duplicated from another source. Original content should be canonical to itself, and content taken from somewhere else should be canonical to the original source URL.

Churn Rate – A metric used to find out how many customers your business retains. Determine your churn rate by dividing the number of customers you lose within a specific timeframe to the total number you had at the beginning of that period.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – A metric used to show how often people click on an ad or search result after they see it. Determine your click-through-rate by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions (how many times the ad or search result was seen). A higher click-through-rate means more visitor engagement.

Closed-Loop Marketing – Executing marketing efforts to bottom-line impact by figuring out how your inbound marketing drive business growth.  

Cloud Computing – Allows users to store, manage, and transfer data using host servers when space or resources to build your own infrastructure is not available.

CMP (Cloud Management Platform) – A group of products used to manage and monitor cloud computing resources in private, public, or multi-cloud models.

Code – Languages used to build websites. Web designers usually use HTML, CSS, JS, or PHP code.

Contact Form – Section on a website that visitors use to contact the website owner. Fillable fields are used to collect names, phone numbers, and email address of potential customers.

Content – All materials, including written, images, and videos, used to create an interactive online experience. Content is used heavily in digital marketing.

Conversion – Completion of predefined goal. In digital marketing, can sometimes refer to the number of site visitors converted into customers, newsletter subscriptions or content downloads. Conversion means your website visitors are doing a something you intended.

Conversion Path – Series of actions by which a website visitor becomes a lead.

Conversion Rate (CR) – The rate at which website visitors complete a predefined goal. Determine conversion rate by dividing the number of conversions by the total number of site visitors.

Cookie – A unique value stored on your browser assigned by websites you visit. It keeps track of where the user is and helps create customized web pages or save login info.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – Measures the cost you are willing to pay for a new lead or customer, similar to cost per click or cost per mile. Determine CPA by dividing the total spend by the number of conversions, for a given time period.

CPC (Cost Per Click) – The amount of money spent for a click on an ad in a pay-per-click campaign.

CPM (Cost Per Mile) / CPT (Cost Per Thousand) – Refers to the cost you are willing to pay for 1,000 impressions of an ad on one website. Most commonly used to measure the ad success in awareness campaigns, where impressions are more important than conversions or clicks.

CR – See conversion rate.

Crawler – See bot.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – The method of managing and analyzing your brand’s relationship with potential and existing customers.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) – Strategy used to improve conversion rate of web pages. Combines psychology with marketing and web design to influence the behavior or web page visitors. Uses A/B testing to find the more successful version of a page.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – A document of code that tells a website’s HTML how it should appear on screen. Web designers save time by using CSS to style batch-sections of HTML code, instead of styling individual lines of code.

CTA (Call to Action) – A prompt to incite engagement from potential clients. A CTA can be in the form of text, images, or a clickable button and usually uses phrases like, “Call today” or “Learn more”.

CTR (Click-Through Rate) – See click-through-rate.


DAM (Digital Asset Management) – Process that helps store and categorize digital assets, so you can easily access them from one place at any time.

Dark Web (Dark Net) – Internet found on secret and encrypted servers that requires special software or configurations to access. It is not indexed by search engines, and it can be dangerous, as it often involves illegal activities.

Dashboard – Web page that displays data about the performance of a website or digital marketing campaign. Pulls information from different data sources to display in one convenient location.

Data Visualization – The Process of visually representing information to make it easier to understanding, such as in a dashboard or infographics.

Deep Web – Part of the internet not indexed by search engines but does not include illegal activities. Databases, documents, reports, and other information not available to the public are located here. Web mail, online banking, or subscription-based content is also located on the Deep Web.

Digital Assistant (Virtual Assistant) – Software or application, like Siri or Alexa, that can perform tasks or services via verbal commands from the user. Usually used to answer questions or set event or to-do lists, as well as control utilities or other automated devices in homes or businesses.

Digital Marketing – Online promotion of products, services, or causes.  Uses marketing techniques such as SEO, PPC, CRO, web design, blogging, content and other forms of online promotion. Digital marketing is as far reaching as it has ever been with the number of screened devices in the world, from handheld smart phones to televisions capable of streaming online content.

Directory – A website that categorically lists websites with similar themes, such as chambers of commerce directories.

Display Ads – Ads on a display network. Also known as banner ads.

Display Network – A network of websites and apps that show display ads on their webpages. You can target customers based on keywords, placement on specific webpages, and through remarketing. Google’s display network includes over 2 million websites, reaching over 90% of internet users.   

DNS (Domain Name System) – A protocol that translates website URLs (alphabetical) into IP addresses (numerical). The world wide web communicates in numbers, but it is easier for web users to remember letters and words. Every website would be a string of numbers if there was no DNS.

Dofollow – Denotes a hyperlink absent of a “nofollow” tag. Dofollow links pass SEO equity to the destination URL, while nofollow links do not. A hyperlink by default is a dofollow link until a nofollow piece of code is added.

DoubleClick – A subsidiary of Google that develops and provides internet ad serving services. In 2018, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 Suite merged into a new Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. Clients include agencies, marketers, and publishers who serve businesses like Microsoft, General Motors, Coca-Cola, and more.

Drip Nurturing – A lead nurturing method that uses automated customized content and triggers that are dripped at a specific time with the intention of encouraging a specific action, like a sale.

Duplicate Content – Text found in at least two different places online, which can cause ranking issues for one or all of the websites. A site that indexes its content first is considered the original content source.  From plagiarism to lazy web design, there are many ways duplicate content can occur. 

Dynamic Content – Display of different website or online advertising messaging based on information you have about your target audience.


Ecommerce – Electronic commerce, which is business conducted online. Retailers that sell products online are taking part in ecommerce.

Email Automation – The process of using special software to automatically send emails when specific actions are taken by people, such as providing an email address or clicking on previous emails.

Email List – A source of email addresses marketers use to target specific audiences.

Email Marketing – Utilizing email features to target potential conversions.

Engagement Rate – The amount of social media interaction a post, ad, or campaign creates. Interaction usually includes comments, shares, and likes.

Event Tracking – A method for analytics and social that helps you track and analyze customer actions, such as filling forms, adding to carts, and signing up for newsletters. Use the behavioral tendencies of customers to help create future marketing.

Evergreen Content – Content that is always relevant and valuable to marketers. Audiences can read it anytime, opposed to time-sensitive material like seasonal content.


Facebook Ads Manager – A tool for creating, managing, and tracking Facebook ads.

Facebook Advertising – Advertising through Facebook’s ad network. It uses demographic information to create audiences instead of keywords, like Google advertising.

Facebook Business Page – Public webpage that represents a company on Facebook. A business page allows access to Facebook Ads Manager and interaction with users through likes, comments, and posts.

Facebook Profile – The profile automatically created when you sign up for a personal Facebook account. 

Featured Snippet – Summarized piece of information that Google pulls from a website and then, places directly into search results to show quick answers to questions.

Form Fill – The act of filling a contact form on a website.

Friction Element – Any type of element that causes website visitors to stop taking intended actions. For example, distracting visual elements or difficult to understand messaging can halt actions.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) – A network protocol standardized to simplify the transfer of computer files between a client and a server.


GCLID (Google Click Identifier) – Small string of numbers and letters serving as a unique ID badge for visitors to a website. Used to keep track of users as they click on a PPC ad.

Geo Targeting – Delivery of content to audiences based on geographic locations.

Google – Company known for creating what is now the largest search engine in the world,, which has control of 80% of the online search market. Popular software services like Google Chrome, Google Fiber, Gmail, and Google Drive have allowed Google to expand into the fields of web browser, internet service, email, and file storing platforms. Google is owned by Alphabet.

Google+ – Former Google social media platform used for personal and business pages.

Google AdWords – Google’s advertising service using search and display networks. Advertisers can bid on keywords to help their ads show in Google search results and the network of websites.

Google Algorithm – Mathematical programmatic system that determines where websites will appear on Google search result pages for any number of queries. The “Core” algorithm is constantly updated and deliberately kept secret to prevent manipulation of rankings by webmasters.  

Google Analytics – Free software platform allowing webmasters to see where web traffic comes from and how visitors behave once on the site.

Google Chrome Security Warnings – Warning message appearing when Chrome users visit websites without HTTPS, stating the website could be hazardous.

Google Fred Update – Mysterious major Google update (March 2017) penalizing low quality content. Google did not confirm this update, but said updates happen on a regular basis. A joke was made by Gary Illyes saying these types of updates should by referred to as Fred.

Google Home – Consumer device used for connecting to a home network and performing basic tasks through voice command, such as asking questions, making searches, scheduling appointments, etc.

Google Hummingbird – Nickname of one of the first major overhauls to the main Google search algorithm, intended to completely update the way Google interpreted search queries.

Google Maps – Location and navigation service provided by Google capable of finding stores, restaurants, businesses, and landmarks anywhere in the world.

Google Medic – Major Google algorithm update (summer 2018) primarily affecting medical, fitness, health related and YMYL websites.

Google Mobile First Index Rollout Update – Google mobile-first updates (early 2018) encouraging developers to build websites with a mobile focus, with requirements of responsive websites that work on any smart device and are optimized for fast loading speeds.

Google Mobile Speed Update – Google update (July 2018) using page speed as a ranking factor in mobile devices.

Google My Business – Platform businesses (especially local) use to input information to appear in search results, map packs, location searches, and more.

Google Partner Agency – Agency certified by Google for meeting certain requirements relating to AdWords, performance, and spending.

Google Reviews – Reviews containing a 1-5 star scale and brief message left for businesses using the Google My Business platform.

Google Search Console – Free tool offered by Google to webmasters that measures a site’s visibility on search pages and indexability by Google crawler bots.

Google Tag Manager – A tool designed to manage JavaScript and HTML tags used for tracking analytics on websites.

Gravity Forms – WordPlus plugin used to add a customizable contact form to a website. Keeps track of completed forms and allows for all fields on a form to be customized.


Hard Bounce – Emails that were not delivered.

HARO – Help A Reporter Out. A service that connects sources to reporters. Useful in gaining PR and links, HARO sends out emails throughout the week listing stories that need sources.

Hashtag – A phrase beginning with the # symbol that is used in social media to make it easier for users to find content and topics.

Header – The top portion of a webpage that contains the logo and menu, or the section of HTML in a website’s code that contains important information about the site.

Header Code – Code placed in the header section that can be accessible across all pages of the website.

Header Tags – The titles and major topics of a webpage that help readers and search engines know what the page is about. There should be one main title (H1), then subtitles (H2) and sub-sub titles (H3) and so on.

Heatmap – A graphical representation of how users interact with a website. Software tracks where users click on a page, how they scroll, and what they hover over. This data can then be used in designing and optimizing websites.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. A set of codes used to tell a web browser how to display a webpage.

HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Used to define how data is formatted and transmitted on the world wide web, HTTP tells the server to look for and send data related to the website you enter into your browser.

HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. A secured version of HTTP.

Hreflang Tag – Code in the html of a website that tells search engines which spoken language a web page is using.


Iframe – An HTML document inside another HTML document on a website used to embed content from a source onto another web page.

Impression – When a pay-per-click ad is viewed online.

Impression Share – Percentage of times viewers have seen an advertiser’s ad in a pay-per-click campaign in relation to the total possible times the ad could have been seen.

Inbound Marketing – The activities and strategies used to attract potential customers to a website. Traditionally called SEO.

Index – All the web pages Google has stored to be shown in Google searches. Or, the act of Google copying a web page into its system, after which the web page will show up in search results.

Interactive Content – Online content that engages audiences, such as a survey or attractive infographic.


Java – Programming language used to create applications to run on digital devices.

Javascript (JS) – Scripting language used on web browsers that provides interactive elements to web pages that cannot be achieved with only HTML or CSS.


Keyword – Text used to search for a particular topic in which a search engine will give you listed results. SEO optimization relies heavily on using relevant keywords.

Keyword Phrase – Two or more words used to find information in a search engine.

Keyword Density – The percentage of how often a keyword appears on a webpage in relation to the total words on that webpage.

Keyword Stuffing – Using a keyword too often to manipulate search engines.

Knowledge Graph – Summarization of quick information points often pulled from sources like Wikipedia. Usually appears at the top of the screen in research related results.

Knowledge Panel – Box that appears at the top of search results pages. Designed to display when users search for a business on Google to get quick information like phone numbers and location.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – Used to demonstrate how effectively a marketing project, company or employee is reaching key business objectives.


Landing Page – Destination webpage a user lands on after clicking on a link.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) – Search engine indexing method that creates a relationship between words and phrases to form a better understanding of subject matter.

Lead – Potential customer that has communicated interest with a business.

Lead Generation – The process of attracting and converting new potential customers to drive sales.

Lead Nurturing – The process used in inbound marketing to push leads further in the customer lifecycle by targeting them with relevant content.

Lifecycle (Customer Lifecycle) – Stages used to define the relationship you have with your potential or existing customers. Stages include Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, and Retention.

Link – A string of hypertext transfer protocol structured text used to connect webpages. Internal links connect to pages on the same website, and external links lead to webpages on a different website.

Link Profile – Grouping of all links pointing to a particular website, used to determine a website’s power, trust, subject matter, and content. Search engine rankings are also affected by a link profile. A high number of links from untrusted websites will have a negative effect on rankings, and a high number of links from trusted websites will have a positive effect on ranking.

LinkedIn – Social networking platform used to connect professionals to jobs, businesses, and other professionals in their industry. Marketing, job posting, and sharing content also takes place in this online professional setting.

Link Network – Blackhat link building strategy that uses a network of websites interconnected with links to boost backlink profiles and rank certain websites higher in Google search results. This strategy is frowned upon and will result in a penalty when detected.

Lookalike Audience – Targeting option offered by Facebook’s ad service that will create an audience from a source audience, such as an email list or Facebook fans. Common characteristics are identified and used to target an audience.

Long Tail Keyword – Keyword phrase that is longer in length and hyper-specifically matches a user search query with less competition from other companies.

LTV (Lifetime Value) – Metric used to show the total revenue a business can expect from each customer.


Map Pack – Section of Google search results page that features three businesses listed in a a local map search area. Shows up for queries with local intent, a general business type, or a “near me” search.

Marketing Automation – Manages and automates marketing processes across channels.

Martech (Marketing Technology) – The overlap between marketing and technology, software suites and tech tools used by marketers.

Medium – General category of traffic to a website tracked in Google analytics, including organic, CPC, email, and referral.

Metadata – HTML snippets added to a webpage’s code that add contextual information for web crawlers and search engines to use in deciding what information is displayed in search results.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – The most basic version of a product that can carry out its desired function.


NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) – Local citations. Consistency is important for local SEO campaigns.

Native Advertising – Effectively engaging social media advertising that allows marketers to target audiences with relatable content. The ads follow the form, function, and feel of the content of the media where it is placed.

Nofollow – HTML link attribute that communicates to web crawlers and search engines that the link to the destination webpage should not transfer SEO benefit to the recipient.

NPS (Net Promoter Score) – Helps find out how likely a customer would be to recommend a product, service, or company on a scale of 0-10.


Omnichannel Marketing – Cross-channel marketing strategy focused on delivering unified experiences.

Open Rate – The value that shows how many recipients have opened an email, not to be confused with total opens, which can be done multiple times by the same recipient.

Organic – Source of website traffic produced by clicks on non-paid search engine results.


Panda – Search engine algorithm developed by Google to rate the quality and relevance of content on a webpage. Davalues websites with poorly written content.

Page Views – Each time a webpage is visited, including reloaded by the same visitor.

PBN (Private Blog Network) – A collection of private websites linking to each other to manipulate search engines by egregiously adding links to their link profiles.

PDF – Digital document providing a digital image of text or graphics that can be used easily online.

Penalty – Punishment as a result of violating Google’s guidelines, which can lead to the removal of a website from search engine results. Only when the issue is resolved by the webmaster, can a penalty be lifted and the website have a chance to regain its search engine ranking.

Penguin – Google search engine algorithm used to determine the quality of links pointing to a particular website. Has been rolled into the Core Algorithm in Google.


Personalization – A method of customizing user experience by delivering personalized content based on user behavior and context.

Pigeon – Google search engine algorithm used to produce local targeted information from searches using general keywords. 

Position 0 (Position Zero) – The featured snippet of text placed before the top-ranking search result.

PPC / Pay-Per-Click – Online advertising model that charges advertisers when ads are clicked on. Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are common PPC platforms.

Position – Placement/ranking in search engine results.


QR Code (Quick Response Code) – Scannable barcode used to encode data such as text or a URL.

Qualified Lead – A lead that has shown interest and likely to become a customer based on actions taken, such as signing up for a service.

Quality Score – Google AdWord’s rating of the relevance and quality of keywords in PPC campaigns.

Query – Text and topics typed in search engines to find related results.


Rankings – Where websites appear in search engine results due to keyword use.

RankBrain – Component of Google’s algorithm that uses machine learning to evaluate search results and related queries to find the intent of a search.

Reciprocal Link – Two websites linked to increase search engine rankings in a manipulative way.

Reddit – Collection of online forums (subreddits) spanning a variety of topics with posts and comments that are ranked by upvotes and downvotes. Paid advertising is also available.

Redirect – The action of a web browser taking a user from one page to another without the user clicking or making input.

Referral – A website visit that came from another website.

Referral Marketing – Promoting products or services to customers through recommendations, usually by word of mouth, opposed to traditional online marketing.

Remarketing – Paid ads that allow advertisers to reconnect with customers who have previously visited their website.

Responsive Web Design – Creation of a website that allows all content to appear correctly regardless of the screen size or device used to view the website.

ROAS (Return on Advertisement Spending) – A calculation of advertising results (purchases, downloads, page views, etc.) divided by the budget spent on advertising.

Robots.txt – Text file stored on a website’s server that includes basic rules for indexing robots which crawl the website. Allows certain files and folders to not be viewed by crawler bots so indexed pages can be limited to certain ones.

ROI (Return On Investment) – The measurement of performance and efficiency of your investment compared with other investments. Referred to as ROAS in digital marketing.

RPC (Revenue Per Click) – Average value of each click, determined by multiplying goal value by conversion rate.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) – A centralized place where updates to multiple websites can be checked all at once, opposed to having to manually track each website individually.


SaaS (Software as a Service) – Third-party software solutions that host platforms for applications and software to make them available to clients.

SAINT (Site Catalyst Attribute Import Naming Tool) – Classifications featured in the analytical tool Site Catalyst allowing advertisers to upload customized metadata within Site Catalyst, analyze, and process them.

Schema Markup – Code added to the HTML of a website to give search engines more relevant information about businesses, people, places, reviews, products, or things.

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) – Advertising made available by purchasing top spots in a search engine’s results page.

Search Engine – A program, such as Google or Bing, used to search an index of online information for results relating to keywords or phrases.

Search Network – Group of websites available for ad placement.

Search Operator – Text modifier used to return more specific results during Google searches.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Marketing strategy involving purchasing top spots in a search engine’s results page.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – The process of improving the rankings of a website through efficient use of website promoting tools such as keyword placement, code enhancement, and link profiles.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – Page featuring a list of search results.

Sessions – Google Analytics metric used to measure the interaction of an individual website user with a website during a given period of time.

Shoppable Posts – Instagram posts allowing users to turn their Instagram accounts into visual stores with the help of product tags.

Siri – Digital assistant designed by Apple and used on Apple products like iPhones.

Site Catalyst – Analytical tool within Adobe that allows marketers to measure and analyze data from multiple marketing channels. Formerly known as Omniture.

Site Link – Ad extension in Google AdWords linking to a specific website. Appears below the main ad copy.

Sitemap – An XML file or page on a website listing all the pages and posts for search engines to see, helping them quickly understand all content on a website.

Slug – Portion of a URL that comes after the .com.

Soft Bounce – Used to notify a sender their email was delivered to the recipient(s) but bounced back, usually because of a full inbox, heavy email, or an email server being down temporarily.

Source – Helps webmasters classify where traffic is coming from.

Spam – Nefarious activities in digital marketing done to help a website rank better or to harm a competitor.

Spider – Also known as a bot or crawler, an automated program that visits websites. Google uses bots to crawl websites so they can be indexed and ranked. A spam spider visits websites are nefarious reasons.

SSL Certificate – Small data files added to web servers that allow a website to use the HTTPS protocol.

Style Sheet – Shortened term for Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). See CSS.


Tag – An identifying marker in WordPress used to classify different posts based on keywords and topics.

Title Tag – Displayed in the tabbed top bar of a web browser, HTML element used to describe the specific topic of a webpage.

TOFU (Top of the Funnel) – First stage of the buying funnel, also known as the awareness point.

Tracking Code – A script used to pass information along to software tools for data gathering, usually placed in the header, footer, or “thank you” page of a website.

Twitch – Live streaming video platform known for video game streams and e-sports but also has other streaming channels like art and cooking. There are also streams of popular tv shows, political rallies, and traditional sports. The chat feature allows the audience to interact with each other and the streamer.

Twitter – Social media platform in which users post messages and replies called “tweets” to share information and links. Each “tweet” is restricted to 280 characters or less, and each keystroke equals one character.

Twitter Advertising – Promotion of a tweet on users feeds without the users having to follow the advertiser’s brand for it to appear in their feed.


UI (User Interface) – The area in which users interact with something through a digital device.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – Used in the address bar of a browser to tell the browser where to get information. Usually appears in HTTP or HTTPS form.

utm_id – Classification campaign code used for Google Analytics.

UTM Parameters – Tags added to a URL for tracking purposes.

UV (Unique Visitor) – A visitor who returns to a website repeatedly in a set period and counted as only one visitor no matter how many times they return to the website.

UX (User Experience) – How a user interacts with and responds to a website or app.


Viral Content – Content which quickly becomes very popular, such as heavily shared YouTube videos.

Visitors – Users of a website over a specific period of time.

Visits – See sessions.

Voice Search – Allows users to search online via voice command.


Web 2.0 – Second major phase of development of the World Wide Web. Involved a shift from static webpages to dynamic content, social media, and user generated content.

Webinar – Online seminar, usually for training, informing, or selling to audiences who sign up to watch.

Website – One or a group of documents, content and/or media published on a web server and accessible on the World Wide Web. Identified with a domain name.

White Hat – Ethical digital marketing techniques that adhere to Google guidelines intended to prevent nefarious activities.

Wireframe – Cursory layout drawing of a webpage acting as the first step in the design process.


XML (eXtensible Markup Language) – Used to categorize various data for computers and humans to use more effectively.

XML Sitemap – A document in XML format categorizing all relevant pages, posts, files, etc. of a website to help search engine crawler bots easily find all the pages for a given website. 


Yelp – Social review platform and search engine allowing users to review, as well as find businesses. Advertisers can also reach Yelp users based on keyword searches.

YouTube – One of the most popular search engines in the world. The video sharing website has an extensive reach and is part of Google’s Ad Network, making it extremely beneficial for digital marketing purposes.

YouTube Advertising – Six different formats of advertising available through YouTube, including display ads, overlay ads, skippable video ads, non-skippable video ads, bumper ads, and sponsor cards.

Yahoo! Search – Powered by Bing since 2009, it is one of the largest search engines in the world.

Yahoo! Advertising – Ads run through the Bing Ads platform for Yahoo. Bing and Yahoo share advertising networks.

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