46 Digital Marketing Terms You MUST Know

Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Aug 27, 2022

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If you’re new to the digital marketing industry, you might find some of the jargon used by digital marketers a tad bit confusing. And even if you are familiar with the industry and have worked in it for a while, certain terms might take a while to get used to.

Luckily for you, regardless of how familiar you are, we’ve put together this article to go through some of the most common digital marketing terms out there.

Some of these terms are general, and others are related to social media and email marketing, but the one thing they’ll have in common is the fact that they’re…common!

Anyway, without further ado, let’s get started.

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31 essential digital marketing terms

31 Essential Digital Marketing Terms

1. B2B (business-to-business)

As the name suggests, this term refers to any sort of business conducted between two businesses, whether it’s a sale of a product or a service. Examples of B2B businesses include ones that sell manufacturing materials, clothing (to shops), car parts, digital marketing services like ours, accounting services, and more. ‘

2. B2C (business-to-consumer)

A business that sells products or services directly to the people, commonly known as consumers, is described as B2C. These businesses usually take care of the creation of the product or service from start to finish, including the direct sale to customers. For instance, a clothing company like ZARA is a prime example of a B2C business.

When you walk into a ZARA store to buy a pair of trousers or a dress, you are the C to the B2C. They handled everything from production to selling you that product.

3. Digital marketing terms: Conversion path

A conversion path is the series of events that are set up to move a visitor of a website or social account down a path that converts them into a lead. For instance, a conversion path on a website goes as follows:

  1. A user clicks on a Google ad or an organic search of your website
  2. They find themselves on a landing page with a sign-up form
  3. They fill it out and get redirected to a Thank You page
  4. A Thank You email is sent to the user

Usually, in a conversion path, visitors are to be promised something in return for their contact information. This could be a free download of an eBook, a free consultation, a discount, and more. The incentive shouldn’t be something random, though. Rather, it’s something that potential leads might find valuable enough for them, and only you can know what that might be.

4. Conversion rate

A conversion rate is the percentage of existing or potential customers that take a specific action. This action can be anything from opening a marketing email to making a purchase. And since most digital marketing efforts focus on compelling people (customers) to take certain actions, the conversion rate is a very important digital marketing term.

5. Push marketing

Push marketing refers to any marketing efforts that are designed to send out targeted messages to a number of potential or existing customers. Examples of push marketing include targeted email campaigns, and radio and television ads.

6. Pull marketing

Pull marketing, also known as inbound marketing, refers to any marketing efforts that are designed to “pull” or attract prospects to your website or physical stores.

One good example of pull marketing is SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media marketing.

7. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Common SEO Problems cover

Simply put, SEO is the many processes that go into trying to increase the amount and quality of traffic that you get to your website. The traffic you get from SEO is usually referred to as unpaid traffic. This is because SEO excludes anything related to paid search.

8. Organic traffic

Organic traffic refers to any traffic that your site receives from unpaid search results. Think of it as the main fruit of search engine optimisation.

Think of it as all the users who make it to your website by simply searching for something and being recommended your site by their search engine.

So basically, organic traffic is the collection of users that make it to a business’ website without relying on ads run by the latter.

9. On-page optimisation

On-page optimisation is all about the actions that you can take on your website to improve your organic search engine rankings. It can include working on your metadata tags, optimising the content on your website, and more.

This is perhaps the most important part of your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts. Without it done properly, there is really no chance for you to improve search visibility and bring in any organic traffic.

You see, the better search engines such as Google understand your content, the higher you’ll rank in search. And better organic traffic equals more conversions and revenue hence the importance of on-page optimisation.

10. Off-page optimisation

Off-page optimisation, on the other hand, refers to actions that you can take outside of your actual website to improve your organic search ranking. These actions include getting high-quality backlinks to your site from other sites in the industry and more.

11. Digital marketing terms: Keyword

A keyword is one or several words that users use to search for a particular subject online. Keywords are particularly important in the world of digital marketing because they are the backbone of search marketing basically.

They are very important and should be the core of any copy written on the web.

12. Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing is increasing the amount and quality of traffic your website gets using both SEO and paid advertisements.

In other words, SEM encompasses both organic or natural results and paid results. That’s the term in theory; however, it is different in practice. Most people use SEO to refer to strategies tailored towards gaining organic traffic and SEM for paid efforts.

13. A/B testing

A/B testing

Also known as split testing, A/B testing refers to the process of testing two versions of marketing content against one another. It can be applied to newsletters, emails, social ads, calls-to-action, landing pages, and more.

The aim of pitting one variation against the other is to see which one works better. In order for split testing to work properly, it needs to be conducted on a minor level. In other words, say you want to split test your marketing email. You shouldn’t go and change everything in the email. Instead, try tweaking one element with each test.

This allows you to systematically improve each and every element of any marketing content that you might be relying upon.

14. Analytics

Analytics is a crucial part of digital marketing that is used in websites, social media as well as email campaigns. It refers to the many steps that go into reviewing and tracking the performance of any online campaign, paid or organic.

Analytics is the main source of meaningful data that can be used to improve current and future campaigns. This data can include website visitors, time on site, pages viewed, demographics of users, and more.

15. Automation

As the name suggests, automation refers to the process of automating repetitive marketing tasks. With it, businesses can target customers with automated messages across social, web, email, and text (SMS).

These messages are sent automatically and come as a product of marketing automation software. Examples of this software include Constant Contact, SendinBlue, MobileMonkey, and more.

16. Impressions

In the world of paid online ads, an impression refers to an instance where a user sees an online ad. It is a metric of great importance since it gives advertisers an idea of how many people received and saw their ads. It’s also related to other important metrics, such as the clickthrough rate (CTR) – see below for more!

17. Clickthrough rate (CTR)

The clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks a campaign gets relative to how many impressions it gets. A higher CTR usually implies that the campaign is getting a proper response from viewers. The way to calculate your CTR is as follows:

CTR = (clicks on a campaign/ad ÷ total campaign/ad impressions) x 100

For instance, if a given ad campaign has had 1000 impressions and 50 clicks, the CTR is (50 ÷ 1000) x 100 = 5%.

18. Customer acquisition cost

As the name suggests, customer acquisition cost refers to the amount of money it would take to convert one person into a customer. This figure is, of course, mainly focused on marketing costs. And when determined, this value can help companies get an idea of how much they will spend on a marketing campaign in order to get the desired number of customers.

19. Digital marketing terms: Blogging

Blogging is the act of writing or sharing content on your website on a regular basis. A blog where this content is shared can either be owned by an individual or a business. The content of blogs is mainly words, but it can also contain videos and images, all combined together.

The main goal of blogging for businesses is to attract new leads as well as provide valuable content for existing customers to make sure that they keep returning to your website.

20. Content

Content refers to any kind of published material on the world wide web. And it’s no different in the world of digital marketing. You would often see marketers insisting on publishing quality content. What they mean in this case is content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to their target audiences.

This is because only through quality content can a business build brand awareness and establish itself as a figure of expertise and authority in its domain. This, in turn, will drive more traffic to their website and improve their brand awareness.

21. Call-to-action (CTA)

A call-to-action, also known as a CTA, is an instruction given to website visitors to take action. They can also be found within social ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and more. For instance, that grey button that says Shop Now on the Facebook ad you’ve just seen is a CTA.

The action behind a CTA could be anything from clicking on a link, filling out a form, making a phone call to subscribing to a newsletter.

CTAs can either be presented as text or images, depending on the page it’s included in and your preferences.

22. Content offer

A content offer, also known as a lead magnet, is whatever you provide for a visitor in exchange for their personal information that might help you turn them into a lead. A content offer can be a free guide, an eBook, an invitation to a webinar, or a first-purchase discount.

In return, the visitor can provide you with some details such as their name, email, business name, and phone number.

23. Landing page

A landing page is any page that mainly gets traffic from outside of your site, whether that’s through paid advertising or organic ads – hence the “landing” in the name.

Backlinks are basically links that direct users from other websites to your page. Getting as many quality backlinks as possible is one of the cornerstones of search engine optimisation (SEO). This is because they are one of the many determining factors of a page’s relevancy, popularity and importance.

25. Buyer’s journey

Think of the buyer’s journey as what comes after a conversion path. It’s the process that a lead goes through in order to go from awareness to decision. Such a journey is usually comprised of three stages: Awareness, Consideration, and finally, Decision.

26. TOFU

Top of the Funnel is the beginning of a buyer’s journey. It refers to the information that your website can provide to new leads as well as the answers to any questions they might have about your business and brand in general.

This stage of the buyer’s journey is more commonly known as the Awareness stage.

27. Digital marketing terms: MOFU

Middle of the Funnel refers to the stage where a lead has moved from awareness to consideration. This is where they are ready to receive detailed information about your products and/or services. So, your task at this point would be to provide leads with as much information about what you offer as they need, all without bombarding them with it.

In other words, you need to find a middle ground where you’d properly introduce the lead to your products and services without coming off as salesy. This is also the point where you address any pushback of sorts.

28. BOFU (Bottom of the funnel)

The bottom of the funnel is the last stage in a buyer’s journey, also known as the decision stage. Once a lead arrives at the decision stage, they become the responsibility of your sales team. In other words, offering a lead something such as a free demo or a consultation is a great offer to make at this point.

29. Persona

In the world of marketing, a persona is the ideal representation of an individual for whom you want to purchase your product or service. It’s usually composed of a detailed breakdown of behaviours, goals, wishes, demographics, professional careers, and more.

And without properly defining your ideal buyer persona, there is really no proper way to create a functional target audience.

30. Bounce rate

The bounce rate refers to the percentage of users who land on your website and immediately click off without performing any action. They are quite literally “bouncing off” your website.

31. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs)

Marketing qualified leads refer to prospects that have expressed interest in your business through their engagement with your content. The term is also used to refer to people who provided you with identification details that allow you to turn them into a lead.

9 email marketing terms

9 Email Marketing Terms

1. Opt-in

An opt-in is when a user provides you with their email address and chooses to receive future emails from you. This is also known as subscribing.

2. Opt-out

Opt-out, on the other hand, refers to when a person deliberately unsubscribes from your email list. This is an important metric to keep track of since it acts as a warning if it gets too much. Still, even a few opt-outs out of hundreds of people should lead to an investigation of sorts.

3. Double opt-in

A double opt-in is when a subscriber is expected to confirm their email address after opting to subscribe to your email list. Usually, when a visitor fills out a form to subscribe to your email list, they immediately receive an email to confirm their action.

This email is known as the double opt-in email.

4. Clicks per delivered (CPD)

When trying to gauge how successful your email marketing campaign is, one metric you can rely on is Clicks Per Delivered (CPD). It’s the number of clicks on the link/CTA in the email divided by the number of emails delivered.

5. Clicks per open (CPO)

Similar to CPD, CPO is the number of clicks on your email’s link divided by the number of opened emails.

6. Digital marketing terms: Open rate

Open rate refers to the percentage of emails opened from the total emails sent out. Say, for example, we send out 10,000 emails, and only 1,000 are opened. Our open rate would be 10%.

7. Hard bounce

A hard bounce refers to what happens when you send a marketing email to an address that doesn’t exist, is misspelt or blocked. The email basically bounces back since it has no tangible destination to be delivered to.

8. Segmentation

Most companies nowadays have clients and customers that are in different stages of their buying cycle. And it’s only logical to want to send these groups separate emails to avoid confusion and to properly entice them to move to the next stage.

List segmentation basically refers to segmenting your leads and current lists under certain labels according to parameters of your choosing. The emails you send out to each group would differ from one another, of course. The differences can be minor or major, depending on your needs.

9. Digital marketing terms: Spam

One of the least favourite but better-known digital marketing terms, spam, is liked by no one. It refers to emails that are received by users who didn’t sign up for them.

Receiving a spam email is usually the result of the company buying an email list that happened to contain yours.

6 social media marketing terms

6 Social Media Marketing Terms

1. Clickbait

Clickbait refers to the kind of content that tries to hook people using highly promising headlines and CTAs. This content usually ends up disappointing the user due to being shallow, inaccurate, or irrelevant.

So, it should come as no surprise that clickbait is frowned upon in the world of digital marketing. And social media platforms such as Facebook are continuously making updates to their algorithms to combat clickbait.

2. Targeting

As the term suggests, targeting refers to defining to whom you’re marketing your brand. Most social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn come with built-in targeting tools to make the process much easier for you.

Only with targeting can you reach your ideal persona and build a strong and reliable target audience.

3. Digital marketing terms: Cost-per-click (CPC)

Also known as Pay-per-Click or PPC, CPC is the amount of money an advertiser pays every time someone clicks on their social media ad. So, it doesn’t matter how many people see the ad, and the advertiser will only be charged if people click on it.

4. Cost-per-impression (CPI or CPM)

Also known as Cost-per-thousand, this refers to the amount an advertiser pays for every 1,000 impressions/views on their social ad.

5. Digital marketing terms: Engagement rate

In the world of social media, engagement refers to the number of likes, comments, and shares a piece of content receives (including ads). These numbers are pitted against the number of people who saw your ad (impressions) to figure out how relevant and engaging it is.

6. Influencers

The term “influencer” is exactly what it sounds like, a person who’s capable of influencing their social media audience. These people are your go-to individuals if you want more people to interact with your brand and products/services.

Feeling confused? Let us help

All those terms can really get into one’s head, can’t they? Well, worry not, as we’re here to help. Book a discovery call with us, and we’ll show you how you can make every one of them work for your business.

Digital marketing terms – FAQs

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