The 2018 Digital Marketing Glossary

 Photo by  A  dam Jang  on  Unsplash

Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

Whether you’re a digital marketing noob or a seasoned pro, you’ve likely noted that tracking the industry’s ceaseless onslaught of terms, phrases, platforms, channels, tools, algorithms, and targeting methods is no small task. Indeed, the digital marketing train chugs along at what can feel like warp speed—when you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to fall behind and find yourself lost in a strange land that speaks a strange language.

At Good & Gold, we take pride in tracking the front edges of the industry, but we also aim to simplify things for our clients, and pay attention to what’s truly important. In other words, we separate the wheat from the chaff to develop strategies and benchmarks for ourselves and our clients that are built to deliver concrete results—not bells and whistles. We’re here to help you make sense of the chaos so that you can focus on what matters most: your business.

Below, you’ll find the terms we talk about most when strategizing and reporting for our clients or for our own marketing efforts. Whether you’re tackling your own digital marketing or working with an agency, this little glossary should give you a good lay of the land.

General Terms & Metrics

Sales Funnel: The concept of leading customers through a series of events or actions that can be mapped out in the shape of a funnel. The broadest level at the top of the funnel would involve attracting users to your website, after which they move down the funnel as they download a resource or sign up for your email list, after which they (ideally) move to the bottom of the funnel and become a paying customer.

Brand Personality: A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand. An effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits expressed through all of its content and communications that a specific consumer segment enjoys.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of the people who saw a search result, ad, or e-mail who then clicked through to your website. (clicks / impressions=CTR)

Conversion Rate: The percentage of the people who clicked through to your website who then took a positive action, such as purchasing something or signing up for a newsletter.

Cost Per Click (CPC): The amount you pay on an advertising platform for each click.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): The amount you pay on an advertising platform per thousand times people see your ad.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): How much it costs to acquire a new customer—sometimes stated as cost per conversion.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): Gross revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. (revenue from ad campaign / cost of ad campaign = ROAS)

Search Engine Optimization

Impression: A single display of a particular ad or search result on a web page.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who visit your website but leave without visiting any other page.

Canonical Tag: A bit of code that tells search engines which page is preferred when two URLs are similar or duplicate. (Most commonly, this tag is used when you have products or content that is accessible by multiple URLs.)

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page displayed by a web search engine in response to a query by a searcher. Every time you perform a Google search, you are greeted by a SERP.

Meta Tag: Hidden bits of code on your website that help determine the various ways that your site appears within search engines, from supplying the “title” and “description” that appear in Google to telling search engines what kind of business you are and what products you offer.

Sitemap: This is really just what it sounds like—a map listing the pages on your website that allows search engines like Google and Bing to identify where pages are, what order they come in, their importance, and how to generally navigate your site.

Long Tail Keywords: The specific, three- or four-word phrases that potential customers use when searching for your product or service. These are often easier and quicker to rank for in search engines, and can account for the bulk of a website’s traffic.

Schema Markup: A piece of code you can add to a page’s HTML to help search engines understand what your website is about and what type of information it contains.

Paid Media

Paid Search: Also referred to as Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Paid Placement, or Pay Per Click, paid search allows advertisers to pay to be listed within the Search Engine Results Pages for specific keywords or phrases.

Quality Score: A numerical score Google AdWords assigns to ads and campaigns based on ad quality, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Generally, the higher your quality score, the higher your ads can appear on a search engine results page.

Retargeting: Someone visits your website, and then after they exit and continue browsing, your ad appears as a display ad on other websites or social media channels that accept ads from the ad network you use for retargeting. (It’s a little creepy, but it works.)

Dynamic Retargeting: Essentially, next-level retargeting—serving ads to users who have been to your website that contain images and information about the exact item they viewed.

Behavioral Targeting: Serving advertising to people who should be receptive to your message given past web behavior such as purchases or websites visited.

Geo-Targeting: The ability to reach potential clients based on their physical location.

Affiliate Marketing: A strategy where businesses reward individual affiliates (people or organizations outside the business) for bringing in new customers or visitors through ads or content on the affiliate’s website. Affiliates receive payments or product discounts based on the number of customers they generate.

E-Mail Marketing

Call to Action (CTA): A word or phrase used to inspire the end user to take a specific action, often via a button or another stylized link.

A/B Testing: An optimization technique that divides a list in two, then sends a different email version to each half to determine which variation converts best.

Bounce Rate: A percentage that measures how many emails have been returned by an email service. A bounce can happen because a subscriber’s email address either no longer exists, their inbox was full, or because a server was unavailable.

E-Mail Automation: A feature that enables you to send out messages to your customers at designated times, such as: When a subscriber signs up for your email list, when they perform an action on your website (like download an e-book), or when they add an item to their shopping cart but don’t complete the purchase.

Drip Marketing: A sequence of communication that is written in advance, and then sent to prospective or current customers at pre-determined intervals to advance them through your sales funnel.

Web Design & Development

HTML: The acronym for Hypertext Markup Language, a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on web pages.

CSS: The acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language like HTML, including colors, layout, and fonts.

Javascript: An object-oriented scripting language commonly used to make HTML pages more dynamic and interactive.

User Experience (UX): How a user feels when interfacing with a system such as a website, a web application, or desktop software. UX often determines how well a website converts or how much time users spend on a website or application.


Need help making sense of it all?