The Digital Marketing Glossary (Updated For 2020)

It’s no secret…

Trying to keep up with and understand all the latest marketing terms, phrases and acronyms can be an absolute nightmare! 

In fact, if you ever entered a room full of marketers, you’d probably think we were speaking another langauge at times…

jon hamm marketing GIF

However, it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of these terms; especially if you’re looking to grow your business using Digital Marketing.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy Digital Marketing Glossary of terms that fall within the context of Digital Marketing. We’ve also linked to relevant articles and blogs that may help you understand certain points further.

The Digital Marketing Glossary (The Marketing A-Z)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


  • Average Customer Value: This is one of the most important metric within your marketing as it helps to determine the true ROI of a campaign. It’s typically based on the average amount a customer spends with you over the cost of a year. This can also be measured as a LTV (Lifetime Value)
  • Average Order Value: The total value of order divided by the total number of orders, this is primarily used in e-commerce and is increased by things like up-sells or cross-sells
  • A/B Testing: This is the process testing two different versions of something to find the one which best achieves a certain goal. As an example if we ran a split test on an email list of 100 people with a goal of improving our click through rate (CTR), the system would send 50 people one version, and the other 50 people another. The version of the email that resulted in the highest CTR would become the winner. (A/B Testing can be used on a number of things from landing pages, to videos, to headlines.)
  • Abandonment Rate: Typically used in e-commerce, abandonment rate is the percentage of people who place items in their cart, but then leave the website before completing checkout. This is typically improved by things like exit-intent popups or by streamlining the checkout process.
  • Ad Exchanges:¬†An¬†ad exchange¬†is effectively a digital marketplace that allows both advertisers and publishers to buy and sell¬†advertising¬†space, often through real-time, computer-based auctions.¬†
  • Ad Servers: Similar to an Ad-Exchange but the Ad Server itself is what crunches the numbers and makes rapid real-time calculations to decide when and where an ad shows.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Marketing is about finding advocates/customers of your brand and offering them a commission every time they refer a new customer to you. This will usually be done using a special trackable link. One of the most popular affiliate platforms is Clickbank.
  • Algorithm: An algorithm is effectively a set of rules a computer will use to make a decision. For example, you may hear people talking about Google’s Algorithms or Social Media Algorithms. This comprises of typically hundreds or rules or data-points being analysed to decide how much reach a particular post or website will get. It’s worth noting that nobody other than the platforms themselves really know what goes into the algorithm. SEO and Social Media experts will spend years running tests to establish what does and doesn’t work; however, the algorithms are constantly changing and evolving so it’s always worth running your own tests.
  • Alt Text (Alternative Text): Alt Text is effectively a description of an image that goes inside a piece of code on a website, so people can still gain context should that image fail to load.
  • Anchor Text: This is the text that appears over a clickable link. For a example, if we wanted to create a link to our PPC Management page, the anchor text might look like this: PPC Management Services. The process of turning that text into a link is known as hyperlinking.
  • Audience: In the context of marketing, audience generally refers to the people you’re looking to reach or the people viewing your content; typically your ideal customers/prospects.
  • API (Application Programming Interface): This is a pre-written set of instructions that a computer program/application uses. If you’ve used email marketing software before, you may have heard the term API key being used. This is what allows once application to speak another. For example, connecting your email marketing platform to your website to collect leads.
  • Attribution Tracking: The act of attributing a lead or a sale to a certain source of advertising. For example, the ability to see whether a sale was generated from an organic search results or a paid advertising campaign. This is extremely important to highlight the true ROI of a marketing campaign
  • Avatar: Also referred to as a customer avatar or customer persona, this is designed to be a representation of your perfect customer. It’s often used in marketing to ensure that your content, copy-writing and the overall brand messaging is on point and resonates with your ideal customer.


  • Backlinks: These are links that come from another website to your website. They are seen as one of the primary ranking factors for SEO. This is because having a high-volume of backlinks from other reputable websites demonstrates trust and authority of your site to the search engines
  • Blog: A blog is a page on a website (or sometimes the entire website) that comprises of frequently updated posts/articles (like the one you’re reading right now). Blogging is another extremely important factor when it comes to SEO.
  • Bid Modifier: Primarily used in the context of paid advertising, a bid modifier allows you to bid a higher or lower amount for your ad to display under certain conditions. For example, if you know your website converts better with mobile users; you may want to create an increase bid modifier for mobile devices.
  • Blogger Outreach: The act of contacting bloggers or media publication to secure a guest-blogging agreement or to get a link back to your site where you may be able to replace a broken link for them.
  • Black Hat SEO: A¬†set of practices that are used to increases a websites rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service. Effectively the goal of black-hat SEO is to exploit loopholes within the Search Engine Algorithm in order to increase rank. This is extremely risky and NOT recommended; it also often results in a negative user experience.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of users who land on your website and then leave without taking any further action or clicking through to other pages.
  • Broad Match Keywords: Often used in paid advertising, this refers to what kind of keywords will trigger an advert to display. Broad Match will trigger for a particular keyword when¬†someone searches for that phrase, similar phrases, common misspellings, related searches and other relevant variations.
  • Broken Links: This typically refers to a link on a website which no longer works. This may happen when a website which was previously being linked to has been removed or the URL has been changed.
  • Buyer Intent: A phrase or keyword that shows the person searching has the intention to make a purchase. For example, somebody searching “CRM” has much lower buyer intent than somebody searching for “Best Deal On CRM For Small Businesses”


  • Canonical Tag: A piece of code inserted on a page that helps to prevent issues with duplicate content. It effectively let’s Google know that this is the main or preferred piece of content to display in searches.¬†
  • CMS (Content Management System):¬† A piece of software that helps users to easily modify and manage their digital content; often used in Web Development platforms. WordPress or even Squarespace are a good examples of a CMS¬†
  • Content Marketing: A strategic marketing approach that involves the thoughtful creation and distribution of valuable content for a specific audience. This might including blog posts, YouTube videos, social media posts, podcasts and more. Content Marketing also forms a big part of a solid SEO strategy and is often aided by the use of content marketing tools.
  • Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors to a page that convert into a lead or a sale. This is calculated by dividing the number of visitors to a page over a certain period by the number of leads generated from that page over the same period. This can be increase by a solid Conversion Rate Optimisation strategy. You can also use our handy conversion rate calculator here.
  • Cookies: Unfortunately not the soft and crumbly kind. Cookies in the context of marketing, refer to small files, almost like an ID tag stored in your browser. This allows websites to identify you should you visit the site again and track numbers like Unique Visitors or Bounce Rate through Google Analytics.
  • CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): A term used to reflect the cost for a business to acquire a new lead or sale. In Paid Advertising this would be the average amount spent on ads before acquiring a new lead.
  • CPC (Cost Per Click): In Pay-Per-Click Advertising, CPC is a term used to indicate how much you’re paying per click on your ad
  • CPM (Cost Per Millie): In Pay-Per-Impression advertising, CPM refers to the cost per thousand impressions of your ad. This price may be set by an agency/ad exchange or negotiated directly with a publisher. (Oh, and if you’re wondering “mille” is latin for thousand… god knows why they expect¬†us to know that)
  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management):¬†¬†A piece of software used for managing your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. They can also help to provide invaluable insights into your customer behaviour and some include built-in marketing automation features. Salesforce is an example of a well-known CRM system.
  • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation): The act of running controlled tests and applying small incremental changes to a web page in order to increase the amount of conversions. Whilst this can be expensive in the short-term, it can save businesses millions in the long-term from wasted advertising budget as a result of poor conversion rates. Here are some tips on how to increase your websites conversion rate.
  • CTA (Call To Action): A specific prompt that tells the viewer or reader what action to take next. On an e-commerce website this may be in the form of a “Buy Now” button; or in copy-writing in may be a compelling request that inspires the reader to take action by enquiring or clicking a link. This is often a key component in conversion rate optimisation.
  • CTR (Click Through Rate): This refers to the number of people clicking a link after seeing it. It’s calculated by dividing the amount of clicks by the amount of impressions over a set time period.¬†


  • Domain Name: The best way to think about a web domain is securing your deed to a piece of “internet land”. You can secure a domain name before building a website, but you can’t actually host a website without first having a domain name for it.
  • Duplicate Content: This refers to content that has been duplicated across multiple places on the internet. As mentioned above, you can use Canonical Tags to show search engines the main/original piece of content.


  • E-Commerce Store: An online shop that sells either digital or physical products. Amazon is obvious example of an e-commerce store
  • Email List: One of the most profitable assets for any business; your email list is a database of leads and customers who have expressed an interest in your product or service.
  • Email Marketing: Email marketing is the act of sending valuable content to your email list/email subscribers and occasionally promoting your products or services. When done right, email marketing is still seen to have the highest ROI of any marketing method.
  • Exact Match Keywords: Often used in paid advertising, this refers to what kind of keywords will trigger an advert to display. Exact Match means a user has to type in the exact phrase entered by the advertiser for the ad to show; contrary to broad match where the user can type in almost any variation of that keyword or phrase.


  • Featured Snippets: A highlighted/featured answer in the search engines which appear at the top of the results. This is often used when somebody is search for an answer to a specific question. The snippet will consist of content extracted from a high-authority webpage with a link to that page underneath.
  • Funnels: Sometimes referred to as a sales or marketing funnel, this is the process and steps you take your visitors through to convert them from visitor, to lead, to sale. The idea of a sales funnel is to make the process as seamless as possible, by removing unnecessary steps and options. This may be done using a landing page or squeeze page and will often consist of multiple follow-up pages within the funnel which can include cross-sells or up-sells.¬†


  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation): A new government¬†regulation that was enforced in 2018 to give EU citizens more control over their data online. It’s worth doing your own research on this but in a nutshell, the core principles are about ensuring businesses are transparent and clear with their use of customer/prospect data and what data is being stored. It’s also important that your customers and prospects are easily able to change their mind and “opt out” of communications at any time.
  • Guest Blogging: The act of creating an article for another website in exchange for a backlink to your website
  • Geo-Targeting: The act of targeting content or advertising to a specific geographic location
  • Google Ads: Google’s advertising platform which allows your to run adverts across Google, YouTube and any partner sites & publishers.
  • Google Analytics: An extremely useful platform for tracking and monitoring your key website metrics such as conversion rate, bounce rate and unique visitors.
  • Google Search Console: Similar¬†to Google Analytics but this displays information specific¬†to organic¬†search within Google’s Search Engine
  • Google Tag Manager: A platform that allows you to easily manage or add your website tracking pixels in one place.
  • Google My Business: A platform to help local businesses manage their local search listings and easily manage things like opening hours or respond to customer reviews.


  • Hashtags (#): A type of tag used by social media platforms that allows users to categorise¬†their content and make it easily searchable
  • Heatmap:¬†A visual representation of a website which is used to display which parts of a website get the most/least interaction. These are often used as part of a conversion rate optimisation strategy,


  • Impressions: The number of times a piece of content, advert or an organic listing was displayed on a page. However, it’s important to note, this doesn’t necessarily¬†mean it was seen
  • Index: In the context of websites, when a page has been indexed, it has effectively been added onto the database of a search engine. For example, when a new page is first added to a website, it may take some time for this to be picked up by the search engines.


  • Keywords: Specific words or phrases that you want to appear for in advertising or organic search. These should be highly relevent to your business and audience.¬†
  • Keyword Research: The act of finding information on a specific keyword such as how often it is searched for, how easy it would be to rank for and how relevent it would be for your target audience. Tools like UberSuggest are a great way of doing keyword research
  • Keyword Stuffing: This would be considered a Black-Hat SEO and it involves filling a page with the same keyword over and over again in an attempt to rank higher in the search engines. The good news is Search Engines are much smarter these days and methods like this no longer work.
  • Keyword Density: Indicates how often your target keyword has been used on a particular page. The key here is to use the target keyword enough for search engines to understand the context of the page, but not to the point the page or articles sound robotic or forced. WordPress plugins like Yoast can help you make sure your target keyword is used enough, whilst still sound human and readable.


  • Landing Page: Sometimes referred to as a squeeze page; these are pages designed specifically¬†for the user to take ONE action. Usually to convert into a lead or a sale. This is contrary to a regular website page which often gives the user multiple options and menus which can reduce the overall conversion rate. You can learn more about landing pages and squeeze pages here.
  • Lead Generation: A task or method of digital marketing that seeks to generate leads for the business. Check out our recent Lead Generation guide for more information on this.
  • Lead Magnet: A valuable resource that is offered to potential leads in exchange for their name and email address. You can learn more about lead magnets and how to use them here
  • Lead:¬†A website visitor typically classed as a lead when they have given you their information such as a name and email address
  • Lead Nurture Campaign: A lead nurture campaign usually consists of a series of automated email that will be sent out to a subscriber to help build the relationship and keep your brand front of mind
  • Link Building: A core component of an SEO strategy which involves building backlinks from relevent and reputable websites. This is usually done through something like guest-blogging or blogger outreach. You’ll find some more link-building strategies in our 2020 SEO Quick Wins article.
  • Local Search: A search in which the results are location based. For example, if somebody goes on Google to search “Hairdressers Near Me” Google will return the results showing in the local area. For tips on how to optimise for local searches, check out our guide on Local SEO here.
  • Long-Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase which contains multiple words. For example: “Best Italian Restaurant In Liverpool Street”. Targeting long-tail keywords can be a useful SEO strategy for small businesses as it allows you to start gaining traction with the less broad search terms. Long-Tail keywords are also useful for finding phrases that show Buyer Intent.
  • Lookalike Audience: A Facebook Advertising feature that allows you to take a list of customers (usually people who have bought your product or service) and then specifically target people who have similar¬†interests or behavioural traits.
  • LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing): A technology that helps search engines to understand the contextual relevancy behind related keywords. This has been developed over the years to help counteract keyword stuffing as Google can now understand the deeper context of an article without relying on a single keyword.


  • Marketing Automation:¬†This is used to create things like email follow up sequences or lead nurture campaigns based on a certain event or trigger. For example, when somebody subscribes to your email list, you may want to create a series of email spread over several weeks to help build the relationship and increase the chance of them becoming a customer.
  • Market Research: Researching a specific industry, audience demographic, or consumer psychology¬†to help create an effective marketing strategy.
  • Meta Description: A small snippet of around 155 characters¬†which helps to describe the pages contents. This will be displayed under the meta title in search engines
  • Meta Titles: A small snippet of around 50 characters¬†which helps describe the page itself. This is the main title you will see displayed on a search engine listing.
  • Media Buying: The act of buying, neogitating and securing advertising space on publisher sites or advertising platforms
  • Mobile Optimised: Making a page mobile optimised means the text and formatting displays correctly and provides a good experience for mobile users. It’s worth noting Google now operate a Mobile First policy which means they are ranking websites primarily based on the mobile experience.


  • Native Advertising: The use of paid¬†ads¬†that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. For example an advert displayed on a publishers website would want to fit naturally into the content itself and not fill jarring or out of place. This can help increase click-through-rate
  • Native Content: Content that is uploaded to the platform itself instead of linking to an external website. For example a video uploaded onto Facebook directly, instead of a post on Facebook that links to a YouTube video. Native content is generally preferred by all social media platforms as it keep people on their platform, and it can help to get increased reach on your posts.
  • NoFollow Links:¬†A specific code and attribute that can be applied to a backlink which prevents Google associating it with the linking website. This may be applied by large website with a good authority when linking out to smaller websites that could be deemed as spammy and therefore negatively effect their own rankings.
  • NoIndex: An attribute that tells search engines not to index the page. This can be used if you have a page on your site that you don’t want to appear within search engines.


  • Organic: The term “Organic” refers to results and impressions that are not boosted by paid advertising. For example, organic rankings are the position that a page displays within the search engines for a particular keyword. It’s estimated that the top 3 positions with Google get 50% of all clicks which is why having a solid SEO strategy can be so important. You may also hear this referred to as organic traffic or organic results.
  • Organic: A term used in email marketing to show the percentage of users who have opened an email. Here are some tips on how to increase your email open rates


  • Organic: The term “Organic” refers to results and impressions that are not boosted by paid advertising. For example, organic rankings are the position that a page displays within the search engines for a particular keyword. It’s estimated that the top 3 positions with Google get 50% of all clicks which is why having a solid SEO strategy can be so important. You may also hear this referred to as organic traffic or organic results.


  • PPC (Pay Per Click):¬† A form of paid advertising in which you pay a certain amount (which is based on a real-time bidding system) for a click to your advert. This can be extremely profitable when you know you have a high-converting landing page and long-tail keywords which show buyer-intent.
  • Programmatic Advertising: A form of automated Media Buying in which computer systems make real-time bids for placements on publisher sites


  • Quality Score: Often used in paid advertising, the quality score is calculated based on a number of factors, such as the mobile optimisation of your page, and the relevancy¬†of your advert to the landing page. It’s important to get this right as having a low quality score can signficantly affect your Cost Per Click and Impression Share


  • Redirect: A redirect is used when a web-page is no longer available or the URL has changed. You may sometimes hear this referred to as a 301 redirect.
  • Remarketing/Retargeting: A form of advertising in which, ads are shown specifically¬†to users who have visited your website and had a retargeting pixel stored. This is often used to run ads to visitors who came to your website but didn’t turn into a lead or a sale. Retargeting Ads are often highly profitable as you are only targeting people who have already expressed an interest in your company but maybe weren’t able to buy at the time.
  • Responsive Website: A website which automatically change it’s formatting depending on the device it’s being displayed on to provide a good user experience across all devices
  • Rich Snippets:¬†Boxes of additional information that are displayed in the results page of a search engine. An example of this would be Google’s “People Also Ask” box
  • ROAS (Return On Ad Spend):¬†Often used in advertising to monitor the performance of a campaign. ROAS is calculated by taking¬†the total revenue generated for a specific marketing channel (like PPC) divided by the total amount of¬†spend¬†on that channel. You can also use our handy return on ad spend calculator here.


  • Schema Markup: A small bit of code that you can put on a web page to help Search Engines return more informative results for users. This can be used to secure featured snippers or rich snippets with the search engine
  • Segmentation: Segmentation is often used in email marketing and CRM systems to separate¬†a broad audience into multiple different¬†criteria. This can help to only send the right content, to the right people, at the right time
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing): Any form of marketing that helps a business to appear in the search engine results. This can be a combination of SEO and Paid Advertising
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): The act of optimising a website to appear/rank at the top of the search engine results for the businesses target keywords.
  • SERP (Search Engine Results Page): The page of results that appear after a user types a search into a search engine
  • Sessions: This can help to indicate how many times are individual user has visited your website. Google Analytics typically measure a single session over a 30-minute window so if a visitor spent 15 minutes browsing your website and then came back the next day, that would be classed as 2 sessions
  • Sitemap: A map or set of instructions given to search engines to help them understand the structure of your website
  • Spiders/Crawl Bots: These are the bots responsible for indexing pages and websites within the search engines. They are constantly looking for changes and updates across millions of sites¬†on the internet.


  • The Fold: The part a website in which a visitor would need to scroll down to see more information. It’s critical¬†that users have just enough information above the fold to know what the website is about, otherwise they’ll likely leave without reading further.
  • Tracking Pixel: A type of cookie which is placed on a visitors device that allow you to run re-targeting offers/adverts to visitors who didn’t take a specific action. This can help to increase the chances of a conversion or sale over time.¬†
  • Traffic: Traffic is the amount of visitors that have come to your website from any external source.


  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator): The string of characters¬†are user needs to type into their browsers to get to a specific web page.


  • Vlog: Originally a form of video diary, a vlog is now any video posted across a social media channel of video hosting site like YouTube. A vlog serves the purpose of sharing a message or conveying valuable information¬†to the viewer;¬†similar¬†to a Blog.


  • Webinar: A form of virtual event which will typically consist of at least one or two speakers. Participants can often interact at the end through Q&A’s.
  • Webmaster: A webmaster is the person responsible¬†for maintaining a website.
  • White Hat SEO: Any practice that helps to improve your search rankings while maintaining the reputation and integrity of your website. This is done by sticking to methods that stay clearly within the search engines’ terms of service.

This list will be regularly updated, but If you find anything missing, or have an additional phrase you would like us to add, please contact us to let us know.


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Tom Peyton
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