Here is a broad list of terms to give you more information about many of the words used in the world of digital marketing.


301 Redirect: This is a permanent redirect from an one URL to a another URL. This is usually used to during a website redesign or a web page and its URL are updated or changed.

404 Error: You have probably seen this type of page. An error message gets displayed when a URL cannot be found.

404 Redirect: When removing a page from a website, it is good practice to add a 404 redirect to take a visitor to either the new page, or another page, to help them to continue to use your site and not see the 404 error message.


A/B testing: This is common when trying to improve website performance. It involves creating two versions of a piece of content, like an ad copy, an email, an image, or a landing page. This is to test the two versions to see which performs better.

Above the fold: This is the visible content on a website that is above the cut off at the bottom of the screen. This means the content you do not have to scroll to see. High priority CTAs (calls to action) usually get put here.

Ad: These are paid advertisements for search, ad networks, social media, email, print, mail, tv and radio.

Ad fatigue: If you get tired of watching the same commercial at every commercial break, then you know what ad fatigue is.

Ad group: PPC or pay-per-click accounts allow you to create groups for similar ads.

Algorithm: You may hear this term in why search ranking is so complex. Search engines, ad platforms, website page scores and so on. These companies do not publish their magical equations to prevent people from trying to manipulate results.

Alt text: A word or phrase used to in the HTML <img> tag, to tell a user or Google Bot what that image is. Using “alt text” is a common practice in SEO for a website.

Anchor text: The visual text you read for a link, which is usually formatted as blue underlined text.

Attribution:  Is the identification of a set of user actions (“events” or “touchpoints”) that contribute in some way to a desired outcome, and then assigned a value to each of these events.

Audience: The target demographic that ads focus on to attempt conversion. An audience will vary depending on the product, service, marketing channel, content, etc. Advertiser can have multiple audiences.

Audit: A deep look at an entire website that will give data to make improvements from. Search engine optimization will generally be the ones to perform these audits.


Back-link: A link that points to your website from an outside source. Example: has a link on a page to In this example, has 1 backlink. Back-links are important to search ranking, so having a large number of backlinks is good, but quality of backlinks is also important.

Bid: The price a advertiser will pay for their ad to appear on whatever ad platform they are using.

Black Hat: This term is used when someone or a company is using practices that search engines like Google frown upon. Keyword stuffing and paid links are forms of this practice.

Blog: This can be an entire website or just a section of a website that contains a collection of posts. Usually divided into categories with an archive by date. Blogs are great ways to get customers/visitors additional information and also used as part of a content marketing strategy.

Bots: ‘Googlebot,’ ‘Crawler,’ or ‘Spider,’ is an automated piece of software that is designed to check everything about a website and create an inventory of words and topics, that it then uses to be part of search engine results. Google gives a way to see some of the data through webmaster tools.

Bounce rate: If a visitor goes to your website and leaves right away, then they have “bounced.” The lower the “bounce rate” the better.


Campaign: This is the top-level category for one or multiple ad groups. How you choose to organize your ads or different campaigns will vary and generally ran by a digital advertising person.

Channel: The outlet advertisers use to market to their target market. Common marketing channels can be Search like Google, Email, Social Media, Mobile Games.

Clicks or Ad Click: Important if you are running CPC or Cost Per Click campaigns. This is the total number of clicks on an online ad.

CPA or Cost per Acquisition: Usually called cost per conversion, this is the amount spent on one conversion from an ad. If the spend is $1000 and they have 40 conversions, then the CPA is (cost/conversions) $1000/40 is $25.

CPL or Cost per Lead: This is the amount a is paid for each lead from an advertisement. So if you are spending $1000 on ads and you generate 160 leads, then the cost per lead (cost/leads) $1000/160 is $6.25.

CPC or Cost Per Click: This is the amount paid per ad click. This amount is generally set by the competition of the ad category and location. Real Estate, Mortgage and Insurance are generally highly competitive categories and will cost more per-click than Dog Walkers, Bead Store and Cat Washer.

CPM or Cost per Thousand: This is for paid advertising campaigns when you choose to pay for a volume of impressions instead of clicks. This is less common, but still can be used on many ad platforms.

CTA or Call to Action: “Sign Up,” “Get Started,” “Buy Now,” “Contact Us,” “Call Today,” “Download Here,” “Learn More,” are examples of a CTA. This is a word or phrase used to get the audience to take a desired action.

CTR or Click Thru Rate: The percentage of ad impressions to clicks. So if an ad is shown 100 times and gets 20 times, then the CTR or click thru rate is (clicks/impressions) 20/100 = 20%.

Code: This is the HTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript, etc. that makes up a website.

Conversions: This is the completion of a desired action from an ad or web page. Call to actions are usually used in the success of these conversions.

CVR or Conversion Rate: Similar to CTR, this is the percentage of times the user will convert from a clicked on ad. So if an ad is clicked 100 times and converts 10 times, then the CVR or conversion rate is (conversions/clicks) 10/100 = 10%.

Cookie: A small file that is stored on the a user’s computer after they visit a website. There are two types of cookies; permanent and temporary. These cookies can be cleared by a user by choosing to clear their cookies or cache. Cookies are usually usedto learn about their customers, how they interact with the web site, and re-market to them when they visit other sites.

Copy or Ad Copy: The text associated with an ad. Copy can also be referred to as the main content on the pages of a website, but when talking about ad copy it is usually in reference to the headlines and description that accompany the ad.

Crawl or Crawling: The process of scanning a web site for new/updated pages, or removed or redirected pages. This is done by a bot, or ‘Spider,’ either when a user uses a search engine.


Demographics: Demographics are things like age, gender, location, income, job title, ethnicity, and race. It is a common practice in marketing campaigns to target ads to one or more demographics.

Display Advertising: A type of online marketing that uses images or video to communicate their ad, rather than text-based advertising. Display advertising is used across platforms like Google AdWords, AdRoll, Facebook, Instagram, and more.

Domain: A name used in URLs to identify web pages and where they belong. For example, in the URL, the domain name is

DA or Domain Authority: This is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.


Email List: This is the list of subscribers or contacts from form submissions that you have collected.

Email Marketing: A form of marketing to known subscribers, customers, prospects in the form of email. Newsletters and promotional emails are the most common emails sent. This is also used in customer service and ordering processes.


Google AdWords: This is Google’s PPC or pay-per-click advertising platform. AdWords allows you to build, manage, and optimize campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords within a single account.

GA or Google Analytics: If you like statistics about your website, then GA is a must.

GTM or Google Tag Manager: A platform where you can manages all your tags for a website in one place. You can easily change, update, or add new tags or code snippets to a site without having to go into the backend of the website.

GSC or Google Search Console: Formerly named Google Webmaster Tools, this is a free service for webmasters to monitor, maintain, and optimize their site indexing, site traffic, and crawl errors.


H Tags: These header tags, which are h1 thru h6 will look like this <h1> in HTML, it is the title of a page, and will stand out among the rest of the text on a page. H tags are important for crawlers to understand the hierarchy of titles and subtitles on a page.

HTML or Hypertext Markup Language: Regularly mis-called a coding language, this markup is used to create a website. It is comprised on different tags that tell a browser how to display content. For styling, CSS is used.


Impressions: This is simply the number of times an ad is seen by a potential customer. This can be thru a SERP or display network, and  does not need to be clicked be counted as an impression.

Inbound Link: As a topic in the ‘backlink’ category, this is a link from another location on the internet to your website.


JavaScript: A scripting language used on a website, so users can interact with a page. Many current sites use a library of JavaScript called jQuery, which is an easier shorthand version of JavaScript.


Keyword or Keyword Phrase: These are the words that people search in a search engine, sort of. These are really the groupings of words that should explain your website, so that crawlers will know about your site and each page on the website. So that when a potential customer searches for the or similar keyword phrase, your site will hopefully appear at or near the top of the search results.

Keyword Research: While many of us know what we do, many of our customers and prospective customers do not know how to search for specifics. So keyword research allows us to see what people actually type for search, which allows website owners and SEO professionals to help make sure your site is seen on the SERP.

Keyword Stuffing: This is now a practice that is considered “Black Hat,” but use to be a common practice to help a website rank higher. This is the over-loading a page with keywords or phrases to try and manipulate the website’s search rankings. Google now penalizes sites that use this practice.

KPI or Key Performance Indicator: This is a statistic or metric that is used to measure the performance of an ad, website or marketing strategy. Metrics can include number of visitors, bounce rate, click thru rate, conversion rate, etc.


Landing Page: A landing page is any page that is used to direct digital ad traffic to. These are generally solitary pages that are designed specifically for an ad campaign to try and optimize conversion.

Lead: This common term is also used in digital advertising to explain the gathering of information from a potential customer, so they can be placed into your sales process. This is usually from them submitting a form on your website. Some people pay for leads from lead generation sites as well.


Marketing Automation: Software or tool that helps automate your marketing processes or actions. Mostly used for social media and email. HubSpot, Zapier and MailChimp or Constant Contact are prime examples of these automation platforms.

Metadata: Title, description, tags, location and date are common forms of meta data. These are used to help crawlers get more information about the pages on a website.


NoFollow: This is a link classification that will tell a  search engine to ignore the link for search indexing. This is good to link to another website without influencing that site’s rank.


OG or Open Graph Tag: This protocol lets you control the information that get sent from a website to social media.

Organic Traffic: This traffic comes from visitors from unpaid avenues, usually search engines and social media. While these are not from paid ads, they still are usually generated from good work being done for SEO or a good social media presence.

Outbound Link: This is simply a link that goes from a page on your site, to another website. These links are usually listed as no-follow.


Page Speed: This is the time it takes your web page to load on a web browser or mobile phone. It is important for a good user experience to have the page load quickly. Page speed does impact your search engine rank, also slow load times increase your bounce rate as people are impatient.

Page Views: The number of times a user visits a web page. These are broken down into 2 types. General or Repeat and Unique, which means it is the first time to your site. These statistics are common metric in Google Analytics.

PPC or Pay-Per-Click Advertising: This is the most common form of digital advertising in which you pay for an ad when it is clicked. AdWords and Facebook are 2 very common locations where you would run these types of ads.

Pixel: A pixel is a small piece of code that is placed on the backend of your website and is used to track visitors or track conversions.


Quality Score: This score is used by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as a metric to measure ad quality. This score can influence the cost per click and ad rank. Better scores can lower ad costs and improve ad positions. Some factors for the quality score include; click thru rate, load times, ad copy, and landing page quality.

Query: Just a different word for search term, a query is a word or phrase a user types into a search engine.


Reach: Reach is the measure of the views your content gets in a certain amount of time.

Remarketing: This is a Google AdWords’ solution, specific to their network. Unlike retargeting, remarketing is restricted to email and phone.

Retargeting: If you are using cookies to track visitors and behavior, you can use these cookies to retarget people who were on your website.  You can display ads on other websites on the retargeting ad network you are using to try and bring them back to your website.

ROAS or Return on Ad Spend: This is the return or value a business gets from the money they spent on advertising. This return does not have to be revenue from sales, but can be leads or any other metric the business is trying to gain from the advertising.

Robots.txt: This is a text file this is used to help a search engine know what it can and cannot crawl on a website. While every site should have one, it is used most to hide pages that you do not want found on search engines.

ROI or Return on Investment: Like click thru rates or bounce rates, this is the calculated benefit received from an investment compared to the cost. Unlike other simple metrics, what is factored into this calculation is determined by the business. You may decide to include conversion and bounce rate reduction or total visits to your site compared to the money spent.


Search Engine: These are what allow us to navigate the enormousness of the internet. The most common ones are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing: A form of PPC where the ad spend is only on search engines.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization: This is a vast category of keywords, page content, page load speeds, H tags, alt text, back-links, etc. and the purpose of SEO is to improve organic search results and drive more traffic to your relevant website.

SERP or Search Engine Results Page: The page that appears when you hit enter or click submit after typing in a search term in a search engine. The SERP may include mix of ads, local results, video, images and organic search results.

Sessions: The duration of time a visitor spends on a particular web site or page. This is also the amount of time allowed being logged into a website before having to re-login.

Sitemap: Usually an xml file and/or a separate page on a website, this is a structured list of pages within a website that helps search engines index the site. Complex sites will sometimes have a sitemap to help visitors see the entirety of the site easier than clicking thru menus or pages.

Spider: Also known as a web crawler, it is a bot that helps search engines index websites.


Tag: There are two types of tags, there is the one used on website or social media content and there are also tags or pixels or web beacons to collect and receive data based on user interaction with a web page. Tags can be used to integrate third-party applications, set cookies, and gather user information.

Trigger: This is an automated response based on a user action and “triggers” a tag to execute. For example, reaching a specific ad landing page, a cookie gets set for the browser to gather information to be used for remarketing.


URL or Uniform Resource Locator: Also called a web address, this is used to specify and identify a location on the internet.

UTM Tracking: A Google Analytics function that uses UTM codes to allow businesses to track their web traffic.


Web page: A single page that lives on a domain within a website on the World Wide Web. They are a document written using HTML and display data that can usually be accessed by anyone.

Website: An address on the Internet made up of a collection of web pages that are connected to one another in order to host information and data.

White Hat: This is the opposite of “Black Hat” practices. When these practices are followed, your website will not incur penalties from search engines.

WordPress: A free and open-source content management system that allows businesses to integrate plugins, themes, and other services with an pre existing website. Businesses often use it for its content management and creation ability.


XML Sitemap: A tool that helps search engines more effectively crawl a website. It is useful for businesses with large sites or with a significant number of web pages that are not linked to each other. Having a sitemap will help organize this data so it can be properly cataloged by a search engine.

Still have a term you aren’t quite sure about? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help out!