44 Digital Marketing Definitions You Need to Know

Have you ever started talking about digital marketing with someone and then felt like you were suddenly in a foreign country? Crazy words like call to action, landing page, conversions and bounce rate are being thrown around. You’re nodding your head and silently thinking, “I need to do some serious Googling when I get back to the office.”

Well, we’ve done you a big favour. We’ve kept these digital marketing definitions short and sweet, just enough to help you wrap your head around them so you can confidently carry on a conversation without feeling like you’re stuck in the 90’s.

  1. Accessibility: The ability for anyone to access your site, from any device, including mobile and tablet, and have the same experience as on a desktop.
  2. Anchor Text: The text a link (hyperlink) uses to refer to your web page. These make a difference in your search engine results. For example, in this hyperlink to 44 North Digital Marketing’s website, we’ve used “44 North Digital Marketing” as the anchor text. Using anchor text effectively benefits both reader and can help with search engine optimization.
  3. Backlinks: When another website links to content on your website, you’ve generated a backlink. Backlinks are used to increase a site’s popularity with search engines and to get more people to visit your site.
  4. Bounce Rate:  A website’s bounce rate (sometimes called an abandonment rate) is the percentage of people who leave the site after visiting only one page of your website. A high bounce rate often indicates that your page was not relevant to what your visitors were searching for. To lower your bounce rate, it’s important to create quality content that will engage visitors and draw them into your website, keeping them there to learn more about your company.
  5. Call to Action (CTA): An image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action on a website.
  6. Click Through Rate: The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who simply view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of a paid or unpaid campaign.
  7. Cost Per Acquisition: How much you had to spend to generate a paying customer.
  8. Cost Per Click: How much you had to spend to generate a click on an advertisement.
  9. Content Management System: Also known as a CMS, the content management system is a back-end tool for managing website content, while not impacting the design and functionality of the website. WordPress is an example of a CMS.
  10. Conversion: Conversions happen when a visitor comes to your site and completes a desired goal or action, such as making a purchase, submitting a contact form or downloading a piece of sales collateral.
  11. Conversion Rate: If 1 out of every hundred visitors to a site buys something, there is a 1:100 (or 1%) conversion rate.
  12. Cookie: A small amount of text data that remembers information from page to page and visit to visit. This makes it easier for the user to pick up where they left off visiting the website, i.e. shopping cart contents are saved and user preferences are still available.
  13. Cost Per Conversion: When running a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to monitor the total cost for each conversion. This will help you to better understand the return on investment for your advertising campaign. To do so, you can take the total cost for generating the website traffic and divide it by the number of conversions. So if an ad campaign costs $100 for 100 views and generated five conversions, the formula is $100 divided by 5 which results in $20 per conversion.
  14. Customer Acquisition Cost: The cost associated in convincing a customer to buy a product/service. This cost is inclusive of the product cost as well as the cost involved in research, marketing, sales activities.
  15. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total dollars flowing from a customer over the entire relationship with that customer.
  16. Direct Traffic: Visits to your site where the user types your URL into their browser’s address bar or when a visitor uses a bookmark to get to your website.This is a good indication of how many of your visitors know your brand and website URL.
  17. Display Traffic: Visitors who come to your site by clicking on a Google Display or banner ad.
  18. Email Traffic: Visitors who click on a link in an email or email marketing campaign and come to your site.
  19. Funnel: The nurture process or series of steps a visitor takes before reaching the end goal, such as purchase.
  20. Goal: A measure of something you want to track as a success such as a quantifiable action that your visitors take, i.e. product purchases, newsletter sign ups, or downloads. Goals are set up in Google Analytics to track conversions.
  21. Goal Conversion Rate: The percentage of visits on a site where the visitor completes a goal.
  22. Google Analytics: Free measurement tool that offers a simple way to track metrics on your website, such as number of visitors, demographics, pages visited, conversions, traffic sources and more.
  23. Growth Hacker: Marketers, engineers and product managers that are focused on using low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing to growing a customer base, e.g. using social media and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.
  24. H-Tags (H1, H2, etc.) – Also known as “header tags,” these represent different levels of headings in HTML. From the largest (H1) to the smallest (H6), these define the titles/headings and sub-headings of web copy. Keywords should be used in H-tags to help with SEO and reader experience.
  25. Hyperlink – Known as “link” for short, a hyperlink is a word or phrase which is clickable and takes the visitor to another web page. This page can be within the same site or on a completely different site.
  26. Impression: When your website link or advertisement shows up on a web page and is viewed but not clicked, you generated an impression.
  27. Keywords: Words or phrases that visitors may use to find your website when using a search engine. Keywords are an important part of Search Engine Optimization.
  28. Landing Page: A page designed specifically for lead generation, that is different from your main website and has a single focused objective. A landing page typically has no global navigation to tie it to your primary website. The main reason for this is to limit the options available to your visitors, helping to guide them toward your intended conversion goal.
  29. Marketing Automation: Software that helps nurture customers through the buying process by automating marketing tasks. It is most commonly associated with email marketing, but can also be used for social media and website actions. When done correctly, marketing automation saves time, resources and generates more qualified leads.
  30. Meta-Description – A tag on a web page located in the heading source code containing a basic description of the page. It helps search engines categorize the page and can potentially inform users who come across the page listing in search results.
  31. Navigation: The buttons and menus that allow visitors to a website to move around that site. Navigation can also include links within pages, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination, and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another.
  32. Organic Traffic: Visitors who come to your website from unpaid organic or natural search engine results — essentially any traffic that comes from people typing a keyword into a search engine such as Google and then clicking on a search result that leads to your website.
  33. Outbound Link: Any link on a web page that links to an external web page.
  34. Paid Traffic: This consists of visitors who come to your website from online paid ad campaigns. When investing in an online PPC or other advertising campaign, this data will show you how effective your paid online marketing program is.
  35. Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC): Paid search marketing that involves placing advertisements above, beside and occasionally below the free search-engine listings on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The ads can be text ads or banner ads. You set a budget and cost-per-click bid, and then you only pay that cost each time someone clicks on the ad.
  36. Ranking: Each page of a website is given a ranking by search engines from 1-10. This ranking is the value that the search engine places on that particular page in relation to its subject matter and how relevant it is to what the user was searching for. The more relevant a page is believed to be the higher its ranking.
  37. Referral Traffic or Sites: Other websites that refer or send visitors to your website are called referring sites.
  38. Return on Investment (ROI) – The percentage of profit from a digital marketing activity. For example, if you pay $50 a month for pay-per-click advertising, and it leads to $500 in profit, your ROI would be 1000%.
  39. Search Engine Marketing: The process of gaining website traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid (i.e. PPC advertising) and unpaid (i.e. SEO) efforts.
  40. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Actions taken to the coding and content of website that affect its visibility and/or position in search engine unpaid results—often referred to as organic results. Optimizing a website typically involves determining keywords relevant to the website and its target customer and then editing its content, title tags, meta description, and other HTML and associated coding to increase the likelihood that the website will rank higher in search results. In general, the higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive.
  41. Social Traffic: Measures the number of visitors who come to your website by clicking on a link from one of your social networks.
  42. Title Tag – A form of meta-data used by search engines to categorize web pages by title. The title element should be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. It is one of the key factors of SEO because it helps with relevancy, user experience and search engine ranking.
  43. Unique Visitor: The number of individual (non-duplicate) visitors to a site over the course of a specific time period.
  44. User-Generated Content (UGC) – Any piece of content created by a member of a given website’s audience for use on that website and or to be freely distributed on the web. Wikipedia is an example of UGC.

Bookmark this page and keep it at the ready the next time you’re searching for digital marketing definitions. If you’re still stuck, we’d be happy to shed some light on these foreign terms and dive a bit deeper into their definitions and what they mean for your business. Just send us an email to cshelson@fortyfournorth.ca.

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Corey Shelson, Digital Marketer

Author Corey Shelson, Digital Marketer

A diverse leader with a strong entrepreneurial background, Corey has been managing teams and delivering projects on time, on budget and on scope for over 10 years. With a Computer Hardware Engineering Degree from the Royal Military College of Canada and MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Corey has an innate ability to dissect complex problems, create clear and concise strategies and execute projects with precision. Corey founded 44 North Digital Marketing in 2015 and has led the company's rapid growth ever since.

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