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The online world is full of marketing terms and acronyms like ROI (return on investment), CPC (cost per click), CTR (click-through rate), KPI (key performance indicator) and countless others.

It becomes a little overwhelming. You start to feel like you’re reading a different language. But what is this new language trying to tell you?! We’re here to decipher the code and put it into your terms. Let’s get started.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term used to describe any type of online marketing including search engine optimization, PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing.

We are going to break up our digital marketing terms into several categories including

  • social media marketing,
  • search engine marketing and
  • email marketing.   

Some of these digital marketing terms can be applied to all three so pay close attention.

Social Media Marketing Terms


1. KPI – Key Performance Indicator

KPI’s appear in all types of marketing and businesses use them to measure the success of their campaigns. Your KPI can be any type of analytic like a click through rate, engagement rate, bounce rate and so on. We will talk about several marketing terms that be can key performance indicators in your campaigns.

2. CPA – Cost Per Acquisition

This is a metric used to determine how much it costs to acquire one customer. You can calculate this by dividing the total cost of your campaign by the number of conversions. This metric is important because it actually shows you how much you are spending per conversion. If this cost is too high, you should consider reworking your marketing campaign.

3. Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are built using email lists. This is a way to target users that are similar to the ones you already have. You can upload your email list to your Facebook ad campaign and it will take these emails and find similar users to target. You can even exclude the emails that you upload if you do not wish to advertise to current customers. With lookalike audiences you’ll be able to easily reach new customers that are similar to your existing customers. If you do not have an email list, learn more about list building and subscribe to the free workshop series with this link.

4. A/B Split Testing

When running any type of advertisement, it’s best to split test. This means you will have 2-3 similar ads that are all running at the same time to see which performs best. You can run the same image and switch up the copy or vice versa. A/B split testing will help you better target your audience by showing you which advertisement people liked more. When you are finished with your split test you will be left with an ad that performs great and helps you capture those potential buyers!

*This can be applied to email marketing as well.

5. CPI – Cost Per Impression

CPI measures how many times your ad appears on a site whether or not the users actually sees or interacts with it. This is similar to the marketing term “reach” but reach measures how many people see your content and impressions measure how many times your ad or content was displayed. Impressions build brand recognition while reach will help you build your brand.

6. Lead Generation/Lead Magnet/Lead Nurturing

These three marketing terms go hand in hand. Lead generation is exactly what it sounds like – how your business generates leads or how you grab the attention of your customers. A lead magnet is a small giveaway, free ebook, guide, etc. that your business offers to customers in exchange for their email. A lead magnet is a tool that is going to help your business capture those potential customers. Once a potential lead becomes a lead, you will need to nurture them until they become a customer. Typically business nurtures their leads through their sales funnel. Lead nurturing can be in the form or sending emails, retargeting them on social media or actually calling your potential customers to follow up with them.

7. CTR – Click Through Rate

When running a social media advertising campaign, the click-through rate shows how many times an ad was clicked on by users. In order to calculate your CTR you will need to take the total number of clicks your ad received and divide it by the number of times it was shown (impressions). Then convert that number to a percentage.

*You will see this term again in our email marketing section*

8. Engagement Rate

Blog, Facebook posts, tweets and photos on Instagram all have engagement rates. This is how many users are interacting with your brand. How many comments did you get on that post? How many shares did that blog receive? Usually the higher your engagement rate is, the better your content is – which is great for SEO. If search engines see that users are interacting with your website and social media channels you will be viewed as a notable source in your industry.

9. Remarketing

Chances are you have seen remarketing almost every day. If you are shopping online and are viewing a pair of shoes, this pair of shoes will most likely show up again on another website you visit. Remarketing is a tactic used to get customers who did not make a purchase back to your site. If your business sells more than one product you can set up carousel ads to appear on other sites as well as social media channels. These ads are composed of several products that your customers have already viewed. Since they have already looked at these products, they are probably interested in them and are more likely to buy if they see the product again.

10. Relevancy Score & Quality Score

When running campaigns on Facebook, you will receive a relevancy score for your creative and copy in your advertisements. This score is given to each of your ads by Facebook. It is a way for them to decide how relevant your advertisement is and how it compares to other similar ads.

Google essentially does the same thing for your paid search ads by giving you a quality score. Many factors go into your quality score, and it can be improved over time.

Why should you care about your relevancy score or your quality score? Well, the higher your score, the more your ads will be shown over your competitors and the less money it will cost to do so. A better score lowers your cost per click. Not every click is going to be a conversion so getting your CPC as low as possible is key.

11. B2B and B2C

Business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) are two marketing terms that describe who businesses interact with. Do you market to other businesses or directly to consumers. Your strategy is going to look a lot different if you are targeting customers instead of businesses or decision-makers. There are some social media channels that B2B companies should be on that B2C companies should not be on. Your ad strategy, if you are targeting other businesses, is probably going to be different than an ad strategy that is targeting consumers. Make sure you know who your audience is!

12. CTA – Call To Action

A call to action is usually a button used to get your customer’s attention and make them click, purchase, give their email or any other action you want them to take. A call to action can be used in social media advertisements, email campaigns or on your website. Your CTA should be big, bold and be able to grab your customer’s attention. An effective CTA is also short, sweet and to the point. When someone lands on your website they should immediately know what action you want them to take whether it is to shop a sale, enter their email or browse your newest products.

13. Buyer Persona/Avatar

A buyer persona is something that you or your marketing team create that will give you a better idea of what your potential customers look like. This will include demographics like gender, age, and interests. This is not just some made-up persona. It is based on the research of your target market so that your customers’ buying motivations, behaviors and goals are considered. Zeroing in on the demographics of your potential customers is an important step in your marketing strategy so don’t skip it! Your buyer persona should look something like this. Include what you think your buyer does, their job title, interests, background and what challenges they face. It would also be a good idea to include goals or fears that your potential buyer might have. This way you will know what solutions you will need to offer in order to capture this type of potential buyer because customers buy solutions to their problems, not products.

14. Pixel

This is a snippet of code that is inserted into your website for tracking purposes. It can gather analytics and data on your customers and their movement across your website. You can also use pixels to retarget customers with Facebook. Since the pixel on your site is tracking every customer that visits, you can use this data to target them in future Facebook ads.

Your pixel will look like a bunch of words and symbols if you are unfamiliar with HTML but all you really need to worry about is copying and pasting it in the correct place on your website. Facebook provides great tutorials on how to do this for almost all major website platforms.

15. Thank You Page

A thank you page is imperative if you are an e-commerce business. Why do you need a thank you page pixel? Something we see often is customers going through the checkout process and the site not tracking their conversions. A simple thank you page is all you need to track your ROI. This page can be added after people make a purchase on your site but if you are not an e-commerce business you can add a thank you page to your contact form. This will show you where your customers are coming from and make tracking your conversions really easy!

Search Engine Marketing Terms

16. SEO

Search engine optimization or SEO is the organic way to move your site up in search engine rankings. There are many moving parts to SEO such as selecting target keywords that you want your business to rank for, optimizing your pages with those keywords, writing blogs and acquiring backlinks. This method of search engine marketing takes time as the search engines will need to crawl your site to pick up on any changes you make. If you want to rank now, there is a quicker way, but it will cost you.

17. Business Blogging

This is quite the same as “regular” blogging but is optimized for businesses. The articles that are usually found in a business blog are keyword optimized and are created to provide educational, helpful and professional insights. They are also typically bundled with a downloadable offer such as eBook, case studies, checklists, etc. To sum it up, this type of blogging is usually meant to grow your email list.

18. PPC

Pay Per Click has similarities with SEO but these are paid ads that run on Google. PPC is instant. As soon as you set up your ad campaign, you can begin ranking immediately. If you have the budget and you are willing to spend it, you will be at the top of Google search results in no time at all. PPC also involves keyword research but instead of on-page optimization, you will need to create ads. Ads include two short headlines, a description and a link to your website or landing page. You can also include extensions like your business’s phone number or links to additional pages on your site.

SEO and PPC work great individually, but together they can skyrocket your business!

19. DA – Domain Authority

This is a number 1-100 that is assigned to websites by Moz, a marketing analytics company. The higher your Domain Authority, the more powerful your website and the higher your chances of ranking. When doing keyword research, domain authority is a metric that will help you determine whether or not you will be able to compete with the companies that are already ranking. For example, if your DA is 20 and you do a google search for your keyword and the websites that appear all have DA’s of 50-70, you are probably not going to be able to rank for that word.

20. PA – Page Authority

Each page on your website has a rank as well as your site as a whole. It’s important to make sure you are distributing page authority evenly across your site. If you have one page (let’s say your homepage) on your site that is ranking number 1 in search and has a PA of 100 that’s great but what about your other pages? The more pages that have high PA’s, the more likely they will be able to rank which means your business has a better chance of showing up in search results.

21. Bounce Rate

A bounce rate in terms of search engine marketing is when a user lands on your site and only views one page. Google Analytics will show you the bounce rate for your website. If this number is high, you will need to make some adjustments. The more pages a user views and the more time they spend on your site, the higher the chances for you to move up in search rankings.

*You will see this term again in the next section as it is a little different when it comes to emails.

22. Above the fold

Content that is “above the fold” is any content that appears before the user has to scroll. So what should go above the fold on your site? Your most important content as well as your H1 tag (for SEO purposes) and a call to action! If a customer lands on your site and they do not immediately know what is going on, there is a chance they will press that back button.

Email Marketing Terms


23. List Segmentation

Segmenting your email lists can work wonders for automation. There are so many ways to break up your lists – by industry, age, location, new and returning customers and the list goes on. These lists can be used to create automation or to funnel into automatons. However, if you want to segment your lists, there should always be a strategy in place.

24. Bounce Rate

A bounce rate in the email marketing world is the percentage of emails that were not delivered in your campaign. If your bounce rate is high, there might be an issue with your email or the domain that you are sending from so make sure you are always checking your bounce rate whenever you send out an email.

There are two types of bounces, a hard bounce, and a soft bounce – two very important marketing terms that you need to know in order to run successful email campaigns.

25. Hard Bounce

In your email campaigns, you will undoubtedly see bounces. Hard bounces are emails that were not delivered. There are essentially two reasons for this. The email could be wrong so if you do have a small subscriber list, check to make sure your email address is correct or you have been blocked. This is why it is so important to build your email list organically. This means that you have gathered emails from people and have their explicit permission to send them emails. Do not buy email lists. This can really hurt you in the long run – if enough people block or report you as spam your deliverability will plummet.

26. Soft Bounce

A soft bounce means that your email was delivered but bounced back because the users inbox was full, their email server was down at the time of delivery or maybe the email was too large. Some email APIs will continue to attempt to deliver to these emails several more times before they give up. If the soft bounces continue, eventually the API will remove the email address from your subscriber list.

27. Open Rate vs Total Opens

Some email platforms will show you an open rate as well as the number of total opens. It is important to know the difference between these two email marketing terms. Your email open rate tells you how many users opened your email. Sometimes people will go back and open the same email two or three times, especially if there is a coupon or special offer associated with it. Total opens accounts for every time your email has been opened.

28. CTR – Click Through Rate

While open rates look great on paper the click-through rate is the metric you should be most concerned with. The goal of most email campaigns is to keep email subscribers engaged and keep them coming back to your site. Engagement can be measured by the open rate and click-through rate measures how often they go to your site, or how often they click through. These metrics work together because without people opening your email there’s no way they can click through to your site.

Now You Know

Did you learn some marketing terms? We know some of these can be confusing but understanding them will help you measure your ROI, create better advertisements and be able to figure out when something goes wrong with your campaign (and how to fix it).

If you can comprehend these marketing terms, you are ready to take the next step in growing your business. If you still have some questions about these marketing terms and you want to learn to build an online business from scratch then feel free to get started with the On-Demand Business Workshop by clicking here!

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