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The Amazing Digital Marketing Jargon-Buster Glossary

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Hi there! I’m on a mission to help you understand every digital marketing jargon out there with some clear easy-to-understand language so you become a true master of the online marketing dark arts.

I’m starting with a few jargons, but will keep adding new words every week, or as fast as I can add them to this list. If there is any specific term you would like to see listed on this glossary, just send a tweet to @rayvellest and I’ll be to put you at the top of the list. So, without further delay, here they are. Enjoy!

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# (Hashtag) — This symbol is most commonly know as the number sign as it’s usually used with a number after it #1 (the number one), but in digital marketing is mostly recognised as the hashtag symbol used on Twitter.

301 Redirect — An HTML response code which informs browsers that a web page has been permanently moved to another address. Web pages marked with 301 redirects will automatically redirect users to the pre-defined alternative URL without the need for them to be aware of it. This code also inform search engine crawlers that a permanent change has been made on the website, so search engine result pages are updated with the new address.

404 Error — An HTML response code that informs browsers that a web page has been moved, renamed or no longer exists. It’s considered good practice to create an error message page to help visitors stay engaged with the website. This code also informs search engine crawlers of changes on the website and search engine result pages are updated accordingly.

451 Error — This is a new HTML response code which informs the Internet user that a host has received a legal demand to prevent access to the web page. This status code was created to add transparency to the Internet. Pages with the error 451 will also include an brief explanation with the details of the legal demand including who made the request and what legislation does it cover.

A/B Testing — A method in digital marketing research where two variables are regularly changed in a control scenario to improve the statistical significance of a specific marketing message.

Abandonment Rate — This term refers to the rate in which users abandon their purchase process after adding products to virtual baskets. With the help of analytical tools, marketers can look at a specified period to identify how many carts result in abandonment. According to a recent research by the Baynard Institute, the typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 68.53%.

Above the Fold — The area of a website which is visible on the browser without the need of scrolling the page. This is considered a premium area for advertising buying and selling as it demands less interaction from the user to see the advertisement. In email marketing, this term refers to the portion of an email that can be viewed in the preview pane of the email application interface.

Absolute Link — This is a hyperlink that shows the full URL of the page that is being linked rather than a relative path. An absolute link in invariably unique, and will always include the protocol, the domain, the directory, and if applicable, the name of the file.

Accessibility — An aspect of the process of designing and developing websites which takes into account the needs of Internet users with disabilities.

Acquisition — It refers to the moment when a website visitor becomes a lead or a customer.

Acquisition Cost — See CPA (Cost-per-Acquisition).

Action Words — Action words are active verbs strategically placed in advertising to tell viewers what to do.

Active Verbs — See Action Words.

Ad Blocker — A category of application, usually in the form a plugin, that blocks online advertisement on web browsers.

Ad Impression — An ad impression is a single counting of an add visible on a web page as soon as the page is loaded in the viewer’s browser. Adverts that are placed below the fold will only count as ad impressions once the user scroll the page down to where they are located.

Ad Network — See Advertising Network.

Ad Rotation — A method of delivering advertising on web pages where multiple banners are placed in the same advertising space on a rotation basis. This rotation is schedued in a process called trafficking and is managed by advertising management software called ad servers.

Ad Space — An ad space is any space on a webpage that is purposely reserved for online advertising.

Ad View — See Ad Impression.

AdCenter — See Microsoft adCenter.

AdSense — See Google AdSense.

Advertising Network — A media company that agreggates the available traffic and advertsing space of a network of websites to facilitate the purchase of their advertising space by centralising the process of selling that same space. Ad networks are powerful on the Internet space as they allow individual website owners to offer their space to a wide range of advertising buyers while creating a solution that help advertisers to benefit from the economy of scale.

Advertising Rotation — See Ad Rotation.

AdWords — See Google AdWords.

AJAX — The term AJAX is short for asynchronous JavaScript and XML, and is a well estabilished web development technique that makes use of JavaScript and XML to create interactive web applications. AJAX significantly increases the quality of a user experience by removing the need to consistently reload the page every time a change is made by the user.

Akismet — A popular WordPress plugin that analyse data in real time to automatically mark undesirable user-generated content as spam. Akismet is free for personal websites and individual bloggers up to a limit of 50,000 checks per month. It also has a range of monthly priced plans for business websites.

Alexa Rank — This refers to a number which indicates how popular a website is in comparison to other websites based on information collected by the Alexa Toolbar. The Alexa ranking mainly reflect the amount of visitors a website receive, rather than the quality of the user experience, with the most popular websites ranking in lower numbers. At the time of writing this glossary, the first, second and third websites on Alexa’s ranking were Google, Facebook, and YouTube respectively. You can see the top 50 websites here:

Anchor text — This refers to the visible and clickable text in a hyperlink. While the importance of the anchor text has been greatly reduced in the past few years in favor of other ranking signals such as social media shares, time spent on page and bounce rates; it is still an important core element in how search engines rank web pages in their search results.

Antivirus — A category of computer application created for the purpose of detecting and neutralising malicious software.

Artwork — The term artwork is commonly used by media agents to refer to creative artwork that is required to setup an online campaign such as banners, logos, etc. These are also commonly refered as “creatives” by some media professionals.

Assets — These are design files which are commonly used by a marketing department in order to create digital marketing campaigns such as logo design files, advertising, banners, and/or any other type of creative artwork.

Astroturfing — The practice of hiding the sponsors of a message in the attempt of creating an impression of support where, in fact, little such support exists. A typical strategy of an astroturfer is to create multiple online identities to mislead the public into participating in the distribution of the message to generate word-of-mouth and viral marketing.

Auto-Responder — A category of computer program designed to send an automatic response to incoming emails or text messages.

Backlink — Also known as inbound link, these are links coming from external websites into your website. The total number of backlinks in your website can strongly influence its postition on SERPS, search engine Result pages, making the creation of backlinks a extremely revelant activity in SEO.

Backlink Profile — This refers to an overall profile with all the backlinks pointing to a specific domain. Analysing the backlink profile of a website allows SEO professionals to identify the total number of backlinks and linking domains, the authority of these individual backlinks and the frequency of anchor text use amongst these backlinks. The usefullness in running a backlink profile for a website comes in the identification of issues that could be undermining the ranking of such website in the search engine page results.

Banner — A format of online advertisement in the form of a graphic image or animation often designed in a rectangular or square shape.

Banner Blindness — It refers to the disposition of Internet users to ignore online advertising, most specifically banner ads, even when those ads are about products and services relevant to the visitors.

Black Hat — This term refers to shady techniques used by some search engine optimisers to improve the rankings of their websites in the search engine page results. These tactics include techniques such as keyword stuffing, hidden text and content duplication. While black hats might get astounding short-term results, the long-term effects can be disastrous with search engines entirely removing sites from their organic results.

Blogger — A blogger is someone who writes content for a blog. There are many reasons why someone would like to maintain a blog such as keeping a personal journal of professional experience, showcasing expertise in a area of knowledge, engaging with an audience and fellow bloggers. Some professional bloggers are able generate attract great numbers of visits and generate levels of prestige equivalent tot that of journalists, to the point they are able to make a living simply by blogging.

Blogger Outreach — This the process of identifying and reaching out to bloggers who are relevant to your products and services. In general, the idea of a blogger outreach is to estabilish relationship with people who have the potential of helping you secure a relevant backlink and help to generate word-of-mouth.

Boilerplate — A boilerplate is a short text usually found at the end of a press release and concisely describe the company mentioned by the press release content. The same boilerplate is traditionally used on every press release published by the same company.

Booked Space — The number of advertising views booked as part of a campaign.

Bookmarks — These are web page links users save so they can be easily found in future. This can be done by users directly on Internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer; or via social bookmarking websites such as Delicious, Pocket and StumbleUpon. In Internet Explored, bookmakrs are know as favorites.

Bot — See Crawler.

Bots — See spiders.

Bounce Rate — The percentage of website vistors who exit a website after visiting just one page. The bounce rate is often used by managers as a benchmark for the overall quality of the user experience of a website.

Brand — The unique name, design, services, experience and values that identifies a product, a service or a company.

Brand Keywords — These are keywords and phrases which are commonly associated with a brand. Website managers often follow these mentions on the Internet as a way to measure the result of their branding efforts as well as to identify opportunities of engagement with brand advocates.

Broken Link — Any link pointing to a page that no longer exist, or that has been moved without a redirection, is referred as a broken link. These links are also know as dead links and are usually redirected by web servers to 404 error pages. Search engine craw these links every so often to remove them from search engine results.

Brute Force Attack — A technique used by hackers to gain access to computers and websites protected by passwords. This method implies the use of a computer program that try hundreds of thousands of combinations of logins and passwords to find a pair that is accepted by the system.

Buzzword — A word or phrase which has become trendy enough that is commonly used by professionals to impress others.

CAN-SPAM — This backronym refers to the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003. This is a United States piece of legislation created to regulate the use of commercial email with the intention of fighting abuses and reducing SPAM messages.

Citizen Journalism — A form of journalism which is made and distributed by the public over the Internet.

Cloaking — This is form of black hat, the practice of tricking a search engine into indexing content which is different than the content the user will actually see. In essense, this means the web server shows one page to human visitors but an entirely unrelated page to search engines, built solely with the intent of achieving high ranks in search engine page results.

Consumer Generated Media — See Citizen Journalism.

Content — Any text, image, video, audio, or other material published on the Internet for audience consumption.

Content Optimisation — The process of reviewing and editing online content to ensure it contains the correct amount of keywords to rank in search engine results pages while also providing users with content that is valuable to them.

Conversion Cost — See CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition).

Copywriter — A writer who is skilled in the art of writing content with commercial intent.

Copywriting — The act of writing content with commercial intent.

CPA (Cost-per-Acquisition) — The cost-per-acquisiton is an absolute number which represents the cost of acquiring a new costumer. It is a common pricing model for advertising platforms where marketers only pay for users who perform a specific set of pre-defined actions. It is also a metric used by marketers to compare the efficiency of multiple marketing campaigns against each other to identify winning strategies.

CPC (Cost-per-Costumer) — See CPA (Cost-per-Acquisiton).

Creative — See Artwork.

Cross Selling — See Cross Marketing

CSV (Comma Separated Values) — The common type of file generate when exporting data from site analytics such as Google Analytics.

CTA (Call-to-Action) — The closing part of a marketing message that attempts to persuade the viewer to take a specific action. These could action words suggesting actions such as signing up for a newsletter, requesting a contact for more details, or booking a holiday.

CTR (Click-Through Rate) — This number represents the percentage of users who click on any specific link. This number is crucial for marketers as they use it to assess the effectiveness of their ad copy or artwork. In general, the higher this number is, the better.

CTR (Click-Through-Rate) — This figure refers to the percentage of visitors who click on a link and is often used as a benchmark to evaluate the efficiency of an advertisment or a landing page.

Customer — A person who buy or use goods or services.

Data Transfer — This term refers to the amount of outbound traffic from a website and is usually measured in gigabytes.

Dead Link — See Broken Link.

Dedicated IP — It refers to IP address that is dedicated entirely to a single website.

Dedicated Server — It refers to a server that is dedicated entirely to run a single website.

Deep Web — The portion of the web which is not indexed by search engines.

Delicious — A social bookmarking website found in 2003 which allows members to share, store and organize their favorite bookmarks online.

Description Tag — An HTML tag used to describe the contents of a web page. Search engines use these descriptions in their listings.

Device Detection — An automated process of sorting Internet traffic depending on the device used for access.

Directory — An index of websites compiled manually rather than by a crawler, similar to an online version of the Yellow Pages. These directories are usually niche-oriented, where the best sites are regularly updated with a transparent editorial guidelines.

DMOZ — Also known as the Open Directory Project, this is the oldest and largest online directory run by volunteers.

Doorway Domain — A domain that is used exclusively to rank specific keywords in search engines with the goal of redirecting visitors to other domains.

Doorway Page — These are low-quality pages that are created with the sole purpose of ranking for specific keywords on a search engine and then redirecting visitors to alternative URLs. These pages were common in the early days of search engine optimization when search engines were still open to this kind of abuse.

DOS (Denial of Service) — A form of online attack where millions of computers attempt to contact a single website at the same time to intentionally crash the victim’s server with an overwhelming volume of activity.

Downloading — It refers to the transfer of data from a server on the Internet to your computer. Internet users are constantly downloading data in the form of text, images and videos simply by visiting a website.

Duplicate Content — This refers to website content which is duplicate, or near duplicate in nature. Search engines are keen to not show duplicate content in their search results so it is considerable a good SEO practice to remove any incidents of duplicate content on a website.

Dynamic Parameter — The elements in a URL that are dynamically generated.

eCPM — This refers to the effective cost per thousand impressions and is calculated by dividing total earnings by total number of impressions. This is the advertising industry universal standard of measurement and it translates to the advertising revenue generated per 1,000 impressions.

Email Marketing — This refers to the process of sending email messages to prospects as a mean to promote products and services. This is one of the most effective and cost effective forms of online marketing.

Email Spam — Any email which is sent or received in an unwanted, unsolicited manner.

eMarketing — See Digital Marketing.

End User — The final user of an online product or service.

Entry Page — The first page visited by a user when entering a website.

EPC (Earning Per Click) — The amount earned per each click. This number is calculated by dividing the total amount earned by the total number of clicks.

Exit Page — The last web page a user visit before exiting a website.

Exponential Growth — A growth rate that more than doubles with each iteration is considerate exponential. See also Viral Marketing.

External Referrer — A referring URL which is located ouside of the domain of a specific website.

Favorites — See Bookmarks.

Feed — See RSS.

Feed Reader — See RSS Reader.

Flat Rate — The term used to negotiations of a fixed cost for impressions on low traffic sites.

Folksonomy — A collaborative taxonomy system where website users contribute by applying tags to online items, typically to aid them in re-finding those items on a later stage. This classification system can give rise to additional data in regards to how users are using the website.

Gateway Page — See Doorway Page.

Geographical Targeting — See Geo-Targeting.

Google AdSense — This is a pay-per-click advertisement program managed by Google that allows website owners to generate revenue from the traffic on their websites. Website publishers who participate on Google AdSense program become part of the Google Search Partner Network.

Google AdWords — This is the pay-per-click advertising platform provided and managed by Google.

Google Earth — A app created by Google which allows the visualisation of satellite imager, maps and aerial photography over a virtual globe.

Google Keyword Planner — This is a keyword research tool provided by Google which allows the estimation of competition for a keyword, as well as to recommend related keywords. When used in conjunction with Google AdWords, this tool allows you to plan an entire PPC campaign.

Google Keyword Tool — See Google Keyword Planner.

Google Search Console — A auditing tool provided by Google that allow website managers to review the performance of a website showing details such as broken links, internal links, keyword relevance and many other details which are relevant to following good SEO practices.

Google Spider — This refers to Google’s search engine spider. See also Spider.

Google Webmaster Tools — See Google Search Console.

Googling — The act of making an internet search using Google search engine.

Guerilla Marketing — Any form of unconventional marketing tactic that is intents to obtain results with the use of minimal resources.

Guest Blogging — The act of publishing a blog post on a blog that is not owned, or managed, by the author of the blog post.

GZIP Compression — A software that compresses web pages elements in order to speed up its download time.

Hacking — The unauthorised access of a computer and usually involves bypassing security measures such as passwords by means of brute force attackes and/or social engineering.

Hard Bounce — The failed delivery of an email marketing message due to being sent to a non-existent address.

Hashtag — See # (Hashtag).

Hit — This is a request made from a user’s browser while visiting a particular website. In order words, this is a request for a file from a web server.

Home Page — The main page of a website is know as the home page and it should, in most cases, provide an overall indication of what the website is all about.

House Ad — This refers to a self-promotional advert that a company runs on their own website—or network—to use unsold inventory.

Hybrid Model — A combination of two or more models into one.

Inbound Link — See Backlink.

Incentivized Traffic — These are visitors who receive some form of compensation to visit a website.

Internal Referrer — A referrering URL that is part of the same website.

Internet Marketing — See Digital Marketing.

Interstitial Ad — This is a type of interruption advertising that fills the entire browser window that loads in between two website pages.

Invisible Web — See Deep Web.

Jaiku — A defunct microblogging social network similar to Twitter which was founded in Finland and later purchased by Google.

Junkmail — See Spam.

Keyword Frequency — This refers to the number of times a keyword appears on a website page.

Keyword Phrase — A keyword which is composed of two or more words, often reffered to as keywords. It is usually considered good practice to optimise for a keyword phrase rather than a single keywor as to increase the chances of appearing in more search engine results pages.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) — A key metric used by website managers to attest that a marketing goal is being achieved over a period of time.

LAS (Lame-Ass Syndrome) — This tongue-in-cheek acronym refers to websites that will not load without the WWW in the URL. This is mainly caused by a severe case of laziness, considering this can be fixed in just about 5 minutes by setting a simple DNS redirection.

Lead — A qualified prospect. A potential customer.

Linking Domain — The domain name, or domain address, that links to a website. This term is used by website administrators when talking about third-party domains that are linking to their own websites.

Linux — The most popular operating system for servers on the Internet.

Mass Customisation — The tactic of creating tailored content for many individuals. An example of mass customisation would be sending a newsletter to a large database of subscribers while customising the subject line of the email with the name of the subscriber.

Meta Search Engine — A search engine that displays results from multiple search engines.

Microsoft adCenter — This is the pay-per-click advertising network managed by Microsoft serving ads on Bing and Yahoo! search results.

Mini Browser — A simple browser used on mobile phones, e.g. Opera Mini.

Mobile Device — A mobile phone, a pad or any other type of handset.

Multivariate Testing — See A/B Testing.

Natural Listings — See Organic Listings.

Natural Results — See Organic Results.

Online Marketing — See Digital Marketing.

Online Phishing — A criminal activity where hackers attempt to fraudulently acquire personal information, such as passwords and credit card details by creating web pages that look exactly like the original websites.

Organic Listings — Also known as natural listings, these are search-engine results ranked according to the search engine’s algorithms where their position in the results page reflect the quality of the content in the individual pages. Most search engines display sponsored listings above organic listings, and often these are marked with a different background color or additional symbol.

Organic Results — These are the listings on a search engine results page that are not influenced by the direct financial payments. These listings are presented based on ranking factors such as content relevancy, backlink profile and page popularity.

Organic Traffic — The traffic which originate from search engines is considered to be organic traffic. Organic traffic is considered the best type of traffic due to users being actively searching for the products and services they are interested on. This type of traffic is also commonly know as free traffic, but this is a misnomer considering the need of investments to increase this type of traffic.

Pass On — The act of sharing content with others online, such as in passing a link on to someone else.

Permalink — A portmanteau of the words permanent and link, this is an unique URL which points to the permanent location of a specific web page, often a blog post or forum entry which has passed from the front page to the archives.

Permanent Redirect — See 301 Redirect.

Permission Marketing — Any form of marketing which is centered around getting customer’s consent to be approached for marketing purposes. A typical example of permission marketing, when done correctly of course, would be email marketing.

Persona — A ficitional character which defines the personality of a group of users of a specific website. These are used by marketing professionals to develop a better understanding of their visitors habits and motivations.

Ping — Ping is short for packet internet groper, a network utility tool that verifies a link or a connection to the Internet. Website managers might use ping tools such as Pingdom to monitor their websites uptime.

Position — The same as “rank” when referrencing to an listing in a search engine results page.

PPL (Pay-per-Lead) — An online advertising payment model in which advertisers payment is based solely on qualifying leads.

Publisher — An individual or an organisation which engages in the process of production and dissemination of information.

Qualitative Data — The type of data that can be observed but not measured by numbers.

Quantitative Data — In site analytics, this is the type of data which can be measured by numbers.

Query — The term, or terms, that are entered in a search engine search box by the user.

Referring Domains — External domains driving traffic to a website are commonly described as referring domains.

Referring Keywords — Keywords driving traffic to a website are commonly described as referring keywords.

Relative Path — See Relative Link.

Results Page — See SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Return Visitor — A visitor who has already visited a website before and is returning for a further visit.

Revenue Share — A commission structure adopted by Internet business where affiliate partners earn a percentage of a sale.

Search Query — See Search Term.

Search Referrer — The referral URL for a user that is coming from a search engine.

Seed Audience — When talking about viral marketing, this would be the initial group of people from which a viral growth could start from.

Server-side — This refers to a process that takes place on the server rather than the user’s browser.

Single-Page Visits — Visits to a website that only consist of the viewing of one page.

Skype — A Voice over IP (VoIP) communication service provider founded in Estonia in 2013.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) — An internet protocol used to send and receive email messages from one server to another.

Social Engineering — A method used by hackers to gain access to information by means of misrepresenting themselves when talking to companies’ representatives.

Spider — See Crawler.

Split Testing — See A/B Testing.

Sponsored Links — The paid search results on a SERP.

Stickiness — This term refers to the potential of time a user spend on a website.

Streaming — Playing media, such as audio and vido, directly from the internet without the need of waiting for a complete download. Netflix is an example of an online service that makes use of streaming to serve content to its consumer base.

Subject Line — In email marketing this is the title of an email communication. The title is the first element seen by the user, and it should be crafted to attract the attention of the viewer and entice the user to open the email.

Text Ad — An advertisement that is made exclusively of text messages and hyperlinks. These are the traditional types of advertisments users would see appearing above the organic results in search engines results page.

Touchpoint — An instance where a user comes in contact with a brand.

Traffic — This term refers to the overall amount of data uploaded and downloaded by the visitors of a website.

Twitter — A social network platform that allows users to create profiles, share short updates on a timeline, and engage with other users.

Underdelivery — The delivery of less banner impressions, website visitors or lead conversions than the one cotnracted for a period of time.

Underlays — See Pop-under.

URL Redirecting — The process of redirecting a page URL to another URL by the implementation of a server-side rule.

URL Rewriting — The process of rewriting URL filled with questions marks and query tags into a search-friendly URL.

Visit Duration — The length of time spent by a visitor user during a single session.

Vlog — A video-based blog. These are commonly published on video platforms such as YouTube.

Web Browser — See Browser.

Web Traffic — See Traffic.

Webinar — A Web-based seminar containing audio and video.

Website Stakeholder — A person or organisation with an interest in how a website is managed.

Website Traffic — See Traffic.

Whois — This term refers to an Internet tool which allows you to find who is and the contact details of a domain owner. You will find many of these tools on the Internet, and they all perform the same task, this one is my favourite.

Word-of-Mouse — An illustrative term to online viral marketing that makes reference to its offline version of word-of-mouth.

WordPress — A content management system popularised by bloggers. Available as a hosted service and as a self-hosted platform.