Digital Marketing Glossary 2020

Digital Marketing Glossary 2020

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While this is not a detailed or comprehensive guide, below are the most commonly found terms we get asked about by clients. You can sort the table alphabetically or by topic area, just click the column.

Topic AreaTermWhat is it?
About your website404 ErrorAn error page a user gets when they try to visit a page that doesn’t exist, or perhaps has been moved or deleted without a redirect.
About your websiteAccessabilityMaking your website navigable for people with a disability, for example making sure that people using screen readers are able to understand what images are on a page, that people who can only use a keyboard can navigate the menu etc. In addition to being a basic requirement for a website that serves the general public certain provisions may be legal requirements in your durisdiction. And it’s good for SEO!
About your websiteBreadcrumbsA visual navigation tool that shows the users page path journey so far. E.g. home>about us>what we do
About your websiteCachingWhen your website pre-generates each page from the database in advance so that each time a user asks for the page, the code is already available. Because this drastically reduces the number of database lookups, this is very important for speeding up your website.
About your websiteContent Delivery Network (CDN)A network of servers that store copies of your website’s assets (eg. image files, video files etc) around the world to optimise the speed at which they’re delivered to your visitors.
About your websiteContent Management System (CMS)An application/program used to easily manage and edit the content for a website. Common CMSs include WordPress, Squarespace and Magento (for ecommerce).
About your websiteConversion/GoalAn action that you would like your visitors to perform on your website that’s valuable to your organisation (eg. an online sale, a lead obtained through a contact form or phone call). Conversions are defined by you and then tracked using analytics and/or advertising software for reporting and marketing optimisation.
About your websiteDisplay URLThe URL that is displayed in an online ad to let the user know where they will be taken if they click. On most ad platforms, this doesn’t have to exactly match the actual URL you are sending a user (since many real life URLs are very long and ugly).
About your websiteDomainA website at its top level (eg., this is what you have to register to set up and keep your website.
About your websiteKPIs (Key Performance Indicators)Benchmarks and metrics used to quantify the success and performance of your website and marketing campaigns. These should derive from the conversions you’ve defined and be relevant to the overall health of your business.
About your websiteResponsive DesignA method of implementing websites that can automatically adjust their page ratios to fit screens of all sizes (eg. desktop, mobile, tablet). Most modern CMSs have many responsive templates to choose from.
About your websiteSubdomainThe domain you registered with something in front of it (eg. or You can set up multiple subdomains for a single domain that you own.
About your websiteWebsite HygieneMaking sure your website presents its best foot forward by optimising your website’s speed, security and anything else that’s more related the the medium of presenting content on the internet as opposed to the content itself.
About your websiteWebsite SpeedA range of measures including how long your website takes to load the first piece of content, how long it takes to load a full page, how long it takes to respond to user interaction etc. Improving your website speed is essential for SEO, online advertising and general conversion rates.
Key digital marketing activitiesA/B TestingShowing one version of your website to part of your audience and another version to another part of your audience to determine which version of your website performs better for you (usually in terms of conversions). The two versions of the website can differ by only a small amount (eg. the content on a key sales page) or can be major changes.
Key digital marketing activitiesCustomer Relationship Management (CRM)A method of managing and nurturing leads and the software that is used to help with this. Some popular CRMs include Salesforce and Hubspot. Integrating your CRM with your analytics software is essential if your website collects leads that actually convert offline.
Key digital marketing activitiesDigital AnalyticsThe process of analysing data about how your visitors use your website in order to gain actionable insights into what is needed to improve your website’s KPIs and performance. This is usually done with digital analytics software (such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics) and is essential to any digital marketing campaign.
Key digital marketing activitiesDisplay AdvertisingThe placement of text, image or video ads on an advertising network (eg. Google Display Network) that can show it on thousands of websites and mobile apps. With display advertising you can control which websites/apps you show on and what audiences you show to. Because people are not searching for your product at the time they view the ad, display advertising is usually less effective than search at direct conversions but is more relevant for branding, awareness and other interactions that come at the beginning of a user journey.
Key digital marketing activitiesElectronic Direct Mail (EDM)The process of one-off or continuous communication with your leads or customers using email. As with other channels, integration with your analytics platform is essential for success.
Key digital marketing activitiesMarketing AutomationSoftware that automates communications with the customer, their website experience etc. It can range from being as simple as an automatic welcome email when someone signs up to a full-fledged journey. Some examples of services that can help with this: Hubspot, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Salesforce, Marketo.
Key digital marketing activitiesMultivariate TestingTesting of multiple differences between two landing pages to work out which combination maximises conversions (as opposed also A/B testing which tests simpler combinations).
Key digital marketing activitiesPersonalisationDynamically modifying your website content to be more relevant to your visitors. An example of a platform that can help with this is Google Optimize.
Key digital marketing activitiesSearch Advertising/Search Engine Marketing (SEM)The placement of text ads on a search engine like Google or Bing. These are usually found at the top and bottom of the search results page. Because search advertising allows you to show your ad only to people who have specifically searched for it, it is usually one of the most effective forms of advertising.
Key digital marketing activitiesSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO)The process of optimising a website’s content, architecture, code and marketing strategy in order to improve its rankings on search engines (in all the listings that are not labelled as “ad”) and thereby increase a website’s traffic and conversions.
Key digital marketing activitiesSocial AdvertisingAdvertising on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube & Instagram. Each network has its own wide range of available ad formats, targeting settings and best practices.
Key digital marketing activitiesUsability/User Experience (UX)Refers to how user-friendly a website or process is (eg. how easy it is to navigate, how intuitive the options and steps are, accessibility etc) as well as the iterative process of improving the user experience.
Key productsBing Universal Event Tracking (UAT)Microsoft (Bing) Ads’ pixel, which when placed on your website allows you to create remarketing audiences for Microsoft (Bing) Ads and set up conversions for the platform to optimise for.
Key productsFacebook AdsFacebook’s ad platform which allows you to run ads on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Facebook’s Audience Network and other properties.
Key productsFacebook Ads ManagerFacebook’s online interface for creating, modifying and optimising Facebook Ads.
Key productsFacebook Business ManagerFacebook’s umbrella online interface for managing your Facebook assets (eg. pages, ad accounts and pixels) in a collaborative way with your team.
Key productsFacebook PixelFacebook’s tag that advertisers place on their website to send data about their visitors’ on-site behaviour to Facebook. This is needed to create remarketing lists in Facebook or for Facebook campaigns to auto-optimise for specific actions on your website.
Key productsGoogle AdsGoogle’s primary advertising product that allows you to run ads on Google Search, Google Shopping, YouTube, Gmail, search engines that have partnered with Google and millions of websites that show Google ads on their pages. You should have your own Google Ads account and retain ownership of that account regardless of who you work with on your advertising.
Key productsGoogle Analytics (GA)Google’s free digital analytics platform. It is the most popular method of performing traffic analysis and reporting and can track websites, mobile apps and offline interactions.
Key productsGoogle Data StudioGoogle’s free cloud-based dashboarding platform. It has a range of interactive elements and automatically integrates with most Google products (eg. Google Ads, Google Analytics etc) and generic data sources (eg. MySQL databases). There are third party connectors available for non-Google data sources like Facebook Ads.
Key productsGoogle Merchant Centre (GMC)Google’s platform that allows retailers to upload their product inventory and product details for running a Google Shopping campaign in search results. Your Google Merchant Centre will link to your Google Ads account where the Google Shopping campaign details (including which products you want to run ads for) are controlled.
Key productsGoogle My Business (GMB)Google’s platform for managing the knowledge panel that Google often shows when people search for your business name directly. To manage your panel you must first claim it by proving to Google that you are indeed that business.
Key productsGoogle OptimizeGoogle’s free A/B testing, multivariate testing and personalisation tool. It allows you to easily create tests with a drag and drop interface.
Key productsGoogle Search Console (GSC)Google’s free platform for webmasters that helps them to check on the health and performance of their website on organic search results. Use of Google Search Console is essential to performing well in SEO.
Key productsGoogle Tag Manager (GTM)Google’s free tag management platform. It is used to quickly and easily add code that is needed to use third party tracking and advertising products (eg. Google Analytics, Google Ads & Facebook Ads) to your website. Using a tag management platform is essential for digital success.
Key productsMicrosoft (Bing) AdsMicrosoft’s advertising platform. Is very similar in features to Google Ads but has a much lower market share in Australia. ROI for most verticals is higher though, so we normally recommend this for most clients.
Key productsPassword managerA program that stores all your passwords for you so that you only have to remember one password to unlock it. Common features include storing your data securely in the cloud and autofilling login forms inside your browser. This is essential for anyone with digital assets. Our favourite is 1Password but there are a host of great ones out there.
Digital strategy/analyticsAcquisition StrategyThe process of finding potential customers, leading them to the website and influencing them to take the next step.
Digital strategy/analyticsApplication Programming Interface (API)A service provided by an online platform (eg. Google Analytics) which allows any program with appropriate permissions to talk to it to extract data or make changes automatically, without needing anyone to perform manual changes.
Digital strategy/analyticsBaseline MetricsCalculations (usually from historical data) that provide a basis for comparing performance with past results. An essential component of Key Performance Indicator (KPI) measurement/management.
Digital strategy/analyticsBranding StrategyThe attempt to increase awareness of a brand and promote its key value proposition within a business’ target market.
Digital strategy/analyticsBusiness to Business (B2B) MarketingBusiness to Business marketing, where businesses sell to other businesses, not individuals.
Digital strategy/analyticsBusiness to Consumer (B2C) MarketingBusiness to Consumer marketing, where businesses sell directly to individual customers.
Digital strategy/analyticsChannelA traffic source that’s important for your business. In Google Analytics, you can define custom channels based on your own marketing mix.
Digital strategy/analyticsCompetitor AnalysisThe assessment and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of competing websites and advertising strategies.
Digital strategy/analyticsCookieA piece of text that a website stores on the visitor’s browser to save some data about them. Any website function that requires the website to remember anything about you (eg. shopping carts, logins and digital analytics) require the use of cookies or a similar storage technology.
Digital strategy/analyticsCross-Device BehaviourThe act of tying together the behaviour of the same individual on different devices. Because cookies are browser-specific, most default analytics software considers the same person switching devices as a different person, so an alternate way of identifying the same person across devices is needed.
Digital strategy/analyticsCustom Dimensions/MetricsAdditional information about your visitors that you may want to track into your analytics software, to make reports more relevant to your business needs, eg. user membership tier, number of restaurant covers booked, whether the user is logged in or not, etc.
Digital strategy/analyticsDigital Assets/Web AssetsYour websites, social media pages, email templates, advertising accounts and anything else that is a resource that can be deployed to serve your business needs.
Digital strategy/analyticsJavascript (JS)A coding language used to add interactive functionality to websites. It can be used in conjunction with other tracking tools like Google Tag Manager to facilitate advanced tracking of website activity.
Digital strategy/analyticsKeyword/Search QueryA single word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search engine, or look for on a web page or in online content. In search advertising keyword refers to what the advertiser adds to their account and search query is what a user searches for (these are not always identical). In SEO the distinction is more blurred.
Digital strategy/analyticsLanding PageThe web page a customer lands on when clicking on your ad or link. Also known as ‘destination page’ and ‘destination URL’. The quality of your landing page (how fast it loads, how convicing the message is) forms the core part of how successful a paid or organic campaign will be.
Digital strategy/analyticsLeadA sign of interest and/or permission to contact from the customer. E.g. a phone call, enquiry form submission, sign up to a newsletter or social community.
Digital strategy/analyticsLife Time Value (LTV)Estimating the total customer value for better ROI calculations. Is essential for businesses that have a recurring payment/subscription model or those that rely heavily on upselling and cross-selling.
Digital strategy/analyticsLong Tail KeywordsKeyword phrases with three, four or five keywords within them. Often more specific than shorter phrases. E.g. ‘green baseball caps’ versus ‘caps’.
Digital strategy/analyticsReferralTraffic brought from other websites, usually by a direct link and not by advertisement.
Digital strategy/analyticsSearch Engine Results Page (SERP)The list of results, both organic and paid, which show after a customer has entered a keyword search.
Digital strategy/analyticsShort Tail KeywordsKeyword phrases with only one or two keywords. Usually more generic and attracting higher volumes of traffic.
Digital strategy/analyticsUnique visitor/userUsed to describe an individual customer and give an indication of how many people have been to the website because visitors may have visited the site multiple times during the reporting period. For example, you may have 100 visits to the site in a month, but only 85 unique visitors.
Digital strategy/analyticsValue PropositionThe sum of total benefits a customer is promised to receive in return for choosing a particular product or service.
Digital strategy/analyticsVerticalA specific industry or sector that a business operates within. E.g. tourism, banking, education.
Digital advertisingAd Account ManagementThe ongoing work required to run and monitor online advertising campaigns and can include; adjusting bid prices, expanding and refining keyword lists, editing and testing ad copy and testing additional campaign components and targeting settings to improve cost efficiency and conversions.
Digital advertisingAd CopyThe main text of an advertisement, excluding any images or rich media that might accompany it.
Digital advertisingAd ExtensionExtra real estate that can be shown with your search ads. E.g. sitelinks, callouts, prices, phone numbers.
Digital advertisingAd SpendThe money specifically spent with an ad platform (eg. Google Ads). It is not inclusive of the creative work and management involved in managing a campaign.
Digital advertisingBehavioural TargetingA form of advertising targeting available which serves ads to groups of people who exhibit similarities not just in demographic ways such as age, gender and location, but also how they behave in the online environment. Examples of behavioural targeting can include the categories of websites they visit, the topics of content they subscribe to and the types of goods they purchase online.
Digital advertisingBidThe maximum amount of money the advertiser is willing to pay each time a searcher performs an action (eg. clicking on an ad for PPC ads, viewing a video for CPV ads etc). Bid prices vary depending on things like competition from other advertisers and the quality score given to the advertiser for their relevance to a user’s search keyword or behavioural signals.
Digital advertisingCampaignIn online advertising a campaign can mean an all-inclusive campaign or marketing project. If speaking specifically about Google, Microsoft or Facebook Ads, campaign is used to describe the top level of the three tiers of account structure.
Digital advertisingClick Through Rate (CTR)The percentage of the times your ad is shown that someone actually clicks on it. CTR indicates the performance/relevance of your ad copy to the user’s search query. It will vary greatly from keyword to keyword so it is best to monitor them with baselines developed from your own historic data.
Digital advertisingContextual AdvertisingAdvertising that is placed in the marketing depending on a pages’ content, keywords and phrases and does NOT take into account a user’s previous browsing behaviour (which is behavioural advertising). Contextual advertising typically has a much lower ROI than behavioural advertising.
Digital advertisingCost Per Acquisition (CPA)The total cost of an advertisement or campaign, divided by the number of conversions (eg. if the total cost is $100, and total number of conversions is 10, the CPA is $10). This value can either be a target or an actual result from your advertising campaign. Can also refer to a bidding strategy where you pay for each conversion from an ad.
Digital advertisingCost Per Click (CPC)The total cost of an advertisement or campaign, divided by the number of clicks (eg. if the total cost is $100 and total number of clicks is 50, the CPC is $2).
Digital advertisingCost Per ViewA bidding strategy where you pay for each view of your ad, most used in video advertising.
Digital advertisingDynamic AdsAny ads where the ad content is not known or created in advance for each case but depends on live factors (eg. the keyword a user searched for for DKI or the products they visited on your website for dynamic remarketing).
Digital advertisingDynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI)Showing customers specific, customised ad copy by inserting your campaign keywords into generic ad templates. Good for scaling and growing campaigns.
Digital advertisingDynamic Remarketing/RetargetingShowing customers a remarketing ad tailored to the specific products or pages that they visited on your website. This typically has a very high ROI.
Digital advertisingHashtagA word or phrase beginning with “#” used by social media sites to group content.
Digital advertisingImpression ShareIs the percentage of times an ad was shown, versus how many times it could have shown. Impression share is affected by your settings and those of your competitors.
Digital advertisingNegative KeywordsCommonly used in SEM campaigns. You can prevent your ads from appearing for irrelevant or inappropriate keyword searches by defining and implementing negative keywords.
Digital advertisingPPCPay-per-click is a common advertising fee model where advertisers pay when their ad is clicked, as opposed to purchasing a certain volume of impressions (CPM).
Digital advertisingQuality ScoreA score assigned by an ad platform (eg. Google or Facebook) to your paid ads based on factors like the ad’s relevance to the user or the landing page quality. Quality Score is one factor that helps determine how much your ad shows (and in what position) and your ultimate cost. The higher your quality score, the higher the ROI.
Digital advertisingRemarketing/RetargetingPresenting advertising to customers who have already visited one of your digital assets ( or mobile app).
Digital advertisingReturn on Ad Spend (ROAS)The calculation of return on an advertising dollar. It divides profit generated by an advertising campaign, by ad spend: Profit/Ad Spend = ROAS.
Digital advertisingReturn on Investment (ROI)Return on Investment is the % of profit from your ads compared to the amount of money spent on your ads: (Profit – Ad spend) / Ad Spend = %ROI
Digital advertisingStoriesShort-lived video and image content that can be added to your profiles on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
SEO301 RedirectA type of redirect that tells Google the change from page to page is permanent. Generally the best type of redirect to use if you’re changing the URL of a web page.
SEOBacklinks/Inbound LinksAll the links on the web pointing back to a particular page on your website, or the entire domain. This is a major SEO ranking signal.
SEOBot/RobotA name used to describe the tools used by search engines that routinely crawl/check websites.
SEOCanonicalisationThe process of picking the best URL when there are several choices (eg. whether or not you want a www in front of your domain name) and passing this data to search engines so that they index your website in an optimum way.
SEOKnowledge GraphGoogle’s knowledge base of real-world items (eg. people, places, events and things) that’s is obtained by crawling structured data on webpages and displayed in knowledge panels for relevant user searches.
SEOKnowledge Panel A panel of summarised information from various sources that pulls into the top of organic search results. Usually presented when searching for people, events and locations. The panel for your business name is likely to include information from your own Google My Business listings, which you can claim and manage.
SEOLinking DomainsThe domains that provide backlinks to your website. Having a large and diverse number of reputable linking domains will improve your rankings and your SEO traffic.
SEOMetadataThe SEO fields that sit behind web pages (eg. meta title, meta description). These tell search engines what your website/page is about and are therefore essential to ranking for relevant searches.
SEOOff-Page SEOImproving your SEO based on signals that don’t come from your domain, mostly this involves PR and outreach and other activities that would increase your website’s backlinks and general popularity.
SEOOn-Page SEOImproving your SEO based on signals that come from your domain, for example optimising your website and URL structure, canonicalisation and creating appropr
SEOOrganic ResultsThe free search results that show when you do a keyword search in a browser such as Google or Bing. Advertisers cannot pay to influence these results, they are impacted by utilising SEO best-practice, user behaviour, brand recognition and a wide variety of other factors.
SEORobots.txtA text file hosted by your website which is used to direct the activity of search engine bots/crawlers.

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