Digital Marketing Glossary Of Terms

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Digital Marketing Glossary Of Terms
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If you don’t know your CTR from your CPM or your 404 from a 410, here’s our Digital Marketing Glossary Of Terms to help you:


Absolute Link – A link showing the complete URL of the page being linked at.

301 = Moved Permanently – A permanent server redirect which indicates that a file or web page has been moved permanently to a different location.

302 = Found – A server redirect indicating that the file has been found but it is located on a different URL.

404 = Not Found – It indicates that the server is not able to locate the requested URL.

AdWords – A contextual Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising program by Google. It is the most common online advertising program.

MFA = Made For Google AdSense Advertisements – Websites that are established and designed specifically for displaying AdSense advertisements.

Affiliate – A website that markets brands, products, and services offered by other websites or online businesses in exchange for a commission or payout.

AJAX = Asynchronous JavaScript and XML – A program that allows a web page to request data from a server without the need to load a new page.

ALT Attribute – A text equivalent of an image. Most search engines can’t read through an image so an image ALT attribute tells the search engines what the image is about.

Analytics – A program that allows webmasters to track site statistics like page views, user paths, and conversion of a website by interpreting the log files or by including a JavaScript tracking code on the site.

Anchor Text – The visible text of a link that users can click to follow the link. In the case of images, the alt attribute can act as the anchor text.

Affiliate Marketing – A program that allows merchants to multiply their target market scope by paying affiliates on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis. This payment scheme pays affiliates only if visitors complete an action.

API = Application Program Interface – A program used to get into software functions through a series of conventions or routines.

ASP = Active Server Pages – A dynamic programming language from Microsoft.

Authority – The capacity of a page or URL to rank well on the major search engines. It also refers to the amount of trust that a page or URL is attributed to, for a specific search term. There are different elements that affect authority: link equity, age, traffic, site history, and unique content.

Algorithm – A programming rule used by search engines for indexing content, ranking websites, and displaying results for every search query.

Authority Site – A highly trusted website with numerous incoming links from expert sites. It usually has high PageRank and better search result placement.

ALT Tags – An alternate text used with a web page graphic. It gets displayed when the mouse cursor hovers over the graphic. It tells what the graphic is about and is usually optimized.

Automated Submission – The use of automated software to submit web pages, URLs, and domains to the search engines, websites, and directories.

B2B – Business to Business

B2C – Business to Consumer

Backlink = Incoming Links, Inbound Links – Any link from an external web page or URL pointing to a site’s page or URL.

Bait And Switch – A marketing technique that uses a single URL but provides one page to a search engine or directory and another page to an online user. It optimizes a page for the search engines and directories but replaces it with the regular page after it has been indexed or has gained authority. This is usually considered as a black hat technique.

Banned – A search engine has blocked a site from appearing on its search results pages.

Behavioral Targeting – An ad targeting technique that is grounded in past user experience.

Banner Ad – An advertising graphic image that can be placed anywhere on a web page. The size varies but the standard banner ad is 468 X 60 pixels.

Beacon – A line of code that tracks site visitors’ actions. The code is placed in an ad or on a web page.

Bidding – Placing an amount that advertisers are willing to pay for a Pay Per Click (PPC) search engine.

Black Hat SEO – Search Engine Optimisation techniques that are generally in contradiction to search engine guidelines such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines. It optimizes the website merely for the search engines and without improving the user experience.

Blog – Also referred to as “weblog”, this is a recurrently updated journal or diary. It provides a feed and allows user interaction.

Bot = Robot, Spider, Crawler – A program that is used by the search engines to find and index web pages.

Blogroll – A list of links and blogs found on a blog page.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of online users who visited a page or site and then leave without visiting the other pages.

Broad Match – Matching of keywords in any order to a search listing or advertisement.

Button – A graphic that can be clicked and takes the online user to a different page or URL.

Broken Link – A link that is not working and does not lead the user to the requested URL or page.

Browser – A program that is used to display HTML files and is used to navigate the World Wide Web (WWW).

Cache – Copy of a web page that is stored in a search engine’s database.

CTA = Call To Action – Words that are used to persuade online users to complete an action. This is normally used in online advertising.

CGI = Common Gateway Interface – A software used between a web server and other software running on that server. It improves the interactivity of a website. It tells the search engine spiders that the pages are dynamic.

Click Fraud – Fraudulent clicks on a Pay Per Click (PPC) advertisement for the purpose of increasing profit.

Click through – The act of clicking on an online ad and reaching another page or URL.

CTR = Clickthrough Rate – The percentage of online users who viewed and clicked on an ad or search engine listing.

Cloaking – A technique that displays to search engine spiders a content different from what online users see. It is a bait and switch technique.

CMS = Content Management System – A program that is used for content creation. It is preferred because of its simplicity and it has eliminated the need for complicated codings.

Content Integration – Using content as an advertising form or inserting ads within the content. It is also referred to as web advertorial or sponsored content.

Comment Spam – Posting unconnected comments on blogs and forums for the purpose of accumulating a large number of inbound links.

Contextual Advertising – A program that generates advertisements which are related to a web page content.

Content = Web Text, Web Copy – Informative part of a web page. Its purpose is to deliver valuable information that is of interest to online users. The search engines highly value quality content.

Conversion – Converting a site visitor into a customer. Forms of conversion include clicks, sign-ups, and purchase.

Conversion Rate – The percentage of site visitors who are converted into customers.

Cookie – Information that is stored in an online user’s computer through the web server.

CPA = Cost Per Action – The cost an advertiser has to pay for every action.

CPC = Cost Per Click – The cost an advertiser has to pay for every click to a link that leads to the landing page.

CPM = Cost Per Thousand Ad Impressions – The cost an advertiser has to pay for every one thousand ad impressions.

CPL = Cost Per Lead – The cost an advertiser has to pay for every new lead generated by an ad or listing.

CPO = Cost Per Order – The cost an advertiser has to pay for the number of orders received through the ads.

CPS = Cost Per Sale – The cost an advertiser has to pay for the number of sales transactions that the ad generates.

Counter – A program that tracks the number of web page impressions.

Crawler = Spider, Bot – A program that finds and indexes web pages throughout the World Wide Web (WWW).

CSS = Cascading Style Sheets – A program that is used to design web pages and documents.

Directory – A site that contains a list of websites arranged according to categories.

Dead Link – A link that is no longer working.

Deep Link – A link that is directed to an internal page or URL in a website.

DMOZ = The Open Directory Project – The largest human edited directory online. It is managed and owned by AOL.

DNS = Domain Name Server, Domain Name System – A naming system that is used to resolve a domain name to a particular TCP/IP address.

Doorway Page = Gateway Page, Bridge Page – A page that is intended to rank high on certain search terms using keyword-rich copy and it leads to the website or landing page.

Dynamic Content – Content that uses a dynamic language like PHP. It changes over time.

Duplicate Content – Content that is similar or nearly similar to other contents from other websites or pages.

E-commerce Sites – Web sites that are devoted to retail sales.

Error Page – A web page that is displayed when a page or file requested is not found.

Entry Page – The web page by which an online user has entered a website.

Everflux – The process of updating the search indexes.

External Link – A link in a web page that points to another domain or website.

Feed – Program that allows users to subscribe to content update notifications through RSS or XML. It delivers content to users.

FFA = Free For All – A web page or website that has little valuable content and with a large number of outgoing links.

Flash – Vector graphics-based animation software that web designers employ to embed interactive multimedia into web pages.

Frames – A web page design wherein multiple small pages are displayed on a single screen, each within its own frame.

Flux – The rearrangement of the search engine positions due to the updates done by the search engines.

FTP = File Transfer Protocol – A protocol used for transferring files between computers. Most CMS platforms have FTP capability.

GAP = Google Advertising Professional – A program that helps identify and qualify proficient AdWords marketers. It allows marketers to manage several Google AdWords clients.

Geo-Targeting – An advertising strategy that targets a distinctive geographic location like country, state, city, or suburb.

Google – The leading search engine in terms of its market share. It was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. It analyses linkage data through PageRank.

Google AdSense – Paid advertising option that allows webmasters to place ads on their websites.

Google Analytics – A free tool that allows webmasters to track site activities like visits, page views, bounce rates, duration of visits, and more. It is also used to track AdSense traffic.

Google Dance – The adjustment in the search engine results in pages due to an update in the algorithm used by Google to rank websites.

Google Bowling – A strategy that hurts competitor sites by building low-quality incoming links for them.

Google Checkout – An online payment processing system by Google that is less complicated to use.

Google Keyword Tool – A webmaster tool that provides advertisers with estimates of the competition for a particular keyword. It also gives recommendations for related keywords.

Google OneBox – The area at the top of the organic search results that displays vertical search results from Google Base, Google News, and other vertical search services.

Google Sitemaps – A webmaster tool which helps ensure that Google indexes all pages and content of the website.

Google Supplemental Index – The secondary database where Google keeps the pages that have low trust score.

Google Trends – A webmaster tool that shows the changes in the search volume of a particular keyword or search term.

Grey Hat SEO = Search Engine Optimisation – A marketing strategy that combines both white hat SEO and black hat SEO techniques.

Hallway Page – An optimized index page that search engine spiders can visit. Once indexed, the spiders should also follow the other links on that page.

Headings – An HTML tag that describes the subject of a particular section. It is also used to signal a new section. It is considered to be more important than the other parts of the content.

Hidden Text – A practice used by some webmasters to optimize a page with keywords that online users can’t see. The hidden keywords are solely for the search engine spiders.

Hits – It is generated when a file, document, or graphics have been downloaded or sent from a web server.

Homepage – The main page or cover of a website. It contains information about the general objective of the website. It has an index of navigation that online users can utilize to get around the website.

HTML = HyperText Markup Language – A programming language that is used to make web pages for the World Wide Web (WWW).

HTTP = HyperText Transfer Protocol – Used to communicate between browsers and web servers. It is used to transfer data from the server to the browser.

Hub – Also referred to as Expert Page. A page with high trust score because of its high-quality content that links to trusted pages in the topical community.

Impression = Page View – Generated when an online user views a page.

Inbound Link = Incoming Link, Inlink – A link from another website that points to your website or web page. It is considered as a vote to a website.

Index – The database where the search engines store data from every web page visited by the spiders. This is where the search engines generate the results from for every search query made by online users.

Internal Link – A link from a web page pointing to another web page within the same website.

Indexed Pages – Pages that have been visited and indexed by the search engine spiders.

Internet = Net – A reachable worldwide network used to send and receive information online.

IP Address = Internet Protocol Address – A four-part series of numbers separated by dots which hosts websites. It identifies the sender and receiver of data in the network. It can be static or dynamic.

ISP = Internet Service Provider – Provides services like internet, email, site or domain hosting, and domain name registration.

JavaScript – A scripting language that allows dynamic features to be added to HTML documents or files.

Keyword – A word or phrase that is used by an online user when searching for information, products, or services online.

Keyword Density – Percentage of keyword or keyword phrase that appears on a web page.

Keyword Matching – The process of matching ads and content with the online users’ search query.

Keyword Cannibalization – Excessive use of similar keyword or keyword phrase on the web pages throughout the website.

Keyword Popularity – The number of times a keyword or keyword phrase has been used as a search term over a period of time.

Keyword Prominence – The placement of a keyword or keyword phrase in a web page. Higher placement is considered more prominent.

Keyword Research – The process of sourcing out words and phrases that the potential target market will most likely use when searching for the information, products, or services offered by a particular website.

Keyword Stuffing – The act of over-optimizing a web page by adding an excessive amount of keywords and key phrases.

Keyword Research Tools – Webmaster tools that are relevant in building keyword list based on keyword search volumes, search trend, bids, and website content.

Landing Page – The page that an online user lands on after clicking on a link from the search results, online advertisement, or other web pages.

Link – A hyperlinked citation from a web page or document pointing to another page. It is considered as a trust vote to a web page.

Link Bait – A web page that is designed and optimized for the purpose of drawing incoming links.

Link Building – A marketing strategy that aims to build a number of high-quality incoming links to a webpage or website.

Link Burst – An abrupt increase in the number of incoming links pointing to a particular webpage or website.

Link Exchange = Reciprocal Linking – A scheme that allows webmasters to link to other websites in exchange for an incoming link.

Link Farm – Group of websites that exchange links among each other.

Link Popularity – Determined by the number of incoming links pointing to a webpage or website.

Long Tail – An extensive and more specific keyword or keyword phrase.

Meta Description – A tag that describes the content of the page. It is usually composed of a sentence or two.

Meta Keywords – A tag that is used to highlight the keywords and keyword phrases relevant to the page.

Meta Search – A Search engine that generates its result by pulling top ranked results from other search engines.

Meta Tags – Refer to Meta descriptions and Meta keywords. They are placed in the HTML that is not visible to online users.

MFA = Made For Advertisements – Websites that are explicitly designed to cater to advertisements.

Mirror Site – A website that is similar to another website but on a different web address.

Navigation Bar – Icons that direct the spiders and online users to the different pages in the website.

Niche – A specific theme or subject that a website is created for.

Nofollow – A command used to tell the search engine spiders not to follow a link. This prevents the link from sharing link authority.

Non Reciprocal Link – A link that is given to a web page or website without requiring a link in return.

Outbound Link = Outgoing Link – A link that points to a web page on a different website.

PageRank – A value ranging from 0 to 10 which is used to rank websites based on different factors included in the Google Algorithm.

PFI = Pay For Inclusion – A scheme that allows websites or search engines to charge a fee for inclusion in the search engine, website, or directory.

PFP = Pay For Performance – A pricing model where affiliates are paid based on sales delivered or when certain actions are performed.

PHP = PHP Hypertext Preprocessor – A scripting language used in adding interactivity to web pages.

PPC = Pay Per Click – A pricing model where advertisers pay for every click generated by an ad or listing.

PPP = Pay Per Post – A pricing model wherein content creators and bloggers are paid by advertisers for posting relevant content.

Quality Content – Useful content that is considered as link worthy.

Quality Link – A link from a high quality and trusted source.

Query – An inquiry made by an online user on the search engines using a keyword or keyword phrase.

Reciprocal Link – A  link given to a web page or website in exchange of a return link.

Redirect – A way of telling the search engines and browsers that a specific web page has been moved or deleted. It usually takes the online user to an alternative web page.

Reinclusion – When a website asks to be reconsidered and included in the search index again after being penalized for spamming.

Repeat Visitor – Online user who has visited the web page or website more than once over a period of time.

Relevancy – Measure of the importance of the search results based on the query of the online user.

Robots.txt – File located in the root directory of a website. It is used to control or restrict the actions of the search engine spiders.

ROI = Return On Investment – The revenue generated in relation to the investment cost incurred. It is measured in percentage by subtracting total investment from total revenue and divided by total investment.

RSS = Rich Site Summary, Real Simple Syndication – Allows syndication of data or information to a feed reader. It allows people to subscribe to the content.

Sandbox – Where Google is said to place all new sites and controlling them from ranking well for a period of time.

Scrape – Method of copying content from a web page or website.

Search Engine – A program or website that allows online users to search for content from the many different web pages on the internet. It ranks websites according to their importance in relation to the search term entered.

SEM = Search Engine Marketing – The process of helping a website rank well on the search engines. It involves different strategies including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click advertising (PPC).

SEO = Search Engine Optimisation – The process of optimizing a website naturally so that it will rank high on the search engine results pages and lead to an increased number of site visitors. It involves many different strategies.

SERP = Search Engine Result Pages – Web page containing the search results generated by the search engine.

Search Term – The word or phrase used by online users to execute a query using a search engine.

Server – Computer used in hosting files that will be served on the World Wide Web (WWW).

Spam – Techniques that are against most search engine rules.

Site Map – A web page that gives a list of all the pages on the site. It helps the search engine spiders in navigating around the website.

Spider = Bot, Crawler – A program that is used by the search engine to find and index web pages throughout the World Wide Web (WWW).

Social Media – Websites that allow users to create valuable content and share information and perspectives. There are different types of social media. The most common are blogs, wikis, forums, social networking websites, and rating sites.

SMM = Social Media Marketing – Promoting a website or brand through the different social media websites.

Static Content – Information on a web page or website that is not frequently updated or changed.

Supplemental Result = Supplemental Index – Result showing pages with low PageRank. These pages still appear on the search results if they are highly relevant to a search query.

Target Audience = Target Market – Group of people that websites focus on to sell their product or service or share their information.

Text Link Ads – Ads that are displayed in a text format.

Text Link – An HTML link that only contains text. There is no graphics or special code involved.

Title Tag = Page Title – The text that is displayed on the top part of the browser. It is also displayed as the title of the web page or website on the search results.

Traffic – The number of online users that visit a web page or website.

TrustRank – An algorithm that measures the value of web pages based on links from trusted seed websites.

URL = Uniform Resource Locator – Also referred to as Web Address. It is the unique address of a web page or a website. It identifies the location of a web page or file.

Unique Visitors – Individual online users who have visited a web page or website. One unique visitor can generate multiple pageviews or user sessions.

Usability – Refers to how easy it is for site visitors to navigate the site and perform the desired action.

UGC = User Generated Content – Content created and published by online users.

Viral Marketing – Technique that makes content popular through the use of email, blogs, social media, and word of mouth marketing.

Visibility – Refers to how well a website is positioned on the search engine results pages based on a keyword search.

Web 2.0 – Web-based services and communities that are defined by information sharing, collaboration, and participation of online users.

White Hat SEO = Search Engine OptimisationSearch engine friendly techniques that help improve a website’s ranking and visibility on the search engines.

WordPress – A blogging software platform and hosting solution that is popular for its ease of use.

Widget – Applications with specific functions used on web pages.

XHTML = Extensible HyperText Markup Language – Used to move HTML formats to adapt to XML formats.

XML = Extensible Markup Language – Used to make syndication and formatting of information using RSS technology easier.

If you have anything else to add to the digital marketing glossary of terms, feel free to get in contact with your suggestion.

Related: 14 Tips On How To Market A Business Online