The digital marketing world is full of jargon, abbreviations and acronyms. Digital marketing people use the terms freely… but if they are not explained, they can leave clients feeling in the dark – or worse, using the wrong term and asking for the wrong thing. So here’s a short digital marketing glossary of some useful terms to know.
Digital marketing glossary
SEO. Search engine optimisation. Things you can do to help your website appear in Google’s organic search results (the unpaid-for bit).
SERPS. Search engine results pages. The pages which show what Google finds for a search query. Usually about 10 items per page. Includes maps, images, answer boxes, shopping results and reviews, as well as adverts.
SEM. Search engine marketing. Planned marketing using the power of search. This includes organic search (unpaid-for) and paid search (PPC).
PPC. Pay-per-click advertising. The little adverts that appear at the top of the search results page. The advertiser chooses which keyword searches should trigger their advert to appear, and they only pay when someone clicks on their advert. Most popular is Google Ads, though other search engines have adverts too.
CTR. Click-through rate. The percentage of people who, having seen your PPC advert, clicked on it.
CPC. Cost per click. How much each click to your website cost you from a paid advert.
Remarketing. An extension of PPC which follows a previous site visitor around the web and triggers a small box or banner advert to appear on other pages when they are browsing.
Algorithm. Google’s code for deciding which websites should appear where in the search results. Generally considered some kind of black magic (and the details of it are of course not precisely known), Google is actually quite transparent about what it values. Its main objective is to increasingly search like a human, and look for valuable, helpful, up-to-date content which people will find interesting. Major algorithm changes can have a huge impact on SEO success, which is why it’s so important, for robust SEO, to take the long view with SEO, do the right thing by visitors, and embrace what Google is trying to achieve, not just ‘game the system’ for short-term results.
Content. The stuff that fills up the pages of websites – typically words (on web pages, news articles or blog posts), images, and videos.
Content marketing. Creating useful content that will move visitors closer to your business goals. This might be to differentiate you from the competition, remind people of your key benefits and values, inform and educate people about your products/services and their options, persuade people to talk to you and buy from you! It can help develop trust and understanding, making the sales process easier. Content marketing needs to be planned, and consistently executed. Relevant, up to date content is something Google definitely looks for in websites.
Long-tail. The name for a type of search when people use a specific, multi-word query – eg, “price for 1750mm wide light teak garden bench.” Although the volumes for these kinds of searches are usually lower, the intent is clear which gives a good opportunity to capture and convert small volume traffic. Understanding these kinds of searches can provide great topic ideas for blog posts, to help get to the top of Google in niche areas.
Mobile responsive. When a website recognises that someone is visiting from a smartphone or tablet, and changes its appearance accordingly, usually through reordering and stacking the elements of the page so they fit on the screen in the best way.
Mobile optimised. When a website recognises that someone is visiting from a smartphone or tablet and presents them with an alternative version of the site based on what mobile users are most likely to want.
Link juice. The SEO value of getting a link to your website from another site. Link juice value varies, depending on the authority of the site you’re getting a link from. Internal links within a website help to share link juice throughout the entire site, which helps all the pages to be catalogued more easily by Google.
Authority. How reputable a website is, in terms of its relevance, longevity and site safety. Getting a link to your site from a site with good authority is beneficial for SEO.
Black hat. Dubious SEO practices, which Google are increasingly stamping down on. Eg, bought links, keyword stuffing, hiding overly optimised text (white text on white background). Antonym: white hat – honest, reputable SEO practice.
Crawl. When Google’s robots, or spiders, work their way across the site to check for updates and reindex the site.
Title. The main title for your website page. This shows up as a blue link in the Google search results, and also appears in your browser tab. Using relevant keywords and phrases in your page title is important for SEO and for encouraging visitors to click to your site.
Meta description. This is the block of text which appears underneath the title in the search results. You can usually write your own meta description for the page to tell Google what you would like to be shown. If not, Google will create a meta description based on what the person is searching for. It’s important territory for search engine optimisation.
Keywords. The words and phrases people use to search online. The days of stuffing your website full of keywords has long gone – search engines are smarter than that now! But, you still need to be aware of what words and phrases people are using, relevant to your product, service and industry, and use them across your site in a focused way.
CRO. Conversion rate optimisation. This is not about driving more traffic to your website – it’s about improving the amount of enquiries and purchases that visitors make once they are there.
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