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Digital Marketing Glossary

AdWords

Google Adwords became Google Ads in July 2018. See Google Ads for definition.

API (Application Program Interface)

A set of functions and procedures for building software applications. An API allows two applications to interact and work together.

Avatar

An image to represent a human identity on a digital platform. Avatars are used widely on social media platforms, websites and online games.

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Attribution

Identifying a set of user actions to determine which part of a digital marketing campaign led to a purchase or conversion. For example, a consumer may be prompted by a Facebook video, an email or a search ad.

Audit

A digital marketing audit is an inspection of a business’s current digital performance. An audit can be done within each channel, i.e. a PPC audit, SEO audit etc.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Automation

The method of operating a process that is performed via automatic means and minimal human assistance.

ALT text

Short for alternative text. ALT text is a word or phrase that can be added in a HTML to inform viewers of the content of an image. The text can appear in a blank box replacing the image.

Authority

A score given to a website based on how well it is likely to rank within search engine results. The sites authority will depend on things like links, traffic and social engagement.

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  • SEO

Anchor text

The clickable text in a HTML hyperlink that is blue and usually underlined. It should always be clear what it is linking a user to.

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  • CONTENT
  • SEO

Ad server

The technology used to place, manage and display ads to users on a site.

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  • PPC

Algorithms

A mathematical formula or set of instructions determining how a group of data behaves, for example displaying content in a specific order.

Autoresponder

A program that sends an automatic response to incoming emails.

Ad extensions

Additional snippets of information about your business that you can add to your PPC ad copy. Examples include a contact number, ratings or location.

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  • PPC

Abandonment rate

An analytics feature revealing the percentage of users who started a conversion process but didn’t complete it.

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  • PPC

App

Short for application, an app is most common on mobile but can also be downloaded on desktop to perform a function.

A/B Testing

An experiment with two variants to determine whether one technique (A) is more effective than another (B).

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Above the Fold

Refers to any content that is positioned in the upper half of a web page so that it is visible before a user scrolls down.

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  • CONTENT

At tag(@)

A symbol used in email addresses and now to tag users in comments and posts on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Blogroll

When a blogger shares a list of blogs or sites that they want to share with their readers. The list of blogs will be found in a website’s sidebar.

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  • CONTENT
  • SEO

Blog

Short for ‘web log’. A blog is a site in which one or multiple users post updates. In digital marketing, a blog can be used to raise awareness and improve SEO.

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  • SEO

Black Hat SEO

The use of SEO techniques that go against search engine best practices. It is an attempt to improve search engine rankings quickly by going against guidelines.

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  • SEO

Blogosphere

A term used to refer to all blogs on the internet.

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  • CONTENT
  • SEO

Broken link

A backlink that no longer exists and will display a 404 error instead.

Bottom of the Funnel

The final stage of the online buying process when a user decides to purchase and become a customer.

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  • PPC

Bitly

A link management platform that can shorten your URL as well as share, manage and analyse links.

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  • SEO

Broad match

A keyword match type in PPC that lets a keyword trigger your ad for searches that are the same or similar, including misspellings, synonyms and relevant variations.

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  • PPC

Bounce rate

The percentage of users who leave a site before viewing a second page.

Bid modifiers

Allow you to make bid adjustments without altering the targeting of your campaign or ad group.

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  • PPC

Backlinks

A link from one web page to another site. Backlinks can be used to increase authority.

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  • SEO

B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

The process of selling services or products to consumers.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

Refers to sales or communication between two businesses.

Citation

Any mention of a company around the web.

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  • SEO

Cloaking

A black hat SEO technique in which a website delivers different content to their users than it presents to search engines. It’s an attempt to rank higher on SERP.

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  • SEO

Chatbot

A computer program used to stimulate a conversation with site visitors. Chatbots are used on websites to enhance user experience and provide one-to-one assistance.

Channel

The platform or outlet an advertiser uses to market to their audience. Common digital marketing channels include Facebook, Google, Instagram and Email.

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  • CONTENT
  • PPC
  • SEO

Canonical tag

This is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL is the master version. Using the tag prevents issues caused by duplicate content appearing in multiple URL’s. It’s also a way of telling search engines which version you want to appear in search results.

Connections

A term used on LinkedIn to refer to people who you are associated with.

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Comment

An online response from users providing an answer or reaction to a post or any other content.

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Cookies

A small file created by a website that is stored in a user’s computer and can gather information about them based on their online activity.

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  • PPC

Content Management System (CMS)

A user friendly software application that is used to create, manage and publish online content.

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  • CONTENT

Content marketing

The process of creating, publishing and sharing content that is designed to stimulate an interest in a brand or product.

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  • CONTENT

Conversion Rate

The percentage of users who completed a desired action (conversion), for example signing up to a mailing list or buying a product.

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  • PPC

Campaign

A digital marketing campaign is made of multiple ad groups which are based on the same goal, such as brand awareness.

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  • CONTENT
  • PPC
  • SEO

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

The percentage of users who clicked through after seeing your ad. You can calculate a CTR by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.

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  • PPC

CTA (Call to Action)

A CTA explains the step a business wants a consumer to take. It is designed to encourage a specific response or conversion such as buying a product or subscribing to an email list.

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  • CONTENT
  • PPC
  • SEO

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

The marketing process of increasing the number of site visitors turning into customers and completing a sale or another desired action on a web page.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

An approach to manage a company’s relationship with both existing and potential customers – e.g. through data analysis about a customer’s previous interaction with a business.

Dwell time

The timeframe between when a user clicks on a site and when they return to the search results page.

Dribbble

A social networking platform for designers to connect with each other and share their work.

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Deep linking

A hyperlink that leads to a specific web page rather than a sites homepage.

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  • SEO

Duplicate content

A block of content within or across different sites that is either identical or very similar. Google will value the site with the highest authority when it comes to duplicate content on multiple sites.

Domain

The name of your website. No two websites can have the same domain name.

Display ads

Paid advertisements that are shown on websites and often targeted towards a specific set of users. Display ads can be text, image, video, animations and other graphics.

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  • PPC

Earned media

Any online exposure that is not directly generated from your business. For example, shared posts, social media shares, reviews and mentions.

Ebook

An electronic version of a book that can be read on a desktop or mobile device.

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  • CONTENT

Ecommerce 

Electronic commerce is the buying and selling or products or services online.

Exact match

The most precise and restrictive match type. A search query will only trigger your ad if it is the exact same or a very close variant to your keyword.

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  • PPC

Email marketing

Sending a message straight into your prospects or customers inbox with the aim of increasing engagement or encouraging them to complete a transaction.

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  • PPC

Evergreen content

Content that remains ‘fresh’ and relevant for viewers over a long period of time. There is no strict time limit on evergreen content meaning it won’t apply to a particular season or temporary campaign.

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  • CONTENT

Engagement rate

A metric used in social media marketing to measure the performance of a post by looking into interactions such as comments, likes and shares. You can divide your interactions by the number of users following an account (Instagram, Facebook, etc).

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First-click attribution

A web analytics model in which the first click that initially brings a user to a website is given credit or any sale or conversion that takes place.

Featured snippet

Selected search results that are featured above Google’s organic results and below ads. Google will display a snippet of content from a website if it directly answers a user query. These are also known as answer boxes.

Facebook Business Manager

A free tool developed by Facebook to help businesses and agencies manage their Facebook ads and pages from one central account. The platform will not share login information or reveal co-workers personal accounts.

Funnel

A marketing funnel is a model referring to your customers journey from the initial stage of awareness to the point of conversion.

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  • PPC

First party data

Data about your audience that you have collected yourself directly from your customers, site visitors, subscribers and other users who interact with your business.

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  • PPC

Flickr

A social media platform used for photo and video-sharing.

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Follow

A user who wishes to see all of another user’s social media posts will ‘follow’ their account. Once you follow an account, their posts will appear on your feed.

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Forum

An online discussion board in which people can share their views and ideas on a particular issue.

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  • CONTENT

Google My Business

A free online tool helping local businesses create and manage their Google listings. Google can share a knowledge panel with information which is autogenerated or provided by a business or their customers to advertise what they can offer.

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  • SEO

Google Grants

A programme offering non-profits free access to PPC advertising tools.

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  • PPC

Guest post

The act of posting content on somebody else’s website or blog. In digital marketing, guest posting is a way of increasing backlinks and site traffic.

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  • SEO

Geo-Targeting

Otherwise known as local PPC, this is a targeting method that serves ads or content to users based on their geographical location.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations)

A set of rules designed to provide more control and protection over personal data.

Google Search Console

A free tool allowing you to measure a websites search traffic and performance as well as fix site bugs and issues.

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  • PPC

Google Analytics

A free Google tool that tracks and reports website traffic.

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  • PPC

Hit

This is often mistaken for site visits. A hit is a request for a file from a web server – meaning each time a web page is clicked, there will be a ‘hit’ for each file or image on that page. If a page has 10 images, one site visit can mean 10 hits.

HTML

Hyper-Text Mark-up Language is the language or code used to create the World Wide Web.

Hangouts

A communication software product provided by Google that allows users to have group video calls with up to 10 people.

Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks are often blue and underlined but can be any words, phrases or images that lead you to another location by clicking. Hyperlinks can lead to another page, site or document.

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  • SEO

Hard Bounce

In email marketing, a hard bounce is an email that cannot be delivered. The reason could be an invalid or inactive email address or a block (reported as spam).

Heatmap

A visual representation of data showing how users interact with a web page. Heat maps reveal things such as web page ‘hot spots’, where users click and how far a user scrolls.

Hashtag (#)

A hashtag is used to identify a specific topic or theme when in discussion on social media platforms. For example, a hashtag we would use is #digitalmarketing.

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Instagram

A photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook that allows you to share content and interact with other peoples. Sponsored ads can be used for advertising purposes within the app.

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Instant messaging

Online messages that are delivered in real-time either one-to-one or in group messages on platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Instant messaging also offers video and voice calls.

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Influencer

Somebody who has a large social following/reach as well as expert knowledge in their industry, e.g. an Instagram fitness influencer. A business can use an influencer to spread a message.

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  • SEO

Interactive content

Content that requires active engagement from consumers and can provide instant, real-time results.

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  • CONTENT

Index

The Google index is a list of all the webpages that Google is aware of.

Impression share

The number of impressions receive divided by the number of impressions you could have potentially received.

Impression

An impression refers to when an ad is displays on a user’s screen. They are not action based and it doesn’t consider whether a user clicks or not.

JavaScript

Computer programming language that is used to create the dynamic or interactive elements of web browsers.

Keyword Stuffing

When a keyword or phrase is used multiple times in a single webpage in attempt to increase keyword density.

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  • SEO

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

A type of performance measurement used to evaluate the success of an organisation or an activity in relation to the primary goals.

Keyword research

The process of researching words, terms and phrases in your chosen area to determine whether they are likely to be used by your target audience when they search. Keyword research tools such as Keyword Planner can help to find the most valuable keywords for your business.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Keywords

Popular words, terms or phrases that help to optimise a site’s ranking position. Keywords also allow paid search advertisers to bid for ad placements as sponsored links on SERPs.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Livestreaming

Often referred to as just streaming. An online video that is recorded and simultaneously broadcasted at the same time. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow users to livestream.

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Last-click attribution

A web analytics model in which a user’s last click before any sale or desired action is given credit for the conversion.

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  • PPC

Lead

A user who shows potential interest in your product or service and is likely to turn into a buying customer. Clicking on an ad may give information on a user which can then who can then be converted into a sale.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Like button

A button used on social networking services, online forums and blogs allowing a user to express that they support or enjoy certain content. Facebook use a ‘thumbs up’ button whereas Instagram use a heart shaped icon.

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Lookalike Audience

A type of custom audience targeting used on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. You can target users who share characteristics with your existing customers.

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Link bait

A webpage with interesting content that users will share with others. The page could be shared through social media such as Facebook or Twitter, on social news sites such as Reddit, or even through email or Messenger.

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  • SEO

Link building

The process by which you increase the amount of links to your website. It may involve generating more interesting or newsworthy content, creating a blog, asking clients to link, plus many other techniques. It is the goal of SEO to build many good links to a website.

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  • SEO

Long tail

Many terms are searched for through search engines, and many people search for the same things. As these terms are so popular, it is very difficult for a starter company to compete against the established websites.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Landing page

The specific webpage on a website that a user is taken to when clicking on a search engine result or a PPC advert. While this could simply be the homepage, often it is more helpful to the customer (and therefore your profits) if they are taken to a page that is specific to their search terms.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Mobile friendliness

A measure of how easy a website or webpage is to navigate on mobile devices.

Mobile search

An online search performed on a mobile device.

Meta titles

The meta title acts as a name tag for a web page. It is a title that helps both internet users and search engines to understand what type of page it is.

Meta description

A snippet which can be up to 160 characters to summarise a page’s content and purpose on SERP.

Market research

The process of gathering information on a set of consumers based on their interests, needs and preferences.

Meme

An image, video, or piece of that is usually humorous and spread quickly by internet users. The most common meme will be in image followed by supportive text.

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NoIndex

An identifier tag telling search engines not to index a specific webpage.

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  • SEO

Negative keyword

A type of keyword that prevents an ad from being triggered by a word of phrase. If a user searches for your negative keyword, your ad will not appear.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

News feed

A page or hub for regular and continuous news distribution. On social media your news feed will depend on who you are following or ‘friends’ with.

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Niche

A specific topic, industry or market. A niche audience would be a selective group of people with precise interests, which can be valuable to a business.

NoFollow

An identifier tag telling search engines not to follow a specific page or consider it in search rankings.

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  • SEO

Native advertising

The use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the platform they appear on. It’s not always obvious they are ads because they blend in with their surrounding media.

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  • PPC

Organic listing

The natural listings on SERP that are not sponsored. The order of organic results will depend on SEO.

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  • SEO

Open Rate

In email marketing, open rate refers to how many users have received and opened your email.

Podcast

A digital audio file available for downloading to a computer or a mobile.

Personas

A character created within a marketing campaign to represent the ideal target audience.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

An online advertising model designed to drive traffic and conversions. An advertiser will pay a set amount each time their ad is clicked by a user.

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  • PPC

Programmatic advertising

The process of buying and selling advertising through a platform and placing your ads on a publisher’s site.

Prototype

A prototype is a test or pilot model of a design, process, interface, technology, product or service. In digital marketing, a prototype can be used to mock-up what a website will look like once it goes live.

Profile

An online profile is a description of an individual’s personal attributes, occupation and age etc. Social media platforms will provide you with a profile to share with your chosen audience.

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Pinterest

A social network allowing users to share images and videos by adding them to an online pinboard. You can explore other users posts and ‘pin’ the ones that interest you onto your own board.

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Page views

A page view is when an internet user visits a page or site. You will gain a page view each time a new user, or a repeat visitor clicks on your site.

Personalisation

Marketing personalisation is the process of using data and insights on potential customers to deliver tailored messaging. Personalisation allows marketers to address a user’s needs through a more direct and personal approach.

Page Rank (PR)

A score provided by Google’s PageRank algorithm between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest. It is based on how trustworthy a site is considered. A score of 8 will usually be presented as PR8, and so on.

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  • PPC

Penguin

Google Penguin is the latest version of its PageRank WebCrawler. It detects cloaking, keyword stuffing and duplicate content. The aim is to detect spam and improve organic searches.

Penalty

The negative impact on a website’s search engine ranking based on updates to Google’s search algorithms, a manual review or penalization for black-hat SEO.

Quality score

A Google metric used to determine the quality of a site based on its ads, keywords and landing pages. The higher the quality score, the higher a site will rank on SERP.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

QR Code

A ‘quick response’ code is a scannable image/barcode that stores information and can be read instantly by a smartphone camera. The image is used to encode data.

Qualified Lead

Otherwise known as MQL (marketing qualified lead). A lead who has shown interest in a brand and is likely to become a customer based on their online interaction.

Reach

A display advertising metric designed to count the number of users who have seen an ad.

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  • PPC

Rich results

A listing on the search engine results page which includes addons such as ratings and images rather than just a title, URL and meta description.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Reddit

A social news platform allowing users to share, discuss and vote on content.

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Redirect

Taking a user from one webpage or site to another.

RTB (Real-Time Bidding)

The buying and selling of online ad impressions through auctions that take place in the time it takes for a page to load. Advertisers can bid on the eligibility to serve ads on a specific page.

Remarketing

A marketing method allowing you to reconnect with people who have previously interacted with your website or app (e.g. browsed or purchased). You can place your ads in front of targeted users as they browse other sites.

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  • PPC

Referral marketing

The process of driving brand awareness through recommendations, i.e. word of mouth.

ROI (Return on Investment)

The measure of profit you generate from a digital marketing campaign based on how much you initially invest.

Robots.txt

A file created by webmasters that tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler can request from a site. This is used to avoid overloading a site which requests.

Ranking

The position of a website within search engine results. A website ranking can be improved (made higher) through search engine optimisation.

Sessions

The actions performed by a user on a site within a given timeframe. A session will begin when a user first clicks on a site and end when they exit. This could also be referred to as a site visit.

Skype

A free video and voice chat application allowing worldwide conversations. You can send one-to-one instant messages or communicate in groups.

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SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Using search engines such as Google to promote a website by increasing visibility in results pages. This can be done through SEO or PPC marketing.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Sitemap

A list of all the pages that exist on a website and can be accessed by users and bots.

Spider

Also known as a user agent, crawler or bot. It’s an automatic software programme that scans sites to collect data and understand their function or relevance.

Segmentation

Digital segmentation is the process of diving a database into different groups based on characteristics and criteria. It’s a way of targeting your most profitable customers.

Search query

The term or phrases a user types into a search engine to find what they’re looking for.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Shoppable post

An Instagram feature allowing brands to tag specific products in posts. If a user clicks on shoppable post they will be linked to the site where they can purchase the product.

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Soft bounce

An email marketing term used to notify a sender than their email was delivered to the recipient but then bounced back. Common reasons for soft bounce are a full inbox or a server being down.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

The list of results (websites) that are generated from a search query.

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  • SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The process of adjusting and improving a site so that it will rank higher in organic listings on SERP and generate more valuable clicks.

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  • SEO

Search engine

An online platform such as Google or Bing that provide users with results based on their query.

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  • SEO

SMP (Social Media Policy)

A document outlining how an organisation and its employees should use social media and other online platforms based on the protection and reputation of the company.

Spam linking

The process of creating a large number of links in attempt to increase the quality or relevance of a site and rank higher on SERP.

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  • SEO

Spam

Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the internet, usually to a list of users for advertising purposes.

Subscribe

Arranging to receive regular updates or information from a chose company, i.e. through email.

Traffic

The number of users visiting a site is referred to as the amount of traffic. PPC and SEO campaigns will aim to increase traffic.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Third party data

Data that is collected from sources outside of your company.

Trending

An event, theme or topic that is currently popular and being discussed online, i.e. through social media.

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Thread

A sequence of responses to a post which becomes a stream of comments. A thread is common on Twitter.

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Top of the Funnel

The first stage of a buyer’s journey which is often referred to as the awareness stage. It is when a user first discovers a brand.

Target Audience

A group of users who are likely to be interested in a brand therefore marketing efforts will be tailored towards them.

Troll

An online user who has the intention to gain an emotional, negative response from somebody online. Trolls usually hide their real identity and will post controversial, digressive and hurtful comments in an online community.

Tumblr

A social networking and microblogging platform allowing users to share images, quotes, text and videos.

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Tracking pixel

A snippet of HTML code placed on a site to track data such as user behaviour, interactions and conversions.

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  • PPC
  • SEO

Thank You page

A page to follow the checkout phase or point of conversion. A thank you page is commonly used by e-commerce businesses to track where their converting customers are coming from.

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  • PPC

TrueView

Video ads on YouTube that give viewers control over how much they watch. The most common feature is a skippable format allowing users to stop watching after 5 seconds. You will only pay when a user watches for 30 seconds or more.

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  • PPC

Touchpoint

The point of interaction between a brand and their prospect or customer.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

An URL is the address of a website on the World Wide Web (www).

User

A person who is using a site or webpage.

Usability testing

The process of testing the functionality of a product or service by testing it on real users.

USP (Unique Selling Point)

Also known as unique selling proposition. A USP refers to what makes your brand, product or service different and ideally better than others.

UX (User Experience)

How a user interacts with a site. In digital marketing this is the process of understanding user needs to create products, services and campaigns that will provide a positive experience for customers.

User Generated Content (UGC)

Also known as user-created content. A term given to any online content such as images, videos, text and audio that is posted by a user.

Viral

An image, video, post, piece of information or file that is circulated rapidly and widely online.

Voice search

A technology that allows users to search the web, a website or an app using their voice.

Vlog

Similar to a blog but with the use of video rather than text. A vlogger will post regular videos documenting a topic of their choice.

View-through Conversion

When a user views your ad but doesn’t initially convert. Instead, they complete a conversion on your site within a specific time frame (usually 30 days) after viewing your ad.

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  • PPC

View-through Conversion Window

A conversion setting in Google Ads which defines the time frame in which a conversion will be considered a view-through conversion. For example, if the window is set to 30 days, a conversion from a user within 30 days of viewing an ad will be considered as view-through.

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  • PPC

WordPress

A popular blogging and content management system (CMS) used to create site templates and pages.

Web 2.0

An internet where users are no longer just passive consumers. A variety of websites now allow for user-generated content, meaning people can create and share information.

Webinar

A presentation, lecture, seminar or workshop that takes place on the internet using video conferencing software.

Webmaster

A person responsible for maintaining one or multiple websites. For example, web developers, administrators, owners and publishers.

White hat SEO

Terminology to describe the usage of SEO strategies that follow search engine rules and policies while focusing on a human audience.

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  • SEO

Yoast

An SEO plugin for WordPress that helps website owners to optimise their webpages for search engines.

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  • SEO