The Impressona Glossary of Terms
The A-Z of Digital Marketing Terminology.
Digital marketing is, like any other complex subject, full of terms and ideas that you may not have come across before. Whenever we use things like this on the site, we provide a handy link for you back here, to our glossary of terms.
A 404 is an error message given when a website page cannot be found or displayed at the given URL.
A permanent redirect from one URL to another.
A temporary redirect from one URL to another.
This is the process of testing out ideas to find the best performing option. This may be done to create an overall best option, to be used ultimately.
The abandonment rate is a calculation done to find out the percentage of customers who start the sales process and don’t complete it. In the context of shopping, both online and physical, the measure would concern those who add items to their shopping baskets/trolleys, but don’t actually purchase anything.
Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting third party products/services in exchange for commission.
An algorithm is a set of instructions, either mathematical or scientific, for executing an action or solving a problem. In the world of marketing, algorithms are often used with customers, in trying to reach and sell to them.
ALT text is short for ‘alternative text’ and is a piece of HTML code that will appear when elements of an online page can’t be displayed. Typically, it is used on images, to tell the reader the nature of the image and will appear when the area that houses the image, is hovered over with the cursor.
The text that labels a hyperlink. An example is the common ‘click here’ link, with ‘click here’ being the anchor text.
API stands for ‘Application Programming Interface’ and refers to tools or components that help to build and dictate how components within software, should interact. These tools simplify many processes and projects.
Also known as content spinning, article spinning is the process of rewriting old content, so that it appears freshly created.
Automation is the scheduling of any operation or action, so that it is done without human input. This input will come before the action is made, in instructing the machine or technology to carry out a certain procedure. In marketing, automation is commonly used within social media, to schedule future posts.
B2B stands for “Business to business” and indicates that the intent of a business’ transactions and communications is with other businesses.
B2C stands for “Business to consumer” and indicates that the intent of a business’ transactions and communications, is directly to consumers.
Also known as “inbound links” and “incoming links”, backlinks are links from one website to another. Pages that contain many backlinks, usually have high organic search engine rankings.
Biometrics are measurements of human characteristics or attributes. In marketing, they are used to improve things like user experience and conversion rates.
Black Hat SEO
This is the use of unethical techniques that are against the guidelines of search engines, to improve site ranking.
The percentage of visitors to a website who leave the site without interacting with more than one page. The causes of this are many and varied and include poor page descriptions, poorly written copy, and uninviting visual layout. Bear in mind, this includes people who read the entire page then close the browser.
A word that is intended to be trendy and generate interest for a reader.
Call to Action (CTA)
A call to action is a marketing message that is intended to influence a decision. It is usually direct and may be in the form of a link to a website page or contact page.
Canonical tags are HMTL codes which tell search engines that a page is a copy of another. They are used to direct the way that a search engine crawls through and indexes web pages.
CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart)
A captcha is used to limit spam. It is a web response which is used to determine whether a user is human or not.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
A web language used to style information written in HTML. It is used to control parameters such as font and background colour and paragraph alignment.
A software chat interface for human interaction, that simulates real human speech and writing.
Also known as ‘ad clicks’, this is the process of clicking through an online advertisement, in order to reach the advertiser’s designated destination.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
The click-through rate is the number of click-throughs on an ad, divided by the number of impression the ad receives, expressed as a percentage.
In SEO, cloaking is a ‘Black hat SEO’ technique where different content is served to search engines and humans. It involves tricking search engines, by serving them with highly optimised content for crawling, which normally isn’t searchable.
In SEO, a citation is a reference to a business’ name, address and number, on another website or local directory. They are used within search marketing strategy to improve rankings with search engines.
Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system is software that houses content, usually for a website, and allows users to control and edit what is displayed. A popular CMS is WordPress.
Content marketing is a marketing approach that serves to drive engagement between a business and its audience. It involves creating content such as blogs, videos and infographics, to provide value to an audience and assist with common problems that they may be facing.
The percentage of visitors who complete the desired action on a web page.
Cookies are information that is stored on your computer, based on your activity on websites. They are used to personalise a user’s experience for future visits.
Cornerstone content is content that focuses on a business and its offering. It may provide fundamental information that answers questions and educates. Website pages that feature cornerstone content are often likened to as a hub, because they are used to link to other related content and pages on the website.
Cost Per Action (CPA)
This calculation is done to work out how much money it costs to acquire conversions, through ads and other paid activity.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
This calculation works out how much money it costs for a visitor to click on one of your ads or links.
Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The cost of converting a visitor or prospect into a qualified lead.
Cost Per Mille (CPM)
Also known as the ‘cost per thousand’, this is the cost for every thousand impressions.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relation management is the process of managing communication with clients, in order to maintain satisfaction and advocate retention.
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Conversion rate optimisation is the process of identifying and employing techniques, to increase the percentage of visitors that take the desired action on a website.
Content that is gathered by an organisation and shared, usually via social media, to its audience, due to the value or relevance. The content is created by other organisations.
Website hosting that is exclusive to one website.
A link from one web page to another, that isn’t the homepage.
A system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory, to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface.
A HTML tag used to provide a description to search engines when listing results.
Direct Response Marketing
A marketing strategy that seeks to immediately convert prospects into customers.
A HTML tag that instructs search engines to crawl through links. The opposite of a ‘NoFollow’ tag.
A unique name as part of a network address, that identifies an organisation.
Domain Name System (DNS)
A system where domain names are connected and translated into IP addresses.
A more keyword-optimised domain that is used to improve search rankings.
A more keyword-optimised page that is used to improve search rankings.
Drip marketing, sometimes known as drip campaigns, is a method of marketing designed to gain prospects and nurture them into customers of your business. Prospects may not be ready to buy from you, but may still have interest in your offering, so drip campaigns are often used to send relevant marketing information to these prospects over time, with the aim of turning them into customers and ideally, loyal ones. Drip marketing is usually done in the form of automated emails being sent to prospects that elect, or sign up to receive marketing communication.
Content which matches or is similar to content elsewhere on the website or the internet.
Dynamic Creative Optimism (DCO)
A display ad technology that creates personalised ads based on data about the viewer, at the time the ad is viewed.
A digital version of a book.
The buying/selling of products/services on the Internet.
A schedule used to plan, create and publish content.
A list of email addresses that is typically created when users sign-up to an online newsletter or blog, through a website. They are then used to send updates/notifications, or marketing emails and offers.
A form of direct marketing used to communicate with customers/prospects, through emails delivered to their inbox.
Email Service Provider (ESP)
A company that provides a platform for sending marketing messages via email.
Engagement is the action towards or in response to content. It is the reaction of your audience to the content that you release. Engagement may be shown in different ways, for example, it could be the liking or sharing of a social media post, or the viewing of a piece of video content.
A keyword match type that allows ads to only be shown when the exact keyword, or close variants, is searched for by a user. The option is available through Google Ads and Bing Ads.
The technique of showing a visitor to your website a pop-up message when they show they are intending to leave your site.
Also known as an outbound link, it is a link on a webpage that directs to another page on a different website.
An online magazine.
Also known as a shortcut icon, a favicon is a small icon that is used to identify a website.
A featured snippet is an answer box given at the top of Google’s search results, designed to answer the user’s query. It contains relevant copy from website pages in Google’s index.
A source of online data. A common example is an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, which provides access to the latest updates from websites, in a simple format.
A pricing strategy where a product/service is provided for free, with the option for extras, or an upgrade, to be purchased at a cost.
A frequency cap is a restriction on the number of times a specific visitor to a website is shown a particular advertisement.
A method used to detect the location of website visitors and serve them content based on that location.
Google’s advertising platform that allows ads to be served across Google and its partner networks.
Google’s free tool for monitoring website activity and traffic.
Google Search Console
Google’s free web service that allows webmasters to manage website visibility and performance.
Google Tag Manager
Google’s free tool to help with the management of online tracking. Codes, pixels and tags can be created and monitored in one place, instead of them needing to be inputted into websites by developers.
An SEO tool which allows the comparison of keywords and keyword combinations, in order to determine popularity.
Graphic Interchange Format (GIF)
A graphics file which allows animations to be saved as a single image.
An unconventional marketing strategy that utilises minimum resources for maximum results.
A hashtag is typically used on social media platforms, to indicate the theme or topic area of a post. Viewers can then usually click the hashtag to see related posts.
In marketing, a heatmap is often used to improve conversion rates, as it is a visual representation of user interaction on a webpage. Typically, red areas would indicate high traffic or interaction, whereas blue areas would signify low activity.
The number of requests made for files on a website.
A selectable name for a host or a device on a network, allowing it to be identified.
Often shortened to ‘link’, a hyperlink is an icon, graphic, or text that, once clicked on, transports the user to the linked file or page.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
HTML is the standard markup language for pages displayed on the internet, through a web browser. It is used for pages as a whole, but also for specific elements within a page, such as hyperlinks and tables.
A HTML tag that allows the embedding of web pages inside another web page.
When an advert is displayed to a user.
The number of impressions an ad will receive, against the number of impressions it could receive.
A site is ‘indexed’ if it is included in Google’s list of the web.
A link to your site from another.
A marketing model which is designed to draw customers in instead of pushing messages and content on them. It uses various methods to attract customers, such as content marketing and SEO, with a focus on tailoring to the audience that is desired.
In social media terms, an influencer is someone who possesses a large online following and who is typically useful to brands. Influencers are used to help market products/services, in return for monetary compensation or freebies.
A link on a web page that directs to another page on the same website.
Internet Protocol (IP)
An IP address is assigned to every website and computer connected to the internet. They are then translated into more recognisable web addresses by the DNS (Domain Name System).
Interstitial Web Page
A web page that loads between two content pages, usually to show an ad or confirm the user’s age.
A programming language used to build interactive features on websites.
A word used in a search query. In the context of SEO, keywords help to improve search engine rankings.
Keyword density is the percentage of how many times a certain word appears on a page.
The process of researching keywords and phrases that are relevant to a subject, as well as the competition and popularity when ranking for them.
A ‘Black hat SEO’ technique, where keywords are used excessively throughout content, to improve search engine rankings. The unethical route to improve keyword density.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A predefined value for assessing performance and evaluating the success of an activity.
A knowledge base developed by Google, to enhance search results with information from a variety of different sources.
A web page that acts as a destination page for web visitors, who have clicked on an ad or link. Usually, the aim of a landing page is to convert visitors into customers.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
Latent semantic indexing is a method used by search engines to determine how keywords can be linked to available content. It is used to make information retrieval more accurate.
A potential customer for a business’ product or service. Similarly, lead generation refers to the process of acquiring prospects who may convert into customers.
Content created to attract backlinks from other websites.
The practice of increasing the number of inbound links to a website.
The speed at which backlinks to a website are created.
Using a search engine’s database to identify business listings that are local to or nearby the searcher’s defined location.
Long-tail keywords are specific phrases that contain three or more commonly searched keywords. They are used to target niche demographics.
An ad targeting method that uses an existing audience to target prospects that resemble, or are similar to, that audience.
A HTML tag that when added to text and clicked, opens a new email message to a predefined email address.
A marketing funnel is used to outline the steps that customers go through, from first encountering a business, up until making a purchase.
The description of a web page that appears underneath the website link, in search engine results pages.
HTML snippets that describe the aspects of a web page.
The title of a web page.
Meta tags that instruct search engine web crawlers how to search and index a web page.
Metrics are measures used in the tracking of processes. They tell the story within statistics. In the context of social media, common metrics are likes, shares and comments on posts.
A technique used to stop visitors from leaving a website. Examples include launching pop-ups and disabling the back button of a browser.
A type of ad that matches the platform that it is on, with regards to aesthetics.
The practice of trying to harm a competitor’s rankings in search engines.
A HTML tag that tells search engines not to follow a page or give it any weight when calculating search rankings.
A HTML tag that tells search engines not to index a certain page.
Also called ‘off-site SEO’, it refers to techniques used outside of a website, to improve its search engine ranking. An example is link building.
Also known as ‘on-page SEO’, it refers to techniques used within a website, to improve its search engine ranking.
Open Graph Tag
A HTML code that allows the look of URLs to be controlled when shared on social media.
Typically, when a user elects to receive communication, email or otherwise.
Search query results that haven’t been paid for.
Any unpaid listings that are provided as relevant results for an online search.
Outreach marketing is the method of aiming content at people or institutions that are influential to your target audience. An example of this would be having a blog featured on an influential website in your business’ sector. By doing this, you are getting exposure for your content and helping to build a credible brand image for your business. Additionally, the outreach content will direct readers back to your website via a link.
Any content that has been created by a business or brand.
A Google algorithm that ranks web pages in search results, by their authority level, or the amount and quality of the links that feature.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
An advertising model where only click throughs from an ad, generate a cost.
Pay Per Lead (PPL)
An advertising model where only qualified leads gained from an ad, generate a cost.
In SEO terms, a penalty is when search engines punish a website for breaking guidelines. These can be applied upon algorithmic or human inspection and may result in a drop in rankings or expulsion from rankings altogether.
A type of marketing that revolves around gaining the consent of an audience, before promoting to them.
An illustration of a user or member of a target audience, used to guide marketing campaigns.
Known fully as ‘PHP Hypertext Preprocessor’, PHP is a scripting language that is suited to web development and allows developers to create dynamic content for interaction with databases.
The name given to a tracking code that is usually inserted into websites.
An ad that appears in a new browser window behind the current browser window.
An ad that appears in a new browser window in front of the current browser window.
Private Label Rights (PLR)
In digital marketing, PLR is a license given to digital products that allows users, who didn’t necessarily create the product, to modify, sell and claim the intellectual property rights.
The automated buying and selling of advertising online.
Also known as ‘hyperlocal marketing’, proximity marketing is the distribution of content and advertising to a consumer’ device, based on location. It is intended to stimulate purchasing decisions in real-time.
An estimated measure of the quality and relevancy of an ad, keyword or landing page.
Used by a search engine to determine where a web page should appear in its results pages.
A term used to describe the amount of people that an ad has reached.
When webmasters agree to link to each other’s website.
Directing a user to an alternative page to the one they clicked on.
A technique where a business will retarget or communicate with an audience that has already interacted with them.
Return on Investment (ROI)
ROI is a measure of the efficiency of investments. It is usually expressed as a percentage and is simply the monetary benefit gained from an investment.
Also known as ‘rich results’, a rich snippet is a HTML tag which indicates to search engines, what information a page contains, so that it can appear in search results. It is usually used for pages that feature reviews or recipes.
A file added to a website that instructs web crawlers on which pages they can and can’t crawl.
In SEO, a schema is a code which provides search engines with more clear information about a page. Using semantic vocabulary, it allows an enhanced description of the contents of a web page, which is designed to help search engines return more informative results for queries.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Online marketing activities carried out to increase a website’s ranking and visibility on search engines.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
A common technique used to increase website traffic through the improvement of the ranking of a website in a search engine’s search results.
When terms or keywords are entered into a search engine, results are usually ranked in order of content quality and relevance to the terms entered. SEO works to strengthen the signals sent from a website to the search engines, through the improvement of things like keyword usage, accessibility and content quality.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
The pages returned by search engines, like Google or Bing, when you try in a query.
A technique used by digital marketers to target and communicate with audiences based on their previous searches.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
A digital technology that is designed to encrypt a website, in order to stop hackers and thieves from seeing and stealing the personal data entered by users.
Separating a group of people into smaller homogeneous groups based on a set of criteria. This allows you to meet that groups needs better with your digital content marketing efforts.
Share of Voice (SOV)
A measure of how the marketing activities and brand voice of a business compares to its competitors.
A hyperlink to an alternative web page, on the same website as the one that appears as the main search engine result, on SERPs.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Any marketing activity carried out on social media.
A measurement of a webpage’s shares, likes and overall social media activity, received by search engines.
Often malicious, spam is any electronic communication that is unsolicited.
A term used to describe how much time is spent on a website or viewing a marketing communication.
The visible space that is displayed when a web page has loaded. Above the fold is the space that is visible without scrolling, whereas below the fold is the space that is only visible after scrolling down the page.
Website traffic is the visitors that a website receives. Traffic to a website may originate from many sources, including search engines and social media outlets.
An online ad banner that often mimics a software/operating system message or error, to trick people into clicking it.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
The address of a webpage or resource on the internet.
Unique Selling Point (USP)
A USP is what makes a business unique, in terms products/services or brand. It helps brands stand out against competitors.
In web analytics, a unique visitor is someone who visits a site at least once during a given period.
User Experience (UX)
The experience of the user when interacting with software or a system. It’s also the experience of the user when interacting with a company and its products/services.
User Generated Content (UGC)
Any content which is created and uploaded by guest users, or those who have member accounts, on a website.
User Interface (UI)
The method by which the user interacts with a system, software or machine. UI design refers to the design of software or devices for those systems etc., for the purpose of optimal user experience and usability.
Viral marketing is an approach which promotes consumers to share content or information about a brand, product or service, online. It is used to spread a marketing message quickly and relies on an audience and social media platforms.
A blog in video form.
Voice Search Optimisation (VSO)
VSO refers to the technique used to improve website visibility on search engines, when searches are initiated by voice command.
A web browser is a software application that allows a user to access websites on the internet. Popular examples are Google Chrome, Safari (Apple) and Mozilla Firefox.
Web design consists of using several processes and disciplines to create a website. This includes things like content production, interface design, user experience design and coding.
A web crawler, or spiderbot, is a program that scans websites on the internet, for the purpose of search engine indexing. Google’s main crawler is Googlebot, while Bing’s is Bingbot.
A web host is the organisation that provides the storage and necessary services for a website to be viewed on the internet.
The internet version of a seminar.
The webmaster is the person who organises and maintains a website. If it’s not the owner, the webmaster may refer to developers or administrators.
Webmaster tools provide information on your website’s status on search engines. Popular webmaster tools are provided by Google and Bing.
A categorised list of websites.
This concerns the ease by which visitors are able to use and access what they’re looking for on a website.
White Hat SEO
The opposite of ‘Black Hat SEO’, White Hat SEO is the use of techniques to improve site ranking, that are ethical and in line with the guidelines of search engines.
White papers are detailed reports designed to educate audiences on specific topics. They usually contain vast amounts of research and statistics, while providing solutions to specific issues. In marketing, white papers can be a great way of attracting interest from target consumers, by focusing on problems that they may face or may be facing. They are also sometimes used by businesses to inform audiences about certain aspects of their trade.
Also known as a screen blueprint, a website wireframe is a visual plan of a website page, documenting where website elements will exist.
This method of marketing is used by organisations to motivate customers to talk about their products, services or brand. Similar to viral marketing, it relies on audience interaction and will usually be triggered by customer experience.
An XML sitemap is a list of website page URLs, that informs search engines which pages are available for crawling.
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