What does it all mean? Digital marketing common terminology


Digital marketing common terminology

Have you ever found yourself wanting to investigate your options for increasing your digital marketing initiatives but there’s just too much jargon to get your head around? You’re not alone; even we get stumped with digital marketing terminology from time to time and have to Google it ourselves.

In this article, we’ve put together a straightforward, plain English set of explanations for a number of terms we think could be useful to you or that you’ll come across during your digital marketing journey. Hopefully this will assist to move you from 'bored and disengaged' to 'wow, that makes sense now'.

For ease, our list is in alphabetical order; which means it’s not necessarily in order of priority.


A set of rules used for making calculations. In the digital world, all platforms (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc) use algorithms to determine, for example, how to serve content to you; what type of content and the regularity. It’s important to note that algorithms change regularly and you’re not always informed when there are major changes.

Alt Text – Alternative Test

Code added to images and non-text items on your website so search engines can read what the item is – often used for vision impaired internet users but also used for keyword search results.


Each platform you use for your social media marketing along with Google as a search engine, retains data on the performance of your account. You can investigate this analytical data on any account you have assuming you have set up, for example your website, appropriately to record this data.


A link from one website through to your own website. Backlinks are used by Google for SEO ranking. The more quality backlinks you have, the better results you will get in searches.

Black Hat Marketing

A common term for guerrilla marketing – unethical digital marketing techniques. If you use Black Hat Marketing your can be heavily penalised by Google, including having your website removed from search results altogether.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors to your website that leave immediately without clicking through to another page or interacting with your site in any way.


A trail of navigation links to show users where they are on a website.

For example, if you’ve entered a home page, then gone to products and then a specific product, a site may show you a breadcrumb string like “home>products>product ABC”


The art of publishing content that is sensationalist and entices readers to click on it when the final content is not necessarily what the title or snippet suggested. Clickbait is often misleading and social media channels and search engines are continuously change algorithms to counter clickbait publishing.


Anything you put on your website or social media channels – text, images, rich media, videos, infographics etc


A piece of software that scans all websites to look for new or changed content so that search engines can update their index of sites and site content.

CTRClick Through Rate

The number of times a person clicks on a piece of content which results in them ending up at a destination intended by the link.

CMSContent Management System

A system or piece of software where all your content is drafted, edited and finally published. For example, your website will have a content management system (often referred to as the backend) where all your content from text to images to video etc sits and you can collate it into pages for publication.


When a visitor to your site takes an action that you have set in place. For example, clicking on posts or articles where it says “click to buy”, “register now”, “book now”, “download this e-book”.

Cover Photo

Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc, have the option for you to insert a large format image as the main image in your profile. Cover photos can be changed at any point and are often used to promote a specific item or product or event.

DM – Direct Message

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have forms of direct messaging although they may be called different things. It is a mechanism for sending a message to someone outside the public domain.

eDM – Electronic Direct Marketing

The process of building an email database for the purpose of marketing via email.

Engagement Rate

A calculation involving the number of followers you have on a particular platform divided by the number of people who saw your social media post and engaged with it (like, share, comment, retweet etc.).


Tagging photos, videos and messages with a location often using GPS from your smartphone.

GIF – Graphics Interchange Format

A file type that support both static and animated images

Google My Business

An important free Google product that allows businesses to input their business information to be found on Google search, Google maps and other Google products. Businesses can enter their name, services, hours of operations, apply images, video etc. A businesses Google Reviews will also appear here.

Hashtag - #

A way to highlight a word or string of words (with no spacing between them) on social media platforms to allow people to search those words or terms.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language

A set of codes that tell a search engine how to display a particular webpage.


Code that creates a link from a piece of text to either another webpage or email address or downloadable document.


Put simply, a person with a social media profile with a very large reach; for example many followers or a very high engagement rate. They are usually very passionate about a specific topic or brand ambassadors for a product or service.

Keyword / Keyword Phrase

Words or phrases that form the primary basis of a piece of content. When a user enters search terms, the primary words in that search are the keywords. Website owners need to ensure they use keywords specific to their industry, services or products, evenly and consistently across all pages on their website. Note – if you use your keywords too much (for example, the text no longer flows), this called keyword stuffing and you can be penalised for this, including having your website banned from showing up in search results.

Landing Page

The page a searcher lands on when they click the link the search results page.

META Tags / HTML Title Tags

Snippets added to webpage code that provide search engines with information that allows them to choose which webpages to show on a results page – depending on what search terms (keywords) the searcher entered into the browser. After results show in a Google search, HTML Tags are the writing in bold and dark blue on the first line of the search results.  HTML Title Tags should be entered manually in the backend of your website at the time you prepare to publish a new page. An HTML title tag should be approximately 50 to 65 characters in length.

META Description

A further snippet of information that appears under an HTML Title Tag result providing the searcher with more information about the page they may choose to visit. META descriptions should be entered manually in the backend of your website at the time you prepare to publish a new page. A META Description should be about 150-165 characters in length. (NOTE: in December 2017, Google increased META description length to about 300 characters but in May 2018 they reverted to the 150-165 length).

Organic Reach

The reach your website or social media channels can achieve without paid or sponsored advertising.

Paid Reach

The reach your website or social media channels have after applying paid or sponsored advertising to them.


A misleading communication aimed to fraudulently obtain personal details/data from your online activity. It is also used for spreading malware or viruses.


The process of registering visitors to your website (without their knowledge) by placing a tracking tag on your site. You can then retarget those visitors on your other marketing platforms, like Facebook. For example, if you visit a chocolate shop website which has the tracking tags on it, they can then place paid advertising on their Facebook page indicating that they want their ad to appear in your Facebook feed.

RSS – Rich Site Summary

An option to syndicate web content. Readers or visitors to a website (a blog or news stream for example) can choose to subscribe to the RSS feed to automatically receive updates through a news reader or aggregator.

RT - Retweet

Used in Twitter and means “ReTweet” – the action of selecting another person’s tweet and tweeting it yourself so it appears in your own home feed.

Schema Markup

Code that is added to the backend of your website to give search engines all the information they need about your business, what it does, it’s products, it’s people etc. It is also referred to as structured data. Websites with Schema Markup perform much better than those without.


A dark art - half art/half science. Read our blog “What is SEO?

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

The list of pages that show up in Google (or other search engine) once a visitor has entered their search terms.


A common term for the portion of a URL that comes after the “.com”, “” etc.

For example, your homepage may be "". But if someone visits the Contact Us part of your website, they will go to " 

In this example, “Contact-Us” is the slug.


An online user who makes offensive or annoying posts or comments with the primary aim to upset others or provoke outrage or violence.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator

The location of a page on the world wide web. In search engines the URL is located at the top of the page. For example the long form URL for Google is

UX – User Experience

Refers to the experience visitors have when they visit your website; how they interact. Things that effect a user experience include poor layout, broken links, limited navigation, no images etc.

Web 2.0

The second development of the world wide web when pages, for the most part, shifted from being static to being dynamic.

White Hat Marketing

In direct contrast to Black Hat Marketing, White Hat is ethical digital marketing.


A layout (often in a static format, for example as a jpg or an excel spreadsheet) which forms the first stage of a design of a website.

301 Redirect

A code in the backend of a website to permanently redirect a visitor from one web page to another.

404 Error

An error message users receive when a page they are trying to visit no longer exists. This is a perfect time for the website owner to put a 301 Redirect (see above) in place.

That’s our list done for now.

If you’re finding it too onerous or too foreign to try and work through your digital marketing plans and initiatives yourself, that’s what we’re here for.

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Looking for assistance with any aspect of your digital marketing? We'd love to help.

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