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Want to be a Digital Marketing Super Star? 26 Letters is All You Need

The ABCs of Digital Marketing

Your Handy Guide to Important Digital Marketing Terms, Alphabetized

Welcome to the world of Digital Marketing! Like all communities, digital marketers have their own language when they talk about their work. We’ve compiled every acronym and term that digital marketers use most to help you keep your vocabulary up to date. Don’t get lost in the jargon. We’ve got you covered and in alphabetical order.

A is for…

Application: There are two main types of applications. A Mobile Application, commonly called an app, is any program designed to run on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. A Web Application, or web app, is a client-server software application where the user interface runs in a web browser. Tools like Blaze, wikis, or platforms that support eCommerce sites, are all examples. 

Fun Fact: There is no correlation between number of apps maintained and having one’s life together.

B is for…

Banner Ad: A form of online advertisement found on desktop and mobile, usually in image format. Largely seen as annoying and ironically slated for banishment if they can’t behave.

Do Not Confuse With: Banner years, Banners that wave, Bruce Banner  

Blog: Content written for a website, usually in a conversational style, and updated regularly with keywords to drive traffic. These posts typically focus on a particular subject matter or service. Often timely, blogs are usually written, published, and read relatively quickly (as opposed to site content like product pages, which remain live for months or years).

Movie Quote: ‘You best start believing in blogs, Ms. Turner. You’re in one.’

Browser: The digital tool you use to navigate the internet, both on mobile and desktop. Examples include Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

National Holiday: AOL Remembrance Day remains on hold because Linda won’t get off of the phone.

is for…

Click Through Rate (CTR): The number of times users click on an item of interest, like an advertisement, in comparison to the number of impressions (foreshadowing!)

For Example: While playing Racquetball, the number of times the ball hits you in the face would be the Hit Through Rate. The number of times you actually saw the ball would be the impression.  

Content: Any digital material provided on a website. This includes text-based content like blogs, company bios, product descriptions, and other informational copy. Content also covers images, video, and audio (which is often used to supplement text-based copy).

Do Not Confuse With: Feeling content, otherwise known as contentment, because that does not exist.

Conversion: An action taken by a persuaded user to engage directly with the website. Examples of this include eCommerce purchases, form submissions, and phone calls. Conversion Optimization is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors who convert. Conversion Rate is the ratio of conversions to visits, often used to measure digital performance.

Other Entities With High Rates of Conversion: Theatres bringing Hamilton to town, any team playing against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of a pot dispensary, etc.

C is excessive…

Cost Per Click (CPC): The amount of money required to produce a single click on a digital advertisement. CPC calculation is by the ratio of clicks to money spent.

Otherwise Known As: Marketing Department tears

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): An ad payment that charges based on the value of impression (per 1,000 impressions) as opposed to clicks measured with the CPM.

Say It With Me Now: Location, location, location.

Crawler: A program that visits websites and reads their code to create entries for a search engine index (such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo). These programs are also called spiders or bots. Crawlers programming are for sites submitted by their owners as new or updated. They visit entire sites or specific pages, indexing each one. These programs are so named because they crawl through a site one page at a time, following the links to other pages on the site until they have finished reading all of them.

For Visual Reference:  Your baby has learned how to crawl and this action has caused you to see your home in a brand new light, namely as the hellish death trap it truly is, thereby inspiring you to make some significant changes.     

D is for…

Desktop: A non-mobile computing device like a personal or laptop computer.

Do Not Confuse With: The desktop that the desktop is on, meaning the top of a desk, being the desktop and a common place where one can find or put a desktop. This name could have used more thought.

E is for…

eCommerce: Everything related to the sale of products and services online falls under this term. This includes applications, analytics, and strategy to reach more customers. Some examples of eCommerce platforms include Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Movie Quote: ‘We are now the Knights who say ‘EtsyEtsyEtsykabangWooCommerceMagentoShopifiy’

E-mail Marketing: The process of using mass email messages to share information and to promote products and services. This is often done by collecting email addresses through a web form on the site in order for users to ‘subscribe’. Email marketing is often automated, firing off a targeted email after someone takes an action on your website.

Can Also Be: A way to feel like your favorite store is your personal friend, who really does care that it’s your birthday.

F is for…

I think we all know what word belongs here.

G is for…

Google Analytics: A free analytics service offered by Google that shows acquisition and behaviors on your website. A variety of measurements can inform a marketer of a site’s strengths and weaknesses. With Google Analytics, users can review general website performance, pain points and pages that need help, traffic channels, and the success of campaigns.

Also Known As: The poor man’s Mixpanel.  

H is for…

Homepage: The introductory or main page of a website.

Flashback: Remember Homestar Runner? This has nothing to do with homepage, I just wanted you to remember him.

HTML (Hypertext Mark-Up Language): A language used by web developers to create websites. It is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphics, and hyperlink effects on web pages.

Flashforward: In the future, HTML will be an acronym used by youth to mean Hip To My Loo  

I is for…

Impressions: The number of times one user sees a displayed advertisement. Commonly found on websites, Google searches, and Facebook, every time a viewer sees an ad on a site, that is one impression. Ad clicks or conversions are unnecessary to make an impression.

Nugget of Wisdom: Outside the internet, you only get one chance to make a great impression. Unless it involves amnesia.

Index: A searchable catalogue of web pages and digital content used by search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to provide relevant results.

Also: A finger. But not the finger.

J is for…

Java: A programming language used to create applications that can run on a digital device. It’s scripting language sibling, Javascript, is only used in web browsers.

Fun Fact: The word ‘java’ is now infamous thanks to Brendan Fraser and his critically acclaimed turn as George of the Jungle. Though he was high on coffee and not on code.

K is for…

Keyword: A word or phrase indicative of the main theme of a piece of content. How often a keyword appears on a webpage in comparison to other words refers to keyword density. Keyword stuffing is when a keyword is too often used, and in an attempt to manipulate search engines. This unnatural use of keywords can land your website with a penalty.

You Know That Feeling: When you’re trying to explain something to someone and they stare at you blankly and you feel like you’re losing your mind until all of a sudden you say a specific word and their eyes light up and they say “Ohhhhh!!” because they finally get it?  That magic word was a keyword.

L is for…

Landing Page: The first page on a website that a user sees. This is not necessarily the homepage of that website. It could be a form to subscribe to emails or a display of top sellers for an eCommerce store. The homepage remains accessible but it is not the first place visited when users access the site.

For Example: If The Wet Bandits were breaking into your home through your kitchen, that would not be the proper home entrance but it would be the first part of your house they would see before their heads were aflame.

Link: A text or image that transitions users from one web page or website to another.


M is for…

Mobile Device: A smartphone or tablet capable of browsing the internet or loading applications.

PSA: To seek help with your mobile device addiction…set it down.

N is for…

Nofollow: An HTML link attribute that communicates to web crawlers and search engines that the link to the destination web page should not transfer SEO equity. Any link that has been “unnaturally” acquired (monetarily) should have a nofollow tag.

Just Like: That sign that said “I’d Turn Back If I Were You” that only the Cowardly Lion was smart enough to respect.

Newsfeed: The central hub on social media, made up of posts from friends and followers. It is consistently and constantly updated.

Also Known As: The most consistent cause of despair and agony on a daily basis.

O is for…

Organic Listings: Sometimes referred to as organic search results or natural listings, these are results from searches that are not paid advertisements. Keywords pair a user’s search with an appropriate piece of content. The user finds the site naturally. 

Just So You Know: These listings are also cage and chemical free, grown in the freshest of fresh locations and treated humanely.

P is for…

Paid Listings: Advertisements that appear on search engines’ results pages based on particular keywords or demographics. They are often found at the top of search results.

In Other Words: The search results with the word ‘ad’ underneath that you will scroll past to click on the same link without the word ‘ad’.

Pay Per Click (PPC): A type of paid listing in which advertisers pay when users click their ads. This is essentially a way of buying visits to a site, rather than attempting to ‘earn’ visits from organic listings.

I’m Not Saying: It’s like an escort or anything….

Q is for…

Query: Also called a search term, this is a keyword or phrase that a user types into a search engine in order to find a product, service, or an answer to a question.

It’s How People Talk: When they are trying to win Jeopardy.

R is for…

Ranking: A listing’s position on a search results pages, both natural and paid.

Origin Story: The invention of Facebook centered around the college male’s desire to rank girls based on their attractiveness. Isn’t that something fun to recall now?

S is for…

Search Engine: A tool that indexes and returns relevant digital content in response to users’ keywords. Popular search engines include Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

A Limerick: There once was a guy named Jeeves

      Who would answer whatever you please

      Until Google and Bing

      Said We’ve got this thing

      And Jeeves could do nothing but leave

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in natural and paid search engine results, often using keywords.

Best Friend Tough Love: “Look, I’m not saying you should change yourself for other people, I’m just saying that maybe some SEO would help you land an actual date.”

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): Although SEM can refer to both paid and organic search, it traditionally only refers to paid (think Google Adwords). Marketers bid for their ads to appear with search results for keywords that users are typing in. This form of advertising allows users searching for services to see relevant businesses. Marketers provide a daily budget based on how often the ad displays in a day, while daily ad engagement and allotted funds determine how many impressions the ad gets.

It’s Kind of Like: ebay….but not.

Oh, yeah, still on S…

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The list of results appearing in a search engine in response to the user’s search query.

Fun Fact: The most common phrase uttered after the appearance of the SERP is ‘I have regrets.’

Session: Sometimes called a visit, this is how much traffic a website gets within a given time frame. A single session can contain multiple screen or page views, events, social interactions, and eCommerce transactions.

Just Like: Therapy…but not as limited and less likely to end abruptly in the middle of a sobbing lag.

Social Media: Content such as text, images, or videos created by individuals, shared across the internet, often on social networks.

Everyone’s Favorite Disease: Where you won’t freak out if you hear the word ‘viral’.

Social Network: A community of individuals creating and sharing social media on programs such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Also: An award-winning film. Jesse Eisenberg took home the prize for most words spoken in under 30 seconds.

T is for…

Traffic Acquisition: The process of attracting visitors, often referred to as traffic, to websites, mobile apps, and other digital assets.

The Truth:  It’s our Bat Signal.  We have a Bat Signal.

U is for…

Unique Visitor: A single visitor to a website during a specific period of time, or session.

Often Thought As: The One! That special person that sparkles with glitter! Maybe it’s you!

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The unique address of a page or piece of digital content on the internet.

So Unique: That if you mistype one letter, Lord knows where you’ll end up…but certainly not where you meant to be.

V is for…

Visitor: A user of a website over a particular period of time. In a given time frame there are new visitors (those there for the first time) and returning visitors (those who have already browsed during this period).

But Not: Unique. Just there. With no glitter. Maybe it’s you.

W is for…

Webinar: A online seminar used to educate, train, or sell to viewers who signed up for the presentation.

A Place For Us: Who like to learn of the things and on the internet for the learning.

White Hat: Ethical digital marketers who don’t participate in work viewed as unethical or as spam.

Did You Know?: A White Hat, never spotted in the wild, leads to some believing them to be a myth. But I believe.

Wireframe: A cursory layout drawing of a webpage that acts as the first step in the design process.

Do Not Confuse With: Regretful choice of glasses.

X is for…

XML: Or eXtensible Markup Language, it is similar to HTML as it is primarily used to categorize various data for more effective use. XML allows for customizable tags

for marking up information that would be otherwise difficult for computers to understand. For example, it is frequently used to build sitemaps. 

Or Could It Be: The New Crossfit? Because XML sounds just like an exercise program I do not want to do because I have Netflix.

Y is for…

YouTube: A video sharing website, now owned by Google and part of their ad network. It is the 2nd most used search engine in the world.

Guess What: I know you’re thinking about your favorite video on YouTube and now you’re going to go watch it. #mindreader

Z is for…

Zapier: A web-based service that allows end users to integrate the web applications they use (such as GitHub and Slack) and is often described as a translator for web APIs. This allows data to remain consistent across applications.

Rhymes With: Rapier, which is a sword and not an action.


You did it! It takes real commitment to be a cracker jack digital marketer. By making it all the way to the letter Z, you’ve proven yourself up for the task. Now grab a beer and get to marketing!  


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