News and insights • Posted on 22 May 2019

Digital Marketing Jargon Buster

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer well-versed in the world of digital or you’re just finding your feet, the industry’s ever-growing glossary of terminology can be a minefield to navigate. Here, we’ve collated some of the most commonly used words and phrases at TBB Towers to give you a better understanding of what we’re talking about when discussing how you can increase your visibility online or strengthen engagement with your audience.

301 redirect. The term used to describe a permanent redirect from one URL to another when a page has been moved to a new location. This redirect will automatically send a visitor to a URL different to the one they typed into their browser.

302 redirect. While a 301 signifies a permanent move, a 302 redirect is only a temporary move. These are put in place usually while a website is going through maintenance.

404. An error page to show a webpage cannot be found.

Anchor text. Clickable text (a hyperlink) that takes the user through to another page that’s deemed relevant to what they’re reading and will enhance their customer journey.

Analytics. Where website data is analysed in terms of visitors, their time spent on the site and any activity carried out in an attempt to shape upcoming strategy.

Affiliate. An advertising partner that helps to drive leads, calls or sales to your website in exchange for a commission or pay out. They usually take a percentage of the value of a sale or a set payment for each conversion. For example, 10% of a sale or £20 per lead.

Assisted conversion. A conversion driven by more than one channel. For example, a user visits a website via organic, social and paid traffic before converting into a lead or sale. The organic and social channel assisted the conversion.

Attribution. A process that sees credit divided between channels in terms of their role in influencing the customer journey.

Backlink. Another website links to a page on your site as it sees you as a credible source.

Banner ad. Also known as a web banner, a banner ad is a form of display advertising. It’s usually image-based and links to the website of the advertiser when clicked.

Blog. A regularly updated section of a website, sometimes referred to as ‘news’, that features articles typically fairly conversational in style.

Bounce rate (BR). Expressed as a percentage, this is the number of visitors who leave the site without looking at any other pages.

Breadcrumb. A style of website navigation that makes it easy to understand whereabouts on a site you are. Breadcrumbs usually appear at the top of a page and have feature links to different levels of the website’s hierarchy.

Call to action (CTA). A line of text, a button or icon that instructs visitors to your site to take action. A CTA can be something as simple as ‘buy now’ or ‘get in touch for more information’.

Channels. A group of traffic sources with the same medium. For example: the ‘organic’ channel consists of organic traffic from Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Click-through rate (CTR). This refers to a ratio explaining how often the people who see an ad are clicking on it. It’s a measure of how well an advert is

Cononical. A tag (“rel canonical”) used to inform search engines that a particular page is a close copy of another page found on the same site. The canonical tag points the search engine to the original page. These help to prevent search engines from penalising your site for duplicate content.

Content management system (CMS).  A web platform that allows editing of a website’s content without needing developer experience. We frequently use WordPress and Magento.

Content marketing. Reaching out to customers and prospects with engaging, high-quality content that’s useful as part of an overarching marketing strategy. Content can incorporate anything from blog posts and how-to guides to images, videos and podcasts. Content marketing is about creating brand awareness and advocacy and its success is often measured by engagement, reach, traffic and social shares etc.

Conversion. The successful completion of an action you want visitors to perform. For example: a sale, email sign-up or survey completion.

Conversion rate (CR). Shown as a percentage, this is a metric that shows how many of a site’s visitors are completing a specific goal.

Conversation rate optimisation (CRO). Optimising a site when analytics show a low conversion rate in an attempt to increase that figure and achieve more conversions.

Cost per click (CPC). The amount you are willing to pay for each click on your ad. The cost per click is determined by the bid you set, for example: £0.50 cost per click.

Cost per conversion. The average cost per website conversion. A metric usually used when analysing the performance of an ad campaign, calculated by dividing the cost by the number of conversions driven.

Customer relationship management (CRM). A system that’s used to manage a company’s communication and interaction with clients or customers.

Desktop. A device that’s not mobile. For example: a PC or laptop.

Direct traffic. Traffic that lands on the site from people typing the website address directly into the address bar, avoiding a search engine and any other channel.

Display advertising. Adverts that appear on Google’s ’display network’, which is a collection of websites that allow advertising.

Domain authority. A search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank and is based on factors like domain age and the number of links pointing to the site. A higher score increases the probability of ranking well.

Domain name. This is your website name. It’s the address where users can access your website. For example:

Duplicate content. Copy (or any content) that appears in more than one place or on several different pages. Content should be unique to your own site and not copied. Search engines flag duplicate content and can penalise your website if you copy content directly from elsewhere.

Ecommerce. The sale of products or services online.

Email marketing. Using email as a platform to communicate business messaging, share information and promote products or services.

Google Ads. Formerly Google Adwords, this advertising service allows brands to pay to display advertisements, product listings and video content etc within the search results pages.

Google Search Console. A free service provided by Google that allows you to check the indexing status of your website and make improvements to increase its visibility. Search Console is also useful for flagging up and troubleshooting potential errors before they impact a site.

Google Tag Manager. A free tag management tool provided by Google. It helps you to conveniently manage JavaScript and HTML tags (used for tracking and analytics), from one central place. Tag Manager is also useful for setting up event tracking, to measure the performance of your site.

H1 tag. Short for the ‘header tag’, an H1 is usually the title of a post and so has the most importance in terms of SEO. A best practice H1 tag effectively communicates and emphasises the whole point of the piece – it’s the overall indicator of what the page is about and so should use the most relevant keywords.

H2 tag. A secondary header or a subheading. For even further division within copy, H3 and H4 tags are used.

Heatmap. A more visual representation of data with the help of colours. Heat maps help visualise how people use a site, how far they scroll and where they click and interact with a page.

Home page. The main landing page of a website is the home page – the introductory section of the site.

HTML. Hypertext markup language is simple code structures used by web developers in the creation of web sites.

Impressions. Also known as a view or ad view, impression is the term used when a user sees the advertisement. Impressions don’t refer to an action.

Impression share. The percentage of impressions that your ad has received out of the total number of available impressions. The higher the impression share, the more frequently your ad shows.

Indexing. After a search engine has crawled web pages, it then organises the information, enabling the most relevant pages to appear in the search results.

Keywords. The ideas and topics on which content strategy is loosely based. In SEO, keywords are the words and phrases people are entering into search engines and by doing keyword research, businesses can attempt to target certain keywords in their content campaigns.

Machine learning. A type of artificial intelligence that trains a machine on how to learn and improve automatically of its own accord. Search engines integrate machine learning into their search algorithms to more accurately rank websites.

Organic listings. Within a search engine’s results page, organic listings are the web pages that most closely match users’ search queries as they’re the most relevant. Often referred to as ‘natural listings’, these are the ‘free’ positions in a search engine, which usually sit underneath paid positions. In terms of SEO, it’s all about meeting users’ needs and clinching those top spots in as natural a way as possible.

Paid search. This is advertising that appears within the listings of a search engine, usually at the top and ahead of the organic results. Brands pay to appear at the top of the search engine results page.

Pay-per-click (PPC). An online advertising model in which advertisers pay to have their adverts appear within the search engine results page. To appear within the results for a particular search term, marketers bid against each other for that phrase. PPC is how much you’re willing to pay each time a searcher clicks on your ad.

Plug in. Also known as an add in or add on, this is a software component that can be added to an existing computer program to enhance its features.

Ranking. The position of the listing on a search engine results page.

Real-time bidding (RTB). The buying and selling of ad space through auctions that occur in real time, as a web page loads. RTB usually costs less than typical ad formats and benefits advertisers who want to cherry-pick specific ad impressions.

Responsive web design. The term given to a website that can be viewed across all screens and devices. The content can resize according to the screen it’s being viewed on.

Retargeting. Showing ads to people who have previously visited your website. The aim is to re-engage the audience with your brand and drive a sale or conversion.

Return on investment (ROI). A performance measure that attempts to assess how much of a profit an investment has gained in relation to its cost. The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio.

Search algorithm. A set of mathematical rules that search engines use to determine the ranking of a website. Google periodically updates its algorithm – each update is usually given a name. Notable ones include: Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird.

Search engine. A website that indexes billions of pages and produces the ones most relevant to your search, listing them out on the search engine results page. Search engines commonly used include Google and Bing.

Search engine optimisation (SEO). The process of optimising your website via keyword research and other considerations so it can be easily indexed by search engines to provide a chance of more visibility. Search engines use indexed information to return the most relevant results for the searcher.

Search engine results page (SERP). The listings that appear in a search engine based on a user’s search query.

Search volume. The number of searches a keyword is estimated to receive, typically on a monthly basis. A higher search volume indicates more user interest, which usually results in higher competition when trying to rank on the first page.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Technology that creates an encrypted link between your browser and the website you’re visiting. SSLs allow you to browse a site with peace of mind that it is secure and doesn’t pose a risk to your security (when entering payment details, for example).

Sessions. The number of website visits within a date range. A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website. All usage data (screen views, events, ecommerce etc) is associated with a single session.

Traffic. Visitors to your site. This is also known as ‘sessions’.

Unique sessions. The number of website visits on a per user basis. For example, a user visits a site once and then again later in the day, which counts as two unique sessions.

User experience (UX). All web design should work to offer as great a user experience as possible i.e help the user carry out their goal in the most efficient and enjoyable manner. UX requires more than just great visuals though. Elements like site speed, content offering and relevancy, calls to action and responsiveness should all be considered – if they’re not quite right, it’ll affect user experience.  

User-generated content (UGC). Any piece of content that has been created by users of the site. For example, YouTube features user-generated content.

Visibility. A metric that indicates how ‘well seen’ a website is in a search engine’s organic listings. More visibility usually results in more organic traffic being driven to the site.

Web hosting. A service that enables people to post a website or web pages. A hosting company will store and serve a website.

Still unclear on your H tags, analysis metrics or SEO? Get in touch – we’d be more than happy to talk you through it.

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Written by Andy McCaul

Co-founder and digital marketing guru Andy ensures all projects are shipshape, and that we generate the best return on investment for clients.

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