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A Simple English Digital Marketing Glossary

Digital marketing is a crucial field for pretty much every business in the modern world. But what do you do if you’ve been fighting the techy tide for a while now? What do you do if you don’t exactly get on with technology? If the barrage of arcane-sounding digital marketing jargon makes your head spin,…

If you don’t get on with technology, then digital marketing jargon can seem like a bit of a minefield. Don’t worry, this handy-dandy glossary is just for you. We’ll help you get to grips with some of the more common terminology, so you can get more out of advertising online!Digital marketing is a crucial field for pretty much every business in the modern world. But what do you do if you’ve been fighting the techy tide for a while now? What do you do if you don’t exactly get on with technology?

If the barrage of arcane-sounding digital marketing jargon makes your head spin, then we’ve got your back with this handy digital marketing jargon-buster. Let’s get stuck in!


This is Google’s “pay per click” advertising platform wherein companies pay Google to show a text-based ad alongside organic (non-paid) search results for specific search terms. These ads are shown with an [Ad] icon on the search results page. (See Also: Pay Per Click (PPC))

Alt Text

Short for Alternative Text. This text is coded alongside images that show within webpages. It acts as a description of what’s going on in the picture, chiefly for visually impaired users. Alt text also acts as a “meta description” for images, and can be seen by search engines to play a part in ranking. (See Also: Meta Description, Ranking).


Analytics tools give you valuable information about how people are using and accessing your online media. One good example is the Google Analytics platform, which allows you to access reports about how visitors discovered your website and how they interacted with it once they were there.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

This is the percentage of times a link or ad was clicked out of all the times it was shown. For example if an ad was displayed 100 times and 5 people clicked it, that ad has a CTR of 5%.


This refers to any kind of easily consumable and shareable online media that can be viewed, read, watched, or otherwise interacted with somehow. Blog posts, videos, images, podcasts, animations, and infographics are all good examples of content.

Content Marketing

This refers to the practice of promoting an organisation through the creation and sharing of relevant branded content. (See Also: Content)

Conversion (or “Goal”)

This is basically an ideal action that you want those on your website to complete. Making a purchase on an ecommerce site, filling in a contact form, or subscribing to a mailing list are all good examples of conversions.

Conversion Rate

A percentage expressing the ratio of successful conversions compared to total visits. For example, say your website received 100 visits, out of which there were 3 instances of people carrying out the specific “conversion” action. This action would therefore have a conversion rate of 3%.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

The amount of money that needs to be/has been spent in order to achieve an individual click on a pay per click ad. (See Also: Pay Per Click (PPC))

Digital Marketing

The umbrella term to refer to online marketing practices as a whole, including SEO, content marketing, pay per click, social media, and generally promoting a business’s or individual’s profile online.

Domain Authority

This is a score out of 100 that plays a part in determining where a site should sit in search results. It’s effectively a score of how trustworthy your site appears to search engines.


Short for “electronic commerce”, this refers to any businesses or business practices that exchange goods or services online. An online retailer is a good example of an e-commerce business.

Email Marketing

Using email to reach potential customers with the aim of encouraging sales and generally nurturing interest in your brand. (See Also: “Subscribers”)


This refers to the number of times a link or advert is shown. If your advert is shown 1000 times, that equates to 1000 impressions for that ad.


A phrase within your content that refers to the core topic or theme, usually with the aim of having the page show up in search results for those who are looking for information about that topic.

Keyword Density

A percentage indicating the amount of times a given keyword appears in a webpage or piece of text.

Landing Page

This is the first page that somebody sees on your site; the page they “land” on following a search, by clicking a link, or following an advert. This isn’t necessarily always your home page.

Meta Description

This is a brief 300-character summary of a webpage which plays a part in search visibility. The short description that displays below the blue link in search results is usually taken from the page’s meta description.


These are data points that you may collect about your website or online marketing efforts. Click Through Rate, Conversion Rate, Number of Sessions, and Number of Impressions are all good examples of metrics.


A term to describe search results or web traffic that has been achieved without paid means. Appearing in “regular” search results is organic, whereas appearing via a pay per click ad is not.


A pageview refers to a single instance of someone accessing an individual page on your website.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

This is a model of online advertising where companies pay a small fee each time someone clicks on their advert. The listings marked [Ad] near the top of Google searches are displayed as part of a PPC system called Google AdWords. (See Also: AdWords, Cost Per Click (CPC))


Where a website shows in search results for a given search term. If you’re optimising your site to show higher up in the search results when people type in a given search term, you are looking to “increase your site’s ranking” for that search term.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The practice of optimising your website’s content to improve search visibility. The goal is to have your site appear as close as possible to the top of the search results for the most appropriate terms.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

When you perform a search in a search engine, the SERP is the page that lists your search results.

Search Term (or “Search Query”)

This is the technical term for the phrase a user types into a search engine to find information; for example “tree surgeon shrewsbury”, or “what are the names of Saturn’s moons”.


A session refers to a single visit to your site. A user may visit multiple pages on your site in a single sitting, but it still counts as one session.


A subscriber is someone who has given permission for a company to send them marketing messages, usually by email.

[bctt tweet=”Struggling with #digitalmarketing jargon? Check out this easy to follow glossary!” username=”yellbusiness”]

It’s over to you – what digital marketing terms do you struggle with? Are there any on this list you feel need further explanation? Did any of the above definitions surprise you? We want to hear from you – please share your thoughts down in the comments!

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