20 Digital Marketing Terms Defined


The language of marketing has changed. As marketing continues to evolve in the digital age, new terms pop up and old terms take on new meanings. To help you wade through the constantly expanding language of digital marketing, we’ve defined 20 of the most commonly used terms.

1. Attribution

The process of determining which part of your marketing campaign is having the greatest impact. For example, which component of your campaign is the driving factor in the consumer’s purchase decision?

2. Audience

The group of people you have identified as the target customers for your brand. In digital marketing, “audience” usually refers to the consumers you choose to target for your social media ad campaigns.

3. Bounce Rate

The number of people, expressed as a percentage, who visit your website but leave without taking further action. A high bounce rate can indicate that your content is not relevant, your website is difficult to navigate, or any of a number of other issues, and generally leads to a poor conversion rate.

4. Business Blogging

Informal online articles published on your company’s website. Posts are generally short-form content relating to your business and/or industry that drive traffic to your website and support business growth. Blog posts can help your website in search engine rankings through the inclusion of keywords and because each blog post adds another page to your website.

5. Call-to-action

A button or other type of link that sends prospects to a landing page, converting them into a lead. Typically, a CTA will use a phrase such as “Download our free report” or “Click here for more information.”

6. Dynamic Content

Display of different information based on what you know about the visitor. For example, first-time visitors may see a top-of-the-funnel offer while current customers or those already in your database may see content designed to build a deeper relationship.

7. Form

A portion of your landing page or website where customers can provide contact information or request more information on your company or product. Your form is the means by which you convert visitors into leads.

8. Friction

Anything on your website that is confusing, distracting, or causes visitors to leave. Examples of things that may cause friction are colors that clash or make content difficult to read, confusing navigation, disruptive popups, and forms with too many fields.

9. Hashtag

A word or phrase that ties conversations together on social media. Hashtags facilitate indexing of social media posts and make them searchable, so it’s easier for users to find messages with a specific theme.

10. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A type of measurement to evaluate your campaign’s success. KPIs enable you to track your progress toward marketing goals. Examples include the number of new signups for your newsletter, how many new people visited your website, and the sources of website traffic. The exact KPIs you measure depends on your marketing goals.

11. Keyword

The words or phrases that are indexed for a web page on search engines. These are the words that people are typing in and that help them find your website through organic search. Choose keywords that align with your target audience and include those words or phrases in your website content.

12. Landing Page

A website page that includes a form for lead generation. It’s associated with an offer such as a free download or a webinar and serves to capture visitor information to convert them into a lead.

13. Lead

An individual or business that has shown interest in your product or service. Examples of showing interest include filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter or blog, or providing contact information in exchange for something of value, such as a white paper or coupon.

14. Lifecycle Stage

A way to segment your audience according to where they are in the buyer’s journey. Understanding the lifecycle stage of your customer enables you to provide information appropriate to where they are in terms of awareness, evaluation, and purchase.

15. Mobile Optimization

Website design that enables visitors to easily view and navigate your site on a mobile device. Not only is mobile optimization important for your customers, but it also improves search engine rankings.

16. Pay-per-click

An ad model where marketers pay according to how many people click on their ad. PPC ads direct traffic to your website and can be used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns.

17. Responsive Design

Website design that adapts to the device on which it is being viewed. Using a responsive design is far more efficient than designing separate sites for each different type of device.

18. Return on Investment (ROI)

A performance measure used to evaluate the profitability of your digital marketing campaign. ROI should be measured for each part of your campaign — e.g., PPC ads, social media ads, and content marketing — and for each media channel.

19. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Steps taken to improve your website’s search engine ranking. SEO includes on-page and off-page elements such as keywords, image tags, and links.

20. Smarketing

The practice of aligning sales and marketing efforts. By coordinating communication between sales and marketing, you can improve the percentage of leads that your sales team is able to close to have a positive impact on your bottom line.


Use this list as a reference when planning your digital marketing campaign and communicating with team members. Understanding these terms will help you and your team focus on some of the most important elements of digital marketing.


Back to Blog

Related Articles

Do's and Don'ts of Secret Shopping Your Own Business

The concept of secret shopping has been around for decades. It’s used by market researchers and...

Why First Impressions Matter: Website Do's and Dont's for Every Type of Business

When people in business think of first impressions, they're likely to consider their...

Do Radio Endorsements Really Work? Don't Just Take it From Us

If you’ve ever heard of the legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey, you may already have a good idea of...