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Unravelling Website Jargon (But in Plain English)

Written by Lauren Walker on .
Wooden dice with printed letters

It can be difficult for agencies like ours to avoid using digital marketing jargon. It is this terminology we use every day in the workplace. Everyone in the team knows what we mean, and we can easily forget that others outside the digital marketing world don’t.

In an ideal world, there would be a digital marketing dictionary to accompany all the articles and reports we put out. Alas, the fast-paced nature of our job and strict timeframes, doesn’t permit us such luxuries. Instead, we compiled a short list of commonly used digital marketing terms that we wish we’d known during our first days in the industry, hoping that it will help you better understand future articles.

On top of creating this list of important terms and abbreviations, we have attached links to definitions that we have gone into detail about in other Beyond Your Brand blog posts.

This concise list should act as a bookmark that you can refer back to if you ever need reminding of what certain terms are referring to. Think of it as your ‘Beginner’s Guide To Digital Marketing Jargon 101’!

Analytics - Looking at a business’s metrics (eg. website visits, PPC) and analysing trends. These trends can be used to make informed marketing decisions.

B2B – (Business To Business); A business that sells products and/or services to other companies

B2C – (Business To Customer); A business that sells products and/or services directly to consumers

Backlinks - These are links from other sites to your own. They can really help improve your site rankings and business credibility as they show the search engines that you are something of an authority in your industry. However, poor-quality backlinks can be harmful to your business, so it is important to be targeted and selective when doing your backlink outreach an SEO company can help you target the right links.

Bounce Rate - This number is presented as a percentage. It shows the number of people who landed on your site and left before clicking on anything else. Higher bounce rates can lead to poorer conversion rates; though it could also be a sign that your content is engaging and informative enough that the user doesn’t need to go any further into the site. It’s important to understand the metric, as a high bounce rate could be a positive or negative signal - dependent on the aim of the page.

Mindmap of different examples of call to actions that a business could employ such as ‘contact us’ and ‘learn more’

Call To Action (CTA) – This is usually found at the end of a marketing message. Its aim is to persuade the user to perform an action, such as subscribing to a newsletter, donating, sending an email, etc.

Click-Through – When a user clicks on an organic or paid result.

Click-Through Rate (CTR) - This number is expressed as a percentage. It represents the number of clicks on a result per 100 impressions (see definition further down this blog).

Conversion Path - The series of events on a website that result in the desired action, eg. a sale

Conversion Rate - This number is expressed as a percentage. It represents the number of visitors to the site that has taken the desired action (eg. bought a product, donated, signed up for marketing emails)

Domain Name - The ‘domain’ is the website’s address. These addresses are actually numerical, but not easy to remember or informative. Domain names solve this issue.

Email Marketing - Promoting products and services via email.

Geo-targeting - This method is helpful for location-based adverts and local businesses. It targets users in certain areas to ensure ads are relevant.

Hosting - A server that enables organisations to put a webpage on the internet. A web host will provide the right technology needed for the web page to be viewed

Impression - An impression is every time an advert is shown by the platform being used, for example during a PPC campaign

Inbound Link - A link to your website from another

Keyword - The primary words chosen by an organisation that they want to rank for

Keyword Research - The search for keywords that have considerable volume behind them that relate to your site, products and services. These can be analysed to see which keywords have directed the most traffic and where there are good opportunities.

Keyword Stuffing - Using keywords in excess, merely to appear in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is seen as bad practice and websites can be punished by search engines.

Landing Page - The webpage a user ‘lands’ on when they conduct a search.

Managed Website Service - Sometimes also referred to as a "pay monthly website service", managed website services takes care of most aspects of running a website which includes the design, build, hosting, server security and so on. 

Marketing Plan - The section of a business plan that directly outlines the marketing strategy.

A tree that branches off into the elements a business should consider when creating a marketing plan

Organic Search - Sites appear in search engines naturally, based on their relevance to a user’s search, and proper use of keywords & information.

Outbound Link - Linking to another website outside of your own.

Pay Per Click (PPC) - A payment structure used by online advertisers. Payment is made with qualifying click-throughs.

Return On Investment (ROI) - The profits or losses made based on the amount invested. Represented as a ratio.

Search Engine - Programmes that list sites according to their relevance to a user’s search, ie. Google, Bing, etc.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) - This is the process of ensuring your website ranks high in the search engines, with an aim to maximise traffic to your site. Websites can be optimised in many different ways, including using high-value keywords in targeted content, and structuring metadata to inform the search engines and its users as to a website’s content.

Search Engine Result Page (SERP) - The pages of websites listed after performing a search in a search engine (ie. Google, Yahoo, etc.).

Sitemap - A code or ‘map’ that lives on your server and lists all the relevant URLs that make up your site’s internal structure. Sitemaps should be uploaded to Google Search Console to tell Google which pages you want to crawl and index.

Usability - The ease at which users can navigate different elements of the website, such as content and embedded links.

Well done! You’ve made it to the end. We hope you feel like you’ve learnt something new and feel more confident in facing the daunting world of digital marketing.

Two individuals reading and appearing to learn new information that generates fresh ideas for their business

As we said, this is not an exhaustive list, and you’ll pick up a lot more of this digital marketing terminology along the way, but it should act as a starting point to help you get your foot in the door.

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