Marketing in business is not an exact science. There are many different theories and methods that marketers will use when planning and executing a marketing campaign. If you ever stop to listen to a marketer talk about a campaign, you wouldn't be blamed for questioning the language that is being used, given the level of jargon that is often involved.
However, despite the level of jargon, marketing is an important part of running a business - without it you wouldn't have many customers - so it's important for business owners to have even a basic understanding of the essentials.
Fortunately, there are a number of guides and resources online to help you carry out your own marketing activities. To help you better understand these guides, we've put together this useful list of marketing jargon, along with their meanings.
Just click the letters below to take you to the relevant term.
The process of comparing two different versions of a web page to see which performs better. Also sometimes called ‘split testing’.
An advert placement tool from Google, which allows users to display targeted adverts on a website. Site owners can earn money for clicks that ads placed with AdSense get.
A paid advertising tool from Google, used to place adverts on search engine results pages.
Acquiring customers through a partner or affiliate’s own marketing methods. The affiliate is typically rewarded for each customer, for example with a monetary fee.
Commonly refers to the tool from Google, which allows users to track and monitor website traffic.
The clickable text in a hyperlink.
Stands for ‘business to business’, refers to organisations whose target customers are other businesses.
Stands for ‘business to customer’, refers to organisations whose target audience are consumers.
An inbound hyperlink from one website to another.
Also known as a website banner, it is an advert delivered onto a website by an ad server.
A page or section of a website dedicated solely to content, that is updated regularly.
The number of users who visit only one page on a site before leaving the site, expressed as a percentage.
The financial value of a business brand, based on the target market’s perception of the brand.
Call to action (CTA)
An instruction encouraging users to respond in a certain way, usually to fulfil goals. For example, ‘click here’, ‘call now’, etc.
A link that is designed specifically to be provocative and eye-catching, in order to elicit a click through.
The number of people that ‘click through’ to a given website or page, expressed as a percentage.
Content management system (CMS)
The act of a user completing a goal.
The path that a user takes on a website before converting.
The number of people that complete a given goal, expressed as a percentage.
Cost per click (CPC)
Used in relation to paid advertising, the amount of money that one click on a paid ad costs.
Cost per lead (CPL)
The amount of money that a business spends on advertising and marketing in order to acquire one lead.
A styling language used to determine what the appearance of a webpage looks like. Used in conjunction with HTML.
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Management of a company’s relationship – for instance sales, customer service, etc – with its existing and potential, future customers.
Acquisition of customer information, such as location, email address, name, etc – for example through a newsletter signup form on a webpage.
The practice of analysing large amounts of customer data in order to extract that which is relevant to an organisation’s target demographic.
Used to describe hyperlinks to specific pages on a site rather than the site’s homepage.
A form of marketing in which a business communicated directly with the customer – for instance, through text messages or email marketing – rather than indirectly – for example.
A form of direct marketingin which emails are sent to customers, containing adverts or information about the business.
The number of users that are interacting with your business – for instance on a web page of social profile – expressed as a percentage.
Any online PR activity – including digital press releases, liaising with journalists and general online reputation management.
On a webpage, the fold is the diving line between the visible top half of the page, and the lower half of the page that is only visible by scrolling. In a newspaper, it is the horizontal divide across the middle of the page.
A term used to describe the steps a customer goes through before ultimately making a purchase.
A way of identifying user through their geographical location, for example to deliver location-specific content or adverts.
The practice of writing content for blogs on sites other than your own, usually with the intention of driving traffic or link equityback to your own site.
The bias shown by customers for a particular product of service, based on a positive experience they have had with another product from the same brand.
Stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. The language used to create and code web pages.
A link from a document or webpage to another document or webpage, denoted by highlighted text.
The number of times an advert has been seen by online users.
A type of marketing that attracts customers towards a company, rather than the company having to go out and get customers’ attention.
Integrated marketing communication (IMC)
The practice of ensuring all marketing and communications from an organisation are consistent in brand and message.
When a user engages with a business in some way – for instance through a social share or email sign up. See also: engagement.
A programming language used to create interactive elements on a webpage.
Commonly used words or phrases used to search for a given topic on the internet. Sometimes referred to as a search term or query.
The act of discovering the keywords used by searchers to find a given topic. Typically done using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner.
Key performance indicator (KPI)
A metric used to assign value to a business’s actions against its objectives.
A page designed to be an entry point into a website, or particular section of that website.
Landing page optimisation
A potential customer for a business; someone who has expressed an interest in a business’s products or services.
The process of building a relationship with leads, in order to maximise the chances of them converting.
A piece of content designed for the purpose of acquiring links naturally, and not through link building.
The process of manually acquiring links from other sites to your own, for example through guest blogging.
The value assigned to links by Google, based on factors such as the authority of the linking site, and relevance to the linked site.
<name="long tail keywords">Long tail
The act of automating some or all elements of an organisation’s marketing efforts. Usually involves using tools or programmes.
<name="mobile optimisation">Mobile optimisation
The process of optimising a web site or page for users on devices other than computers – for example tablets and mobile phones. See also: responsive design.
Advertising that is designed not to look like advertising, but instead a natural feature of the location in which it is placed.
The practice of using black hat techniques to harm another website’s SEO, typically done to competitors.
New media marketing
Marketing to a highly targeted audience in a certain niche.
Refers to factors external to a website – i.e. ‘off’ its pages – that affect the site’s online visibility and performance, as well as the practices involved in optimising a website for these factors.
Refers to internal factors of a website – i.e. those ‘on’ its pages – that affect the site’s online performance and visibility, as well as the practice of optimising these factors.
Typically used when referring to email marketing– the number of sent emails that have been opened by recipients, expressed as a percentage.
Point of sale (POS)
A place where a transaction is carried out, or a conversion is achieved.
A lead that comes with information additional to the standard contact details (e.g. email address), qualifying them for a certain product or purpose.
A word or phrase that a user types into a search engine. See also: keyword.
The on page and off page elements of a website that a search engine uses to rank it in a SERP. Exact ranking factors for any given search engine are not definitely known, only best practices are clear.
Return on investment (ROI)
A metric used to measure the benefit gained from marketing activity, against what has been spent (e.g. time, effort, money) to carry out that activity.
A type of web design that is optimised for display on multiple devices. It typically involves all elements on a webpage automatically resizing to fit the size of the screen the page is being viewed on. See also: mobile optimisation.
A tool which ‘feeds’ new content from frequently updated websites into once place. Stands for rich site summary.
A tool from Google which offers a range of analytical data, to aid the maintenance and optimisation of a site. Previously called Webmaster Tools.
A page generated by a search engine when a user enters a search query, consisting of a list of websites the engine deems most relevant to the query.
The act of marketing an organisation through social channels.
Social media optimisation (SMO)
Optimising social channels to maximise interaction and exposure.
Any place where a business comes into contact with customers.
Refers to older and largely offline marketing channels, for instance newspaper or billboard advertising.
Unique selling point (USP)
A factor which differentiates a business from its competitors, typically a focal point in marketing campaigns. Also called ‘unique sales proposition’.
A webpage’s address or location. Typically looks like: www.websitename.com/webpage1
User generated content (UGC)
A type of marketing which calls for users to create and submit their own content – rather than the organisation creating content – typically in a competition-style campaign.
User experience (UX)
A user’s experience of a business – in digital terms, often refers to the usability of a website.
When attention is ‘sucked’ away from the main message of an advertisement or marketing campaign by some other element of the campaign. For instance, strong imagery detracting from a brand name or product.
A blog consisting largely of video content, rather than written.
When an advert, campaign or other marketing message is passed around the internet – for instance through social media – very quickly.
An individual who views pages on a website. Also a metric (sometimes called a ‘user’) used to measure website traffic.
A lesson, discussion or seminar that takes place online (web + seminar), usually through video conferencing.
Word of mouse marketing
The online equivalent of word of mouth marketing, where consumers communicate their recommendations and disapproval for certain products or brands through online mediums.
Where consumers share their positive and negative experiences of a product or brand with friends and family, usually through oral communication.
A file (.xml document) on a website that lists all the pages on that site. Used to help search engines crawl a site.
The practice of analysing and predicting consumer behaviour in order to maximise the profits – or yield – that can be gained from a particular marketing activity.
Zero level channel
A marketing channel through which products or services are sold directly from manufacturer to consumer, without going through any third parties such as retailers.
James is an online content creator at Make It Cheaper. Having previously created a variety of content for a number of websites and media outlets, James focuses on making it easy for SME owners to find interesting and engaging content - as well as useful guides and online tools.You can email James at firstname.lastname@example.org
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