In the official Intigress Digital Marketing Glossary, we’ve defined over 150 useful digital marketing terms in order to help you understand both search engine optimization and digital advertising topics. Because digital marketing is a dynamic field, this list will be updated on a regular basis.
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Digital Marketing Glossary
301 redirect (permanent): An HTTP status code which signifies that the web page a user is trying to reach has been permanently changed to another page.
302 redirect (temporary): An HTTP status code which indicates that the web page a user is trying to reach has been temporarily moved.
404 broken page: An HTTP status code which signifies that the web page a user is looking for could not be found on the website’s server.
Above the fold: All of the information that is viewable on a web page prior to scrolling.
Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP): A framework for building web pages that is used to provide an easier, faster mobile experience. Learn more about AMPs.
Adaptive Web Design: A style of website design that creates web pages of different sizes in order to appear appropriately on devices with different screen sizes. It differs from Responsive Web Design in that it is actually multiple websites of different sizes rather than a single website which is coded to adapt to different screen sizes. Today, Responsive Web Design is now the recommended style, and Adaptive Web Design is no longer the recommended style for creating responsive websites.
Ad Auction: The method used to decide the cost and placement of digital advertising on certain ad networks. A new ad auction occurs each time an ad is placed on an ad network.
Ad Extensions: Additional information that can be included in paid search ads. Often used to provide more detail and improve a user’s interaction with an advertisement.
Ad Group: A collection of ads and keywords that share a similar theme. Ad groups live within a Campaign.
Ad Network: A group of websites that have ad inventory for advertisers to purchase. In the digital space, popular ad networks include Google Display Network, Google Search Partners, and Facebook Audience Network.
Ad Platform: A place for advertisers to create advertising campaigns and select where to show their ads from the available inventory. Google & Facebook are two of the largest ad platforms.
Ad Rank: The rank of an ad in a given auction compared to other ads in that auction used to determine the ad’s position. Ad rank may be different in each auction.
Alt Text [images]: A textual description of an image on a web page. This helps search engines understand what is in the image and can be read aloud by a screen reader for blind users.
Anchor Text: The clickable words of a hyperlink. Example: Intigress is a digital marketing agency in Bend, Oregon. In this example “a digital marketing agency” is the anchor text.
Attribution: A method of assigning full or partial value of an action to various touchpoints along the customer journey. There are several different types of attribution models that marketers use such as first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution models.
Average Cost Per Click (CPC): The average price an advertiser pays when a user clicks on their ad.
Average Cost per Conversion (also known as Cost per Acquisition or CPA): The average amount of money spent to generate each conversion. This is calculated by dividing the total cost of advertising during a period of time by the total number of conversions over the same period of time.
Average Cost Per Thousand Impressions or Cost Per Mille (CPM): The average cost for every 1000 impressions that are received. This is measured by dividing the total cost of advertising by the number of impressions then multiplying by 1000.
Average Position: A metric used to define the order of appearance of listings and ads on search engines.
Organic Search Results: The average organic rank of a website on the search engine results page.
PPC Advertising: The average rank of an ad in relation to the other ads. Average Position is being sunsetted by Google as of September 2019 due to the confusion it can cause about actual ad position.
Backlink: An incoming line from an external website to another website. For example: A link from a local Chamber of Commerce to one of the member businesses would be a backlink to the member business.
Bing Webmaster Tools: A free tool with reports used to monitor how a website is being crawled, indexed, appearing and performing in search results on Bing.
Black Hat SEO: Using malicious or mischievous SEO techniques that are against search engine best practices and use policies. It is often used to try to exploit or take advantage of loopholes in search engine algorithms in order to improve search rankings quickly.
Body (also known as HTML Body Element): The area of HTML code containing all of the page information, such as images, tables, text, and hyperlinks.
Bot (or robot): See definition for Crawler.
Bounce Rate: The percent of sessions where a user only visited one page or did not complete any predefined events before leaving the website.
Breadcrumb: An element on a page or SERP result that shows the navigational trail a user took or could take to reach the page they are on. On a webpage, the trail is a series of links to other pages and is most often located at the top of the page. Example: Home / Shop / Backpacks
Business Listing: Information about a business (see NAP+W) that is listed on websites and platforms such as Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other similar sites.
Call Only Ads: A type of advertisement used on mobile devices that allows the user to click on the advertisement to directly call the business rather than have to first visit the business website or dial the business phone number themselves.
Call To Action: A phrase used to prompt a certain action or immediate response such as “Learn More” or “Sign Up Today”.
Call Tracking Number (CTN): A phone number on a website that is used for tracking purposes, such as to determine how consumers found the business or their reason for calling.
Campaign [Digital Advertising]: A collection of ad groups or ad sets centered around a common goal.
Canonical (also known as a canonical link element or canonical tag): An HTML element that is used to avoid duplicate content problems by telling search engines which page of content is the preferred version.
Channel: In Google Analytics, the Channel refers to the general group of sources that directed a user to a website. There are both default channels built into Google Analytics, such as social, organic, and direct, as well as the option to create custom channels.
Citation: Any mention of a business online.
Clicks: The number of times a user clicked on an ad or listing.
Click Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions received expressed as a percentage. This can also be thought of as the average likelihood that a user will click on your ad or listing after seeing it. It can be helpful in determining the quality of a listing or ad.
Cloaking: A type of Black Hat SEO in which a website delivers different content to the search engine than it delivers to users.
Content Management System (CMS): A software or system used to organize the creation and management of digital content. Common examples include WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
Conversion: A defined action of importance (eg making a phone call or reaching a thank you page on a website) deemed valuable to a business. Conversions are used to help measure effectiveness and return on investment of digital marketing campaigns and strategies.
Conversion Rate (CVR): A measurement of how often a click turns into a conversion calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of clicks on an advertisement or listing.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): A strategy used to increase the number of users who take a certain action (which has been deemed a conversion) on a web page.
Cookie: A piece of code that is stored on a user’s browser to track how a user interacts with a website or advertisement for a website, and to store user information such as username, or language preference, etc.
Crawler: A program designed to browse and read the web by following hyperlinks. Search engines use the information a crawler finds to build an index.
Crawling: The act of moving through website pages to read the content in order to appropriately index it. Search engines use programs called crawlers or bots to crawl the web.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Code used to style a web document.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): The total cost it takes to acquire one new customer, which often includes marketing expenses and employee wages.
Customer Journey: The phases a customer goes through while interacting with your business. There are several schools of thought on what the Customer Journey looks like, such as the AIDA marketing funnel or McKinsey Loyalty Loop.
Description Tag: See Meta Description.
Digital Advertising: Advertising (paid placements) on any digital platform. This can include social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook as well as on search engines like Google or Bing and individual websites.
Digital Advertising Audit: An inspection or examination of a business’s current digital advertising performance and tactics.
Digital Marketing: The segment of marketing which refers to any marketing initiatives performed in the digital landscape. Common types of digital marketing include email marketing, SEO, SEM, digital advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing among others.
Display Ads: Advertising that is shown on a web page that a consumer is using. Most often in the form of images, banners, video, or rich formats (animations or slideshows).
Display Network: A group of websites where display ads may be shown. For example, the Google Display Network (GDN) is a display network comprised of over 2M websites that can show ads to users when the advertiser uses the Google platform to advertise.
Domain Authority: A search ranking score from 1 to 100, created by Moz, used to measure the SEO weight a website domain carries in the eyes of a search engine. A higher score indicates a more authoritative domain.
Domain Name: The portion of a URL which indicates the host or web server. Example: intigress.com is a domain name.
Dwell Time: The amount of time between when a user clicks on a result on the search engine results page and when the user returns to the search engine results page.
Earned Media: Any media exposure that does not come directly from your business. This includes things like shared posts, reviews of your business, or mentions from another site.
Engagement Metrics: Metrics used to measure how engaging a website is. These often include bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, and social shares.
Event: A specific action or occurrence on a website. Events may be automatically tracked or a business may choose to define its own events. These business defined events are typically tracking information important to the business such as how many people clicked to download, submitted a form, or visited a particular page. Events may also be time-based, such as sessions that lasted at least two minutes.
Exit Page: The page from which a visitor leaves a website.
Featured Snippet: A reverse listing appearing on the search engine results page with the information above the link to the website. A featured snippet is a type of rich result.
Geofencing: Using a person’s location to trigger a response when a person enters or leaves a virtually fenced area. For example, a person with GPS enabled on their cell phone enters a one-mile radius of a smoothie shop and they are sent a text message with a 10% off coupon for that smoothie shop.
Geo-modifier: Appending a location-based term to a keyword, such as “Dentist in Bend.” Here, Bend is the Geo-modifier.
Geo-targeting: Showing ads to people based on their physical location. Locations are usually determined by IP address or mobile GPS signals.
Google Analytics: A free tool that collects data and organizes the data into reports used to show how users interact with websites.
Google My Business: Google’s knowledge panel for local businesses. It contains information provided by the business and the business’ customers along with additional automatically generated information pulled from other sources on the web.
Google Search Console: A free tool with reports used to monitor how a website is being crawled, indexed, appearing, and performing in search results on Google.
Headers (also known as HTML Headers): An HTML element that defines the introductory content. This information is displayed on the actual web page often in a larger font to tell users what the next section of text will be about. There are headers of different weights which function as subheaders. This information is important for the user experience as well as telling search engines the information contained on the page and how important it is.
Heat Map: A data visualization tool often used in digital marketing to show how users have interacted with a website.
Hits: An interaction that results in data being sent to a tracking solution (i.e. Google Analytics). One session can include multiple hits such as page views, events, or social interactions.
Hreflang: Code which tells the search engines the written language of the web page being indexed.
HTTPS: A web resource protocol indicating that information is transferred over a secure connection.
Hyperlink: A connection from one page, element, or document on the internet to another.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): A method of transferring data over the internet.
Impressions: The number of times an ad or listing appeared. This does not always mean that a user actually viewed the ad or listing. Multiple impressions can come from the same person if that person saw the ad or listing more than once.
Impression Share: A measurement of the number of times an ad was shown out of the total number of times it was eligible to show. This can help measure how much of the available audience an ad is reaching.
Impression to Conversion Rate (Imp CVR): A measurement of how often an impression turns into a conversion, calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of impressions.
Indexing: A method of collecting, arranging and categorizing the information that crawlers, bots, or spiders find on websites.
Internal Link: A link from one page to another page on the same website.
Internet Marketing: See Digital Marketing.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Any important metric used to measure success as it relates to a marketing goal.
Keyword: A word or phrase used to match website content to a user inquiry. In paid search advertising, this word or phrase is used to match a search query to an ad. For search engine optimization, this word or phrase is used to create content that will be relevant to users when found in a search query.
Keyword Bid: The maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay for a click in an ad auction.
Keyword Density: A measurement of the occurrence of a keyword on a page or website in relation to the total number of words on the same page or website.
Keyword Stuffing: Using a keyword an unnecessary amount of times in an attempt to attract attention from search engines for that keyword in order to rank for that keyword. This is not a recommended tactic, and is, therefore, a form of Black Hat SEO.
Knowledge Graph: A collection of information about real-world objects and entities that search engines use to create knowledge panels. Introduced by Google in 2012.
Knowledge Panel: A box of information that appears on the search engine results page and is meant to give the searcher a brief look at the information available on the web about the topic. The knowledge panel is automatically generated by the search engines and is shown for entities that are included in the knowledge graph.
Landing Page: The web page a visitor first encounters when visiting a website.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) (also known as Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA)): A technique that uses statistical formulas to determine the meaning of a body of text based on the context.
Lead Generation: The process of creating and capturing consumer interest in a product, service, or business. This is usually measured by counting conversions, collecting contact information, or newsletter sign-ups.
Lifetime Value (LTV): The average amount of revenue one customer will bring to a business over their lifetime. Lifetime may be defined as the average time someone remains a customer.
Link Juice: A slang term used in SEO to describe the value of links pointing to another site.
Local SEO: Search engine optimization focused primarily on a business which only serves customers at a certain location.
Lookalike Audience: A Facebook Ads audience type comprised of a group of users defined by their similarity to another group of users. In order to create a Lookalike Audience, there must first be a custom audience to act as a base or seed list.
Match Type: A keyword setting for search engine ads that refines when an advertisement is eligible to show based on how keywords are used in a user’s search query.
Max CPC: See Keyword Bid.
Medium: In Google Analytics, the Medium refers to the way a user came to a website. Examples include “organic” meaning they found a website via an organic listing in the search results, “none” meaning they came directly to a website by typing it into the browser, or “referral” meaning they came to a website via a link on another website.
Meta Description: A summary of a page’s content that appears on search engine results pages but does not appear anywhere on the actual page. This is critical for search engines to understand page contents as well as giving users an idea of the information they will find after clicking the link.
Mobile Friendliness: A measure of how easy a website is to use and access on mobile devices.
NAP+W: An acronym for name, address, phone, and website that is often used in relation to citations or business listings as a part of Local SEO.
Natural Search: See Organic Listing
Noindex: An HTML tag intended for web crawlers, which requests that the crawler does not index the page.
Organic Listing: A listing on the SERP that is achieved without directly paying the search engine. The entire field of search engine optimization is dedicated to improving the performance of organic listings on the SERP.
Owned Media: Any digital platform or medium that a business fully controls, such as the business website, social media profiles, and Google My Business.
Page Authority: Similar to domain authority, page authority is a search ranking score from 1 to 100, created by Moz, used to measure the SEO weight a specific web page carries in the eyes of a search engine.
Page Head (also known as HTML Head Element): The information contained in a web page prior to the body, which defines information about the contents of the page. This is commonly where tags, such as Google Analytics tags, and metadata are placed in a web page’s code.
Page Speed: A metric from 1 to 100 that measures how quickly a website page loads. According to Google, Page Speed is a ranking factor as it has a direct impact on user experience.
Pages per Visit: The number of web pages an average user views during a session on a website.
Paid Ad: Any advertising placement earned via a payment. See also Digital Advertising.
Paid Media: Any type of paid marketing or advertising including pay per click advertising or social media advertising.
Penalty (search engine): A negative action against a website brought by a search engine for ignoring or intentionally violating policies or best practices.
Pixel: An invisible image file placed on a website that is used to pass information, such as a cookie, to a server. Pixels can be used to determine touchpoints with a brand across different platforms.
Position Zero: Another name for a featured snippet. So named because it shows up above the first traditional, organic result on the SERP.
PPC (Pay per Click): A type of digital advertising in which advertisers pay each time a user clicks on one of their advertisements.
Programmatic Advertising: An automated bidding method used to purchase display ad inventory for a specific audience. Often called real-time bidding (RTB).
Progressive Web Apps: A type of web page that functions like an app and is designed for a more immersive user experience. Learn more about Progressive Web Apps.
Quality Score: A score out of 10 given by Google Ads to indicate how closely related an ad & landing page are to the keywords. Since Quality Score is one of the factors in Ad Rank, it can have an impact on the number of times an ad is shown and the price an advertiser pays for ads.
RankBrain: A component of the Google algorithm that uses machine learning to determine the most relevant results for search queries, especially queries that are entered for the first time.
Referral: In Google Analytics, this is the website a user visited prior to visiting another website. Typically the user clicked on a link to the website they are visiting from the referring website.
Remarketing / Retargeting: Showing advertising to an audience who has already interacted with a business in some way. For example, showing an ad to people who have visited a business’ website, but not yet purchased anything.
Responsive Web Design: A style of website design which ensures that the website appears appropriately on devices with different screen sizes.
Return On Ad Spend (ROAS): A performance metric used to describe the amount of revenue generated from spending on advertising. It is calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the actual spending on advertising. For example, if a company spends $7000 on an advertising campaign that generates $28,000 in revenue, the return on ad spend it $28,000/$7,0000 or 4:1. Unlike ROI, this does not take into account other costs such as employee time or other technologies.
Return On Investment (ROI): The amount of revenue returned to a business in regards to the amount spent to create that revenue. As a simplified example, if a business spends $2,000 on a digital advertising campaign that generates $10,000, the business’s ROI is 500% or 5:1. Five dollars earned for every one dollar spent.
Rich Results: A listing on the search engine results page which includes more than the standard title, web address, & description. For example, a result that also includes ratings or images is a rich result.
Robots.txt: A file used by webmasters that give search engine robots [like Googlebot] directives on how to crawl a website.
Schema Markup: A website markup language created in cooperation by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex to help search engines better understand specific parts of a website. Learn more at Schema.org.
Search Engine: An online tool, like Google or Bing, that provides results to answer a given search query. Search engines have more recently been referred to as answer engines as they are providing answers to user queries instead of just a list of results.
Search Engine Algorithm: A formula or set of rules that search engines use to define which websites to show on the search engine results page. Each search engine uses a different algorithm that is updated regularly.
Search Engine Marketing: The act of promoting or selling products or services via search engines. This would include search engine optimization and any digital advertising through search engines, such as Google search ads and Microsoft advertising. This does not include other digital marketing types such as social media management or social media advertising.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The web page displaying the results of a search query to the user of a search engine.
Search Intent: The goal or meaning of a user’s search query.
Search Query: The word or phrase that is typed into a search engine to signal the information the user would like to find.
Second Price Auction: One type of auction that advertising networks employ to place advertisements where the winner of the auction pays only $0.01 more for their ad placement than the second place ad placement.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A methodology used to improve a website’s performance in organic search results. At its core, this means helping search engines better understand a website’s contents and providing users a better experience.
Search Engine Optimizer (SEO): A person who practices SEO.
SEO Audit: An inspection or examination of a website and its digital performance as it relates to search engine optimization tactics.
Session Duration (also known as Time on Site): The amount of time an average user spends on a website calculated per session.
Sessions: A group of interactions or hits with your website. A session may include several web page visits and interactions or it may contain just one. A new session begins if a user visited a website via one campaign, leaves and comes back via a different campaign. A new session will also start after midnight or after 30 minutes of inactivity. This means a single user might have multiple sessions in a single day or over several weeks.
Shopping Ads (also known as Product Ads): A digital ad format designed specifically for products that are sold online.
Similar To Audiences: A Google Ads audience type comprised of a group of users defined by their similarity to another group of users. In order to create a Similar To Audience, there must be a seed audience to act as a base or seed list.
Sitelink (or Sitelink Extension): A type of rich result that shows links to various pages on a website, resulting in a larger listing for the website on the SERP. Sitelinks are sometimes automatically generated by search engines if deemed relevant to the user’s search query.
Sitemap: A file in a specific format used to provide information to search engines about the content on a website and the relationship between the content. Sitemaps make it easier for search engines to crawl websites and find pages to index.
Source: In Google Analytics, the Source is the origin of the user prior to visiting a website for any type of traffic, whether it is organic, paid, social, referral, or direct. Examples include “google”, a visit originating from the search engine, “yelp.com”, a visit originating from a certain web page, or “direct” a user typing in the URL of the visited website directly into the browser.
Spider: See definition for Crawler.
SSL Certificate: A small data file that enables encrypted connections between a web server and a browser to ensure site security.
Structured Data: Code written in a specific way that allows search engines to understand the content more clearly. It is used to display information in search results in a particular way with the goal of enhancing the search engine user’s experience.
Title Tags: An HTML element that defines the title of a web page. This is displayed in search engine results, but not on the actual page.
Touchpoint: An instance of interaction between a customer and a brand.
Tracking Code (or Tracking Snippet): A piece of code that monitors how a user is interacting with a website. The code is stored on each page of a website and sends data to an analytics tool to be used by businesses for marketing purposes and other business purposes.
TruView: A measurement used by Google to indicate the number of times users choose to watch a video ad.
Universal Resource Locator (URL): The online address of a resource, website, or page.
URL Parameter: A code appended to a URL which can change the functionality of a website or be used as a tracking dimension. A parameter often starts with a question mark and is followed by the items that define the parameter after an equals sign. An example of URL with 3 URL parameters appended: https://www.intigress.com/?utm_source=intigress&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=glossary
User Experience (UX): A phrase used to describe how a visitor interacts with a website.
User Interface (UI): The conduit on a display that allows a human to interact with a computer more easily.
Users: People using a website. The same person may be counted as multiple users if that person uses multiple unlinked devices to access a website.
Voice Search: Refers to any search query conducted using voice technology. This can be a search on a mobile device or on a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
White Hat SEO: Using approved SEO techniques and best practices to improve search rankings over time.
Yoast: A highly valuable SEO plugin for WordPress websites that helps website owners to optimize their sites for search engines.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): The moment at which a buyer decides he or she is going to make a purchase and researches that purchase.