20 Key Digital Marketing Terms You Need to Know NOW

20 Key Digital Marketing Terms You Need to Know NOW

Digital marketing can seem very confusing, even magical, if you don’t understand the terminology being used.

We constantly work with clients who don’t know their desktop from their browser and need a little assistance in understanding what online marketing is all about.

The Internet is a powerful avenue to make your business or brand presence known, and Make Your Mark Media specializes in helping companies understand how to take advantage of the wide range of possibilities.

Marketing professionals agree data analytics, marketing automation, and digital marketing are the important trends moving forward, so there’s no better time than now to bone up.

digital marketing

Marketing Is Expected to Undergo Radical Changes Over the Next 5 years

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Whether you’re looking to hire an agency and understand what they’re billing you for each month or just trying your hand at building your business website and looking for ways to measure your ROI, we’ve got you covered.

This is the definitive guide to digital marketing terms you need to know to get started making your mark on today’s digital world.

  1. CRM – Customer Relationship Management describes technology platforms, policies, procedures, and strategies used to manage and analyze customer data. Salesforce is the most popular CRM software utilized by companies, with about 33 percent market share, with Microsoft Dynamics close behind..


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CRM software makes it easy to manage communications preferences and groups, run loyalty programs, and bridge sales and marketing analytics into a clean, easy-to-use package.

  1. CPC – The cost-per-click is how much it costs you each time someone clicks on a link within your PPC and SEO campaigns. CPC is used to determine customer acquisition costs, which if you’ve ever watched Shark Tank, The Profit, or even Nathan for You, you know is important to in business. Here’s an average CPC by country on Facebook’s ad platform. The U.S. is slightly over average.


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CPC is determined by the platform and keyword, so, for example, the CPC for the keywords “vape,” “vaping,” and “vape juice,” would all be unique on Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, Bing/Yahoo, etc.

  1. PPC – A pay-per-click campaign is a paid ad campaign on search engines or social media networks. You target specific keywords (using several tools to determine) and place bids on how many clicks you want at what price. Your site then shows up as a sponsored post in preferential position above typical posts and search results.


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Although still very effective, the clickthrough rates for Google AdWords is quite low, at only 1.91 percent. PPC campaigns are still popular, however, as there are approximately 47 thousand Google searches every second (3.3 billion per day), and even a fraction of a percentage of that traffic can drive big business.

  1. SEO – Search engine optimization is the free version of a PPC campaign. Rather than paying for the top spot, you can optimize your website, social media accounts, business listings, and other web properties to rank on the first page of search engines. Most businesses focus strictly on Google, but solid SEO techniques should apply to every web posting.


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In a mobile world, people increasingly use smartphones to verify prices and research products and services while in the brick-and-mortar retail store. Even if a customer is at your place of business, they can be price-shopping you against competitors. The higher you rank for each keyword related to your business, the better off you are.

  1. CRO – Conversion rate optimization is the process of optimizing web properties and other marketing materials, policies, and communications to optimize your sales funnel and convert visitors into paying customers. CRO is the big picture of any digital marketing campaign.

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A key to CRO is A/B testing every change to ensure it functions in the real world like you hypothesized. It’s a data-driven scientific method used to increase overall sales and bridge the gap between your sales and marketing initiatives.

  1. SEM – Search engine marketing is a broad term used to describe all digital marketing techniques, including CRO, SEO, and PPC. There are a lot of people using the Internet around the world, with about 77.8 percent of American households having mobile broadband subscriptions.. This fuels SEM as one of the most popular marketing channels.


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  1. SERP – Search engine ranking pages are the pages displayed when anyone performs a search. Although they seem simple and basic, they’ve evolved quite a bit since the old days of the 1990s. Here’s a breakdown of a Google SERP for a branded hotel query.


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Depending on the type of query, map results (Google “Pizza delivery” to see a map), Wikipedia reference information (Google “Lil Wayne” to see a Wikipedia biography), carousels of options (Google “Best 2016 movies” to see a carousel), and more infoboxes can be displayed. Schema markup is used to show your website in these special areas of SERPs.

  1. CTR – Clickthru rates are the ratios between how many people see your links and how many people actually click them. CTR is a factor in both Google and Bing/Yahoo searches, however, it’s not heavily weighted. As Vin Diesel points out in The Fast and The Furious, though, winning is winning, whether by an inch or a mile.

Schema markup, WordPress snippet editors (using the Yoast plug-in), and A/B testing various titles and title formats can improve your CTR, and, inevitably, your SEO ranking on SERPs.

  1. Impressions – Impressions are shown on Google Analytics and other web traffic and ad tracking platforms so you know how many people were shown your page or ad. The amount of clicks divided by the amount of impressions gives you your CTR.
  1. Engagement – Engagement is a measurement of how many people are clicking around on your site. Although someone may visit a site, engagement is a better measurement of whether or not they were actually interested. Engaged visitors fill out web forms, sign up for email lists, watch videos, and add items to their cart.
  1. Conversion – Conversions are often tracked by digital marketers to show the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign. Cookie tracking is used to determine how many times a customer visits before converting. A conversion isn’t complete until a web visitor becomes a paying customer.
  1. Bounce Rate – The bounce rate of a website is how many people leave it. Obviously everyone eventually leaves your website, and the methods used to determine bounce rates by Google Analytics aren’t always the best. However, the bounce rates of each individual landing page make it easier to determine where your site is losing business.
  1. Social Media Marketing – Social media marketing includes any profiles, posts, contests, and other activity occurring on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and more. Social media is a great place to earn traffic and build brand ambassadors.
  1. Spherical Video – Now that virtual reality headsets are all over the consumer market, the technology is becoming a hot industry for marketers in every sector. Spherical video is 360-degree video that can be explored in a VR world and is the next evolution of video marketing.
  1. Content Marketing – John Deere and AAA have newsletters and publications. Burger King handed out Iron Man and Spider-Man toys when those movies came out. GoPro creates some of the best adventure footage on the Internet. These are all examples of content marketing, in which marketing moves beyond a standard advertisement and provides sponsored content as a method of advertising.
  1. Unique Monthly Visitors – Although clicks matter, you also need to generally identify the people visiting. UMV shows how many unique individuals visited your site to account for extra padding from people who visited multiple times in a month. This is how you know whether your message is reaching 20,000 people each month or just 700 people 30 times a month.
  1. Cookies – Cookies are text files maintained on computers by browsers that can be queried by web servers. Cookies can be used to identify return visitors, track user progress through a website, and see where they go when they leave. All of these factors are important marketing data to understand how to lead people through your sales funnel.
  1. Trolling – Trolls are people who purposely incite rage on social media, forums, and other online communities. Often spewing vile remarks, trolls are considered “fed” when they’ve upset a person or business. You’ll need to deal with trolls pretty much anywhere online.
  1. Backlinks – Backlinks are the backbone of ranking well on search engines. When reputable websites cite you as a source, your authority on the subject is increased and your search rankings go up. Backlinks to and from your site (as well as the anchor text for each link) is the single most weighted ranking factor in Google.
  1. Anchor Text – Anchor text is the text displayed for the links to your website. Never use generic anchor text like “click here.” Instead, use long-tail, contextual keywords to let Google know what people are clicking here for.

While the terminology may take some time to get used to (especially understanding how all these concepts work together and paint a picture of your efforts), I can assure you it’s not just some made-up fantasy snake-oil marketers use to make money.

Online marketing has proven to be effective for both local and national businesses in every conceivable sector. Those who don’t adapt will be disrupted and lose business to those unafraid to make their mark on the Internet.

If you still don’t understand what I’m talking about, contact me or one of our other digital marketing experts to find out how you can Make Your Mark today.

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