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Patricia O'Loughlin
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Word concubine since 1989.
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Your Digital Marketing Dictionary

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If you’re new to the digital marketing game, chances are you’re hearing a lot of tech jargon thrown around. While you’re confident in leaving the tricky bits up to the experts, it can pay off to understand a few basic terms and acronyms to help you gauge a good comprehension of your marketing campaign, the reasons why certain actions are taken, and the direction it’s travelling in.

Here’s a simple glossary to some of the key terms we suggest filing away in the memory bank in order to avoid those WTF moments…

AdWords: AdWords are pay-per-click campaigns. They are text ads that show up on the first page of Google when users type in search words. Advertisers then pay a fee each time a user clicks on the ad and is redirected to the business’s website. This marketing tool is a great way for businesses to secure top rankings on the first page of Google.

Algorithm: Algorithms are like special codes in computer language. They are mathematical formulas designed to instruct certain functions, and they therefore provide the basic foundation on which Google and social media platforms are structured. Algorithms determine how content is developed for a campaign; they are the reason why a website won’t generate clicks by simply looking ‘pretty’.

Bounce rate: This term describes web traffic analysis. It refers to the number of users who visit your website yet navigate away after only viewing one page.

Blog: Most people are familiar with blogs as our social media-saturated world churns out millions of these posts a day. What advertisers might not necessarily understand, however, is how a blog can maximise your online presence. A blog, which is a shortening of the phrase “web log”, is an online folio of entries or “posts” comprised of written content that relays information on a specific topic. Google knows that blogs are a worthwhile source of information, so they rank the business or individual producing them as ‘thought leaders’. Furthermore, a business can use its social media platforms to share its blog posts and therefore drive traffic to its site, whilst everyday users are more likely to share blogs.

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Clickbait: Digital marketing material that employs sensationalised headlines is known as “clickbait”. The idea is to generate high interest through crafting compelling content, thereby provoking users to click on the link and subsequently drive traffic to your site.

Conversion rate: Conversion rate is a measurement of the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action. This can be anything from filling out a form to following a social account; subscribing to a newsletter to registering for membership; downloading software to selling a product. Conversions are considered any type of action that goes beyond simple page browsing. Obviously the higher your conversion rate, the more successful your campaign.

CPA: CPA, or cost-per-acquisition, is an online advertising pricing model that measures the costs of acquiring a new customer. A CPA is calculated by dividing the cost of the campaign by the number of acquisitions – for instance, if you spend $100 on a campaign and manage to generate 10 ‘acquisitions’ (i.e. views, leads or sales), your CPA is $10.

CTR: CTR stands for “click-through rate”, a metric used to measure the success of a digital marketing campaign. It is the ratio that outlines the total number of users who view a page, advertisement or email and the number of users who actually click on the link. Click-through rates are often reduced to the acronym CTRs.

Engagement rate: Another form of measurement, engagement rates are employed to reflect how successful a piece of content is. They measure how much an audience interacts with the content by taking into account the number of users’ comments, shares and likes. They are commonly used for social media platforms; in particular, Facebook.

Header tags: Header tags (also known as heading tags) are used to divide up the content on your page. As the name suggests, they act as headings and sub-headings to group sections and enhance the readability of your page. From an SEO point of view, header tags form a top-down hierarchy: H1 tags are the most important and H6 are the least. Thus, it is important to include keywords in the H1 tag in order for Google to instantly recognise the relevancy of your page.

Keywords: In order to get your website ranking in top positions on Google, the content on the pages needs to include keywords. These are those words and phrases that users will commonly type into the search engine when looking for a particular product or service. By ensuring keywords occur a certain amount of times in the text, your page will rank higher and therefore will become more noticeable and accessible for users. Balancing the optimisation of a keyword or keyword cluster (i.e. a phrase) is a delicate situation: too low and your page won’t be recognised; too high and Google will treat your page as spam.

Link building: Link building is one of the primary elements required for search ranking. It is the process of incorporating links to other pages within your content, therefore building up the credibility of those other pages in the eyes of Google. Think of links as ‘votes for popularity’; by growing the link profile of your website, you are more likely to gain traction from search engines.

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Meta description: The meta description is a concise explanation of the webpage’s contents. It appears underneath the heading of the page as it comes up on Google. A killer meta description that adheres to the required character limit is a key factor in driving click-through rates.

Online lead generation: More commonly referred to as “leads”, this Internet marketing term describes the creation of prospective consumer interest online. Creating leads means generating enough interest in online audiences to drive traffic to your website and therefore connect your business with potential customers. If they end up taking action while on your website, this is referred to as “conversion”.

PPC: PPC is the common abbreviation used to describe pay-per-click campaigns. These are an online marketing tool in which an advertiser pays a publisher each time the ad is clicked on. PPCs are created by crafting text that is optimised with keywords. Google’s Adwords is a popular example of a PPC, although PPCs can also appear in the form of ‘banner ads’ on other websites that feature related content.

SEO: The other main method for driving website traffic and increasing a business’s online presence is SEO: search engine optimisation. This method is based on generating organic leads: the idea is to attract users to click on your website when they search for certain keywords on Google. There are certain guidelines in place to ensure the content on a page is SEO-friendly (i.e. the incorporation of keywords).

SERP: SERP stands for “search engine results page”. As can be guessed, it is the page that appears when a user types a certain word or phrase into a search engine such as Google. The higher your webpage appears on the SERP, the better ranking it is considered to hold and the more likely a user is to click on it.

Title tags: These are those words that appear in bold within the text on a SERP and within the top bar of your internet browser. They are therefore vital to an SEO campaign. The idea is to briefly yet accurately describe the topic of the webpage, therefore enhancing the user-experience so he or she can quickly skim through the SERP to find the page most relevant to him or her.

 

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By Patricia O'Loughlin


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