Jen McKinnon
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18 Digital Marketing Acronyms to Know and Understand

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There are a huge number of digital marketing acronyms in play and, if you’re not in the industry, it can be difficult to stay on top of what each refers to. We’ve put together a quick reference list of the most commonly used acronyms to help you when talking to your digital specialist. Take a look!

CMS: Content Management System

This one is pretty straight forward – your CMS is the system used to manage the content on your website. For many people this would be WordPress, Magento, or perhaps Joomla.

CPA: Cost Per Acquisition

The CPA is, quite simply how much you pay for an acquisition. So, the ‘acquisition’ is really the part that needs clarification here. In digital marketing, an acquisition is the completion of a specified action and is specified by the advertiser. This action could be anything from an impression or a click, to something more substantial, like a form submission or a purchase. If you choose the use the CPA payment module, it can carry a higher cost than the CPC scheme, as it’s so competitive, but returns more accurate engagement results.


CPC: Cost Per Click

The CPC is the price an advertiser pays each time a potential customer clicks on an ad and is generally linked with SEM (see belo­w). With CPC, you don’t pay when a searcher views your ad, you only pay when they click. It doesn’t work on a unique click basis, so, no matter how many times an individual user clicks the same ad, you will be charged each time. This cost module is the standard way to pay for PPC advertising (see below).

To work out the total cost of your campaign, you can use the following formula:

Total cost = (total # clicks x CPC)

Also see PPC

CPM: Cost Per Mille (Cost Per Thousand)

Derived from the Roman numeral ‘M,’ meaning thousand, CPM is the most common unit used to price PPC advertising. It denotes the total cost of one thousand (1,000) impressions on one page or advertisment.

To work out the cost per impression, simply divide the CPM by 1,000:

Total cost = ((total # impressions x CPM) / 1,000.)

CTA: Call to Action

Your call to action is a persuasive instruction used in your web content. Without a call to action, your audience won’t know how to proceed. A CTA often comes in button form and links to another area of your site. For example, you may entice your readers to “Find Out More,” “Get in Touch” or “Buy Now.”

CTR: Click Through Rate

CTR can apply to many different facets of digital marketing. Whether it’s to do with your website engagement statistics, social media advertising or email marketing, your click through rate basically shows the percentage of traffic that clicks. The higher the percentage, the higher the engagement. When it comes to website analytics, the CTR often demonstrates the percentage of visitors who clicked from one page to the next; while, for social media and email marketing, it denotes how many people clicked on a button or advertisement.

To work out the CTR you need to know the number of impressions. An impression could be the total number of page views on your website; the number of users who have viewed an ad; or, the total number of emails sent or the open rate, depending on which email marketing platform you use.

You can find out the CTR using this equation:

CTR percentage = ((clicks/impressions) x 100)

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B2B: Business to Business

B2B refers to a business that sells products or services to other businesses. For example, WME is a B2B company.

B2C: Business to Consumer

B2C refers to any business that sells their products or services directly to everyday consumers. For example, national grocery empire, Woolworths, is a B2C company.

GA: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a platform provided by Google that tracks and records data relating to the activity on your website. It can track how a visitor comes across your site, which pages they view and after how long they leave. It can also track goals and measure your site’s conversions and transactions.

KPI(s): Key Performance Indicator(s)

A KPI is a quantifiable value that validates the effectiveness of a company’s strategy to achieve their primary business goals. KPIs aren’t just used in digital marketing, they are used in all types of business, tracking performance to see how far along a business is in achieving their company objectives. By laying out the metrics your business plans to gauge, you will have a clear indication of what is and is not working for your business.

In digital marketing, we look at KPIs to track the success of different advertising campaigns. By measuring your site’s performance in comparison to industry standard metrics, you heighten your chances of success.


PPC: Pay Per Click

Pay Per Click advertising is a digital marketing model that allows users to pay when an advertisement is clicked. This acronym is interchangeable with CPC (see above) with all click fees directed to the publisher. The publisher could be a search engine, social media platform or website.

Also see CPC

PPV: Pay Per View

Pay per view is a payment method used for video or image advertisements. Advertisers pay every time their ad is seen by an audience for a specified period of time. PPV ads use the same concept as ordering a sports match pay per view on cable TV; however, rather than the consumer paying the fee to watch or view the content, the advertiser pays to show it to them. This scheme works out well for advertisers because the advertiser is only charged when the ad is loaded and viewed for a specified length of time.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is a form of PPC advertising (see above). It is a way for businesses to pay for valuable ‘real estate’ on SERPs (see below). The most popular form of search engine marketing is Google AdWords. Based on the keywords associated with your ad and your maximum bid, ads are displayed in one of 7 available positions on the returned SERPs.

Also see PPC

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is the method used to enhance a website’s position in Google search results (or SERPs). The aim is to boost a site up the ranks to eventually appear on page one for selected keywords. This visibility brings businesses more organic traffic and increases brand exposure. This form of advertising is unpaid and works by manipulating a website to meet certain criteria or ranking factors to appear higher in search results.

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SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages

Search Engine Results Pages are what appear when you complete a search on engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!. The results are ranked in relation to their relevance to the search query and appear as a single hyperlinked title with an accompanying caption (or Meta Description). There are usually multiple SERPs for each search, but most searchers will alter their key phrase and search again before clicking through to page two. That’s why it’s so important to employ SEO for your digital marketing strategy.

ROI: Return on Investment

Return on Investment isn’t just a marketing term, it’s used across businesses far and wide to assess the efficacy of any singular investment or to compare multiple investments. The ROI is the total return relative to the cost of the investment. At WME, it generally refers to an advertising or marketing investment that brings about a financial benefit to our clients.

To find out your ROI, you can use the following formula:

ROI = (Profit – Cost)/Cost

USP: Unique Selling Proposition

Your USP is your best asset as a business – it’s what makes you stand out amongst the rest. Knowing what you offer in relation to your competitors gives you the best ammunition with which to advertise your business. The unique selling proposition is ultimately why someone would buy your product or service, so you want to make sure you leverage it wherever you can.

UX: User Experience

User Experience refers to the user’s complete interaction with your website, from the point of landing on your site to the point of exit. A site with a good UX demonstrates that the owner understands consumer and their needs by providing seamless site navigation to make it easy to find the information they’re looking for. Moreover, the UX also has to do with aesthetic qualities, like design, that give the user a sense of your brand personality.


Digital marketing can be a confusing field to uncover, so hopefully now you’re a little more in-the-know and can navigate a little easier across the rocky digital landscape. If you are ever speaking to a WME digital marketing expert, don’t hesitate to ask if you don’t understand a term used. We want to ensure you are a well-informed as possible about your digital marketing efforts so you can make the right decisions for your business.

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By Jen McKinnon

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