Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to recall what a bounce rate means? Or you’ve wondered what MOFU stands for. Well, this digital marketing glossary is for you.

Digital marketing has its own vocabulary, acronyms and jargon that’s specific to the industry. Whether you’re new to the industry or a veteran, sometimes it can be difficult to recall the hundreds of terms that you should know, as well as to ensure that you’re using the correct term.

With that thought in mind, we at Make Your Mark have composed a list of digital marketing terms and definitions to help to remain fluent in the language of the industry. The list is in alphabetical order and will be updated as we discover more terms relevant to digital marketing.


404 Error

“Oops! This page doesn’t exist.”

Or, “Page not found.”

You’ve seen this before, and it means exactly what you think it means. The page doesn’t exist, or the server can’t find it at the moment. Sorry about that. 

If this happens on your own website, note that you may have deleted a page but the URL is still out there on the Internet, which will cause this to happen.

301 Redirects 

Let’s say you moved to a new house. Three weeks later, you realize you forgot to have your mail forwarded to your new address. If you were a URL, a 301 redirect would be equivalent to the change of address form you fill out at the post office. All users who try to get to the old URL will be automatically sent to the new one.

302 Redirects

A 302 redirect does the same thing as the 301, but it’s temporary. Most people use a 302 redirect when they know they only need a new URL for a limited amount of time.


A/B Testing 

This is a fancy technical term for what’s essentially a digital “who wore it better” contest. 

It goes like this:

A company will take a web page they want to improve, then tweak it. The tweak can be as small as a title change or as big as a full redesign of the page. Then a test group will come in, and half will see the updated page while the other half will see the original. Their responses to each version of the page are recorded, helping the company decide whether to go with the update or stick with the original. That’s basically it!

A/B testing doesn’t have to be just for websites. People use it for email subject lines, newsletters, website design, and more! It’s a handy way to get from “I wonder what the right choice is?” to “Got it, this one.” without any guesswork.

Ad Extensions

These are extra bits of information you can show with ads. Ad extensions tend to be the where, how, and why of the product of service you’re selling. If you were advertising a hotel, your extensions might include a link to the reservations page (how), your hotel’s address (where), and a mention of a glowing review (why). Don’t be afraid to hog page space with your ad extensions. In this case, more is more.


Make money fast with Google AdSense! This free tool puts relevant-ish ads on your site, getting you paid for just existing. Google handles the billing, so all you have to do is sign up and choose where you want the ads to appear on your site.

Affiliate Marketing

Every once in a while, reef sharks will plop themselves on the seafloor and open wide to let the cleaner fish come in to tidy up. They don’t eat the fish, because they’re doing the sharks a favor, and vice versa. Affiliate marketing is a bit like that. It taps into the symbiotic relationship between merchants and salespeople, advertisers and publishers. A shoe lover’s blog might partner with their favorite brand of shoes to do a product review, complete with an affiliate link to a certain shoe. When someone clicks on that link and buys the shoe, the blog will get a commission from the sale. Win-win.

Algorithmic Marketing

An approach to digital marketing that utilizes technology and tools like algorithms, AI, and advanced data analytics to strategically optimize and automate marketing decisions and activities.

Alt Text (Alternative Text)

Alt text is a short description of an image that appears when it fails to load. It’s also a useful phrase that helps search engines find and sort the image. For alt text, the more specific you are, the better. If you have a picture of a house, don’t just label it “house.” Use something like “saltbox house on the coast of Rhode Island.”


For marketing, analytics just means the collection of data gathered from users who visit your website or buy your product. It covers things like time spent on a webpage, visitor demographics, or how many likes and comments a post on Instagram gets. Basically, any behavior that can be measured is part of analytics.

Anchor Text

It’s a clickable piece of text, often connected to another webpage. It can look like this. When you use anchor text, be intentional about it. Match the text to the page you’re linking it to. “Pet adoption” should send users to a site or page about adopting pets.


This is exactly what it sounds like: streamlining processes. No one wants to sit around sending emails to a thousand people one by one. Automation software does it for you, and a lot quicker, too. You can type out one email and send it to a thousand people in a matter of minutes.  

Average Position

Google’s front page has 10 spots where ads can appear. Where your ad usually ends up on that 1-10 scale is called its average position. The closer your number is to 1, the better your ad is performing.


B2B (Business to Business)

A business that sells products or provides services to other businesses. Think Microsoft or Slack.

B2C (Business to Consumer)

A business that sells products or provides services to consumers. Think Amazon.


Remember anchor text? That’s talking about the words; backlinks means the actual link itself. A backlink is a link on another site that leads back to yours. Not to be confused with hyperlink.

Banner Ad

They’re notoriously common these days, so you’ve probably seen a million of them. Banner ads are basically online billboards that live at the top, bottom, or side of a web page. Designers tend to use bright colors and eye-catching text to get people’s attention and encourage them to click on the ad. If you’re a publisher, banner ads are a great way to make money off your site. Every time someone clicks on a banner ad on your web page, you earn a commission from the advertiser.

Banner Blindness

Because banner ads are so common, people ignore them, no matter how good or relevant the ad is. It’s pretty much universally acknowledged that there will be ads on every web page you visit, so our attention skips right past them, which is called banner blindness.

Black Hat SEO

Super shady tactics people use to get ahead of the line in a search engine’s results page. If you decide to cheat like this, trusted search engines like Google will catch you and punish you—possibly by wiping your page from the search results entirely. Some common black hat SEO tactics are keyword stuffing, paying for links to your site, and link farming.


Everyone has a blog. Literally everyone. This is where websites will churn out *relevant* content in order to get people’s attention. Blogs are typically written, but people are branching out into a blend of video, images, and written word to keep it fresh for their audience. In marketing, you’ll probably see “10 SEO Strategies for Beginners” or “What is E-Commerce? Ten Steps to Get Started,” and titles like that.

Bounce Rate

Have you ever walked into a store and then walked right out without looking at anything? That’s what bounce rate measures: how many people came to the site and immediately left. A high bounce rate, like 85%, is bad. The lower your number is, the better. You won’t ever reach 0% though, so don’t even try. Aim for somewhere between 26% and 40%.

Bounce rate means something different when it comes to email marketing. If an email bounces, it means it can’t be delivered.

Brand Affinity

How do you make friends? You bond with them over shared interests or values. Brands do the same thing with their consumers, and it’s called brand affinity. Relationships take effort, so it’s not enough to be amazing. You have to stay amazing and engaged with the consumer to make your relationship last. Most brands do that with very mild forms of internet stalking, tracking clicks, likes, and comments to get a peek into consumers’ heads.

Brand Awareness

Joe: “Here, give me your number and we can go out for coffee sometime?”

Sarah: “Wait, you have an Android?”

Joe: “Is that a problem?”

Sarah: “Uh, yeah, I’m an iPhone person. Sorry, I’m going to have to cancel that coffee. I feel like we won’t be able to truly connect if I can’t use all of my emojis.”

Unfortunately for Joe, Sarah has a deep connection with Apple and Apple products. She knows her iPhone’s features inside out, and knows her emoji chains won’t be properly communicated to someone who has an Android. So, you can say that Apple has an insanely high level of brand awareness, to the point where some consumers like Sarah take the brand on as part of their identity. That kind of brand-consumer relationship is something many companies strive for, to build lifelong customers.

Button Ad

A baby banner ad! You can put these adorable things anywhere.


Buzzwords are (sometimes) clever, mostly made up words that are supposed to make people sound Cool and Important. “Let’s circle back.” “Humaning.” “Gamification.” Hear that? That’s us exhibiting peak effort to be *trendy*. Here’s a tip: the trendier you sound, the less people actually want to listen.


Call to Action (CTA)


When you see that on a page, it’s pretty clear what you’re supposed to do there. That’s what a call to action is. A painfully clear, sometimes aggressive direction to users on a website. It can look a little desperate, but literally everyone does it—including us—so it’s standard. 


A chatbot is a computer program doing its best to catfish us. It plays human, usually doing customer service or informational stuff. If you use Bank of America, you’ve probably met the chatbot Erica. And, if you read the news at all, you’ve probably heard of ChatGPT, another bot. You don’t need to worry about the AI apocalypse just yet, though. There’s a long way to go before those systems are capable of that. Whether we’ll get to that point or not…who knows?

Click Map

This is honestly a little creepy when you think about it. When you visit a website, it’s tracking you. Website creators can take that tracking data and make a little thing called a click map, which shows up like those infrared cameras for thermal imaging. It tells creators exactly where people are clicking when they visit the site. Red is a hot spot, blue is a…not hot spot. A click map is a good tool to find out if your buttons are working, or if there’s a place on your site that’s super confusing. 

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

So say you put an ad up on Instagram. You take the number of clicks, compare it to the number of views, and there’s your click rate. How many people clicked after viewing? CTR can be measured on digital ads, email campaigns, landing pages, and more. 

Commerce Media

A form of digital advertising on retail websites that finds and leverages connections between media impressions and consumer behaviors. The correlating insights enable you to refine your target audiences, improve your content and customer experience, and ultimately increase sales.

Content Hub

Picture a wheel:

The center of the wheel is your content hub, or a main content topic. The spokes of the wheel represent internal links to additional content that supports or is related to the main topic.

Contextual Advertising

See, this sounds fancy, but it just means that the ad choices on a certain page are made based on the content of the page, and not the users visiting it. If you’re on a page that talks about glasses, you might see a Warby Parker ad.

Conversion Path

Remember Dora the Explorer? Remember her map, where she lays out her journey to wherever she’s going? That’s what a conversion path is. It’s a carefully arranged map that leads users to the end of the rainbow, aka to subscribing, or clicking, or giving whatever information the page wants you to. 

Conversion Rate

People put a lot of thought into the conversion path to increase the conversion rate, which measures how many people actually got to, as discussed above, the end of the rainbow. If your conversion rate is 5 percent or above, you can start working on your evil laugh, because…MUAHAHAHA it’s WORKING! THEY’RE FALLING STRAIGHT INTO MY TRAP!


Ugh, who thought of this? It’s such an ugly word. Like moist. *Shudders*

A crawler is a robot made to scan websites and index them. Search engines like Google and Bing use them all the time. Say the search is for “cats.” The bot will go through the Internet looking for pages that have something to do with cats, and spit out a nice long, long list. After that, Google or Bing can look at the list and decide what order to put the pages in, depending on how relevant they are. 

Customer Acquisition Cost

Marketing ain’t cheap. All those ads and other desperate things companies do to get attention really do add up. Customer acquisition cost is how much money it takes to get one new customer. Take what you spent on marketing in a single year, divide it by how many customers you had in that year, and there’s your number. 

Customer Experience

It’s all about the connection. How well you vibe with your customers. Customer experience is kind of broad, so you can break it down into these parts: what you’re selling, and how you’re selling it. 

Make sure you’re selling an unbeatable product. It needs to be so good that people can’t ignore it like they do everything else.

Now you’re going to have to kiss a little ass. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of competition in the marketing game makes the service part of customer service more important than anything. When they do business with you, do your customers feel like the special snowflakes their parents probably told them they were? Do they feel like you cared about them? If the answer is no, you’re not doing your job right. Remember that happy customers are loyal customers.

Customer Pain Point

It’s an issue that a customer has in the marketplace. The term really escalated from the definition, don’t you think? Why so dramatic? 

The pain point can be anything from expensive subscription fees (looking at you, Netflix) to bad customer support. There are official categories for the many, many pain points a customer can have, and those are productivity (e.g., too many products and no filters to narrow a search down), financial, support, and process (e.g., how clear your website is).


Demand Generation

This is mostly self-explanatory. Demand generation…generates demand? It’s sort of an umbrella term that covers the tactics sellers use to make people want to buy their stuff. More specifically, demand generation is about that first step: making people aware of the product. 

Description Tag

A piece of HTML code that is…wait for it…a description of a webpage. The better your description tag is, the higher your site will rank on a search engine. So make sure your content and description are in agreement.

Digital Marketing

Right, okay so this is like when we use the human brain to study the human brain. A digital marketing blog defining digital marketing. A little paradoxical, no?

Let’s define marketing first. That’s the meatier word. Marketing is the word we use for the many, many ways we’ve come up with to get people to buy what we’re selling. If you’re a service provider, seller, or publisher, you’re marketing. If you’re on social media, you’re marketing. Honestly, the marketing world is so big and has so many crossovers with other sectors, that it’s hard to say where it starts and where it ends. 

Now we throw the word “digital” in front of it. That just means that people are using computer technology to do the marketing. Images, video, internet, etc.

Digital Marketing Metrics

How do you measure marketing? How do you prove to someone that the weird slogan you came up with is actually doing something? Metrics. Such a buzzword. It’s the data used to track how people on the Internet are responding to a company’s marketing. You’ll probably hear these terms when metrics are discussed: conversion rate, bounce rate, clickthrough rate, conversion path.

Direct Traffic

No, this isn’t a crossing guard with a whistle and a bright orange vest. Direct traffic means people who visit a site *gasp* without being lured there by an ad. But wait, it also means the source of a visit can’t be traced. So your website’s direct traffic could be friends and family who just typed in your URL or a super shady fan of your site. 

Display Network

Think of a world filled entirely with blank billboards waiting to be rented out. That’s kind of what a display network is—but, in our real world, those billboard spaces are scattered across websites and apps. Take Google Ads, for example. That’s a display network. You can buy ads, and target specific people using their searches. Like this: a pet store can put ads in front of people who Google “dog adoption.”

Domain Name

google.com, netflix.com, apple.com

Those are domain names. It’s how you find a website. Your domain name should match your business name. It’s just awkward if your business is called “Donuts4Lyfe” and your website is called bagels.com.

Double Opt-in

This is so *romantic*. After someone subscribes to your email list, you can send them a confirmation or verification. 

“Are you sure?”

“Yes! I love you so much!”

Ideally, that’s what a subscriber is thinking when they get that confirmation email. In reality, it’s kind of hit or miss. Good: it filters out bots and one-timers. Bad: it can be annoying to have the extra step and prevent new subscribers from actually subscribing. 

Drip Campaign

When you use a series of pre-planned emails to customers and potentials to boost sales and interaction. Since there’s so much email automation software out there, it’s easy to set up a drip campaign without hassle. Then you can sit back and let the software do its work. 


Email Automation

What is email automation, you ask? A lifesaver. It honestly gives me chills to imagine what it was like before, when people had to type out individual reply emails to hundreds of people. We are so, so lucky to have software that just…does it for us automatically. 


Online shopping. That’s what it is. A lot of the larger sellers have both online and physical stores, but many small businesses are completely online. A rough estimate has us at over 12 million online sellers in the world today. That’s just—I mean, can you imagine how big a mall would have to be to fit everyone in there?!

Email List Segmentation

People are different. People are *unique*. It’s not a good idea to send the same email to every single person on your contact list. Email list segmentation is how marketers tackle that. Grouping people by their similarities makes it easier for marketers to tailor communication specifically to their interests, and keep them feeling special. So, on Mailchimp, you might have a full list of 1,000 people, and then segment them into college students, young professionals, mid-level professionals, and senior executives. 

Email Marketing

A direct way to let customers and potential customers know about new products or services. It’s a tricky thing, walking the fine line between just enough communication and too much communication. 

Email Spam

Well, this is an ugly word. It brings gross things to mind. Email spam is anything that you get in your inbox that you a) didn’t sign up for and b) don’t want. Unfortunately, everyone with a shred of a presence on the Internet is very findable. Spam will follow you wherever you go. 

Engagement Rate

This is how you find out if you’re as cool or interesting or unique as you think you are. So, you posted something on your blog. It got one and zero comments and shares. …Not great. That low engagement rate means you need to step up your game, like a lot. Social media is where you’ll talk about engagement rate the most. 

Ephemeral Content

Content that capitalizes on FOMO and is only available for a short period of time, thus encouraging users to actively pay attention to your content.

Exit Rate

Not to be confused with bounce rate, exit rate tracks how many people leave a website page. Let’s say you go to your favorite online store, click on a pair of shoes, then leave to try a different site. Exit rate would be measured for the last page you were on, which is the pair of shoes. 

Unlike bounce rate, a high exit rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A high exit rate on a “Thank You For Your Order” page, for example, makes sense.


Facebook Ads Manager 

Create and run your own ads on Facebook! Now that it’s rebranded, this handy tool is under what’s now called Meta for Business. You can also track your ad performance, and track billing and payments.

Facebook Audience Insights

This is how you stalk your fans in return. Audience Insights collects information from people who visit your page—things like demographics, geography, and more. Now that Audience Insights is under the umbrella of Meta Business Suite Insights, you can get data from Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Messenger Bots

Remember chatbots? Facebook has them doing the customer service grunt work over FB Messenger.



I don’t know why, but this sounds so sinister. Everyone is tracked these days, and geofencing is just another way of using that tracking data to serve you stuff based on where your location is. Think of Snapchat! Depending on where you are, Snapchat shows you certain ads and lets you use certain filters.

So, a geofence is just a virtual boundary that borders a specific geographical area. Geofencing utilizes IP addresses to target a localized audience by making certain ads available to users within the boundary.


Let it be known that geotargeting is different from geofencing! One more time, louder for the back: geotargeting and geofencing are not the same!

The difference is that geotargeting considers location in addition to specific consumer criteria, like behaviors, interests, and demographics. So if you’re walking past a McDonald’s while listening to Cardi B on repeat, an ad might pop up to promote the Cardi B meal. Honestly, not mad about it.

Tip for remembering the difference between geofencing and geotargeting:
Geotargeting is ordered after geofencing alphabetically, and also considers more factors.


<insert funny gif that explains what a gif is>

An excellent form of communication. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not take a short segment of a moving picture and maybe slap 3-5 clever words on top of it? Best of both worlds plus some sparkle.

Aside from the meme potential, a GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is just plain old eye-catching. People usually use them to spice up emails. Also, watching a GIF loop over and over again is strangely hypnotizing.

Google Ads

This is an online advertising service run by Google (*in a Professor Snape voice* obviously). Companies do all sorts of things from create and run ads, to pay to rank higher in search engine results. 

Google Algorithm

This is a two-parter. First, let’s make “algorithm” really simple. It’s a step-by-step procedure that solves a problem. Following a recipe to bake a cake is an algorithm.

Now we can add Google. The Google Search algorithm is the power behind how search results are generated and ranked. It’s updated at least twice a day, and the changes are barely noticeable. Say you Google the word “rock.” The algorithm figures out what you mean (like a stone or Dwayne Johnson), finds the most relevant and credible information on the Internet, and then presents it to you in a nice bundle of 5,340,000,000 results. 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the hub for tracking everything on the Internet. It’s the ultimate peek behind the curtain at the Internet machine. It looks at user traffic patterns, website performance, and allll the metrics you can imagine. It’s totally free, too, so it’s a favorite among small businesses who want to grow.

Google My Business

A Google My Business account lets an owner control their business page on Google. Almost all online retailers have a managed business page on Google. It helps customers find them, and helps businesses engage with their customers. 

Google Search Console

This is a free tool that enables you to monitor and maintain your website’s presence and performance in Google’s search results. You can use this tool to ensure Google can locate and crawl your website, solve indexing issues, and review traffic data and backlinks.

Guerilla Marketing

This type of marketing is all about getting attention by doing weird things. It’s usually super low-budget, and is a fast and dirty way to get results. It’s like a flash mob: unexpected and sometimes irritating, but you can’t look away because it’s just so odd.


Hard Bounce

Ouch, REJECTED. When you send an email and immediately get some sort of “not delivered” message back, that’s a hard bounce. It could be that there’s a typo in the address, or that they just…don’t want you :’(.


A #hashtag is a #socialmedia #thing that #sorts #content. There’s a fine line between #relevant hashtags and desperate hashtag stuffing. Don’t be desperate. Be relevant.


A fun way to display data. It uses thermal imaging colors to show how people interact with a site. Red is a high traffic area, blue is low traffic. So, an “order now” button could be bright red if a product is selling well, or blue if it’s not. A click map is a type of heatmap.

HTML Banner

It’s like a banner ad, but make it HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). They’re fast-loading, high-quality, animated, and can be adapted for desktop and mobile. There’s a little code that goes into making an HTML banner, but that’s nothing a YouTube tutorial can’t fix. 

HTML Email

An email written using HTML instead of plain text. …What does that mean??

Plain is plain. No images, no links, no fancy fonts. 

HTML is the opposite of plain. With HTML, you can code all sorts of things into an email. Graphics, embedded images, maybe video. Just…be careful with this. Too much, and the email will load s l o w l y, just like a buggy web page. Also, not all inboxes are formatted to work with HTML emails.

House List (aka Retention List)

Once someone subscribes to your site or opts in or interacts with it in some way that gives you their information, they go on the house list. All of your customers and subscribers are on that list. Using that info, you can send promotional emails, newsletters, and more. 


No, I didn’t stutter. Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP. This is how you connect with a web server. If a domain name is where a site is located, HTTP is what gets you to the site.


The encrypted version of HTTP. More secure. More reliable. Only at Verizon.


Think of it like a signpost that you can click on and instantly be teleported to that location. A hyperlink uses HTML code to connect information across different web pages. It usually looks like this. Don’t confuse hyperlink with backlink. Every link is a hyperlink, but only some are backlinks.



An impression happens when your content loads and someone has a chance to look at it. It’s easier to count impressions when your ad or post is online, because you can track individual clicks. But if your ad is a billboard outside, the number becomes more of an estimate because you have to include everyone on the street, cars passing by on the highway, people working in the buildings nearby…it’s a headache ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a crafty little approach to marketing that focuses on getting customers by providing solutions to their problems. The technique looks at what customers want and need, and gives it to them, establishing loyalty and long-term relationships. 

Incentivized Traffic

It’s a tough marketing world out there, and you do what gotta do to get ahead. Some people buy followers, and some people buy clicks. Incentivized traffic is made by paying visitors for their attention. It’s not always an exchange of cash. It could be a free ebook, a game token, or a discount on a product. 

There’s a fine line to walk here. If too much of your traffic is incentivized, not only is that bad for your budget, it also looks bad to potential customers. They’ll think your website or product probably sucks if you have to pay people to notice it.


We have a love-hate relationship with this word today because there are just so many “influencers.” And on every platform, too. An influencer is a person with a large, loyal following on social media. Companies use influencers as brand ambassadors, or make deals with them to get to their followers through them. Symbiosis.

Instagram Advertising

Advertising via Instagram. This is actually really effective. The majority of online shoppers are also on Instagram, making it an easy way to catch their attention. Most Instagram ads look fun and cool, which is even more attractive to see on a social feed. 

Instagram Stories

It’s a feature of the Instagram app that lets people put photos and videos on their profile that disappear in 24 hours. When someone posts a story, it appears at the very top of a follower’s feed.



A programming language that adds spice to a webpage. Without JavaScript, the Internet would be a very boring place. Dropdown menus, pop-ups, animations…those are all things done with JavaScript.


Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

A celebrity in the marketing world, it’s rare to go a day without reading or hearing about KPIs. Where metrics measure day-to-day performance, KPIs track long-term performance and are tied to more significant decisions about a company’s finances, strategy, and so on. 


A keyword is a word or a group of words that match what people are searching on Google or other engines. The more you incorporate keywords into your posts and website, the better chances you’ll have at appearing high up in the search results.

Keyword Density

How many times does a keyword appear on your web page? What percentage does it make up of the blog? The number that answers those questions is your keyword density. 

Keyword Phrases

Keyword, but make it more. Phrases are a good way to specify your content. If you’re a really niche website, it’s better to go for really specific keywords and phrases for clarity. 

Keyword Research

This is how people find the right keywords to use in the first place. If you work in SEO, this is a big part of your job. Keyword researchers look at the most searched words and phrases, and their related searches. 

Keyword Stuffing 

When every other word on a page is a keyword. Keyword overload. People try this to fool search engines, but it tends to just get their site banned or wiped instead. 

Keyword Tags

These are a type of meta tag that pop up in the HTML code of a web page. They should be accurate to what your site’s purpose is, otherwise a search engine will just get confused. If it’s a cooking site, the keyword tags better be cooking-related.


Landing Page

A landing page is the web page you end up on when you click on a link in some form of marketing campaign (email, socials, etc.) They’re usually standalone pieces, and filled with ultra specific content for a single campaign. 

Ever visited the Airbnb website? Chances are you’ve seen their “become a host” landing page. Now that’s a fabulous page with clear intention. 

Landing Page Optimization

The how-to of making your landing page more attractive to potential customers. Some common strategies are simplicity, clarity, and scarcity techniques.


A lead is any person who could become a customer. If you have a physical store, everyone who walks in is a lead. If your store is digital, a lead could be someone who just subscribed to your mailing list. 

There’s a joke to be found somewhere in this…once you remember that “lead” can also be defined as a leash for a dog or other animal. Think about that. 

Lead Generation

So you want more leads, and eventually customers. That makes sense. Then you better find some cool new ways to get people interested in what your business is selling. That’s what lead generation is: figuring out how to attract people to your site or store. 

Lead Nurturing

People love feeling like they’re special. They especially love feeling wanted. Lead nurturing involves a very specific kind of pandering to potential customers that nearly every business has to do at some point. It’s almost like a rite of passage on the journey to company growth. 

Nurturing becomes necessary when your business has a lot of interest, but not many people sealing the deal with a purchase. This is when you step in with your best customer service smile and start flirtin—ahem, marketing. Personalize emails. Stay in touch consistently, but not overwhelmingly. Offer a discount on the first purchase. Just make them feel like they matter to you.

Link Building

Like a spider weaving its web, you too can build a sinister, nearly invisible network of hyperlinks that all lead back to your site…MUAHAHA! They’ll never see it coming!

No, but seriously, when link building goes right, there are massive benefits to your site. The more your site is connected to others via hyperlinks and backlinks, the more visible and credible it will be. Search engines will love it. From there, it’s just a cascade of goodness. Higher search results ranking leads to more traffic, which leads to leads, and ultimately more customers. 

Live Streaming

The utterly terrifying moment when you broadcast a live video in real time to your audience on the Internet. This usually happens on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and more. News outlets also use live streaming to draw in viewers when covering special events like the New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York. 

Beware, live streamers. There are absolutely zero take backs here. There is no hiding. If you make a regrettable mistake, it will live forever on the Internet—to your eternal shame. Don’t ever believe a platform if it claims the footage will be erased after the live stream ends. Someone always records. Be smart, and be careful. 

Lo-Fi Content

This refers to content that has a more authentic, personality-driven feel to it. Think of content that feels less glossy and more unfiltered—content that feels more “real” and relatable.

Lo-Fi Social Media Content

This refers to lo-fi content specifically seen on social media platforms. Lo-fi social media content has become quite popular, especially among influencers. Think of videos that have a DIY quality and/or minimal editing.

Long Tail Keyword

It’s a keyword, but it’s 3-5 words instead of one or two. Long tail keywords are more specific, and help a site get to those niche audiences. Like, I don’t know…Bronies?


Marketing Plan

A marketing plan is your ultimate battle plan of advertising strategy. It covers audience outreach and PR, as well as the specifics of each campaign. A solid plan significantly increases your chances of success, but there’s a shred of luck involved too. There always is. May the odds be ever in your favor. 

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

We mentioned what a lead is above, and now we’re going to get a little more specific. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is someone who has shown interest in buying your stuff. They’re the window shopper or casual browser in the store. 

Media Kit

Also known as a press kit, a media kit is a handy little promotional package (mostly digital, sometimes physical) meant to summarize a product or a brand. People normally send out media kits before a product launch or a similar event. A good media kit is enticing enough to get the recipient’s genuine interest in the product, not just the perks that come with it. 

Meta Descriptions

It’s a tidbit of text, under 160 characters, that gives you a summary of a web page’s content. Meta descriptions actually don’t affect SEO, but they can be a deciding factor in whether or not someone clicks on your site. Keep it short, sweet, and accurate.

Meta Tag

Meta tags are a bit like meta descriptions, except they’re not visible anywhere except in the source code of a web page and they do occasionally affect SEO. They also describe a page’s content in nice bite-sized chunks of text. 

Mobile Advertising

It’s your usual marketing techniques, but make it smartphone formatted. Since most people have some sort of smartphone nowadays, reformatting an ad to fit the dimensions of a phone screen is very important. In fact, it’s more and more common for someone’s first contact with a piece of content to be on their phone.

Mobile Page Optimization

Like mobile advertising, mobile page optimization is about making sure your website has a mobile screen format—whether that’s streamlining and enlarging blocks of text or putting the menu into a single icon. It’s vital for all websites to have mobile functionality, otherwise you’ll lose a huge amount of traffic.


Niche Marketing

This is a type of marketing that targets really specific demographics. Smaller groups of people can give you more authentic and meaningful engagement. If you’re selling climbing shoes, one campaign might target free solo climbers. 

No Follow Link

When a “no follow” HTML tag is added to a link, it’s telling search engines to ignore it. They don’t affect search results page ranking. The tag was originally created to fight blog comment spam, and now they’re a tool you can use to direct more traffic to your site.

Non-Endemic Ads

These are ads shown on a retailer’s website from non-competing brands that share overlapping audience demographics.

For example, say you run an online bookstore and have ad space available for purchase. If you sell ad space to a company that sells handmade blankets and pillows, their ads would be considered non-endemic. This is because your online bookstore doesn’t sell blankets and pillows, but your audiences have overlapping interests.


On Page SEO

Everything you can do on and in your website to improve how you rank in search engine results is called on-page SEO or onpage optimization. Common tactics include using more keywords in blog content, writing an awesome meta description, or meta tags. 

Open Rate

How many people actually opened the email you sent? That’s what an open rate measures. A good open rate hovers around 17-28%—depending on your industry. 

Opt-in (Subscribe)

Offering a potential customer the choice to get marketing emails from a specific company. You’ll usually find this on a checkout page for a store’s website. 

Opt-out (Unsubscribe)

When your alma mater keeps begging you for donations, you can scroll all the way down the email to find that teeny tiny “unsubscribe” link. That’s how you opt out of receiving emails. Most of the time, it works, and you shouldn’t see another email from the sender. Other times, they ignore it and keep sending you emails because they’re annoying and desperate and spammy. 

Organic Search

Any traffic to your website that comes from people who haven’t interacted with any of your paid ads or email campaigns is organic traffic. If you tell a friend or family member about your blog, and they go and Google it the next day, that’s called an organic search. 


Page Performance

Page performance looks at the overall effectiveness of a web page. How fast is it loading? How is it ranking in search engines? How many people are visiting? From those visitors, how many are subscribing or purchasing? Etc, etc. 

Page Rank

How high your page ends up in the search results of a search engine like Google. The higher your rank, the closer to the top you are. 

Paid Advertising

Any ads you pay for. It could take the form of a banner ad, a social media ad, or more. One advantage of paid ads is that they get your brand in front of large audiences effectively. 

Pass Along Rate

Remember those weird chain emails of the early 2000s? If you were tracking one, the pass along rate would measure how many people sent the chain mail on to someone else. 

Pay Per Click (PPC)

You only pay your ad publisher when someone clicks on your ad.

Pay Per Lead (PPL)

You only pay your ad publisher when someone becomes a lead (subscribes to a mailing list, expresses interest in buying, etc).

Pay Per Sales (PPS)

You only pay your ad publisher every time someone buys your product after clicking on your ad. 

Permission Marketing

Consent is so sexy. Permission marketing relies on getting audience opt-ins to receive promotional information from a company. In checking that your potential customers actually want to get your emails, you’re increasing the chance that those potential customers take that last step to become customers. 


A podcast is an audio series hosted on the Internet. Ever listened to “My Favorite Murder”? True crime is one of the most popular podcast categories. Other popular categories are interviews, comedy, and society/culture. 


Where do you see yourself in five years? Um…in a house, hopefully. With a dog or a cat. And a paid off college loan. 

Just like how you envision life for yourself in the future, brands think about where and how they want their product or service to be positioned in the market. Since its founding in 1976, Apple has managed to position itself as the largest consumer electronics company in the world.

Pop Up Ad

The ultimate pain in the butt for many people in the early digital age. A pop up is an ad that opens a new browser window, demanding your attention RIGHT NOW! Attention-grabbing, yes. Effective, mm…sometimes.


Think of a big bulletin board with a whole bunch of marketing resources and assets that everyone can use. That board can also gather data and analyze performance. That’s a marketing portal. A one-stop shop for a company’s marketing team.

Programmatic Advertising

A digital approach to purchasing digital ads that utilizes software instead of people. Compared to a more traditional purchase approach, programmatic advertising is much more efficient, less expensive, and ultimately more consistent and reliable.


QR Code

You know those black-and-white squiggly patterns that sort of look like a square barcode and work with your phone’s camera? Those are QR codes, and they store various forms of information. Short for Quick Response, QR codes help users quickly access information like coupons, phone numbers, and direct links to web content.

Quality Score

A Google Ads tool that rates your ad compared to others on a scale of 1-10. A high score is good. It means your ad is more relevant than others to the keyword it’s tied to. 


“who would win in a fight between batman and iron man”


“why men lie”

Everything (no matter how weird) you put in the search bar of a search engine is a query. 



Where your site or page ends up in the results of a search engine. Rankings are tied to keywords, so your site might rank high for one and low for another. 

Reciprocal Links

If an external website puts a link to your site on their page, and you put a link to their site on your page, that’s a reciprocal link. It’s a nice way to boost both sites’ rankings. 

Referral Traffic

Traffic to your site that comes from customer recommendations. This can happen without asking, if your brand is just That Good. You can also ask your customers directly to recommend your products to their networks, but it’s best not to rely on that. 

Relevance Score

On Facebook Ads, relevance score is a predictive value Facebook assigns an ad based on how it thinks the target audience will respond. 10 is the best, 1 is the worst. If your ad has a high relevance score, it’ll actually cost less to send it out. 


Have you ever gone to your favorite online store, added a few items to your cart, realized your wallet was screaming in protest, then closed the tab without purchasing? Cut to the next day, and you get an email from that store saying, “Hey! Are you sure you don’t want to buy this stuff?” It’s called remarketing. Brands want you to remember them, to think about them and buy their products. So they’ll do what they can to steer you back to them if you leave. 

Return On Investment (ROI)

You give and you get back. That’s what investment is supposed to be. “Getting back” is the bread and butter of ROI. Everyone wants to make more money than they spend, and get that positive ROI. Life isn’t always fair, though. 


A text file in a website server that talks to crawlers and tells them what they can and can’t look at. If your website has confidential information on it, then it’s best to tell a crawler to stay away from that. 

Run of Network (RON)

When your ads go up on a collection of websites in an ad network, that’s RON. You can’t choose specific sites for your ads, so RON is better for spreading awareness instead of targeted ads. 

Run of Site (ROS)

Unlike RON, ROS means your ads will go up on the pages of a single site. Again, you’ll lose control over your ad placement, so ROS is better for broader audience ads.


Sales Accepted Lead

A sales accepted lead is an MQL that has been sent to the sales team.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

An MQL that has been sent to the sales team, verified, and accepted. Efforts can now begin in earnest to turn them from a lead into a customer. 

Search Algorithm 

See Google Algorithm. Long story short, it’s how a search engine gets its results. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

All the tools and tactics people use to get their website or page to rank higher in search results. Tags, keywords, metadata, all of it has to do with SEO. 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Paying for ads to appear on search engine results is called search engine marketing. Google and Bing are two of the most popular engines for SEM. 

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

After entering a query into the search bar, you press enter and the results pop up. That’s it. 

Single Opt-In

Unlike double opt-in, a single opt-in is a one and done. Enter your email, send the form, and boom. You’ll get emails from the people you just subscribed to. 

Social Listening

Remember that person in middle school who was obsessed with popularity and cared a little too much about how other people perceived them? We’ll be kind and call that person a very active social listener. Actually, social listening is a super necessary skill to have if you want to keep improving your product and company. Forget the narcissistic 12-year-old; in the adult world, staying on top of what your audience and customers think about your brand is just doing due diligence. The better you know your customers, the more effectively you can be a hero and solve their problems for them. 

Social Media Traffic

When people get to your site by finding it on social media first, that’s cleverly called…social media traffic. 

Social Networking

So you have your product, you have your website, you have social media accounts. Now, go one step further and engage. If you’re not approachable, you’re missing out on building consumer trust in your brand. That doesn’t mean you have to answer every single comment. It just means you need to get your customers to see themselves as part of a community. Your community. 

Social Selling

Using social media to scout out potential customers is social selling. Doing customer service and product announcements is also social selling. In this day and age, if your social media game is not on fleek, you’re going to find it very hard to grow. 

Soft Bounce

Unlike a hard bounce, a soft bounce is fixable. Maybe it’s a weird internet connection or temporary server issue. Try again later, and it should work. 


Junk email. Stuff you did not subscribe to. There’s some really gross spam out there. 

Subject Line

A line of text that’s supposed to tell you what the email is about. In marketing, it’s more like a “please don’t delete this, we’re actually interesting” line.


Target Audience

The people you’re aiming for with a marketing campaign. Sometimes a target audience forms naturally, sometimes not. Like, pacemakers are not going to be marketed for 18-year-olds. 

Text Ad

Text ads are—you guessed it—ads that use text and text links. While most ads feature images, text ads are great for PPC. 

Title Tag

An HTML tag that gives a web page a title. This is super important for SEO. Without a title, it’s hard for search engines to figure out if your page is relevant to a keyword or not. Also, it’s the most visible part of your site on a search results page. 

Top of Funnel Marketing (TOFU)

No, not the food. TOFU is the start of the marketing journey. This stage is all about broad audiences and wide awareness. This is when people find out that there’s a new brand or product out there. 

Tracking Codes

A small bit of source code meant to help websites track how many users are visiting and what they’re doing on the site. 



If you don’t quite meet a goal for the month, you’ve underdelivered. Oops. Better luck next time. 

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

www.[insert name here].com

We’ve all seen and typed that before. It’s the location of a site on the Internet. 

Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

“You should get this because we’re the only sustainable company in this industry.”

Sometimes, you just have to tell it to them straight. A UVP tells a customer exactly why they should buy your product. 

User Interface (UI)

The screen of your computer. Your keyboard. Your mouse. The menu of a website. Where human and machine meet for interaction. That’s what UI is.

User Experience (UX)

If UI is the where, UX is the how. How does a customer interact with the product, site, or brand from start to finish?

UTM Tracking Code

You add this at the end of your URL so you can track things like traffic sources, keywords, campaigns, and more.


Video Marketing

Tutorials, testimonials, and live streams, oh my! 

Video marketing is so in right now. It works well on social media, especially when you pair it with influencers. 


Going viral means getting A LOT of attention in a short span of time. You don’t normally keep that attention.

Viral Marketing

It’s like a worldwide game of telephone. A company puts out a message, and then tries to send it around the world using word-of-mouth means. Of course, the Internet means it’s more word-of-keyboard. 


When a person clicks on a link and gets to the landing page, that’s a visit. Part of measuring website traffic is counting visitors. 


A blog, but it’s all video.



A seminar that’s given via the web. They’re usually informative. 

Website Analytics

Kind of like social media metrics, website analytics cover all tracked user behavior. Where they found the site, how long they stayed, what parts they went to, how they clicked through, all of that data is part of it. 

Web Browser

Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc. 

Software that gives you access to the Internet. 

Web Design

The careful process of putting together a website with all its pages, buttons, and posts. It also includes designing the site for mobile and tablet. 

Web Hosting

A web host is a provider that sells space on their servers to store a website. You need a web host if you want your site on the Internet. 

Website Usability

Not to be confused with UX, usability focuses only on how easy a product is to use or learn. 

White Hat Marketing

Using marketing techniques that Glinda the Good Witch would approve of. There’s no shady business here. 

White Paper

An in-depth, informational paper on a specific topic. These are used to promote a product, educate, or present government policy and legislation. 


The skeleton of a website sketched out while planning its design. Think of it like your English essay outline or first draft.


Extensible Markup Language (XML)

XML is a relative of HTML. It organizes information using tags, so a computer can read and understand it. Think of it like a recipe book. A computer can use XML to find the information it needs, just like the cook looks at the recipe to see which ingredients they need. 

XML Sitemap

A file that holds a list of the pages, posts, etc. on a website. If you’ve ever exported a website, it’ll appear in your computer as an XML file.



YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform on the Internet. It’s also an advertising platform for marketers and businesses.

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