Must-Know Digital Marketing Terms

April 7, 2020
April 7, 2020 calypso design

Must-Know Digital Marketing Terms

Digital marketing is chock full of jargon and acronyms. Plus, rapid changes in technology cause new terms to show up almost constantly. Even if you’re immersed in the industry, it can be hard to keep up with the latest marketing terms.

Quick! What’s the ROAS of that last paid search campaign? Did you A/B test it? What was the CTR?

1. Impressions

Basically, an “impression” is a set of eyeballs on your ad. In digital marketing terms, this means the number of times a user loads a page with your ad on it. It could also mean the number of people who open an email or see a social media post.

2. CPM

CPM stands for cost per thousand. So, wait, M stands for “thousand” now? M stands for mille, the Latin for 1,000, or you can think of it as the Roman numeral M. This is an advertising model in which you pay a certain amount for every 1,000 impressions.

Example: “I don’t know, that CPM is awfully high.”

3. CPC

CPC, on the other hand, is cost per click. With this model, you pay a certain amount for each user who actually clicks on your ad. Which model is cheaper depends on your goals.

Example: “I set a CPC bid of $0.20 for now.”

4. CTR

Your clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it. A low clickthrough rate means that your ad may need to be reworked. You calculate it by dividing the number of people who click by the number of people who viewed.

Example: “We got a clickthrough rate of 35%. That’s pretty good.”

5. Conversion rate

Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who see your ad, then go on to buy your product or take the action you classify as a “conversion.” (This could also be something like filling out a form to request a demo or consultation.)

A high conversion rate is one of the biggest goals of any advertising campaign, and if you have a low conversion rate, it may mean your copy or image needs work.

6. A/B testing

In marketing terms, A/B testing is when you take two potential ads and run them in tandem to see which one gives you the best results.

It’s a key element of any digital marketing campaign, and you should try to change only one part of the ad at a time, such as the photo or CTA (more on that term below). Think about when the eye doctor switches in different lenses to work out what prescription you need.

7. Backlink

A backlink is any link to your site that originates on another website. These are also called inbound links. Having plenty of quality backlinks (which means the site linking to you isn’t spammy) helps your search engine ranking and encourages people to check out your site.

You should avoid having a lot of low quality backlinks, as this can lower your ranking and quality score.

8. Direct traffic

Direct traffic refers to people who went to your website without being referred by a different site. Meaning, they typed in your URL directly or clicked on a bookmark.

An increase in direct traffic may indicate that an offline advertising project such as handing out flyers at a trade show has been a success. The majority of traffic is not direct.

9. Engagement

Engagement is interaction that your customers have with your content, particularly on social media — it generally includes comments, likes, shares, et cetera.

High engagement is most often achieved by posting interesting, quality content that your users can easily share. It can also be achieved by creating content that shows the human side of your brand or that features a valuable stat or quote.

10. CTA

CTA stands for call to action. Everything from your landing page to your ads should have a clear call to action, or a short instruction telling viewers what next action you want them to take. This can also up your CTR.

11. Hashtag

Most social media platforms use hashtags for topic reference. They’re the words or phrases that start with “#” symbol in a social media post. (They tend to be most popular on Twitter and Instagram.)

In digital marketing terms, you can use hashtags to attract your target audience, especially during a promotion, or to add your thoughts to a topic discussion. Some even use them for industry-specific chats.

12. Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the rate at which visitors leave your website after finding their way there. A high bounce rate indicates that a page on your website isn’t as described or isn’t enticing potential customers to stick around or continue to other pages.

13. ROAS

Return on ad spend (or ROAS) is the way your return on investment is calculated in marketing. For example, if you have a PPC account, you subtract the PPC cost from PPC revenue, then divide it by PPC cost to get your ROAS. Obviously, a higher ROAS is good, and this metric can often make you feel better about your ad spend.

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