The digital marketing jargon dictionary

Posted by Vernon Joyce
February 17, 2020

Digital marketing is one of the most jargon-laden industries when it comes to this space. We love our TLAs (Thee Letter Acronyms), funnels and blast our stakeholders with data expecting them to just understand.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, and will be updated periodically.


Target users in digital advertising based on how they interacted with your business on your website or your app. Examples include buying a product, viewing some content, abandoning a cart, and more.

A framework where a prospect moves through stages, with each leading them closer to a conversion action.

Drip Campaign
A type of campaign where bits of information is released to customers over a period of time. This keeps current customers engaged with your brand.

Lead Nurturing
The process of building a relationship with a potential customer at every stage of the funnel, nudging them to the point of conversion.


Web cookies
A small file that saves information about you or how you use a website anonymously.


Users can start their journey on a website but convert on a mobile app. Attribution is the act of attributing the conversion to the website and not the app.

Personally Identifiable Information is any data that could expose who an individual is, which compromises their privacy. This includes: Address, email, social security or ID numbers and more.

The General Data Protection Regulation protects the data privacy of users in the EU by enforcing websites to ask consent for gathering their data.

Tools and Software

Google Data Studio
A free data visualization tool with integrations into several other platforms. Great for building marketing and website reports.

Google Lighthouse
A free tool by Google that allows you to scan any website for user experience issues.

Google Tag Manager
GTM allows the management of marketing tags at scale, without needing a developer, by placing into what’s called a container.

A paid tool for measuring SEO performance. It covers keywords, ranks, on-page SEO, backlinks and local SEO, and has their own metric called Domain Authority.

Google Analytics

Site search
Tracking what users search for on your website. Site search is a great way to investigate user intent using Google Analytics. Simply switch it on from your admin settings.

Session duration
The amount of time spent on your website in a single sitting (i.e. session). Useful for measuring the success of your user journeys.

Bounce rate
The percentage of users that left your website without taking another action (i.e. browse to a new page, clicked a button etc.). Bounce rate can be used for measuring how well ads are aligned to landing pages. A high bounce rate indicates that your landing page is not meeting user objectives, or that there is a disconnect between your marketing and web content.

Custom dimensions
Custom data points added to Google Analytics, used to enhance existing data. These dimensions can be used to analyse users or for targeting in digital marketing.

Goals are completed actions you expect your users to take in order to meet a marketing objective, such as filling out a form.

Acquisition Report
This Google Analytics report looks at how you acquired your users based on the channel they entered from and any campaign they interacted with to get there.

Behavior Report
This Google Analytics report unpacks how users behave on your product, such as the searches they perform and the pages they view.

Audience Report
This Google Analytics report provides insights on your audience, such as demographics, interests, technology and how they interacted with your product.

Conversions Report
The Conversions Report in Google Analytics provide insights on conversion actions taken by users, such as filling out a form. These actions need to be configured.

Realtime Report
The Realtime report in Google Analytics provides near real-time insights on user behavior, events, traffic sources and more.

Channel Grouping
Group traffic sources by the type of channel, such as social, direct, organic, email and more. Default Channel Groups can be modified to include your own definitions.

Google Tag Manager

A marketing tag (sometimes referred to as a pixel) is a piece of code added to your website or app that collects information about your users, or perform an action based on how users interact with your website.

Triggers in Tag Manager listens for specific events on your website, such as form submissions. Triggers will fire Tags when specific conditions are met.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

The amount of times your ads were served in a user’s search results – higher impressions mean more opportunity for users to click your ads. Impressions are usually a result of your budget (i.e. how much you are spending on ads) and whether you are targeting keywords that appear in a user’s search query. Impressions can also be useful for measuring brand awareness.

CPC (Cost per click)
Average cost per click on keywords, ads or search terms. Cost per click should reduce over a campaign’s lifetime as keywords and ads are optimised – a low cost per click is generally a result of how relevant your ads are.

In-Market Audiences
Target users in digital advertising based on what they are actively researching or planning – so what they are “in the market” for based on search and browser history.

Custom Intent Audiences
Target users who are in the process of making a decision. They are further down the marketing funnel than in-market audiences.

Amount of users that completed a specific action on your website or app. A conversion action can be almost anything and ultimately depends on your business objectives (i.e. sales, leads, engagement). Types of conversions include: Placing a call, submitting a form, reading a page, buying a product etc.

Ad Group
A group of individual adverts based on a theme or objective. Ad groups are always in a campaign.

Google Display Advertising
The banners that you see on websites as you browse the internet. They are often animated and clicks through to the website they are marketing.

Negative Keyword
Exclude your ad campaign from certain search terms. If you target “shoes” as a negative keyword, then your ads won’t show when someone includes “shoes” in their search query. A Google Ads campaign without negative keywords, is like an archer without aim; the only time you hit your target is when you’re lucky.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your website (owned channel) for search engines like Google and Bing. The purpose of SEO is to rank higher which improves your visibility on the Search Engine Results Page (see below).

Search Engine Results Page, the page that contains the actual search results.

The amount of times your website appeared in a search result organically. 

A link (referral) from another website to your website. Backlinks improve your brand and domain authority and provides the Google bot with context on your content.

Internal links
Links that link from one page to another page on the same website.

The information that is displayed alongside your web page on a Google search result. This includes a title, description and often some URL information

How usable is the website – does it work on mobile devices, are buttons big enough to click etc.

Google Search Console
Google’s search monitoring tool

Rich Snippet
Often referred to as “rank 0” is when Google pulls content from your website and displays it in response to a user’s question. This is highly coveted and is usually an SEO success indicator.

Redirect chain
When a page is redirected more than 3 times, or redirected in a loop until it crashes or times out.

Text that describes an image. Alt-tags are usually read and understood by screen readers (for visually impaired) and also used as a method for search engine bots to understand the image.

Local SEO
The practice of optimising your search visibility for a physical location, such as a store.

On-page SEO
Involves optimization of web pages in terms of content, page titles, keyword density, content quality, author authority and more.

Technical SEO
Factors that impact how your website is crawled, which includes: Structure, speed, architecture, UX, redirects and more.

An online reference or listing to your business name, features, locations or products. Generally used for improving local SEO.

Domain Authority
A metric created by Moz, used to measure SEO backlink performance. Also used by Google as a ranking factor to determine the authority of your content.

A paid service for building SEO citations. Humans (not robots) register your business on multiple online directories, with backlinks, photos and more.

UX (User Experience)

Core Web Vitals
Web vitals are set of website signals that measure impact on user experience. These signals aim to simplify Google’s complicated landscape of UX measurement tools into one concise standard. It consists of 3 core vitals:

  1. LCP – Largest Contentful Paint measures loading performance, so essentially how fast your website loads
  2. FID – First Input Delay measures how long a user has to wait before being able to interact with your website
  3. CLS – Cumulative Layout Shift measures the stability of your layout.

Web vitals are currently available in Chrome User Experience Report and have also rolled out to Search Console and Page Speed Insights. Moz has also recently adopted web vitals as a report.

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