Digital Marketing Definitions You Should Know A-Z

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

As a business owner, it’s important that you have knowledge of what every department does within your company. Understanding the basic vocabulary used in marketing is a good start to helping you understand the industry and how it works. As digital marketers, we know it can be confusing, and at times you might not know what we are talking about. Before we jump in, it’s important to first understand what digital marketing is. So what is digital marketing exactly? Digital marketing is an umbrella term for online marketing. It is where companies use digital channels such as the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers and to connect online. So understanding the terms that are used in digital marketing is important to understanding the bigger picture. There are hundreds of terms to know, and it can feel a bit overwhelming at first which is why this resource only consists of the most commonly used terms. Whether you are new to digital marketing or just need a refresher, this A-Z list will provide you with all the main marketing terms you should know. From “bounce rates” to “UTM Tracking”, we hope this simple guide will help you navigate digital marketing a little easier.

Algorithm – A complex set of rules search engines and social platforms use to choose which content a user sees first. Algorithms are usually made up of factors including keyword bidding, ad relevance, quality score from the landing page, and optimization on the website.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of users who leave after only viewing one page of a website, as opposed to clicking on links or navigating to other pages. This metric is commonly used to help businesses determine user interest and decide what aspects of their website they should optimize. 

Conversions – The act of a user completing a desired call-to-action from a marketing message. This can be any action like downloading a pdf, filling out a form, making a purchase, clicking on an ad, or calling a business.

Demographics – Statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it. Demographics can be broken down by many factors such as age, gender, location, income, occupation, ethnicity, and race.  

Engagement Rate – A commonly used metric that measures the interaction that a post receives such as likes, comments, and shares. This metric helps measure how well your marketing is performing and how effectively it’s catching your audiences’ attention.

Frequency – The number of times a user sees a piece of content. It’s better to limit the frequency of an ad so the user doesn’t feel overwhelmed and develop a negative connotation with that brand.

Google AdWords – Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform, which enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and pay each time the ad is clicked. AdWords allows you to build, manage, and optimize campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords within a single account.

HTML or Hypertext Markup Language – A coding language used to create a website. The letters, symbols, and numbers within a text file determine what a website looks like and how it performs. 

Impressions – The number of times a piece of content is seen by a potential customer. This can be through a search engine results page or through display advertising, and is not action-based, meaning the user does not need to interact with the content for it to be considered an impression.

JavaScript – A programming language primarily used in web production that presents itself as animation or movement. Employing JavaScript on a website or page is what makes certain parts interactive, such as the search bar, a video, or a live-feed.

Keyword – A word or set of words used in Search Engine Optimization to help make up a site’s data and describe what’s on a web page. Using keywords helps users find a web page based on their search terms.

Lead – A conversion from a post or ad that provides information on a potential customer that can later be used to retarget and convert into a sale. This is a commonly used metric or KPI in any PPC Account.

Multichannel Communication – When a brand interacts with a customer across multiple channels to promote goods or services. Doing this increases the chance of a brand reaching a consumer in the right channel.

Niche – A specialization, segmentation or subset of an overall market or audience. Niches are created by using research to find the needs and wants of potential customers and developing a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Organic Traffic – Users coming to a website on their own through a search engine. Organic traffic is unprompted and uninfluenced and is a common metric that business owners should strive to increase.

Paid Search Traffic – The number of users that come to a web page through a paid advertisement, typically through a PPC channel such as Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising.

Quality Score – Used by Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, it is a metric used to measure the quality of ads, and can influence conversions and rankings. Factors that influence quality score can include CTR, load times, copy, and landing page quality.

Reach – The total number of views content receives over a specified period of time. With paid reach, a business will pay for their content to be viewed, while organic reach requires SEO to have users find the business on their own.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization –  Incorporating factors such as keywords, good copy, and backlinks in order to drive traffic and affect the visibility of a site organically. This is done by optimizing the content of a web page and increasing its relevance to certain keywords, increasing its ability to reach more users.

Testimonial –  A written or video recommendation or referral from a satisfied customer that confirms the quality, value, customer service, and performance of a product or service. Testimonials are effective because they provide social proof. 

User-Generated Content – Content that is created or shared online by your users. Using this type of content helps brands to better understand their target audience and their communities better.

Value Proposition – A statement promising a service, good, or feature that a customer would benefit from when purchasing a product or service. It improves customer engagement and helps your customers understand a company’s values, products and services.

Word of Mouth – The act of sharing news, communications, recommendations or referrals of a product or service organically with informal oral or written communication from a satisfied customer to a prospective one.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) Sitemap – A tool that helps search engines more effectively crawl a website. Having a sitemap helps organize data so it can be properly cataloged by a search engine.

You – A word that should be used consistently in your marketing messages! To connect with your audience, you need to talk directly to them. Always make the message about them because they are the ones who will choose whether to support your brand or not.

Zero – The amount of money we’re charging you to read this valuable information. All we ask is if you’ve learned even just one thing, we would greatly appreciate it if you share the knowledge with a Tweet, a Like or a Share. Thank you!

Understanding digital marketing requires an understanding of its terms as well. However, running a successful business online will take a whole lot more than just knowing these terms. We hope this list improves your understanding of marketing concepts, the principles you can apply, and which marketing methods might work best for your business. If you’re unsure, don’t worry because that’s why we are here to help! 

At MSM DesignZ, we know every marketing term out there because we practice it. With over 20 years in the business, we have seen how marketing has evolved from traditional to digital. We know the ins and outs of creating and promoting content, and we leave no stone unturned. There are no short-cuts for success, so that’s why we’re here to make it easier for you!  We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!