The most important acronyms to know in the era of online marketing

Most popular online marketing acronyms In one of our recent Social Team meetings, we couldn’t help to notice the amount of acronyms that we are using day to day. Among our staff, they are very common and pop-up naturally in our conversations as if we were talking of pens and notepads. They are our new slang. The slang of a generation doing business online. However, it is a very different story when it comes to meetings with clients. As an agency that deals with restaurant owners, gym managers, company directors, and many different small to mid-size businesses, we constantly find ourselves in the need of educating our clients in terms of modern marketing trends and terms. That’s how the idea of sharing this glossary of acronyms came up, compiled with love not only for our current clients, but also for our interns, and anyone out there needing to have a better understanding of the actual online marketing slang. ALT Tags – HTML tags used to describe website graphics by displaying a block of text when moused-over. Search engines are generally unable to view graphics or distinguish text that might be contained within them, and the implementation of an ALT tag enables search engines to categorize that graphic. App – Short for application, an app performs a function on your mobile phone or computer. B2B (Business to Business) – Business that sells products or provides services to other businesses. While business-to-business activity exists both online and offline, the acronym B2B has primarily been used to describe the online variety. B2C (Business to Customer) – Business that sells products or provides services to end-user consumers. While business-to-consumer activity exists both online and offline, the acronym B2C has primarily been used to describe the online variety. BT (Behavioral Targeting) – An area of internet marketing becoming increasingly refined, behavioral targeting looks to put ads in front of people who should be more receptive to the particular message given past Web behavior, including purchases and websites visited. The use of cookies enables online behavioral targeting. CMS (Content Management System) – Content Management Systems allow website owners to make text and picture changes to their websites without specialized programming knowledge of software like Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft FrontPage. Content Management Systems can be edited by anyone with basic word knowledge via an internet connection. No need for length or costly web development contracts or need to wait on someone outside your company to make changes. CPA (Cost per Acquisition) – An online advertising cost structure where you pay per an agreed upon actionable event, such as a lead, registration, or sale. (CPC) Cost per Click – A common way to pay for search engine and other types of online advertising, CPC means you pay a pre-determined amount each time someone clicks on your advertisement to visit your site. You usually set a top amount you are willing to pay per click for each search term, and the amount you pay will be equal or less to that amount, depending on the particular search engine and your competitors’ bids. CPM (Cost per Impression) – A common internet marketing cost structure, especially for banner advertising. You agree to pay a set cost for every 1,000 Impressions your ad receives. Search engine marketing may involve CPM costs for Contextual Advertising. This internet advertising pay structure should really be called Cost per 1,000 Impressions. See also: eCPM – Effective cost per thousand impressions (technically, “effective cost per mille”). CR (Conversion Rate) – The percentage of visitors who take a desired action. The desired action can take many forms, varying from site to site. Examples include sales of products, membership registrations, newsletter subscriptions, software downloads, or just about any activity beyond simple page browsing. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Software solutions that help enterprise businesses manage customer relationships in an organized way. An example of a CRM would be a database containing detailed customer information that management and salespeople can reference in order to match customer needs with products, inform customers of service requirements, etc. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) – In internet marketing, conversion optimization, or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage. CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) – Defines how HTML elements such as layout, colors, & fonts will be displayed. External style sheets can be stored in CSS files which allow for faster loading pages, smaller file sizes, and other benefits for visitors, search engines, and designers. CTA (Call-To-Action) – The part of a marketing message that attempts to persuade a person to perform a desired action. A call to action aims to persuade a visitor to perform a certain act immediately. “Buy Now!” and “Register Today!” are some common examples. CTR (Click through Rate) – Number of clicks / Number of impressions. Click through rate is a common internet marketing measurement tool for ad effectiveness. This rate tells you how many times people are actually clicking on your ad out of the number of times your ad is shown. Low click through rates can be caused by a number of factors, including copy, placement, and relevance. EPC (Earnings Per Click) – A metric used to indicate the average earnings generated as a result of 100 clicks on an affiliate marketing link or ad. FAQ – Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions”. An old but still occasionally used section of a website that answers common questions. HT (Hashtag) – Like the concept of tags, a user can draw attention to certain aspects of a social network post. By placing a # symbol before a word (phrases must be joined without spaces) it is highlighted as a tag. HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – Is the programming language used in websites. Developers use other languages that can be read and understood by HTML to expand what they can do on the Web. KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. Organizations use KPIs at multiple levels to evaluate their success at reaching targets. LTV (Lifetime Value) – This refers to how much money you can expect to make from an average customer over the term that they are your customer. Opt-in – This type of registration requires a person submitting information to specifically request he or she be contacted or added to a list. Opt-ins typically lower lead flow rates and raise Costs per Acquisition from internet marketing campaigns, but may produce higher percentages of interested leads. Opt-out – Here people are automatically signed up to receive contact, but can opt out of receiving newsletters, calls, etc. at any time. PPC (Pay-per-Click) – See Cost per Click (CPC), above. The most common type of digital advertising cost structures is PPC marketing. Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and many more search engines use PPC. This cost structure is also used for social media advertising platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. PPL (Pay-per-Lead) – Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying leads. PPS (Pay-per-Sale) – Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying sales. RSS (Real Simple Syndication) – A technology that allows information to be easily shared on websites or given directly to users per their request. ROI (Return on Investment) – The key statistic for many companies: are your advertisements generating profits, and how much profit given the money you have had to pay? SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – All forms of marketing involving search engines – chiefly Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing. Sometimes this term will also be used to refer to Paid Search exclusively. Acronym for search engine marketing and may also be used to refer to a person or company that does Search Engine Marketing – either Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, or both. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – A fancy way of saying “making your site search engine friendly”. Check out our SEO 101 guide. Search engine optimization is typically difficult to do on your own, especially given the increasing complexity and differences among all the search engines. Two important factors that rank highly in all major search engines are Link Popularity (how many websites – and how highly ranked those sites are – link to you) and relevant content (how pertinent information on your website or a particular Web page is to a search). SERM (Search Engine Reputation Management) – Think of Search Engine Reputation Management as online spin control. SERM allows a person or organization better positioning through strategy involving Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Marketing, Press Optimization, Blogging, and Social Media. SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) – Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs, are the Web pages displayed by any Search Engine for any given search. They display both Natural (organic) Listings and Pay-Per-Click ads. How high you are listed and where your ad is shown depends on Search Engine Optimization; and paid Search Engine Marketing respectively. SMM (Social Media Marketing) – An online marketing mix that utilizes the different strategies available through social networking sites to promote a product or service. Social media marketing combines traditional online advertising elements that are native to social networks with the creation of “shareworthy” content that users of social media are likely to promote through their accounts. A highly effective strategy for companies interested in driving brand awareness with highly targeted demographics. SoLoMo – Stands for “Social, Local, Mobile”. This term embodies the three major trends of Internet marketing for brick and mortar businesses. UGC (User Generated Content) – Is the term used to describe any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publically available to others consumers and end-users. User-generated content is also called consumer generated media(CGM). URL (Uniform Resource Locator) – These are the letters and symbols that make up the address of specific Web pages. This page’s URL is “”. UVP (Unique Value Proposition) – In essence, what it is that sets your product, service, or company apart from others and why potential clients should care enough to choose you. WoMM (Word-of-Mouth Marketing) – A marketing method that relies on casual social interactions to promote a product. This method has been in place even before the advent of the Internet, and is widely touted as the most effective form of marketing. A person is more likely to believe something that comes from a person that he knows or respects, instead of a canned source like commercials and print ads. However, word-of-mouth advertising has become even more powerful with the advent of online social networks. What other online marketing terms would you like to learn about? Sources: