Digital Marketing Glossary

Above the Fold (Hero Area)

The area that fills a visitor’s screen when a website page first loads (what they see when they land on a page before they start scrolling). It is most often used in reference to home pages and other main landing pages.

Learn more at Optimizely.

Bounce Rate

A ‘bounce’ is when a visitor enters your site but then takes no other recorded action (such as visiting a second page or completing a goal).

Google’s definition: Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.

Learn more, including industry benchmarks, at Neil Patel’s blog.

Call to Action (CTA)

The language used in website copy, email, social post, or advertisement that directly encourages the reader to take an action step, such as buying a product, signing up for an email list, or downloading a piece of content. Often CTAs take the form of a button featuring simple copy, for example Register Now or Get Updates. Unlike a link that is purely informational, CTAs are part of your sales funnel.

Learn more at Optimizely.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The Click-Through Rate is a ratio that shows you how often the people who see your digital ad or listing actually take the next step and click on it. It is determined by dividing the number of clicks an ad receives by the number of impressions (the number of times that ad was shown to users). 

For example, let’s say your ad got 100 clicks and 1000 impressions. 

100 clicks ÷ 1000 impressions = a CTR of 10%. 

The higher the Click-Through Rate the better! High CTR is a signal that your ads are helpful and relevant to your target audience.


This stands for ‘Content management system’ which helps manage the creation & modification of digital content. These systems use backend interfaces to push revisions to published websites.


Any actionable item taken on your website. It could be a newsletter signup, a purchase, form submission, phone call, anything that needs to be tracked and counted to satisfy your marketing goals.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Cost-Per Click is a digital advertising term used to describe the actual amount an advertiser pays a platform each time someone clicks on their ad. The Cost-per-click (CPC) is determined in the bidding process.

Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)

CPM is the abbreviated form of “cost per thousand impressions.” That means CPM is the price an advertiser will pay for their ad to be seen by users (not clicked as is the case with CPC). Often used with video and display ads, CPM advertisers pay a set price for every 1000 times their ad is shown to users.


See Click-Through Rate above.

Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR)

A website’s Domain Authority or Domain Rating is a “score” that specific SEO tools calculate to compare websites and help strategists estimate the likelihood that the site’s content will rank highly in search engine results for specific terms. 

Domain Authority (DA) is a term used by the SEO tool Moz, whereas Ahrefs uses the term Domain Rating (DR).

According to Ahrefs, “Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a target website’s backlink profile compared to the others in our database on a 100-point scale.” 

Moz explains that they calculate Domain Authority (DA) by “evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and the number of total links.”

Email - Automation

Email automation software allows you to set up drip campaigns that are automatically triggered in response to specific user actions. For example, you can use MailchimpHubSpot or other email automation platforms or tools to set up a series of emails that will be automatically sent when users take an action like signing up for a newsletter, putting a product in a cart, purchasing a ticket to an event, or sharing their email address in exchange for a piece of content like a white paper or ebook.  

By automating this process, you can quickly and efficiently send targeted messages that will keep nurturing your relationships with everyone from new leads to loyal customers. 

Email - Double Opt-in

It is an email best practice to ask new email subscribers to confirm a second time that they really did intend to sign up for your list. For example, when you send a confirmation email to a new subscriber asking them to respond or click on an “opt in” box to confirm they do want to be on the list and understand they were agreeing to share their address.

Email - List Segmentation

List segmentation is the organization of email subscribers based on specific criteria. This division of names can be used to deliver email marketing campaigns to subscribers based on specific characteristics such as location, interests, engagement history, and more.

Facebook - Engagement Ads (Boosted Posts)

Post Engagement ads are also known as Boosted Posts. They exist on your Facebook page, which means someone who scrolls through your Facebook page will be able to see them and the extra engagement they are receiving. For these ads, the advertiser pays for any post engagement (likes, clicks, shares, comments, etc.). They promote brand awareness in a highly visible way.

Facebook - Conversion Ads

The goal of conversion ads is to drive qualified people to the website to take action. Conversion ads do not show up on your Facebook Timeline. They will only show up in people’s News Feeds.

Facebook - Carousel Ads

Carousel ads allow you to showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. With more creative space within an ad, you can highlight different products, showcase specific details about one product, service or promotion, or tell a story about your brand that develops across each carousel card.

Facebook - Traffic Ads

Traffic ads, also known as Click to Website ads, do not appear on your Facebook Timeline. For the most part, when someone sees this ad, it looks like a normal Facebook post. The advertiser only pays for clicks to the website (all post engagement or page likes garnered from these ads are free).

Facebook - Reach

Reach measures the number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach gives you a measure of how many people were exposed to your message during an ad campaign. People may not always click on your ads, but they may be more likely to engage with your business when they see your message.

Facebook - Impressions

Impressions measure how often your ads were on screen for your target audience. Impressions is a common metric used by the online marketing industry. An impression is counted as the number of times an instance of an ad is on screen for the first time. (Example: If an ad is on screen and someone scrolls down, and then scrolls back up to the same ad, that counts as one impression. If an ad is on screen for someone two different times in a day, that counts as two impressions.)

Facebook - Link Clicks

Link clicks measure the number of clicks on links within the ad that led to destinations or experiences, on or off Facebook. For example a link click would be counted if someone clicked on an ad’s image or if they clicked the call-to-action button on the same ad.

Facebook - Clicks

Clicks count multiple types of clicks on your ad, including certain types of interactions with the ad container, links to other destinations, and links to expanded ad experiences. It includes: link clicks, clicks to the associated business Page profile or profile picture, post reactions (such as likes or loves), comments or shares, clicks to expand media (such as photos) to full screen, clicks to take actions identified as your campaign objective (such as liking your Page for a Page engagement campaign.

Facebook - Landing Page Views

The number of times a person clicked on an ad link and then successfully loaded the destination webpage.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

The legal set of guidelines that is set for the collection and processing of personal information. GDPR is currently in place for individuals in the European Union (EU), but is becoming increasingly more ethical for data protection globally. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a CA based privacy protection law. GDPR approval is required for global marketing campaigns.

Google Ads Auction

Google Ads determines which ads they will display through a real time auction. A new Google Ads auction takes place every moment someone searches on Google or visits a website that shows ads. Higher competition in the auction usually results in higher costs for keywords.

Google Ad Extensions

Extensions expand your ad with additional information—giving people more reasons to choose your business. They typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. Extension formats include call buttons, location information, links to specific parts of your website, additional text, and more.

Navigation Menu (Nav Menu)

The parts of your website or app that guides visitors through the site content and helps them find what they are looking for. Usually the primary navigation is a list of links across the top of every page on the site. Sometimes these contain dropdown menus with ‘child’ links. Often on smaller screens the navigation is accessed by clicking three horizontal lines (aka hamburger icon).

In addition to the primary navigation, there may be secondary navigation such as a top nav bar, a sidebar, or a footer menu.

Negative Keywords

Just as you can bid for keywords you want to show up for in the auction, you can use negative keywords to not show up for search terms that are not relevant to your business.

Pillar Page/Topic Cluster

“Topic clusters” organize articles on a website into neat clusters. This content strategy is based on an SEO best practice that can help a website attract greater organic search traffic. Here is how it works:

A cluster should have one main page, often called a “pillar page,” that covers the main topic (often a competitive short-tail keyword) and several supporting articles that cover relevant sub-topics (long-tail keywords). The pillar page and all supporting articles should all link to one another–this is why it is called a topic cluster.

This strategy can help you achieve better organic results because search engines can easily find all the articles on that topic on your site. It signals to Google that your site offers comprehensive information on that topic. If executed well, the pillar page will rank highly (and attract more organic traffic) for the competitive main topic keyword, while all of the supporting articles would rank higher for the long-tail search terms.


A pixel is a tracking device that is inputted when a visitor opens a website or email. Pixels are used to track certain activities from the user. The purpose of pixel tracking is to provide campaign analytics.


PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click, a model of internet marketing where advertisers pay a certain amount of money each time a user clicks on one of their ads. In other terms, it is a way of purchasing visits to your site as opposed to organically “earning” those visits.

Quality Score

Google Ads assigns a score from 1 – 10 to determine how relevant your keywords are to the ad copy and site itself. The more relevant your keywords are, the higher your score resulting in paying less per click. The lower your score, you are penalized, by paying more per click.


Responsive web design is a web development approach that allows websites to accurately display on multiple screen sizes (such as desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.) When a design is responsive, it actively changes the appearance of a website based on its screen size. Usually website building platforms that use this approach don’t allow as much flexibility when designing without code.


A form of online advertising where ads are served to users who have previously interacted with your brand. Retargeting is an effective tactic to reach users interested in high-value or recurring products and for conversion campaigns.


SMART Goals are concrete targets that act as benchmarks or intended goals that you strive to achieve over a specific period of time. These goals are carefully designed to measure and achieve success. S-M-A-R-T is an acronym that describes the most important characteristics of each goal. 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

In depth resource on this topic created for The GIIN


A piece of code that is installed on your website to track things like conversions.

User Experience (UX)

A field of study that focuses on improving the customer or site visitor’s ease of use. The goal is to provide an experience that causes no frustration and may even be enjoyable.

Learn more at the Nielsen Norman Group.