Every industry comes with its own jargon, and digital marketing is no different. So many articles and tutorial throw phrases around like you should already know them and never stop to explain what each one means. This can often make it confusing and frustrating for people getting started. Even if you hire a marketing agency, it can feel like they are speaking a different language.

That is why we have put together this list of terms you need to know when you are entering the world of digital marketing.


No matter what you do in digital marketing, you are going to want to track its success. This is done using analytics, usually through Google. Here are some terms you need for getting started with tracking your campaigns performance.

A/B testing – the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine what performs best to help improve marketing efforts. This is often done in email marketing (changing the subject line or copy), calls-to-action (changing colors or verbiage), and landing pages (changing the content).

Analytics – the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. In marketing, it’s looking at the data of one’s initiatives (website visitor reports, social media, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better informed marketing decisions.

Bounce rate – the percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else and navigating to other pages on your site.

Conversion rate – the number of people who complete a form on a landing page divided by the total number of people who visited the page.

CTR (Click Through Rate) – the percentage of your audience that advances (or clicks through) from one part of your website to the next step of your marketing campaign. It’s the total number of clicks that your page or CTA receives divided by the number of opportunities that people had to click (ex: number of pageviews, emails sent, and so on).

KPI (Key Performance Indicators) – the metrics you look at to track progress toward your goal.

Open rate – the percentage of emails opened in any given email marketing campaign or the percentage opened of the total number of emails sent.

Traffic – the visitors to your site or blog.

Unique visitor – a person who visits a website more than once within a period of time. Marketers use this term in contrast with overall site visits to track the amount of traffic on their website.

Strategy and Tactics

Strategy and tactics are what make up a campaign. They will shape and drive your campaign, and it is important to know what is being discussed when it’s time to plan your campaign as well as measure its success.

Buyer’s journey – the process buyers go through to become aware of, evaluate, and purchase a new product or service. The journey is a three-step process:

Awareness stage – the buyer realizes they have a problem.

Consideration stage – the buyer defines their problem and researches options to solve it.

Decision stage – the buyers chooses a solution.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – a set of software programs that lets companies keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers. This software lets you keep track of all the contact information for your customers and much more, like tracking email, sending emails and scheduling appointments.

Funnel – the process logic as a visitor gets to your page and completes the “transaction.” Think of a visitor as someone at the top of your sales and marketing funnel. How do you push them to the bottom of the funnel?

Top of the funnel – the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are just identifying a problem they have and are looking for more information. An inbound marketer will want to create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing next steps toward a solution.

Middle of the funnel – the stage a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they’re looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers include case studies or product brochures, basically anything that brings your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve.

Bottom of the funnel – a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying. Generally, the next step would be a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation – depending on your type of business.

Inbound marketing – marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. It’s all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

Lead – a person or company who has shown interest in a product or service in some way – perhaps by filling out a form, subscribing to a blog, or sharing their contact information in exchange for a coupon.

Lead generation – the process of attracting new leads. It is a marketing tactic that drives a person to demonstrate interest in a product or service.

Lead nurturing – the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it down the sales funnel. Lead nurturing helps to deliver valuable content to the right audience during different stages of the buying lifecycle.

Mobile optimization – designing and formatting your website so it’s easy to read and navigate from a mobile device. Google’s algorithm rewards mobile-friendly websites, so if your site is not fully optimized for mobile devices, it will affect your ranking on mobile searches.

Personas – fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help your business internalize the ideal customer you’re trying to attract and relate to your customers as real humans.

Qualified lead – a contact that opted-in to receive communication from your company, became educated about your product or service, and is interested in learning more.

Segmentation – the process of separating your target audience into personas with different needs and preferences. These segments will ideally be marketed to in a way that reflects their specific experiences or interests.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – the practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage’s on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search results.


Once you have the strategy and tactics hammered out, it is time to create the content and assets you will use to carry out the campaign. These include their own set of vocabulary that you need to know.

Call-to-action – a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit a landing page and become a lead. (Ex: “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Whitepaper Today”)

Confirmed opt-in (double opt-in) – the confirmed opt-in is a more stringent method of obtaining permission to send email campaigns. It adds an additional step to the opt-in process because it requires the subscriber to respond to a confirmation email, either by clicking on a confirmation link or by replying to the email to confirm their subscription. Only those subscribers who take this additional step are added to your list.

Keyword – the topic that a web page gets indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

Landing page – a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.

Single opt-in – the most widely accepted and routinely used method of obtaining email addresses and permission. A single opt-in list is created by inviting visitors and customers to subscribe to your email list. When you use a sign-up form on your website, a message immediately goes out to the subscriber acknowledging the subscription.

Value proposition – the primary reason why your visitor will choose to convert on your page. The answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question.

There is a lot more to learn when it comes to digital marketing, but this list is a good place to start and lays a foundation to build off.  If there are any other vocabulary words you think should be included or have any questions, please feel free to reach out! We are happy to help.