We live in a time where businesses are leveraging digital media platforms every now and then for everything be it marketing, advertising, executing campaigns, brand promotion and brand awareness. Due to this rising trend of digitization of the customer and businesses, companies are standing up and pulling up their socks to find professionals who are well versed with digital marketing and its nuances. Such digital savvy professionals are typically known as digital marketers.

A professional digital marketer combines the right knowledge and skills to connect brands with their target customers when they are online. He typically uses a mix of marketing techniques such as SEO, PPC, social media marketing and email marketing to achieve business goals. However digital marketing is not a small area but a vast landscape. To expand business influence into the world of cyberspace and stand out in a crowded digital landscape, digital marketers must keep up with all of the digital marketing jargons and terminologies being widely used around these days. And then only they will be able to spend money on digital marketing and communications wisely and drive optimum results from their digital marketing campaigns.

From knowing all the social media marketing metrics such as engagement rate to SEO metrics such as bounce rate and content marketing related definitions and terminologies, there can be a lot to grapple with if you are a digital marketer. Today in this article we bring to you top 20 marketing terms every digital marketer should know.

1. Conversion rate – Be it any form of online marketing like ecommerce, emailer marketing, social media campaigns, conversion rate refers to the percentage of customers who perform the desired action and complete a desired goal (a conversion). It’s an important metric that measures how effective your marketing campaign is in driving potential customers to a conversion. The important thing to note is that the action here means a quantifiable action that should give the business owner a feel that a prospective customer has successfully turned into a paying customer. However, depending on the business goals, conversion rate can take various forms. It can be anything from opening an email, to signing up for a demo, to registering on the website to making a purchase, submitting the form, calling the business, downloading a document or template.

If your marketing efforts or campaigns are able to compel a customer to take that next step in the sales funnel, that means you’re having a good conversion rate and a better chance of increasing sales and revenue.
Let us go through an example. Suppose you own a website and are able to attract decent traffic but if it does not convert in any manner, it’s not worth the time since it is ending nowhere. So, as a business, focus on making the most of a website’s visitors and convincing them to take the desired action rather than trying to gain more traffic and numbers! That’s what conversion rate is all about.

2. Push marketing – Push marketing refers to a strategy in which a firm attempts to deliver a targeted message and take its product range to a given set of potential or existing customers to supercharge engagement and boost sales and revenues. In this form of marketing, businesses are required to come up with a solid online marketing approach to push their products to a point that they get seen by consumers and gain much attention.

In a push marketing strategy, businesses use various marketing techniques such as direct and targeted mailers, television ads, Point of Sale display (POS), digital signage within brick-and-mortar stores, packaging designs to encourage trial etc, in order to push their brand in front of audiences and get noticed.

One of the main objectives of push marketing is to gain product exposure and reduce the amount of time that elapses between the customer noticing the product and buying the product. So typically it tries to push the consumer decision making process and lead to quicker sales.

3. Pull marketing – Pull marketing is a digital marketing tactic in which a firm puts in place and implements strategies to “pull” or draw the attention of the consumers to their website, brand, products or services. In this type of marketing strategy, the typical motive of the business is to drive product demand and draw consumer interest to your products and services. Also called a pull promotional strategy or inbound marketing, a pull marketing strategy focuses on bringing/pulling the customers to the brand rather than taking products and services to them. In other words, you try to gather more customers to pull them into purchasing your products and services.

Depending on your marketing needs and goals, pull marketing can be used either on its own or in combination with a push marketing strategy. Some pull marketing techniques that are widely used today are social media networks, word of mouth, SEO (search engine optimization), mass media promotion, sales promotions and discounts etc.

4. Customer acquisition – Digital Customer Acquisition and retention is undoubtedly integral to business success. But what does it mean exactly? Customer acquisition refers to the set of sales and marketing activities that a business conducts to enable people to find their products and services through a relevant search.

In recent years, the cost of getting a new customer has increased. This is because modern customers do not easily place trust in the brands they buy or use. In such a scenario, every business needs a robust customer acquisition strategy to continually bring customers and convince them of their product to convert them into paying customers quickly.

All such activities and actions a company takes to gain and acquire and retain new customers falls under customer acquisition.

5. Customer acquisition cost (CAC) – Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a metric that can help businesses calculate the average cost of acquiring a customer. It is the amount of money a company spends to persuade a potential customer to buy a product or try their service. In other words, it is the cost related to turning the potential customer into a paying customer or acquiring a new customer. Customer Acquisition Costs comprise various costs associated with converting prospects such as advertising costs, marketing team costs, sales team costs, creative costs etc.

CAC can be calculated using the below formula:
sales and marketing costs ÷ total number of customers acquired = CAC

If you plan on running a profitable company, CAC can be an extremely important metric to keep the total cost of sales and marketing efforts in check to gain more profitability and efficiency.

6. Search engine optimization (SEO) – Simply put, search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing web content to be easily found by users searching for your products and services. It is one of the most common methods businesses use to get organic traffic from natural search results.

Using SEO, one can improve a website’s visibility, boost brand awareness, increase sales, gain higher rankings in search engine results and even build a trustworthy presence online. This is because a higher ranking on the SERPs shows users that you are a credible resource.

Unlike paid advertising, you can’t pay google algorithms to rank your content on top search results. That’s where Search Engine Optimization comes in. However, SEO optimization is a long-term game and can take up to months and even years to show the results.

7. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. It’s one of the most effective strategies to grow your business and reach new customers. Also known as Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, it allows businesses to showcase their products or services on topmost search results and helps them get better CTR and higher conversions than other traditional forms of marketing.

To begin with campaign execution, you first need to prioritize your goals and determine your daily budget. Accordingly you can run different campaigns at the same time in the Adwords account.

Unlike some other advertising models, SEM doesn’t charge you for impressions which makes it a cost-effective and affordable option. You are charged only when someone clicks on your SEM ad and are charged per click.

8. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) – Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs are the web pages displayed to users when they type a query on a search engine while looking for their favorite products and services.

Although there can be millions of results on the web for your search query, search engines serve the highest-ranking and most relevant information or SERPs to its users to optimize their browsing experience. Also, every SERP is unique, even for the same search queries and keywords that you type on the search engine.

SERPs are designed as per your browsing history, search intent, the combination of keywords that you typed, your geographical location, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).

In most cases, SERPs show two types of content – organic results and paid results.

9. Impressions – Impressions refers to the number of times any of your webpage’s URL link is viewed by the user when your site appears in either paid or organic search results.

The impression count is solely about the views and does not take into account the number of times someone clicked your website URL. When your website shows up in a search result with your sitelinks, it is considered one impression. Even if users don’t pay attention to the content, an impression counts.

Similarly, when you run Google ads, impressions are counted every time an ad is displayed on a search result page or other site on the google network.

In a nutshell, impressions are not action based and are counted each time a user potentially sees the advertisement.

10. Content Management System (CMS) – Content Management System or CMS enables businesses to effectively create, manage, and modify content on a website. The most important thing about using CMS is that individuals do not need to have a strong technical background to publish content since there is no coding involved when creating or modifying content using CMS. You can simply plug into a CMS system and publish various types of contents such as landing pages, services pages, pillar pages, product pages. Some popular content management systems you might have used are WordPress, Hubspot, Joomla, Squarespace, and Wix.

With CMS, you don’t need to worry about creating an infrastructure for your website. Right from document management, to storing images, it does all without having to code website elements from scratch.

11. Clickthrough rate (CTR) – CTR is defined as the percentage of clicks received on a particular campaign that appeared on search results pages, relative to the number of views or the number of times your ad was shown. It is an important digital marketing metric to measure how well our keywords and ads are performing in capturing users’ attention. Here is the formula for calculating the click-through rate : CTR = (click-throughs / impressions) x 100

For example, If your PPC ad gained 2000 impressions and 2 clicks, your CTR is 0.1% CTR.

As a metric, CTR tells you how well your ads and campaigns are standing out and whether they are being liked by the searchers in terms of relevance. If you have a higher click-through rate, it means that users are finding your ads helpful and relevant and more people who see your ad are clicking it. So your campaign is likely to be a successful one. On the other hand, low CTR means the pay per click search results are less relevant to your target audience. One of the best ways to achieve a high click-through rate is to curate a compelling title that resonates more effectively with viewers.

12. Black Hat SEO – While organic SEO is surely the most effective way to boost brand awareness and increase sales, there lies a dark version of the same. It is called the black hat SEO.

Black hat SEO is a disapproved SEO practice against search engine guidelines. However, it is unethically used by some businesses to get higher ranking in search results. Some commonly used black hat techniques include keyword stuffing, cloaking, changing the language of a page based on searches from different countries, article spinning, posting negative and fake reviews on competitors’ listing to lower the ranking of their site. Clearly, this is not aligned with Google’s SEO practices. While use of black hat techniques may bring quick results but prolonged use of these techniques can harm your site in the long run and even lead to a complete wipeout from the search engines.

13. Cost per click (CPC) – Cost per click (CPC) is a metric that measures the amount of money a business pays for each click on a display ad in a pay per click marketing campaign. Ad campaigns based on the CPC model typically run in platforms such as Google Ads or Microsoft Ads.

CPC is commonly used by advertisers to monitor their paid advertisements and maintain a healthy ROI. Overall, an advertiser pays a cost to a publisher for every click on an ad.

Some of the types of ads which use CPC to calculate total paid advertising campaign costs are text, rich-media or social media ads. These ad types are only displayed on certain networks, such as the Google Search Network and Display Network. While running cost per click marketing campaigns, the advertisers set the maximum CPC for each ad manually. When the advertiser’s budget is reached, the ad is automatically discontinued. For example, let’s say an advertiser paid a total cost of $170 to the publisher and the total number of times an online user clicked on the ad was 50. In this case, the CPC would be $3.40 (170/50 = 3.40).

14. Customer relationship management (CRM) – Customer relationship management (CRM) is the process of managing and analyzing customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle to improve and enhance relationships with customers. Using a CRM system in the right manner can help companies stay connected to customers in a crowded digital space, gain customer retention, drive sales growth and improve profitability.

Your customer service has to be impeccable if you want to stand out from the crowd and grow your business. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a critical component of a successful digital marketing campaign that can help you analyze data about customers. Hence its the backbone for any business to streamline business decisions and improve customer relationships. A satisfied customer means an increase in sales.

15. Affiliate Marketing – Simply put, Affiliate marketing is an advertising model which rewards “Affiliates” (eg. Bloggers) for promoting products and services outside their business. The digital marketing strategy aims at increasing traffic, generating leads and revenues by promoting third party products and services.

Affiliate marketing is a quite popular tactic to drive sales and is extremely beneficial to both brands and affiliate marketers. Essentially it is a pay-for-performance marketing program in which the affiliate marketers get a commission for completing a specific action such as sales. In affiliate marketing business, various promotional methods and content forms are used by the affiliate marketers such as text ads, banner ads, links to websites, videos, images and articles. Email campaigns are also widely used for affiliate marketing.

16. Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is a critical metric for analyzing the performance of your website content and determining user experience. It typically measures the ratio between single-page sessions and all sessions and helps you identify how often people come to your website and just “leave”.

There are various factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. A user may choose to “bounce” or leave your website due to irrelevant and poor content, longer loading times and technical issues that may hinder the user from going forward, complex UI to guide about the next action. If any of these issues exist on your website, you should immediately raise a red flag and work on addressing them to reduce the bounce rate on your website. While adding or upgrading content can be a work in progress, technical and loading issues should always be fixed on a priority basis. Also, in addition to having a catchy and attractive layout, businesses should focus on having a good UI with easy bread crumbs to follow. This can help create a compelling user experience and reduce bounce rate.

17. Return on Investment (ROI) – ROI is a clear financial measure of your campaign’s performance. It is used to evaluate how well your digital campaign has performed. It is calculated by dividing the profit (or loss) earned on an investment by its initial cost.

ROI typically depends on the marketing strategy in use. For example, while SEO is a long-term investment and may take time to yield results, strategies like social media marketing and influencer marketing help yield quicker results.

As ROI is typically a percentage of returns made on investment, a higher ROI indicates being on the right track, a lower ROI is a warning call to change your strategy.

Generally, ROI evaluates the performance of an investment and comes in the form of increased sales. It can be calculated for any marketing campaign. Here’s a tip! Email marketing usually has a fantastic ROI. If you are specifically looking to measure your email marketing success, Mailchimp is an effective tool to track performance and calculate returns while saving manual efforts.

18. Call to Action – A call to action (CTA) is a prompt/button that is shown to the user when he finds and consumes the content on your website. It persuades the user to take action forward while he is still on your website. It is typically written as a command or action phrase to give the prospects better clarity on the action to be taken. CTAs can range from soft action to direct action. While a button that commands the user to “Buy Now” is a form of direct action, “Sign up”, “Subscribe to our newsletter” and “Read More” are forms of indirect /transitional action. They are used to build trust with the audience and act as lead magnets.

Every marketer desires that the user should take some action upon landing their website be it sign up or download an ebook. Various practices like A/B testing can help marketers identify the right CTA by testing two different alterations to the same CTA.

Some of the key drivers that can lead the user to completing a call to action are wording (content), appearance, and placement (UI). In order to have successful conversions, it is best to have direct CTAs which can take the users to the final purchase step in the shortest time.

19. A/B Testing – While all digital marketing campaigns are designed to boost brand awareness, drive sales and improve a company’s conversion rate, there are ways to analyze the best performing campaigns in order to make the journey to customer acquisition an easier one. That’s what A/B testing does. It compares two versions of a web app or app or page element to figure out which version leaves the maximum impact on the users and drives business and sales. In this testing, statistical analysis is used to determine important metrics such as which page version or variation entices more visitors to complete some form of action and helps reach conversion goals. While A refers to the original testing variable, B refers to the altered version or ‘variation’ of the original testing variable.

The digital world is drowning in customer information and data. Essentially, A/B testing can help businesses harness this data for their benefit and make data-backed decisions.

So A/B testing on your site can help you evaluate your conversion funnel and marketing campaign. Using the data directly from your customer behavior, you can optimize your website and increase business ROI.

20. Chat Bots – A chat bot is a software application used by businesses to conduct an online chat conversation with their target customers via auditory or textual methods. Typically, chat bots are used and installed to efficiently replace live humans agents and automate conversations and interactions on messaging platforms. They closely simulate the way a human would behave when having a one on one conversation with a customer.

Chat bots are embedded in a web page and allow the user to talk with the bot from within the web page chat windows. Businesses can build their own chat bots and write their own bot scripts to assist customers through their website widget. It can answer all inquiries and even create a ticket when a user needs help with something that is beyond the chatbot’s scope of work or ability. The primary purpose for chatbots is to do away with traditional customer service and reduce customer waiting time while enabling immediate customer service.


In today’s digital savvy world where everything is getting digitized, not knowing important digital marketing glossaries and terms can cost you heavily in terms of ineffective digital marketing strategies, poor campaign performance and an unimpressive presence on social media and other digital platforms. We hope that above digital marketing terms have helped you gain a sound knowledge of the digital marketing landscape. Make the best use of the digital marketing tools, platforms and techniques and get ready to escalate your brand awareness and sales.