Marketing Glossary

Glossary of Marketing and Web Marketing Terms

To be successful at marketing, you have to understand how it works. Hopefully this glossary will help you cut through some of the jargon of marketing, advertising, and web marketing. Here are some of the more commonly used terms for small business marketing:

Above the Fold: When a web page has loaded, the part that is visible without scrolling is said to be “above the fold”. The actual amount of the page shown varies, depending on the resolution of the viewer’s computer screen.

Affiliate Marketing: A marketing program that rewards the participant for recommending or promoting a product. Payments are usually for completed sales.

Alexa: Alexa.com is a free service that measures website traffic and ranks websites by popularity. It is owned by Amazon.

Analytics: A web Analytic system, like Google Analytics, allows you to see traffic trends on your website, including where your visitors live, what sites they were on before they came to your site, and which search terms they may have entered to find your site. They will also allow you to track how long a visitor stays, how many pages they view, and other statistics. See Bounce Rate.

Article Marketing: A system for using articles posted on web-based article directories to drive traffic to your website.

Autoresponder: A system for capturing visitors to your website so that you can convert them from prospects to clients. Autoresponders automate creating and maintaining these prospect lists, and can be set up to automatically email them with a welcome, or even periodic communications such as newsletters. An Autoresponder can be used for product delivery as well. If you haven’t already signed up for the Small Business Marketing Self-Assessment on the right, give it a try and see an Autoresponder in action. A good one, like mine from AWeber, will always ask you to confirm your subscription, and allow you to cancel at any time.

Banner Ad: Advertising that is displayed as a graphic image.

Black Hat SEO: A term describing methodologies that deliberately try to mislead search engine results, or break the rules of the search engine company, in order to rank a site higher. “Black Hat” techniques are extremely risky and can result in a site being completely banned from search engine results, so these techniques are not recommended.

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors to your website who leave after viewing only a single page.

Branding: The image, tone, colors, and even emotion that all of your marketing materials, from your business cards to your website, consistently convey. Branding is not only about visual display, it also can and usually does involve a Marketing Promise. For example “Built Ford Tough”. Ford websites and brochures won’t use soft or feminine colors, or delicate fonts. They’ll choose powerful, aggressive visual elements to support their brand.

Broken Link/Dead Link: A website link that does not return the expected (or any) result. Frequent broken links are irritating to visitors and an indication of poor website maintenance, although some are temporary and result from a web server being briefly out of order.

Browser: The program, such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari, which is used to view the World Wide Web. Different browsers may display web pages differently.

Call to Action: A prompt in a marketing document, email or webpage that tells the reader what specific action to take next. Common calls to action include:

  1. Refer a friend
  2. Visit a webpage (or click to visit)
  3. Sign up for a benefit (freebie, newsletter, bonus, coupon, whitepaper, course, ebook, etc)
  4. Phone (or make an appointment)
  5. Buy a product or service
  6. Visit our store or showroom

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of web search results, email links or banner ad impressions that are actually clicked.

Cloaking: A practice that displays a different page to a search engine than to a website visitor. This practice is frowned upon by search engine companies, and could get your website banned.

Code: Websites are created using various programming languages and written in their code. Some common codes used in website development are  HTML, PHP, and JavaScript, among others. To see what the code of the webpage you’re view looks like, try selecting View, Source, from your Browser menu.

Conversion Rate (CR): The percentage of prospects that take the desired action in response to your Call to Action.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): A businesses total expenditure necessary to acquire a new client.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The amount charged to the advertiser for a single click on a webpage link, email link, ad, or paid search result. Google AdWords is a Cost-Per-Click form of advertising. Note that these ad systems offer only exposure, and their cost is not directly tied to your sales results. See also Pay-Per-Click and Paid Search Listings.

Cost-Per-Lead (CPL): The cost of acquiring a new client lead. This phrase is used more commonly in non-web forms of promotion such as call centers or direct mail campaigns.

Domain Name: The address of a website. A “Top Level Domain” is the extension at the end of a website address. Typical top-level domains are .com, .net, .edu, .gov, .org.

E-Commerce: The practice of buying and selling over the internet.

Elevator Speech: A businessperson’s elevator speech is a 45 second to two minute brief introduction to their business. It is commonly structured as a very short story, designed to evoke a “Tell me more” response from suitable prospects.

eZine: An electronic magazine.

F.A.Q.: A Frequently Asked Questions list, with answers, used to improve customer service, enhance closing rates, and reduce the cost of customer service.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): A method for directly transferring files to and from the server which hosts a website. Specialized FTP software is used for this task. Filezilla is a good program for this purpose.

Forum: An online community, often moderated, where members can communicate on topics of common interest.

Google AdWords: Google’s system for allowing businesses to purchase sponsored search results on a Pay-Per-Click basis.

Google AdSense: Evaluates the content of your webpages and displays ads (you can choose both text or image ads) that are relevant to your audience and your site. You earn money when people click on the ads.

Impression: One display of an ad on a website, in a newsletter, or in print.

Internet Yellow Pages (IYP): Large directories of online business listings across multiple industries, organized by geography and industry.

Landing Page: The webpage that a prospect is directed to after clicking an ad. See also Squeeze Page.

Lead: A prospective client.

Lead Aggregator: A business that generates leads for businesses in various industries and sells them those leads.

Linkbuilding: Strategies for improving the Off Page SEO (see Search Engine Optimization) of a webpage. These strategies may include commenting, web forums, article marketing and many others.

Local Listings: A special section on search engine result pages, usually at the very top, reserved for local businesses that match the current search. These listings are usually accompanied by a map. Businesses, particularly in retail, who fail to get listed can serious impact their sales. Many smartphone users call up the Local Listings regularly to find nearby places to shop.

Local Marketing: Strategies to use the internet as part of a comprehensive marketing plan to drive traffic to local, “bricks and mortar” businesses.

Marketing Funnel: A structured method for developing products and/or service offerings at multiple price points, designed to entice prospects to first divulge their contact information, then make an initial purchase, followed by additional purchases. The Marketing Funnel, done right, maximizes the lifetime value of a client. See also Sales Funnel.

Marketing Promise: The primary benefit the client will obtain from doing business with a company.

Organic Listings: The area of the search engine results which shows the unpaid results of  the search query. Getting to the “top” of these listings is the target of SEO. The first spot on the organic listings is said to generate 42% of the clicks resulting from all searchs. The Organic Listings are located below and to the left of paid search listings. The intention of the search engines is to offer the most relevant results to your search in these listings.

Panda: The Google Panda update (sometimes called “Farmer update) was a change to how Google ranked pages in their search engine. Panda was designed to reduce the rank of “thin content” – pages that just weren’t very valuable. There were a series of Panda updates, beginning on February 24th, 2011 and ending with Panda 3.5 on April 19th, 2012. Panda was estimated to reduce rankings on about 12% of websites. Sites with high-quality, original content were intended to benefit from these updates, and (mostly) did. Searchengineland has an excellent infographic explaining Panda. See also Penguin in this glossary.

Paid Search Listings: The area of the search engine results page above and on the right of the organic listings displaying paid results, usually charged on a pay-per-click basis.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): An advertising model in which the advertiser is charged when their ad are clicked. This system is commonly used for paid search and display (banner) advertising.

PageRank: PageRank is a calculation used by Google to assign the relative value of the content of a webpage. The most popular websites have a PageRank of 10. The least have a PageRank of 0.

Penguin: The Google Penguin update, also known as the “Over Optimization Penalty”, effected an estimated 3.1% of websites. It first appeared on April 24, 2012. To oversimplify, Penguin was targeted at keyword stuffing and other on-site SEO techniques that had been overdone. There’s a checklist infographic for dealing with Penguin available. See also Panda in this glossary.

Public Document Format (PDF): A commonly used “standard” format for delivering documents such as electronic books, whitepapers, brochures and product information electronically. Most consumers owning a computer these days can read a document in Adobe’s PDF format, or download the free Adobe Reader software. No matter what operating system the viewer uses, delivering documents in this way ensures that what they see is what you intended to send.

Quality Score: A score that is assigned by Google to AdWords advertisers, based on various factors such as competition and traffic. This score, when combined with the amount an advertiser is willing to pay per click, sets an advertiser’s position in the paid search results.

Sales Funnel: See Marketing Funnel.

Search Engine: The sites used by prospects browsing the web to find information of interest. The overwhelming most popular Search Engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): The process of utilizing the search engines to promote one’s business, which includes search engine optimization, paid search advertising, and local listings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of creating website elements that maximize a website’s position in the Organic Listings of the Search Engine results. On-Page SEO refers to elements within the website itself. Off-Page SEO refer to elements relating to that website’s relationship to other Web sites.

Search Network: A network of search engines that advertisers can opt in to advertise on through the Google AdWords platform.

Sitemap: A file on a website that helps search engine robots, and sometimes human visitors, navigate the content of a website. A sitemap is generally good for improving a website’s SEO.

Squeeze Page: A term for a Landing Page, often arrived at after a click, which is used to convince and sell the prospect on taking the desired action.

Tagline: A phrase, prominently displayed on webpages and promotional material, that instantly conveys what the business can do for the prospective client. The Tagline often refers to the USP or Marketing Promise. A consistent Tagline can be an important part of your organization’s Branding.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP): A unique feature or benefit which highlights why a prospect should do business with your organization. This could be a warranty, return policy, customer service, or many other types of offers. Typically, it’s not something your direct competitors have available. My USP as a Marketing and Technology Coach is that I have over 20 years experience as a corporate trainer on technology and business topics. That means I’m very good at giving clear explanations, and helping you learn what you need to know to be effective in your business.

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