Glossary of Digital Terms to Keep in Your Back Pocket

Whether you are just now dipping your toes into the digital advertising pool, or you are a seasoned veteran, there will more than likely be a few times in meetings where a term or acronym is casually tossed out that everyone in the room nods their heads in agreement over. I can guarantee you two things: These terms are constantly evolving, and not everyone in that room knows what they are agreeing to or what the term actually means.

So, I am here to help you with some 101 level terms that everyone in digital marketing should have some foundational understanding of. For all our sakes, I have tried to make each definition as buzzword free as possible. I suggest bookmarking this page for quick reference, as we will be updating this list as definitions evolve and new terms emerge.

A/B Testing – A method used to compare different versions of body copy and imagery in advertising, email marketing, landing pages and more to determine which content performs best with its audience.

Above the Fold – Derived from the print industry, it describes the portion of a webpage that is visible to a user without scrolling down the page.

Attribution – Determines which specific part of a content marketing campaign had the greatest impact on the consumer and is most responsible for a conversion.

Audience – A selected group of people who share similar characteristics that a brand wants to target with content.

Banner Ad – A form of online advertising that is embedded in a web page. This ad unit can consist of static graphics, videos or interactive media designed to drive traffic to linked websites.

Below the Fold – Derived from the print industry, it describes the portion of a webpage that requires scrolling down the page to be visible to the user.

Bounce Rate – A percentage of visitors to a single web page who enter and leave instead of engaging further within the website.

Cross-device – Involves multiple screens, usually a desktop, smartphone and/or tablet. A cross-device approach helps brands avoid duplicating content while also reaching users on their preferred device.

Call to Action (CTA) – A phrase that invites the audience to take an action through the copy or a visual prompt.

Click Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who are served an ad and click on it.

Contextual Targeting – An automated system that selects the best audiences to serve your content to based on the user demographics and the type of content displayed.

Conversion Pixel – An image pixel placed on a specific page to monitor and calculate if  a specific action (conversion) took place.

Cookie – A small string of data that tracks a visitor’s journey on a website and is used to monitor behavior and preferences to improve the speed and performance of your website.

Cost Per Click (CPC) – How much an advertiser spent for each ad click.

Cost Per Thousand (CPM) – Shows advertisers how much it cost for an ad to reach 1,000 impressions.

Frequency – The number of times an ad is served to the same customer over a determined period of time.

Geofencing – Targeting an ad to users located in a specified location.

Keyword – A specific word or phrase used to trigger organic or paid results to answer the user’s need in search.

Lookalikes – Audiences who have similar characteristics as a brand’s target audience. Though not their exact audience, the lookalike audience is assumed to have an openness to the brand’s products.

Landing Page – The page a user will be sent to when interacting with online content or ads.

Native Advertising – Any piece of paid content that appears identical to other content that exists on the page.

Overlay – Advertising that floats over content that cannot be blocked by ad-blocker software.

Pay Per Click (PPC) – Pricing structure where advertisers only pay based on the number of user clicks.

Pixel Tags – A piece of code that brands put on ads to track performance and help serve retargeting ads to those who have interacted most.

Programmatic Media Buying – Automated media buying that uses established, pre-defined parameters to adjust purchasing and location to improve effectiveness and spending.

Retargeting – Serving and ad to a user that who have previously interacted with your site.

Sequential Targeting – Cross-device selling where a customer is hit with multiple messages to encourage them to take action.