A to Z Glossary of Online Marketing

When reading about different tactics and strategies you can use to help boost your online marketing, you may run across some terms you may not be familiar with or don't know exactly what they mean. In order to help you out, here's a list – from A to Z – of some of the common terms you should know to keep you at the top of your game.

Ads: Online ads are paid advertisements that display your message to people searching (text ads), surfing (display ads), and socializing (Facebook and Twitter ads) on the Web.

Blog: A blog is an online journaling platform that individuals, companies, brands, and organizations use to publish timely, relevant, and search-optimized content such as tutorials, tips, and  more that helps them get found on search engines and engage their audience.

Call to action: A call to action is a message on a Web page, form, email, or online advertisement that directs the viewer to take action and is usually paired with a conversion path such as a phone number or contact form. For example, “Call Now”, and Sign Up Today are common calls to action a business might use. 

Display advertising: Display advertising is a form of online advertising used to build brand awareness by placing advertisements in front of consumers as they surf the Web. By using targeting methods in display advertising, businesses can reach specific audiences based on the types of websites they visit or their geographic area.

Email marketing: Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email to distribute, marketing and sales information, special offers, events, a newsletter, or other type of content to a list of prospects and customers who have subscribed to receive emails from the business or brand.

Feed: A feed is a stream of continuously updated content based on different topics that a reader selects. For example, readers can set RSS Feeds for specific news sites, blogs, and websites and will receive an email or alert on a specific reader when new content is posted on those sites. Also, feeds like the Facebook News Feed are used on social media sites to inform users about the activity and content friends, groups, and brands post on the site.

Google+ Local: Google+ Local is an online listing and content hub for local businesses to market their business online. Claimed business profiles on Google+ Local provide consumers with important business information, such as the business name, type of business, reviews and ratings, and map location. Since these profiles rank highly in Google's organic search results, claiming and optimizing your business on Google+ Local is a simple way to build awareness and drive consumers to your business website.

Hashtag: A hashtag is any word or phrase (without spaces) written with a hash sign (#) in front of it, such as #SocialMedia. Hashtags are used to tag the specific word or phrase on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and most recently Facebook. Users of these platforms can use hashtags to follow conversations around the specific words or phrases, and businesses can use them as part of campaigns or to generate social media buzz about products, services, or events.

Impression: An impression is the number of possible views an ad or piece of shared content receives over a given amount of time. An impression typically applies as a standard of measurement for display advertising.

Journey: When discussed in the terms of a consumer's buying behavior, a buying journey is the path they take from consideration to purchase. This buying journey includes many steps, both offline and online, such as researching a business and their reputation, visiting websites, interacting with online ads, and communicating with businesses on social media. Understanding your target audiences' buying journey can help better define a successful online marketing strategy.

Keyword: Keywords are words or phrases people and businesses use to target search engine advertising or the terms they bid on when buying pay-per-click or search engine advertising. That's because these are the words or phrases users enter into search engines to generate results.

Landing page: A landing page is a page on a website that users visit when they click on an online ad or link from a campaign. An optimized landing page is critical to help increase conversions like calls, emails, and contact forms from online ads and should contain offers, products, and services relevant to the online ads that drive users there.

Mobile website: A mobile website is a website designed for consumers to view on a mobile device like a smartphone.  There are two types of mobile websites. Responsive sites take elements of your website and adjusting them to fit on any mobile screen. Custom sites create a unique website experience for consumers visiting the site on a mobile device.

Native advertising: Native advertising is any form of advertising or marketing that is designed to fit within the environment it lives. For example, a display ad within a news site that is designed to look similar to the additional stories on the website is one form of a native advertisement. Also, a native post is a post created directly from from the Facebook "Update Status" section and not from a third-party site like Hootsuite or Pinterest.

Organic search results: Organic search results are the links to content that appear in the main body of the search engine results page. Organic search results are generated based on an algorithm defined by the search engine that determines the relevancy of the content on the Web page.

PPC (Pay per click): Pay per click, also known as cost per click, is the set amount an advertiser agrees to pay a network or search engine hosting the ad each time a searcher clicks on the ad.

Quality score: Quality score is a number that can affect the ranking of a link within the SERPs and the cost per click of online ads based on the relevance and usefulness of the link and the keywords associated with it. Optimized text ads with qualified keywords and landing pages that provide value are a few key factors influence your quality score.

Reputation management: Reputation management is the process of tracking, monitoring, and managing a business, brand, or company's Web presence. Reputation management often includes generating positive content for your business and responding to comments on social media and review sites.

SERP (Search engine results page): A SERP is a page on a search engine that includes a list of Web pages and search ads generated by the results of a keyword search.

Targeting: Targeting is the practice often used in paid search advertising and display advertising to place ads in front of consumers based on many different factors, including their geographic location, online behaviors, terms they have searched for, and websites they have visited. Targeting consumers can help build brand awareness and drive more conversions to a business' website.

URL (Uniform resource locator): A URL is a unique address, such as http://www.reachlocal.co.uk that identifies a website on the Internet. For a business, a URL should include their business name in order to help ensure that consumers find a business' website when they search online.

Viral marketing: Viral marketing is the use of marketing techniques, like entertaining videos, images, and memes, to help a piece of content rapidly spread through online networks such as social media, although there is no guarantee that a piece of content will "go viral." Viral content is often humorous, surprising, or innovative in some way, which leads to it spreading.

Web presence: A Web presence is how a company, brand, or organization appears online. Web presence encompasses more than just a website; it also includes a business' visibility on organic search results, local directories, social media sites, review sites, mobile search results, and display advertisements.

X-factor: The x-factor is a desirable trait for an online marketing campaign. Campaigns with the x-factor implement smart tactics and become successful sensations that go beyond their originally intended marketing scope.

YouTube: YouTube is a popular online video site where users can upload videos, share them across social networks, and embed them on webpages and blogs. Since YouTube is owned by Google, videos on the site have a high visibility in Google's organic search results.