An Internet Marketing Glossary: 116 Terms You Need to Know  by

Does your brain feel like alphabet soup when you see terms like XML, PNGs and WYSIWYG? Do you wish people would just speak English? Have no fear. We have compiled this glossary of 116 of the most commonly used Internet marketing terms just for you. 

Your Ultimate Marketing Glossary

  1. .zip  – A file format that indicates the data has been compressed, or “zipped”.
  2. 301 redirect – An SEO term that refers to redirecting traffic from an old web page to a new web page. A 301 redirect is permanent redirect that preserves most to all of the authority from the old page.
  3. 303 redirect – Similar to a 301 redirect, but a temporary redirect as opposed to a permanent one. 303 redirects are shown as a “see other” response to the server. They should be replaced with 301 redirects where possible.
  4. 404 error – A page not found error. This is a message the server will send back if a file is requested that it cannot find. This is what you will see if you click a broken link.
  5. Abandonment rate – Typically refers to the abandonment rate of an ecommerce  checkout cart, but can refer to an opt-in process. Abandonment rate is usually expressed as a percentage. It refers to how many people drop out before they complete a pre-defined goal. An abandonment rate of 95% for a checkout cart would mean 95 out of every 100 people who begin the checkout process leave it before completing it.
  6. Algorithm – Usually refers to a “search algorithm”. The complex series of calculations that determine which pages are seen in the search results.
  7. Alt text – An HTML term that is part of the code that creates an image or video on a web page. Alt text is the tag that describes the image or video in words. If an image gets shared on social media, alt text is sometimes the default post description.
  8. Analytics – Information about how people behave on a site or within an app. Analytics is made up of two parts: The tracking required to gather the data, and then the software required to analyze it present it into reports and graphs.
  9. Anchor text – The part active part of a hyperlink; the part of a hyperlink that would be underlined. AnchorText In the paragraph above, “lead magnet” is anchor text.
  10. Archive – A place or folder where files are stored.
  11. ASCII – as in “ASCII text”. This is plain text without any formatting.
  12. Attachment – Usually refers to a file that has been attached to an email message.
  13. Autoresponder – An automated series of email messages.
  14. Avatar – The image of someone attachs to their profile, usually a social media profile. Avatars can also be icons, or whatever image someone chooses to use with their online profile. Avatar
  15. Bookmark – A saved shortcut used to find an online resource again later. Usually added through a web browser.
  16. Boolean operator – A way to refine search queries. Boolean operators include AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT.
  17. Bot – Usually refers to a “search bot”. Another term for a “search spider” – the software that combs through the Internet, cataloging information.
  18. Bounce rate – Refers to how many people come to your site and then leave before going to any other pages.
  19. Cache – Usually refers to a browser cache. Refers to saved files (like images) in your browser from sites you’ve used in the past. Different than “cookies”.
  20. CANSPAM – A US law that dictates how email marketers can treat their email subscribers.
  21. Case sensitive – Means that it matters whether or not letters are capitalized.
  22. CASL – Acronym for Canadian Anti Spam Law that went into effect last year.
  23. Churn – As in “list churn”. The term for how many subscribers an email list loses due to unsubscribes or subscribers becoming inactive. More specifically refers to how those losses eat into list growth efforts.
  24. Clickbait – A piece of content solely designed to get people to click it, even if that means using an inaccurate headline or photograph.
  25. Clickthrough rate – A percentage that shows how many users out of a hundred have clicked on a link. A clickthrough rate of 30% would mean thirty out of one hundred people who saw an ad actually clicked on the ad.
  26. Compression – As in file compression. Can refer to any document, but often refers to reducing the size of images so they will download more quickly.
  27. Content curation – The activity of gathering content about a specific subject in order to offer an audience a stream of content.
  28. Content distribution – The activity of promoting content, usually your own, across the Internet.
  29. Conversion rate – a percentage of how many people complete a goal. A conversion can be an order, a sign up or anything that can be measured. A conversion rate of 50% would mean that half of the people who could complete a given goal actually did.
  30. Cookie –  a non-harmful snippet of code placed on a user’s computer in order to give them a customized experience of a website.
  31. Cover image – The main image. Usually refers to the main, full-width image that is customized by each user for their social media account. CoverImage
  32. CSS – Cascading Style Sheets. The code or “markup language” used to define the look and functionality of web page.
  33. Domain – Also called a URL. This is the address of a website, more specifically the address of the website’s homepage.
  34. Email client – A piece of software you read, send and receive email messages in. Sometimes called an “email reader”. Examples of popular email clients include Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.
  35. Email service provider – A service that sends your email messages out for you and manages the basic functions of your list (processing unsubscribes, for example).
  36. Embed – To add something into a page. Usually refers to adding a kind of media format (video, image, audio file) into a web page or a document.
  37. Emoji – A small image used to express an emotion. Often included in text messages, personal emails, forums or social media posts. Emoji
  38. Emoticon – A text-based representation of a person’s expression, like a smile :).
  39. Engagement – a measurement of how people responded to or interacted with a piece of content. Engagement can be clicks, likes, shares or opens. Sometimes expressed as a percentage.
  40. External link – A link that points out from the website it is on to another location on the Internet. See internal link for comparison.
  41. FAQ – Stands for “Frequently Asked Questions”. An old but still occasionally used section of a website that answers common questions.
  42. Favorites – Similar to bookmarks. A list of web pages or other online resources kept for quick reference.
  43. Filter – A way to screen out a specific parameter to see more refined search results or analytics data.
  44. Firewall – A way to protect a server from unwanted and potentially malicious traffic.
  45. Flash – A type of file that can create both animations and entire responsive interfaces. Many online games are created in Flash.
  46. Follower – Someone who chooses to see updates from you on a social media site like Twitter or Instagram.
  47. Following – Often refers to a “social following”. The group of people who has elected to get updates from you across all social media channels.
  48. Forum – An online group that meets on a website. Similar to a chat room.
  49. FTP – Stands for “File Transfer Protocol”. A way to transfer files to a server.
  50. GIF – stands for Graphics Interchange Format. A GIF is an image file format that can be either an animated or static image.
  51. Handle – Most often used for Twitter. The “@” sign before someone’s user name on Twitter is their handle. For example, GetResponse’s Twitter handle is “@GetResponse”. Hashtag
  52. Hashtag  – A pound symbol tag used on all the major social media platforms (except LinkedIn) to add a topic reference to an tweet or update. In the tweet, “#Emailmarketing rocks!”, the hashtag is “#emailmarketing”.
  53. Header image – The primary, full-width image near the top of a page, social media account or email message.
  54. Home page – Also called an index page. The base URL or domain address for a website, as in “GetResponse.com”.
  55. HTML– Hypertext Markup Language. The code that create web pages. Note that HTML is not a coding language because it does not use variables.
  56. HTTP/HTTPS – Acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol”. HTTPS denotes a secure connection via Hypertext Transfer Protocol. This is the method that information is passed from server to server, and then down to an individual’s web browser across the Internet.
  57. Hyperlink – A way to link text or images so a user can move from file to file (and  website to website) across the Internet.
  58. Inbound link – A hyperlink from comes from another site and is directed to a page on your site.
  59. Index page – Also called the home page.
  60. Influencer – Someone, usually on social media or in the press, who has an unusually strong influence over other peoples’ opinions. A minor celebrity of sorts who has a large social media following.
  61. Impressions – An advertising term that means how many times an ad was seen. Advertisers can buy ads based on how many impressions they want, or, as one alternative, under a pay per click model of advertising.
  62. IP address – Stands for “Internet Protocol”. An IP address is a unique string of numbers separated by periods. It identifies where a computer is anywhere in the world.
  63. ISP – Acronym for “Internet Service Provider”. This is the company that provides Internet access from your computer to the Internet.
  64. Javascript – A scripting language widely used on the Internet. Javascript lets you add calculators and interface effects to your pages.
  65. JPEG or JPG – stands for the Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the organization that created and distributed it. A widely-used image file format.
  66. Keyword – Any word that is used in search engine optimization. Common usage is to “optimize a page for a particular keyword”. That would mean you would adjust different parts of the page to use a particular keyword, say “racecar”, so your webpage would show up when someone searched for the word “racecar”.
  67. Lead magnet – A free report, coupon or other resource offered as a gift when someone signs up for your email list.
  68. Light box – Similar to a pop-up. An opt-in form that appears like an overlay over the webpage. Light boxes are sometimes defined a bit differently than pop-ups, in that a lightbox will have the screen behind it blurred out. With a pop-up you’ll still be able to see the webpage behind the overlay. Lightbox
  69. Like – Used mostly on Facebook, but also on other social media sites. People can like a piece of content (though they can’t dislike a piece of content). Likes are a major measure of social engagement for brands and publishers. The things you like can also shape which content you’ll see on a social media site going forward.
  70. Long-tail keyword – An SEO term that refers to any keyword or “keyphrase” that includes more than three words. Long-tail keywords have lower search volume, but often convert far better and have less competition than more general keywords.
  71. LTV – An acronym for “Lifetime Value”. This refers to how much money you can expect to make from an average customer over the term that they are your customer.
  72. Marketing Automation – A popular marketing technique of creating automated systems to move people through the buying process. Autoresponders are an ideal example of marketing automation.
  73. Meme – Typically a funny picture with an even funnier caption. Used like an image. Widely used across social media sites. Meme
  74. Mention – Usually refers to “social mentions”. These can be direct comments in a tweet, or just shares, likes, retweets and other forms of engagement.
  75. Menu – A series of links used as a navigation device to let people go to different parts of a website.
  76. Meta Description – A section of the HTML or XML of a webpage that describes what the page is about. Similar to a title tag, but the meta description displays below the title tag in search results.
  77. Navigation – The ability to move through different parts of a website or application. Navigation can also refer to the actual links and other design elements that let you move through a website for application.
  78. Newsjacking – The content marketing technique of taking a new story and spinning it so that it relates to your niche.
  79. NoFollow Link – An SEO term that refers to how a hyperlink is formatted, and how much page authority it passes to the page it is linking to. A NoFollow link sends far less page authority to the page it points to than a regular link would send. Some website publishers use Nofollow links to try to reduce how much page authority they send to other sites.
  80. Opt-in form – The form someone uses to sign up for your email list. OptinForm
  81. Opt-in rate – The percentage of people, usually website visitors, who sign up for your email list. An opt-in rate of 5% would mean that five out of every one hundred visitors to your site sign up for your email list.
  82. PDF – Portable Document Format. This is a file format that lets you save images, file and layouts in a way that both makes the file size smaller and also ensures it will appear the same on multiple devices.
  83. Permalink – The permanent address for a given file on the Internet.
  84. Plugin – A piece of software that performs a specific task and works as an added component to another piece of software. Most plugins are used for the content management system WordPress, but some browsers let you add plugins, too.
  85. PNG – Portable Network Graphics. An image file format.
  86. Pop-up – Sometimes called a “lightbox”, “Pop-over”, or “interstitial”. This is an overlay box that appears as if it was in front of the webpage. Pop-ups typically prompt people to join an email list, but they can do other things, too.
  87. PPC – Acronym for “pay per click”. The advertising model where advertises only pay when someone clicks their ad. PPC typically involves an auction-style bidding for either keywords or ad space.
  88. Referral rate – Expressed as a percentage. How many people forwarded or shared a piece of content. Referral rate almost always refers to email messages. It describes how many people used the “forward to a friend” functionality in the email message.
  89. Render – a verb, usually used as “to render on a device”. How something renders is basically how it appears. We are interested in rendering because different devices can render the same content (an email, a web page, etc) in very different ways.
  90. Response rate – The percentage of people who responded to a piece of content or marketing vehicle. A 15% response rate to an email offer would mean that 15 out of every 100 people you sent the offer to actually responded.
  91. Retargeting – The technique of advertising to people who have seen your content before. Requires tracking people across different websites and platforms.
  92. ROI – Acronym for “Return on Investment”. The calculation for ROI is (Return – Investment) / Investment = ROI.
  93. RSS – An acronym for “Real Simple Syndication”. An XML-based format used for delivering content automatically after someone is signed up to the publisher’s RSS Feed. Similar to signing up to an email list, but not as good.
  94. Screenshot – Also called a “screen capture”. An image or snapshot taken of the computer screen.
  95. SEM – Acronym for search engine marketing.
  96. SEO – Acronym for search engine optimization.
  97. SERP – Acronym for search engine results pages.
  98. Server – where the files the make up a website are stored.
  99. Signature –A few lines of default text that can be customized and added to all outgoing email messages from a personal email account. SignatureLine
  100. Sitemap – A document that shows every page on a website. There are two kinds of sitemaps: sitemaps for humans and sitemaps for search engines. An XML sitemap is a common file format for sitemaps made for search engines.
  101. SMS – Acronym for Short Message Service. Is basically a text message sent from an advertiser.
  102. SMTP – Acronym for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is basically the method, or protocol, used to move email messages from sender to recipient.
  103. SoLoMo – Stands for “Social, Local, Mobile”. This term embodies the three major trends of Internet marketing for brick and mortar businesses.
  104. Spam – An email message that is not wanted, or that the recipient did not sign up for. Some sources estimate that up to 70% of all emails sent are spam.
  105. Spider – A program that “crawls” or catalogs the Internet. Used by search engines to find and rank pages.
  106. Status bar – An information feedback device that shows the user how far along they are in a process.
  107. Tag – A way to label or categorize a post, file or piece of content so it can be found again later.
  108. Thread – A series of communications between one or more people. Usually refers to email, as in an “email thread”.
  109. Timestamp – A way to attach a date and time to a social media post, or to any other kind of content.
  110. Title Tag – The section of code from a webpage that specifies what text will appear at the top of the browser window for that page, and that will appear in the top line of text describing that page in the search results. TitleTag
  111. Trending – When a topic of piece of content “goes viral” and is widely shared and discussed.
  112. Unsubscribe rate – Used for email marketing. The percentage of how many subscribers choose to click the unsubscribe link and no longer receive your email announcements. Typically calculated per email campaign sent.
  113. URL – Stands for “Uniform Resource Locator”. Also called a domain name. This is the base address for a website, as in “Google.com”.
  114. User generated content – Any kind of content that is not created by the publisher or brand. Examples of user generated content would be comments on blog posts or on social media updates, or any social content a consumer or user creates about or in connection to a brand.
  115. Word cloud / tag cloud – A visual representation of different words or tags, where the most used words or tags are in large type and the least used words or tags are in tiny type. WordCloud
  116. WYSIWYG – Acronym for “What You See Is What You Get”. Usually refers to an interface where you can edit a file, whether it’s an email message or a brochure. “A WYSIWYG interface”.

Are there any marketing terms that in your opinion could be added to our ultimate list? Share with us in the comments below!

  • Gabriella Lengyel

    Great Post. Informative and useful. Thanks..

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