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05 May 2021
Digital Marketing

The 2021 Digital Marketing Glossary

The ever-changing digital ecosystem can be confusing. It’s fair to say that the world of digital marketing is jam-packed with marketing jargon, lingo or any other term you prefer to use. With acronyms and buzzwords flying around all over the place, it can sometimes be difficult to decipher the meaning behind them.

That’s why the Hanabi marketing team has compiled this handy guide of commonly used digital marketing terms which you would like to know to stay ahead of the curve in 2021.


301 redirect (permanent)

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that passes full link equity (ranking power) to the redirected page. 301 refers to the HTTP status code for this type of redirect. In most instances, the 301 redirect is the best method for implementing redirects on a website.

302 redirect (temporary)

This HTTP status code signifies that the web page a user is trying to reach has been temporarily moved.

404 broken page

404 is an HTTP response code that shows that the page that a user has requested has not been found. It is usually accompanied by a message like “page not found” or “The page you are trying to access does not exist”.


A/B testing

Also known as Split testing is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset and measuring the difference in performance to achieve better results.

Abandonment rate

An analytics feature that lets you see the percentage of people who began a defined conversion process but did not complete it.

Ad exchange

A platform that facilitates ad placement bidding. Effectively an online, automated auction house.

Ad extensions

Additional information about your business can be added to ad copy, such as an address, phone number or links to specific pages on your website.

Ad scheduling

The process of scheduling ads to automatically show at specific times of the day.

Ad server

An ad server is used to store, manage and display ads to users on a website.

Affiliate marketing

Refers to the process of earning a commission by promoting someone else’s products or services.


The mathematical formula or a set of rules behind systems and programmes to provide users with the most relevant response to their queries.

Anchor text

The clickable text is displayed in a hyperlink that’s usually blue and underlined. The anchor text should give a clear indication of the page or file it’s linking to.

API (Application Programming Interface)

A set of tools and protocols used for building, developing and interlinking software and programmes.


Attribution assigns credit to the marketing source that turned a lead into a customer. Marketing attribution lets you identify crucial touchpoints in the customer journey.


An audience – or target audience – is a specified group of consumers who become the recipients of marketing efforts.


A website’s authority correlates with its popularity. A site’s authority is based on factors like traffic, backlinks and social shares.


The method of controlling or operating processes via automatic means. Many marketing departments automate repetitive tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and even ad campaigns -- not just for the sake of efficiency, but so they can provide a more personalized experience for their customers.


B2B / B2C

These are acronyms used to describe who a company sells to. B2B stands for “Business to Business” and refers to companies that sell to other businesses. Meanwhile, B2C or “Business to Consumer” refers to companies that sell directly to consumers.


This is when other websites link back to your website.

Bid modifiers

Bid modifiers let you make adjustments to bids without altering your campaign’s targeting or ad groups.

Black hat SEO

SEO strategies consist of unethical and unprofessional techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, and using private link networks.

Bounce rate

The percentage of visitors who land on a website but then leave without looking at other pages.

Broad match

Refers to a keyword match type for PPC advertising that offers the broadest reach and widest range of targeting.


Call-to-action (CTA)

A call-to-action is a text link, button, or image that encourages a website user to visit a landing page and become a lead. Some examples include “Subscribe Today” on website popups or “Download Now” on app websites.

Canonical tags

It is a suggestion to search engines that the content on that specific URL is not the master version of the copy.

CMS (Content Management System)

A content management system (CMS) allows web editors to manage content displayed on a site. WordPress is an example of a content management system.

Content marketing

Content marketing is an ongoing activity, using created content to engage customers. The content is usually valuable and made to influence people's behaviours.

Conversion rate

The ratio of users who complete a specific action (such as filling out a form) compared to the total number of users. The conversion rate is calculated as a percentage.


A file used by websites that stores data on a user’s computer based on their activity on the site.

CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)

The average amount it costs to acquire a conversion through paid activity.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

How much do you have to pay for every click on your advert or link.

Cost per mille (CPM)

Cost per mille (sometimes known as cost per thousand) refers to the amount of money it costs for your post or ad to be seen 1,000 times.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM focuses on managing positive interaction and communication with clients to achieve optimal client satisfaction and retention.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

The systematic process of using test and learn techniques to identify which aspects help to improve website performance by encouraging more users to take a specific, desired action.


Digital Advertising

Advertising (paid placements) on any digital platform. This can include social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook as well as on search engines like Google or Bing and individual websites.

Display Ads

Advertising is shown on a web page that a consumer is using. Most often in the form of images, banners, video, or rich formats (animations or slideshows)

DMP (Data Management Platform)

A unified technology platform used for collecting, organising and activating large sets of data from different sources.

Domain name

The part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular company or organisation. No two websites can have the same domain name.

DSP (Demand-Side Platform)

A system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchanges and data exchange accounts through one interface.

Duplicate content

A substantial amount of identical content that features on more than one website or multiple places on the same website.

Dwell Time

The amount of time between when a user clicks on a result on the search engine results page and when the user returns to the search engine results page.


Earned Media

Any media exposure that does not come directly from your business. This includes things like shared posts, reviews of your business, or mentions from another site.


Stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trustworthiness and is used in SEO to describe the quality of a website or content. The term comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

Engagement Metrics

Metrics are used to measure the performance of the website, campaign or any landing page. These often include bounce rate, time on site, pages per visit, and social shares.

Exact match

Refers to a keyword match type for PPC advertising that offers the most specific and precise control over ad targeting.

Eye-tracking Technology

Technology that measures optical movement, visual attention and point of gaze.


Featured snippet

Also known as ‘position zero’, the featured snippet is an answer box that sits at the top of Google’s SERPs and aims to answer a user’s query by using featured copy from a relevant site.

First-party data

Data about your audience that you have collected yourself, as opposed to data collected by a third party.


A marketing strategy based on ‘funnelling’ prospects through multiple stages of a customer journey to reach the end goal of a specified conversion.



Refers to the General Data Protection Regulations laws brought in in 2018 to better protect people’s personal information.


Using a person’s location to trigger a response when a person enters or leaves a virtually fenced area.


A targeting method that serves content to site visitors based on their location.

Google Ads

Google’s self-serving advertising platform lets marketers serve ads across Google and partner networks.

Google Analytics

A free tool that collects data and organizes the data into reports used to show how users interact with websites.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

GA4 is the next generation of Google Analytics which incorporates machine learning to surface user insights. It can be used with both web and app properties and is now the default version of Google Analytics.

Google Search Console

GSC is a free platform for anyone with a website to monitor how Google views their site and optimize its organic presence. That includes viewing your referring domains, mobile site performance, rich search results, and highest-traffic queries and pages.

Google Tag Manager

A free tool that allows you to host a variety of tracking codes, pixels, and tags – thus removing the need to rely on developers and hard coding of each tag.


Hashtag (#)

Used on social media platforms as an identification of a certain theme or topic whereby the subject matter is preceded by the hash symbol.


A visual summary of how users interact with a specific webpage. Heatmaps identify ‘hot spots’ where page aspects have high interactivity levels. This tool is widely used for conversion rate optimisation.


An interaction that results in data being sent to a tracking solution (i.e. Google Analytics). One session can include multiple hits such as page views, events, or social interactions.


A label attached to a host on the Internet, allowing an individual server to be identified.



The number of times an ad or listing appeared. This does not always mean that a user viewed the ad or listing. Multiple impressions can come from the same person if that person saw the ad or listing more than once.

Impression Share

A measurement of the number of times an ad was shown out of the total number of times it was eligible to show. This can help measure how much of the available audience an ad is reaching.

Impression to Conversion Rate (Imp CVR)

A measurement of how often an impression turns into a conversion is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of impressions.


A method of collecting, arranging and categorizing the information that crawlers, bots, or spiders find on websites.



A programming language that is commonly used for building website features that require user interaction.



Popular words, terms or phrases help to optimise a site’s ranking position. Keywords also allow paid search advertisers to bid for ad placements as sponsored links on SERPs.

Keyword research

The process of researching words, terms or phrases around a certain subject to determine their popularity.

Keyword stuffing

An unethical, black hat SEO technique refers to the over-optimisation of a webpage through excessive keyword density.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Used to reflect the performance and success of an activity in relation to the goals originally outlined.


Landing page

A page on a website that serves as a destination page for users who have clicked through from an advert or link elsewhere on the web – including SERPs.

Lead generation

Lead generation, the marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline, allows companies to nurture targets until they’re ready to buy.


A lead is someone who has shown or may show interest in your service or product offering.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

The average amount of revenue one customer will bring to a business over their lifetime. Lifetime may be defined as the average time someone remains a customer.

Link Juice

A slang term used in SEO to describe the value of links pointing to another site.

Link building

The process of getting other websites to link to yours. The higher the authority of the other site, the more valuable the link.

Local search

The process of utilising a search engine’s database of local business listings to target audiences based on their specific geographic locations.

Long-tail keyword

A keyword phrase that contains three or more words. Long-tail keywords are used to target more specific, niche demographics.

Lookalike audience

Used for Facebook advertising, a lookalike audience is a pool of prospects who closely resemble an existing audience. Targeting a lookalike audience is a good way to reach new people who are more likely to engage with your ads.


Machine learning

It is a subset of artificial intelligence that refers to an algorithm’s ability to learn from pattern recognition and inference to improve functionality.

Market research

A planned effort to gather information about target customer groups' (or markets) preferences.

Meta description

The copy is displayed underneath the website page link on SERPs.

Meta titles

A meta title is the name of a web page. The meta title helps both search engines and users to understand what type of page it is.


Native advertising

Native advertising is the use of paid ads that match the look, feel and function of the media format in which they appear. They are often found in social media feeds, or as recommended content on a web page.


An identifier tag that tells search engines not to follow that page or give it any weight in search rankings.


An identifier tag that tells search engines not to index a specific page.


Organic listing

Also known as ‘natural’ search results, organic listings are SERP results that are not paid for. Optimising organic listings is the whole point of SEO.

Organic search

When Google (or another search engine) is used to display results for a search term. Any non-paid results in the SERPs will be organic results.

Owned Media

Any digital platform or medium that a business fully controls, such as the business website, social media profiles, and Google My Business.



A quick portrait of user types used to briefly describe goals and behaviour used in UX design and marketing campaigns.


Personalization in digital marketing focuses on using user behaviour and context to create tailored content. Advanced machine learning and automation help in delivering tailored experiences.


An invisible image file placed on a website that is used to pass information, such as a cookie, to a server. Pixels can be used to determine touchpoints with a brand across different platforms.

PPC (Pay Per Click)

PPC, or pay-per-click, is an online advertising model that involves displaying ads on search engine results pages, blog networks, and affiliate websites. Every time a visitor clicks these ads, the advertiser pays a fee.

Programmatic advertising

Real-time automated buying of advertising through a technology platform.


Quality score

A metric used by Google to determine the quality and relevancy of a site based on its ads, keywords and landing pages.



Refers to the hierarchy of websites on any given SERP. SEO is the practice of optimising websites to improve their rankings and help them reach the top positions.


A method that takes a user to an alternative page to the one they clicked on. If, for example, the intended page is out of date for whatever reason, the user will end up on a different page that houses an updated version of replacement content.


The method of keeping your offering in front of people who have shown previous interest. Also known as retargeting.

Rich snippet

Refers to structured data markup that can be added into existing HTML to allow search engines and users to better understand the information a page contains.


A file created by webmasters that tells search engine crawlers which pages or files the crawler can or can't request from your site. This is used mainly to avoid overloading your site with requests; it is not a mechanism for keeping a web page out of Google. Learn more about robots.txt.

ROAS (Return On Ad Spend)

ROAS is a performance metric used to describe the amount of revenue generated from spending on advertising. It is calculated by dividing the revenue generated by the actual spending on advertising.

ROI (Return On Investment)

A measurement of a business’ or campaign’s profitability. ROI is calculated by dividing the net profit by the cost of investment.

RTB (Real-Time Bidding)

Allows advertisers to bid for the ability to serve ads on a webpage that’s being opened at any given time by any given person.


Schema markup

Code installed on a website that helps search engines return relevant, informative results.

Search query

The words or phrases users type into a search engine when searching.


The process of dividing an audience of potential customers into groups based on different characteristics or criteria.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search Engine Marketing is an umbrella term for digital marketing practices that aim to increase a website’s visibility in SERPs.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

The process of optimising websites to increase their ranking and visibility in the SERPs. SEO incorporates many different factors.

Search Engine Rankings

Your search engine ranking indicates what position your website appears for specific keywords in the SERPs.


A group of user interactions performed on a site that takes place within a given timeframe. A session starts at a user’s point of entry to a site and ends when they exit that site. Sometimes referred to as a “visit”.


An automated programme that visits or “crawls” websites to collect information about them to understand their function and relevance.

SSL Certificate

A small data file that enables encrypted connections between a web server and a browser to ensure site security.


Third-party data

As the name suggests, it is the data that is obtained from outside sources.


An instance of interaction between a customer and a brand.

Tracking code (Tracking snippet)

A snippet of HTML code on a website that is used to track data such as user behaviour and conversions.


UI design UI – or User Interface – design

Refers to designing software for electronic devices based on optimal usability and user experience.

User-generated content

User-generated content is created by a brand’s followers with the aim of promoting that brand. This type of content helps in building trust and user engagement.


In Google Analytics, a UTM code is a text added to the end of a URL. Companies can track web traffic through this code. Plus, businesses can see the sources that drive site traffic when they add UTM tracking to social media posts, emails, or other web pages.

Usability testing

The process of evaluating the functionality of a product or service by getting people to test it.

USP (Unique Selling Point)

USPs are what make your company/products/services unique. Unique selling points help you stand out against your competitors.

UX (User Experience)

UX is the consideration of user needs. User experience is the core of a successful campaign because it deals with appealing to the people who will visit your site.


Version Control

Version control is a system that records changes to a file or set of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later and is used for managing changes to computer programs, documents, large websites, or other collections of information.


A video blog.

View-through Conversion

A type of conversion in which a user views an ad, but does not click on the ad and later completes a conversion action.

View-through Conversion Window

A conversion setting in Google Ads defines the maximum length of time that a view-through action will still be attributed as a view-through conversion. As an example, if the view-through conversion window is set to 30 days, any conversion action completed by a user who saw an ad but did not click on the ad within 30 days of seeing that ad will be counted as a view-through conversion.

Voice Search

Refers to any search query conducted using voice technology. This can be a search on a mobile device or on a smart speaker such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.



A seminar that takes place on the Internet.

White hat SEO

Ethical and professional SEO techniques that reflect ‘best practice’ marketing efforts.


A wireframe is effectively a blueprint of a website. Wireframes are a visual representation of where content elements will sit on a specific page of a website.



A highly valuable SEO plugin for WordPress websites that helps website owners to optimize their sites for search engines.


Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

The moment at which a buyer decides he or she is going to make a purchase and researches that purchase.

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