Welcome to our digital marketing glossary. Here we feature a collection of digital marketing terms and provide definitions in clear, plain english, explaining what they mean for you and your business.



Googles paid advertising service that allows you to occupy the top positions on their results page by bidding on certain search terms.

Agile Marketing

Reacting to current events to promote your product or service. e.g. a roofing repair company tweeting during a storm.


As in Google Analytics, where information about your website traffic can be analysed to gain insights into your customers behaviour.


A ‘top secret’ formula used by search engines, like google, to determine the rankings on search results pages.


Refers to how users came to your site, mostly relating to Google Analytics. The Acquisition page will tell you if people were referred to your site by another site, came via a search engine, or went to your site directly. Crucial to understanding your most valuable source of website traffic.

A/B Testing

This refers to the practice of testing two alternatives and assessing their performance to see which one users prefer. e.g. testing two separate subject lines on an email and see which one results in more email opens.



Beacons are low energy bluetooth devices that send notifications to smartphones when the phone is within a set range. Expected to increase in popularity over the coming years as a marketing tool.

Behaviour Flow

A Google Analytics term. This allows you to track the pages viewed by a visitor to your website. It allows you to understand more about how people use your site, such as indicating which pages are viewed immediately before a user fills out a form or views your contact details.


Short for biography, this relates to how you describe yourself or your company on your social media profile. Important to get right as it is an opportunity to sell yourself quickly.


Derived from the term Web Log, this is a commonly used feature where you write articles and updates, to encourage more visitors to come to your website.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is found in Google Analytics and tells you the percentage of visitors that came to your site, but left without taking any further action, such as clicking a button or visiting another page. Can be useful to alert you to pages on your site that people are not interested in.


Call-To-Action (CTA)

Generally takes the form of a button. It is used to encourage a visitor to your website to take further action eg ‘request a demo’ or ‘contact us’. Generally, all web pages should have at least one call to action to ensure users stay engaged with your website.

Click Rate

This usually applies to email marketing. It is used to measure the effectiveness of an email campaign. Click rate will show the percentage of people that clicked on a link within an email, thus showing how interested people were in the content of the email.

Click To Open Rate

This measures the percentage of those who opened an email, that clicked on a link within the email. i.e. 50 people opened your email and 10 people clicked a link, therefore click to open rate is 20%. This differs from ‘click rate’ as that refers to clicks as a percentage of people who received the email.


When a user performs a desired action such as, completes a form, or buys a ticket, this is called a conversion. Mostly used on Google Analytics where you can see how users interacted with your website before taking that action and converting .


This refers for Content Management System. Popular CMS’s are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal and are used to add content to your website.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a strand of marketing which focuses on producing and sharing quality, relevant and engaging content that attracts your potential customer to your product. Examples of content include blogs, ebooks and infographics.


CX is short for ‘Customer Experience’,  which refers to the interactions between a company and its customers, from initial awareness all the way to purchase and after sales support.


Data Analytics

The process of collecting and analysing information about your customers online beahaviour. This analysis helps form insights that will allow you to improve your online offering to potential customers.

Direct Message

This usually takes the form of a private message on otherwise public forums, such as twitter or facebook.

Display Ad

A type of online advertising that uses images, video or audio rather than text. Examples are banner ads on website and video ads at the side of  a webpage.


Email Marketing

Still one of the most effective forms of online marketing. Usually as part of a wider campaign, emails are sent to prospective customers. These emails can be personalised and targeted, meaning the right message reaches the right customer.

Earned Media

This refers to online content about your product or service that is written by somebody else and has not been paid for. Examples are product reviews, testimonials and social media posts.


‘Electronic Commerce’ quite simply refers to the trading of goods or services using electronic means such as the internet. Examples include a hardware store selling goods through an online shop on their website, or a musician selling downloads of their music online.


Online engagement refers to the interaction between a business and their customer online. This may take the form of a twitter conversation or comments on a blog. This is crucial in building relationships with customers.



The most used social media platform in the world. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to promote their product or service, reach a wider audience and interact with potential customers.



Googles social media platform. Not as popular as some of the other social media sites, but important for businesses as it can help visibility on google’s search engine and will help your business get noticed when people are searching nearby due to its connection with google maps.


A tactic used for targeting ads. This refers to the ability to  make your ad visible only to people in a certain location. It is highly effective as it makes the the ad more relatable to the people who see it and also means you aren’t wasting money on ads being shown to people that would not be interested in your product.

Google Search Console

Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, this is a free service from google that allows webmaster monitor their sites performance on google search engines.


Hashtag #

A hashtag # is used to tag a word or term, generally on social media. By doing this it is easier to search for, and track these terms. Used most effectively by businesses to track the interaction with social media campaigns.

Home Page

This is the first page of your website and most important as it represents a chance to make a good first impression.


HTML – HyperText Markup Language is the computer language used to create webpages. Effectively, HTML creates the building blocks with which to build a website. For most small business owners, an in depth knowledge of HTML is not required unless their web development is done in house.


Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a type of marketing activity that aims to pull the customer to your product or service by getting their attention via quality engaging content. Examples of inbound marketing is blogging, SEO and social media marketing.


Impressions refers to a measurement used generally in social media to indicate the amount of times your post appeared on a timeline. This gives you an idea of the reach of the post, however it doesn’t accurately tell you how many people interacted with the post, or even took any notice of it at all.


An influencer is a key person in your industry. The aim, on social media, would be to get interaction with an influencer by way of a retweet or share that will significantly increase your reach amongst your target audience and add kudos to your post.



Joomla, along with WordPress and Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems. It is a platform used to build and maintain websites.


Jargon refers to words and phrases used in an industry that may not be familiar to people outside of the industry. This website is against the use of digital marketing jargon, in order to break down the barriers for businesses who need to connect with their customers online.



Keywords are words or phrases that summarise the general topic of a page on a website. From a web content perspective you try to understand what your potential visitors will search for on a search engine. Using these terms in your page will usually result in your page ranking higher on search results pages.


Link Building

Link Builidng refers to the process of getting third party website to link to your own website. For example, if you write a good blog post and a number of people refer to it on their site, and they provide a link to the blog post, this is a link. Getting this done by numerous third party sites, is link building. It is very helpful when it comes to search rankings.

Landing Page

A landing page is a standalone page on your site, where visitors are directed to from another source. An example of a landing page would be a competition entry form that you have promoted on social media. The social media users would click through and ‘land’ on page on your site where they can fill out their details. A landing page has the sole purpose of getting visitors to enter information or take a particular action to allow you to capture their interest or details.


LinkedIn is another of the main social platforms. It is primarily used by business people in a work capacity. Suitable if you are a Business to Business (B2B) company, if your target market is business people.


Meta Tags

Meta Tags are used to give structured data about a HTML page. This information is never displayed on a webpage but is ‘read’ by search engines so it can understand what the page is about.


A mention is just that – when your name, brand or campaign gets mentioned. Here it refers to when you are being talked about on social media. A ‘mention’ from the right person can be invaluable for a business.


This refers to the ongoing checking of social media for any mentions of a particular term. This could be your brand name or a campaign slogan for example. There are numerous sites where you can set up a monitor to alert you whenever your term gets mentioned on social media.



NFC stands for Near Field Communication. This is currently used in things such as contactless credit cards and travel passses. Expected to increase in usage in marketing using low energy bluetooth to push notifications to potential customers’ smartphones.


Open Rate

This is a metric used to measure the performance of an email campaign. It is the amount of people that opened the email expressed as a percentage of the total number of recipients. i.e. if you send an email to 500 people and 200 people open the mail, the open rate is 40%

Owned Media

Owned Media refers to content on the internet that you produced and published yourself. Examples of owned media would be blogs and social media posts.

Organic Reach

Organic reach refers to the potential amount of people that could see your social media post without the need for paying to boost the reach. Organic reach has diminished in recent years meaning paid advertising is becoming more of a necessity on social media to ensure a significant audience sees your post.

Organic Search

This refers to the search results that have not been paid for and are ranked by a variety of factors set out by the search engine. Businesses use various SEO techniques and create quality website content to ensure their site is a s high up the organic results as possible.



PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising refers to the form of online ads where you only pay when someone clicks the ad. This is the favoured approach, generally, as the cost of the ad campaign is somewhat linked to its success.

Paid Media

As opposed to earned and owned media, Paid Media refers to any online content that you have paid for. An example of this would be a youtube video ad or a promoted tweet.


A persona is a fictional character marketers create to represent a specific section of their target audience. Personas are created to allow content to be made more relevant to the intended audience as you have a ‘real life’ consideration.


QR Codes

Quick Response (QR) codes are a type of digital barcode that contains information which can be read by smartphones and other digital devices. Current examples of this are qr codes on tickets to make the validation process quicker in airports and concert venues. Also used in marketing where a qr code on a physical poster directs people to a specific webpage.



Having a ‘responsive’ website is now a necessity for businesses. This is where the website ‘responds’ to the device a user is accessing the site on, and provides an optimal experience for the user. Most commonly, this relates to ensuring your website is easy to use and read whether being viewed on mobile, laptop or desktop.


ROI (Return On Investment) is a measure of the value of taking a specific action against what resources are used to take that action. For example, if you spend €500 on twitter ads and make €2,000 in sales from twitter referrals, this would indicate a high ROI. However if you spend 10 hours per week promoting your business on facebook and you get no sales referrals from facebook, this indicate a poor ROI.


Also known as remarketing, retargeting refers to online advertising to users who have previously visited your website. i.e. A potential customer spends some time on a sports store website browsing through their trainers. Two days later this person is looking at a music news website and they see ads for trainers on the sidebar. This ad is due to retargeting by the sports store.



Search Engine Optimisation is the term used to describe the techniques and tools used to ensure a web page appears as close to the top of search results pages (such as google, bing etc) as possible

Social Proof

Social proof has grown in importance over recent years. It is where your business or brand gets mentioned online. It is the digital form of word of mouth. It can be positive or negative and takes the form of social media posts, reviews and testimonials from previous customers. Potential customers will read these and the strength of your social proof could mean winning or losing customers.

Social Reach

Social Reach is the total potential audience for your posts on social media. This is calculated by adding up your followers on all the social platforms. The aim would be to increase this reach by producing content that gets shared by many people and therefore seen by more people. You can also use paid advertising to increase your reach on social media.


Segmentation refers to separating your target customers into smaller groups or categories. This allows you to tailor your online content to each group so it is more personal. Your customer is much more likely to engage with you if they feel the content is more relevant to their needs.

Subject Line

The subject line refers to the ‘title’ of an email and is very important from a marketing perspective. This is the line that shows up in the recipients inbox and the quality of the subject line will often determine whether the email is opened or not.



A tag, in digital marketing terms, refers to a small piece of code that is added to your website that makes it easy to track certain actions by visitors. The code is used in conjunction with an analytics tool so you can analyse users behaviour. e.g.  you place tags in two separate facebook ads. By using google analytics you can track the effectiveness of each ad by analysing the two tags and see which ad sent more traffic to your site.


Trending is the term used to refer to what is currently popular online. A term, name or phrase is said to be ‘trending’ when it is mentioned more often than others in a certain period of time. This can happen due to a coordinated effort, eg to promote a charity or just a reflection of what people are talking about eg during a big event such as the oscars or the All Ireland final.


Twitter is an extremely popular social networking site. It allows the user to post a ‘tweet’ containing up to 140 characters. It is a great way for businesses to connect with customers, and vice versa. Used by most big businesses as a customer service tool.


UX - User Experience

User Experience refers to the complete experience a person has when interacting with a service or a product. In website terms, simply put, it refers to the ease of use and the ability for the user to do what they wanted to do with a minimum of fuss.


Uniform Resource Locator is the term used for a any name or address that refers to objects on the internet. Simply put, the URL is the same as the web address. i.e



Referring to a piece of online content that is widely shared through digital means such as email and social networks.



WordPress is a content management system. Originally used as a blogging platform, it has become the most popular platform to build websites with, due to its ease of use.


XML Sitemap

A sitemap, presented as an xml file, is a list of pages on a website. It is used to tell search engines how the content of a site is structured. This then helps the search engine read your site so you can get ranked on search results pages.