Glossary of digital marketing and social media terms

The new terms and abbreviations used online can be confusing for someone who is new to digital marketing and the world of social media. Therefore, we have compiled a list of some of the most commonly used words and terms to help you make sense of what people are talking about. This list is not conclusive and if you have any other terms that you think we should add then please let us know in the comments section.

Blog: A blog is an online journal that is updated on a regular basis with entries that appear in reverse chronological order. Blogs can be about any subject and are usually written in a conversational style to encourage comments and discussion.

Bounce Rate: the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors.

Call to action: words (buttons) that urge website visitors to take an immediate action, such as “Book Now,” or “Download Here.”

Click through rate (CTR): is a way of measuring the success of an online advertising campaign. A CTR is obtained by dividing the “number of users who clicked on an ad” on a web page by the “number of times the ad was delivered” (impressions).

DM (direct message): This is a direct message sent to a Twitter user. One has to follow you in order to DM them. DMs don’t appear in the public Twitter stream but go directly to the receiver’s inbox.

Ebook: an electronic version of a traditional printed book that can be downloaded from the Internet and read on your computer or mobile device.

Followers: people who are following you on Twitter and can see your updates/tweets.

Following: these are the people whose tweets you’ve selected to read; their tweets appear in your “feed” or “stream.”

Geotagging: the process of adding location-based metadata to media such as photos, video or online maps. Geotagging can help users find a wide variety of businesses and services based on location.

Google Alerts: search engines allow you to specify words, phrases or tags that you want checked periodically, with the results of those searches sent to you by email. This form of search allows you to check whether your company, products or blog posts have been mentioned elsewhere.

Hashtag: a tag used on Twitter as a way to annotate a message and group messages around a certain topic or event. You can add them to your Twiter posts by prefixing a word with a hash symbol (#) to aggregate, organise and discover relevant posts.

HootSuite: is a web-based social media dashboard. With HootSuite, you can manage multiple social media profiles, schedule updates, and view metrics.

Inbound marketing: a style of marketing that essentially focuses on getting found by customers. This sense is related to relationship marketing and permission marketing where marketers “earn their way in” (via publishing helpful information on a blog etc.)

Integration: as a word simply means bringing together. So social media integration means bringing together the different social media networks that you are using and making sure they all follow the same strategy.

Klout: measures influence across the social web. It allows users to track the impact of their opinions, links and recommendations.

Landing page: is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action or result. Landing pages are often linked to from social media, email campaigns or search engine marketing campaigns in order to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements. The general goal of a landing page is to convert visitors into leads.

Like – a “Like” is an action that can be made by a Facebook user. Instead of writing a comment for a message or a status update, a Facebook user can click the “Like” button as a quick way to show approval and share the message.

Link Building – an aspect of search engine optimization in which website owners develop strategies to generate links to their site from other websites with the hopes of improving their search engine ranking. Blogging has emerged as a popular method of link building.

Listening: finding and monitoring the conversations that are happening online about your company, your products and services, your competitors and your industry. What is being said?

Metadata: refers to information — including titles, descriptions, tags and captions — that describe a media item such as a video, photo or blog post. Some kinds of metadata can be captured automatically from the device without needing a human to enter the data.

Microsite: refers to an individual web page that is meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. The microsite’s main landing page most likely has its own domain name or subdomain.

Offline: means not online, that is, not connected to the Internet. It may refer to an unconnected computer, or activities taking place without the benefit (or perhaps distraction) of a connection.

Online: means being connected to the Internet, and also being there in the sense of reading or producing content.

Outbound marketing: traditional marketing methods where marketers used to have to “buy, beg, or bug their way in” and try to push their messages out as far and wide as possible hoping that it reaches their audience.

Online reputation management: is the practice of monitoring the Internet reputation of a person, brand or business, with the goal of suppressing negative mentions entirely, or pushing them lower on search engine results pages to decrease their visibility.

Paid search marketing: is the placement of paid ads for a business or service on a search engine results page. An advertiser pays the search engine if the visitor clicks on the ad (pay-per-click or PPC).

Podcast: a digital file (usually audio but sometimes video) made available for download to a portable device or personal computer for later playback.

Retweet (RT): is a repeated tweet. Users add RT in a tweet if they are reposting something from another person’s tweet. It is sometimes used in a reply to allow everyone to see the original tweet. It is also used to forward a message onto one’s own followers.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication): a Web standard for the delivery of content — blog entries, news stories, headlines, images, video — enabling readers to stay current with favourite publications or producers without having to browse from site to site.

Search engine marketing (SEM): is a series of online tactics that seeks to increase a website’s online visibility thereby helping to attract customers, generate brand awareness and build links.

Search engine optimization (SEO): is the process of arranging your website to give it the best chance of appearing near the top of search engine rankings. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content, identifying high-traffic keywords and improving the site’s layout and design.

Sentiment: A thought, view, or attitude, especially one based mainly on emotion instead of reason. Sentiment analysis allows brands to find out how people feel about their products or services, is the sentiment positive, negative or neutral.

SERP (search engine results page): is the listing of web pages returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query. The results normally include a list of web pages with titles, a link to the page, and a short description showing where the keywords have matched content within the page

Social bookmarking: a method by which users locate, store, organize, share and manage bookmarks of Web pages without being tied to a particular machine. Users store lists of personally interesting Internet resources and usually make these lists publicly accessible.

Social media analytics: the practice of gathering data from blogs and social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Delicious, and analysing that data to inform business decisions. The most common use of social media analytics is gauging customer opinion to support marketing and customer service activities.

Social Media Optimization (SMO): is a set of practices for generating publicity through social media, online communities and social networks. The focus is on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.

Social media: refers to any online technology that lets people publish, converse and share content online, for example blogs, wikis or social networking sites.

Tags: keywords added to a blog post, photo or video to help users find related topics or media, either through browsing on the site or as a term to make your entry more relevant to search engines.

Tracking: A method used to identify where a visitor has come from. Campaigns can be defined with a source code at the end of each URL that points to a particular web site. This also works for banner ads, paid directories, and e-mail campaigns.

Tweet: A 140 character post or update on Twitter.

Web 2.0: refers to the second generation of the Web, which enables people with no specialised technical knowledge to create their own websites to self-publish, create and upload audio and video files, share photos and information and complete a variety of other tasks.

Web analytics: is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding who your visitors are and optimizing your website.

Wiki: a web page – or set of pages – that can be edited collaboratively. The best known example is wikipedia, an encyclopedia created by thousands of contributors across the world.

For further information on how construction marketers can use social media for business, please download our free ebook: “The construction marketer’s guide to social media.”


About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

Leave a Reply