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Marketing is one of the most crucial business activities out there. From creating a target audience to designing your branding and logo, to get ahead right from the jump, it’s important to have marketing on the brain from day one.
Here are 75 marketing terms to know before creating your own business strategy.


Social Media + Content Terms


Call-to-action (CTA) – A call-to-action is a text link, button, image, or some type of web link that encourages a website visitor to visit another page. CTA’s act as a piece of “bait” that entices a website visitor to eventually become a lead.

Engagement Rate – A popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction—Likes, shares, comments—a piece of content receives. Interactions like these tell you that your messages are resonating with your fans and followers.

Editorial Calendar – It’s like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Maintaining an editorial calendar will keep you more organized and show you any gaps you may have in your content library.

Hook – Hooks may be unusual facts, fun wordplay, or overwhelming benefits used to grab your customer’s attention and creates interest in your content and product.

Reach – Reach is a social media metric that tells you how many people have seen your post. It is an important metric for understanding how large the audience for your content is and measuring your progress toward spreading brand awareness.


Clickthrough Rate – Clickthrough rate is a common social media metric used to represent the number of times a visitor clickthrough divided by the total number of impressions a piece of content receives.

Digital Marketing – any form of communication aiming to persuade people to purchase a product or service that occurs through some form of digital device.

Evergreen Content – Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader.

Internal Branding – Usually in the form of a brand book or set of guidelines, internal branding aims to communicate a product or brand’s projects, values, and culture to employees and maintain brand consistency.

Lead/Lede – Different from a sales lead, this journalism-based term refers to the intro paragraph of your content. Whether you’re writing a blog or an Instagram caption, your lead gives readers a taste of what they are about to read and needs to ensure they’ll continue.

Retargeting – In social media advertising, retargeting is the technique of targeting ads at users who have interacted with your page or website before. A social media marketer may retarget a user who clicked a Facebook ad for new boots, went to the checkout page, and then didn’t complete the sale, for example.

Scarcity – Scarcity is used to develop a sense of urgency in a customer to boost sales over a certain period. This can be a decreased price for a set first number of customers or a limited-time discount or sale.

Tracking –Tracking is the ability to measure the performance of a piece of content. You may include specific purchase codes, or landing pages so that you know how many people purchased from a particular promotion.

UGC (User-generated content) – blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. that are created by your consumers. Tap into your audience to support a campaign or initiative and show prospective buyers that you have a loyal customer base.

Marketing Strategy Terms


Content Marketing – Strategy that focuses on providing useful and interesting information to customers and potential customers, rather than purely promotional content.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – Helps measure the progress of a campaign, launch, post, etc, as it’s happening and allows for on-the-go modification. In digital marketing, KPIs could be visits, clicks, completed forms, sales, etc.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition) – What sets your product or brand apart, makes you different, and a reason customers want to go to you rather than a competitor.


A/B split testing– Writing two versions of an advertisement, headline, web page, etc., to ascertain which is the most effective.

Benefits – The benefits are the reason your customers are interested in buying from you. They extend further than features and show how the customer’s life will improve by having the product or service in their life. Broken down into Emotional, Functional, and sometimes Symbolic benefits.

Bottom of the funnel – the last part of the funnel process is first! So, “bottoms up,” I suppose. The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying.

Buyer Persona – A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers define a target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads.

Closed Loop Marketing – The practice of closed-loop marketing is being able to execute, track, and show how marketing efforts have impacted bottom-line business growth. An example would be tracking a website visitor as they become a lead to the very last touchpoint when they close as a customer.

Content Management System (CMS) – A web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website. Helps users with content editing and more “behind-the-scenes” work like making content searchable and indexable, automatically generating navigation elements, keeping track of users and permissions, and more.

Content Optimization System (COS) – A COS is basically a CMS (Content Management System), but optimized to deliver customers the most personalized web experience possible.

Conversion Path – A conversion path is a series of website-based events that facilitate lead capture. In its most basic form, a conversion path will consist of a call-to-action (typically a button that describes an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor obtains a content offer to better help them through the buying process.

Read: 10 Marketing Analytics You Should Be Tracking

Conversion Rate – The percentage of people who completed a desired action on a single web page, such as filling out a form. Pages with high conversion rates are performing well, while pages with low conversion rates are performing poorly.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)- The process of improving your site conversion using design techniques, key optimization principles, and testing. It involves creating an experience for your website visitors that will convert them into customers. CRO is most often applied to a web page or landing page optimization, but it can also be applied to social media, CTAs, and other parts of your marketing.

Cost-per-Lead (CPL) – The amount it costs your marketing organization to acquire a lead. This factors heavily into CAC (customer acquisition cost), and is a metric to keep a keen eye on.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – Your total sales and marketing cost. To calculate CAC, add up the program or advertising spend + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead and divide by the number of new customers in that time period.

Demand Generation – the data-driven focus of marketing programs to produce awareness and interest in a company’s offerings through the use of technology.

Dynamic Content – A way to display different messaging on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor (via Cookies, log-ins, etc). For example, you could use Smart CTAs so that first-time visitors will see a personalized CTA (perhaps with a top-of-the-funnel offer) and those already in your database see a different CTA (maybe for content that offers a little more information about your product or service).

Impressions – An impression refers to a way in which marketers and advertisers keep track of every time an ad is “fetched” and counted.

Inbound Marketing – Marketing strategy used to offer the best value possible to users interested in the brand, in a non-intrusive manner, using SEO, social media, and content marketing to help customers find you.

Lead Nurturing – Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing,” lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a customer, keep them engaged, and gradually push them down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience—and lead nurturing helps foster this by providing relevant information to customers during different stages of the buying cycle.

Native Advertising – A type of online advertising in which the ad copy and format adheres to the format of a regular post on the network it’s being published to. The purpose is to make ads feel less like ads and more like a part of the conversation.

Outbound Marketing – Marketing strategy based on sending messages directly to the target audience, hoping to gain their attention. Usually more direct than inbound marketing techniques, this can be seen as ads in newspapers, radio, or television; advertising email; banner; telephone call, etc.

Email Marketing Terms

Bounce rate – The rate at which an email was unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate generally means your lists are out-of-date or purchased, or they include many invalid email addresses. In an email, not all bounces are bad, so it’s important to distinguish between hard and soft bounces before taking an email address off your list.

CAN-SPAM Act – U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, including the requirement to have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every email.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – The EU passed this anti-spam law in 2018, requiring a number of additional regulations for marketing emails based on the receiver’s location, not the sender’s. Under these new rules, you cannot send an email without clear and informed consent from the customer, (that means no more email lists bought from sketchy websites, which you shouldn’t be using anyway…)

Open Rate – Percentage of subscribers who have actually opened an email during an email marketing campaign.

Email Marketing Automation – A strategy that sees marketers send triggered or timed emails to mailing list subscribers based on specific conditions or timelines.

Read: 5 Automated Emails To Boost Your Ecommerce Store


Strategic Marketing Terms


Bounce Rate – Yes, you can measure the bounce rate on your website, too. This is the percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – activities aimed at improving the positioning of a website’s search engine results ranking.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – Online marketing strategy to increase a website’s visibility on a search engine’s results page. Includes the purchase of contextual advertising (sponsored links and SEO.

Traffic – the number of users who visit a given website or page.

URL – The web address of a page on your site (example:


Above the fold – Think about a newspaper: The most important stories of the issue are set at the top, above the fold for you to see when you walk past, prompting you to stop and pick it up. Same goes for websites. The “fold” is the point on your website where the page gets cut off by the bottom of a user’s monitor or browser window. Anything below the fold can be scrolled to, but isn’t seen right away.

ALT Text/Tag or Attribute – A description of an image in your site’s HTML. Unlike humans, search engines read only the ALT text of images, not the images themselves. Add ALT text to images whenever possible.

Canonical URL – The canonical URL is the best address on which a user can find a piece of information. Sometimes you might have a situation where the same page content can be accessed at more than one address. Specifying the canonical URL helps search engines understand which address for a piece of content is the best one.

Clickmap – A graphic representation of where users click on a web page to help improve page design and user retention.

Conversion Form – A form through which you collect information about your site visitor. Conversion forms convert traffic into leads. Collecting contact information helps you follow up with these leads.

Directory – Just like directories for people and phone numbers, there are directories for websites. Submitting your site to a directory gives you more than just an inbound link; it helps people find you. The most popular web directories are Yahoo! Directory and Dmoz.

Domain – The main web address of your site (example: It’s good to renew ownership of your domain for several years. Search engine rankings favor websites with longer registrations because it shows commitment.

Headings – Text on your website that is placed inside of a heading tag, such as an H1 or H2. This text is often presented in a larger and stronger font than other text on the page. Search engines look for keywords in these headings, so it’s best to use them to your advantage.

Hero Shot – A striking photo or image of either the product or the benefit of a service. It’s usually placed prominently on a website, landing page, direct-mail piece, etc., to show people what it is they’re buying.

HTML – The code part of your website that search engines read. Keep your HTML as clean as possible so that search engines read your site easily and often. Put as much layout-related code as possible in your CSS instead of your HTML.

Inbound Link – A link coming from another site to your own website. Websites that receive many inbound links can be more likely to rank higher in search engines, especially if that site has a high PageRank.

Internal Link – A link from one page to another on the same website, such as from your homepage to your products page.

Indexed Pages – These are pages of your website stored by search engines.

Javascript – A scripting language that allows website administrators to apply various effects or changes to the content of their website as users browse it. Search engines often have difficulty reading content that is inside of Javascript, but they are getting better at it over time.

Keyword – Sometimes referred to as “keyword phrases,” these are words that a user enters in search. Each of your web pages should be optimized with the goal of drawing in visitors who have searched for those specific keywords.

Read: Choosing The Right Blog Keyword

Landing Page – This is where you’ll put those conversion forms we talked about. These pages revolve around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.

Link Building – The activity and process of getting more inbound links to your website for improved search engine rankings.

Long-Tail Keyword – An uncommon or infrequently searched keyword, typically with two or more words in the phrase. Small businesses should consider targeting long-tail keywords, as they are lower difficulty and often have more qualified searchers. Common keywords such as ‘software’ are more competitive, and very hard to rank high for them in search.

Metadata – Data that tells search engines what your website is about.

Meta Description – A brief description of fewer than 160 characters of the contents of a page and why someone would want to visit it. This is often displayed on search engine results pages below the page title as a sample of the content on the page.

mozRank – A logarithmic ranking provided by SEOmoz from 0-10.0 of the number and quality of inbound links pointing to a certain website or page on that website. A 10.0 is the best linked-to page on the internet, and a 0 has no recognized inbound links.

Nofollow – When a link from one site does not pass SEO credit to another. Do not use nofollow when linking to internal pages on your website. Use it when linking to external pages that you don’t want to endorse.

Page Title – The name you give your web page, which is seen at the top of your browser window. Page titles should contain keywords related to your business. Words at the beginning of your page title are more highly weighted than words at the end.

PageRank – A number from 0-10, assigned by Google, indicating how good your overall SEO is. It is technically known as ‘Toolbar PageRank.’

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) – Advertising method in which an advertiser puts an ad in an online advertising venue and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on his/her ad. Google AdWords is a classic example of this.

Referrer String – A piece of information sent by a user’s browser when they navigate from page to page on the web. It includes information on where they came from previously, which helps webmasters understand how users are finding their website.

RSS Feed – RSS stands for ‘really simple syndication.’ It is a subscription-based way to get updates on new content from a web source. Set up an RSS feed for your website or blog to help your followers stay updated when you release new content.

SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) – The “results” page that you are sent to after you run a query in a search engine. Your website content, SEO practices, and popularity with users can all affect where your page sits on a given SERP.

Sitemap – A special document created by a webmaster or a piece of software that provides a map of all the pages on a website to make it easier for a search engine to index that website.

Traffic Rank – The ranking of how much traffic your site gets compared to all other sites on the internet.

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