The worlds of search engine marketing (SEM) and social media are full of jargon and abbreviations that can make even savvy marketers scratch their heads. Whether you’re a business owner trying to understand your latest campaign or a digital marketing newbie looking to dive into this fast-paced environment, you’ll need a baseline understanding of a few basic terms. To help get you started, we put together a quick glossary of some of the most common terms we come across in our own marketing efforts.  

Alt Text

Short for “alternative text,” this text describes an image in the event that a site or browser cannot load the image, or if a visitor is using accessibility software to browse your site.


An external link from another website that points back to a page on your website.

Buyer Persona

A fictional representation of customer or audience types for your product or service.


Stands for “cost per acquisition” (or conversion).


Stands for “cost per thousand.” A type of bidding strategy for PPC campaigns in which you’re charged for every one thousand impressions that your ad generates.


Stands for “call to action.” A direct solicitation for a visitor or customer to complete an action, such as “Download Now” or “Visit Our Website.”


An event in which a user takes a specific pre-determined action, such as downloading an eBook, purchasing an item or signing up for a mailing list.


A metric that measures any time a user interacts with an ad or social media post, often by commenting, sharing or “Liking” the content.


A piece of text that helps title a new section of copy in a blog post or website section.


Any time an ad, video or social media post is seen by a user.

Landing Page

The destination for a digital ad, designed to offer visitors some sort of benefit (a piece of educational content, a trial demo, etc.) or complete a sale.

Longtail Keyword

A keyword that consists of more descriptive language than a normal keyword, used to refine an SEO or PPC campaign (e.g. men’s flame resistant workwear instead of men’s workwear)

Off-Page SEO

SEO efforts aimed at creating more backlinks to your website through partnerships, guest posts and sponsored content.

On-Page SEO

Modifications done to your site both internally and externally to improve your position on SERPs.


Any marketing efforts or strategies that do not involve spending ad money.


Stands for “pay-per-click.” A type of digital ad campaign that allows you to advertise around a specific set of keywords in which you pay every time a user clicks your ad.


The number of individual (or “unique”) users that see your ads or posts.


Stands for “search engine optimization.” The process of improving the position your content appears in SERPs.


Stands for “search engine results page,” such as on Google or Bing.


The internal framework or outline of your website that allows search engine spiders to navigate your site and determine what kind of content exists within. 


The section of a URL that comes after your primary domain (e.g.


An automated bot that “crawls” through your website to determine what kind of content you’re offering to determine how, when and where to surface your site on SERPs.

Unique Impression

An impression generated by an individual user, as often a user will see the same ad multiple times
in a campaign.

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