25 January 2018

Digital decoded – digital marketing terms all businesses need to know

Digital decoded – digital marketing terms all businesses need to know - Tips from Digital Marketing Agency Gravity Digital

In today’s fast-paced world of constant communication online, businesses need great digital marketing strategies to capture and keep their customers’ attention. With clients on the move and accessing their information and products via mobile phone or tablet – as well as their desk-based laptop – it’s vital for businesses to adapt their traditional marketing approach and bring it up to date.

With increased opportunity comes increased challenge, and for pre-generation-Y, the profusion of new digital marketing terms now in common parlance can be like a whole new foreign language that must be quickly mastered in order to keep up with the pace. The crucial point is that digital marketing is not just about reaching new audiences, but about measuring engagement so that ad campaigns can be effectively targeted and budgets don’t go through the roof.

With that in mind, here is our handy glossary of common digital marketing terms that crop up most in our conversations with clients on how best to present their online shopfront. We hope it is useful!

PPC – Pay Per Click

This is a method of internet marketing whereby advertisers pay a set amount each time an advert is clicked. This may be seen as a “bought visit” to your website as opposed to what we would call an “organic visit” – one where a customer enters a word or phrase, into a search engine and clicks on a website link that has appeared as a result of the words entered.  As the name suggests, you pay a sum of money every time someone clicks on your advert.


AdWords is a service offered by Google and is a form of PPC advertising. AdWords targets adverts against specific searches in search engines.  When a prospective customer searches on Google, ads appear above the organic results in the top 3 positions, and also at the bottom showing 3 more ads. Through the display network, Google also uses advertising space on thousands of websites who have signed up with Google to display Google ads on their sites.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

This is a hugely misunderstood technique in the digital marketing world.  SEO enables the growth of organic search engine results.  It involves elements of improving rankings, driving traffic and increasing awareness of the site across search engines. A good SEO strategy will mean that a business’s website will achieve a better ranking on search engine results pages for a wide range of search phrases.

Responsive websites

Responsive website designs are sometimes also referred to as mobile-friendly designs and to a large extent the terms can be considered interchangeable.  Being ‘mobile friendly’ is a big part of getting part of the SEO right for your website, since Google will mark your website down a notch or two for not being mobile friendly.  Responsive designs are simply a website design that will work well for your customer whether they are viewing it on a mobile screen, a tablet or on a laptop. The design ‘responds’ to how the customer is viewing it, making it a good experience for the user.


These are all mainly advertising acronyms used to describe how successful an ad campaign is performing.

CTR means “Click Through Rate” and is expressed as a percentage. It indicates the number of visitors clicking on an advert as a proportion of how many times the advert was seen.  Low CTR means a poorly performing ad!

CPC means “Cost Per Click”.  This is the cost of a click on an advert for a particular phrase.   Some phrases cost much more per click than others which is dictated by how popular those phrases are.   Paying attention to similar phrases that cost less is a way of getting more value out of advertising campaigns.

CPA means “Cost Per Acquisition”.  This is a means of calculating how much advertising spend it costs to make a sale.  With a 1% conversion rate for instance, it would take 100 clicks to make one sale.  Taking the CPC for all of the 100 clicks and adding them together gives you the CPA.  If the CPA outstrips the profit you are making on the sale itself, your ad campaign needs a rethink.


A CMS is a “Content Management System”.  Most websites should be run on a Content Management System these days and if yours isn’t, then give us a call!  Once upon a time, websites were hand crafted page by page.  This quickly showed itself to be a problem when someone decided to make whole site changes such as to change the logo or the colour of the website. It also soon demonstrated that it was costly to always get a web designer to change small pieces of copy on one page, or to add a new news item.  Content Management Systems allow you to edit the content of the pages of your website without touching the design, which also makes it easier and cheaper to keep your website up to date and in good order.

eShots and Email Newsletters

Email Marketing via email newsletters and eShots will be something anyone with an email address will be very familiar with.  It is the modern day equivalent of direct mailers.  A good eShot should capture the readers’ attention by being eye-catching and easy to access.  Due to Data Protection laws protecting people’s inboxes, you need also to be careful in how you acquire your email addresses and you need to ensure you stick to the rules in allowing opt-outs too.

Hashtags and tagging

The younger generation has been raised with social media and so social media related phrases come naturally to younger people. Hashtagging and tagging someone are two very different things though.   Hashtags are a word or a phrase preceded by the # symbol.  Introduced originally on Twitter to help people to filter out conversations on this platform hashtags are now widely adopted on other social media websites such as Instagram.  They are also now considered to be marketing tools for getting a wider group of people to join in on a single conversation online.

Meanwhile, tagging someone is when you add your friends and connections on social media into a post so that they notice it in their notifications.  Widely used on Facebook and Twitter to cut through the noise on these two busy websites.

LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter Ads

Just like Google, large social media websites also allow you to pay for ad space on their websites.  Because people are signed into social media, this makes it much easier to target audiences demographically.  After all, on Facebook you enter your date of birth, where you live, where you work, check into restaurants, bars, airports, cinemas and museums. This demographic information across everyone who has a Facebook account allows highly targeted advertising to take place.  Twitter and LinkedIn also target although less specifically than Facebook.  When looking at advertising budgets, don’t discount social media advertising.

As we have said before, the Internet is not a mysterious force.  It is published by and then used by people, just like you and me. Therefore, when considering and planning a digital marketing strategy, it is always a mistake to forget that customers are still people who have the same characteristics as they do when they walk into your shop.  Your digital presence should be helpful and convey your marketing message quickly and effectively, but not bombard the customer with loud, shouty messages that will simply turn them away. We hope this article will help you navigate the constantly evolving digital world.  While it may seem different from that of previous business generations, you will come to realise that it is in many ways just the same.


Find out more…

We are a no-nonsense digital marketing agency based in Derby. To learn more about how we can help you get results from your marketing, then get in touch. Please email us on [email protected] or give us a call on 01332 416555.