43 common abbreviations in Digital Marketing

I saw in Ads Manager that the CPC on the last ad is very high. And check out GA! The traffic also has a really high bounce rate!"

Do you recognize yourself? There are few industries that have as many abbreviations and tricky words as digital marketing. I myself remember how, during my first week at work, I feverishly wrote down all the abbreviations I heard, googled them and tried to memorize what they all meant. It wasn't simple!

Therefore, I want to offer a "small" dictionary for those who are new to work or act as clients, and constantly end up in environments where it is thrown around with abbreviations.

Hope it can give you some clarity in the jungle of abbreviations!


301 Redirect - A permanent server-level redirect

404 Not Found - Standard error code triggered when a visitor lands on a page/URL that doesn't exist or can't be found

A/B test - When testing two versions against each other, such as two versions of an ad, newsletter, or webpage. 

Ads Manager - Facebook tool for creating and managing ads

Alt-tag – Tells you what a picture represents, good if you want e.g. Google image search to pick up the image

Bounce rate - Percentage of people leaving your site without triggering an event or moving on to another page

Banner ad – Advertisement on website, commonly used on news sites, may consist of image, text or animation. This type of advertising often takes place through different ad networks.

Bounce Rate - See above explanation for "Bounce rate"

Business Manager - Facebook tools to manage one or more businesses' Facebook advertising

CLTV - Customer Lifetime Value - The total value of a customer's expected lifetime

CMS Content Management System - Content management system for editing content on a website

Content Marketing – Content Marketing, "A strategic marketing approach that focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and ultimately drive profitable customer action." Joe Pulizzi's definition.

CPA - Cost per Action/Cost per Acquisition - The cost of a conversion on your site

CPC - Cost per Click - Cost per click on your ad

CPL - Cost Per Lead - Cost per potential conversion

CPM - Cost Per Mille - Cost per thousand views

CR - Churn Rate - Number of dropouts e.g. for newsletters, customer loss

CRM - Customer Relationship Management - A company's work to improve customer relationships, often using a CRM system

CRM system – A software where companies can connect different systems with customer information to gain full control over their customer relations

CRO - Conversion Rate Optimization - Conversion Optimization

CTA - Call to Action - Button that invites visitors to action 

CTR - Click Through Rate - Percentage clicked through your ads or search results

CVR/CR Conversion Rate - Conversion Rate

Display ad – Advertisement on a website, commonly used on news sites, may consist of image, text or animation. This type of advertising is often done through different ad networks

DSP - Software used to purchase advertising on various websites, is mainly used by media agencies that purchase advertising for companies

EM/EMM - E-Mail Marketing - Email Marketing

GA - Google Analytics

IM – Inbound Marketing – Marketing that focuses on understanding the customer and earning their attention instead of e.g. call the customer's attention by displaying through "regular" advertising the message the company has chosen to convey 

Inlink - A link from a referring domain, which links to your site

KPI - Key Performance Indicator - Key figures/Control metrics, are used to measure the efficiency of a company or at a specific effort

MA - Marketing Automation - Automated messages based on a user's actions

PPC - Pay Per Click - Advertising where you pay per click

ROAS - Return on Ad Spend

ROI – Return on Investment – Used to figure out whether a marketing effort made a profit or not, ROI should take into account the company's margin on sales

SEM - Search Engine Marketing - Paid search engine keyword marketing

SEO - Search Engine Optimization - Optimization of website and texts with a focus on keywords to get better placements on search engines like Google

SERP - Search Engine Results Page - Search engine results page displayed after a search

SMM/SoMe Marketing - Social Media Marketing - Social Media Marketing

UGC - User Generated Content - User Generated Content

UI - User Interface - User Interface 

UTM Tag - Urchin Tracking Module - Tags/Information you add to a URL to help Google Analytics understand how to categorize traffic and to use these as a tool to see which link your visitors have accessed your website from

UX - User Experience - User Experience, UX Design is about design whose goal is to improve the overall user experience

YTD – Year to Date

Want to learn more?

Are you sitting on an acronym that you wish there was a clear explanation for? Email me and I'll add it to the list!

Also, don't miss our digital marketing training – SEO and Facebook – packed with new expressions and lessons learned!

Anna Bertilsson
Head of Owned Media

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