Glossary of Digital Marketing Terms

Digital marketing is a broad field and there are a lot of acronyms and terms used within the industry. This can be confusing for a business owner not well versed in the industry. Below are the most common digital marketing acronyms/terms with their definitions. Use this page as a guide when speaking with digital marketing agencies or personnel or if you just want a better understanding of terms used by this industry. We add to this list regularly so check back often. 


API – Application Program Interface
API is a computing interface that defines the types of calls or requests that can be made using a software intermediaries.

AOV  Average Order Value
It is a key performance indicator for e-commerce sites. It is calculated by dividing the sales revenue to the number of orders.

ATD – Agency Trading Desk
It is either a team or a piece of technology within an ad agency that plan, manage, and optimize pragmatic advertising campaigns.


B2B – Business To Business
B2B is a business model that focuses on selling products or services that other businesses need to operate and grow.

B2C – Business To Consumer
It is type of business model where business make products or services and sell them directly to the consumers.


CLTV – Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value predicts the revenue that a customer will bring to you during the period they stay your customer. This metric is used to calculate how much a company should spend for acquiring a new customer.

CMS – Content Management System
A CMS is a system that is used to manage the content of an organization. Hosting your website using CMS is a great way to organize your business. CMS can serve as an asset for your organization in the long run.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition / Action
CPA is an advertising model used to determine the specific action by the advertiser. For example, purchasing tickets of an event or donation collected for a non-profit organization. Remember, CPA is a competitive model and it have a higher cost. It is similar to the CPL model where you cannot guarantee to deliver in full. You may also need to do some optimizations to your ad to make it successful.

CPC – Cost Per Click
CPC is the amount of money you spent to get one click from advertising platforms. This metric is used to measure the success of your campaign in terms of cost. You can calculate CPC by diving the total cost of your campaign by the number of clicks you got.

CPD Clicks Per Delivered
This metric is used to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign. It is basically the number of clicks you received on your link divided by the number of emails that were delivered successfully.

CPO Clicks Per Open
It is the number of clicks you received on your email link divided by the number of emails opened by the receivers.

CPI Cost-Per-Impression
It is the amount that advertiser have to pay per 1000 impressions on their marketing ad.

CPL – Cost Per Lead
CPL is similar to CPC but it is more specific. It helps you to calculate how much one leads costs you from an ad. Leads is the process of identifying potential customers who performed an action on an advertiser’s website.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand (Same as CPI)
CPM is an alternative to PPC model of paying for ads. Here you pay a specific amount when your ad is displayed 1000 times. In this model, advertisers pay when their ad is shown not when it is clicked.

CPV – Cost Per View
CPV is a pricing model used in marketing campaigns and mobile user acquisition in which advertisers pay each time their mobile ad is viewed.

CR – Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that completed a desired goal or converted into customers out of the all the visitors.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management
CRM is a technology, an approach, or a strategy that companies use to manage its interaction as well as relationship with the customers or potential customers.

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO is the practice of taking of focusing on your paid ads traffic and compel it to take further actions (buying a product, downloading a book, donating to a cause, subscribing to your newsletter, etc.) to increase your conversion rate. 

CTA Call To Action
CPA also known as Call-to-Action is a part of a website, an advertisement, or piece of content where you request the users to take some action. Some of the CTA words include “click here”, “learn more”, “watch video”, and “donate now” etc. 

CTR – Click-Through Rate
It is the percentage of the people who responds to your call-to-action and take the next step in your marketing campaign. CTR is calculated by diving the number of clicks received on CTA page to the number of times the CTA page was displayed.

CX – Customer Experience
It is the quality of interactions that happened by the customer and the organization. Customer experience involves all the touch points that a customer experiences while buying your product or service.


DM – Direct Mail (or ‘Direct message’, in Twitter circles)
DM is a term used to send a private tweet to a person you are following on twitter. You can view all the DMs from the messaging tab on the twitter.

DMADesignated Market Area
It points to a geographical location that represents your targeting state or a country.

DMP – Data management platform
It is a software platform that collects data from several different data sources and then manages it to identify audience segments. This data helps companies to target specific users based on their goal.

DNS – Domain name system
DNS is a standard protocol that translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load internet resources. It also helps internet users to discover websites with the help of a human readable address.

DR Direct response
It is a marketing technique where evoke potential customer to take onthe-spot response by opting the offer that an advertiser is offering. Unlike other marketing technique, this one requires little or no time to measure the results. 

DSP – Demand-side platform
DSP is a software used by advertisers to display ad inventory across Real Time Bidding (RTB) networks. These platforms allow advertise to manage advertising across several real-time bidding networks instead of just one like Google Ads.


ECPM – Effective CPM
It is a metric used in digital advertising to calculate the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns with different pricing model. ECPM is calculated by dividing the total earnings from an ad campaign by the total number of expressions multiplied by 1000.

EPC – Earnings Per Click
It is a metric that shows that average revenue that you can expect to earn for each click to an affiliate link. It is calculated by dividing the total earnings you made to the number of clicks you have gained over a period of time. 

EPM – Earnings Per Thousand
This metric shows the estimated earning you can accrue for every 1000 impressions. EPM is calculated by simply dividing the estimated earnings w.r.t. page views and multiplying that number by 1,000.

ESP – Email Service Provider
Email service provider is a company that offers email services and allows users to send marketing emails to a list of subscribers. This service makes it the email list building and email sending easier for people. 


FB – Facebook
Facebook is a social networking site where people connect with each other by sharing photos, videos, and commenting on each other’s posts.

FBML – Facebook Markup Language
FBML is a subset of HTML and a Facebook application that allows Facebook admins to create custom tabs on their Facebook pages.

FTP – File transfer protocol
It is one of the oldest internet protocol for transferring files between a client and a server on a computer network. 


GA – Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best digital analytics software that provides helpful tools to understand the behavior of customers. It provides valuable insights and in-depth detail about the visitors on your website. 


HTML – HyperText Markup Language
It is a computer language used for creating web pages and describes the structure of a webpage. The websites or web pages created through HTML can be viewed by anyone connected to the internet. 

HTTP – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol
HTTP is a set of rules that a server has to follow while transmitting files like images, videos, graphics, sound, or other multimedia files on the World Wide Web (www).

HTTPS – Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP used to send encrypted data between a web browser and a website. It is the primary protocol that increases the security of data being transferred. 


IABInteractive Advertising Bureau
IAB is a highly professional business organization that sets the standards of digital advertising. 

IM – Instant Messaging
Instant messaging is a text-based real-time communication between users who participate in a conversation over their computers, mobiles, or other devices. 

IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol
It is a standard internet protocol that allows you to access email or retrieve email messages that are placed on a mail server.

IP – Intellectual property (or ‘Internet Protocol’)
IP address is a numerical value assigned to each computer that is connected to a computer network using internet protocol for communication.

IPTV – Internet protocol television
IPTV is same like IP but this protocol is used to deliver TV channels or other video content to the users.

ISP – Internet service provider
It is an organization that provides services for accessing and using internet to different companies and homes. Internet service providers are categorized in various forms including commercial, privately-owned, community-owned, or non-profit depending on the services they provide.


KPI – Key performance indicator
It is an organization that provides services for accessing and using internet to different companies and homes. Internet service providers are categorized in various forms including commercial, privately-owned, community-owned, or non-profit depending on the services they provide. 


LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing
LSI gives the search engines a better understanding of your content, its context and its intent with relations to specific keywords. Even though search engines can read your content, using LSI relevant keywords improves your chances of higher search results.

LTV – Lifetime value
LTV is a metric used to calculate the total amount of money that a customer is likely to spend on your products or services during your entire relationship with a customer.


MoM – Month on month
Month on Month is a metric that companies use to calculate the growth of monthly revenue, users, subscriptions, or other key goals.

MVT – Multivariate testing (AKA A/B Testing)
Multivariate testing is the process of comparing two or more variants of something like webpage, an ad, or an email copy to see which one generates the best results.


OS – Operating system (sometimes this is used for ‘open source’)
Operating system is a software program that manages computer software and hardware. It serves as an interface between computer hardware and end user. 


PHP – PHP Hypertext Preprocessor
It is an open-source, widely-known scripting language that is used to create static or dynamic websites as well as web applications. 

POS – Point of sale
A point of sale is a place or a system where a customer completes a retail transaction for your products or services.

PPC – Pay per click
PPC is an advertising model where advertisers pay a specific amount every time their ad is clicked. PPC is an alternative to SEO because here you spend money to get traffic to your website.

PPL – Pay per lead
It is a marketing model where an advertiser only pays when a lead is generated. No payment is made for the visitors who did not perform the desired action. 

PPV – Pay per view
In PPV advertising, you pay when your landing page is viewed as a pop-up. It is quite similar to CPM but unlike CPM, PPV is based on Ad-ware. 

PR – PageRank
PageRank is the method of measuring the importance of webpages based on the number of quality links present or referring to this page.

PV – Page Views
Page View is a measure to define how many times an entire page has been viewed including all the text, pictures, and graphics on it. One visitor can see a page multiple times per session so he/she can generate multiple page views. 


QA – Quality assurance
Quality assurance is a process to maintain a desired level of accuracy and perfection in a product or service to maintain its quality. It is used to make sure that a product or service is being designed, implemented, and presented with correct procedures.

QR Code – Quick response code
It is a two-dimensional barcode that provides access to the information hidden behind the code. This barcode is easily readable by mobiles and can encode 4000 characters in one code. 

QS – Quality score
Quality score is the Google’s way of measuring the quality of your ads, landing pages, and keywords. Higher quality ads get better position on search engines and lead to lower prices. 


RFI – Request for information
It is a standard business process that helps customers in collecting written information about the capabilities of various suppliers so that they can make informed decisions.

RFP – Request for proposal
Request for Proposal is a business document issued by an organization or a business to elicit a response from vendors regarding their product, service, or solutions. RFP is the standard way of doing business for many companies.

ROI – Return on investment
ROI is a performance measure which helps you to evaluate the efficiency on your marketing campaign. ROI is calculated by dividing the benefit (return) of investment to the total cost of investment. 

RON – Run of network
In RON advertising, a publisher allows ads to target all the available ad inventory within a particular network of sites.

ROR – Ruby on Rails
Rails is an open-source, server side web-application framework that is written in Ruby – a programming language. It is a model-view-controller (MVC) framework used to create fantastic database-backed web applications

ROS – Run of site
In ROS advertising, a publishers runs your ad on a specific website. Here the rotation of ad is site wise not page wise. 

RSS – Really Simple Syndication
RSS is a web feed that allows users to get latest updates about a website in a standardized and computer-readable format. It is an easy way of spreading a big list of headlines, news, and updates to a large number of people. 

RT – Retweet
It is word used on Twitter to share tweets. If somebody retweet you, this means they are sharing your tweet with their followers.

RTB – Real time bidding
It is a bidding method where you purchase unsold inventory by CPM through pragmatic auction.

RTD – Real time data
RTD is the information that is delivered immediately after it’s collected. There is no delay in the timeliness of the information being provided. Real-time data is used to track user insights and draw useful results from it. 


S2S – Server to server
S2S is the protocol exchange between servers where they directly exchange data with each other. It is used to track conversions. 

SEM – Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is the process of running ads on search engines by paying a certain amount to get traffic to your website. The example includes the ads displayed on Google, Bing, and Yahoo search. 

SEO Search engine optimization
SEO is the process of getting organic traffic for your website by improving the visibility and quality of your web pages. It is done by following some on-page and off-page optimization techniques. 

SERP – Search engine results page
The result page that you get on a search engine after making a query is called Search Engine Results Page.

SLA – Service level agreement
It is an agreement between a service provider and a client that defines the level of service that a customer is expecting from a supplier. SLA is an important component of any technology vendor contract. It contains different metrics to measure the quality of a service. 

SM – Social media
Social media consists of different websites, applications, and platforms that allow users to interact with each other and share information.

SME – Small / medium enterprise. (aka SMB = ‘business’)
SME is a business that holds employees, revenues, or assets below a certain number. The criteria to determine SME varies from country to country. 

SMM – Social media marketing
SMM is a form of marketing where you make use of social networks for creating awareness about your business. In this type of marketing, you create an engaging content for your audience to broaden the reach of your marketing. 

SMO – Social media optimization
Social Media Optimization refers to different strategies and techniques that are used to create awareness about your brand, promote your products/services, and increase sales.

SMP – Social media platform
A social media platform consists of a page that is designed to connect with your audience, build awareness about business, and get traffic for your website.

SMS – Short message service
Short message service is a widely used way of sending and receiving text messages. You can send up t0 160 characters to another mobile in one SMS. 

SOV – Share of voice
SOV helps you to get the percentage of how many times your ad is seen as compared to other advertisers. For instance, if there are 5 advertisers rotating their ads on homepage, each advertisers will get 20% share of voice. But, if there is only 1 advertiser, he will get 100% share of voice. 

SOW – Statement of work
SOW is an agreement between a client and an agency that contains detailed overview and scope of the project in all possible dimensions.

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer
SSL is a standard +security protocol used to keep an internet connection secure and maintain the confidentiality of any sensitive data.

SSP – Supply-side platform
It is an advertising platform or a tool that is sued to coordinate and manage the advertising space inventory to and from advertisers.

SQL – Sales Qualified Lead
It is a marketing lead that a sale team accepts and then warrants a sale team member reaching out. This kind of lead is most likely to be turned into a customer by purchasing some product or service.


TLD – Top level domain
TLD is the last part of your domain name that comes after the dot. For example, in google.com, the .com is the top-level domain. 

TOS – Terms of service
Terms of service is a legal agreement between a service provider and a person who is willing to use that service. In order to use the service being offered, a person has to abide by all the rules and conditions present in the TOS. 


UCD – User-centric design
UCD is a collection of processes where designers focus on the needs of the users in each and every phase of the design process to create a user-friendly product.

UI – User interface
UI is the graphical lookout of an application. It refers to all the elements like buttons and text fields etc. present on a page that allow users to interact with a website or an app. 

UGC – User-generated content
UGC is any content including text, image, and audio that is created by users present on online platforms like social media and others.

URL – Uniform resource locator
URL is the address of a website and it incorporates a domain name. It is a reference to a web page so that people can access the website and retrieve information from it. 

USP – Unique selling proposition
Unique Selling Proposition is a marketing strategy that makes your business different from other businesses in the market. A great USP helps a business to attract and retain customers. 

UV – Unique visitor
It is a metric used to identify the number of distinct individuals who visited your website in a specific time period.

UX – User experience
User experience refers to the overall experience that a user gets while using your website or purchasing your product or service.


VOD – Video on demand
It is a system that allows users to select and watch content of their choice. This technology also allows you to watch real-time programs or download content to view it later. 

VM – Viral marketing
It is a style of promotion that businesses use to promote their product or service. The message is delivered in a way that it spikes the interest of the audience and then the audience spreads it with the speed of light.

VTCView Through Click
VTC is a metric that helps you to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. It signifies that a customer saw your ad but did not click on it. However, he/she turned back in a later sessions, visited your ad, and got converted into a customer.


WOMM – Word of mouth marketing
Word of Mouth Marketing is an inspiring action taking by a company that leads to motivating people to talk about its products or services. it is marketing strategy that relies on casual interactions to promote a product.

WYSIWYG – What you see is what you get
It is a program or an editor that helps developers to see how the final results will look while the document or interface is still being created.


XML – Extensible Markup Language
It is a markup language similar to HTML designed to store and share information in a format that is human as well as machine readable.


YOY – Year on year
YOY is a mathematical process of comparing one year’s data to the previous year’s data to analyze the change or the growth rate.

YTD – Year to date
It refers to the period of time starting from the first date of the calendar year up to the current date. This metric is used by business to analyze their performance or business trends. 

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