Glossary of Terms

Ways to decipher marketing and web jargon

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Glossary of terms for

Here are some of the terms and jargon you may encounter on the site and in the industry. Jargon can be confusing and if you don’t understand what is being said, it can make the content worthless. Use this glossary as a way to understand the digital world and marketing sector a bit better.

AdWords – Google sells advertising space to companies who want to feature at the top of the search results page (shown by the word “AD” in a green box). These results are based on your search keywords. Paying to have your site featured at the top of the list has become a massive source of income for Google.

Algorithm – A search engine’s algorithm is its set of rules and programming that determines the ranking of search results. This algorithm changes regularly as Google refines its coding.

Anchor text – The text that links to another article on your website (also called hyperlink text). This allows users to click through to another article but keep them on your site, which keeps your bounce rate low.

Audience retention report – A tool that can be used to see how long your video keeps its audience for. This can be found in YouTube’s analytics and can also show you the average duration for all videos on your channel, your top performing videos by watch time, audience retention during different timeframes and the relative retention of your video compared to the YouTube average for similar videos.

B2B – ‘Business-to-business’, meaning a company sells directly to other businesses rather than customers.

B2C – ‘Business-to-customer’, meaning a company sells directly to the public.

Bounce rate – The number of users who exit your website after reading an article. The aim is to keep people on your site for as long as possible, so a low bounce rate means that more people are interested in your content and find other articles to read on your website, rather than searching elsewhere for the same information.

Brand awareness – How well the public can identify your brand shows their brand awareness. It also relates to the public’s perception of your brand’s strength in the market.

Call to action – Words that encourage your audience to take action or advance to the next stage of the buying process (e.g. “Click here to sign up”).

Competitor – Another company in the market who sells a similar product or service as you. You both compete for your customers’ business.

Content marketing – A marketing strategy that uses written and visual content to advertise your business’s strengths. Examples include articles, blog posts, interviews, videos etc.

Conversion – When a customer visits your website and ends up completing the buying process with a sale. The conversion rate is the number of customers who purchased something as a fraction of the total number of visitors to your site.

Differentiator – Something unique that makes your business different (and better) than your competition. Differentiators are usually one or two things that will give your customers the advantage if they do business with you.

Digital reach – How many users, readers and subscribers follow your website and social media channels. This is the number of people that see your website or content.

Engagement – The act of talking to, messaging or interacting with your customers on social media.

Engagement rate – A social media metric that tells you how much interaction (in the form of likes, shares and comments) you have on your content as a percentage of the total number of people who saw the content on their social feeds.

Facebook post – A message sent from your Facebook profile to your followers or target audience. A Facebook post can be a comment, image, video or other forms of media that sits on your page and is visible on your followers’ feeds.

Facebook reach – This is the number of individual people who have seen your content on your Facebook page.

Google AdWords – See “AdWords” above.

Google Analytics – Online software provided by Google that allows you to track users on your site. It can tell you how many people visit your site, how many are on your site in this instant, how the use your site and where they come from. There are many more metrics available to you on Google Analytics, and it is a great tool for tracking the performance of your content and giving you insight into how you can improve the existing content.

In-text linking – See “Anchor text” above.

Infographic – A visual representation of information or data (usually in chart or diagram format).

IP address – An Internet Protocol (IP) address is an exclusive number assigned to every digital device on a network.

ISP – ‘Internet Service Provider’, a company that supplies internet access (e.g. MWEB, Telkom etc.)

LSI graph – A tool used to find keyword synonyms to help us make a broad match for use in pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or when writing SEO-rich content. LSI stands for Latent Semantic Index.

Meta Description – This is a short (~160 character) snippet that summarises a page’s content. It is often the small paragraph that you read underneath a Google search result to see what the page is about before clicking on the link.

Meta Keywords – Words or phrases used to define the overall content of a page or article. These HTML tags are used by search engines to get an understanding of what a website is about and what content can be found there. They are used in search results for users looking for similar information.

Meta Title – The meta title shows up in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs), in blue text. Search engines use the meta title as the search results title for your web page.

Native digital content marketing – Online advertising that is placed within websites or articles (e.g. Takealot adverts on News24).

Online reputation – How users judge your website or credibility. A bad online reputation means users are more likely to avoid visiting your website.

Organic reach – Refers to the unique number of people who see your content without you having to pay for it (via Google AdWords or other such methods). A higher organic reach means that more people are aware of your website and your articles have good SEO.

Page rank – The position of your website on Google’s results list. Google will determine how important your website is based on the information available on your site and how user-friendly it is, and then assign that page a rank on its results list.

Paid reach – Refers to the number of individual people who see your content because you paid for promoted posts or advertising space.

Pipeline – Also known as a sales pipeline, it is the number of potential new customers. It allows a business to predict and plan its operations around the likelihood of sales being generated.

PPC campaign – ‘Pay-per-click’, an advertising campaign run by Google whereby they create adverts based on popular keywords. Every time someone clicks on your link, you pay Google a small fee.

Prospect – A potential customer or sale before they have purchased anything.

Referral – When a customer suggests your business to another person, encouraging them to contact you. Online, referrals come in the form of users visiting your website based on a suggestion from another site or person. Referrals often lead to quicker sales as a pre-existing relationship or trust has been established by a third party.

ROI – ‘Return On Investment’, a calculation done by businesses to see how profitable a promotional exercise may be. ROI is an estimate of how much money you can make by paying for advertising or marketing.

SERP – ‘Search Engine Results Page’, the list of search results presented to you when you look for something on a search engine.

SEO – ‘Search Engine Optimisation’, is the way you prepare an article or website that will make it appear higher on Google’s results page. SEO includes adding meta titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords to your articles when you upload them to your site. The higher up on Google’s list your website appears, the more likely a user is to click on your link. This can happen in two ways:

    • Organic traffic – people who naturally click on links in their search results. Over time, Google will pick this up and start to feature that particular website more prominently (high up in the search results), as Google knows that it is more popular than the other results.
  • Paid advertising or PPC – when companies buy space in Google’s search results so that they can be featured where the other most popular websites are. This is sold to companies by Google, who charge them a specific amount every time a user clicks on that link.

Search engine – A tool for searching the internet. Users of search engines enter keywords relevant to their search, and the search engine returns results from its databases.

Session – Whenever a user visits a website, it’s called a session. A user session (also called a visit) is the presence of a user with a specific IP address on a website. The number of sessions shows how much traffic a website is getting.

Session duration – This is the period of time (depicted in minutes and seconds) that each individual user spends on a website, from the time of opening the site to the time they exit. The average session duration is the mean amount of time that all visitors spend on a website.

Subscribers report – Shows how you’ve gained and lost subscribers across different content, locations and dates.

Thought leader – A business term used to describe a person or company that is making positive differences in a particular industry or community. Their ideas and actions are leading the way in which all other companies (in their sector) are following.

Traditional media – Newspapers, magazines, television, radio and publishing houses are all part of traditional media.

Unique web user – An individual person that visits your website. No matter how many times they visit your site, they are still a unique web user as they are one person. The number of unique web users shows you exactly how many people have seen your site at least once.

User – A user is a visitor – a person who visits a website or uses a social media platform. Each user has a unique IP address, therefore the number of users depicts the amount of traffic going to a website.

USP – ‘Unique Selling Point’, something that makes your offering different to that of your competitors.

Webinar – An online conference call where one person leads the others through a presentation.

Web profile – An additional online platform that compliments your website and contains specific client articles, listicles, B-BBEE certificates, CSR articles with videos etc.

YouTube subscribers – The number of viewers who follow your YouTube channel regularly. Subscribers tend to be more engaged with your content and they get a notification everytime you post a new video.

YouTube engagement report – A tool to see if a YouTube channel has gained any new subscribers and how people engaged with your videos in terms of comments and likes.

YouTube views – The amount of people that view your channel or video.


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