The ultimate digital marketing glossary

If you’re new to digital marketing – or even if you’re not – you may find the huge array of technical jargon and acronyms overwhelming. If that sounds like you then we are here to help. We want to put together the ultimate digital marketing glossary. A one stop ‘shop’ for all your digital marketing term questions.

We want it to grow organically and unlike many digital jargon-busters online we want to keep updated with all the latest terms.

The glossary covers off common terms, not so common terms, acronyms, terminology and abbreviations for everything online marketing. This includes but not limited to; content, web development, digital design, social media, search engine marketing, blogging, digital advertising and many more.


404 Error – An error message that is presented on a web page when a page cannot be found on a website. The page may no longer exist or may have been moved to a different URL.

301 Redirect – A type of redirect from one URL to another. This informs a search engine that the original URL has been moved permanently.

302 Redirect – A temporary redirect from one URL to another. This informs a search engine that the original URL has moved temporarily.


AMP –AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. A project backed by Google aimed to help optimise web pages for mobile device consumption by increasing the speed at which a web page opens on mobile.


Backlink – A common SEO term that refers to a website linking to your website.

Browser – A browser or web browser is a software application used for viewing websites and navigating the world wide web. Browsers include; Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox.


CRO – CRO or Conversion Rate Optimisation. The practice of increasing the volume of your website visitors into taking a required action on a web page or site. A common action in eCommerce would be converting a visitor into a paying customer through the purchase of goods or services.

Chatbot – Short for Chat Robot. A Chatbot is a programme that simulates human conversation through artificial intelligence. On web pages this is commonly conducted by text (it can also be audio) and can be used to answer questions or assistance without human interaction.


Data Visualisation – Data visualisation brings data or information – typically complex or difficult – to life with visuals and images. See also infographic.


External Link – A link (URL) on a web page that points to another (URL) page on a different page or website.


Forwarding – The process of making a web page available from one URL to a different URL. When a user opens a web page (or search engine) the original page URL is ‘forwarded’ on to an alternative URL and a different web page is opened. Can also be called Redirection. See also Redirect.


Geo-Targeting – The process of determining the location of an internet user or web visitor and delivering them content that is based on their location. This is a common practice with many search engines.


Homepage – A homepage is the initial page of a website. It is commonly the entry point for visitors.

HTML – HTML stands for Hyper-Text Markup Language. HTML is the coding language that the world wide web is written with. Code inserted is added to a text file to achieve font, colour, graphic and hyperlink effects on a web page.

Hyperlink – Text on a website or page that takes you to a destination either on the existing website or to another. This is typically displayed as highlighted and ‘clickable’ text or imagery.


Infographic – An infographic is an image that portrays information or data in a visually appealing, easily digestible and shareable format. Infographics commonly make use of illustrations and iconography to present complex information in simple and engaging manner.


Javascript – A coding or scripting language commonly used to create interactive websites or interactive elements within web browsers.


Keyword – A word or search term that is relevant to or describes your website or products. Keywords can be used to optimise your website for search engines, improving your rankings or visibility.


Landing Page – In simple terms a landing page is any web page that acts as an entry point for a website. In digital marketing terms however a landing page can often refer to a web page that has been designed specifically to focus on one objective, such as lead generation. Landing pages are often developed with digital advertising in mind such as a PPC landing page or Facebook landing page.


Marketing Automation – Marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate traditionally repetitive digital marketing actions such as automatically sending an email after a user action. Marketing automation can help digital marketers optimise their marketing spend and increase efficiency. This can be by improving customer retention, lead generation, database segmentation and more. Read more at digital marketing automation specialists Marketo.

Meme – A meme is typically a form of image and supporting text that portrays a joke or concept that people can share on social media channels. Memes can also be videos.


Redirect – Redirects are a way to send search engines and users to a URL that differs from the URL originally requested, presenting an alternative page and URL. See also forwarding.


Schema markup – Code that goes on a web page to help search engines understand information on web pages which in turn helps return higher quality search results to users.

Search Engine – A search engine is most commonly used to describe a website such as Google, Bing or Baidu. The search engine allows users to search the web for files, documents and web pages that correspond to keywords and characters specified by a user.

SERP – A search engine results page.


URL – URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the address of a website or web page.

UX – Short for User Experience. UX is the overall experience of a person using a product – in digital marketing this would commonly be a website or mobile app. UX can be used as a measure of success for a website or app. Success measurement questions such as “Is the site easy to use?”, “Does the website offer me value” and “Was the experience using it pleasant” can offer insight into the user experience.


Voice Search – Voice Search or voice-enabled search allows users to search the internet via a search engine by speaking on a computer or mobile phone. This form of search removes the requirement of a keyboard.


XML Sitemap – A sitemap is a model of a websites pages and URLs. It’s designed to provide instructions and meta data to search engines to help them find and index your web pages. An XML Sitemap is a key component of SEO strategy.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the promotion of products or brands via digital channels, these typically are; search engines, email marketing, websites and social media.  Other forms of electronic media can include text messaging, mobile applications, podcasts and interactive/electronic billboards.

Although these other forms of electronic media fall under the umbrella term ‘digital marketing’ at NZ Digital Marketing we focus primarily on the ‘online marketing’ channels. These digital marketing channels are varied in their level of complexity and there is no single agreed upon list, but here will cover off what we feel are the core channels, terms and assets.

Paid Search

Google AdWords example screenshot

Paid search advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) is way of paying for traffic to your website. This typically will refer to the sponsored results – noted with an ‘Ad’ symbol – that you see on the top of your search results page on Google. Although Google is the most popular form of paid search there are many other platforms offering paid search including social channels such as Facebook and Twitter and other search engines; Bing, Yahoo, Baidu.

PPC adverts can be easily tailored to target your unique audience and will only appear in results if your pre-defined search terms have been typed in by the user. You only pay when someone clicks on your advert and visits your website.  Due to the payment structure, flexibility and targeted nature of PPC it is traditionally a very cost effective channel and makes it easily accessible to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In short, Paid search is a way to buy targeted traffic into your website. It is independent of the free (organic) search engine results you see below the paid adverts. These results and associated tactics are classed as…

Learn more and view our paid search guides

Search Engine Optimisation

Example of a search engine results page

Search engine optimisation or SEO is the process of optimising your website with the intention of improving your position on the free (organic) portion of a search engine results page (SERP). The overall goal of SEO is to attract visitors to your website.

Improvements to your position (rank) on a search engine will typically see an increase in traffic to your website and increased brand awareness. Increases in traffic and search engine visibility are often seen as having a direct correlation with increased sales, leads and revenue generated online.

SEO as a digital marketing practice is made up of many elements; from website copy to who and how many links there are to your website. Whilst primarily businesses will focus on these as a means to improve their search engine rankings, these techniques can also be seen as best practices for your website. SEO encourages valuable unique content, an easy to navigate website, and quality authoritative links from other websites.

Learn more and view our search engine optimisation guides

Content Marketing

Mythconceptions content marketing infographic

Content marketing is a form of strategic online marketing that focuses on the creation and promotion of informative content assets. Examples of these content assets are:

  • Webpages
  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Video
  • Apps
  • Guides and handbooks
  • E-books

The typical purpose of content marketing is (like many of the digital marketing elements on this page) to generate leads or conversions, traffic and brand awareness and/or loyalty. Try not to think of content marketing as traditional marketing collateral – such as a brochure – but as content that is informative, readable and shareable

Content marketing as a term and as a strategy has come to the fore in the past decade with the rise of social media, the sophistication of SEO and email marketing. Each of these channels now play a key role or responsibility in the content marketing mix.

Learn more and view our content marketing guides

Organic and Paid Social Media Marketing

Facebook advertising example screenshot

For many organisations – outside of your website – social media will be your key content distribution channel. It allows you to easily promote your content to a targeted audience, engage in conversations and allows you to position yourself as a thought leader in your space.

Key social media channels include:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Organic social media is the traditional ‘free use’ side of a social media platform. It is used to actively promote and seed out content to your audience. An audience being those who have freely ‘Liked’ or ‘Followed’ your page.

In simple terms organic social media can be broken into two categories:

#1 – Attracting and building an audience

Before you can market to your audience you have to build an audience on your page/s. A common way to this is to simply advertise your social channels on your website, emails and other on and offline marketing means such as posters.

#2 – Providing content to connect and engage with that audience

Once an audience has been built you can then begin to market and engage them. This is where a social media content strategy would come in. Organisations need to maintain a level of engagement on their channels, providing informative relevant content to keep your audience engaged in your brand whilst not overloading them with information.

Paid social media marketing in simple terms is the act of advertising on a social channel. Much like paid search organisations pay a social channel for advertising space. Advertising placement varies depending on the channel but typical examples are on your Facebook page or before a video on YouTube.

Social media advertising is becoming increasingly popular with digital marketers and is playing an integral part in digital marketing strategies across the globe. The reason for this is the extremely targeted nature of the adverts. Facebook advertising for example can allow marketers to break down their advert targeting by age, interests, location and much more.

Learn more and view our social media marketing guides

Email Marketing

Email marketing example screenshot

Email marketing is a means to communicate and market to consumers via email. Emails are a targeted distribution channel for your content similar to social media. By providing relevant, timely content of value, email can inspire actions such as a website visit, purchase or download.

Similar to Social Media, email can be particularly effective as it is a means of regular engagement with your audience as it does not require a manual action on the users part e.g. a website visit.

Typically an organisation will first establish an audience base or list. The audience list can be generated for the sole purpose of emailing or typically it will be a marketing list from an organisations database or CRM system.

This audience list will be loaded into an email platform – a software package or website used to send emails. Using the email platform marketers are able to segment and precisely target who, where and when an email is sent. Depending on the quality of the data emails can be segmented, precisely targeted and even personalised. Typically targeting or personalising would be by: name, age, gender, interests and location.

Learn more and view our email marketing guides

Digital Marketing Podcasts – 3 Of The Best

I have to admit that having read a fair few digital marketing books in my time I always struggle for some degree of motivation to first pay for a book and then to continually pick it up – unless I’m on a beach somewhere.

The obvious reason for this lack of motivation is that my brain is no longer happy sifting through hundreds of pages in black and white when it’s used to colour, pictures and exciting 300 word click-bait lists. Despite consuming tons of these articles and lists per week the supreme value of many of them can be questioned and indeed this very website can be accused of being a culprit of just that.

Now that I’ve accidentally bashed every digital marketing blog on the net – including our own – I can get to my point. A digital marketing podcast can be the absolute perfect middle ground between the ultra involved elements of a book and the fluffy nature of a blog or article. Better yet there’s enough choice out there in terms of topic, length and style that you have your pick depending on your mood or circumstances.

In researching this little list I picked through seven different top podcasts and whittled it down to just three for the time being. I could have covered off all seven but after having listened to them all I found that I’ve only come back to these three more than once. The list represents a nice cross section of the digital marketing mix with podcasts that focus on specific topics such as content, SEO and more broad options.

Target Internet Digital Marketing Podcast

Who’s it for: Digital marketing professionals
Topic: General Digital Marketing
Length: 25 minutes

My personal favourite of the three, Target Internet are a UK based company offering digital marketing training and online courses. This is a favourite partly due to the bite sized nature of the podcasts and as a result how many of them leave you wanting to explore more once the podcast has finished.

The other reason is the sheer variation in topics, whilst some of the podcasts on this list cover just one area this podcast attempts to tackle them all. Over their 100 plus podcast run they have covered virtually every digital marketing topic you can think of from digital transformation to Google Tag Manager tips. Some of the podcasts could be described as the audio only version of a YouTube tutorial video and whilst that may sound negative it is meant as a compliment.

With the podcast running time usually around the 25 minute mark these serve as a good bookend to the day, and conveniently for me very nearly covers my 35 minute wait in Auckland traffic.

Content Convergence

Who’s it for: Anyone looking for some content advice and inspiration
Topic: Content Marketing
Length: 25 – 55 minutes

A US based podcast hosted by content strategist Steve Rubel. Unlike the Target Internet podcast this offers much less in the way of practical guidance and focuses on weekly case studies and inspiration from thought leaders from across the US.

As you can probably guess from the title the focus is largely on content marketing and content strategy across the digital touch points. These tend to centre largely on how content works with and converges across the core channels such as; social media, SEO, display advertising and email marketing.

For some the podcast maybe a little too American centric but it’s an excellent insight into the minds that run content at some of the biggest and brightest organisations on the planet. Guests on the show range from established global brands to digital start-ups. Running times vary from 25 minutes to near the hour mark.

Even if each podcast doesn’t link directly to your day-to-day there’s always enough inspirational thinking, strategy and discussion about the future to keep you coming back.

SEO Podcast Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing

Who’s it for: Digital marketing and SEO beginners upwards
Topic: SEO, SEM, PPC
Length: 35 minutes

Another US podcast that is in the ilk of the Target Internet podcast in so far that it’s a weekly podcast that focuses on providing hints and tips on specific SEM topics over a half hour period.

Like Target Internet this is hosted by key players for the digital agency There are smatterings of references to the core business but it’s largely focused on discussing an interesting array of informative

Despite having SEO in the title and leaning toward SEO in their topics the podcast could actually be called the SEM podcast. The podcast topics regularly include PPC and even occasionally focus on Google Display Network, Social Media and Analytics.

The hosts start by running over a few topics of interest from the latest news which aren’t always directly related to online marketing, more general digital topics. They then tackle one key article each week which they hand pick from somewhere on the web. Articles will often be a top number list which hosts Chris and Charles elaborating, expand and put their own spin on the suggestions from the article.

Whilst the basic concept of the podcast is a simple one: read out an existing online blog or article it’s done in a easily palatable fashion and like with the Target Internet podcast it gives you just enough information to want to go away and seek out more.