The Online Marketer’s Glossary

A collection of terms and jargon commonly used in Internet Marketing

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Between all the acronyms and abbreviations, listening to online marketing professionals almost feels like I’m eavesdropping on teenage conversations. And don’t even get me started on those technical terms where you secretly wonder if they were using real words or just some sort of “geek speak” reserved for those in Silicon Valley!

It’s a vast, fast-paced and ever-changing world online—and with its perks and opportunities come a growing list of our industry jargon. Like most, I managed to familiarize myself with these industry-specific terms (and differentiate them from teenage slang) the hard way: by studying, Googling and asking others already “in-the-know” when it comes to Internet Marketing. What I wouldn’t have given to have had a crib sheet of all the terms that were getting thrown around back then…

With that said, I’ve decided to compile the most common words and terms used in the industry; and do my best to explain what they mean. It may not be a PhD on Internet Marketing, but hey—everyone has to start somewhere! And if there are any online marketing terminologies that you’d like know the definition for that aren’t included on this list, leave a comment below to let us know… that way we can keep this up to date!

Above the fold
This refers to anything–it could be an image or a piece of text–that is visible on the page your’re viewing where you don’t have to scroll down.

Affiliate Marketing
A marketing business model that connects retailers online with other websites that are related to their products.

A tracking software that shows relevant statistics regarding your website, including usage, traffic, where the traffic comes from and common keywords use that allow users to end up on your website. These statistics can be derived from Google Analytics, KISSmetrics and Clicky, just to name a few.

An acronym for the phrase Business to Business. It basically just means businesses whose main intent is to provide products or services to other businesses.

An acronym for the phrase Business to Consumer. This means that these businesses offer products or services that go straight to consumers.

Backlink / Backward Linking
A third party website that links back to your site is called a backlink. It’s one of many ranking factors in SEO. In SEO, the more quality backlinks you have to your site, the more high quality, relevant backlinks you have, the better results of your search engine rankings will be.

Black Hat SEO
These are SEO strategies that blatantly manipulate their search engine rankings using techniques that violate Google’s Terms of Service (TOS). Violating these guidelines can lead to your website being banned by Google and its partners. (Hint: If you’re in this business for the long term, never, EVER use anything that’s considered “Black Hat.”)

Bounce Rate
A term used for analytics that refers to visitors of a site who end up on the landing page and “bounced.” This does not consider the length of time they spend on the page—the only consideration is that they viewed a page of the site and didn’t explore further.

Conversions refer to the number of visitors who go to your site and take an action. That could be anything from purchasing to opt-ins to simply clicking on a “Discover More” button. So for instance, I am fashion designer trying to promote an online clothing store— I might look at the conversions being the number of interested customers who went on my site to look at my clothes and actually made a purchase before leaving the site.

Conversion Rate
The percentage of website visitors who take a desired action beyond simply visiting the website as a result of strategic marketing initiatives. So if 100 people went to a selling page, and 10 out of those 100 bought a product (this is your CTA ) then you would have a conversion of 10%.

Stands for Cost Per Acquisition—a term that refers to how much it costs to acquire a new customer.

Stands for Cost Per Click—an acronym that you typically hear around paid advertising that stands for the amount you have to pay each time a customer clicks on one of your ads.


CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a framework that is used to format and position all the different elements on a website. While not necessary, having an understanding of basic CSS is a good thing.

Stands for Call To Action–this is the desired action you want your customers to take on your site. An example would be if a site visitor clicked on an opt-in link or decided to make a purchase on your website.

Stands for Click Through Rate—refers to the percentage of users who actually click on a particular ad.

Stands for Earnings Per Click–an online marketing term typically used in affiliate marketing , referring to the amount of earnings that an affiliate will get.

H1 Tag
The header of your blog article similar to a newspaper or magazine headline. H1 tags are a crucial consideration for SEO as it helps Google determine whether your content is relevant to whatever is being searched.

A hit is any action that a user takes on your page–from a page view to clicking a button.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the computer programming language used to create web pages. If you don’t have them already, you’ll want to make sure you have some basic HTML skills. Check out courses on (AFFILIATE), they’ve got some great ones!

This will refer to the number of times an ad was seen.

Keywords are a set of words or a phrase that you enter into a search engine to look for a particular topic. In terms of creating content, keywords are essential so that you can tailor-fit your site to make sure that your site comes up at the top of the list on relevant searches.

We’ve all heard of the term blog, microblogs are miniscule, short-form versions of this. Twitter is by far the biggest and best example.


Normally, this is a traffic source that refers to traffic from search engines.

This is any media that you paid for to generate traffic such as Google promoted posts or any of Google’s paid networks.

Organic Search Results
This refers to search traffic that is not prompted or backed by an advertising campaign—this means results that come up from organic searches will be based on a search engine’s algorithm.


PHP is a server-side scripting language used in web development as well as a general programming language. It’s what WordPress is actually written in and is definitely more complicated than HTML. Chances are, if you’re not a developer, you won’t need this skill.

Stands for Pay Per Click—refers to paid search engine advertising where advertisers are required to pay every time an ad is clicked.

This is often known as “Public Relations” but in this case, PR refers to Google’s Page Rank. PR is the way by which Google shows how relevant a site is to your search and can be assigned a ranking anywhere from 0 to 10. The higher the page rank, the higher the ranking, the higher that particular site’s relevance is to your search keywords.

Stands for Revenue Per Click–refers to the total revenue.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) refers to format for presenting a collection of web content that changes regularly, most commonly used by news related sites, weblogs as a way to distributing news headlines on the Internet.




SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a branch of Internet marketing that is focused on the promotion of websites by raising its visibility on search engines.

Stands for Search Engine Optimization—involves the process of creating content and code for a website to increase its ranking on search engine results.

Social Networks
These are sites that create a community of users who share information and interact with one another. Top social networks include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest, but remember things like Instagram & YouTube are technically social networks too!

Our goal is to keep growing this list, so if you have suggestions on what could be included, please leave a comment below.

Seriously Simple Marketing Hack

A few tips to learn these new terms…

  1. Use them in a conversation with fellow marketers. This could be during a live conversation with friends or with something as simple as a Facebook post.
  2. Teach them to others. Again, this could be something as simple as creating a blog post about Internet Marketing terms.
  3. If you see a word, phrase or acronym that you’d like to know more about, leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list!

Our SlideShare Slides:

Our Video Recap:
Have a question about a term?  Maybe you've have a suggestion of what we can add?  Please leave a comment below!

– Mercer


About The Author


Chris Mercer, who typically goes by "Mercer", has a sales and marketing background that stretches over 20 years. He began his online marketing career in 2009 and has become a sought after analytics & conversions expert, helping other top-marketers to improve their own offers and sales funnels. Now decades of real-world experience are brought to you post-by-post as he delivers Seriously Simple Marketing tips that you can use to build your own business!