Online Marketing

Back to Basics: Common Online Marketing Abbreviations Defined

By October 3, 2016 April 11th, 2019 No Comments

The business world is full of abbreviations and acronyms. Over the years, acronyms like ROI, B2B and SMB have become commonplace in the business community. But online marketing, which is relatively new to the business realm, has added its fair share of abbreviations to the list.

As more and more marketers and business executives take notice of the value of online marketing and measurement, there is a whole new set of terms to learn. This online marketing glossary defines some of the most often used abbreviations in search engine optimization, paid advertising, website design, social media, and marketing automation.

The Online Marketing Glossary: Abbreviations & Acronyms

Search Engine Optimization

SEO – Search Engine Optimization
The practice of improving a website’s visibility in the search engine results by earning high organic rankings.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page
A search engine’s response to a search query. Google’s SERPs can consist of paid results (ads), organic results, images, videos, news articles, scholarly articles, maps, local listings, Knowledge Graph, answer boxes, and more.

CTR – Click Through Rate
In SEO, the number of clicks on your website’s organic listings divided by your website’s total number of impressions in the organic search results.

BR – Bounce Rate
The percentage of website visitors who view only one page on your website before exiting, without navigating to any other pages or clicking any on-page elements. The length of time spent on site has no impact on bounce rate.

PV – Page View
The number of times a web page is visited.

GA – Google Analytics
A free service that offers statistics and analysis of a website’s traffic, traffic sources, and visitor behavior.

GTM – Google Tag Manager
A free tool for implementing and updating website tags without manually editing the website code.

UGC – User Generated Content
Any form of content or media not created by the employees of a company can be considered user-generated.

Paid Advertising

SEM – Search Engine Marketing
The practice of improving a website’s visibility in the search engine results by paying for advertising space. Also commonly known as pay-per-click advertising.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click
See SEM above.

GDN – Google Display Network
A collection of more than 2 million websites on which AdWords advertisers can place text, image and video advertisements.

MCC – My Client Center
An AdWords manager account typically used by marketing agencies to manage multiple client AdWords accounts from one dashboard.

CPC – Cost Per Click
The dollar amount an advertiser pays for one ad click, usually displayed as an average over a specified period.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand
An advertising payment model where the advertiser pays per one thousand ad impressions.

CPV – Cost Per View
The dollar amount an advertiser pays when a viewer watches a specified amount of a video.

CPA – Cost Per Acquisition
The average cost of acquiring one new lead or customer, or the cost of generating some other specific outcome or conversion.

CTR – Click Through Rate
In paid advertising, the number of clicks on your website’s advertisement divided by your website’s total number of ad impressions.

QS – Quality Score
A score of 1-10 (10 being the highest) assigned to each AdWords keyword to indicate the quality of the account’s ads, landing pages, and keywords. QS is based on factors such as expected click through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Website Design & Coding

CMS – Content Management System
An online application that simplifies the creation, management, and presentation of online materials. Some of the most popular CMS platforms for website creation are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

UX – User Experience
The overall ease of use of a website as it relates to quality, aesthetics, features, and functionality.

UI – User Interface
The overall presentation and interactivity of an application or website as interpreted by the user.

SSL – Secure Sockets Layer
An encryption technology used to secure the connection between a website’s server and the website visitor’s browser. An SSL Certificate is required to create a secure domain (HTTPS).

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language
The standard web coding markup language.

XHTML – Extensible Hypertext Markup Language
A reformulation of hypertext markup language that is more extensible and interoperable.

XML – Extensible Markup Language
A markup language used to encode documents and data structures that are both human- and machine-readable.

CSS – Cascading Style Sheet
A style sheet language used to create visual web pages, interfaces, and applications based on markup language to ensure consistent design.

ISP – Internet Service Provider
A commercial, non-profit, or privately owned organization that provides access to the Internet.

IP – Internet Protocol
The basic communication framework that routes data from a source host to a destination host. An IP address is a string of numbers that identifies an electronic device’s network and location.

DNS – Domain Name System
Converts domain names into IP addresses and IP addresses into domain names.

TLD – Top-Level Domain
The final part of a domain name, such as .com, .gov, .org, .net, or .edu.

API – Application Programming Interface
A specification that allows programmers and engineers to communicate with an application and understand its functionality.

WYSIWYG – What You See Is What You Get
A type of online editor that allows users to change font type, add links, insert images, and more in a format that will look the same in the editor as it will in its final output.

RSS – Really Simple Syndication
A standard web format that simplifies the publication and communication of frequently updated information, such as blog posts and news items. RSS feeds are commonly used to automatically inform users of new blog updates without manually checking the blog.

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization
Increasing the percentage of website visitors who complete a desired action, often achieved by improving messaging, check out processes, website features, and other elements to enhance the user experience.

Social Media

SMM – Social Media Marketing
Using social media platforms as an online marketing channel to increase brand awareness, encourage engagement, amplify content, and improve customer relationship management.

DM – Direct Message
A feature within Twitter where users can send private messages to each other.

RT – Retweet
Reposting someone else’s Tweet.

MT – Modified Tweet
Similar to a retweet, a modified tweet indicates that you have somehow changed or paraphrased an original tweet.

FBML – Facebook Markup Language
An HTML subset that allows Facebook page administrators to customize their profiles.

Marketing Automation

ESP – Email Service Provider
A company that enables email marketing with services such as list management, email template creation, and bulk email distribution.

MA – Marketing Automation
Beyond basic email marketing, marketing automation enables businesses to build more robust email campaigns with features such as lead nurturing, lead scoring, list management, A/B testing, landing page and form creation, CRM integration, and advanced analytics and reporting.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management
CRM commonly refers to a software system that helps businesses track and manage contacts, leads, and customers. Most marketing automation tools integrate with various CRMs for advanced lead nurturing and automation.

CAN-SPAM – Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing
Establishes standards in the United States for commercial email messages and outlines penalties for violators. Signed into law by George W. Bush in 2003 and enforced by the FTC.

CASL – Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation
Similar to the United States’ CAN-SPAM laws, CASL went into effect in 2014 and must be followed if sending commercial email messages to recipients in Canada.

CTR – Click Through Rate
In marketing automation and email marketing, the number of clicks on links within an email divided by the total number of emails sent.

CTOR – Click to Open Rate
The number of clicks on links within an email divided by the total number of emails opened.

CTA – Call to Action
A prompt to encourage a user or visitor to perform a desired task, such as Click Here or Buy Now. CTAs apply to all marketing channels, not just marketing automation.

SPF – Sender Policy Framework
An email authentication protocol that prevents spam and improves deliverability rates by enabling website owners to authorize the email service provider to send emails on their behalf.

DKIM – DomainKeys Identified Mail
Another email authentication method to protect email senders and receivers from spam and phishing. DKIM assigns a digital signature to each message, verifying that the email originated from the sender’s domain.

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Brian Shilling

Author Brian Shilling

Brian is a Branding & Digital Marketing Director with experience leading diverse teams of marketers and designers in strategic marketing, content creation, and crafting comprehensive messaging and positioning platforms for our healthcare and tech clients. To learn more about Brian's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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