Online Marketing Glossary

We always avoid using jargon and acronyms when talking to our clients. There is lots of terminology around digital marketing so this glossary of online marketing terms is designed to act as a reference point and reminder for those commonly used digital marketing terms. Feel free to contact us about further suggestions to add to the list.


An ad group contains one or more ads that target a shared set of keywords. You set a bid, or price, to be used when an ad group’s keywords trigger an ad to appear.


Google search engine marketing development. It uses Google’s extensive network of sites and search dominance to deliver your advertisement to the widest range of people.

ALT Tags - Alternative Text Tags

Words to describe an image used on a website. Initially developed so that blind people could have the content of a picture described to them but now also used by search engines to classify images for search results, especially image search results.

Anchor Text

The words used on a link to another web page or website telling the visitor what the link represents. These are important for SEO as search engines use this text to understand page relevance. Don’t link pages with Click Here unless you are optimizing for the keyword -Click Here-!


These are groups of people that you can target based on their interests, as well as their visits to your site. With Audiences, you can target a group of people with similar interests, as well as remarketing groups (showing ads to people who have previously visited your website).

Bing AdCentre

Bing AdCentre is Microsoft’s answer to search engine marketing. Microsoft allows users to advertise through text and graphics. Bing and Yahoo have joined to produce an extensive range of websites to advertise on.

Canonical Links / References

This is the URL that you want your visitors to see. Essentially it’s picking out the best URL when there are multiple choices available, and presenting this best choice to the search engine, so it can display it to those who visit your site.

CTR - Click Through Rate

The percentage of people who on seeing you on the SERPs actually click to go through to your website. Calculated by diving clicks by impressions.

Display Advertising

Adverts that appear on content websites such as newspapers, blogs, video websites. Display ads can be text, images, rich (HTML5) images and video.


Code to create a container element on a webpage to layout and style content.

GDN - Google Display Network

The websites and mobile apps that carry Google Display advertising. including specific Google websites such as Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger and YouTube.

Although Google rationalised the number of sites that it allowed in its network to eliminate those that it thought were sub standard there are still well over 1 million websites carrying Google display advertising.


Goals are defined as a target; what your business wants to achieve in terms of conversions. This could be sign-ups, purchases or even a call to your business.


When your ad is served to someone who is searching on a search engine and it appears in his or her results (alongside organic search results). This is counted as 1 impression, but you do not have to pay for each impression you receive on your ads.


Also includes key-phrase or keyword phrase – word or words entered into a search engine by a visitor looking for something. When developing a SEO plan it is important to know what keywords you are targeting before starting the optimisation process.

Meta Data

Information contained within the coding of a webpage that is not visible to the website visitor but is read by search engines spiders and used within the ranking algorithm.

Organic Search Results

The natural results on a search engine results page. These results cannot be paid for, unlike Paid Search Results. These results can be manipulated by SEO, which helps Google to find your website easier, thus it will appear higher in organic results.

Paid Search Results

The paid search results on a search engine results page are the results that are paid for by an advertiser. These will be appearing based on the position that they receive.

PPC - Pay Per Click Advertising

The system that allows you to appear in the sponsored results. Gives website owners immediate results and can be useful for testing the conversion rates of different terms once visitors are on your website. Care has to be taken as large amounts of money can be wasted if a PPC campaign is not well set up.

Proximity Rule

The earlier a keyword, phrase or element appears on the page the more important the search engines think that this is. For example in a page meta titles it is better to put your more important keywords first. For page structures navigation DIVs should appear after main content DIVs where possible.

Quality Score

Quality score is among a variety of factors that decides how well your advertisement will be ranked in an auction, which will determine its position on the SERPs. Quality score is comprised (in most cases) of your CTR, Ad relevance and Landing page quality, as well as other features.


Term used to refer to where you appear within the SERPS for a specific or group of terms. With SEO you are always aiming for first page rankings (positions 1-10) as 85% of searches never go beyond the first of the SERPS.


When someone visits your site, but say they don’t convert, you can track this user and use “Remarketing” to serve them relevant ads from you, that will help them to perform a conversion on your website. It is essentially remarketing your ads to the same users (but not too frequently) in an effort to get them to convert on your site.

Search Advertising

Serving adverts in response to a user’s search query (keywords).

Search Channels

Unless specified the SEO work applies to textual search of web pages. However, Google and the other search engines have developed specific search verticals such as video, images, shopping, news, and blogs to aid people getting the results they are looking for.

Search Engine Spider

Automated programs that read the code of web pages and websites to gather the base information that the search engine uses to calculate the ranking of a webpage against a specific term.

Search Network

A group of search-related websites where your ads can appear. When you advertise on the Search Network, your ad can show next to search results when someone searches for your products or services using terms related to one of you. Google provides search functionality & adverts to search engines that are specifically Google branded.

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

The process of making a website appear in the natural or organic search engine results. These results being generated by a complex algorithm known only to the search engines, which takes into account many factors.

Search Engine Results Pages

The results pages of Google, Bing etc once a term has been entered.

Sponsored Results / Listings

The entries on the SERPs that are driven from PPC advertising on the search engines. Appearance is these results and your relative position is driven by how much you are prepared to pay for each visitor click.

Title Tags

Part of the meta-data that is visible to the visitor of a web page at the top of the browser program window. Now seen as the most important element of meta data to search engines.