The process of testing different elements to see what works best. Even the smallest changes such as adjusting the copy, color, font size or call-to-action can help improve conversion rates. To figure out what truly works, advertisers need to test, optimize and repeat on a regular basis.
Above The Fold
The area of a web page that is immediately visible to the visitor, without having to engage the scroll bar. This is often considered prime “real estate” for ad inventory and is usually priced to reflect that.
A company that aggregates available ad space across a large number of websites (publishers) and sells it to advertisers.
There are many types of ad networks from large ones to niche ones that target a specific audience. By buying from these networks you get access to their extensive list of publishers.
Any company or user that purchases ad inventory on a publisher’s domain. Ex: when you see an ad placed on a site, the site who paid to place that ad is the advertiser.
Ex: if you are in the automotive industry, you can access data from such advertisers as Ford, Toyota, BMW, etc.
A commission is paid to an individual called an “affiliate” when they generate a referral in the form of a lead or sale, hence it is based on performance.
Because of its advantages for sales opportunities there are millions of different brands and websites that offer affiliate programs. The most common examples are Amazon.com, online dating, insurance, etc.
This is a free website that provides commercial web traffic data and ranking information. It crawls all publicly available sites to create a series of snapshots of the web. It employs web usage information, which tells users what is being seen on the web by real people. This information comes from the community of Alexa Toolbar users.
What I sometimes refer to as the “eyes” of inbound marketing, analytics is essentially the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. When referred to in the context of marketing, it’s looking at the data of one’s initiatives (website visitor reports, social, PPC, etc.), analyzing the trends, and developing actionable insights to make better informed marketing decisions.
Application Programming Interface (API)
APIs are a series of rules in computer programming, which allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information either in their own application or in data analyses. It’s kind of like a phone for applications to have conversations — an API literally “calls” one application and gets information to bring to you to use in your software. APIs facilitate the data needed to provide solutions to customer problems.
Commonly called display advertising. They are graphics that come in different sizes and are placed on third-party websites with the goal of driving traffic back to an advertisers’ website.
Describes the abundance of available data that companies collect. This can be information on who your customers are, their buying behaviors and other demographic details.
An adjective used to describe companies that sell to other businesses. For example, Google and Oracle are primarily B2B companies.
An adjective used to describe companies that sell directly to consumers. For example, Amazon, Apple, and Nike are primarily B2C companies.
This is short for web log or weblog. An individual or group of people usually maintains a blog. A personal blog or business blog will traditionally include regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material, such as photos and video.
Blogging is a core component of inbound marketing, as it can accomplish several initiatives simultaneously — like website traffic growth, thought leadership, and lead generation. It does not, however, do your taxes.
Business blogging retains all the attributes of “regular” blogging, but adds a tasty layer of marketing strategy on top. It helps marketers drive traffic to their website, convert that traffic into leads, establish authority on certain topics, and drive long-term results
Bottom of the Funnel
Since we’re going alphabetically, the last part of the funnel process is first! So, “bottoms up,” I suppose. The bottom of the funnel refers to a stage of the buying process leads reach when they’re just about to close as new customers. They’ve identified a problem, have shopped around for possible solutions, and are very close to buying.
Typically, next steps for leads at this stage are a call from a sales rep, a demo, or a free consultation — depending on what type of business is attempting to close the lead.
Email bounce rate: The rate at which an email was unable to be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate generally means your lists are out-of-date or purchased, or they include many invalid email addresses. In email, not all bounces are bad, so it’s important to distinguish between hard and soft bounces before taking an email address off your list.
Website bounce rate: The percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site. A high bounce rate generally leads to poor conversion rates because no one is staying on your site long enough to read your content or convert on a landing page (or for any other conversion event).
A semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. While it helps marketers like you define their target audience, it can also help sales reps qualify leads.
A button, graphic or text in an ad intended to prompt the visitor to click the ad (which will redirect them to a landing page). Ex: “Click Here”, “Buy Now”, “Download”, “Sign Up”, “Subscribe Now”, etc.
This is an important component of making your ads successful, as it helps to engage the user and give them actionable direction.
CAN-SPAM stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing.” It’s a U.S. law passed in 2003 that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, it gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law. For example, CAN-SPAM is the reason businesses are required to have an “unsubscribe” option at the bottom of every email.
CASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” It’s a Canadian law passed in 2013 that covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that may be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada.
A metric that measures how many customers you retain and at what value. To calculate churn rate, take the number of customers you lost during a certain time frame, and divide that by the total number of customers you had at the very beginning of that time frame. (Don’t include any new sales from that time frame.)
For example, if a company had 500 customers at the beginning of October and only 450 customers at the end of October (discounting any customers that were closed in October), their customer churn rate would be: (500-450)/500 = 50/500 = 10%.
Refers to when a user is redirected to an advertiser’s website by ‘clicking’.
Click-through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of clicks an ad receives in relation to the number of impressions. (CTR = clicks over impressions.) This is an important metric involved in analyzing the effectiveness of an ad.
The practice of closed-loop marketing is being able to execute, track and show how marketing efforts have impacted bottom-line business growth. An example would be tracking a website visitor as they become a lead to the very last touch point when they close as a customer.
When done correctly, you’d be able to see just how much of your marketing investment yielded new business growth. One of the biggest business benefits of implementing an inbound marketing strategy and utilizing inbound marketing software is the ability to execute closed-loop marketing.
The information that is collected regarding what your competition is doing. Its purpose is to provide insights and inspiration to get your business ahead of theirs.
WhatRunsWhere offers premium tools to enhance your online and mobile marketing strategy so you can gain an upper edge on your competition.
A conversion path is a series of website-based events that facilitate lead capture. In its most basic form, a conversion path will consist of a call-to-action (typically a button that describes an offer) that leads to a landing page with a lead capture form, which redirects to a thank you page where a content offer resides. In exchange for his or her contact information, a website visitor obtains a content offer to better help them through the buying process. If you’re still having difficulty grasping the topic based on this description, feel free to absorb it as a rabbit hunting analogy in comic form.
In relation to inbound marketing, content is a piece of information that exists for the purpose of being digested (not literally), engaged with, and shared. Content typically comes in the form of a blog, video, social media post, photo, slideshow, or podcast, although there are plenty of over types out there. From website traffic to lead conversion to customer marketing, content plays an indispensable role in a successful inbound marketing strategy.
Content Management System (CMS)
A web application designed to make it easy for non-technical users to create, edit, and manage a website. Helps users with content editing and more “behind-the-scenes” work like making content searchable and indexable, automatically generating navigation elements, keeping track of users and permissions, and more.
Content Optimization System (COS)
A COS is basically a CMS (Content Management System), but optimized to deliver customers the most personalized web experience possible.
If content is king, then context is queen. Serving up valuable content is important, but ensuring that it’s customized for the right audience is equally (if not more) important. As buyers become more in control of what information they digest (again, not literally), it’s important to deliver content that’s contextually relevant. If you own a restaurant, you wouldn’t want to send a coupon for a steak dinner to a vegetarian, right? Unless you’re anti-herbivore, of course …
A more targeted form of advertising allowing advertisers to focus their resources on a select demographic or niche publishers. Ex. an ad for baby diapers will be placed on websites that predominantly attracts mothers.
The rate which an advertisement generates actual sales or signups for an advertiser. This differs from click-through rate in that it means that the customer has been successfully converted by the advertisement and has performed the goal action. This action can be anything from a purchase, a registration, a subscription to a service or mail list, etc.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The process of improving your site conversion using design techniques, key optimization principles, and testing. It involves creating an experience for your website visitors that will convert them into customers. CRO is most often applied to web page or landing page optimization, but it can also be applied to social media, CTAs, and other parts of your marketing.
A virtual token placed on a user’s computer allowing them to be identified with their browsing activity and visited website history.
Using these virtual tokens, sites like Google can compile a fairly comprehensive profile of a user simply through their cookies, allowing them to infer what content they might be interested in. This data allows sites to display customized content to users.
An online advertising pricing model that is calculated as cost divided by number of acquisitions. Ex. if you spend $200 on a campaign and get 10 acquisitions then your CPA is $20.
An online advertising pricing model that is calculated as the amount spent to get an advertisement clicked. Ex. for a $1 CPC, an advertiser pays a buck each time someone clicks the ad.
The amount it costs your marketing organization to acquire a lead. This factors heavily into CAC (customer acquisition cost), and is a metric marketers should keep a keen eye on.
The cost to an advertiser for every 1000 impressions an ad receives while placed on a publisher’s website. Ex: for a $10 CPM, an advertiser will pay $10 for every 1000 times the ad is shown.
The cost to an advertiser for each impression (view) their ad receives on a placement. Ex. if it cost 25 cents per view, an advertiser will pay 25 cents each time the ad is viewed.
Creating your own content can take more time than you have to lend to it — which is where crowdsourcing comes into play. Allowing subject matter experts, customers, or freelancers to create your content for you is a prime way to get more quality content published in less time. Compile the content you get back into a really awesome offer and give credit to all the contributors — a win-win for everyone involved.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Your total Sales and Marketing cost. To calculate CAC, follow these steps for a given time period (month, quarter, or year):
- Add up program or advertising spend + salaries + commissions + bonuses + overhead.
- Divide by the number of new customers in that time period.
For example, if you spend $500,000 on Sales and Marketing in a given month and added 50 customers that same month, then your CAC was $10,000 that month.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A set of software programs that let companies keep track of everything they do with their existing and potential customers.
At the simplest level, CRM software lets you keep track of all the contact information for these customers. But CRM systems can do lots of other things, too, like tracking email, phone calls, faxes, and deals; sending personalized emails; scheduling appointments; and logging every instance of customer service and support. Some systems also incorporate feeds from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets, and it’s what gives your entire website its style, like colors, fonts, and background images. It affects the mood and tone of a web page, making it an incredibly powerful tool. It’s also what allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes and device types.
Demand-side Platform (DSP)
A system that allows advertisers to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through a single interface. It aggregates advertisers and provides one location to purchase inventory from many publishers without requiring them to negotiate a direct media buy on a case by case basis.
Purchasing ad space directly from a website from the website owner. For example, doing a media buy on nba.com, would be an example of a direct media buy.
Placing banner ads on third-party websites with the goal of driving traffic to your own.
At WhatRunsWhere, we track display advertising on desktop sites, mobile web, as well as in-app.
Display/text ads or emails specifically created to directly communicate with leads or customers. The purpose is to initiate a direct response, such as a click or purchase.
A way to display different messaging on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor. For example, you could use Smart CTAs so that first-time visitors will see a personalized CTA (perhaps with a top-of-the-funnel offer) and those already in your database see a different CTA (maybe for content that offers a little more information about your product or service).
The ratio of revenue an ad earns per a hundred clicks. Ex: if an ad generated $1000 after receiving 1000 clicks, the EPC would be $1.
Ebooks are a common type of content that many marketers use, often to help generate leads. They are generally a more long-form content type than, say, blog posts, and go into in-depth detail on a subject.
It’s like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Maintaining an editorial calendar will keep you more organized and show you any gaps you may have in your content library. It also helps ensure you’re doing the right things for your personas and not going way off-track with the topics you’re covering. (Don’t have a proper calendar of your own yet?
The ratio of the total cost of a campaign over the total number of conversions it has generated. Ex: if $1000 is spent and it generated 100 sales from that spend, the eCPA would be $10 per conversion.
In its most basic sense, email stands for “Electronic Mail.” It’s a core component of marketing because it’s a direct connection to a contact’s inbox. However, with great power comes great responsibility, meaning it’s important for marketers to not abuse the email relationship with a contact. It’s far too easy for a contact to click “unsubscribe” after gaining their hard earned trust in your communication. Don’t blow it.
A popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction — Likes, shares, comments — a piece of content receives. Interactions like these tell you that your messages are resonating with your fans and followers.
Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader.
Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality, and canonical or definitive. These posts are typically a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide.
Facebook is a social network you’re likely quite familiar with already — but it has become so much more than just a platform to publish content and gain followers. You can now utilize the awesome targeting options available through Facebook advertising to find and attract brand new contacts to your website and get them to convert on your landing pages … but remember, you still need awesome content to do it.
The place your page visitors will supply information in exchange for your offer. It’s also how those visitors can convert into precious sales leads. As a best practice, only ask for information you need from your leads in order to effectively follow up with and/or qualify them.
Any element of your website that is confusing, distracting, or causes stress for visitors, causing them to leave your page. Examples of friction-causing elements include dissonant colors, too much text, distracting website navigation menus, or landing page forms with too many fields.
Ads that are targeted based on where a user is located. This can be a country, city, zip/postal code or even a distance radius.
Google+ (referred to as “Google Plus”) is a social network that allows you to join and create circles in which you can mix and match family members, friends, colleagues, and fellow industry members. While you can use it much like other social networks — to publish and share content, and generate new leads — it also provides content marketers with tremendous SEO value due to the rising importance of social sharing in search engine algorithms.
Google Display Network (GDN)
Makes advertising on websites easy and effective. Your AdWords ads will appear across a large collection of websites, mobile apps and video content.
Google Display Planner
Replaced Google Ad Planner. The improved Display Planner is a research and planning resource that integrates the Contextual Targeting Tool and Placement Tool. It is built right into AdWords so advertisers can directly modify their campaigns.
Hashtags are a way for you and your readers to interact with each other on social media and have conversations about a particular piece of content. They tie public conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram together into a single stream, which users can find by searching for a hashtag, clicking on one, or using a third party monitoring tool.
Data that is collected over a period of time in order to perform an analysis of how a campaign has changed or maintained over time.
WhatRunsWhere has been collecting data since late 2011. Quickly and efficiently access the history of an advertiser and see what they have been doing over the years. Uncover what is and isn’t working for them and use that information in your own campaigns.
A type of ad format that combines text and display images.
When searching for Hybrid Ads on the WhatRunsWhere platform, simply search for your advertiser of choice then click ‘Text/Hybrid Ads’. From there, you can uncheck ‘Text Ad’ to view any Hybrid Ads that advertiser may be running.
An “iFrame” refers to an Inline Frame. This is one HTML document embedded inside another HTML document which can then be hosted on a website. Commonly an iFrame is used to display third party content, like advertising, on a web-page.
This is the domain (or domains) that host the iFrame content which is then displayed on another site – ex. as an advertisement.
A measure of the number of times an ad has been seen.
An advertisement that appears within an application on a mobile device.
Use WhatRunsWhere mobile intelligence to see exactly what your competitors and top-performing advertisers are doing. View their full creative strategies, campaign overviews and use key performance indicators to spot what truly works within the mobile ecosystem.
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. It’s all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online, and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
An inbound link is a link coming from another site to your own website. “Inbound” is generally used by the person receiving the link.
Websites that receive many inbound links can be more likely to rank higher in search engines. They also help folks receive referral traffic from other websites.
A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way.
A formal printed order to run an ad campaign that includes such information as the website or ad network receiving the order, what ads are to be run (or who will provide them), ad sizes, start and end dates, rates, reporting requirements and possible penalties or stipulations relative to the failure to deliver the impressions and the out clause (the maximum time needed to stop the buy in case of failure or other issues).
Though initially a haven only for younger generations who wanted to post, edit, and share unique-looking photos, Instagram has grown into a premier social network that’s a viable opportunity for content marketers. Many businesses are taking advantage of the site by posting industry related photos that their followers and customers would enjoy seeing.
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an employee’s or an activity’s success. Marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry standard metrics. Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), blog traffic sources, and homepage views. Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing.
Sometimes referred to as “keyword phrases,” keywords are the topics that webpages get indexed for in search results by engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Picking keywords that you’ll optimize a webpage for is a two-part effort. First, you’ll want to ensure the keyword has significant search volume and is not too difficult to rank for. Then, you’ll want to ensure it aligns with your target audience
Any advertising that is linked to specific words or phrases.
WhatRunsWhere uses keywords to help narrow in on searches within our platform. Ex. Running the keyword search for “Online Dating” brings up all the ads that are related to this keyword.
A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.
A person or company who’s shown interest in a product or service in some way, shape, or form. Perhaps they filled out a form, subscribed to a blog, or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.
Generating leads is a critical part of a prospect’s journey to becoming a customer, and it falls in between the second and third stages of the larger inbound marketing methodology, which you can see below.
A lead is defined as a potential customer, therefore lead generation is using various sales and marketing tactics such as email marketing, paid search or tradeshows, etc. to generate new leads.
Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing,” lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it down the sales funnel. Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience — and lead nurturing helps foster this by providing contextually relevant information to a lead during different stages of the buying lifecycle.
LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. Nowadays, with more than 414 million registered members, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals and one of the top social networks overall. Getting on the platform, developing a completed profile, and networking has helped many a jobseeker find work.
These divisions serve as a way to describe the relationship you have with your audience, and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.
What’s important to understand about each of these stages is that not every piece of content you create is appropriate, depending on what stage your audience might fall in at that moment. That’s why dynamic content is so great — you can serve up content that’s appropriate for whatever stage that particular visitor is in
Lifetime Value (LTV)
A prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. To calculate LTV, follow these steps for a given time period:
- Take the revenue the customer paid you in that time period.
- Subtract from that number the gross margin.
- Divide by the estimated churn rate (aka cancellation rate) for that customer.
For example, if a customer pays you $100,000 per year where your gross margin on the revenue is 70%, and that customer type is predicted to cancel at 16% per year, then the customer’s LTV is $437,500.
A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, plus one or two additional words that refine the search term. For example:
- Head term: unicorn
- Long-tail keywords: unicorn games online, unicorn costumes for kids, unicorn videos on YouTube
Long-tail keywords are more specific, which means visitors that land on your website from a long-tail search term are more qualified, and consequently, more likely to convert.
The ratio of lifetime value (LTV) to customer acquisition cost (CAC). Once you have the LTV and the CAC, compute the ratio of the two. If it costs you $100,000 to acquire a customer with an LTV of $437,500, then your LTV:CAC is 4.4 to 1.
While there’s some overlap with the term “lead nurturing,” marketing automation is a bit different. Think of marketing automation as the platform with associated tools and analytics to develop a lead nurturing strategy. If you’ll let me run with an “art” analogy, marketing automation is the paintbrush, watercolors, and blank canvas. Lead nurturing is the artist that makes it all come together. Like Bob Ross! You can’t paint a happy little nurturing campaign without both.
The action or activity of gathering information about consumers’ needs and preferences. It involves figuring out what your market wants, how best to sell to them and who your competitors are.
The task of negotiating the price and placement to ensure the best possible value secured for an advertisement.
WhatRunsWhere offers premium tools for media buyers. We show you who is buying what, from where, the duration and much more.
Words or phrases that are often invisible to the user but helps to classify websites and content so users can find the site and navigate it more efficiently.
A cross between a landing page and a “regular” website. ElfYourself.com is a great example. Microsites are used when marketers want to create a different online experience for their audience separate from their main website. These sites often have their own domain names and distinct visual branding
Middle of the Funnel
This refers to the stage that a lead enters after identifying a problem. Now they’re looking to conduct further research to find a solution to the problem. Typical middle of the funnel offers include case studies or product brochures — essentially anything that brings your business into the equation as a solution to the problem the lead is looking to solve. Also, if you want to be cool, you can refer to this stage as “MOFU” for short.
Advertising that has been optimized for smartphone and tablets.
WhatRunsWhere tracks ads on both mobile web and in app.
With mobile search queries officially surpassing desktop queries, now is probably the time to explore mobile marketing. What is it? Well, mobile marketing refers to the practice of optimizing marketing for mobile devices to provide visitors with time- and location- sensitive, personalized information for promoting goods, services, and ideas.
Mobile optimization means designing and formatting your website so that it’s easy to read and navigate from a mobile device. This can be done by either creating a separate mobile website or incorporating responsive design in initial site layout. Google’s algorithm now rewards mobile-friendly websites, so if your site isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices, you will likely see a hit to your ranking on mobile searches.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
The amount of revenue a subscription-based business receives per month. Includes MRR gained by new accounts (net new), MRR gained from upsells (net positive), MRR lost from downsells (net negative), and MRR lost from cancellations (net loss).
A type of online advertising that takes on the form and function of the platform it appears on. Its purpose is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation. That means it’s usually a piece of sponsored content that’s relative to the consumer experience, isn’t interruptive, and looks and feels similar to its editorial environment.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
A customer satisfaction metric that measures, on a scale of 0-10, the degree to which people would recommend your company to others. The NPS is derived from a simple survey designed to help you determine how loyal your customers are to your business.
To calculate NPS, subtract the percentage of customers who would not recommend you (detractors, or 0-6) from the percent of customers who would (promoters, or 9-10).
When an advertiser purchases ad space through a third party network or agency such as Google Adwords and Bing Ads, etc.
A news feed is an online feed full of news sources. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users’ accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.
A no-follow link is used when a website does not want to pass search engine authority to another webpage. It tells search engine crawlers not to follow or pass credit to linked websites as a way to avoid association with spammy content or inadvertently violating webmaster guidelines. To varying degrees, the no-follow attribute is recognized by all major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Not all links (and linking domains) are created equal, and a no-follow attribute helps avoid any foul play.
Offers are content assets that live behind a form on a landing page. Their primary purpose is to help marketers generate leads for your business. There are many different types of offers you could create, including ebooks, checklists, cheat sheets, webinars, demos, templates, and tools.
This type of SEO is based solely on a webpage and the various elements within the HTML (see “H” if you skipped here directly). Ensuring that key pieces of the specific page (content, title tag, URL, and image tags) include the desired keyword will help a page rank for that particular phrase.
This is the free-spirited cousin of on-page optimization. Off-page SEO refers to incoming links and other outside factors that impact how a webpage is indexed in search results. Factors like linking domains and even social media play a role in off-page optimization. The good news is that it’s powerful; the not so good news is that it’s mostly out of an inbound marketer’s control. The solution? Create useful, remarkable content and chances are people will share and link to it
The process of testing and improving marketing efforts (website, display ads, landing pages, etc.) to achieve the best results.
A request to load a single web page on the internet. Marketers use them to analyze their website and to see if any change on the webpage results in more or fewer page views.
The amount of money spent to get a digital advertisement clicked. Also an internet advertising model where advertisers pay a publisher (usually a search engine, social media site, or website owner) a certain amount of money every time their ad is clicked. For search engines, PPC ads display an advertisement when someone searches for a keyword that matches the advertiser’s keyword list, which they submit to the search engine ahead of time.
PPC ads are used to direct traffic to the advertiser’s website, and PPC is used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of your paid advertising campaigns
Otherwise known as Affiliate Marketing. A commission is paid to an individual called an “affiliate” when they generate a referral in the form of a lead or sale, hence it is based on performance.
Pinterest is a visual social network typically used by ecommerce marketers, but not without its fair share of top-notch B2B and B2C content marketers. Businesses and consumers alike use the website to post images and photos they like so fellow users can repin (share) that content.
High quality ad inventory that is typically more expensive than remnant inventory.
An automated form of online advertising using a program to preset rules and algorithms. It allows marketers to better organize their data and execute highly targeted marketing campaigns.
A user or website that sells ad inventory such as MSNBC.com and Food.com, etc.
A contact that opted in to receive communication from your company, became educated about your product or service, and is interested in learning more. Marketing and Sales often have two different versions of qualified leads (MQLs for Marketing, and SQLs for Sales), so be sure to have conversations with your sales team to set expectations for the types of leads you plan to hand over.
The number used to grade the quality of ads on Google and Yahoo Bing. The quality score your ads are given is based on the relevancy of your ads, keywords and landing page, etc.
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded may be text, URL, or other data. It also starts with “Q,” which is a rarity with marketing-related terms.
Real-time bidding (RTB)
A technology that allows advertisers to bid on each ad impression as it is served. The highest bidder will have their ad displayed, and will be billed for each impression the ad receives. RTB platforms allow you to bid on a huge amount of inventory from many different sources in one interface.
A website that has redirected a visitor to another domain after the visitor has clicked a link.
Advertising space that a media company has been unable to sell and can typically be purchased at a steep discount.
This is the practice of developing a website that adapts accordingly to how someone is viewing it. Instead of building a separate, distinct website for each specific device it could be viewed on, the site recognizes the device that your visitor is using and automatically generates a page that is responsive to the device the content is being viewed on — making websites always appear optimized for screens of any dimension.
A form of online advertising that keeps your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. The goal is to keep bringing leads back to a site until a consumer converts – whether that be a sale or signup, etc.
Return on Investment (ROI)
A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency and profitability of an investment, or to compare the efficiency and profitability of multiple investments. The formula for ROI is: (Gain from Investment minus Cost of Investment), all divided by (Cost of Investment). The result is expressed as a percentage or ratio. If ROI is negative, then that initiative is losing the company money. The calculation can vary depending on what you input for gains and costs.
A re-posting of a tweet posted by another user on Twitter. Retweets look like normal tweets except for the retweet icon.
The course of time between the initial contact being made with a customer, the identification of services or goods to be procured, the acceptance of the intended purchase, and the transaction that completes the sale.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage’s on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results.
An email marketing term that refers to a reputation rating from 0-100 for every outgoing mail server IP address. Mail servers will check your Sender Score before deciding what to do with your emails. A score of over 90 is good.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
For marketers, an SLA is an agreement between a company’s sales and marketing teams that defines the expectations Sales has for Marketing and vice versa. The Marketing SLA defines expectations Sales has for Marketing with regards to lead quantity and lead quality, while the Sales SLA defines the expectations Marketing has for Sales on how deeply and frequently Sales will pursue each qualified lead.
A fun phrase used to refer to the practice of aligning Sales and Marketing efforts. In a perfect world, marketing would pass off tons of fully qualified leads to the sales team, who would then subsequently work every one of those leads enough times to close them 100% of the time. But since this isn’t always how the cookie crumbles, it’s important for Marketing and Sales to align efforts to impact the bottom line the best they can through coordinated communication.
A social app that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive photos and videos known as “snaps,” which are hidden from the recipients once the time limit expires. (Note: Images and videos still remain on the Snapchat server). Users can add text and drawings to their snaps and control the list of recipients in which they send them to.
A Snapchat story is a string of Snapchats that lasts for 24 hours. Users can create stories to be shared with all Snapchatters or just a customized group of recipients.
Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+ are examples of social media networks that one can join for personal or business use. Social Media is a core component of Inbound, as it provides marketers with additional channels to spread reach, increase growth, and reach business goals.
Social proof refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. It’s like when you see a really long line outside a nightclub and assume that club is really good because it’s in such high demand. In social media, social proof can be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. The idea is that if others are sharing something or following someone, it must be good.
Any software that is hosted by another company, which stores your information in the cloud. Examples: HubSpot, Salesforce, IM clients, and project management applications.
Split Testing / A/B Testing
The process of testing different elements to see what works best. Even the smallest changes such as adjusting the copy, color, font size or call-to-action can help improve conversion rates. To figure out what truly works, advertisers need to test, optimize and repeat on a regular basis.
Supply Side Platform (SSP)
A technology platform with the single mission of enabling publishers to manage their advertising impression inventory and maximize revenue from digital media.
Text-based form of online advertising that only uses words. Text ads can be used in both search and display campaigns. They are very popular for driving traffic and relatively easy to manage.
Top of the Funnel
Sometimes called “TOFU”, top of the funnel refers to the very first stage of the buying process. Leads at this stage are just identifying a problem that they have and are looking for more information. As such, an inbound marketer will want to create helpful content that aids leads in identifying this problem and providing next steps toward a solution. TOFU is also very tasty in certain Thai dishes.
Data sent and received from a given visitor on a webpage.
Any source that sends visitors to your website.
For the sake of creativity, I’ll define Twitter in 140 characters or less: “Twitter is a platform that allows users to share 140-character long messages publicly. User can follow one another and be followed back.” There you have it — a tweetable definition of Twitter.
A person who visits a website more than once within a period of time. Marketers use this term in contrast with overall site visits to track the amount of traffic on their website. If only one person visits a webpage 30 times, then that web page has one UV and 30 total site visits.
This is short for Uniform Resource Locator. I honestly didn’t know that before writing this definition. Basically, this is the address of a piece of information that can be found on the web such as a page, image, or document (ex. http://www.isthisworthit.com). URLs are important for on-page SEO, as search engines scour the included text when mining for keywords. If a keyword you’re looking to get indexed for is in the URL, you’ll get brownie points from search engines (but no real brownies, unfortunately).
User Experience (UX)
The overall experience a customer has with a particular business, from their discovery and awareness of the brand all the way through their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy of that brand. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to think like a customer, or better, think about being the customer.
User Interface (UI)
A type of interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device. A good user interface provides a user-friendly experience by allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in an intuitive way. It includes a menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and so on.
A grouping of brands or businesses that are targeting a similar niche.
This term is used to describe a piece of content that has become wildly popular across the web through sharing. Oftentimes, folks don’t know a piece they’re creating will be viral until it actually does, which is usually unfortunate if it’s particularly embarrassing.
Also known as a web-based seminar.
A report or guide that helps a reader understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision.
The passing of information from person to person. Technically, the term refers to oral communication, but today it refers to online communication, as well. WOM marketing is inexpensive, but it takes work and involves leveraging many components of inbound marketing like product marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.
A workflow is another way to describe a lead nurturing campaign. It’s a set of triggers and events that move a lead through the nurturing process. A workflow can also serve other purposes, such as adjust contact properties on a lead record based on certain conditions, or adding a contact record to a certain list. Regardless of how you use it, workflows can be a very powerful asset in an inbound marketing strategy.
We couldn’t leave “X” out of the party! An XML sitemap is a file of code that lives on your web server and lists all of the relevant URLs that are in the structure of your website. It’s kind of like a “floor plan” for the site, which especially comes in handy whenever the site gets changed. It also helps search engine web crawlers determine the structure of the site so they can crawl it more intelligently.
YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005. In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google. YouTube is the largest video-sharing site in the world and you’re probably on it now instead of finishing up this post.
We currently have no terms starting with "Z"
The road to success is always under construction.
We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
My buildings will be my legacy… they will speak for me long after I’m gone.
You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
If you cannot be on the project each day to check on things, then you should not try and be your own contractor.