Marketing Terms You Should Know

Laura Ferruggia
February 27, 2023
16 min read
marketing terms word cloud

Marketing is full of terms and acronyms that marketers expect you to know.

Knowing what SEO stands for or what a WYSIWYG is is helpful for you and your team.

If you’re in a weekly or monthly meeting with one of our marketing strategists then they may throw around some of these terms loosely.

To help keep you in the loop, we’ve put together this glossary of marketing terms so you can fully understand your online marketing successes.

General Marketing Terms

Understanding basic marketing principles and tools will help you reach the right audiences at the right time and provide an excellent customer experience.

  • Account-Based Marketing (ABM) – a marketing strategy involving the collaborative efforts of both Marketing and Sales team members. ABM targets specific accounts with the right content, keeps both teams on the same page, and saves time and energy spent marketing to companies who aren’t a good fit for a business’s products or services
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management. CRM software is used for managing, supporting, and communicating with your customers. These tools streamline communication efforts, improve the customer experience, manage important customer data, and more
    • Members of your team can use CRM software to ensure everyone is up-to-date on customer information, changes, follow-ups, and more.
    • HubSpot, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics are all examples of CRMs.
  • ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP software is used by businesses to oversee and carry out aspects of their daily operations. An ERP brings different information together, such as financials, reporting, human resources, operations, and more
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – the total profit that a business can anticipate to receive from a particular customer during their entire partnership
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – a specific metric that your business can measure to determine levels of success
    • KPI categories can include marketing, sales, financial, customer support, IT, management, and more.
  • Marketing Automation – removing tedious, manual tasks for your staff and leveraging technology and automation to complete them without a large amount of human effort
  • Marketing Funnel (top, middle, bottom) – a visualization of your target audience’s journey, starting from the awareness of their problem to the moment they are ready to make a purchase and solve the problem
    • Top: many more people will be at the top of your funnel, but they will be the least ready to buy. These people have just heard about your business and are exploring options.
    • Middle: the number of people in your funnel will decrease as you reach the middle, but they will be more aware of your business. These people are looking for more information to guide their final purchasing decision.
    • Bottom: fewer people will be at the bottom of your funnel, but they will be the most likely to buy. They have already learned about your business and are preparing to make their purchasing decision.
  • MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead. An MQL is a prospect who has engaged with your business content and has a higher likelihood of becoming a customer in the future. They are generally not ready to speak with your sales team just yet
  • SQL – Sales Qualified Lead. An SQL is a prospect who has displayed a great amount of engagement and interest in your business, so the next logical step is to meet with your sales team
  • Buyer’s Journey – the path your audience takes to becoming a customer. The three stages of the buyer’s journey are Awareness, Consideration, and Decision
    • Awareness: The first stage of the buyer’s journey is when the buyer initially becomes aware of their problem or issue.
    • Consideration: In this stage, the buyer considers different solutions for their problem.
    • Decision: Finally, the buyer decides how to solve their problem and makes a purchasing decision.


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving your website to increase rankings on search engines.

These terms will help you optimize your website so you can grow organic traffic and make your content easier to find.

  • Canonical URLs – indicates when there is a possibility of multiple web pages having the same or similar content
    • Marking one of the pages as canonical means it will be the one that shows up in search results. It also ensures Google won’t penalize your site for content duplication.
    • The best practice for canonical URLs is to place one on the homepage of your website, since your homepage is likely to reference some of the content on other pages as an overview of your site.
  • Keyword Research – used to determine the words or phrases that are trending for your business, service, subject matter, or industry on search engines
    • Your goal should be to find keywords relevant to your target audience. From there, you can optimize content on your website for these key phrases to help users find your business
  • Meta Titles and Descriptions – used to convey the content and relevance of your web pages. These fields are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) and are important for ranking your content
    • Meta Titles communicate the point of your page in title format and should use relevant keywords for that topic. The optimal length of a meta title is 65 characters.
    • Meta Descriptions provide more information about the subject of your page. Keywords are helpful to include, but are not a ranking factor. The optimal length of a meta description is 150-160 characters.
  • H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 – the headings, or subsection titles, for your web page or blog post. Google will scan these section titles for relevancy to a particular search
    • Each page should only have one H1. H2s will branch off from the main idea of the H1. If there are subtopics associated with your H2s, you’ll use an H3, and so on.
    • Focus on creating eye-catching headings with relevant keywords to increase your page’s chances of ranking.
  • Page Speed – the rendering speed of your website’s content, or how long it takes to load
    • Long load times may increase your website’s bounce rate because users won’t stay around long enough to find their answers.
    • Your website’s landing page should be optimized for page speed more than any other page on your website
  • Crawl Budget – the number of pages Google will crawl from your website each day
    • By optimizing your crawl speed, you can optimize how many of your web pages Google wants to crawl every day.
    • Ensure that all of your pages link to each other to help Google find the important pages on your website.
  • Internal Linking – webpages that link to other pages within your website
    • Internal linking helps Google see that your content is related to each other, allows users to find related content, and builds authority for your website.
    • Keep all of your links accurate and current; never rely on 301s for internal linking.
  • Backlinking – other websites that link to web pages on your website
    • A high-quality backlink profile can give your website the extra boost it needs to outrank similar content.
    • The best backlinks come from sources that search engines trust. Google looks at whether a website has a backlink profile that suggests authoritative sources are giving it a vote of confidence.
  • Sitemap and XML Sitemap – shows a list of all of the pages on your website
    • Search engines use your sitemap as their own directory and roadmap instructions.
    • Submitting your sitemap allows Google to see when you have new pages added to your website so they can be properly indexed.
    • An XML sitemap is a sitemap meant for consumption by search engines and includes links to every page you want search engines to crawl.
  • Core Web Vitals
    • Largest Contentful Paint – the amount of time it takes for the largest content element to load on a webpage
      • Large elements are typically images, videos, or large block-level text.
    • Cumulative Layout Shift – the total of all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs on a page
      • If page elements shift while a user is visiting a page, it will create a poor user experience.
      • Larger numbers mean there is more layout shift on that page.
    • First Input Delay – the elapsed time from when a user first interacts with your page (clicking a link, call-to-action button, etc.) to when the browser responds to their interaction
      • This is important in cases where the user needs to take specific action
  • Orphan Pages—pages that aren’t linked to from any other pages on your website
  • Cornerstone Content Pieces—contain related posts and resources in one spot and provide detailed information on a specific topic.
    • Help organize content and show connections between related web pages.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)—The percentage rate of clicks divided by the number of times shown.  For SEO, you can divide your clicks in Google Search Console by your total impressions to determine your CTR.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be a confusing place if you don’t know what each metric and number means. This section will break down the main terms you should know within the interface.

  • Users – the number of unique visitors.
    • Users are defined by a unique ID – this ID is usually stored in a cookie.
    • Whenever the Google tracking code is executed, it looks for cookies on the browser set by the current domain. If they can’t be found, new cookies with a new ID are set.
  • Sessions – how many visits to your site. One user can visit multiple times, so this number will always be equal to or higher than Users.
    • The session ends after the user either closes the browser, clears cookies, or is inactive for 30 minutes.
  • Session Duration – how long an average visitor stays on your site.
  • Pageview – A pageview is recorded every time a page is viewed.
    • When a user hits the back button, a pageview is recorded.
    • When a visitor hits refresh, a pageview is recorded.
    • Every time a page is opened in the browser, regardless of whether it has been cached, a pageview is recorded.
  • Pages/Visit – Page Views divided by visits. This metric shows the average number of pages viewed per visit.
  • New Visitor – A visitor who did not have Google Analytics cookies when they hit the first page in this visit. If a visitor deletes their cookies and returns to the site, they will be counted as a new visitor.
  • Returning Visitor – A visitor with existing Google Analytics cookies from a previous visit.

Behavior of the Website Visitor

  • Time on Page – measured by subtracting the time a visitor hits a page from the time they hit the next page.
    • (e.g., If they hit Page 1 at 12:00 and hit Page 2 at 12:03, the time on Page 1 is three minutes.)
  • Time on Site – it is the difference between the time they viewed the first page and the last page in a visit.
  • Bounce Rate – how many visitors leave your site without visiting a second page or having an event interaction.
  • Event Tracking – A feature that allows you to track visitor activities separately from pageviews. This is commonly used to track clicks, scrolls, chat interactions, phone call clicks, and more.
    • Events are shown in reports with these metrics. They are ways of organizing the data. Example:
      • Category – Scroll
        • Means the event tracked was a user scrolling on the site
      • Actions – 50%
        • Means they scrolled 50% of the depth of the page
      • Labels –
        • Means they did this 50% scroll on the about page
  • Landing Page – The page a visitor first comes to when they enter the site
  • Conversions – A desirable action such as a phone call or form being submitted. These are tracked to show the quality of the visitors.
  • Conversion Rate – The number of conversions divided by the number of sessions. A higher percentage shows users are more likely to convert when they come to your website and they are finding their way to the conversion easily

Sources of Traffic

  • Direct Traffic – Ideally, this is the traffic that came to a site via bookmarks or by directly typing in the URL.
    • Important – traffic for which the code couldn’t determine a source is attributed here.
      • Using campaign variables will get around this misrepresentation every time.
  • Referring Sites – This is traffic for which (1) a referrer was identified, (2) the referrer is not a search engine, and (3) there are no campaign variables. The referring URL (a.k.a. the page that contains the link to your website) is also stored for referrals.
  • Search Engine Traffic – Google Analytics automatically categorizes traffic as coming from a search engine if the referring URL is from its list of known search engines and there is a search term identified in that URL. Both organic and paid search engine traffic is put into this group.

Website Terms

Your business website should reflect your brand and values while making it easy for users to find what they need.

If you’re building a new website or refreshing your current one, these terms will keep you aligned with your design and development team.

  • Wireframe – a depiction of the main layout, features, and navigation of a new website without including style, color, content, and other design aspects
    • Wireframes can improve the website creation or redesign process by keeping everyone on the same page.
    • They also keep the overall user experience in mind and focus on website functionality.
  • Moodboard – a collection of imagery, typography, color schemes, and more to set the tone and guide the vision of your website or marketing material
  • DNS – the records that connect your website files (the pieces that make up your website and its corresponding data) with the domain (the name of your website)
  • CMS – short for Content Management System. With a CMS, you can create, maintain, and update a website without coding knowledge
    • These systems are typically user-friendly, support collaboration between multiple users, and provide scalability through templates and extensions.
    • WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and HubSpot are all examples of a CMS.
  • Web Hosting – the process of sharing your website online for users to access. Websites live on web servers, which host your files and allow users to view your website
    • Uptime, page load speed, customer service, and security are key factors to consider when choosing a hosting provider. Features, pricing, and terms of service are also necessary to keep in mind.
  • UX – user experience. UX is an individual’s overall experience navigating and browsing your website
    • Their impressions may be based on these areas and more:
      • Is your website intuitive to use, or outdated and clunky?
      • Is information organized cleanly and simply?
      • Is it easy to find what they need?
      • How long does it take to access information?
      • Is your brand identity clearly expressed?
    • If your website provides an excellent user experience, it’s likely that users will want to stay longer and explore more.
  • Thank You Page – webpages that are the best ways to track conversions, asking for follow-up information right after a user has converted
    • Whenever a user visits your website and fills out a contact form, they should be taken to a thank you page.
    • You can use these pages to track conversion metrics, but be sure to tell Google not to crawl them so your data isn’t skewed.
  • A/B Testing – an experiment that enables you to compare two versions of a webpage, email, or other marketing material. Also called split testing, it involves splitting your website visitors or audience in half and showing Version A to one group and showing Version B to the other group. From there, you can analyze the performance of each version and see which resulted in greater conversions or desired actions.
    • Common A/B tests include email subject lines, webpage design, CTA button text and colors, and more.


Branding is essential to help your business resonate with prospects and build engagement with current clients.

These terms will highlight different parts of the branding process and how they help paint a complete picture of your business.

  • Branding – when a business takes on a human persona with human characteristics and attempts to make connections, build trust, and nurture relationships with new or existing customers
  • Brand Archetypes – define core human behaviors by segmenting brands into different, universally recognized categories
    • Brand archetypes make it easy to take on a specific personality, connect with your target audience, and keep your message consistent.
    • Brand archetypes include The Hero, The Caregiver, and The Sage.
  • Brand Awareness – the level of familiarity that customers have with a brand, including its imagery, personality, and identity
  • Brand Persona – the character that a brand emulates, which is vital in creating human connections
  • Brand Personality – the human characteristics of a brand
    • Brand archetypes provide a solid structure for brand personality and help keep it defined and familiar so it resonates with target audiences
  • Brand Presence – visual expression of a brand, including the website, social media presence, print materials, physical store, branded environments, and more
  • Brand Positioning – defines the unique space that a business occupies within its market, its core differentiators, and what it wants to be remembered for in the marketplace
  • Brand Strategy – helps a business build a specific relationship with a specific group of people through a specific message
  • Brand Substance – defines internal human characteristics and who a business is as a brand beyond commercial benefits
  • Brand Voice – language and vocabulary used in a brand’s messaging

Meet Laura Ferruggia

Laura Ferruggia

Laura joined Miles IT in 2014, and in her current role of Marketing Strategy Director, she leads and supports our amazing and multi-talented team in providing high-quality consulting and services. With experience spanning from content writing to web development and paid advertising over 9+ years, Laura is equipped to take a holistic approach when discussing marketing and website solutions with businesses.

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