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SEO, SEM, PPC, OMG! A Glossary of Online Marketing Terms

By Snap Agency October 3, 2013

Okay, we get it… enough with the TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).  In the world of digital marketing there are far too many acronyms and terms that are not always easy to understand.

Here is a glossary of commonly used digital marketing terms and acronyms:

SEO: Search Engine Optimization: SEO is the practice of designing, promoting and improving a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines such as Google and Bing. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to your site. Sometimes SEO is simply a matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand. (MOZ)

PPC: Pay Per ClickPPC advertising is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. In Google these ads are shown at the top of a search results page. The advertiser will pay a varying dollar amount every time someone clicks on the ad.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing: An all encompassing term referring to the tactics involved with increasing a website search engine rank. Both SEO and PPC advertising are strategies used for SEM.

CPC: Cost Per Click: This refers to the dolar amount a business pays for each click in a Pay Per Click campaign

CPA: Cost Per Acquisition:  A metric used to determine the cost to acquire a new customer. A good metric for ecommerce companies to pay close attention to and ultimately lower the cost.

CTR: Click Through Rate: A metric used to measure the success of a campaign. Typically used in conjunction with organic and paid impressions. Industry standard CTR of paid impressions is between 1.5% – 2.5%. An organic search CTR can range from 2%-35%.

Local SEO: Also referred to as Local Directories. Think of the Yellow Pages in a digital format. In addition to search engines such as Google there are online directories that specialize in providing local business and service information to customers that are searching for that information online. Examples of these directories are Google+ Places, Yelp, Local.com, and Yahoo Local. These listings are displayed separately from your website on a search engine.

Mobile Enabled Website: Also called Mobile Optimized Website. This is a version of your website that is built to display correctly on internet enabled smart phones such as the iPhone. Mobile Optimized Websites offer an easier to read and navigate platform for users and scales down images for viewing on a smaller screen.

Organic Listing: Also called Organic Result. These are search results that the search engine will present to users based on relevance to the search phrase. These listings appear below or alongside paid advertisements. Often times these listings displayed within the first results page are due to the effort of good search engine optimization.

ROIL Return on Investment: The financial or reward outcome such as a qualified lead divided by the amount of time, money or resources required to get the sale or lead.

ROE- Return on Engagement: This phrase is the new buzz word in social media marketing. Like ROI, this measure takes into account the non-monetary return realized in social media campaigns. The success metric here could be how many Facebook Likes you get for 3 hours of time invested in Facebook.

Search Engine: Google, Yahoo, and Bing account for over 90% of online searches. With Google owning 67% of the market share.

Social Media Channel: Any online destination where the main purpose is connecting with other people, brands or companies in a social manner. These channels include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Google+.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page: Just like it sounds this the list of results when you enter a search on a search engine.