It is a fact that modern consumers are becoming more and more active on the internet today. Digital marketing now brings multiple benefits as it reaches potential customers and since it is an ever-changing strategy, marketers should stay on top of the latest trends and adapt to constant changes.

Ideally, a digital marketer should be able to understand the “what” and “why” behind each term of digital marketing. The “what” is usually simple, such as the acronym.  The “why”, however, delves deeper into the meaning of each term for the business.

So, if you are looking for a way to enrich your vocabulary in digital marketing, you are in the right place. In this article, you’ll learn the “what” and “why” behind a list of 20 digital marketing terms.

We have avoided analyzing key terms such as “social media”, “website” and “advertising” while focusing on those that are vague and marketers have overlooked.


  1. Conversion Rate / CR

The conversion rate is the percentage of customers who completed a desired action. This can be anything from opening an e-mail to making a purchase.

As marketers, it’s important to be able to adjust your conversion rate data, which on average varies by marketing channel and industry.


  1. Push Marketing

It refers to promotional efforts designed to send a targeted message to a set of potential or existing customers.

Examples of push marketing include targeted email, TV, and radio ads.


  1. Pull Marketing (or Inbound Marketing)

It refers to promotional efforts designed to attract sales prospects to your website, brand, and products/services.

Examples of pull marketing include SEO (search engine optimization) and social media marketing.


  1. Customer acquisition

It refers to all sales and marketing activities involved in acquiring a customer.


  1. Customer acquisition cost / CAC

Indicates the average acquisition cost of a customer. You can calculate this using the following formula: sales and marketing expenses + total number of customers = customer acquisition cost.

This number is very important because combined with customer lifetime value, it can tell you a lot about the profitability of your business model.


  1. Customer lifetime value / CLV

It tells you how much revenue a customer generates for your business. There are several ways to calculate it. One of the simplest is: average purchase amount x frequency of purchases = lifetime value of the customer.

Here are some rules of thumb you can use to analyze your business model using CLV and CAC: If CLV divided by CAC is higher than one, each incremental customer costs you money. If CLV is divided by CAC is less than one, then each incremental customer makes money.

In general, having a CAC that’s about a quarter to a third of your CLV is considered a good foundation for profitability. If your CAC costs are lower than that, you may be under-investing in customer acquisition.


  1. Search engine optimization / SEO

Search engine optimization is one of the most common marketing terms faced by digital marketers.

Simply put, SEO is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to your website from unpaid web search results. SEO excludes paid search.


  1. Search Engine Marketing / SEM

Search engine marketing is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website using SEO and paid ads.

Simply put: SEO + Paid Search Results = SEM


  1. Search engine results page (SERP)

The search engine results page (SERP) is the page of results that a user sees when they type a term into a search engine.

The higher the SERP ranking for a given term, the more likely a user is to click on your result.


  1. Impression

It is a case of displaying a piece of web content. Often, the term is used in the world of paid online ads.


  1. Clickthrough rate / CTR

Click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of clicks a campaign receives relative to the number of impressions. A higher CTR often indicates that campaigns resonate more effectively with viewers.


  1. Cost per mille / CPM

Cost-per-millimeter (CPM) is one of the few marketing terms that use Latin. “Mille” means “thousand” while CPM stands for cost per thousand impressions. CPM is often used to determine the price of a given paid campaign.


  1. Cost per click / CPC

It refers to the cost of each click within a paid search campaign. With the CPC model, you can pay based on clicks and is popular on pay-per-click platforms like Google Ads.


  1. Customer relationship management / CRM

Customer relationship management is the process of creating, maintaining, and strengthening an organization’s relationship with its customers. For many digital marketing professionals, CRM software is an important aspect of effective CRM because the right software can enable scalable contact management, customer segmentation, automation of marketing efforts, and sales analysis.


  1. Content management system / CMS

A content management system is a type of software designed to simplify the process of creating a website and publishing content. CMS software, like the hugely popular WordPress platform, can help streamline everything from content management, SEO to user management.


  1. Marketing analytics

Marketing analytics and digital marketing go hand in hand. Digital or non-digital marketing analysis is a data-driven approach to measuring marketing effectiveness.

With the data marketers can capture from social media, web forms, and other media, marketing analytics can trigger insights that make future campaigns more effective.


  1. Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the ratio of how many users “bounce” after visiting your site. A “bounce” is a visit to your website that does not involve that of the user on other pages or taking any other actions as he lands on a single page and leaves.

  1. Return on investment / ROI

ROI is the percentage of return achieved on a given investment. The difficult part of ROI in the marketing world is the return on sales in each promotional campaign.


  1. A/B Test

A/B testing, sometimes referred to as split testing, measures the effectiveness of two different versions of the same thing. In the world of digital marketing, what is often tested is a website, a social media campaign, an email campaign, a digital advertisement, or a sign-up form.

For effective A/B testing, digital marketers must control all variables except the one they test, avoid bias in how the test is delivered, and record a large enough sample size. In many cases, CRM or email marketing software can help with implementing A/B testing.


  1. Customer segmentation

Customer segmentation is the process of categorizing and segmenting customers based on different criteria. Its goal is to allow you to group customers based on their needs, interests, and budget, as well as their potential value to your business.

By properly segmenting your customers’ contact information, you can send more targeted and useful information that your customers are more likely to find engaging. For instance, proper customer segmentation is a big part of creating an effective email explosion. You can also boost conversion rates and overall marketing ROI.


While memorizing a list of marketing terms you need to know has its advantages, understanding the “why” behind each term is more important.

For example, customer segmentation matters because it enables you to send more useful and targeted information to your potential customers. Similarly, ROI, CAC, and CLV help you understand the profitability of your efforts.

By focusing on the “why,” you can better understand how to customize the term and make sure you’re focused on using it — or not — to promote your marketing efforts.