The Ultimate Glossary: Online Marketing Terms for SMBs

By Sarah York | | Tagged Marketing your online store, Starting an Online business

As an essential component to your website’s success, your business can’t afford to overlook online marketing. If you’ve just built your website or never tried online marketing before, there can be a lot of new and confusing terminology to master. Don't Worry - Here’s a simple breakdown of the terms you need to know and what they mean.

Getting Started - General Online Marketing Terms

Online Presence- All of the activities your business participates in on the internet. Your website, social media posts, and blog are all part of your online presence. 

Online Reputation Management- To monitor and improve a business’s online reputation with a specific focus on it’s search results performance.

Content Marketing- Creating and publishing media to ultimately drive new business (e.g. blog posts, videos, photos, email newsletters, e-books). The aim of content marketing is to position your business as a leader in your industry by providing useful and relevant information to customers.

Blog- A website, or a section of a website devoted to long-form, written content. Blog content is frequently updated with new “posts”, usually written in an informal, conversational style. Used by both individuals and businesses, it’s a written way to express your knowledge and thoughts on a particular topic.

Content Curation- High-quality, share-worthy media (photos, videos, blog posts, news articles, etc) that is handpicked to tailor to a particular audience.

E-Mail Marketing- Reaching your customers through email with newsletters and promotions.

Social Media Marketing- Promoting a business and/or website through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube. 

Market Online For Free! - Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Terms

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- The free discipline of making your website easy to find on search engines. SEO means several factors work together to build your website’s visibility like: website content, mobile-friendliness, website quality (speed to load pages, duplicate pages, broken links, etc), website architecture and geophysical location to name a few. 

Keyword- Tags that you assign to your website or blog that categorize and describe what it’s about. Using keywords makes it easier for your website/blog to be found through search. 

Short Tail Keyword- a short, generic search term that will return broad results. For example, “diamond”.

Long Tail Keyword- a specific, detailed phrase (usually contains more than 3 words) to narrow search results. It generally contains a short-tail keyword. For example, “where to buy conflict free diamonds online”. Long tail keywords are also useful for paid search marketing campaigns. 

Meta Keywords- Tags in your website code (website architecture) to help describe the content of the pages to search engines.

Meta Description- The text blurb that shows up in search results to describe a website.

Organic Search Results- Search engine results directly related to the relevance of the search words used; not any paid marketing effort.

Organic Traffic- Visitors to your website that you didn’t pay to find you. Their Google search terms led them directly to your website.

Inbound Link- When someone posts a link to your website from their website. This leads traffic to you and is important contributor to SEO.

Go Beyond SEO - Paid Advertising Terms

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)- The paid discipline of making your website easy to find on search engines. SEM works in tandem with SEO to increase the success of your website with sponsored listings, and pay-per-click advertising through programs like Google AdWords or Bing Ads.

Non-Organic Search Results- Search engine results that are influenced by paid marketing efforts.

Non-Organic Traffic- Visitors to your website that came through paid marketing campaigns

Impressions- The number of times an ad is viewed. 

Cost Per Impression- The dollar amount paid for each view. 

Pay Per Click (PPC)- A type of paid online advertising campaign. A business posts an ad on a website or search engine (like Google) and then pays the website or search engine each time that ad is clicked.

Cost Per Click (CPC)- The dollar amount paid for each click in Pay Per Click ad campaign.

Click Through Rate (CTR)- A measurement of success for online marketing campaigns. The percentage of people who saw a link (on a webpage, in an email, or as an advertisement) and clicked on it. Generally, the higher the CTR, the more successful the campaign.

Google Adwords- A service where you can purchase pay-per-click advertising from Google. This is a type of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) to boost your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Measure Online Marketing Success - Website Analytics Terms

Analytics- Measurements of what’s happening on your website/blog to provide valuable insight on how your website is found and used. Analytics include basic things like: how many unique visitors your website had and where those visitors came from, marketing campaign statistics, and which pages on your website have the most visitors.

Web Traffic- How many people land on your website.

Unique Visitors- A count of how many new, original people visited your website/blog. Even if they visited your website 10 times in one day, they are counted as one unique visitor.

Page Views- The total number of webpages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted as separate page views.

Bounce Rate- The percentage of visitors who leave a website without navigating beyond the first page.

Engagement Rate- The amount of interaction people have with your online presence. Engagement rate measures how many likes, comments and shares on your social media and blog.

Call to Action (CTA)-  A visual focal point on your website that invites customers to act. Common examples of Call to Action are “Buy Now” or “Signup Here” or “Enter your email”. 

Conversion Rate- The percentage of people visiting your website who participate in the Call to Action. For example, how many website visitors entered their email addresses when prompted or clicked the “Buy Now” button.


Online Marketing is essential for any business that wants to grow. Whether you want free or paid options for your business, this glossary is a great starting point to understand the basics. Bookmark this page to refer back to when creating your business’s online marketing strategy.


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