Understanding Digital Marketing Acronyms

As if it wasn’t hard enough to understand some digital marketing notions, you may have noticed that digital marketers tend to shorten a lot of expressions to acronyms. Some popular acronyms are also pronounced as words. If you find it hard understanding sentences like “LCP is an important KPI for SEO, SEA, CRO and UX,” you’ll find this guide really useful.

We’ve taken 20 of the most popular digital marketing acronyms and explained them for you.

CMS – Content Management System. Software like WordPress that is used to manage a website.

CPA – Cost Per Action. When paying for online advertising, how much it costs for each action completed by visitors such as filling out a form or purchasing products. The cost of advertising divided by the number of actions completed.

CPC – Cost Per Click. When paying for traffic, how much it cost per click on the ad. The cost divided by the number of clicks.

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization. Refers to actions that help improve conversion rates on a website. For example, increase the number of visitors that buy when visiting an online store without increasing the number of visitors.

CTA – Call To Action. Is an image or text that invites a visitor to accomplish an action. Basic examples are “Click here” or “Download our free guide” links. In a blog post, you may want to include a CTA to go to another page (where you sell your product for example).

CTR – Click Thru Rate. A percentage value. In the case of SEA, it would indicate the percentage of clicks on an ad divided by the number of impressions (views) it had.

GA – Google Analytics. The most popular web analytics software used to get detailed information on visitors who visit your web site.

HTML – HyperText Markup Language. This is the code that web pages are written in. It is not a programming language like Javascript but a markup language that describes how content should be displayed.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator. Data giving you information on the performance of a web site. Key meaning the most important ones.

LCP – Largest Contentful Paint. One of the three Core Web Vitals (also including FID and CLS) that Google uses to measure webpage performance. This one measures the loading performance.

ROI – Return On Investment. Can refer to the general notion of receiving a return from your investment but also a KPI that measures the amount earned from advertising spend.

RT – ReTweet – Originally specific to Twitter, means publishing someone else’s post to you own account.

SEA – Search Engine Advertising. Paying to be visible on search engines. For Google you can bid for keywords using Google Ads.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing. The overall discipline of marketing (brand, product, person, etc.) on search engines using all the types of results including organic (SEO) and paid (SEA).

SEO – Search Engine Optimization (or Search Engine Optimizer). Actually means optimizing sites for the organic results in search engines rather than optimizing search engines themselves. As a noun, also refers to a person who optimizes websites for search engines.

SERP – Search Engine Result Page. The results a search engine shows after a search. This will often contain a mix of different types of results such as local, organic and paid.

SMO – Social Media Optimization. On site optimization social media. This includes adding Open Graph tags and social share buttons.

SMM – Social Media Marketing. Marketing that you can do in social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, etc.

SXO – Search eXperience Optimization. A crossover of UX and SEO, this refers to user experience optimizations that can help search engine ranking. KPIs could be bounce rates or Core Web Vitals scores.

TTFB – Time To First Byte. Is the time it takes for data from a URL to start arriving after you have requested it, by clicking on a link for example. It’s important for SEO, SEA, CRO and UX.

UX – User eXperience. The term is not specific to digital marketing and suffers from a lot of definitions. If you have a WordPress site it can mean what your visitors think of your website and the ease with which they find the information they are looking for.

WP – WordPress. The most popular CMS in the World.

Hopefully that list of definitions will help you speak digital marketing too! If you think that we have missed out any keywords or you would like to comment on our definitions, feel free to use the comments box below.

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