Digital marketing is rife with acronyms. From A/B testing to SEO to PPC, it can be tough to keep up with all of the jargon.
To help you out, we've compiled a list of some of the most common marketing acronyms you’re likely to come across, and their meanings. Next time you're reading an article or whitepaper on digital marketing, this guide will be here to salvage your sanity.
Table of Contents
Frequently Misunderstood Acronyms
PPC and CPC: Pay-per-click (PPC) is an advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. CPC, or cost-per-click, measures the overall cost to your business of each PPC ad click. In other words, it tells you how well your PPC campaign is performing and whether those clicks are resulting in qualified leads for your business.
ROAS and ROI: Return on ad spend (ROAS) is a marketing metric that measures the profitability of a marketing campaign. However, ROI, or return on investment, is a metric that measures the profitability of an investment. While ROAS looks at revenue, ROI looks at profit.
Additionally, ROAS only considers direct spend rather than the additional expenses associated with your campaign. ROAS is better for determining the efficacy of your ads but unlike ROI, it won’t be able to tell you whether your advertising efforts are profitable for the company as a whole. That’s why both metrics are used separately and in conjunction with one another.
For example, your ROAS can indicate that your ads are extremely effective, but your ROI can reveal that the overall ad project isn’t making the business any money.
SEO and SEM: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of organically improving the visibility and ranking of a website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). Meanwhile, search engine marketing (SEM) is the process of marketing a website or web page using paid advertising in order to improve its visibility and ranking.
SME: The term SME, or subject matter expert, is used often in digital marketing. A subject matter expert is someone who is considered an expert in a particular subject or field. In marketing, an SME would be someone who is extremely knowledgeable about marketing strategy, tactics and trends.
However, SME can also mean “small and medium enterprises.” When used in this context, it refers to businesses that are smaller in size and have fewer employees than large corporations.
UI and UX: UI and UX are commonly misunderstood and interchanged, but they carry very different meanings. UI stands for user interface, which refers to the graphical layout of a website or app and how a user interacts with it.
UX, on the other hand, is short for user experience and encompasses the overall experience a user has with a product, including its ease of use, functionality and design.
Digital Marketing Acronyms and Abbreviations (From A to Z)
A/B testing isn’t exactly an acronym or abbreviation, but it can be confused for one. It’s a method of comparing two versions of a web page or app against each other to see which one performs better. The "A" version is the control (the original), while the "B" version is the variant that's being tested.
BoFU: Bottom of the Funnel
This marketing acronym refers to the stage of the marketing funnel where prospects are closest to making a purchase. At this stage, marketing efforts should be focused on converting leads into customers.
BR: Bounce Rate
BR, or bounce rate, refers to the percentage of people who land on your web page and leave again within 3 seconds. A high BR can indicate that your page isn't relevant to what people are looking for, or that it's not user-friendly.
CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost
CAC is the amount of money that you spend to acquire a new customer. This is an important number to monitor because it allows you to track how much you're spending to acquire new customers, and compare that to the lifetime value of those customers.
CPA: Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Action
CPA is the amount of money a company spends to acquire a new customer.
CPC: Cost Per Click
CPC is the amount of money a company spends on marketing for each time a user clicks on one of their ads.
CPL: Cost Per Lead
CPL is the amount of money a company spends to generate a new lead. This can be from marketing campaigns, sign-ups on their website, or other methods.
CMO: Chief Marketing Officer
This is the senior executive responsible for overseeing all marketing activities within a company.
CR (or CVR): Conversion Rate
CR is the percentage of people who take a desired action on your website, email or app. This could be anything from making a purchase to subscribing to a newsletter.
CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO is the process of optimizing a website or landing page to increase the percentage of visitors who take a desired action. This could be anything from signing up for a newsletter to making a purchase.
CTA: Call to Action
A CTA is an element on a website or landing page that encourages the user to take a desired action. This could be anything from clicking a button to filling out a form.
CTR: Click-Through Rate
CTR, or click-through rate, is the percentage of people who see your ad and click on it. A high CTR is generally indicative of a well-targeted ad that is relevant to the user.
CX: Customer Experience
CX refers to the overall experience a customer has with a company, from their first interaction to after they've made a purchase.
DA: Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a metric created by Moz that measures the strength of a website's domain. A site's DA can range from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater ability to rank in search results. Those with a low DA may struggle to achieve high visibility.
DEM: Demand Marketing
DEM is a type of marketing that focuses on creating demand for a product or service through marketing initiatives.
GA: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It is the most widely used website statistics tool, and allows marketing agencies and website owners to see how their site is performing in terms of traffic and engagement.
IBL: Inbound Link
Inbound linking, or IBL, refers to the number of links pointing to a website from other websites. Inbound links are one of many factors that can influence a website's SEO and its ability to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs).
A site with more inbound links is generally seen as more authoritative and trustworthy, and is more likely to rank higher in SERPs.
KPI: Key Performance Indicator
A key performance indicator, or KPI, is a metric used to measure the success of a marketing campaign or website. Marketing agencies and website owners use KPIs to track progress and identify areas needing improvement. Common KPIs include website traffic, conversion rate, and time on site.
LTV: Lifetime Value
LTV is a metric that measures the profitability of a customer over the lifetime of their relationship with a business. It takes into account the revenue generated from a customer, minus the costs associated with acquiring and serving them.
LP: Landing Page
A landing page is a web page that serves as the entry point for a website. It is typically the first page a user will see when they visit a site, and is designed to encourage them to take a desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
Middle-of-the-funnel, or MoFU, marketing refers to marketing activities that aim to generate leads and convert them into customers.
MoFU marketing typically includes content marketing, lead generation and lead nurturing. It is designed to move prospects further down the sales funnel and closer to making a purchase.
MoM is a comparison of metrics from one month to the previous month. Common MoM comparisons include website traffic, conversion rate, and time on site.
Month-to-date, or MTD, is a marketing metric that measures the performance of a campaign or website over the course of a month.
This abbreviation simply stands for the word “marketing”!
MQL: Marketing Qualified Lead
A marketing qualified lead, or MQL, is a lead that has been identified as having a higher likelihood of becoming a paying customer. MQLs are typically generated through marketing campaigns and activities, such as website visits, white paper downloads or newsletter sign-ups.
Marketing agencies and website owners use MQLs to prioritize and focus their marketing efforts on the leads most likely to convert into customers.
OBL: Outbound Link
Outbound linking, or OBL, refers to the number of links pointing from a website to other websites. A site with more outbound links is generally seen as more authoritative and trustworthy.
PPC is a type of online marketing where you pay for each click on your ad.
PR: Public Relations
PR is a marketing tool that helps to create goodwill and positive relationships between a company and its customers or the public.
PV: Page View
A page view, or PV, is a metric that measures the number of times a web page has been viewed.
ROAS: Return on Ad Spend
Return on ad spend, or ROAS, is a marketing metric that measures the profitability of a marketing campaign. It’s calculated by dividing the revenue generated from an ad campaign by the advertising spend dedicated to that campaign. Marketing agencies and website owners use ROAS to track the performance of their marketing campaigns and optimize their spend.
ROAS = (Revenue Generated from Ads / Advertising Spend) x 100
ROI: Return on Investment
Return on investment, or ROI, is a metric used to measure the return on a particular investment. It’s essentially a ratio between your net profit and the net cost of your investment.
ROI = (Net Profit / Net Spend) x 100
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
SEM is a type of marketing that focuses on getting your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This can be done through optimizing your website for search engines, or through paid marketing initiatives such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in organic search engine results pages.
SERP: Search Engine Results Page
A search engine results page, or SERP, is the page that appears when a user types a query into a search engine. The SERP includes a list of results that are relevant to the query, as well as ads and other information.
SM: Social Media
Social media refers to the use of online platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to connect with others.
SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely
SMART is a framework that is often used when setting goals or objectives. It helps to ensure that goals are clear and attainable.
SME: Subject Matter Expert
SME stands for subject matter expert. This is someone who is an expert in a particular topic or field.
SME can also stand for small and medium enterprises.
SMM: Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing, or SMM, is the process of using social media platforms to promote a product, service, or brand. SMM includes activities such as creating and sharing content, managing social media accounts and running ads.
SQL: Sales Qualified Lead
A sales qualified lead, or SQL, is a lead that has been identified as having a high likelihood of becoming a paying customer. Sales teams use SQLs to prioritize and focus their selling efforts.
SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
SWOT analysis is a tool that is used to assess a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It can be used to make decisions about marketing strategy, product development and more.
ToFU: Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel, or ToFU, is the beginning stage of the marketing funnel. At this stage, potential customers are made aware of a product or service through marketing activities, such as advertising or content marketing.
ToFU marketing activities are typically focused on generating brand awareness and interest.
UGC: User-Generated Content
User-generated content, or UGC, is any content that is created by users of a product or service. UGC can include reviews, ratings, comments and more. Marketing campaigns that focus on user-generated content can be a powerful way to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
UI: User Interface
UI is the interface through which a user interacts with a product or service. UI can include graphical interfaces, such as those found on websites and apps, or non-graphical interfaces, such as voice-based interactions. Good UI is important for providing a good user experience, or UX.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator
A uniform resource locator, or URL, is a web address that can be used to access a specific web page. URLs typically include the protocol (http:// or https://), the domain name, and the path to the specific page.
USP: Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition, or USP, is a marketing message that highlights the unique benefits of a product or service. USPs are used to differentiate products and services from their competitors.
You may also see this term abbreviated as “UVP”, or unique value proposition.
UX: User Experience
UX refers to the overall experience a user has with a website or app. This includes everything from the way the site looks and feels, to how easy it is to use.
YoY growth is the percentage of growth that has occurred between one year and the next. YoY growth can be used to measure the performance of a company, product, or service.
Digital marketing acronyms don't have to be a headache. Keep this guide handy next time you're listening to a marketing pitch, reviewing your monthly report or catching up on some reading.
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