FYI: Here’s Some Digital Marketing Acronyms You Should Know

Digital Marketing Acronyms

In the world of digital marketing, acronyms are a dime a dozen. In fact, we often find ourselves bombarded by three and four-letter shorthand from all directions. It can all get quite confusing, to say the least.

It may seem trivial to mix up SEM with SEO, CPC with CPM, or CTA with CTR, but in the world of digital marketing acronyms, one letter can make a big difference. Here is a list of the most common (and most commonly misapplied) acronyms that every digital marketer should recognize and know how to spell out:

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO refers to organic (not paid) strategies, techniques, and tactics used to improve your visibility on search engines and increase the number of visitors to your website. The goal of SEO is to rank higher on a search engine’s results page (SERP — see? They never end) for a particular keyword/search term. The higher your website ranks, the more traffic is typically generated.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

By pure definition, SEM refers to any form of internet marketing that involves using search engines to increase the visibility of your website. This would, theoretically, include SEO. However, as organic SEO practices have expanded in use and importance, they’ve become somewhat autonomous and now occupy a category of their own. Therefore, SEM typically refers to paid advertisements on search engines.

CTA – Call to Action

CTAs are buttons, links, images, etc. that live on web pages or ads and encourage a visitor to take a specific action. That action can be anything from visiting a landing page to downloading a piece of content to filling out a web form. Learn more about what makes a good CTA here.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate is an indicator of how many users are responding to your CTA and clicking through to the next step in your marketing campaign. You can calculate CTR by dividing the number of clicks that a page or CTA receives by the number of total impressions (views) that page or CTA receives.

PPC – Pay Per Click

PPC is the name for a model of digital advertising where advertisers pay a given amount (see CPC below) every time somebody clicks one of their ads. PPC is an alternative/complement to SEO, as you’re spending money to get more visitors to your site as opposed to earning traffic through organic methods.

CPC – Cost Per Click

CPC is simply the amount it costs the advertiser every time someone clicks on their ad in a PPC model. This amount varies based on the popularity of certain keywords and other factors. You can use CPC as a measure of the cost effectiveness of your campaign; calculate it by dividing the total cost of your marketing campaign by the number of clicks you received.

CPM – Cost Per Thousand

An alternative to the PPC method of paying for ads, CPM is a pricing model where you pay a given amount per 1,000 ad impressions, or every time your ad is displayed 1,000 times. With this method, advertisers pay when their ads are shown, not clicked. For this reason, CPM is most effective when trying to increase brand awareness, not necessarily achieve a high CTR. Click here to learn which digital advertising pricing model is right for you.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

A KPI is a metric that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives. KPIs vary between organizations based on many different factors, but they’re crucial to track in order to analyze whether an organization’s digital marketing efforts are working over time.

SMM – Social Media Marketing

SMM is the practice of using social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snapchat as marketing tools. SMM can be advantageous because of the vast potential reach of social networks; if a marketer can create appealing content, it can spread quickly throughout different users’ own networks as they share it. SMM helps brands increase exposure and broaden the reach of their marketing.

UX – User Experience

UX refers to the overall experience a person has when using a product or service. In digital marketing, a positive user experience on your website, landing page, etc. will help you build trust and increase the likelihood of a user taking the next step in your campaign.

ROI – Return On Investment

ROI is important in digital marketing, as it indicates the profit or loss generated by a marketing campaign based on the amount of money invested in that campaign. Often, marketing ROI is measured by evaluating the number of qualified leads or conversions generated per dollar spent. Learn some steps to increase conversions and ROI from your digital marketing campaigns here.

Digital marketing acronyms can be confusing. However, there is no getting around the fact that we must conquer our industry’s lingo in order to become experts of our trade. If you can learn how to not only spell out but also understand the importance of each of the acronyms on this list, you are well on your way to becoming a digital master.