Digital marketing acronyms 101

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, no doubt you’ve encountered a confusing sea of acronyms and terms. From SEO to PPC, we give you a rundown.

Navigating all the terminology in the world of digital marketing can be a little confusing. Still confusing your SEO for SEM and your CTA for CTR?

We’ve compiled a handy glossary of digital marketing acronyms so you’ll be up to speed in no time.

Search Engines

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Search Engine Optimisation is an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, and refers to the tactics you employ to help your content become more visible on search engine results pages.

SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages): These are the pages you see when you type a query into a search engine like Google or Bing. Paid ads generally appear at the top of the page, followed by organic (non-paid) results. You should aim to appear as high up on page one as possible for relevant search terms by using SEO tactics.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): Search Engine Marketing is used to refer specifically to paid search activities such as PPC ads set up through platforms such as Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords).

“Good website design ensures that the key actions you want your users to take stand out.”

Paid Digital and Social Media Advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click): Pay Per Click refers to paid ads that appear on search engine results pages. They are so-called because you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Because PPC ads appear first on a search engine results page, it’s important to ensure your business has a presence there.

CPC (Cost Per Click): This is the amount of money you spend for a single click on either a paid search ad or a social media ad. The lower your CPC, the better.

CTR (Click-through Rate): The click-through rate is also a common metric in paid search and social media advertising. It tells you the percentage of people who are seeing your ad and clicking through to your website, and it’s measured by taking the total number of clicks divided by the opportunities people had to click. The higher your CTR, the better your ads are performing.

SMO (Social Media Optimisation): SMO refers to the ways you optimise your social media platforms to increase traffic to your website.


CTA (Call to Action): The call to action is the engaging, attention-grabbing button or line of text that encourages someone to take action. This action could be anything from downloading an eBook to contacting you or booking a free consultation.

UGC (User Generated Content): User generated content refers to content that is produced by your customers, and it can be a highly effective inbound marketing tool when it’s done well. UGC encompasses things like guest blogs, reposts on social media, and Instagram or Snapchat takeovers.

UI (User Interface): User interface refers to the series of screens, pages, and visual elements that users interact with on a device such as websites, apps, wearables, and software. Good UI design has clear, consistent visual layouts and content which help users complete their desired actions quickly and efficiently.

UX (User Experience): User experience is the overarching experience that a customer has with your business, and all aspects of your digital marketing need to contribute to one that is both positive and consistent. Within this falls UX design, which refers to the way a website is set up to optimise usability, accessibility and positive experiences.

Learn more about the difference between UI and UX

Systems and Software

CMS (Content Management System): A Content Management System is what you use to create and manage the digital content on your website. WordPress is the most popular content management system, but you might be using others such as Joomla! or Drupal. Using a CMS, you can edit and index your website content, stay on top of users and permissions, and a whole lot more.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management): CRM is the strategy your business adopts towards building and maintaining relationships with customers. CRM systems, such as Salesforce, are IT platforms that store and organise information to give you a picture of who your customers and prospects are and how you’re interacting with them. You can use the insights generated by CRM software to improve the way you interact with customers, which is essential for acquisition and retention.

It’s one thing to know what these acronyms mean and another to effectively incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy. Our digitally-savvy team knows their stuff, and we speak your language.

Need help with content marketing for your niche or technical offering? Let’s have a conversation.

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