The world of digital marketing and copywriting can seem littered with unfamiliar terms at times. Here we help you navigate your way through all of those words that have you thinking: what does that mean?


The 3-pack is the list of 3 businesses that appear beneath the map on Google when you search for something in a specific location. Also referred to as the ‘local pack’ and the ‘local SEO 3-pack’. For example, when you type ‘taxis Derby’ into Google, you will see something that looks like this:

image of google local 3-pack for taxi firms in derby

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is when commission is paid for referrals or sales. A celebrity promoting a brand or product on their social media might offer a discount to their followers if they use a specific code. Any purchases made using this code would then generate commission for the celebrity. This is an example of affiliate marketing. 

AI Assistant

An AI assistant responds to the voice of the user and can carry out basic tasks or look up the answers to questions. For example, reading emails out loud or composing a text message. The Amazon Echo is an AI assistant, as is Siri on iPhones. They are also known as digital assistants and virtual assistants.


Algorithms are sets of rules or commands that are followed to achieve a particular result. For example, Google has an algorithm that determines which results will show up where when you search for something. However, it’s top-secret to stop people beating the system!

Alt Text

Alt text is the text that will show up in place of an image if the image doesn’t load. It is usually a specific description of the image and often includes keywords. Alt text is used to help visually impaired visitors and also enables search engines to understand and rank your website better.


Analytics is the process of uncovering patterns in data. This is useful both for taking stock of your performance and for predicting future results or outcomes. In digital marketing, analytics tools are often used to monitor the performance of marketing campaigns. 

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text on a webpage that contains a link you can click on. It is usually in a different colour – often blue – and underlined. The text reads as part of the article but it contains a hyperlink to another page. This might be a link to an external page or an internal page. 


Automation in digital marketing is when you use software tools to automate a lot of your tasks. It can be very efficient and save you a lot of time. You are also less likely to forget or overlook certain tasks. Many digital marketing processes can be automated including placing ads, sending emails, posting on social media, and managing data. 


B2B stands for Business to Business. This is where you market and sell your services or products to businesses rather than consumers. If you were marketing to consumers it would be B2C – Business to Consumer.


B2C stands for Business to Consumer. This is where you market and sell your products or services to consumers for their personal use. If you were selling to other businesses it would B2B – Business to Business. 


In digital marketing terms, a backlink is a link from another webpage, back to your website. This is also sometimes called an inbound link. Good quality backlinks enhance the credibility of your own website and have an effect on your ranking in search results. A good quality backlink is one from a trusted site. 

Banner Ad

Banner ads are the rectangular adverts that appear at the top, bottom, or sides of a webpage. They might contain static or animated images or even videos with sound. They are also referred to as display ads.


A blog is a series of online informational or personal posts usually written in an informal style. A blog can be the whole purpose of a webpage or a section on a company’s website. The subject for a blog can be anything. For example, this website has a blog dedicated to digital marketing and copywriting. Whereas an individual might set up a blog to document their travels. 


The act of creating, writing and updating a blog. 


A bot is a tool used by search engines to help build up their databases. A bot accesses a webpage, scans the content, and then saves it in a search index. Search engines then use complex algorithms to pull up the most relevant pages found by the bot to display as search results. Bots are also known as crawlers and spiders.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who land on one of your webpages and leave without exploring your website further. 


In copywriting and content writing terms, a brief is a set of instructions or requirements your client gives you. This is then used to prepare a piece of copy or content. 


A digital brochure is much like a physical one. They most often contain information and prices for your products or services. Readers click on a page to turn it and they can also be downloaded in PDF form. 

Business Directory

Online business directories list companies in each industry. Entries will include information such as the name of the company, where it is located, and how to get in touch. There is usually also a link to the website. This is helpful for those trying to find relevant companies in their local area. It is also great from an SEO perspective – it creates an immediate backlink and makes you easier to find on search engines.

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona represents your ideal customer. This is created by researching the demographics, motivation, and behaviour of your existing customers. Firms use buyer personas to shape their marketing and reach their target market. They also use them in product development. 

Call to action (CTA)

A call to action – also known by its acronym CTA – is the part of your copy or content that urges your audience to do something. For example, ‘sign up to receive our free ebook’, ‘subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates’, and ‘click here for an exclusive 20% off discount’ are all calls to action. 

Case Study

A case study is a specific example used to illustrate something. For example, an in-depth look at a project you’ve carried out for a client. This might include details of the initial brief, how you went about achieving it, and the results that came from it. 

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate refers to the ratio of people who click on a link to the total number of people who viewed the webpage or email containing the link. It is one of the ways to assess how successful an advertising campaign has been. 


CMS stands for content management system. A CMS is a tool that enables you to create and publish content on the web. WordPress, Wix, and Blogger are all content management systems. 


Code is the language used to communicate instructions to computers. Programmers use code to get a computer to carry out an action. 

Contact Form

This is an area of a website that allows visitors to get in touch with the site owner. It might be a page of its own or a section at the bottom of a page containing other information such as address and opening hours. There are usually fields for name and email address and then a space to write a message.


Digital content is everything you put on your website, blog, or in emails. Content can come in many forms, from short and long-form articles, ebooks and white papers to infographics, images, videos and podcasts.

Content Management System (CMS)

A content management system – also known by its acronym CMS – is a tool that enables you to create and publish content on the web. WordPress, Wix, and Blogger are all content management systems. 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an indirect form of marketing that concentrates oh sharing content such as blogs, videos, and social media posts. It does not usually promote the brand overtly and focuses instead on building brand awareness and relationships with prospects. 


In copywriting, control is a piece of copy that repeatedly gets good results. It is used as the standard to measure other copy by. 


Generally, conversion is converting your prospects into customers. However, for some marketers conversion can mean anything that constitutes responding to a call to action (CTA). So opening an email and clicking on the link inside would count as a conversion, as would downloading an ebook.  

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit a website or open an email and then take a specified action. For example, out of the total number of people who open the email, how many then click on the link inside. 

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Conversion rate optimisation is also known by the acronym CRO. It involves analysing the actions and behaviour of your visitors in order to optimise your webpages with the aim of improving your conversion rate. This may mean tweaking or changing things like your landing page, contact form, calls-to-action, or even the structure of your website. These changes are made with the goal of encouraging or making it easier for prospects to complete conversions. 

Copied Content

This is where a piece of content has been copied wholesale and used on a different website. This might be an entire page of content or just a part of it. It can be particularly problematic for e-commerce sites if every website selling an item uses the manufacturer’s product description. Copied content – also sometimes referred to as scraped content – can end up being penalised by Google. This is different to duplicate content.


Copy refers to the written pieces produced by copywriters. Copy is intended to convince and persuade readers to do something, whether it be buy a product or sign up to a newsletter. Examples of copy are the text found in advertisements, website landing pages, emails, and product descriptions. 


A copywriter is someone who produces copy. Copy is the writing used to persuade and convince and is distinct from content, which is produced by content writers. 


Copywriting is the act of producing copy. Copy is used to convince people to do something and is produced by copywriters. 

Cost Per Click (CPC)

This is a form of advertising where the amount you pay is based on how many people click on your advertisement. These ads are usually found on search engines such as Google and Bing when you run a search that includes a keyword they are attached to. It is also referred to as pay per click (PPC). 

Cost Per Mille (CPM)

CPM stands for cost per mille but is also often referred to as cost per thousand. This refers to the price an advertiser pays for every 1,000 impressions of their advertisement. This is different from clicks. It just means the number of times people have seen your ad. If you have more than one ad on a page – for example, both a horizontal and a vertical banner – that would count as two impressions. 

Cost Per Thousand (CPM)

Cost per thousand is often referred to by the acronym CPM which stands for cost per mille. It is the price paid by an advertiser for every 1,000 impressions their ad makes. This is not the same as people clicking on it. It refers to the amount of times people have seen it instead. If there is more than one ad on a page by the same advertiser, each ad would count as a separate impression. 

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC stands for cost per click which is a type of advertising. The amount paid is calculated based on the number of people who have clicked on your ad. These types of ads are most commonly found in search engine results when you perform a search that uses a specific keyword. This form of advertising is also sometimes called pay per click.

CPM (Cost Per Mille/Cost Per Thousand)

CPM is the acronym for cost per mille and is also known as cost per thousand. It refers to the amount you pay for every 1,000 times your ad is seen. This is called an impression and it doesn’t require people to actually click on your advertisement. Also, if you have more than one ad on the same page, each ad will be counted as an impression. 


Also known as bots or spiders, crawlers are tools used to build up search engine databases. They access the pages of a website to scan and save the content in a search index. Complex algorithms are then used to show the most relevant results when someone runs a search. 

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation)

CRO stands for conversion rate optimisation. This is where you look at the actions taken by your website visitors to understand how you can change things to increase the number of conversions. There are lots of ways you might optimise your webpages to achieve this. For example, by changing the layout of your landing page, altering the text of your calls-to-action, or rearranging the structure of your whole site. The aim of any tweaks or changes you make is to encourage more conversions. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the software that is used to manage a company’s interactions and relationships with its customers and prospects. All information is collected in one place and the tool helps to move the sales process along more efficiently. Hubspot and Salesforce are both providers of CRM systems. 

CTA (Call To Action)

A call to action (CTA) is where you urge the reader to do something. This might be asking them to subscribe to your newsletter, sign up for a new customer discount, or get in touch for more information. ‘Get yours for £9.99 while stocks last’ is an example of a call to action which encourages people to buy your product. 

CTR (Click-Through Rate)

CTR stands for click-through rate. This is the ratio of users who click a link to the number of people who opened the email or viewed the webpage where the link was contained. This is a popular way to monitor how an ad campaign is going. 

Customer Persona

Sometimes referred to as a buyer persona, a customer persona is your ideal customer. The representation of your ideal customer is drawn up by researching your existing customers. By looking at their behaviour, buying patterns, motivations, and the demographics involved, you can shape your campaigns to target them directly. Customer personas are also useful for product development. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

A CRM is a tool that companies frequently use to manage relationships with their customers. It collects all information relating to the customer and every interaction they have with the firm. This is then used to make the sales process as smooth and efficient as possible. Some examples of CRM providers are Salesforce and Hubspot. 


In marketing, a dashboard is a tool that reports on various different KPIs, metrics, and analytics. This enables you to be continually updated on how your campaigns are performing. This may also be referred to as a data dashboard, marketing dashboard, or digital marketing dashboard. 


Demographics refers to the analysis of people based on things like age, sex, and race. In marketing terms, ad campaigns will target the demographics that research shows are more likely to buy a product or sign up for a service. For example, advertising for baby products will be aimed at a younger age range than advertising for mobility scooters. 

Digital Assistant

A digital assistant is an app or device which responds to the user’s voice. It can answer questions or carry out tasks such as reading aloud emails or text messages, making appointments, connecting phone calls, and taking dictation. Examples of digital assistants are Siri on Apple devices and Amazon’s Alexa. They are also referred to as virtual assistants, intelligent virtual assistants (IVA), intelligent personal assistants (IPA), and AI assistants.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is all forms of marketing that take place through digital devices or the internet. This might take place on websites, search engines, social media or via email. Different types of digital marketing include content marketing, influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. Digital marketing is different to traditonal methods of marketing.


Also known as a business directory, this is a place where companies are listed. Not only is it useful for potential customers to search for goods or services in the local area but it is also important for SEO purposes. It makes you easier to find and as profiles are usually linked to a companies website, it also creates a backlink for your site.

Direct Response Copywriting

Direct response copywriting is written with the aim of convincing the audience to take a specific action right away. This style of copywriting focuses on the potential customer and how the product or service can benefit them directly. This is a far more measurable form of writing copy than indirect response copywriting. 

Display Ads

Also known as banner ads, these are the advertisements that appear at the top, bottom, or sides of a website. When you click on them, it will take you to the seller’s site or promotion page. They usually feature images or videos and may be static or animated. 

Display Advertising

This is the form of advertising that uses banner ads which are also known as display ads. These are placed at the top, sides, or bottom of a webpage and redirect the user to the seller’s site with a click. They might consist of static or animated photos or videos and text. 

Display Network

The Display Network is a network of sites that reaches 90% of the people using the internet globally. Accessed through Google Ads, it allows you to target potential customers with display advertising based on factors such as location, demographics, or keywords. This is particularly useful for when you want to reach people who may not be searching for your product or service. 

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is content that is the same or ‘appreciably similar’ as Google phrases it, appearing in more than one place on the internet (i.e. places with unique URLs). This is usually a technical issue rather than a deliberate duplication. For example, if your site has both http:// and https:// versions containing the same content, this could be classed as duplicate content. Duplicate content is not the same as copied content.


An eblast is when the same email is sent out to a large number of people at the same time. For example, if a company is running a promotion, they might send an email to everyone on their database informing them of it. 


An ebook is a book in electronic form. This is a popular type of downloadable long-form content in digital marketing. They are often perceived to have more value than short-form content. Producing ebooks can be an effective way of setting yourself up as an authority in your field. 


Ecommerce is commerce in electronic form. It refers to any sort of buying and selling that takes place online. Amazon is an ecommerce site and a lot of the big chain shops and stores now also have ecommerce shops on their websites. 

Email Blast

Also referred to as an eblast, this is where an email is sent to lots of different people simultaneously. Companies often do this when running a marketing campaign or when keeping people informed via a newsletter.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a way for a company to promote their brand or specific products via email. Email marketing can have different objectives, for example convincing the recipient to sign up for a service, request a quote, or buy a product. 

Email Newsletter

An email newsletter is exactly what it says on the tin: a newsletter sent by email. This is usually used to keep people updated with recent news involving a company or brand but often involves subtle calls to action too. 


In digital marketing, engagement simply refers to any form of interaction at all that the audience takes with a piece of content. For example, clicking a link to an article posted on social media. 

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a way of measuring how many people are interacting with your content. This is often calculated by comparing the number of people who chose to interact with your content to the number of people who saw it in the first place. 

Evergreen Content

Content is considered evergreen if it will still be relevant for a long time after it is first published. For example, how-to guides or frequently asked questions sections of a website are usually evergreen. The type of content that is not evergreen includes topical articles, anything containing figures that will change, or blogs about pop culture. 

External Links

An external link is any link posted on a website that leads to another website. If you write an article about a product and you post a hyperlink to an e-commerce site selling the product, that’s an external link. Similarly, if another website posts a link to one of your webpages, that’s an external link to your site. See also: backlinks. 

Featured Snippet

When we’re talking Google, the featured snippet is the first thing that appears at the top of the search engine results page when you run a search. This is what Google thinks is most likely to answer your query. It might be a definition, an extract from a larger piece of text, or a table or calculator of some sort. This appears in a box above the rest of the organic search results and is also referred to as the Google answer box.


The word friction in digital marketing relates to anything that acts as an obstacle to your prospects doing what you want them to do. For example, an overly-complicated sign-up process or a badly laid-out website. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) often focuses on removing sources of friction to increase the conversion rate. 


The funnel is the process that a customer goes through from becoming aware of a product or service to taking action – for example, making a purchase. There are various stages along the funnel. These are broadly broken down into top of the funnel (making prospects aware of a need), middle of the funnel (teaching them about solutions to their need), and bottom of the funnel (persuading them that your product or service is the ideal solution to their need). 

Google Ads

Google Ads – formerly known as Google AdWords – is an advertising programme operated by Google. It is a very targeted way of advertising, and allows you to place advertisements that will be displayed to prospects at the same time they are expressing interest in the type of goods or services you specialise in.  

Google AdWords

Google AdWords was Google’s old advertising programme. It has now been replaced by Google Ads. 

Google Analytics

This is a free service offered by Google to help you analyse the behaviour of your website’s visitors. It tracks the way they use the site and the actions they take. It also provides information on who is visiting your website, for example where they’re from, their age, gender, and how they are accessing your site. 

Google Answer Box

Also known as a featured snippet, this is the result that appears above all the other results when you carry out a Google search. It is usually in a box and might be anything from a text excerpt to a weight converter calculator. These are the results that Google thinks are more likely to answer your question than all others. 

GDN (Google Display Network)

This is a network of sites that cover 90% of internet users around the world. Via Google Ads you can define the people you want your display advertising to reach, for example by location or demographic. If you are a start-up looking to build brand awareness, this is a particularly effective method. 

Google Display Network (GDN)

The Google Display Network is a network of websites that collectively reaches 90% of global internet users. Through Google Ads you can get your display ads in front of the people you most want to see them. This might be defined by demographics, location, or keywords. This often works well for lesser-known brands that users might not be searching for. 

Indirect Response Copywriting

In contrast to direct response copywriting, this is a more subtle form. It does not urge you to take immediate action. Instead, indirect response copywriting is designed to persuade the audience to read the piece. The piece will then often introduce the reader to a subject, problem, product, or service they might not be familiar with. 

Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA)

An intelligent personal assistant – also known by its acronym IPA – usually comes in app form or as a device. It carries out basic tasks traditionally managed by a personal assistant, for example taking dictation or making a telephone call. Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Home are examples of IPAs. They respond to the user’s voice. They are also known as intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs), digital assistants, and AI assistants. 

Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA)

Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) are assistants in digital form. They can handle tasks such as scheduling appointments or answering questions as well as composing emails. Devices such as the Amazon Echo are IVAs, as are apps like Mycroft. They may also be referred to as intelligent personal assistants (IPAs), AI assistants, or digital assistants. 

Internal Links

An internal link is a link posted on one page of a website that directs the visitor to another page on the same website. For example, if you post a piece of content that includes a hyperlink to your FAQ page, then this is an internal link.

IPA (Intelligent Personal Assistant)

IPA stands for intelligent personal assistant and can also be referred to as a digital or virtual assistant. They are apps or devices which manage tasks such as finding out information and composing correspondence. They are responsive to the human voice. Examples of IPAs include Siri, Cortana, Google Home, and Amazon Echo. 

IVA (Intelligent Virtual Assistant)

IVA means intelligent virtual assistant. These devices or apps are voice responsive and carry out the role of an assistant. They can look up information, write emails, or schedule meetings amongst other things. They are also known as IPAs (intelligent personal assistants), and virtual or digital assistants. 

Scraped Content

Also known as copied content, this is where content from one website is copied and used on another. Scraping content is viewed with great disapproval by the likes of Google and can see you penalised. Many e-commerce websites fall foul of this by using product descriptions provided by the manufacturer of an item. Scraped content is not the same as duplicate content. 

Scraping Content

To scrape content is the act of copying content from someone’s website to use elsewhere. Google tends to penalise websites that do this. 

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is the same as a digital assistant. They are downloadable apps for your phones and tablets or standalone devices. Examples of virtual assistants are Mycroft on Android or Siri on Apple. They respond to your voice and can complete basic tasks such as placing a telephone call, writing a text message, or finding out the answer to a question.