SEM

30 Terms Digital Marketers Should Know

Digital marketing has so much specific jargon, terms, and acronyms that it’s almost like learning another language. Are you new to digital marketing, or need a refresh on what’s new? Have you ever felt left out and lost during a conversation with your co-workers? We’ve got your back because we came up with 30ish important terms every digital marketer needs to know. So the next time you are caught up in a discussion, you’ll be able to spread your digital wings.
1. Algorithm: a set of rules identified by certain calculations or problem-solving processes. In digital marketing, an algorithm can play a huge role in understanding your audiences’ behavioral & psychographic segmentation by pinpointing their interests, activities, likes, etc.
2. API (Application Programming Interface): designed to show the process of how programs communicate/interact via data with applications.
3. Automation: marketing technologies and platforms are designed to increase effectiveness by automating repetitive tasks.
4. Avatar: refers to user’s profile picture on a website, social media, etc.
5. Backlink: a link provided in an external website or a web page that leads back to your website. This is a popular SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy that can increase your website’s search ranking, traffic, engagement, etc.
6. Banner: a form of digital advertisement located in high visibility & traffic areas of a website.
7. Bounce Rate: percent of people who exit after viewing only one page of a website.
8. Call tracking and analytics: this technology allows you to attribute conversions that happen on the phone to your digital marketing. When a customer call is placed, AI-driven speech analytics technology goes to work. Predictive models analyze spoken conversations to classify call outcomes like purchases made, appointments set, or applications submitted — all customized for a marketer’s business objectives. This call intelligence can then be pushed into marketing platforms, whether it’s Google, Facebook, Salesforce, or any one of the hundreds of martech solutions out there.
9. Cookie : well-known as a small, sweet, baked food … but in the digital marketing world, a tracking cookie is a small file from a website a person visits that is stored in his/her browser that helps marketers identify and track unique demographics and preferences to customize web experiences and target ads.
10. CPC (Cost Per Click): also known as PPC (Pay Per Click), CPC refers to the dollar amount companies are charged for each click driving to their website by external publishers.
11. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): % of the number of website visitors that take further action out of the number of total visitors.
12. CTR (Click-Through-Rate): percent of people who click the link of ads on a website out of the total visitors. Marketers can use CTR to measure a particular advertisement’s performance.
13. Domain: the address/direct link to a website. Picking a domain name is one of the very first steps of SEO marketing.
14. Email Marketing: promotes your product/service through email campaigns that can help you develop and nurture the relationship with your customers.
15. Engagement Rate: measures the comments, likes, shares, etc. from an audience. Engagement rate can be reported on at different levels, from specific posts to campaigns.
16. Heatmap: represents how people are interacting with a website by using a color map (red = many clicks, green = few clicks). There are many ways to track and analyze this data; popular methods are: click tracking, eye tracking, etc.
17. Hyperlink: a link located within a website or a web page that directs people to another website or web page.
18. Impression: represents when a piece of content (a display ad, social media post, etc.) is viewed by website visitors once.
19. Inbound Link: a link outside of your website or a web page that drives to your website.
20. Internal Link: a link provided in your website that drives to another page within your website.
21. Keyword Stuffing: including an excessive amount of keywords that are not always relevant to the content in a website to influence Google search rankings. Search algorithms can detect this and penalize your ranking.
22. Landing Page: page on a website that visitors initially land on when they click on a hyperlink. Common landing pages are the website home page or pages for specific product offerings. But, landing pages can be customized for many different marketing purposes, from content downloads to events. It is important for landing pages to catch your audience’s attention and drive them to take action. Interested in stepping up your mobile landing page game?
23. Long-Tail Keyword: keyword phrases of three to four words that are particular to your product or service. Long-tail keywords target customers who are looking for a specific product/service.
24. Mention: when another brand, industry influencer, or publication mentions your brand or product.
25. Metadata: a dataset that provides information about other data. It controls the communication between your website and search engines. It’s nearly invisible to website visitors, as it is built into the HTML of a web page. Metadata help working with different types of data. Metadata is a great resource to help analyze and improve SEO.
26. Organic Traffic: unlike paid traffic, organic traffic does not involve any paid ads; all visitors are organic visitors that were not referred by other websites. For example, this result for “call tracking and analytics software” is driving organic traffic to the Invoca website:

27. Pop-Up: a form of online advertisement generated in a new browser window. Generally seen as annoying and prone to blocking.
28. Real-Time Bidding: when online advertisements are bought or sold in real-time per impression on a website. It increases overall efficiency by reducing the number of impressions being wasted. Real-time bidding usually happens on supply-side platforms which help bidders decide which ads impression to purchase.
29. Referral: rather than using traditional marketing methods, referral marketing relies on word-of-mouth marketing where customers talk about a business or product/service with interested shoppers. Online review sites play a huge part in referral marketing. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Epinions can help shoppers make the decision to buy a product.
30. SaaS (Software as a Service): a business model that allows customers to access software. See what the process of implementing a new marketing analytics SaaS product looks like.
31. SEM (Search Engine Marketing): a marketing strategy designed to increase Google search rankings of a website or a specific post, primarily through paid advertising. Digital marketers are often responsible for improving web page rankings.
32. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): increasing both quality and quantity of traffic to a website. SEO tactics includes making sure title tags, meta descriptions, and internal links are all created correctly to drive traffic to a web page.
33. SERP (Search Engine Results Page): a page people see when they use search engines, like Google or Bing, to search for something by using certain keywords. The page consists of two different results—paid vs. organic. Paid results are from advertisers paying to display their websites or web pages on the SERP, whereas organic results are websites that are displayed based on SEO.
34. UI (User Interface): every element a person sees or interacts with on websites or apps. UI plays a significant role in determining design aspects, such as the size of a logo or an icon or the overall alignment. UI is used to define UX later on.
35. Unique Visitor: a user who visits a website at least once within a particular period. This is usually calculated by distinguishing multiple visits from the same IP address. Identifying unique visitors can be used in many ways in terms of website data analytics. For example, it helps marketers to build metadata that can be used to create user sub categories in the future.UX (User Experience): refers to the overall interaction between an end-user and the brand, the product/service, etc. It contains marketing, engineering, and design components that go beyond simply providing customer satisfaction. Analyzing UX helps marketers to identify improvements that can be made.
36. UX (User Experience): refers to the overall interaction between an end-user and the brand, the product/service, etc. It contains marketing, engineering, and design components that go beyond simply providing customer satisfaction. Analyzing UX helps marketers to identify improvements that can be made.

10 SEO Lessons I Learned The Hard Way

I graduated from college with high hopes. I was going to dominate the marketing world. Yes, I was truly confident, of course, I understood the value of hard work and I knew that I had to work my way from the bottom up.
I was confident in my training, my background, and fundamentals in marketing. I was ready to apply the 4Ps of marketing – product, place, price, and promotion. Much to my surprise the promotional aspect of marketing taught in my marketing classes were much more different from the technical aspects of digital marketing needed today.
Luckily in my first job, I got the chance to learn as much as I could on the job, and in time, I understood the basics of digital marketing and SEO. I soon realized that was not enough, I needed to dig further and get more technical. While the basics of SEO involves keyword targeting and the ability to prove relevancy in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), I realized that, in order to truly be an SEO professional, I needed to understand the technical aspects of the web, and to some extent have some web development skills.
Equipped with this newfound curiosity, I embarked on my journey to learn how to code HTML and CSS, JavaScript and now, PHP. In my journey as a digital marketer and SEO professional, I’ve had to learn by doing a bit of “try and error.” After all, there isn’t really a class that can teach you digital marketing all at once, especially, when everything keeps changing at lightening fast speed.
Here Are The 10 SEO Lessons That I’ve Learned Along The Way

1. Meta-Tags Is Part Of The Fundamentals Of SEO But Not The Be It All
If you read any SEO material from the past, you will notice the significance that is placed on Meta-tags: the title, description and keywords. In the not too distant past where things were much “simpler,” most SEOs had to focus on using keywords in the title and description tags as many times as possible to improve ranking on a search engine result pages.
I remember the times when I would spend days if not weeks tweaking Meta-tags to try to outrank my competition. Interestingly enough it sometimes worked. SEO today, however, involves a little bit more of a complete content marketing plan due to Google’s algorithm updates such as the Hummingbird, where emphasis is placed more on relevancy and connecting conversations.
While the evolution in search engine ranking factors, has led to a shift in focus from optimizing Meta-tags alone. This is not to say that Meta-tags should be ignored completely. They still form an important aspect of SEO, but it shouldn’t be seen as the main indicator for search engine result page rankings.
2. Clients May Have Unrealistic Expectations
Clients without a full understanding of how SEO campaigns work, may expect SEO professionals to provide results quickly. However, most SEO campaigns especially ones that are focused on more broad and competitive keywords take a longer time to see results. It’s important to explain to clients how SEO campaigns work to help set realistic expectations. There might also be the need to focus on long-tail keywords at the beginning to see faster results, while taking into account the overall SEO strategy to rank for more general keyword.
For instance, a nationwide dental practice trying to rank nationally for the keyword “dentist” might have better results, running micro local SEO campaigns concentrated on ranking each local office for the keywords that local searchers might use such as; “dentist in Chicago.”
It’s also important to note that, SEO campaigns should be focused on conversion results rather than just ranking results. Sometimes, zeroing in on more targeted keywords might get you better results.
3. Beware Of Link Builders Who Promise Great Ranking Results In No Time
I’ve written about this before, I’ve seen many SEO professionals who respond to projects promising first page results for certain keywords within less than a week. Whenever you talk to an SEO company or professional who makes such wild guarantees especially, without even knowing your specific keywords, you should be weary. I’m not trying to say that every SEO Company that’s able to give you quick results is employing black-hat SEO strategies. However, most white-hat SEO strategies that are usually well thought-out campaigns that play into a bigger inbound or content marketing strategy. While these types of campaigns may not get you ranking results overnight, they build a more sustainable foundation for generating leads and increasing online visibility. Additionally they also avoid the possibility of getting penalized by search engines for using black-hat SEO strategies.
Think about building SEO strategies that can help your business in the long-term, rather than the short term. And always ask questions about how your SEO professional will get you the results that he/she is promising. If you are not presented with a concrete plan beyond spam link building, you are probably better off going with someone else.
4. Start With Long-Tail Keywords That Optimize Conversions
Long-tail keywords are keyword phrases that are much more specific, usually at least three words long, that show a user’s intent to purchase. This is different from more broad and more widely searched keywords that may not necessarily show a user’s intention to buy. Going back to my previous example, an example of a long-tail keyword that the dental practice could target is; “find a local dentist near me.”
Starting with long-tail keywords helps you to not only see ranking results quickly, but also helps you achieve your sales goals as well. As usual, targeting long-tail keywords for conversions may only be effective when it’s combined with compelling landing pages or posts.
5. Focus On The User Experience With SEO Content And Everything Else Will Follow
It’s very easy to get caught up with keywords, ranking results, and search engine algorithms and even forget about the most important aspect of website optimization—the end user. Even though, keyword search results and overall SEO strategies should play into your website optimization strategy, it’s also important to keep the user experience first. Think about it this way, let’s say you spend all your time focusing on just SEO metrics and somehow manage to get to page one on Google for your targeted keywords, there still aren’t any guarantees that you will get the results that you seek. If your landing pages are not built to give users a great experience that keeps them engaged and motivated to convert, a number one ranking on Google for your desired keyword, may not do you much good.
6. Technical Aspects Of SEO Cannot Be Ignored
The recipe to having a successful SEO strategy, can sometimes be overly simplified especially now that there are many SEO tools out there that claim to quickly help with SEO rankings by making a few changes to meta tag titles, descriptions etc. SEO professionals today, have to understand both the technical aspects of SEO such as algorithms, keyword ranking factors, web page structures, URL structures, how to use robot.txt to help crawlers navigate a website, having the right canonicalization, among others, as well as, the non-technical aspects of SEO. If you decide to do things yourself, don’t underestimate the importance of investing some time and energy into understanding the back-end aspects of SEO and if you find opportunity cost of investing time into this not worthwhile, then you might be better served investing in an SEO professional.
7. Google Search Console Should Be Your Friend
Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster tools, is a free and easy tool to help you monitor website crawl issues, user experience, and generally help you ensure that your website is found on Google. When integrated with Google Analytics, it can also help you find out actual search queries that users are using to find your website currently on the web. Google search console should be monitored regularly to find, fix, and enhance website issues with the aim of increasing online visibility.
8. Use Google Analytics To Help You Map Out Your SEO Strategy
Google analytics is another free tool from Google that can help improve your SEO strategy. Other than helping you monitor website visitor activity, Google analytics is also able to track website visit sources, landing pages and keywords that get you conversions.
In addition to helping you monitor keyword performance, Google analytics can assist with improving visitor experience, and conversions when you analyze visitor drop-off points, and make improvements accordingly. You can also run A/B tests with Google Analytics.
Sometimes you work with clients who start off by saying “hey, I will like to rank for this keyword because I think that that’s what people are looking for.” To help me discover related long-tail keywords, I would go into Google analytics to find out if the client is getting impressions for the keywords that they desire. It’s sometimes interesting to find that, you may have keywords that you are already getting found with that might even be getting you conversions that you may not think about. The obvious keywords are not always the “money makers.” Keywords that are already getting you impressions, clicks, and conversions, are much easier to optimize and sometimes should be the low-hanging SEO strategies that you start with.
9. SEM And SEO Strategies Should Compliment Each Other
At some point in the past SEO was defined as a subset of SEM – Search Engine Marketing. It was then, determined that SEM should refer only to paid search engine marketing campaigns such as Google Ads and the like. The mere fact that SEO and SEM definitions were so intertwined with each other should tell you that both mediums have very strong similarities.
Think about it this way – SEO is more organic, you work towards trying to rank for certain keywords but you don’t necessarily “pay” each time you rank for that keyword. And I use pay cautiously, because if you are spending time optimizing your website to improve your SERP ranking then, you are investing some amount of money into SEO since time is money.
SEM campaigns are amplifications to your SEO strategies. Whereas with SEO you may have to wait for weeks or even months to see significant results, with SEM you can start ranking for a keyword right away. Every time you run SEM campaigns you should strive at using the “instant” keyword results to improve your existing SEO strategies.
10. SEO Should Be A Part Of A Bigger Inbound Or Content Marketing Strategy
I can’t stress how important it is. SEO projects should not to be looked at in isolation, different form other content marketing or inbound strategies. I am a big proponent of integrated marketing optimization – the concept of using all marketing channels to enhance each other. Your SEO projects shouldn’t be any different. If your content marketing strategy is to capture leads at different stages of the buying cycle with content that speaks to the different journey levels, then it’s essential to create an SEO strategy that fuels this bigger strategy.
Instead of looking at SEO projects as a one-off project, it should be looked at as a discovery or promotional channel for all your marketing efforts, either inbound or outbound. That way, you can better utilize your resources, and gain well-rounded campaign results with your SEO endeavors.
In the end, every day is a learning experience for me as digital marketer. You experience successes and challenges but through it all, it’s important to keep reinventing your strategies, make analytical data driven decisions to stay ahead of the curve.

Tech Tools and Trends: Part III (SEM Tools)

What is SEM?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is “the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts.”
To better understand SEM, let’s break it down into two buckets – PPC and SEO. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising purchases online traffic through paid listings, including sponsored social media posts, Google AdWords, and Bing and Google ads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the organic efforts to boost unpaid digital traffic acquisition. SEO efforts include keyword research, backlinking, website audits, and more.
Pay to Play (PPC)
PPC increases traffic leads or sales immediately … if you have the budget and an appropriate strategy. This concept is similar to the old-school print advertising that used a headline and call to action to promote a product or service. The only difference is that you can actually track results such as an increase in website visits, form fill outs, and online purchases. It’s an effective way to expand brand awareness, quickly. The downside to PPC is you pay to play. Following are some tools that can help you get the most out of your PPC Campaign.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics has an array of packages that can benefit any size business. The standard package is free and provides robust reporting. It helps you track measure sales and other types of web conversions. It also provides insights on your visitor traffic, what paths they take or what type of device they use to reach your site. The good news is that it measures anything and everything, but that can be overwhelming. Don’t get lost in the data. Pick some meaningful data points to track that really impact your business.
2. WordStream
While Google AdWords is extremely informative, it can get a bit tedious when collecting data.WordStream simplifies the Google AdWords process.
The software does a lot of the heavy lifting and saves you a great deal of time by conducting an audit on keywords you are currently using in your AdWords account. It then makes recommendations for keywords, ads, bids and even negative keywords which are important to improve click-through rate. Plus, the user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up campaigns and ad groups.
Another great perk is WordStream offers free keyword tools for those without a paid subscription. You can access their keyword generator, keyword niche finder, and keyword grouper tools without dropping a dime.
3. Optmyzr
Optmyzr is a fairly similar SEM tool to WordStream. However, in comparison with WordStream, Optmyzr is for more seasoned PPC pros, offering a better AdWords script.
The software taps into your AdWords account and looks at your overall quality score, analyzing account and AdGroup levels. They extricate AdWord scripts—the code commanding your account to do or not do something—that run in your Google AdWords account. Optmyzr then generates this data into weekly or monthly reports to deliver to your email.
This one-click optimization tool is a huge time saver. The really cool thing is they offer a free 14-day trial so you can try before you buy.
Slow and Steady (SEO)
SEO is an ongoing effort. It requires constant website improvements and tech updates. SEO is much more complicated than just choosing the right keywords – content marketing, ranking, and semantic searches must all be considered. A potential setback arises when Google changes their algorithm. Since it takes much longer to see SEO results than PPC, you run the risk of Google changing their algorithm, requiring you to rethink and rework your SEO efforts before your website ever had the chance to rank on the first few search engine pages. Below are a few tools that help maximize your SEO strategy.
1. SEO PowerSuite
One of our favorite tools is SEO PowerSuite, a nice alternative to enterprise SEO software.
The free version of the tool offers substantial SEO services, with a few limited capabilities. The software breaks things down into four core products. However, there’s one bonus service offering from within one of the core products that I want to share with you.
WebSite Auditor – Examines your website and makes recommendations for technical and on-page fixes.
Rank Tracker – Analyzes relevant website keywords and tracks progress of these keywords over time. Progression can vary from 3 to 9 months.
SEO SpyGlass – Inspects your website’s backlink profile and competitors’ backlink profiles. If you have a competitor with much more authority and domain trust, you can look at their backlink profile and analyze the types of links they are getting. You can then mimic that strategy in your backlinking efforts.
LinkAssistant – Similar to Spyglass, the difference is you can connect with other webmasters and share relevant data.
BuzzBundle – A part of LinkAssistant, BuzzBundle is a social media tool with similar offerings to the social media tools we identified in part 2 of this series
2. Raven Tools
Raven Tools is a dashboard that houses digital metrics tools. Some features include website audits, backlink research reports, SEO competitor research reports, and SEO content audits.
It offers a full range of SEO tools that are great for entry-level to intermediate webmasters. However, this tool does not go as in-depth with keyword research in comparison with other SEO tools on the market. If you’re looking for a simple place to track, research, and optimize your SEO campaign, look into Raven.
What’s your favorite SEM tool? Share in the comment section below.
Look out for part 4 of the 4-part blog series: Tech Tools and Trends: Part IV (CRM).

3 Things About Digital Marketing Your Boss Wants To Know

Marketing is a profession that is mired in confusion, buzzwords, and complexity. It can be hard to know where to start your day as a marketer, what goals to set and ultimately what your purpose in life is (especially if you work for a brand). I’ve always found that in situations like that, it is best to find out what is most important to the person that signs your paycheck. With that said, here are three things your boss want you to know about digital marketing:
Inbound is great, but I want customers – If you are all about tracking metrics such as “website visits”, “social likes and shares,” or “MQL’s, SQL’s, Opps, etc…” that’s all well and good, but I will tell you a secret: there are only two metrics your boss really cares about. How many new customers did your digital marketing programs help create and how much REVENUE did those customers bring in?
Cost per lead>Number of Leads Generated – Phenomenal! You got 500 leads from that trade show when a bunch of untargeted prospects through their business card in a fishbowl to win an iPad. That effort cost you $20 per lead and you got one customer out of it. I hope you are sensing the sarcasm. Better would be: you got 250 leads from a webinar demoing your product. That effort cost you $10 a lead and you got 8 customers out of it.
What’s working and What’s Not? – As a marketer, you’re doing SEO, blog, tradeshows, webinars, email campaigns and you have hired a marketing agency to take care of your SEM and PPC, you’ve got everything covered. Your boss does not care how many digital marketing (or offline marketing) programs you are trying your hand at, all he or she cares about is which ones you are executing on. If you aren’t able to tell what’s working and what’s not so you can fine tune or trim the fat – your boss does not give a rip.
Honestly, there are probably more and of course what matters to your boss also depends on who you directly report to. However, I imagine the above are some very solid starting points for you to consider when you start to build your digital marketing plan and goals. The takeaway here is that the goal as a marketer ultimately is to help influence the bottom line for your business by generating new customers through effective digital marketing programs and channels. What are some things your boss cares about as it relates to digital marketing?