Digital Marketing Buzzwords

digital marketing buzzwords

Digital Marketing Buzzwords

Meta tags, LSI’s, SERPs, oh my! Anyone searching for digital marketing advice has seen the overwhelming amount of buzzwords used by industry experts and bloggers. It’s easy to get confused or frustrated trying to decipher ever-changing industry jargon. Understanding the lingo can be helpful for increasing the effectiveness of understanding the advice you receive, both from consultants and when researching your own digital marketing strategy online. Let’s take a look at the most important digital marketing terms for nonprofits to know. 

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Alt Text (Alternative Text)

The text shown when hovering over an image on a webpage. Also used in SEO to signal search engines the specific nature of an image. This process can help an image linking back to your site be found in image-based search results.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Mobile-friendly versions of websites that use a simpler version of HTML to load faster. Created and promoted by Google. These pages have some limitations on their structure in order to allow for optimized loading.

Anchor Tag

Text on a specific part of a page used to to signal what part of a page to show a user. This is typically used on longer pages where portions of the content may be irrelevant to a specific user.

Anchor Text

The text that appears in a hyperlink that when clicked opens a new webpage.



Backlinks/Inbound Links

Links directing traffic to your website from another. These can be to your homepage, subpage or even specific anchor text on your site. Backlinks from authoritative domains and from contextual content have more value for SEO.

Black Hat SEO

Techniques for increasing a page’s SEO score that violate Google policy or are otherwise questionable practices. Often associated with trying to trick users or the search engine itself.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visits to a web page that did not lead to a secondary interaction. Often understood as only going to one page and immediately leaving, however, a user can spend significant time on that one page without triggering a second interaction.

Broken Links

A link to a webpage, on your site or another, that does not direct to an active page. 



CTR (Clickthrough Rate)

The percentage of times an ad leading to your website was clicked on compared to the total volume of times it was seen.

Content Marketing

Creating and distributing high-quality, relevant content intended to draw in a defined audience to increase conversions.

Contextual linking

A link to a relevant internal or external webpage within a piece of content intended to build keyword ranking and increase traffic.


When a visitor to your website completes a defined goal (i.e. donating/downloading a pdf/signing up for a newsletter).

Conversion Rate

The percentage of visitors to your website who completed a conversion.


Cost Per Acquisition is the cost of a given campaign divided by the number of all conversions it generated. It is also a smart bidding strategy in Google Ads.


Cost Per Click is the cost of a given campaign divided by the total volume of clicks to a site.


Cost per thousand impressions is derived from the term cost per mille. Marketing acronym showing the cost of a given campaign divided by the total number of impressions times 1000.


Often called a robot, these automated systems look at the code and content of a website to index this and rank it against competitive websites in search engine results pages. Typically these bots start with a website’s robots.txt file or meta content in order to understand what is important about a site but have the option to ignore these signals.




Requesting that Google remove a website from search results. This can also happen when your metadata tells a bot that it shouldn’t index a page.

Direct Traffic

Traffic to your website that comes from a user entering a URL into their browser, bookmark, or other method that does not involve clicking a link.

Dofollow Backlinks

Links that encourage search engines to follow them and add the value from the contextual link to the secondary domain.


A Website name, example or

Domain Authority

Assigns a score to a website based on its relevance for a specific subject. The rank directly impacts rankings on SERP compared to other comparable websites in the same industry.



EAT (Expertise/Authoritativeness/Trustworthiness) 

Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These are what Google uses to judge a web page and determine its ranking when instituting manual review of site ranking.




The number of times an ad or page is seen in search results or other medium.


The process of Google adding websites to its database, sorting and ranking them for different user searches.

Internal Links

Linking from one page on your website to another. This helps Google’s crawler find and index information on your website to increase domain authority. 



Keywords/Key Phrases

Words and phrases that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for.

Keyword Density

The number of times a keyword is used on a web page. Pages with higher keyword density place higher in search results for that term. 

Keyword Research

Researching commonly searched for terms that relate to a website’s content in an attempt to achieve better search rankings. 

Keyword Stuffing

A technique used to add duplicate keywords into a web page to increase the page’s ranking. This practice focuses on manipulating placement in SERP results and often compromises user experience.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

A performance measurement that is used to evaluate the success of key business objectives such as website engagement, impressions, and conversions.  



Landing Page

The page a user arrives at when clicking on an advertisement or link. This can be a unique page only used in one campaign or any public page on your domain.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI Keywords)

Method used to connect keywords or searches that are related though may not share the same words.

Link Building

Increasing inbound links to your website. This can be done through social media, guest blogs on other sites, or news articles about your organization that link back to your website.

Local Business Listings

An online entry that contains your organization’s name, address, and phone number along with other details you choose to provide.

Long Tail keywords

Key phrases that are between three to five words. These tend to be more specific and less competitive than shorter keywords.



Machine Learning 

The process that an algorithm goes through to continually improve results through the use of basic artificial intelligence techniques.


Information linked to items such as an image or a webpage that provides information about that item. For instance, an image may include metadata that describes the picture size, resolution, and creation date of the image.

Meta Description

HTML code in a page header that briefly summarizes the content on the page.

Meta Tags

HTML code throughout a web page that signals a description of content on your site to search engines. Most current search engines ignore these signals in favor of what text is visible to a user.

Mobile Friendly Website

A website designed to load quickly and format well on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. Techniques could include AMP, Responsive design, or mobile specific landing pages. This concept is important as Google moved to mobile-first indexing starting in 2019. This change means that all pages are ranked according to how well they would perform on mobile.



Nofollow Backlinks

Backlinks that are designed to not pass domain authority to the linked domain.



Organic Search

Unpaid search results that ranks results based on a user’s search query, domain authority, relevance, and other factors.

Organic Traffic

Traffic to your website that comes from search engine result pages.



Paid Search

A form of digital marketing where search engines allow advertisers to show ads on their search engine results pages.

Paid Traffic

Traffic to your website that comes as a result of paid advertising. 



Quality Score

Google’s rating the combination of ad relevance, landing page quality, and expected CTR for a given keyword.




Where a web page shows in search results sorted by relevance to the search.

Referral Traffic

Traffic to your website that comes from another website not typically including search engines or social networks.


How well your web page answers a user’s search question.


Digital marketing efforts targeted toward users who have previously visited your website or location.

ROI (Return on Investment)

The ratio measuring the monetary return on a particular marketing campaign or initiative.



Search Volume

The number of times a keyword is searched, typically in a given month.

Search Intent

A user’s main goal when they perform a Google Search.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

A catch-all term encompassing SEO, PPC, and any other effort to show in search results.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The process of improving a website’s ranking in search engine results. 

SERP (Search Engine Results Page)

The page shown  after a user searches for something. This page can include organic results, ads, as well as shopping, map or info box listings.


A list of URLs on your website that crawlers use to discover and index your content.

SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer)

Code that encrypts data passed from a web server and the user’s browser.

Structured Data

Organizing data in a way that labels it with additional information that helps search engines understand it.



Title Tags

HTML code that specifies the title of a web page



URL (Uniform Resource Locators)

The specific subsection of your domain, example



White Hat SEO

Techniques for increasing a page’s SEO that fall in line with Google’s policies.

If you are interested in learning more about improving your nonprofit’s marketing efforts, we recommend checking out some of our other articles on our Cause Inspired blog. There, you will find quality tips and advice on how to increase supporters, improve fundraising, get the latest updates on Google advertising, and so much more. We update it regularly, so make sure to check in each week for the latest content.