A few terms you'll find helpful if you're new to digitally marketing your small business.
Getting started with online marketing is an exciting step for your business, but it can also be, well, sort of annoying. You’re busy running a business, and having to figure out why no one is finding you on search pages is not something you want to fit into your to-do list.
Except digital marketing is a must these days and you’re just trying understand what SEO is why you keep seeing ads about making more evergreen content.
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A/B TestingThis is the process of comparing two variations of a single variable to determine which performs best in order to help improve marketing efforts. This is often done in email marketing (with variations in the subject line or copy), calls-to-action (variations in colors or verbiage), and landing pages (variations in content). Credit: Hubspot→
Ad CopyThe words in your advertising messages to customers. Ad copy can be the headline of a display ad, the subject line of a marketing email, the call to action (CTA) of a Facebook ad, or the script of a video or TV spot. Ad copy is distinguished from ad design elements such as photography and illustration, although copy and design should always work together as a whole. Credit: Mailchimp →
Affiliate MarketingMarketing based on a relationship between an online advertiser and website publishers where the advertiser pays for leads or revenue that comes from the publishers’ sites. It’s a form of value sharing or commission sharing. Partnering with affiliates extends your advertising reach and increases your relevance with target audiences for a limited investment. Credit: Mailchimp →
Alt TextText that shows in place of images or pops up when you hover your mouse over an image. Alt text, or alternative text, is written into the HTML code of a web page to describe an image in case the image doesn’t show [or can’t be read]. This can happen for a few different reasons. Some users may have images turned off so web pages load faster. Other users may have low vision or blindness, so they use special screen readers that translate web page text into an audio or a Braille-like touch format. Alt text also helps search engines “understand” images better. Credit: Mailchimp →
BacklinksLinks on websites other than your own that go back to a page on your website. Backlinks are also called inbound links because they represent traffic coming to your website from somewhere else. The quality and quantity of your backlinks can help you rank higher in search engines such as Google and Bing. This is because your backlinks are considered an indicator of how popular your website is with users.
Black Hat SEOBlack hat SEO is an approach to search engine optimization (SEO) that focuses on gaming the system and disregards the human experience. These practices don’t follow search engine rules, and search engines can exclude entire sites for using them. Credit:Mailchimp → Tip: When you get spam messages pitching “we can get you 500 backlinks for $150” or “we can guarantee you the #1 spot in a Google Search” – these are red flags and forms of black hat & low quality SEO practices.
CASLCASL stands for “Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.” It’s a Canadian law passed in 2013 that covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” that may be accessed by a computer in Canada. CASL covers email, texts, instant messages, and automated cell phone messages sent to computers and phones in Canada. Credit: Hubspot → Learn more about Canada’s anti-spam legislation →
Content MarketingContent marketing is a strategy businesses use to attract, engage, and retain customers by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and keeps your business top of mind when it’s time to buy what you sell. Credit: Mailchimp →
Evergreen ContentEvergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. In other words, it can be referenced long after it was originally published, and even then, it’s still valuable to the reader. Typically, a piece of evergreen content is timeless, valuable, high quality, and canonical or definitive. These posts are typically a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide. Credit: Hubspot →
Editorial CalendarIt’s like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your strategy. Maintaining an editorial calendar will keep you more organized and show you any gaps you may have in your content library. It also helps ensure you’re doing the right things for your personas and not going way off-track with the topics you’re covering. Credit: Hubspot →
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that draw visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. It’s all about earning the attention of customers, making the company easy to find online, and drawing customers to the website by producing interesting, helpful content. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time. Credit: Hubspot →
The practice of aligning all marketing tactics to the same core messaging for a consistent customer experience with your brand. Through integrated marketing, communications tactics such as display ads, landing pages, email marketing, direct mail, and product catalogs all work in the same direction toward your marketing objectives. One example is making your call to action (CTA) consistent across all online and offline tactics for a particular campaign. Credit: Mailchimp →
Key Performance Indicator (KPI)
A type of performance measurement companies use to evaluate an employee’s or an activity’s success. Marketers look at KPIs to track progress toward marketing goals, and successful marketers constantly evaluate their performance against industry standard metrics. Examples of KPIs include CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), blog traffic sources, and homepage views. Choose KPIs that represent how your marketing and business are performing. Credit: Hubspot →
A landing page is a website page containing a form that is used for lead generation. This page revolves around a marketing offer, such as an ebook or a webinar, and serves to capture visitor information in exchange for the valuable offer. Landing pages are the gatekeepers of the conversion path and are what separates a website visitor from becoming a lead.A smart inbound marketer will create landing pages that appeal to different personae (plural for persona) at various stages of the buying process. Credit: Hubspot →
Sometimes referred to as “drip marketing,” lead nurturing is the practice of developing a series of communications (emails, social media messages, etc.) that seek to qualify a lead, keep it engaged, and gradually push it down the sales funnel . Inbound marketing is all about delivering valuable content to the right audience — and lead nurturing helps foster this by providing contextually relevant information to a lead during different stages of the buying lifecycle. Credit: Hubspot →
A no-follow link is used when a website does not want to pass search engine authority to another webpage. It tells search engine crawlers not to follow or pass credit to linked websites as a way to avoid association with spammy content or inadvertently violating webmaster guidelines. To varying degrees, the no-follow attribute is recognized by all major search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Not all links (and linking domains) are created equal, and a no-follow attribute helps avoid any foul play. Credit: Hubspot →
This type of SEO is based solely on a webpage and the various elements within the HTML. Ensuring that key pieces of the specific page (content, title tag, URL, and image tags) include the desired keyword will help a page rank for that particular phrase. Credit: Hubspot →
Off-page SEO refers to incoming links and other outside factors that impact how a webpage is indexed in search results. Factors like linking domains and even social media play a role in off-page optimization. The good news is that it’s powerful; the not so good news is that it’s mostly out of an inbound marketer’s control. The solution? Create useful, remarkable content and chances are people will share and link to it. Credit: Hubspot →
PPC is an advertising technique in which an advertiser puts an ad in an advertising venue (like Google AdWords or Facebook), and pays that venue each time a visitor clicks on the ad. Credit: Hubspot →
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The practice of enhancing where a webpage appears in search results. By adjusting a webpage’s on-page SEO elements and influencing off-page SEO factors, an inbound marketer can improve where a webpage appears in search engine results.There are a ton of components to improving the SEO of your site pages. Search engines look for elements including title tags, keywords, image tags, internal link structure, and inbound links — and that’s just to name a few. Search engines also look at site structure and design, visitor behavior, and other external, off-site factors to determine how highly ranked your site should be in the search engine results pages. Credit: Hubspot →
Social proof refers to a psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. In social media, social proof can be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have. Credit: Hubspot →
User Experience (UX)
The overall experience a customer has with a particular business, from their discovery and awareness of the brand all the way through their interaction, purchase, use, and even advocacy of that brand. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have to think like a customer, or better, think about being the customer. Credit: Hubspot →
User Interface (UI)
A type of interface that allows users to control a software application or hardware device. A good user interface provides a user-friendly experience by allowing the user to interact with the software or hardware in an intuitive way. It includes a menu bar, toolbar, windows, buttons, and so on. Credit: Hubspot →
An XML sitemap is a file of code that lives on your web server and lists all of the relevant URLs that are in the structure of your website. It’s kind of like a “floor plan” for the site, which especially comes in handy whenever the site gets changed. It also helps search engine web crawlers determine the structure of the site so they can crawl it more intelligently.Sitemaps don’t guarantee all links will be crawled, and being crawled does not guarantee indexing. However, a sitemap is still the best insurance for getting a search engine to learn about your entire site. Credit: Hubspot →