A-Z of Digital Marketing

Free Rein: A-Z of Digital Marketing Terms

A: A/B Testing 

A/B testing is a great way to compare two variables and enables you to see which is most effective in what you are trying to achieve. Goals may include more clicks, email sign ups or downloads. For example. you may compare email sign ups from one month to another. In month A, you might use red for the 'sign up now' button compared to month B, where it is blue - Which is more effective? This blog from Mojo Media Labs has a really great run through of A/B testing so if you would like to learn more, have a look here.

B: Black Hat

Black Hat is a term that relates to unethical techniques of SEO, focusing mainly on creating a quick financial gain, rather than long term investment. Usually breaking search engine guidelines, black hat techniques are frowned upon and can result in your website being banned from search engines. Of course, Free Rein would never use black hat techniques.

C: Canonical URL

Duplicate web page content is frowned upon in the world of digital marketing, but it is one if the most common problems websites experience. Because of this, many digital marketers use a canonical URL in order to make it clear to search engines which is the preferred version of a specific URL. For example, most people would see www.abc.com, abc.com, abc.com/home etc as the same URL, but technically they are different so it is important to Specify Your Canonical. A canonical tag also helps in directing link popularity to the preferred pages.

D: Digg

A social networking website with news at it's heart, users can manually submit stories whilst readers vote articles up or down. Advertised as the homepage of the internet, it's a great tool to understand what topics and stories are popular now. We love to scout here for interesting articles, blog headings and ideas.

E: Email Marketing 

Quite simply, email marketing is a way of reaching customers and promoting products or services using email. Email is as popular as ever and email marketing is made easier and easier with the use of automation services. It is never too early to start building your email list, whether this is by newsletter sign up boxes or capturing data other ways. However, it is important to ensure all email correspondence is full of quality and useful information. Furthermore, manage those who wish to unsubscribe successfully.

F: Facebook

Facebook is the world's largest social media network with over 1 billion users. Created in 2004 for college students, it soon became available to anyone over 13 with an email address in 2016. Whether you wish to keep a Facebook profile for personal use only or use it to create a business page, Facebook is a great tool to share new content and connect with fans.

Every minute, 1.8 million new likes are made on Facebook. (Source). 

G: Google 

Google is one of the top 5 search engines in the world. For digital marketing, Google services, such as Analytics and Search Console are essential for site research. New algorithms and updates such as Panda and Penguin, aiming to improve customer experience, can be detrimental to an organisation, but benefit consumers in the long run.

H: Hidden Text

Hidden text (otherwise known as invisible text) is text that is visible to search engines, but hidden to a user. Commonly used for keyword stuffing, it is now seen as a detrimental practice that is no longer used by those practising good digital marketing techniques.

I: Impression

An impression is an estimate of the number of people a particular advertisement is reaching. Simply put, an impression is the number of times an ad is seen. You may think that the more impressions the better, but ensuring the right audience sees your ad and the number of people that click through is premium to the ads, and your, success.


JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group.  A graphics format that compresses well and is easy to download. Not all browsers support this type of file, so for important images, such as logos, .png would be a more suitable format.

K: Keyword 

Used primarily in Search Engine Optimisation techniques, a keyword is a word or phrase that describes the content of a web page. Keywords sum up the content on an entire web page and help search engines match a page with a related query. If a user is happy with the information that they find on your site and reached it using relevant keywords and phrases in a search engine, the keyword and site optimisation has been successful.

L: Link Building 

Link building is another popular tactic used in SEO. It refers to the process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website and benefits include increasing brand exposure and search visibility. In the past, the more links a site had increased it's popularity in search engine results, but this led to spam-fuelled practices and invaluable content. Today, it is more about Link Earning.

M: Meme  

An easily shareable image or piece of text that is usually humorous in nature. Memes usually go viral, which makes them a brilliant platform to get noticed, especially when they are at their optimum popularity.

N: News Feed

A constantly updated list or feed of information. Status updates, photos, videos, links, articles and more can be seen in a news feed and feature on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

O: Organic Listing 

Results of web-search that have been obtained naturally and not via advertising. The listing may arise from gaining links via popular publications and by providing quality, useful content.


Pay Per Click, otherwise known as Cost Per Click is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. Ads may be shown at the top or side of search engines, or within sides and footers of websites for example. When a user clicks through to the advertisers site, the publisher receives a sum of money dependent on the cost per click or the advertising rate charged by individuals.

Q: Quality Score

A variable used by popular search engines that influence the rank and CPC of ads. Each keyword has a score from 1-10 and relates to the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by that keyword. For more information, take a look at this quality scores article.

R: Reach 

The number of people exposed to your marketing message or advert. Quite simply the number of people you reach.


SERPs: Search Engine Results Page. The listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a particular query entered by a user.

T: Twitter 

Twitter is another popular social media account platform. It's main features include; 140 character limit for each tweet, use of the # for trends and topics and SMS like features including the @ symbol to send direct tweets to a specific user handle.

U: User Generated Content 

Any content that has been generated by users of an online system and otherwise known as citizen journalism, social media or participatory media. Examples include: videos, blogs and discussion form posts.

V: Viral 

Viral refers to a piece of content such as a meme, image, video or story that is rapidly shared and circulated widely on the internet. Something that everyone is talking about.

W: White Hat 

White Hat techniques follow search engine rules and regulations. Otherwise known as ethical SEO, here at Free Rein, white hat techniques are the only strategies that we will use.

X: XML Site Map 

An XML sitemap is a document that contains items such as all the pages on a website. It allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on a website that are available for crawling.

Y: YouTube

YouTube is a social media site, focused on the sharing and uploading of videos.

Z: Zone File 

"A zone file is a small set of instructions that resolves an Internet and web domain name to the number form of an Internet Protocol address." (Source)