A Glossary of Basic Terms Used in Digital Marketing

We believe strongly that marketing should be accessible for everyone. The words we use when we write content for our site and how we communicate to our clients should not be high-level, unapproachable jargon that only a few people understand (insert gnosticism joke here), but easily red and even-easier-to-implement tips.

Still, you can’t get rid of all the lingo. That’s why we created this guide: A simple glossary of basic terms used in digital marketing. Hopefully, this will help explain some of the terms you’ll hear on this site and elsewhere. If you’ve never heard the phrase “digital marketing” before, give this list a quick glance to cover the basics. Feel free to reference it also as you peruse the other articles on this site. 

***This list will be updated as necessary.

Basic Terms Used in Digital Marketing


Search Engine Optimization. Though it covers a lot of ideas, SEO is the umbrella term used to describe the methods by which a site can appear higher in search results. If you’re buried on page 9, a good SEO strategy will help you appear on page 1.


A domain name is the address that a user accesses a website. No two websites can have the same domain name, so if you’re starting a brand new website, you’ll have to pick a unique phrase or word to represent your church/brand. Note: you can change the TLD on a domain that has already been chosen to create a new domain, so if you wanted to have SouthsidechurchofChrist.com, but it’s already chosen, try SouthsidechurchofChrist.org instead.


Short for “Top-Level Domain.” These are the last few letters of any web address, such as .com or .org. Though you can have nearly any TLD for your domain name (i.e. .life or .church), the best one you can use is .com. It’s most recognizable and gives stronger credibility in users’ eyes.


Short for “Second-Level Domain.” This identifies the section immediately before the TLD, so in the domain name www.wikipedia.org, “.org” is the TLD and “wikipedia” is the SLD. It’s also called the primary domain.


This is the amount of visitors your website gets every day, week, month, or year. This doesn’t measure unique visitors, which is how many different people visit your site, just the number of pages that were accessed.


Just like in the Bible, a conversion is when someone takes a desired action on something, such as answers an ad for a Bible study, fills out a form for a free guide, or watches a sermon.


Short for “Name, Address, and Phone Number.” Your NAP should be included on your website and it most likely also appears in online directories. One of the keys to a solid SEO strategy is making sure your NAP is consistent across the web.


Short for “Google My Business.” This is an online directory, hosted by Google, that you can claim, manage, and optimize. It showcases your contact info, online reviews, and appears on Google maps when someone looks for directions.

Organic and Paid Traffic

Traffic is how many visitors come to your website; organic and paid describes how they got there. If you bought traffic, such as with paid advertising on Facebook or Google, it’s paid, but if they arrived via search results that you didn’t pay for, it’s called organic traffic. Both have their advantages, but paid is generally more short-term while organic traffic is a long-term strategy.


Short for “Pay-per-Click.” This describes how you are charged when running a paid marketing campaign. In a PPC scenario, you are charged every time someone clicks on your ad; on a PPI campaign, or “Pay-per-Impression,” you are charged when your ad is shown. Other terms you may come across are CPA (Cost per Acquisition) or CPM (Cost per Thousand).


This is the path your viewer takes to a desired outcome. If your goal is to gain Bible studies, for instance, you can develop a “funnel” to guide them there, such as guiding them to a specific place on your blog, giving them a freebie in exchange for an e-mail address, following up later through that e-mail, and asking for a study. Funnels can be as complex or simple as you want, but their effectiveness is determined by whether or not the desired outcome is reached.


Stands for “Search Engine Results Page.” A SERP is what you see when you type in a specific word or phrase. The SERP for “how do I know I’m saved” is different from the SERP for “are musical instruments in the Bible?” Optimizing your articles to address these questions is key to appearing first in the SERPs.


This term describes how many people clicked on a link you provided them, such as in an e-mail, a hyperlink in your blog, or a link on an advertisement.


How many times a specific web page or ad is shown and seen.


A word that users type in to search for relevant info. Keywords generally involve only one word, whereas “long-tail keywords” are normally phrases. Keywords are more competitive, while long-tail keywords are normally easier to rank for, but may be harder to find.

Domain Authority

This is a scale from 1-100 that Google, Bing, and other search engines use in order to determine the authority and credibility of a website. A score of 1 means Google doesn’t trust you, while a score of 100 means everyone in the world trusts you. The higher your individual domain authority, the higher your site will appear in search results.

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