Digital Marketing Terms

Matt Davison Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Digital Marketing can be a bit daunting with all these buzz words and in this ever growing fast paced environment.

Here is a list of digital marketing terms in layman’s terms.




Stands for Asynchronous Javascript and XML. Typically used for creating asynchronous website application that allows the website to stay updated without needing to reload the page. Examples of this are online games played on a web page or Google maps, etc.

Anchor text

A type of text that gives the user relevant, descriptive or contextual information about the content of a link’s destination.


Means Active Server Pages, also known as ASP Classic or Classic ASP was an early version of a server-side script engine for dynamically-generated web pages.


Is an open-source server-side web application framework designed by Microsoft so that they would be able to build dynamic web pages/applications/services.



Back end

The Back end of a web is a hidden part of the website hidden from normal visitors. It contains all the website’s structure, coding and applications.


Backlinks are links that lead from other sites back to your own web page. These especially help if the backlinks are from traffics with large amounts of traffic, bringing a lot more traffic to your own web page.

Bad Neighbourhood

A “bad neighbourhood” refers to the server where your site is hosted. A site hosted on a server that also hosts other sites that spam or other suspicious practices can end up penalised by search engines because of their involvement with these sites. Having links to bad neighbourhoods on your web page can also harm your search rankings.


Bandwidth refers to one of two things: the rate at which data can be transferred, or the total amount of data allowed to be transferred from a web user during a given month (internet service providers have different types of contracts) before charges are applied. It is generally referred to in term of bits-per-second (bps), kilobits per second (kbs), or other metric measurements depending on internet speed. The lower one’s bandwidth, the slower the upload and download speed of their internet, the higher one’s bandwidth, the faster the upload and download speed of the internet service.

Below the Fold

Was a term used when newspaper were used by a majority of people but in digital term it is the content that is going to appear on the bottom of the page for the visitor of their web browser.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is the number/percentage of visitors on a website who leave from the same area that they entered without clicking any links or other pages. This is usually a sign of the quality of the website’s navigation or the quality of the content of the website. A high bounce rate can also indicate poor page design


Breadcrumbs are a navigational tool that lets you see the path of pages or subpages that you have taken as a route through the website. Typically blogs use this tool a lot, for example a breadcrumb would look like this : Home > Category > Year > Month > Post, or something simpler.


A browser is an application/program that the user would be using to view websites/pages. Examples : Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer.



Cached files AKA. cookies are files saved by the website that the visitor is on, so that the next time the user is on that web page, it loads much faster.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Mostly referred to as CSS, used to define the look and feel of the website outside of the HTML of the site. There are a lot of uses for CSS but the most common and important use is the way it can simplify a site’s HTML files. Which can increase search engine rankings and can completely change the style of a site by changing a single file without making changes to the content itself. (Latest version is CSS3.)


Common Gateway Interface is a protocol for interfacing external application software with an information server, usually a web server. CGI commonly comes in the form of a script, it’s function is to perform a particular action on a website. CGI scripts are usually written in the programming language called PERL.


Refers to scripts that are run in a visitor’s browser, instead of a web server (as in server-side scripts. They’re usually faster to interact with, thought their initial loading can take longer.

Content Management System (CMS) :

AKA CMS, this system is a backend tool for managing content on a website. It separates the core content : text, images and video from the design and functionality of the site. Using a CMS generally makes it easier to change the design and function of a site independently of the website’s content. It will often make it easier for admins who aren’t web developers to add content to the website.

Comment (blog)

Is a piece of information in the HTML or XHTML of a web page, which is ignored by the browser. They are used to identify different parts of the file as reference notes. Comments can make it much easier for web designers to make changes to the site as it defines which part of the code perform what functions. There are different comment formats for different programing/markup languages.


Is the completion of a goal by an end user of a website after having gone through a series of steps to reach a goal. The goal can be just about anything. Conversion rate is a good measure for the performance of a website and will often be the benchmark used when trying to improve the website.


See Cascading style sheets.

CSS Framework

Is a collection of CSS files used to start up XHTML and CSS websites quickly. They usually contain CSS styles  for typography and layout.



Depreciated code is outdated or old programming languages/frameworks that have been replaced by something more efficient or accessible.


Stands for Dynamic HyperText Markup Language. DHTML fuses with markup languages (for ex. XHTML) DOM, Javascript (or other scripts) and CSS (or other presentation definition languages) to create interactive web content.


Stands for Domain Name Service or Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. DNS converts IP addresses into domain names. DNS servers are provided with your IP address of your web server when you assign your domain name to those servers. So when someone types your domain name into their web browser, the DNS server translates the domain names to the IP address and points the browser to the correct web server.


Is a declaration that specifies which version of HTML is used in a document. It has an effect if your HTML will validate or not.


Stands for Document Object Model. It’s a language-independent, cross-platform convention for representing objects in XML, XHTML and HTML documents. Rules for interaction and programming the DOM are specified in the DOM API.


Is the name by which a website is identified, also associated with an IP address. Domains can be purchased with any combination of letters, hyphens or numbers (can start with a hyphen). Depending on the extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.), a domain can be up to 26 to 63 characters long.


Stands for Document Type Definition and is one of several SGML and XML schema languages. It provides a list of the attributes, comments, elements, entities and notes in a document as well as their relationships to each other.



Short for Electronic Commerce and is a process of buying and selling goods online through websites. Products sold like this can be physical products that require shipping or digital products are sent directly to the user’s device. (might require some form of key.)

Elastic Layout

Is a layout that uses percentage for defining page width, along with a max-width style to allow the layout to stretch when font sizes are changed on the site.


The building blocks of any document in XML, it can contain text, other elements or both.


Is a unit of measure for sizing fonts and other elements in a web page relative to the parent element of the item. A 1em is equal to the point size for the font already defined in the parent element. And 2em would be twice the size of the current size, .5em would be half the current size etc.

Embedded Style

An embedded style is a CSS style written into the head of an XHTML document.  t only affects the elements on that page, instead of site-wide as a separate CSS file does. Style in an embedded stylesheet will override styles from the linked CSS file.


Is a measurement for font size or height relative to the height of a lowercase “x” in that font family.

Extensible Markup Language

Also known as XML, it’s a markup language used for writing custom markup languages, meaning it describes how to write new languages. Sometimes also referred to as a “meta” language because of this. It also functions as a basic syntax that allows different kinds of computers or applications to share information without having to go through multiple conversation layers.

External Style Sheet

This is CSS that’s stored in an external document. Using an external sheet’s biggest advantage is that it can be linked to multiple HTML/XHTML files meaning changes made to the stylesheet will affect all pages linked to it rather than changing things individually.



Is a social network ever that connects people with friends, family, or others. People use Facebook to share content with each other. With over 400 million active users, half who log in any given day, Facebook is by far the largest social network.


Are tiny (16×16 or 32×32 pixels), customizable icons displayed next to the web address in most browsers. They’re either 8-bit or 24-bit in color depth and are saved in, .ico, .gif or .png file formats.

Fixed Width Layout

A webpage with this layout has a set width, usually defined in pixels. The width always stays the same regardless of screen resolution, monitor size, or browser window size. It allows for small changes to be made to the design that will stay consistent across browsers. Designers have better control over the appearance of a webpage with this layout.


Adobe flash is an application allowing website to play vector-based animation. Recent it’s become a great tool for creating web-based applications as well. Files created in Flash can now be distributed as stand-alone desktop applications by using Adobe Air.

Focal Point

Is the spot on a web page that would attract your attention. It’s usually an image, a banner, large text, Flash content or anything else interesting. It’s important to make the  most important part of your page the focal point.

Font Family

Is a group of designation for defining the typefaces used in CSS documents. It generally lists multiple fonts to be used and usually ends with the generic font category such as “serif” or “sans-serif”.

Font Style 

Solely refers to whether a font is italic or not in CSS.

Font Weight

Refers to how thick a font looks.


Is part of a new breed of social applications, AKA Geo-social networks. It works by combining a traditional social network model of registered users with another, to GPS technology. By connecting these two, users can not only get updates but can get information about where these updates were made.


Is the opposite of the back-end. It’s the components of the website that visitors can see. Specifically, it’s the interface a visitor uses to access the website content, also sometimes referred to as the User Interface (UI).



The World’s largest Internet search engine, indexing billions of web pages. In May 2010, 30.7 million people in UK searched on Google.

Graceful Degradation

Refers to the ability of a website to have elements to make use of the capabilities of newer browsers but at the same time allow older browsers to access the page to a certain extent as well. This makes sure that if one small part of your page doesn’t work in someone’s browser that the whole site doesn’t crash in their browser.

Graphical User Interface

Also known as GUI, it uses an input device, ex a mouse and gives visual representations of how the user can interact with a web application. It’s basically the front-end of a web application. The purpose of a GUI is to allow you to interact with web applications without entering any code.



AKA “hex” numbers, they are a base-16 numbering system, used to define colors online. They include the numbers 0-9 and letters A-F. Hex numbers are written in three sets of hex pairs. Because screen colors are Red, Green and Blue, the first pair define the Red hue, the second the Green hue and third the Blue hue.


A hit on a web page, contrary to popular belief doesn’t represent a single visitor to the page but is actually a request for a single file from your web server. Meaning one page can generate multiple hits for each image/ CSS file / HTML files, etc. So for 50 images, a site would get 50 hits.


Is the default directory-level configuration file on Apache web servers. It’s also known as a “distributed configuration file.” Configuration directives contained in the .htaccess file apply to the directory in which the file is placed as well as all of its subdirectories. Within the .htaccess file, settings such as authorization, authentication, rewriting of URLs, cache control and customised error responses can all be specified.


Stands for Hypertext Markup Language, it is the primary language used to create web pages. HTML is primarily intended as a way to provide content on a website. While CSS handles the layout and style options although it can be used to determine how content is displayed. HTML version 5 was recently released and offers powerful new tools for creating rich web content. 


Also know as an HTML element, a HTML tag is the piece of code that describes how that piece of the web page it is on is formatted. Typical tags specify headings, paragraphs, links and other items.


Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between a web browser and a web server.


Stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol over SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or, also, HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. Like HTTP, It’s a set of rules for transferring hypertext requests between browsers and servers, except it’s done over a secure encrypted connection.


Is a link between pages or from one page to another. These are generally text or images, and are highlighted in some way; text is often underlined or put in a different color or font weight. Hyperlinks is the reason why “hyper” is part of “hypertext”


Is any computer-based text that include hyperlinks. It can also include presentation devices like tables or images, along with text. .



No relation of Apple, iframe is short for Inline Frame. It’s used to display one or more webpages within one normal web page (one which isn’t a frameset page.)

Image Map

Is used in XHTML to allow different parts of an image to be clickable elements. It can also allow parts of an image to not have clickable elements.


In CSS, elements that do not have pre-defined styles will take on the style of their parent element within the document tree.

Inline Style

Is a style that directly affects the elements it is written around, instead of a separate style.


Stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python, and refers to the specifications of a web server (defining the operating system, web server, database and and scripting language, in that order). One of the advantages of LAMP setups is that the software used is all free and open source..

Landing Page

Is the page where a visitor enters a website, often a special landing page is created to elicit a specific action from the new visitor -usually in connection with an advertising or marketing campaign.

Link Farm

Is a website set up specifically to increase popularity by increasing incoming links to that site. Some link farms are single pages listing unrelated links, others are networks of sites containing multiple links back and forth to one another. Search engines generally recognizes these sites and penalizes all connected sites.

Liquid Layout

Is a layout that’s based on the percentages of the browser window size. It changes with the width of the browser, even if the visitor changes the browser size while on the page. Liquid layouts take full advantage of the browser width a visitor uses, optimising the amount of content that can fit on screen at one time.



Refers to the coding applied to change a text document to a HTML, XML or another Markup language document.


Is the data contained in the header that offers info about a web page. The information contained in metadata isn’t visible on the actual page, purely in the source code. Metadata is contained within Meta tags.

Meta Tag

Is an HTML tag used to include Metadata within the header of a web page.



The .NET framework is Microsoft’s comprehensive and consistent programming model for building applications.


Refers to the system that allows visitors on a website to move around that site. Navigation is most often thought of in terms of menus, links, breadcrumbs, related links, pagination and any other links that allow a visitor to move from one page to another.


Refers to putting one HTML element within another element. When that’s done, the elements have to be closed in reverse order from how they were opened.

Non-Breaking Space

Refers to a white-space character that isn’t condensed by HTML. It’s primary function is to hold open table cells or add spacing between words, or the beginning of paragraphs if an indent is desired.


Open Source 

Refers to the source code of a computer program being made available to the public. Open source software includes both web-based and desktop applications. Open source software is generally free or very low cost, usually developed by teams of people, sometimes mostly volunteers. PHP is an example source.


Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that uses “objects” – data structures consisting of data fields and methods together with their interactions – to design applications and programs. Programming techniques may include features such as data abstraction, encapsulation, modularity, polymorphism and inheritance.


Page view

Is a request by a visitor’s browser for an entire web page document. In other words, for each page view a site has, someone looked at the page.


Is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language.  It was developed by Larry Wall, a linguist working as a systems admin for NASA, in 1987, as a general purpose UNIX scripting language to make processing easier.


Generally used on blogs, a permanent link is a link that’s the permanent web address of a given blog post. Since most blogs are always changing or adding more content, a permalink let’s readers bookmark the link to keep up with the blog.


Acronym for Hypertext Pre-Processor, PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that’s especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.


Is a piece of third party code that extends the capabilities of a website. This removes the need to rewrite the core code of a site. Plugins also refer to third-party software that can improve a browser’s functionality.

Progressive Enhancement

Is a strategy for web design that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a webpage, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing those with better bandwidth or better browser softwares with an enchanced version of the page.


A CSS term that’s roughly equivalent to an HTML tag. They are what define how a style should appear on a web page.


Is an element used to add special effect to certain selectors?

Pseudo Class

Like pseudo-elements, pseudo classes are used to add special effects to certain CSS selectors.


Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Is a standardised XML format that allows content to be syndicated from one site to another and is mostly used on blogs or news websites. This allowed users to subscribe to blogs or other sites to receive updates via a RSS feed reader.


Refers to the physical number of pixels displayed on the screen (ex. 1280×1024). Though this doesn’t refer to the number of pixels or dots per inch on a screen, as this can be changed by changing the resolution of the screen.



Is a XML document normally used instead of a DTD to describe other XML documents.


Is a portion of code normally on a HTML page that makes the page more dynamic/interactive and they can be written in a variety of languages (ex. Javascript).


Is the item a style will be applied to in CSS.

Semantic Markup

Is a way of writing content within XHTML tags that offer context to what the content contains. Basic semantic markup refers to using items like header and paragraph tags, though semantic markup is also being used to provide more useful context to web pages in an effort to make the web as a whole more semantic.


Refer to scripts run on a web server instead of a in a visitor’s browser. They often take a bit longer to run as each page must reload when an action is taken.


Stands for Standard Generalised Markup Language and it’s a markup language used for defining the structure of a document. It is also the basis markup language for XML and HTML..


SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is an XML-Based protocol exchanging information across the internet to allow an application to access an application from one


Is a document that offers an explicit definition and requirements for a web service or technology and normally includes how it is to be used, along with tags, elements and dependencies.



Is a set of markup characters that are used around an element to show its start and end. Tags can also include HTML or other code to specify how the element should look and behave on the page.


Is a file used to create a consistent design across a website. They’re often used together with a CMS and both contain structural info about how a site should be set up, but also stylistic info about how the site should look.


Is a micro-blogging social status service. Registered users can post short 140 character or less updates about what they’re doing, thinking, eating or other subjects. These updates are known as Tweets. Users also follow and share each other’s content. .



Stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the physical address of a website e.g The URL specifies where on the Internet the website can be found.


Refers to how easily a website can be used for a visitor in its intended manner. Good usability means elements such as navigation, content, images and any interactive elements are easy to use, functioning they way they’re intended and any visitor won’t need special training to use the website.



Valid web pages return no errors based on the type of HTML/XHTML specified in the doctype declaration at the beginning of the file. The Validator checks that the code used on the web page conforms to the specifications for that version of HTML/XHTML. Web page validity can be through various validation services e.g. W3C Validator. (


Is a single user coming to a website. The same visitor returning multiple times means multiple visits.


Is a single user coming to a website. The same visitor returning multiple times in one day is still measured as just one visitor.


Web Page

Is a single document, generally written in HTML/XHTML, meant to be viewed in a web browser. Web pages can in many cases also include other coding/programming (PHP, Ruby on Rails, ASP). Websites are generally built from multiple interlinked web pages.

Web Server

Is a computer that has software installed and networking capabilities that allow it to host websites/pages and make them available to internet users. There are various setups that can be used for a web server, including the LAMP setup.

Web Standards

Are specifications recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for standardising website design. The main purpose is to make it easier for both designers and those who create web browsers to make sites appear consistently across platforms.



Extensible Hypertext Markup Language is HTML 4.0 that has been rewritten to comply with XML rules.


Extensible Markup Language is a specification for creating other, custom markup languages. It’s an extensible language because it allows the user to define the mark-up elements.



YouTube is a video sharing site.


I dont have anything for Z… do you? Help me out and leave your suggestion the comments


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