From acronyms to initialisms to unpleasant-sounding phrases (I mean, “churn rate?”), there are literally thousands of marketing terms floating around in agencies and marketing meetings. This marketing glossary of 101 marketing terms is designed to help business owners make sense of the jargon.

If you’re stepping out on your own and starting a new business – or you just want to know what your marketing team is talking about — this glossary of marketing terms is for you. Here are 101 of the most commonly-used marketing terms in 2022.

A-B | C-E | F-L | M-P | Q-Z

1. A/B Testing

The process of comparing two different sets of content so you can see which performs better. A/B testing is commonly used in email marketing and on landing pages, so you can optimise your best-performing content. Many content management systems allow you to set up and analyse A/B tests easily.

2. Account-based marketing (ABM)

A type of marketing that relies on building strong, long-lasting relationships with clients. With an ABM approach, you prioritise key accounts and those with potential for growth. As you support your accounts to become larger and more profitable, you’ll cement your relationships and earn more from them.

3. Affiliate marketing

A type of marketing in which a business pays another business to promote their services or products to their customers. Affiliate marketing is widely used by bloggers and influencers, who promote products to their readers and followers, usually in exchange for a small percentage of any resulting product purchases.


AIDA stands for Awareness – Interest – Desire – Action. This is a commonly used marketing framework for grouping and targeting potential buyers. To make sales, marketing teams aim to move potential buyers through the funnel from awareness through to action, resulting in purchases.

5. Algorithm

In marketing, algorithms are lines of code used by online providers – such as Google – to crawl the internet and collect information. Marketers use this information to create targeted campaigns that sell products and services to people.

6. Alignment

In marketing, alignment usually refers to the process of ensuring sales and marketing teams are working in tandem to achieve a common goal. It can also include other teams, such as development, product, or customer service teams.

7. Alt text

When you upload an image to a website, you can add alt text alongside it. Alt text will display if the image itself can’t be displayed for any reason. In some contexts, alt text is required to meet certain accessibility guidelines.

8. Analytics

Analytics programs, such as Google Analytics, offer insights into the performance of your web campaigns. You can often see important data around website visitors, sales, and conversions, allowing you to determine the return on your marketing investment.

9. Anchor text

Anchor text refers to the words or letters that are highlighted when the text is acting as a hyperlink. Anchor text is important in SEO strategy, because it tells Google what to expect when they follow that link. If there’s a disconnect between the anchor text and the content on the linked page, you can damage your SEO.

10. Attribution

Marketers use attribution models to see where leads and sales have come from. This helps determine where you should focus your marketing efforts to get the best return.

11. Automation

The process of reducing manual marketing actions by setting up automatic workflows that are triggered by certain actions from the visitor. As AI becomes more effective, more marketing teams are relying on automation to create highly targeted campaigns. This includes automatic abandoned cart email notifications and welcome emails triggered by newsletter signups.

12. Backlinks

When a website creates a link to your website, this is known as a backlink. Backlinks can be high quality (i.e. from a relevant, authoritative source) or low quality (from an irrelevant and/or weak source). High quality backlinks can aid your SEO, while low quality backlinks can damage it.

13. Black Hat SEO

SEO tactics that are intended to manipulate search engines into increasing the ranking of a given page or website. Black hat tactics often disregard the physical reader, tending to cater only to the needs of the search engines as they crawl the pages. Black hat SEO should be avoided – Google is getting better and better at spotting manipulative pages, and they’ll penalise you heavily ranking-wise if they think you’re at it.

14. Bounce rate

The percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting only one page. Bounce rate helps you understand if your website visitors are finding the information they’re looking for on your website. It also suggests the strength of your calls to action on each page. 

15. Brand awareness

Getting your business name out there. Brand awareness is often built slowly, through word-of-mouth, clever campaigns, or guerilla marketing strategies.

16. Brand identity

The nuts and bolts of your brand that make you uniquely you. This can include everything from your brand colours to your website tone of voice to your social media presence. Brand identity helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors, so it’s key to have a strong sense of your brand’s personality.

17. B2B

B2B stands for business-to-business, and it’s a broad distribution model that focuses on selling to other businesses. B2B marketing tends to be more serious and stats-focused than B2C marketing. However, there is a modern trend towards more emotive B2B marketing. After all, the people behind businesses are humans, too.

18. B2C

B2C stands for business-to-consumer. This distribution model focuses on selling directly to the individual, usually for personal use. B2C marketing is known for its reliance on emotive advertising, whether through comedy or sentiment. 

19. Buyer journey

Marketers conceptualise the journey each type of customer will go on before and after they buy your product. This typically involves a funnel approach, such as AIDA, or awareness>consideration>decision. Some funnels also include a focus on post-purchase elements of the journey, so as not to neglect loyal or returning customers.

20. Buyer persona

Buyer personas are constructs of the ideal buyer of your product or service. They often include demographic information such as age, gender, income, job, and family status, as well as personal information including interests, problems, goals, and priorities. These enable marketers to create content that engages with buyers and addresses their pain points.

Marketing Glossary: C-E

21. Call-To-Action (CTA)

A call-to-action is a signpost that tells your website visitors what to do next. CTAs are valuable for converting potential customers into leads, and leads into customers. A good CTA should be almost irresistible to your potential customers.

22. Channels

Channels are the various feeds through which you can reach your target audience. Examples of channels include your website, your Facebook page, direct mail, and email marketing.

23. Churn rate

The percentage of customers who have purchased products or services from you and then disengaged with your service. Depending on what you sell, this can be a customer who doesn’t renew their subscription, or a customer who doesn’t return to your online store after their first purchase.

24. Click Through Rate (CTR)

Often used in email marketing and social media marketing, click through rate refers to the percentage of people who have viewed your content and clicked through to find out more. It’s a great way to tell who’s truly interested in what you’re offering in a particular piece of content.

25. Cold lead

A potential customer who has not shown interest in your business, product, or service before. Often, these are converted into warm leads by the marketing team before they are approached directly.

26. Content

Content refers to the multitude of information created by and for your business. This can include web copy, blog posts, infographics, videos, whitepapers, social media posts and more. 

27. Content management system (CMS)

Content management systems allow you to create and manage your online content from a centralised hub. Well-known content management systems include WordPress, Hubspot, and Shopify.

28. Content marketing

A strategy that uses content as its core to attract visitors, convert them into leads, and eventually into customers. Content marketing can be a slow-burning process, but tends to result in committed customers who understand your brand and its values.

29. Conversion

The process of turning a website visitor into a lead, or a lead into a customer. When a user has met your criteria for conversion, they will filter through the funnel on their buyer journey.

30. Copywriting

A marketing staple, copywriting is the skill of writing persuasive copy for sales and marketing collateral. Copywriting focuses on search engine optimisation, as well as readability and conversion.

31. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The average amount of money you spend on winning each customer or purchase. CPA is usually used in pay-per-click campaigns to help you manage your spend. 

32. Cost Per Click (CPC)

The average amount of money you spend on every click through to your website from your paid ads. This is commonly used in pay-per-click campaigns so you can monitor your spend, and decide how much to bid on each search term.

33. Customer retention

The practice of earning repeat business from your customers. Customer retention rate is the percentage of customers you’ve retained to use your services.

34. E-A-T

E-A-T stands for Expertise-Authority-Trustworthiness, and is commonly accepted as the formula for achieving good SEO. Google requires highly ranked pages to show expert knowledge, strong authority, and to be from a trustworthy source. You’ll need all 3 of these things to help your page rank well.

35. Ecommerce

A fancy name for online shopping. Any business that sells physical products through its website uses an ecommerce business model. This includes Amazon and Ebay.

36. Engagement

The practice of actively keeping your customers and potential customers in tune with your business. This can be through active social media conversations, regular email marketing, and strong lead nurturing practices.

37. External link

A link to a website outside of your domain name. When linking to external sources, it’s good practice to ensure they are reputable, trustworthy websites, such as well-known news outlets or subject matter experts.

Marketing glossary: F-L

38. Gated content

Content that visitors can only access in exchange for their data. This is typically achieved through an online form. When the form is complete, the content is either sent to the visitor’s email address or downloaded automatically.

39. GDPR

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. It was introduced in 2018 to help protect people’s personal data. There are significant rules you need to follow to be GDPR-compliant, and heavy penalties for businesses that don’t comply.

40. Google Ads

Google’s platform for allowing businesses to run online advertisements. Using a variety of PPC strategies, you can position your webpage at the top of Google rankings with none of the SEO hassle.

41. Google My Business

Google’s platform for registering businesses to make them easy to find for users. You can register a location, web address, business name and more. You can also allow your customers to rate your business, helping drive more visitors to your site.

42. Google Search Console

Search Console is a tool for helping marketers and site owners optimise their websites for search engines. It allows you to manage your site indexing, and monitor the performance of your website.

43. Go-to-market plan

A plan that details the steps for successfully launching your product offering. It should address the problem your product solves; who your target audience is; who your competitors are; and how you’re going to sell your product.

44. Guerrilla marketing

Unusual marketing tactics designed to evoke strong reactions from potential customers. Guerrilla marketing campaigns can create a lot of publicity when they’re run successfully. However, it can be tricky to walk the line with guerrilla marketing. Too tame and you won’t cause a stir; too controversial, and you may attract backlash.

45. Guest post

Blogs with large numbers of monthly site visitors sometimes allow guest posts from relevant authors. Guest posts offer an opportunity to show your expertise and knowledge in front of a new audience. Websites differ as to whether or not they allow you to promote your own product on their site.

46. Header tags

Each section of any well-optimised web page includes a header, marked by a header tag. Header tags help split the text into readable chunks, and signals to search engines what the subject of the page is. Header tags are usually in the format H1, H2, H3, and so on.

47. Impressions

The number of times a particular piece of content is viewed. This can refer to advertisements and social media posts. Impressions can be divided by the number of engagements (typically clicks or likes) to give an engagement rate.

48. Inbound marketing

An inbound marketing strategy focuses on earning trust from potential customers through lead nurturing, so that when they’re ready to buy, they will approach your business. This contrasts with an outbound marketing strategy, in which you actively reach out to potential customers to persuade them to buy your product.

49. Infographic

A graphic that explains statistical data visually. These can be long or short form, and are usually created by designers to ensure the information is readable, while still being attractive and highly shareable.

50. Internal link

A link to another page within your own website. Link to other pages within your site to make it easier for both visitors and search engines to find relevant, useful content.

51. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator is a measure of success for a marketing campaign. KPIs will change depending on the aim of the campaign. A good KPI should be measurable and achievable based on the resources allocated to the campaign.

52. Keyword

Keywords are words or phrases that are entered into search engines. Bloggers and copywriters aim to rank for keywords that are relevant to their business or subject matter. For example, a landscaping company based in Liverpool may aim to rank for the keyword “landscape design liverpool.”

53. Keyword density

The number of times a particular keyword appears in a single page of text. This is shown as a percentage. If the keyword is shown 10 times in a page containing 1000 words, the keyword density is 1%. Most experts agree that you should aim for a keyword density of 1-2% per page.

54. Knowledgebase

A section of a website devoted to help guides, enabling users to guide themselves through the process of using your product or service. The aim of a knowledgebase is to reduce reliance on customer support teams, and giving users more control.

55. Landing page

A web page designed to convince customers to complete an action. Landing pages are so-called because they’re often designed to be used in conjunction with an ad: i.e. when someone clicks on the ad, they land on the landing page. Landing pages almost always contain a form to capture a lead.

56. Lifetime Customer Value (LCV)

Your lifetime customer value is the value of a particular customer over the course of your business’s relationship with them. This metric is often used in account-based marketing to prioritise accounts, allocate support resources and visualise growth opportunities.

Marketing Glossary: M-P

57. Marketing funnel

The marketing funnel determines which stage of the buyer journey each prospect or potential customer is at. Top-of-the-funnel prospects may be broadly interested in your business or product, so require generic content to funnel them through the journey. Bottom-of-the-funnel prospects are those who are ready to buy.

58. Marketing-qualified lead (MQL)

A subsection of leads, marketing-qualified leads are those who have engaged with enough of your content to be considered for more sustained nurturing by your marketing team. Marketing-qualified leads tend to be somewhere in the consideration or desire stage of the funnel.

59. Meta description

When you search anything in Google, you’ll see a short preview of text beneath the title link for the page. This is the meta description. While Google often selects text that’s relevant to the user’s search query, you also have the opportunity to enter your own meta description when creating content. This can help signpost what the content is about.

60. Metrics

A metric is a measurable element of your marketing campaign or strategy. You can use metrics to set KPIs, measure performance, and prove the success of your business.

61. Mission

Your mission is what your business intends to achieve. Many businesses put their mission statement on their website, so other businesses and potential customers can see their mission and see whether it aligns with their own goals and values.

62. Mobile optimisation

Websites that appear correct on desktop, mobile and tablet screens are said to be mobile-optimised. Responsiveness is a key element of SEO, so it’s crucial that your website is optimised for all standard screen sizes.

63. Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The least evolved version of a product that is feasible to go to market. Your MVP often has few of the features it will eventually have, but has enough functionality that potential customers will want to buy it.

64. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Net promoter score is a widely used customer satisfaction metric. The NPS system splits customers into promoters, passives, and detractors. Your NPS equals the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.

65. Nurturing

The process of cultivating your website visitors and leads so that they move down the funnel, eventually becoming customers. You can also nurture customers to create brand-loyal returning customers.

66. Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to the activities that take place outside of your website that help to raise the ranking of your website. The most common off-page SEO strategy is link-building. It can also include social media marketing and influencer marketing.

67. On-page SEO

On-page SEO refers to the optimisation strategies you use within your website to raise the ranking of your site. This includes activities like mobile optimisation, keyword research, use of title tags, and internal linking.

68. Open rate

Your open rate is the percentage of people who have opened your marketing email. According to MailChimp, the average email open rate is 21.33% as of September 2021.

69. Optimisation

Optimisation is the practice of creating the most successful version of your content or website. You can optimise for a range of factors, including mobile formats, search engines, and accessibility.

70. Organic search

Organic search refers to non-paid search results. The aim of SEO is to rank highly in organic search, by building an organically authoritative website. By contrast, paid search refers to search results that have been won in Google Ads.

71. Pain points

Pain points are your customers’ bugbears. Broad pain points include lack of time, low quality products, and poor customer service. Most products are conceived with the notion of addressing at least one customer pain point.

72. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a paid advertising strategy used across search engines (such as Google Ads) and social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). It means you pay each time someone clicks on your ad. You are required to set a bid value to tell the advertiser how much you’re willing to pay per click.

73. Positioning

Positioning refers to the place your business, product, or service sits in the market. Many marketers aim to position a business in a certain arena, in order to gain trust from potential customers. For example, you can position yourself as an industry thought leader, or position your business as experts in a complex industry.

74. Promotions

Promotions are short-term discounts or sales that you run in your store. Promotions allow you to sell end-of-line stock to make room for new products.

75. Public Relations (PR)

Public relations is a form of marketing that focuses on your public messaging and perception. Used mostly by larger businesses, good PR is often achieved through specialist public relations agencies.

Marketing Glossary: Q-Z

76. Referral

Referrals are visitors to your website from other sources. This could be a referral from an existing customer, an affiliate, or a partner website.

77. Remarketing

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is the practice of re-exposing your brand to people who have already visited your website through online display ads. Remarketing ads are often shown in website banners.

78. Repurposing

Repurposing is the practice of using your existing content to create new content in different formats. For example, you can add information to a blog post to create a whitepaper, or chop your blog post into chunks to create social media posts.

79. Responsive design

Responsive design means ensuring your web pages are designed appropriately for most of the standard screen sizes they are likely to be accessed on. This includes image resizing and ensuring text remains legible across mobile, tablet and desktop devices.

80. Return on investment (ROI)

Return on investment is the amount of money you make or save based on how much you’ve invested in your business tools and practices.

81. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the process of creating and enhancing web content that ranks highly in search engine results. The idea behind this is that most people only view the first few pages of any search engine results page. That means higher ranking pages will receive more visitors than lower ranked pages.

82. Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

A SERP is the web page that lists the results for any given search term. Ads are usually displayed at the top and bottom of the SERP, with organic listings falling in between.

83. Search term

Also known as a search query, a search term is the word or phrase entered by a user in a search engine. Search terms are often used to discover which searches have triggered your online ads.

84. Sitemap

Your sitemap gives search engines vital information about your website. This includes the layout of your site, and the relationships between the pages. Most sitemaps are XML files. Sitemaps are especially important if you have a large or complex website.

85. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS is a business distribution model in which service providers develop and host their online software and make it available to customers, often on a subscription basis.

86. Sales-qualified-lead (SQL)

Not to be confused with the programming language SQL, sales-qualified leads are those prospects that have engaged with enough of your marketing material to be approached directly by your sales team. These leads tend to be near the bottom of the funnel, or at the decision stage of the buyer journey.

87. SSL Certificate

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The purpose of an SSL certificate is to prove that your website is secure. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate because its domain will begin with https://, rather than http://.

88. Title tag

Every web page should be given a title tag that is relevant to the content of that page. Title tags are usually displayed as links on a search engine results page, and in the browser bar when you open the page.

89. Tone of voice

Warm, witty, authoritative, friendly – all these words can describe a website’s tone of voice. To engage with the right audience, you’ll need to ensure your web copy is written in an appropriate tone for your readership.

90. Unique Selling Point (USP)

Also known as a differentiator, your USP is the fundamental element of your product or service that makes it different from all the others on the market. This could be your price point, your service, or a key feature that isn’t available anywhere else.

91. User Experience (UX)

UX refers to the general experience a software user has when using a certain program. UX designers are charged with ensuring visitors have an easy, pleasant experience when using a program so they’re more likely to return.

92. User Interface (UI)

The user interface of a website or app refers to the interactive customer-facing elements of the page or program. UI is commonly integrated with UX, and there is some overlap between the two roles.

93. Values

Your values are the core concepts that your business aims to uphold. This can be collaboration, integrity, inclusiveness – whatever is important to you and your business.

94. Vision

Your business vision defines the world you want to create through offering your product or service.

95. Visitors

Website visitors are people who click through to your website, and can be used interchangeably with the term users. In analytics, unique visitors refers to distinct individuals who visit your website.

96. Warm lead

Warm leads are prospects who have actively engaged positively with your brand recently. This could be at a trade show, on social media, or over the phone. Warm leads should be followed up quickly, while they’re still interested in your business offering.

97. WCAG

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG is an important part of software marketing, as accessibility is key for ensuring inclusivity online. You can learn more about WCAG here.

98. Workflow

Workflows are automated processes that are designed to guide potential customers through your marketing funnel. Certain actions will trigger a customer’s enrolment in a particular workflow. For example, signing up to receive a newsletter can trigger a welcome email. Workflows are commonly used in email marketing to remind customers of abandoned carts, missed sales, and other opportunities.

99. White Hat SEO

White Hat SEO practices are methods for improving your search engine ranking that are approved by search engines and SEO experts. This includes creating high-quality content, ensuring your site speed is fast, and writing informative guest posts on relevant blogs.

100. Word-of-mouth

When a happy customer recommends your business to another potential customer, that’s word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth marketing is ostensibly free, but you’ll need to offer fantastic customer service to get the referrals.

101. Your Money Or Your Life (YMYL)

Your Money Or Your Life pages consist of content that could have an impact on a reader’s future finances or life decisions. Defined originally by Google, YMYL content broadly includes news articles, financial advice, health and safety pages and shopping services. YMYL content must be highly accurate, and conform to the E-A-T principles.