The Basic Online Marketing Terms to Know

The terms ‘online marketing’ and ‘marketing online’ can sound like buzzwords or jargon to non-initiates. What is jargon, you may ask? Jargon is simply marketing speak used by experienced marketers to explain complex ideas and practices in a simplified form to clients and prospects. For example, ‘behavioral marketing’ is a complex strategy that provides high-quality, relevant content to the right audience at the right time so that they feel motivated to take action – which could subsequently result in a sale.

Marketing is a ‘broad church’, as George Burns would say. It can mean different things to different people. However, if you’re new to the field or want to learn more, then it can be helpful to know the basics. Here, we’ll discuss the key online marketing terms and what they mean.


‘Robo-Matching’ is used when a marketing-related website or online service finds a potential customer by automatically searching for keyword phrases or phrases in their web content and then shows them products or services that match their search results.

For example, suppose you’re searching for ‘women’s jeans’ and a marketing-related website or online service shows you several results for brands that fit that description. In that case, the website or service is displaying ‘robo-matches’ for ‘women’s jeans’. A potential customer would not necessarily be aware that they were being ‘matched’ with products or services that fit their search criteria, as the term is not typically associated with online marketing.

The advantage of using robos is that they can continually find new customers and track customer behavior. Some people prefer to use robos for lead generation, as they believe that humans are less likely to click on a random link or open an email that seems to pop up out of the blue.

Conversion Rate Optimization

‘Conversion rate optimization’ — or CRO for short — is all about maximizing the number of customers that turn into paying subscribers, buyers, or advocates for your product or service. In the world of digital marketing, this typically means delivering a high-quality experience to people who are already familiar with your brand or product. Otherwise, you can expect that the vast majority of your marketing dollars will be wasted on generating interest in your product or service among people who are never going to buy it.

It’s essential to understand this concept and how it relates to your business strategy. For example, if you sell clothing and your strategy is to promote your fashion brand, then it would make sense to focus on conversion rate optimization for apparel companies. You’ll want to examine their websites and social media to see if there is a high turnover of visitors and if those people are finding the information that they need easily and quickly.

Clicks vs. Views vs. Downloads

In online marketing, ‘clicks’ are when a user directs a visible gaze (i.e., an ‘attentional blink’) to a specific ad or offer on a commercial website. If someone clicks on an ad or download button, then you know that they’ve taken the time to look at that particular content. But what about ‘views’, you may ask?

When someone views an ad or download in their Facebook newsfeed, they aren’t actually ‘seeing’ it. They’re only acknowledging that there is content available for them to view. So, while someone may have clicked on your ad or downloaded your product, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve ever viewed it. Just because someone has ‘liked’ a brand or product on social media doesn’t mean that they’ll automatically respond to any offer or ad that that brand or product generates.

‘Views’ and ‘clicks’ are sometimes used interchangeably in online marketing, however ‘downloads’ and ‘sales’ are also measures of success for digital marketers.

ROI and Marketing ROI

‘Return on investment’ (ROI) is an important concept in business. Simply put, it means how much money (or cost-effective yield) you’re getting back for your investment in marketing.

Marketing ROI (mrk. roi) is how much money (or cost-effective yield) you’re getting back for your investment in marketing. You can use analytics tools to examine the results of your marketing efforts and determine the efficacy of your strategy. For example, if you’re a clothing brand that wants to create awareness around your fashion line, you could use Google Ads to generate quality traffic to your website. After you have a solid grasp of how effective your initial strategy is and want to determine the next step, you can use an analytics tool to examine the results of your Google Ads campaign and identify key performance metrics such as ROI and conversion rate.

Affiliate Marketing

‘Affiliate marketing’ is a type of marketing in which a business or brand promotes products or services for a commission on sales that are made by other people or companies. For example, you may choose to affiliate with a company that sells luxury goods or travel packages because you believe that your audience wants to travel to luxury destinations or invest in luxury watches and clothes.

When you join an affiliate program, you’ll be given a unique URL that is used to track sales. When someone clicks on that link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

As a business owner or manager, it’s important to understand the entire picture before making any major marketing decisions. In other words, you need to consider both the costs and the benefits of a particular strategy or tactic. When you do this, it’s usually a good idea to compare the results of similar strategies or tactics that you’ve tried in the past. In the world of digital marketing, you can use Google Analytics to examine the costs and the benefits of various strategies and tactics.

It is never easy to justify the price of something new to a business owner or manager. However, if you’re able to provide solid evidence that your cost-benefit analysis is favorable, then it may be easier to get approval for a new strategy or tactic. Otherwise, you could be left in the dust as your competitors continue to grow and thrive.

Content Marketing

‘Content marketing’ is all about generating revenue by providing customers with content that they value and want to consume.

In 2019, businesses generate billions of dollars in revenue from content marketing. According to HubSpot Blogs research, companies earn an estimated $19.88 from each dollar that they spend on content marketing. Forrester Research also reports that content marketing is a $14 billion industry.

To be clear, all types of marketing — including advertising — help businesses generate revenue. However, content marketing is a type of marketing that doesn’t require you to pay for every click or view. Essentially, content marketing is about creating valuable information that potential customers find useful.

When done right, content marketing can be a powerful tool that helps businesses grow and prosper. From informative blogs to case studies and webinars, businesses can use content to educate their audience about their products and services. In turn, these customers become brand advocates and purchase the products and services that the business offers.

Scored Search

If you’ve ever shopped for a product or service on Amazon, then you may have noticed that you have to sort through several results before you find something that meets your needs. In addition to showing you products that fit your search criteria, online marketplaces such as Amazon also use advanced algorithms to work through a list of results and determine how relevant they are to your query. This type of processing is called ‘scored search’ and it’s something that search engines and social media platforms do as well.

To be in the top spot for a search term or query is all about getting ‘relevant’ results on the first page. The better your score, the more traffic and engagement your offerings will receive. Think of it as a form of online marketing that relies heavily on search engines and social media to drive business.

In 2019, marketers will spend about $16.64 on average to get a new customer. However, if you can get someone to the point where they’re interested in your product or service, but don’t know where to find it, you’ll save them a ton of money in comparison to simply showing them a generic ad. In other words, get them ‘interested’ or ‘qualified’ leads.