Marketing Glossary

A/B Testing

Definition: The process of comparing two versions of something to determine which performs better.

Example: A/B testing can be used to evaluate PPC landing page effectiveness. In this situation, the marketer would create two versions of the same ad for which only the links to the website are different. Other variables that can be tested in this scenario are the ad headline or copy, images, and calls-to-action.

Resources: Inbound Marketing Examples: 14 Strategies to Engage Your Email List | 3 Inbound Marketing Strategy Examples You’ll Want to Use ASAP

“Above the Fold”

Definition: Traditionally, the term “above the fold” refers to content that is printed above the fold on the front page of a newspaper. Generally, this type of content is considered more important news than any other information. In digital marketing, although the medium is digital, the definition is intrinsically the same.

Alt Text

Definition: Short for alternative text, this refers to a keyword-rich attribute embedded in media HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) that describes media, often an image. If the media does not load for one reason or another, alt text appears in an empty box in its place. Alt text is a factor when optimizing a web page for search engines and visitors alike.

Example: The HTML code with the alt text may look like this: <img src=“”><alt=“a picture of your business”>

Resources: On Page SEO: Improve Search Engine Rank, Part 2 


Definition: The act of evaluating and assigning meaning to data in order to discern patterns in information that lead to informed decision-making.

Example: Google Analytics is a free web tool that gathers and organizes website information including traffic, demographic information, and visitor behavior to help website owners make knowledgeable decisions about their websites.

Resources: How to Set Up Google Analytics for Your Website | Three Useful Google Analytics: Reports Small Businesses Need to See Now How to Interpret Search Analytics


Definition: A foundational tactic of inbound marketing, blogging is the act of new creating content on a regular basis on a website. Depending on the type of website or business, a blog can include articles, infographics, commentary pieces, and more. Blog is short for web log or weblog.

Example: Business blogging consists of content and infographic creation that discusses industry trends, related topics or considerations, product how-tos, testimonials, and more. Business blogging also involves strategic marketing tactics including those that increase website traffic, generate and convert leads, and establish credibility.

Resources: How to Blog Effectively to Get Better Results | Types of Blog Posts that Get Shared | 11 Tips for Converting Quality Inbound Leads from Your Blog

Bounce Rate

Definition: This is an analytics term that describes the number of people who view your content but leave without taking any action. Bounce rates are commonly discussed in relationship to websites and email campaigns. High bounce rates generally correlate mean low conversion rates.

Example: On an website, a visitor who views your web page but leaves without clicking on any calls-to-action, watching any videos, or completing any forms. They also do not navigate to any other pages within the website.

Resources: Three Useful Google Analytics Reports Small Businesses Need to See Now

Buyer Persona

Definition: Persona refers to a profile of your ideal customer that has been developed by analyzing past and current customer data as well as market data. Buyer persona can benefit the marketing process by defining a target audience and qualifying sales leads.

Example: By researching historical customer data, Above the Fold Media was able to help it’s client determine what marketing tactics will best reach its target audience and, therefore, buyer persona, making the marketing process faster and more effective.

Resources: The Secret to Nurturing Inbound Leads into Customers | Types of Stats that Prove Inbound Leads are Higher Quality Than Outbound Ones

Buyer’s Journey

Definition: The process leads go through in which they become aware of, familiar with and eventually customers of a product or service. The process has three phases.

  1. The awareness stage describes the lead’s realization and understanding of their problem.
  2. The consideration stage describes the lead’s the need to solve their problem and the solutions available to them.
  3. And the decision stage describes the point at which they become a buyer by committing to one of the available solutions.

Example: Joe gets in trouble with the law. He needs a lawyer in his area and price range. Joe researches local lawyers, refines the list based on affordability and expertise and then chooses one.

Resources: Your Customer’s Journey and How You Capture with Keywords


Definition: Also referred to as a CTA, a call-to-action is a text, usually in the form of a link or button, that asks the website visitor to take an action. This is often the point at which visitors become leads. Often times, the more enticing CTA, the higher the rate of conversion. Think of CTAs like bait.

Example: For blogs, a call to action would be “Subscribe Now.” Landing pages might feature CTAs like “Download the XXX eBook.” PPC ads for a special offer might include a CTA that says, “While Supplies Last.”

Resources: How to Blog Effectively for Better Results | Social Media Strategy: How to Use Facebook for Business | 5 Ways to Get the Most from PPC Advertising


Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Definition: The percentage of your audience that advances (or clicks through) from one part of your marketing campaign to another. Mathematically, CTR is the total number of clicks divided by the number of opportunities people had to click.

Example: If 2000 people view a landing page on your website, and of those 2000, 100 click the call-to-action button, completing a form and advancing to the next phase of your marketing campaign, the CTR is 100/2000= 0.05 or 5% CTR.

Resources: Improving Your CTR | Are You Targeting the Wrong Audience? | When to Start Your PPC Campaign


Conversion Path

Definition: A series of events on your website that result in the conversion of a web visitor to a web lead. Later, this term can also be used when a lead is nurtured through a series of events, resulting in their conversion from a lead to a customer.

Example: The conversion path may look like this: a website visitor arrives on your site, clicks a call-to-action button, completes a form, downloads an ebook. After that, the lead may receive a series of emails, perhaps they sign up for a webinar, participate in a sales call, and then, buy the product or service



Definition: Information designed to inform, engage with, and share with others – specifically your target persona or audience. Content is essential to any inbound marketing strategy.

Example: Blogs, images, infographics, videos, podcasts, social media posts, webinars, slideshows are all examples of content.

Resources: What is Content Marketing, and Can It Help My Small Business? | Top Five Proven Ways to Instantly Improve Your Content | Writing for the Web: Why Your Website Content is Crucial


Content Management System (CMS)

Definition: A web tool designed to make website creation and management easier for the layperson. Tasks supported by CMS’s include but are not limited to web page creation, indexing of information for search, menu development, basic website analytics tracking, user permissions, and more.

Example: WordPress is a CMS, and Hubspot also has a CMS feature.

Resources: Everything You Need to Know About CMS



Definition: Context refers to the adaptation of content, so it is resonates specifically with the target audience. Context ensures content is relevant to the people it is trying to reach.

Example: Context is a criminal lawyer creating content about representation for those who are accused of committing crimes – not those who want to get a divorce.

Resources: What You Need to Know About SEO | Everything You Need to Know About Google Hummingbird


Conversion Rate

Definition: The percentage of people who performed an intended action on a single web page.

Example: The percentage of people who complete a website form would refer to the rate of conversion.

Resources: How to Convert Potential Customers – Top 5 Conversion Tips for PPC Advertising


Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Definition: The improvement of your website’s conversion rate. Often the process involves tactics including but not limited to the evaluation and improvement of web design, page copy, the offer itself, and more.

Example: Landing layout and copy can be improved to increase the chances a visitor will click the call-to-action button and complete a web form.

Resources: How to Convert Potential Customers


Cost-per-Lead (CPL)

Definition: The amount of money it takes to obtain a lead.

Example: To find the overall CPL of your pay-per-click leads, take the total dollar amount spent and divide by the number of leads who arrived on your website by click on a PPC ad.

Resources: How are Inbound Leads Different from Outbound Leads?


Crowdsourced Content

Definition: Content developed by people other than those inside your organization including experts, freelancers, and even customers.

Example: A compilation of user hacks relating to your product is an example of crowdsource content.

Resources: Two Types of Blog Posts to Include in Your Inbound Content Strategy


Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Definition: All expenses relating to your marketing program including salaries, commissions, and any overhead for a given time period divided by the number of new customers in that same time period.

Example: A $100,000 spend on sales and marketing contributed 10 customers in one month. That means, the CAC was $1000.

Resources: How are Inbound Leads Different from Outbound Leads?


Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Definition: Software that allows a company to track engagement with their leads and customers including contact information, email correspondence, appointments, offers, and more.

Example: Salesforce is a well-known CRM.


Dynamic Content

Definition: The display of different messaging for different types of website visitors.

Example: First time visitors will see a personalized landing page designed to inform and hook visitors who are unfamiliar with the company or product. Repeat visitors may see information that is further down the lead funnel than first time visitors.


Definition: A piece of digital content marketers often use as a lead generation tool. Typically, an ebook is longer than a blog article and provides more in-depth information to potential customers.

Example: The call-to-action for a series of blog articles on a given topic might be an ebook that expands on or answers big questions about that topic.

Resources: Three Marketing Tactics to Grow Inbound Leads

Editorial Calendar

Definition: A tool that outlines by date what type of content you need to create for certain personas, and when it needs to be published. It is helpful for organization purposes and to highlight any holes in your content strategy.

Resources: Why You Need a Holiday Marketing Plan – and How to Get One Going Fast

Engagement Rate

Definition: Measures the rate of interaction for a piece of content. Engagement means your messaging is reaching fans, leads and customers.

Example: Likes, shares and comments on social media sites are signs of engagement. On a website, the number of views an embedded video receives is also a sign.

Resources: 6 Things Your Law Firm Needs for Attracting New Clients

Evergreen Content

Definition: Content provide continuous value over time to readers. Evergreen content never expires or become obsolete. It is timeless.

Example: A blog article about how to choose a good lawyer is an example of content that will always be valuable to its readers.

Resources: Law Firm Marketing Tips to Attract New Clients: Part 1, SEO Services


Definition: Term used to describe the buying process. Typically there are three stages marketers discuss. The first is the Top of the Funnel (TOFU), or the starting point for leads who have just identified their problem and are just beginning to research it. The Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) is where leads evaluate whether your product or service is what they are looking for, and the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU), or the ending part of the process, describes the point at which leads are just about to become customers.

Example: At the TOFU, the customer receives a court summons, he gets online to research the charges against him and lawyers who can help. Midway, he may download a few articles about his situation, interview a couple of lawyers, and talk to friends. At the Bottom of the Funnel, the customer may make an appointment with one lawyer in particular to discuss his case.

Resources: The Secret to Nurturing Inbound Leads into CustomersHow to Map Out Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Inbound Marketing

Definition: Marketing tactics that engage visitors by making the organization easy to find online, offering valuable content, and engaging with visitors and customers in spaces they frequent. In contrast to outbound marketing tactics, inbound draws visitors in while outbound interrupts them.

Example: Blogging is an inbound marketing tactic. Paid banner advertising on an outside website is not.

Resources: How are Inbound Leads Different from Outbound Leads?What is Content Marketing, and Can It Help My Small Business?

Inbound Link

Definition: A link initiated from another site in to your website.

Example: A link in a reference article to your services web page is an inbound link.

Resources: 5 Creative Ways to Build Links | What are Backlinks, and How Do I Get Them?

Inbound Sales Methodology

Definition: A process that supports the lead throughout its journey to becoming a customer or buyer. Typically, the process includes three the stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Additionally, there are four actions inbound-focused sales teams need to take as a part of this methodology. They are often referred to as: Identify, Connect, Explore, and Advise.


Definition: A highly visual piece of content that is very popular among digital marketers as a way of relaying complex concepts in a simple and visual way.

Example: An infographic may include pie charts, icons with bold text, comics or pictures.

Resources: Types of Blog Posts that Get SharedHow to Blog Effectively for Better Results

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Definition: A performance method using specific data to evaluate success.

Example: In marketing, KPIs track progress toward marketing goals. Depending on those goals, marketers may measure sales revenue, cost-per-lead (CPL), landing page conversion, lead to customer conversion and more.

Resources: How to Map Out Your Digital Marketing Strategy


Definition: A keyword describes the topic of a web page and, if done well, the term by which the web page is ranks for in search engine results. Keywords phrases can include multiple words. Long tail keywords refer to search terms that contain many words and can be very specific. Keywords are important inbound marketing tactic used in on and off page search engine optimization techniques and result in improved organic website traffic.

Example: A keyword can be “lawyer,” a keyword phrase would be “lawyer Toronto,” and a longtail keyword is “personal injury lawyer greater Toronto area.”

Resources: Your Customer’s Journey and How You Capture With KeywordsThree Useful Google Analytics Reports Your Small Business Needs to See NowHow to Use On Page SEO to Improve Search Engine Rank, Part One

Landing Page

Definition: A website page that often contains a form and is used for lead generation purposes. These pages are also the conversion points for website visitors becoming leads or leads becoming customers. Landing pages are often highly customized to target specific personas.

Example: A visitor who clicks on a Google ad arrives at a web page for a free consultation. The visitor completes the form and clicks the submit button. Now the visitor is a lead.

Resources: The Secret to Nurturing Inbound Leads into CustomersTop 5 Conversion Tips for PPC AdvertisingIs Your Business Ready for Mobile Marketing?


Definition: Stages that describe the changing relationship your business has with its audience. Similar to the Sales Methodology, a lifecycle has three stages: Awareness, Evaluation, and Purchase. Understanding each stage is important to creating dynamic, relevant and valuable content for leads and customers.

Example: A side-by-side comparison of viable solutions to the lead’s problem would be a valuable piece of content in the awareness part of the cycle. An article that establishes your business’ credibility would be valuable in the evaluation stage, and information about packages available would be helpful in the purchasing stage.

Meta Tags

Definition: A basic search engine optimization element in which information that describes your web page is embedded in the header html code of the page. Meta tags include title, description and keywords.

Example: You can see the meta tag description in search engine results. It is the text that appears under the link to your web page. Because it is embedded in your web page code, unless you have copied it from your web page itself, it is not visible anywhere else.

Resources: How to Use On page SEO to Improve Search Engine Rank (Part 2)

Mobile Optimization

Definition: (See also Responsive Design) Web design techniques that allow visitors to easily navigate, read, and engage with your website from a mobile device. It is important to note that Google preferences mobile-friendly websites in its search engine results, so you will be penalized if your site is not optimized for mobile use.x

Example: Open your website in a browser on your desktop or laptop, tablet and cell phone. Your website is optimized for mobile if it is easy, the sizes, fonts, and clickable elements, adapting to the change in device and making it to utilize on all three.

Resources: 10 SEO Tips to Apply to Your Business’ Website Today


Definition: A series of communication points between a company and a lead that qualifies, engages, and moves it toward conversion. The type of communication or messaging a lead receives will depend on where it is in its lifecycle. Nurturing is also known as drip marketing.

Example: A lead that completes an online form may receive a downloadable resource to their inbox when the form is completed. Sometime later, the lead may receive a welcome email, followed by an offer email, and so on.

Resources: The Secret to Nurturing Inbound Leads into Customers | Tips for Converting Quality Inbound Leads from your Blog


Definition: A lead generation tool in the form of free content which is accessed by completing a form on a landing page.

Examples: Whitepapers, ebooks, checklists, webinars, virtual tours or demos, templates of any kind, and online tools.

Resources: 5 Ways to Get the Most from PPC Advertising

On-Page Search Engine Optimization (On-page SEO)

Definition: Keyword optimization applied to a web page itself including the URL, html, title tags, body copy, and media.

Example: A page that has been optimized the keyword “licensed insolvency trustee GTA” may have a title, html alt tags, and body copy all with similar wording.

Resources: 10 SEO Tips to Apply to Your Business’ Website TodayHow to Use On Page SEO to Improve Search Engine Rank, Part One | How to Use On Page SEO to Improve Search Engine Rank, Part Two

Off-Page Optimization

Definition: Optimization factors initiated from outside the website that still impacts how that website is indexed in search engine results.

Examples: Inbound links from other domains like those from social media posts are an example of off-page search engine optimization.

Open Rate

Definition: The percentage of the total number of emails in a campaign that were opened compared to the total number sent (or delivered).

Example: If the total number of emails delivered is 10,000, and the total number of opens was 3788, then the open rate is 37.8 percent.

Resources: Inbound Marketing Examples: 14 Strategies to Engage Your Email List


Definition: An aspect of a person’s character as perceived by others.

Example: In marketing, persona and target audience are often interchangeable. Persona, in this case, refers to the type of person you may be attempting to reach with your marketing efforts.

Resources: How to Map Out Your Digital Marketing StrategyWhat is Content Marketing, and Can It Help My Small Business?

Pilliar Page

Definition: A web page designed to be an information hub for a topic that may have several sub or related topics hyperlinked from it. This page is often an entry point for web searchers interested in a more general topic. It is also a way to organize information within a website.

Example: A pillar page about Canadian bankruptcy laws may link to blog posts about changes in bankruptcy policy.

Resources: Are You Doing THIS in your Law Firm Marketing Plan?

Qualified Lead

Definition: A prospective customer that will be more likely to convert into a customer based on lead analytics. There are two types of qualified leads: a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL).

Examples: A lead that engages in a certain number of activities designed to move it toward a purchase and fits the research-based, predefined customer persona developed by a marketing department is more likely to convert into a customer than a random website visitors.

Resources: Paid vs Organic Traffic: Which Generates More Qualified LeadsWhat is SEO, and Can It Help My Small Business?

Remarketing Campaign

Definition: A campaign that uses target ads to recapture the attention of visitors who may have visited your website without becoming a lead or customer.

Example: Facebook has an option to target Facebook advertisements to your website visitors with a little bit of pixel code.

Resources: Real Web ROI: Online Marketing and Remarketing

Responsive Design

Definition: (See also Mobile Optimization) Web design that adjusts to the dimension limitations of different devices, ensuring the user can easily navigate, read, and engage with your website from a mobile device. It is important to note that Google preferences responsive designs in their search engine results.

Example: A website that “responds” to the type of device it is being accessed with, adjusting design and clickable elements to optimize the user experience.

Resources: The 4 Things Every Marketer Must Know About Website Responsiveness | 10 SEO Tips to Apply to Your Business’ Website Today

Return on Investment (ROI)

Definition: A means by which to evaluate the profitability of an investment, in this case, of a marketing program. To find ROI, subtract the cost from the profit and divide by the cost. ROI is usually expressed in a percentage or ratio.

Example: (Gains of $1,200 – Cost of $1,000) / Total Cost of $1,000 = .2 x 100=20% ROI

Resources: Real Web ROI: Online Marketing and RemarketingPaid vs Organic Traffic: Which Generates More Qualified Leads

Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Definition: A web page of search results generated as a result of an inquiry initiated by an individual.

Example: A search for the term LIT Ontario may generate a list of businesses who specialize in bankruptcy services in Ontario.

Resources: Paid vs Organic Traffic: Which Generates More Qualified Leads 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Definition: Process of adjusting on and off web page elements to align with a certain keyword or keyword phrase that will cause the page to rank in search engine results for that keyword or phrase.

Example: Adjusting elements on your web page including title tags, keywords, media tags, and links can impact how highly ranked your website will appear on search engine results pages.

Resources: What is SEO, and Can It Help My Small Business? | Are you Asking SEO Companies the Right Questions?What You Need to Know About SEO

Target Audience

Definition: A specified group of people to which your marketing efforts are aimed.

Example: Families with young children, college graduates with student loans, small businesses are all examples of target audiences.

Resources: How Using a Digital Marketing Company Can Save You MoneyHow to Create a Marketing Campaign that Reaches Your GoalsAre You Targeting the Wrong Audience?

User Experience (UX)

Definition: Refers to the overall experience a visitor has when engaging with a website.

Example: A positive UX is one that contains customer-centric, helpful information and is generally user-friendly, driving the visitor toward a purchase.

Resources: Online Sales vs Brick and Mortar SalesLaw Firm Marketing Tips to Attract New Clients: Part 4, Content Marketing

User Interface (UI)

Definition: Elements that allow a website visitor to engage with digital media.

Example: A good UI allows the visitor to navigate through the website intuitively using a menu bar, buttons, and more.

Resources: How to Convert Potential Customers

Viral Content

Definition: Content that is shared widely across the internet.

Example: Cute puppy or kitten videos or memes are viral content, but viral content can also be top ten lists, opinion blogs, and how-to articles.

Resources: Social Marketing: Other Social Media Platforms to ConsiderTypes of Blog Posts that Get Shared


Definition: Another word for a series of tasks that moves from one to another either over time or in succession as a result of a trigger.

Example: A lead nurturing campaign is a series of tasks that is designed to move a lead toward conversion. It may start with a form that triggers a thank you email, that then sends a series of emails, that initiates a special offer, and so on.

Resources: Using Social Software to Amplify Your Business