Cutting Through the Jargon of Marketing

From our Co-Founder, Craig

Having been in this industry for many years, I understand how difficult it can be to understand some of the terminology used for digital marketing. I get the same feeling when I put my car into the garage or my wife tells me about her day in cash settlements. You always come out thinking, what the hell did that mean? And what do I say next?!

Don't Get Ripped Off!

As we use these terms regularly, I took for granted everyone knew them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this industry that use this to their advantage (just like the mechanic) to make money. That’s how I got into this industry, I paid £500 per month for a company to link build (we will get to that later) for my business. After 3 months, I asked them what they had been working on and I got an email with a list of websites they had listed my business on. It looked like lots had been done but after closer investigation, most were hotel and pornography websites, problem was I was in real estate! It was at that point I started looking into digital marketing for myself and as I’m a nice guy, I would like to pass my knowledge onto you to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Here is a list of some key terms and explanations for marketing jargon in plain English that are easy to understand.

Digital Marketing Jargon

SEO (search engine optimisation)

A range of techniques used by marketing companies with the aim of getting your site to show in top positions on Google and Bing.

Link Building

Adding your business to relevant websites to increase traffic or SEO value. An easy way to remember is that it’s like an online recommendation system. For example, if a well known food blogger says your restaurant is awesome and links to your website, then Google sees this as a recommendation. The more links you have, the better the chance you have of showing in top positions naturally (organically).

PPC (pay per click)

Showing ads to people and paying each time someone clicks on it. This can be when bidding on search terms on Google/Bing or showing ads to specific audiences across social media and the display network (see definition below). Used in the right way this can drive additional traffic, leads and revenue for your business.

Robots.txt and sitemap.xml

My personal favourite as it all sounds very technical. Robots.txt is a file that tells search engines which pages to show (or not) in search results and sitemap.xml is a way of easily showing search engines all the pages on your website. Having these is important for your website.

Citation websites

Business directories that feature your business on such as Yell or 118. These listings are important as it tells search engines about your name, location and often features a link to your website.

Organic traffic

These are the free listings/results that sit below the ads on Google and Bing. To get to the top, see SEO!


These are the rules that each search engine or social network is governed by in order to show the most relevant content to you. It changes on a regular basis as people keep trying to cheat the system (see spamming!).

Spamming (black hat)

Techniques used by ‘marketing companies' to trick search engines into thinking their website is relevant. Doing this increases traffic but will get you penalised in the long run.


A breadcrumb trail that people that have visited your website leave so you can track them as they navigate through your website.


When people visit your website they leave a breadcrumb trail called cookies. You can use this to show them further adverts (remarket) to get them to complete their booking or get in touch.

Display network

Google has advertising space on most websites via banner ads. You can advertise on these to potential customers and this is called the display network

Bounce rate 

When people visit your site but then immediately leave without viewing any other pages.

CPC (cost per click)

How much you pay when someone clicks on your advert.

CTA (call to action)

This is a method to get your customer to complete an action, book/contact you etc. It could be a button on your website or text on the page that tempts them to do something.

ROI (return on investment)

This is a sum to work out how much you get back on your marketing. The sum is (revenue minus cost) divided by cost. This is important to see how much commission you are paying for bookings.

Google My Business

This is Google’s business platform (similar to TripAdvisor), where you can update business details and information. This is key to showing on the map listings on Google.

Google Search Console

A system that shows you how Google sees your website with tips on how to improve website performance and visibility.

Tracking code

Code which is added to your website to track user activity and revenue/leads/bookings.


To show on Google or Bing, search engines need to be able to see your website and add it to their database. They use robots to crawl all websites and then record them in these databases. This is called indexing.

Search query

This is what people type into search engines like Google. ‘Best places to eat in Edinburgh’ etc.

Landing page

This is the page that a user enters your website. Usually your homepage will show but if they are searching for specific items, other more relevant pages may show instead. For example, if someone searches for afternoon tea then Google would show this page first. As this is the page the user accesses the site, it is called a landing page.

Search results

When you Google something, you will see a list of results to click on. This is called the search results page.

Meta tags

These are ways to tell search engines what each page on your website is about and helps your website rank organically. This is what typically shows in the search results page.


When someone searches for something that is relevant to your business, your website will show in various positions in search engines like Google. The position it shows in is recorded and this is your ranking for that term.

CPA (cost per acquisition)

This is a way of working out how much it’s costing you for a booking or lead. The sum is cost divided by leads.

Still confused? Get in touch with the team to find out how we can help with your marketing (if you were reading this closely, you'll see this is a CTA!)

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