Inbound Marketing is taking the world by storm. But with so much complex terminology, it’s easy to fall behind. Worry not! Here are the 101 absolutely essential Inbound Marketing terms to add to your vocab ASAP.

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1. A/B Testing

The testing of two variations of one variable to determine which is more successful. Could be anything from landing pages, images, colors, layouts, text, and more. It allows you to narrow down precisely how to optimise your online performance.

2. Above the Fold

The part of a web page that’s visible when you first land on the website, before you scroll down.

3. Algorithm

Generally, an algorithm is a set of rules to be followed in problem-solving operations. But specifically in the digital realm it is the method used by search engines such as Google (see Google Algorithm) that dictate which results pop up when you type in a search term.

4. Analytics

Analytics is the collecting of meaningful data about your performance and recognising patterns in this data.

What you choose to measure depends on the type of business you’re running. The key is knowing exactly which information will help you improve your brand, for example your Churn Rate (see below).

If you want a few hints on what to look out for, head on over to the 10 Inbound Marketing Metrics Every Marketer Should Know.

5. Application Programming Interface (API)

Like an algorithm, APIs are a set of rules in computer programming that allow an application to extract information from a service and use that information either within their own application or for an external app or software.

Think of an API as a telephone that enables conversations between applications. The API calls another application to request data or exchange information.

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6. Bottom of the Funnel

The end of the buyer’s journey is described as the decision stage, or bottom of the funnel. This is when leads have expressed interest in your business and are just about to become customers.

7. Bounce Rate

For websites, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your page without navigating to other links on your site. Thus, a high bounce rate is bad news for you, because it means low conversion rates.

For emails, the bounce rate measures the percentage of emails that were delivered to subscribers. In other words, it measures how accurate your mailing lists are and whether they include old or invalid email addresses.

8. Business-to-Business (B2B)

Businesses that offer products or services to other businesses.

9. Buyer’s Journey

The three stages (Awareness, Consideration, and Decision Stage) that a buyer goes through when deciding whether to become a client of your business.

10. Buyer Persona

A figurative representation of your ideal audience based on market research and stats about your existing clientele.

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11. Call-to-Action (CTA)

A request that encourages your audience to perform an action, for example visit another webpage or “subscribe now” to receive a free eBook. These calls to action are super important for an Inbound Marketer because they help you secure new leads.

12. Churn Rate

The Churn Rate measures the percentage of clients who terminate their relationship with you, and through this the ratio of customers that you retain. This figure is one of the most significant metrics you can have.

13. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of viewers that clicked through from one area of your website to the next, whether this is another page, a CTA (see Call-to-Action), an email, or something similar. It shows you how successfully your website maintains your target audience’s attention.

14. Closed Loop Marketing

This form of Marketing relies on closed-loop reporting, which are sales reports about the number of leads converted and maintained in a given time period.

15. Content Marketing

As one of the fundamental aspects of Inbound Marketing, a successful Content Marketing strategy is essential. It revolves around the concept of producing unique, high quality content such as Blogs, Whitepapers, and more, to stimulate interest in your brand and capture new leads.

16. Conversion Path

The path buyer’s go on when they are converted into clients. After arriving on your website, a viewer will encounter a CTA, such as an offer for a service in exchange for contact information.

Following these instructions will take them to a landing page (see Landing Page) and a Conversion Form, which ultimately facilitates the process of securing them as a new lead.

17. Conversion Rate

As the name says, the conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your website that have completed a CTA and are likely to become leads. The higher your conversion rate, the better because you’re turning visitors into leads!

18. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

The process of improving your website’s ability to convert new leads by optimising aspects of it such as layout, text, content, and more.

CRO is performed by a series of tests and determine which tweaks to your page will maximise your conversion rate, much like A/B Testing.

19. Cost-per-Lead (CPL) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

How much money you need to acquire a new lead (CPL) factors into your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), which is the overall amount spent on producing campaigns, advertising, salaries and commissions.

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20. Digital Channel Promotion

The platforms that you promote your content on. It’s because of these channels that your target audience can view your content.

There are paid channels (ad channels such as LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, as explained below), earned channels (these rely on your viewers finding value in your content and promoting it themselves) and owned channels (social media or your own website).

21. Dynamic Content

When a web page is tailored to each website visitor to create a unique experience, this is dynamic content. This could be, for example, using each person’s own name used in emails, or displaying different website content depending on if the viewer is a first-time visitor or has already completed a CTA, such as providing their contact information.

For a newcomer, you might suggest a top-of-the-funnel offer, whereas for an already established lead you would discuss updates on your products or services.

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22. eBook

As one example of Content Marketing, an eBook is an electronic book that includes information ranging from a broad overview of your business to specific information about one of your products or services.

23. Engagement Rate

Tells you how many likes, comments, and shares a piece of content receives. A high engagement rate is a good sign, because it means your followers value your content.

24. Evergreen Content

Much like the tree, Evergreen content retains its appeal no matter when you stumble upon it – for instance, how to write a blog post, or how to manage a social media account. For these reasons, Evergreen content has extremely high SEO value.

25. Exit Intent

Specific movements made by website visitors that indicate they are likely to exit your site before being converted into leads.

26. Exit Rate

The percentage of viewers that demonstrate Exit Intent. Unlike the Bounce Rate, your Exit Rate also includes those that have clicked through your website a little first, not just those that “bounced” away immediately.

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27. Facebook

Founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, Facebook is one of the most well-known social media platforms of the 21st Century. With strong paid ad offers and organic promotion possibilities, it’s one of the greatest tools of a content marketer.

28. Followed Link

When a link to your content is featured on another page, allowing you to reap the SEO benefits from the other business. For instance, if we provide you with a link to one of our clients’ websites, these are followed links.

29. Friction

An aspect of your website that can disrupt your audience’s digital experience and even lead them to leave the site by being confusing, distracting, or causing stress. While it can have a lot to do with the content that you publish, even simple things like contrasting colors, illegible font, or a crowded website interface can raise problems.

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30. Google Algorithm

Google’s Algorithm, while it remains somewhat of a mystery, is the cornerstone of how the search engine determines which pages show up on its results pages (see SERPs).

What we do know is that the algorithm is based on over 200 unique signals that predict what a user is searching for and select the most relevant responses to their query.

31. Google+

Google+ was a social network that gave you the opportunity to share information with your “circles”, such as family, friends, or colleagues. What set this platform apart from other social media platforms was that it boasted tremendous SEO value, because it took into account social sharing. Google+ was shut down on April 2, 2019.

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32. Hashtag

If you have an Instagram or Twitter account, chances are you’ve stumbled across a hashtag (#) a few times before. They are used as a tag on all kinds of social media that promote the visibility and relevancy of posts, and tie together content across a variety of platforms.

33. HubSpot

As the leader and developer of the Inbound Marketing philosophy (see Inbound Marketing), HubSpot offers various marketing software solutions and provides valuable insights for anyone to see, for example on their blogs and with additional value-added content.

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34. Inbound Link

Much like a followed link, an inbound link is when a viewer is directed to your page from another website.

35. Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing is based around the idea of having customers come to you. By publishing quality content, nurturing leads, and making efforts to draw your audience in rather than looking outwards for prospective clients, Inbound Marketing has rapidly grown in popularity in recent years.

For a more in-depth explanation on all things Inbound Marketing, click here.

36. Infographic

A graphic or other visual that provides useful information on a topic, for example a visual representation of the buyer’s journey or statistics on your business’ performance.

37. Instagram

Probably the most popular social media platform among Millenials, Instagram allows you to share pictures from your life and simultaneously offers an amazing opportunity to promote your business among the site’s over 1 billion users.

Interested about how Instagram relates to Inbound Marketing? Find out about how Instagram is essential for B2B Content Marketing here.

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38. JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language used alongside HTML and CSS in websites. It can be found anywhere, from CTAs, to interactive features, to security password creation.

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39. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPIs are another metric that tell you about your performance in the context of your goals, for example traffic growth, click rates or the number of generated leads within a given timeframe.

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40. Landing Page

Where a website visitor lands when clicking on a link or completing a CTA.

41. Lead

An individual (or in the case of B2B Marketing, a business) that is interested in your products or services and is now in your database. A lead is on its way to becoming a client.

42. Lead Generation

The process of capturing new leads.

43. Lead Nurturing

The taking care of and strengthening your relationship with a new lead or prospect by offering insightful information, emails, frequent blogs, and more. In general, it is the process of moving your potential clients down the sales funnel, also called the Buyer’s Journey.

44. Lifetime Value (LTV)

The predicted profit attributed to the gaining of each new lead. LTV takes into account the revenue paid by the customer in the context of your gross margin and churn rate.

45. LinkedIn

As a more business-oriented version of Facebook, the platform’s main purpose is to facilitate professional networking. It has several features to offer its 500 million users, such as LinkedIn Pulse and Sponsored Updates (both explained below).

46. LinkedIn Pulse

As one of the social media’s many features, Pulse allows you to publish a blog on your profile and notifies all of your connections when you upload a new post.

47. LinkedIn Sponsored Updates

This is the option to include paid advertising from your LinkedIn account, which can help you target your buyer persona with individualised ads.

48. Long-Tail Keyword

Phrases consisting of three or more words that allow you to make a more refined search on search engines.

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49. Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation provides you with the platform and tools to develop a lead nurturing strategy.

As HubSpot described it, Marketing Automation is the paintbrush, Lead Nurturing is the artist that uses it, and the painting he creates is a new lead.

50. Meta Description

A short description that describes an area of your website. Meta descriptions are what shows up on Search Engine Results Pages (see SERPs).

51. Microsite

A mix between a landing page and your regular website and are used to create a different online experience for a business’ clients. These generally have their own domain name and distinct design that sets it apart from your original homepage.

52. Middle of the Funnel

The middle stage of the Buyer’s Journey. It centers around the Consideration Stage, where prospective clients have explicitly stated the problem they’re facing and are considering committing to you.

53. Mobile Marketing and Optimisation

With Google’s shift in focus to Mobile-based SERPs, Mobile Marketing (where you adapt your marketing efforts for phone users) is becoming more and more important. Optimising your website interface for a mobile device is part of this trend and ensures that regardless of the device that your site is being viewed on, your audience can have the optimal experience.

54. Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Tells you the monthly amount of revenue a subscription-based business earns.

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55. Native Advertising

Native Advertising is kind of like your ad is a guest star on someone else’ show. It takes on the form and function of the platform it’s featured on, and is meant to feel more like a natural part of the conversation than an ad.

Some examples of this are product placement in movies, or a featured CTA in another article.

56. Nofollow links

These links tell search engine crawlers not to pass credit to a linked website in order to prevent passing on search engine authority.

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57. Offer

CTAs and other content on a landing page that provide potential clients with valuable information and help marketers generate more leads. Offers include Whitepapers, eBooks, free demos, Webinars, and more.

58. Off-Page Optimisation

The optimisation of all things off of your actual page, from links, to other domains, to social media activity.

59. On-Page Optimisation

On-Page optimisation hones in on SEO and the improvement of your webpage, whether this is your content, layout, images and visual appeal, URL, and more.

60. Opt-In

The process of collecting contact information from people who have followed a CTA and have requested to receive content from you. When someone opts in, they are essentially subscribing.

61. Organic Traffic

Rather than through paid ads, organic traffic is the visitors that stumble upon your page from an unpaid search.

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62. Page Views

A page view is a visit to a page on your website. Each individual page a visitor views is tracked as a page view.

63. Pain Point

The problem that clients are seeking a solution to is also called their pain point. In essence, your business’ role is to address and resolve your clients’ pain points.

64. Pay-per-Click (PPC)

Generally, PPC is the amount of money spent to get people to click on your digital advertisement. In many cases, businesses come to an agreement with a search engine – they provide a list of keywords in advance, and whenever someone enters one or more of these terms into a search, that business’ website will pop up at the top of the SERP.

In return, that company pays the search engine a certain amount each time their page is visited.

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65. Qualified Lead

A potential client that is far along the Buyer’s Journey and likely to commit to you. For them to be considered qualified, the buyer must have taken an action to demonstrate an interest in your business, i.e. they opted in to receive communication from you and have read about your product or service.

66. QR Code

A QR code, or Quick Response code, is a form of matrix barcode that is readable not only by specific QR code readers but also everyday smartphones. The barcode, encoded with text, URL, an image, or more, will take you to a new online destination.

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67. Ranking Factor

The ranking factor is the section of the Google Algorithm that determines the order in which results appear on SERPs. Understanding and taking advantage of these factors is the core concept of SEO (see Search Engine Optimisation below).

68. Responsive Site

A website that responds to the type of device a user is viewing it on is a responsive site. This means that rather than building numerous websites for each medium, you can create one that is compatible with all formats and adapts accordingly.

69. Retargeting

When you display an ad to your website to people who have already visited your page.

70. Return on Investment (ROI)

A frequently used term in all things business, ROI measures how much you gain from an investment versus how much the initial investment cost you. It is an effective way to evaluate if a given action is worth the financial burden.

71. Retweet

A retweet is the re-posting of a Tweet, allowing you to share a message from someone else with your followers.

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72. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

A lead who has gone through the Buyer’s Journey and has reached the decision stage, i.e. is ready to invest their time and money into your business.

73. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO means optimising your website’s presence in SERPs (see SERPs) by managing its on- and off-page features. Anything from keywords to visitor behaviour can influence the strength of your SEO, so finding out how to manage it is no easy task!

Read more about how Svensson & Friends can transform your SEO.

74. Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)

The results page of a search engine such as Google.

75. Sender Score

A reputation-based ranking from 1 to 100 that is essentially used by Mail servers to determine if your content is spam or not.

76. Small and Medium Business (SMB)

The term SMB typically refers to companies with between 10 to 500 employees.

77. Snippets

Little pieces of text such as tweets, posts, and even embedded information in SERPs. Read more about the Battle of the Snippets and other Digital Marketing Highlights from last year here!

78. Social Media

A platform that allows you to connect with other people and share data, typically in the form of text or visuals. Social Media is a valuable marketing tool that enables you to advertise your business without overpowering the viewer with information, which increases your chance to gain new leads.

79. Social Proof

If you’ve ever thought that what others think about you influences your behaviour, you’re completely right! Social proof is the psychological concept that individuals seek direction from people around them to decide how to behave in a certain scenario.

In the context of digital marketing for example, an Instagram user who has 100,000 followers would be more influential than one whose profile only has 10.

80. Social Selling

When businesses interact with potential clients directly via social media in order to secure a lead by answering questions and providing helpful information about their brand.

81. Spam

Unsolicited emails that clog up your inbox and sometimes even contain malware that can damage your device.

In the SEO realm, spam can also refer to the overuse of keywords when setting up PPC in the hopes of ranking higher in SERPs. This will get you banned from the search engine altogether, so be careful when creating your keywords list!

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82. Top of the Funnel

As the first step in the Buyer’s Journey, the top of the funnel is when potential clients still find themselves in the Awareness Stage. They are aware of a problem that needs fixing and are doing research to find the best solution for it.

83. Twitter

Another classic Social Media platform known for its 280-character messages.

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84. Unique Visitor

Someone who visits a website multiple times. Knowing the number of unique visitors allows you to differentiate between the number of page clicks you’ve gathered and the actual number of people you’ve attracted to your site.

85. URL

A Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, is the address of an online destination, such as www.randomurl.com. Including keywords in your URL is exceptionally useful because it can boost your SEO, increasing your visibility on SERPs.

86. User Experience (UX)

A client’s experience through the Buyer’s Journey, from the discovery of your business up to a purchase with and even advertising of a brand.

87. User generated Content (UGC)

Content, such as comments, posts, forums, blogs, and more, created by the users of that platform.

88. User Interface (UI)

With a UI, a user can control a software application or device. This interface features a user-friendly window, menu and toolbar, and buttons that allow you to manipulate these programs.

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89. Video Content

Content created in a video format, such as YouTube videos or Vlogs (see below).

90. Viral Content

Content that has exponentially gained attention through shares and comments in a short amount of time, usually achieved through social media (for example, Danielle Bregoli and her infamous line “Cash me ousside, how bout dah?”).

91. Visits

A visit (also known as session) is one individual visitor who arrives at your website. A visit typically consists of one or more page views and counts all visitors, no matter how many times the same visitor may have been to your site.

92. Vlog

A vlog, or video log, is a video typically capturing an individual completing a task. These activities range from mundane, everyday activities such as cooking, to crazy moments like marriage proposals and skydiving. Sky’s the limit!

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93. Webinar

Short for web seminar, webinars are online presentations that provide leads and existing clients with valuable, exclusive knowledge about a business or its product or service.

94. Website

A digital page that features information about a person, group, or business, and is connected to other web pages (typically on the same server).

95. Website Visitor

As the name suggests, this is someone who visits your website.

96. Whitepaper

Similar to a guide, Whitepapers are an integral part of Content Marketing that provide readers with insightful information to a particular product or service.

See how Svensson & Friends can help you with Whitepapers and many other Content Marketing services here!

97. Workflow

Workflow is synonymous with lead nurturing campaign and describes a business’ financial and intellectual efforts to convert a new lead.

98. Workflow Automation

A regulated campaign that uses features such as automation in email marketing to nurture a relationship with a lead.

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99. XML Site Map

A model of a website’s content and all of its related pages that facilitate the process of navigating a site for a user.

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100. YouTube

The most popular social video sharing platform that was brought into existence over a decade ago. For an Inbound Marketer, paid YouTube ads (see YouTube Trueview) are a great tool in promoting your business.

101. YouTube Trueview

YouTube’s paid ad platform, managed by Google AdWords.

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Bonus: Zesty

Because it’s a great adjective … and I honestly could not think of anything else for Z.

Can’t get enough of all things Inbound Marketing? Come check out our free Inbound Marketing Audit or let us know if we missed anything in the comments below!

Yuki Braun

Written by Yuki Braun

Yuki has loved to write from an early age, whether it was embarrassing fanfictions or real blogs for real people. She couldn't be happier working with Svensson & Friends – and as a student at the University of St Andrews, the extra pocket money comes in hand for a pint and some chips at the nearest pub!