Know your digital-marketing terms

Bounce rates, impressions, and click-throughs – oh, my.

Thanks to the online revolution, there’s a lot of new marketing lingo. It can be hard to keep up with, or decipher. With this in mind, here are some of the more common digital-marketing terms and what they mean:

  1. Call to Action: The instruction to your audience intended to provoke a response. Think: “Save now,” “Buy today,” etc. Basically, if you want the customer to do something, you need to say what it is.
  2. Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors who arrived at your website, but left (“bounced”) after visiting a single page. It usually implies someone not very engaged in the content, or who came to your site by mistake.
  3. Impression: Every time a user sees an online ad, it counts as an impression — whether they clicked on it or not. Be wary of this measurement; we’ve already trained our eyes to ignore ads online, just like we’ve trained ourselves to fast forward through non-program content on our PVRs.
  4. Click-through Rate: This measurement is how many clicks you got on your ad, which is a deeper level of engagement than an impression (but watch that bounce rate to be sure).
  5. Abandonment: When a user doesn’t complete the goal you intended (like buying something), and bails on the process early.
  6. Reach/Frequency: Reach is the number of different people who see your ad. Frequency is the number of times they see it. In media planning, you multiply reach and frequency to determine “gross ratings points” – the weight of your whole media schedule.
  7. Conversion Rate: The percentage of visitors who completed the goal. They bought the T-shirt!
  8. Paid/Organic Results: When you conduct an online search, there are paid results (usually the first couple of highlighted links at the top and right sidebar in Google search), and organic listings (the “stuff” underneath, which isn’t paid for, but organically relevant and achieved through search engine optimization).
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