The Most Important Digital Marketing Acronyms for 2020 and Beyond

There are DOZENS of digital marketing acronyms.

And it can be a doozy.


If you’re trying to figure out what’s the difference between UI and UX and getting confused with CPC, CPA and CTR, read through the list and to make sense of the digital marketing world.  


Stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

This resembles the buyer’s journey from being aware of your brand to making a decision to purchase. This has been, for a long time, a guide for inbound and content marketing experts to attract prospects to their websites and buy from them.

While still an important acronym, AIDA is now translated into a flywheel as customers will always want more answers to their questions and will rely on businesses to supply those for them in order to make a good purchase decision.

2. API

Stands for: Application Programming Interface

You may have heard this before but you don’t know what it means exactly. All you know is that it’s got something to do with apps and programs. But API is actually a set of rules that allows programs to get information from a service. 

Such programs use that information usually for data analysis.

3. B2B

Stands for: Business-to-Business

Basically, a business that sells to other businesses. Social Fox is a B2B digital marketing agency that caters to different businesses.

4. B2C

Stands for: Business-to-Customer

A business that sells to the average consumer. These are retail stores and eCommerce websites, for example.

5. BR

Stands for: Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who enter your website or open your email and then leave without clicking anything in your content. Many digital marketing professionals often use this metric to decide whether such content is useful to the reader or not. The higher the bounce rate, the more you need to tweak your content to make it more interesting for the reader to click the links.

However, not all high bounce rates are ‘bad’. Many types of landing pages have high bounce rates, sometimes reaching to 100%, simply because the user has nowhere else to go after signing up for gated content or a newsletter, so they close the tab or window without any further action.

6. CMS

Stands for: Content Management System

Any web-based application that creates and manages websites as well as keeps track of users, data and other details. WordPress is a popular CMS.

7. CPA

Stands for: Cost per Acquisition

The cost of each action taken by an internet user. These actions vary, depending on the advertiser’s needs.

8. CPC

Stands for: Cost per Click

This refers to the amount you pay for each click your ad gets. You only pay when your ad is clicked.

9. CPL

Stands for: Cost per Lead

The cost your business makes to acquire a lead, which can be a marketing qualified lead (MQL) or a sales qualified lead (SQL). Both lead types will be discussed later.

10. CR

Stands for: Conversion Rate

The percentage of people who have completed the desired action on a web page. This can range from clicking a CTA button to filling out a lead form.

11. CRM

Stands for: Content Resource Management

A program, website or application that allows you to store contact information from leads, prepares workflows, track email and website analytics and monitor customer service reports. This can be found on many websites, including social media platforms and eCommerce websites. 

12. CSS

Stands for: Cascading Style Sheet

A coding language used to design websites and works well with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). They’re called cascading because web developers use multiple sheets to write in the code.

13. CTA

Stands for: Call to Action

A sentence or short paragraph with an anchor text that engages the reader to take action by clicking a link that takes them to another page on your website or a landing page. It can also be in the form of a button at strategic points of a website. 

14. CTR

Stands for: Click-Through Rate

The percentage of people who move from one step to another in your marketing campaign. This is usually a metric monitored in electronic direct mail or paid ads.

15. CX

Stands for: Customer Experience

This pertains to the journey your customer goes through from the first interaction on your website (reading your blog or going through your product page), including the retention process. This is often interchanged with user experience (UX), which we will discuss later.

16. DNS

Stands for: Domain Name Server

You might encounter this acronym when the page you want to go to isn’t loading. DNS is the domain name (or website) that translates into one or different IP addresses. If that page isn’t loading or responding, it means that you might have to reconfigure or at least restart your router. 

17. GA

Stands for: Google Analytics

The free analytics platform developed by Google that allows you to monitor your website’s traffic, mediums and sources. This helps you better understand how people view your website and refine content that makes them stay longer and navigate throughout your website.

18. GMB

Stands for: Google My Business

Google My Business is the free listing tool that allows your business – usually a physical store – to be seen on the right of the first page of SERPs, called either the Knowledge Panel or Graph. This increases your chances of being seen on search results and drives many actions, such as clicks to your website, asking for directions or making a phone call. All of these should convert to a physical visit to your establishment.

19. GSC

Stands for: Google Search Console

Allows users to check the indexing status of each web page they have on their site and aids in further optimising their site for search results. This is particularly useful when a new page has been created.

20. GTM

Stands for: Google Tag Manager

Helps users to manage all website tags without editing code on your website or app.

21. KPI

Stands for: Key Performance Indicators

A common performance measurement used throughout a business. This is used by many marketing departments to track marketing goals and how your strategy is performing.

22. MQL

Stands for: Marketing Qualified Lead

A person who will most likely be a customer, especially if they’ve downloaded content and navigated throughout your website.

23. PPC

Stands for: Pay-Per-Click

The money spent on each click and is sometimes interchanged with cost per click (CPC).

24. SEM

Stands for: Search Engine Marketing

A form of PPC, SEM gets ad placements on search engines. This is the paid version of SEO (see below), which aims to rank websites organically.

25. SEO

Stands for: Search Engine Optimisation

Organically, i.e. not paying for SEM, improving your website’s ranking on SERPs, thus increasing brand exposure. 

26. SERP

Stands for: Search Engine Results Page

Basically the results that you get when you complete a search query on Google or Bing. These results have exact or related keywords either on their title tag or meta description that may match the keywords you used to start the search. 

27. SMB

Stands for: Small to Medium Business

Often the target market of B2B enterprises, SMBs have less than 500 employees and have smaller revenues. These are usually tradies or privately owned clinics and often do not have more than one location or franchise. 

28. SQL

Stands for: Sales Qualified Lead

A prospective customer that your sales team deems to be warm enough to make a purchase. This is the next step after marking them as an MQL.

29. UI

Stands for: User Interface

This gauges how user-friendly or complicated your website is. Web designers often aim for a good balance between striking visual content and compelling copy as well as strategically placed links, toolbars and menus visible to the reader but are not intrusive. 

30. UX

Stands for: User Experience

Often interchanged with customer experience, user experience entails the overall experience with the business from first engagement to purchase and retention strategies afterwards.

Still confused about how to make sense of all of these digital marketing acronyms? With Social Fox, you’ll have an easier time. We’ve got digital marketing experts who know these abbreviations by heart and apply it in our tailor-fit strategies that help B2Bs reach on top of SERPs through SEO and SEM and even have a beautiful yet functional UI.Call us today for a free quote and learn how we can help you succeed with digital marketing.

Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker

I work with businesses to automate their sales and marketing.

Luke Stocker

Luke Stocker

I work with businesses to automate their sales and marketing.