Content Marketing Glossary of Terms

glossary of content marketing terms

Content Marketing Glossary of Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G

H | I | J | K | L | M

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T

T | U | V | W | X | Z


A/B Testing

An evidence-based evaluation method often used to compare two versions of a web page.


The operation performed by a visitor, such as clicking a link, buying a product, or forwarding an article. Good content is written with these actions in mind.

Ad Space

Short for “advertising space”. This is the area of a web page in which adverts are placed.


An advertising service from Google that shows adverts relevant to a user’s search query on the Google search results page.


Short for “alternative tag”. This is a short text description, normally of an image on a web page. This text may be used by search engines to find images, and may also used by text-to-speech tools that allow visually impaired people to access a website.


Short for “application”. Generally used to refer to programs designed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.


The process of breaking down, reformatting, and targeting content so that it can be distributed through various outlets and at various stages in the user journey.


Often used as short-hand for “Google Authorship”, authorship in general refers to crediting the creator of written content. While much online content is ghost-written, authorship can help give credibility to content.

Above the Fold

Above the fold is the portion of a web page visible on the screen without scrolling.

Active Verb

“Doing words” are important in online writing. Using active verbs encourages visitors to perform desired actions. E.g. “Sign up.” “Buy now.”


A service from Google that provides targeted, revenue-generating advertising for websites.

Affiliate Marketing

An income generation model in which website owners place adverts on their site directing visitors to an affiliated company’s website. Revenue is usually in the form of sales, clicks, and/or registrations.


Often used as short-hand for “Google Analytics”, analytics in general refers to the analysis of data to obtain information and insight. Google Analytics is a service from Google that provides data and statistics on various measures of website success, such as visits, traffic and sales.


A type of written content, normally an informative piece on a particular topic. Feature articles are generally longer, more detailed or more subjective than news articles.


The process of identifying the actions or marketing channels that led to a successful outcome (e.g. a conversion). Once identified, these actions or channels can be monitored and evaluated, further refining the marketing strategy.


A blog in which the posted content is gathered from other sources and posted automatically.


An accessible web page is one that works for every visitor, no matter what browser or device they are using.

Adaptive Content

The concept of crafting an experience that is tailored to a user’s customer experience, behavior, and desires. The goal is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.


An advert that is written in the style of an editorial feature.


An idea taken from Agile project management methodology in which flexibility and responsiveness are prioritized.

Anchor Text

The displayed text in a hyperlink – users click on this text to visit a new page. Anchor text is used by search engines and should be relevant and used naturally, otherwise, it may be penalized by the search engine.


The use of faked or covert user comments, reviews etc to promote or market a product or idea. This is a controversial technique which has been legislated against in several countries.

Audit and Mapping

A stage in the content strategy process which involves auditing current content and mapping content against buyer stages and personas to identify gaps where new content is required.


An autoresponder is a sequence of email marketing messages that get sent to subscribers in the order and frequency that you decide.



Businesses that sell products or services to other businesses.

Bad Neighborhoods

A website that uses dishonest SEO techniques such as link farming or cloaking and has therefore been heavily penalized by search engines. Linking to bad neighborhood sites can hurt the ranking of the genuine website.

Black Hat SEO

Dishonest or disreputable SEO tactics that are designed to fool the algorithms used by search engines when assessing a website’s ranking. Such tactics are penalised by search engines.


A “blog” is where the content is published. The word “blog” is a shortened version of “weblog,” which is a mashup of the words “web” and “log.” In the early days of blogging (the 1990s), blogs were diary-like. In the 2000s, blogging matured into a dominant way to publish online, with most businesses sporting a blog.

Brand Engagement

The attachment (either emotional or logical) that a customer has for a brand. This includes their associations, perceptions and opinions.


Businesses that sell products or services directly to end-users or consumers.

An image-based online advert that is embedded in a web page.


A list of organizations or websites that have been identified as being spammers or malicious.

Bounce Rate

The percentage of visitors who enter your site and then leave (“bounce”) after only viewing one page. A high bounce rate isn’t good. The hope is that a visitor likes what they find only your website and continue to other content.

The trail of links often positioned near the top or bottom of a web page. They help the visitor know where they are on your website and how to get to other pages.

Brand Evangelist

A customer who has strong positive feelings for a brand.

Buying Cycle 

The stages a customer experienced when deciding to do business with a company. There are at least five stages customers pass through: awareness, consideration, intent, purchase, and repurchase.

Backlinks display other web pages that link to your posts.

Bing SEO

Search engine optimization methods that help improve a website’s ranking in Microsoft’s Bing search engine.


The standard reusable text often containing company details.


A method of saving the address of a website so that it can be easily visited again.

Brand Awareness

A measure of how well a brand is known by the general public.

Brand Terrorist

An individual who has strong negative feelings for a brand. They speak negatively of the brand either online or via word-of-mouth. Compare to “brand evangelist”.

Buyer Persona

A detailed report by a business on the makeup of the ideal customer/s. Information in this report includes hopes and fears, typical career choices, hobbies, and common objections to your product or service.


Calls-to-Action (CTA)

Often abbreviated to “CTA”, they are the trigger used to convert leads into customers or new visitors into leads. Design content with CTAs in mind: what is the goal of the page? What is the desired outcome?

Click Bait

A disparaging term for a link that is deliberately eye-catching and designed purely to persuade people to click on it. The content they lead to is often not as interesting as promised.

Content Management System (CMS)

The system a company uses to manage the content of a website. 

Conversion Rate

Conversion rates give you an idea of how good you are (or how good your content is) at converting visitors into leads, or leads into customers. 

Cornerstone Content

Online, cornerstone content is the basic, essential, and indispensable information on your website that answers common questions, solves problems, entertains, educates, or all of the above.

Content Farm Content Mill

Websites that publish a high volume of low-quality search engine optimized content.

Content Strategy

The strategic planning and management of content creation and distribution for maximum effectiveness. Content strategy involves elements of user experience – designing content that is user-friendly and meets user needs.

Cost Per Sale (CPS)

This is the amount an advertiser has to pay for each sale generated from an advertisement.


The process of dealing with web pages that have multiple URLs. The existence of multiple URLs is problematic for search engines, as only one URL can be shown in a list of search results. Multiple URLs can also make web pages more difficult to index.

Click Paths

A record of the path a user took through a website, including the page they entered the website on, all the links they clicked on while browsing the website, and the page they left the website from.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. 

Content Aggregator

A service or website that compiles content from various sources, making it easily available to a subscribed user or site visitor. See “RSS”.

Content Curation

The active management and promotion of an organization’s content assets.

Conversion Rate

A measure of how successful a web page or marketing activity is. For example, the number of website visitors that were converted into leads by completing a contact details form.

Cost Per 1,000 Impressions (CPM)

A common measurement used in advertising, CPM is the cost to an advertiser of showing an ad to 1,000 people. Compare to CPC.

Crowdsourced Content

Allowing subject matter experts, customers, or freelancers to create your content for you is a prime way to get more quality content published in less time. 


Short for “completely automated Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”. These tests ask users to perform a task that could not be performed by a computer to prevent fake interactions.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The number of times someone clicks on a link based upon the number of times it was seen. If 100 people saw the link and 10 people clicked on it, then the CTR would be 10 percent.

Content Brief

The content brief is a document created before content development begins. It outlines various details, such as why the content is needed, who it is for, and how its success will be measured.


The art and science of direct-response copywriting involve strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action. Testing is a huge part of copywriting.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

This is the measure of how much your business pays to convert a prospect into a customer.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

An online advertising model where a company pays for each click instead of paying by the number of impressions. A campaign stops running once the daily budget of clicks is reached.


The act of collecting, organizing, and sharing content. This can be done via a blog, social media, or an email newsletter.


Data-Backed Content

Backing up your claims in content with up-to-date and accurate data makes every piece of content stronger, and can help you establish authority when writing controversial or thought leadership content. 

Links that go to pages other than the homepage or landing page. 

Data Mining

The process of analyzing a company or organization’s database to determine statistical patterns in behavior. This information is often used to segment customers based on location, buying habits or other behavioral attributes in order to deliver personalized messages.

Direct Marketing

Marketing directed toward a specific targeted group for soliciting a response from the customer. This could be direct selling, mail, or catalog.

Links that point to web pages that no longer exist. Links like this should be corrected or removed to avoid being penalized by search engines.

Direct Response

Promotions that permit or request consumers to directly respond to the advertiser — by mail, telephone, email, or another means of communication.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is a way to display different messaging on your website based on the information you already know about the visitor.



Ebooks are a common type of content that many marketers use — often to help generate leads. They are generally a more long-form content type than, say, blog posts, and go into in-depth detail on a subject.


The addition of blocks of code to a web page so that videos, images or other content that is hosted externally can be viewed by visitors to the page.


The ability to hold the attention of an audience and persuade the audience to participate in some sort of activity. Engagement might mean getting Twitter followers to reshare your content, comment on a blog post, or answer a quiz on Facebook.

Experimental Content

Content can take many different formats, which opens up lots of opportunities for experimentation. 

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is like a road map for content creation, showing you what kind of content to create, what topics to cover, which personas to target, and how often to publish to best support your inbound marketing strategy.

Entry Page

The page that a user “lands on” when visiting a website – i.e. the first page that they visit.

Earnings Per Click (EPC)

A measure of affiliate marketing success in which the amount earned is compared to the number of clicks made – usually this refers to the clicks made on an advert.

Exit Rate

Unlike the bounce rate where there is only one session (your visitor landed on that page and left on that page), the exit rate calculates how many visitors left on that particular page after multiple sessions elsewhere on your site. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing deepens your relationship with your audience. Each email you send — whether daily or monthly, one-off or through an autoresponder series — carries your distinctive voice, while delivering quality, niche-specific content your prospects need. Effective email marketing builds trust, and that trust helps build your business.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that continues to provide value to readers no matter when they stumble upon it. These posts are typically a content marketer’s best friend because of the tremendous SEO value they provide.

Exit Page

The page that a user “leaves from” when visiting a website – i.e. the last page that they visit.

External Linking

Links that are made between different websites. This kind of link is important for SEO as they are used by search engines to determine a page’s ranking.



Also known as a message board. An online site dedicated to discussing a particular topic. Unlike a chat room where the conversation is built upon short, rapid-fire responses, discussions in a forum are published through a thread often longer than a single line of text. 

Freelance Writers

Writers who are commissioned on a temporary basis, normally to produce a specific piece of content.


It’s always a good idea to try and find new ways to deliver your content. Have you tried video? Webinars? Google Hangouts? Facebook or Twitter Chats? An email tip series? Podcasts? SlideShares? 

Freshness Algorithm

A Google algorithm that returns the most recent content in response to a user search query. For example, searching for “Pandemic” in the year 2021 would return results relevant to COVID-19 and not other pandemics in history.


A term taken from printed newspapers that refers to the top half of a page – for a web page, this is the portion visible on a screen without scrolling down. The top half, or “above the fold” area, is considered to be the most valuable part of a page.


Sometimes called the “sales” or “conversion” funnel, this is an idea that represents the stages of a lead’s relationship with a company from prospect through to purchaser.



Using game features like badges, scores, and achievement as a part of your marketing to increase cuatomer engagement.

Google AdSense

A service from Google that enables website owners to generate income by hosting targeted adverts on their websites.

Google Hummingbird

A major update to the Google search algorithm made in 2013. The Hummingbird update aimed to improve the relevancy of search results by looking at the context in which keywords were used in the phrase entered in the search query.


A name for Google’s “robot” or “crawler” which discovers and indexes web pages.

Geographical Targeting

The analysis of where website visitors are located in the world, and the use of this information to provide them with geographically tailored content or products.

Google AdWords

An advertising service from Google that shows relevant adverts on the Google search results page.

Google Panda

An update to the Google search algorithm originally made in 2011 and periodically updated since then. The Panda update aimed to differentiate between “high-quality” and “low-quality” websites by penalizing websites with poor or duplicated content.

Grey Hat SEO

SEO practices that push the boundaries of what is considered to be honest in SEO. New updates to search engines mean “grey hat” techniques may quickly become treated as “black hat” and penalized by search engines.


A writer who doesn’t receive credit for the content they produce. Sometimes no byline is attached to the content and sometimes the writing is credited to another person.

Google Analytics

A service from Google that provides data and statistics on various measures of website success, such as visits, traffic and sales.

Google Penguin

An update to the Google search algorithm made in 2012. The Penguin update was designed to penalize websites that use “black hat” SEO techniques.

Guest Blogging

The publishing of blog posts that are written by people who do not own or normally contribute the blog, often industry experts.


H1 Tag

The HTML tag that identifies the primary heading on a web page, normally the title of the page. Heading tags are used by search engines to find pages with content relevant to a search query and to rank the page.


Hashtags are a way for you and your readers to interact with each other on social media and have conversations about a particular piece of content.

A clickable link in a web page or document that allows users to move between pages or document sections.

H2, H3, etc Tags

These are HTML tags that identify headings on a web page. They are hierarchical from H1 to H6, with lower numbers identify more important headings. H1 should only be used for the page title. H2 and H3 tags are used throughout the page as the organizational headers.


HyperText Markup Language is the standard, universal language used to build every web page online. HTML gives web pages their structure. HTML is used to add paragraphs, headings, and images.


Short for “hypertext transfer protocol”. It underpins the whole of the world wide web and is used in the transfer of data between computers and servers.


HTML5 is the latest update to HTML. HTML5 improved the rich media experience online (streaming videos, audio, canvas) while remaining readable to both humans and machines (search engines).


The main page of a website. Normally, it’s the page first seen by visitors following the site’s main URL.


The storage of a website or database on a server so that it can be accessed by users. Many website owners use external hosting companies to store their websites.



In online advertising, an impression is counted when an ad is fetched from its source and seen by a user. Each impression is counted, whether or not the ad was clicked. Impressions are usually sold per thousand. See CPM.

An inbound link is when another website links back to it from their site. It’s one of the many criteria for great SEO that Google’s algorithm takes into account because it’s a sign that your content is high-quality.


People who are a voice of authority in a particular industry are influencers. These are people that other consumers look to for advice and knowledge.

Indexed Pages

Web pages that have been visited by a search engine’s “robots” or “crawlers”. Web pages that have been indexed in this way are then able to be retrieved by the search engine in response to a user query.


An infographic is 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. 

A link between pages within the same website. These links can be used by search engines to discover content when indexing a website.

IP Address

Short for “internet protocol address”. This is a number used to uniquely identify computers that are part of a network.



Specialized words that are used within a particular industry or sector and which are unlikely to be known by members of the public. Accessible content should avoid the use of jargon.


A commonly used programming language that is often used to create online applications.


A commonly used scripting language that is often used on websites. NB JavaScript and Java are not the same thing.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A metric is chosen by an organization to help define success. KPIs will differ from business to business (new customer acquisition or customer loyalty) and can even differ from department to department.

Keyword Density

A measure of the number of keywords used in a piece of content relative to the total number of words. Overuse of keywords can lead to unreadable content that may be penalized by search engines.

Keyword Stuffing

Attempting to fit as many keywords as possible into a web page. This can result in low-quality, unreadable content.


A term used to identify the content of a web page. A keyword appears in the headline, subheadings, and is repeated throughout the copy. 

Key Phrase

Similar to a “keyword” but consisting of more than one word, this is a phrase that is expected to drive traffic to a website or be indexed by search engines.

Keyword Research

The process of finding the most appropriate and highest value keywords.

Knocking Copy

Advertising or content that criticizes a competitor’s product, often comparing it unfavorably with the company’s own.

KEI Analysis

Short for “keyword effectiveness index”. This is a measure of a keyword’s value and takes into account the number of people searching for that keyword and how many competing pages might be found by it.

Keyword Ranking

The position at which a keyword ranks when queried in a search engine. The higher the rank, the better.

Keyword Stemming

Producing variants on a keyword by adding prefixes or suffixes to the keyword or using similar words. For example “garden”, “gardening” and “gardener” all have the same stem.


Landing Pages

Landing pages are the epicenter of your lead generation. For the purposes of content marketing, they are where your lead-gen content assets live so you can convert more visitors into leads, and leads into customers.

Links are the bridges between online content. Links allow search engines to crawl and discover content on the web.

A clickable website address that, when clicked, takes the user to a new web page. Links are normally presented as underlined and/or differently colored text.

A website designed to increase the ranking of a particular web page by holding many inbound links to that page. This is a dishonest or “black hat” SEO technique and is penalized by search engines.

Lead Generation

The act of generating interest in a company to feed a sales pipeline. Lead generation is a deliberate act by a consumer exchanging their contact information with an organization.

Content that is designed with the specific aim of encouraging readers to link to it from other websites or social media. Such content may be deliberately provocative or just designed to produce maximum interest.

Load Time

The time it takes for a web page to fully display when visited. Long loading times are seldom a problem now that most internet connections are much faster than previously.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long, and therefore often more specific, keyword phrases. For example “second hand garden furniture” is a more specific keyword phrase than “furniture” or even “garden furniture”. Long phrases are searched for less frequently, but tend to produce more relevant traffic.


A prospective customer. Also see “qualified lead”.

Lean Content

An approach to content creation that prioritizes minimization, clarity, impact, responsiveness, and effectiveness.

Lifecycle Stages

Lifecycle stages are helpful ways to describe the relationship you have with your audience, and can generally be broken down into three stages: awareness, evaluation, and purchase.

Results of a search engine query that are geographically constrained, either due to user intent (a location was included in the query) or because local results were implied by the search query – for example a user searching for “restaurant” probably intends to find restaurants close to their location.


Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to software used by people and companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing workflows by automating tasks.

Market Profile

A summary of the characteristics of a market, including information about typical purchasers and competitors, and often general information on the economy and retailing patterns of an area.


Occurrences of the use of a company or brand name in online conversations or articles. Many companies monitor their mentions, allowing them to respond.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing uses more complex statistical methods to allow multiple aspects to being compared at the same time.

Market Research

The systematic gathering, recording, analyzing, and use of data relating to the transfer and sale of goods and services from producer to consumer.


A piece of content spreading online from user to user and changing along the way. Grumpy Cat was a popular meme.

Meta Data

A general term for data that is describing data. Metadata or meta-tags can be used to describe non-text-based content types such as images and videos that would otherwise be difficult to search for.


The combination of different media — including text, graphics, audio, video, and animation — in one program.

Market Segmentation

Dividing a market by a strategy and gaining a major portion of sales to a subgroup in a category, rather than a more limited share of purchases by all category users.


A measure that is used to evaluate success.

Mobile Marketing

Any advertising or promotional messages that appear on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.


The act of generating an incoming cash flow from your efforts.

Multipurpose Content

Content that has been designed to be reused and reformatted, perhaps by structuring it so that it can be easily transferred and manipulated.


Native Advertising

Paid content that matches a publication’s editorial standards while meeting the audience’s expectations. 

New Visitor

A visitor to a website who has not previously visited the website (either in the time period being analyzed, or at any time).

An attribute that can be assigned to the HTML element of a link. NoFollow links tell search engines to ignore the link when calculating page rank, however, the link can still be used by search engines to discover and index the page.

The act of moving around a website by following links. Understanding how users navigate a website can improve web design.


When a news event is breaking, be clever and fast to get something into the newsfeed that journalists can use when writing their stories. You can become a part of those news stories.

Negative SEO

A malicious form of SEO that’s undertaken to damage a competing website’s search ranking. 


Normally used to refer to specialized markets or demographics. Content produced for these groups will often be created by writers with an expert or specific knowledge.


An attribute in the HTML meta element of a web page that instructs a search engine not to index a page. NoIndex links might be used on pages that a website owner wishes to be less visible, or to prevent the indexing of irrelevant pages.



The element of a sales page that defines what customers will get if they make a purchase. 

Open Rate

A measure of how many emails sent in an email marketing campaign are actually opened (and hopefully read) by recipients.

Web pages returned by search engines because of how well they match the keyword or keyword phrase searched for, as opposed to web pages that are returned because of paid-for advertising.

Off-Page Optimization

A set of techniques that aren’t performed directly on your website but can help your website gain visibility in search engines and build authority. Techniques include guest blogging, posting in forums, building a community on social sites, and link building.

Original Content

Content that is new and unique. High-quality original content is an important element of online content marketing. Such content is not only more useful to website visitors but is also favored by search engines, with duplicated content often being penalized by most search engine algorithms.

On-Page Optimization

A set of techniques performed directly on a website to improve visibility in search engines. These techniques optimize aspects of your website such as title tags, content, and URLs.

Open Source

Source code that is freely available to be used and adapted by other developers, often under a Creative Commons or similar license.



Google’s PageRank algorithm attempts to judge the relevancy of a page. PageRank rewards keyword-rich content that attracts high-quality incoming links.

Page Title

A heading that describes the content of a page. Often enclosed within the HTML H1 heading tag which is used by search engines to categorize and rank pages. The page title is also normally visible to viewers so should be chosen with care.

Page Views

Measures the number of pages that have been viewed. A hit measures the number of files on the page that are loaded. A page may have multiple hits due to images, ads, headers, widgets, and so on.


A fraudulent and generally illegal practice in which people are directed to websites that attempt to gain access to their personal information such as credit card details. Phishing websites often mimic the look and content of a legitimate site.

A smaller window that appears in front of the window in which a user is browsing a website. Popups normally contain adverts or calls-to-action, that, if clicked on, will take the user to another website or page.

Page Exit Ratio

A measure of how many people leave a website from a page in relation to how many times that page is viewed. 

paid search is an advertising technique in which search engine providers are paid to place adverts on their search results page.


In content marketing, personalization means creating and delivering content — blog posts, emails, social posts, etc. — with both the persona, and the lifecycle stage of that persona, in mind.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

An advertising model where businesses pay search engines or publishers to host an ad that sends traffic to their websites. Every time that ad is clicked, the business is charged a fee depending upon the popularity of that particular term.


Sometimes called “add-ons”, plug-ins are pieces of software that extend the functionality of an already installed piece of software. 

Page Tags

A label or descriptor attached to a web page (e.g. in the HTML page element) that helps users find content and helps search engines categorize a page.

A word made by combining “permanent” and “link”. A permalink is a link that points directly to a piece of content, often a blog, and should remain unchanged so that the same piece of content can be accessed in the future.


Spend the same amount of time planning the promotion of your content as you do developing it. That means you should be using all the channels at your disposal — like email, social, your blog, even PPC — to get eyeballs on your content.

Product Differentiation

Developing unique product differences with the intent to influence demand. It’s related to positioning, which is the consumer perception of a product or service as compared to its competition.


QR Code

Short for “quick response code”. QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes (i.e. information is held both horizontally and vertically). In marketing, QR codes are mainly used to hold information such as website addresses. These can be scanned by smartphones to take a user to a website.

Qualitative Data

Data that cannot be directly measured with numbers. Examples might include people’s thoughts and opinions on a product, or non-numerical properties such as colour or taste.

Qualified Lead

The contact details of a prospective customer who has shown both an interest in a product or service and the ability to purchase it.

Qualitative Forecasting

A method of predicting future sales based on opinion (e.g. from industry experts or sales staff) rather than data.


The word or words (also known as “keywords”) typed into a search engine by a user to find web pages of interest. 

Qualified Traffic

Visitors arriving at a website who are actively interested in the service or product offered by the website. Effective marketing should aim to attract this kind of visitor.

Quality Score

Generally used in pay per click (PPC) advertising. Search engines such as Google apply a quality score to adverts to determine where they will be displayed on a page of search results.



The position at which a web page is displayed in a list of search engine results. Search engine optimization techniques are used to increase a page’s ranking. High ranking pages are found at or near the top of a list of search results.


An advertising strategy that displays targeted adverts on other websites when these websites are viewed by people who have previously visited your website. This service is offered by Google.

Return Visitor

A website visitor who has already previously visited the same website.

Ranking Signal

The set of factors considered by a search engine when deciding on a page’s ranking.


An important aspect of content creation. Effective content should be easy to read and understand. Using simple, jargon-free words will make your content more accessible to readers.

Repeat Visitors

A visitor who has previously visited the same website, normally within a defined time period.


A file which instructs a search engine’s “robots” on how to search the page.


The extent to which an advert is seen by the public, i.e. the number of different people who have seen the advert.


A visit to a website that is obtained via an external source, such as another website or blog that recommends visiting the website.

Responsive Design

An approach to web design that attempts to ensure websites are easily viewable on a range of devices. For example by automatically resizing content to fit a smartphone screen.



A software tool that takes content from websites, often for the purpose of reusing the content elsewhere. Duplicated content is penalized by search engines.


The division of current or potential customers into categories with shared characteristics, for example age, gender, previous buying habits. Segmentation allows marketing messages to be targeted, increasing their effectiveness.


The period in which a visitor remains on a website – i.e. the length of time between a person entering and leaving a website.

Split Testing

See “AB Testing”

A paid-for search result used as a form of advertising.

Search Algorithm

The complex mathematical formulae and rules developed by search engine companies to provide users of their search engines with the most relevant results.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO is the professional discipline concerned with improving a website’s performance in search engines, making the page as easy to find and as visible as possible.


One of several names given to the program used by search engines to discover and index web pages. May also be called “crawler” or “robot”.


One of the most powerful content types. Humans have told stories for thousands of years. Building narrative and emotion into your content is an excellent way to engage and motivate readers.

Search Term

The word or words entered into a search engine by a user. Also known as “keywords” or “search query”.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

SERPs are the pages of results returned by a search engine after a search is run.

Social Optimization

The act of designing content so that it is both easy to share and likely to be shared. Icons that allow readers to post content directly to social media websites can be added to web pages and blogs.

Search Experience Optimisation (SXO)

This is a concept which goes beyond SEO by taking a visitor’s experience of using a website into account in order to plan pages that maximise conversion rates.



A label or descriptor attached to a web page, blog post, image or video that summarizes its content. Tags can help users find content and can also help search engines categorize a page.

Target Market

A group of individuals who collectively make up the intended recipients of a marketer’s message or product. Products can have more than one specific target market. The process of dividing an audience into small, more relevant target markets is called “segmentation.”


The amount of data sent or received by a website. More generally “traffic” is used to refer to the number of visitors a website receives. A website with high traffic is one that receives many visits.


An approach to content or information management in which items, such as web pages, are grouped and classified in a hierarchical structure.

Title Tags

The use of HTML heading tags (see “H1”) to specify the heading of a web page. This header normally contains SEO keywords and is also visible to website visitors. It should clearly sum-up the page’s content and aim to entice readers.

Top of the Funnel

A reference to any touchpoint that begins a customer’s interaction with a company. This could be a prospect “Liking” a Facebook Business Page or signing up to receive an email newsletter.

Technical Writer

A professional writer who specializes in producing documentation such as user guides for products and processes. Technical writers translate complicated and often jargon-heavy information into accessible content.


These are pre-designed forms that make it easy to create content. Follow the outline and quickly make well-designed content.


One of several names given to the program used by search engines to discover and index web pages. May also be called “crawler”, “robot” or “spider”.


Unique Page Views

A subset of “page views” that measures individual visitors who have viewed a website’s pages. This metric gives you an indication of how many people are looking at your website.

Unique Content

An important part of content marketing. Unique, original content is more valuable to website visitors and may improve a page’s search rankings.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

A Unique Selling Proposition is something that you offer customers or clients that your competitors do not offer. It’s the “remarkable benefit.”

Unique Visitors

The number of different people who have visited a website (one or more times) in the time period being analyzed.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Short for “user generated content”. This is content created by members of the public rather than by employed professionals.


An important consideration of web design. Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to use and navigate a website.



The phenomenon of a piece of content becoming very popular through shares on social networks. 

Vampire Effect

Occurs when themes or images in an advert distract from or overpower the product or brand being advertised. People might remember parts of the advert, but not the product of brand.


This is the tone or personality of a piece of content. The voice used should match the brand and be used consistently.


People who visit your website.

Visit Duration

How long a person spends on a website from the moment of entering it to leaving it.

Visit Referrer

The external website that a website visitor arrived from.

Visual Content

Content such as photos, videos or charts.

Visual Content

Visual content is critical for content marketers who want to catch their prospects’ attention. Invest in things like infographics, videos, and data visualizations to help make your content more interesting to consume.

Visitor Session

The period of time in which a visitor remains on a website 


Web Analytics

The collection and analysis of web-related data such as website visits and navigation to provide information and insights. Analytics can be used to assess the success of existing content and plan the development of new content.


Formed from the words “web” and “seminar”. Refers to a seminar that is held online, often using video conferencing.

White Hat SEO

Legitimate search engine optimization techniques that will not be penalized by search engines.


The spread of information from person to person, as opposed to information that is spread from organizations to people.

Web Content

Any content, such as written articles, images or video files that is accessible online.

Web Design

A field that brings together other disciplines such as computer programming, graphic design, and information architecture to design and build websites.

White List

Normally used to refer to a list of email addresses that are marked as “safe” by an email service provider and therefore will not be classed as spam.


A small application that adds content like Search, Categories, or Tag Cloud to your website. Usually sits in the right or left column of a website.

Web Application

A software tool or product that is accessed and used within a web browser rather than a computer desktop.

Web Presence

A company’s online “real estate”, for example their website and social media accounts.


An online content management system that facilities collaborative use and editing of content. Wikipedia is probably the best known example of a wiki.

Writing for the Web

Writing for the web differs from writing for print publications. This is something that should always be taken into account when planning and developing new content.



Short for “extensible mark-up language”. This is a way of marking-up datasets and structured documents allowing them to be transferred between applications. It is commonly used on the web, for example to transfer data from an underlying data store to a web page.

XML Feeds

This is a use of the XML language which acts in a similar way to an RSS feed, generating XML files as required. For example, an XML file of new products might be produced weekly and sent to a subscribed website, updating their product database.

XML Sitemap

An XML file that lists all of the pages on a website. These can be used by search engines to assist them in indexing a website. Compare to “HTML sitemap”.


Z Chart

A type of chart frequently used in business that plots sales over a year, with three breakdowns: totals for a period (e.g. monthly), cumulative totals, and a moving annual total.


A German word loosely translated as “spirit of the age”. The zeitgeist is a general understanding of the ideas, opinions, and interests that collectively seem to define a particular time period.

Zero Level Channel

A marketing channel in which the manufacturer sells directly to the consumer without any intermediaries such as retailers.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G

H | I | J | K | L | M

N | O | P | Q | R | S | T

U | V | W | X | Z

Did We Miss a Term?

While we tried to include every term possible that has to do with content marketing, there are a lot of them. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out! We’re happy to explain the terms and processes.

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