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Inbound Marketing  |   Just for Fun  |   Content and Inbound Marketing 101

14 Complex Digital Marketing Terms Explained in 4 Bullet Points or Less

Ramona Sukhraj

By Ramona Sukhraj

Nov 22, 2016

14 Complex Digital Marketing Terms Explained in 4 Bullet Points or Less

Learning a new industry is like learning a new culture.

There are likely to be words, habits, and practices that you don’t understand and don’t come naturally to you, but that doesn’t mean they never will.

New words and habits take time to fully engrain into your psyche, but in this article, I hope to help speed up the process -- at least when it comes to inbound marketing.

After speaking to my IMPACT colleagues, I compiled this list of some of the most complicated inbound marketing terms and concepts and broke them down into no more than four easy-to-understand bullet points. 

1. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

  • This is all about testing!
  • Its goal is to try out different things in your marketing and on your website to find that which leads the most conversions/ most people taking the next step you want them to. 
  • It can applied to any piece of your inbound strategy: calls-to-action, forms, landing pages, headlines, etc.
  • Includes experimenting with your color, text, imagery, and content lengths.

Learn more about CRO and how to use it with inbound marketing here

2. Sales Enablement

  • A company-wide approach to sales where every member of the team helps make the closing of sales easier.
  • This can be through providing information, feedback, or data, or creating sales tools and content to help facilitate the process, etc.

This article will help you get a deeper understanding of the concept. 

3. Search Engine Optimization

  • How you make your website and content “findable” in search engines
  • Involves a mix of making sure the words you want to be found under are present on the page (in the page title, headers, img alt-tags, content, URL, etc.), site authority, and the technical structure.

Want to learn how to rank higher in search engines? We'll break down all the tricks in this free guide

4. Site Authority (or Domain Authority)

  • A very important factor in determining where you appear in search results.
  • The higher your site authority, the more likely you are to rank higher, faster.
  • Authority is determined by many factors, but primarily by the number of links pointing back towards your site.
  • The more authority the sites linking to you have, the more they help improve your own.

5. Workflow

  • A term for an automated marketing campaign used by HubSpot, Marketo, Salesforce, amongst others. 
  • It consists of “trigger” events and actions that you would like to be done once that trigger occurs.
  • Actions that can be triggered include: the delivery of an email, being moved to another contact list, and having a contact property changed.

6. Buyer’s Journey

  • The active research/decision making process a buyer goes through when making a purchase
  • Consists of: Awareness (realizing you have a problem), Consideration (looking at various solutions), and Decision (has determined the best options and is ready to make a purchase).
  • These stages can help you better understand what your prospects are thinking at a particular time and help you determine what kind of content they need to move into the next stage.

Learn more about how to help your prospects through their buyer's journey on your website in this article

7. Qualified Lead

  • Someone who has expressed interest in learning more about your product or service, or shown signs of it.
  • They can be either Marketing Qualified (have filled out a form and opted-in to receiving marketing information) or Sales Qualified (showed signs of being ready to make a purchase).
  • Your team will have to determine what actions are “qualifying” as this will vary depending on your business, industry, etc.

8. Lead Scoring

  • A numerical method of qualifying leads.
  • Your team gives each action a numerical value which is then used to determine when a lead is handed off from marketing to sales.
  • Traditional and predictive lead scoring are two popular approaches. Learn about the differences and pros and cons of each here

9. Backlinks

  • Links coming to your website from other websites.
  • These can help increase your site authority and boost referral traffic.
  • You goal should be to generate backlinks from websites with more site authority or traffic than your own. 


  • Stands for "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing."
  • Protects people from being emailed things that they don’t want to be.
  • The reason why all businesses are required to have the “unsubscribe” option on their emails.

11. Net Promoter Score

  • A number that measures your customers' satisfaction with your services.
  • Determined by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your business to others (0 meaning they wouldn’t, 10 meaning they absolutely would).
  • Those who rate you 0-6 are considered “detractors,” while those that rate you 9-10 are considered “promoters.”

12. Evergreen Content

  • Content that always offers value, regardless of when it was created.
  • It is timeless information that is always relevant.
  • Can be achieved by regularly revisiting and updating existing content.

13. Responsive Design

  • A website that automatically adapts to the device or conditions of how it is being viewed (i.e. desktop, tablet, smartphone.)
  • This is used to ensure that your user experience is consistent across every platform. 

14. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

  • A measurable mark of a business’ current performance
  • It is used to evaluate how a business is performing against industry standards as well as against larger goals.
  • Examples can include: Pageviews, Leads Generated, Traffic Sources, Number of Subscribers. 

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.

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