When it comes to digital marketing there are just as many acronyms and terms as there are numbers to interpret. Those of us in digital marketing spend years learning the ins and outs of the advertising world. Fortunately, once you get finished reading this blog post you’ll be on your way to becoming a master of all things digital! There are dozens, nay, hundreds of acronyms and terms to represent all the data you can find in digital platforms. Here are 10 of the essential ones to make you an expert!


1. Session

Perhaps the most basic term you need to know, a session is the base metric for analyzing data in Google Analytics. One session is equal to a person visiting one time. However, note that if that same person returns, this will be counted as another session (aka the number is not unique – look to “Users” to see how many individual people visit your site). When a visitor visits your site, he or she will initiate a session that will last until they leave. Once they do, Analytics will record all of the data from their session, including the length they stayed, how many pages they visited, and so many other metrics that it would be impossible to list them all here. But you get the idea – sessions are a crucial number to measure, as it affects just about all the data you’ll find in Analytics.


2. Impression

An impression is one of the basic metrics for digital advertising. Impressions track how many times a particular ad is seen by a person. This includes a paid ad in Google search results and a display ad on a website. While a high number of impressions is key to drawing more engagement with the ads (unless the goal is awareness), the overall goal is always to draw web traffic past the impression stage. Which brings us to…


3. CTR (Click-Through Rate)

The CTR measures the rate at which a user clicks on an ad that is served to them. It’s a core metric that helps determine the effectiveness of a campaign. A low CTR might mean that the ad is not reaching relevant audiences, or does not have engaging creative. CTR is one of the most common numbers that are used to optimize a digital marketing campaign. It’s a common metric found across all digital advertising outlets like Facebook, Google AdWords, and Retargeting platforms.


4. Channel

Knowing how many people visited your site is important, but knowing how they got there is crucial in developing an intuitive digital marketing campaign. The Channel refers to the method that a site visitor managed to get to your site; this includes via a paid search ad or a referral from a social network. If you want to get even more specific, you can see the exact “source” of the traffic with….


5. Source / Medium

These two terms go hand-in-hand in Google Analytics. When looking at the Source / Medium report, Analytics will breakdown the total sessions by the source, such as “Google” or “Facebook,” and the medium, like “organic” or “referral.” It may seem confusing, but we like to think of it as riding a bike – once you get the hang of this terminology it’ll be second nature. The source and medium of your traffic can help you figure out where to best advertise for your products and services.


6. Bounce Rate

Essentially, the bounce rate is a percent that measures how many users enter the site and leave without visiting another page. If the bounce rate for your website’s home page is 80%, that means 4 out of 5 visitors saw the page and then left without interacting with anything else on the site. Generally, we like to see low bounce rates, as an indication that users are interested enough to visit more than just the page they landed on.


7. CPC & CPM

Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Thousand (CPM) are both metrics that place a monetary value on users’ engagement with your ads. CPC identifies the cost to you every time someone clicks on an ad, while CPM is the cost every time your ad is seen 1,000 times. Google AdWords tracks these campaign metrics to show you just how well each ad is performing for the cost coming out of your marketing budget. Interested in learning more about AdWords? Check out our blog post on the latest AdWords changes you need to know!


8. Keywords

As the name might imply, Keywords in digital advertising indicate the (key) words that users searched for to land on your page. Keywords are found on the Google AdWords platform, where you can bid on specific keywords to bring visitors to your site. Bidding on keywords can help you draw a higher volume of online users to your site who are actively searching for your product or service, increasing the pool of potential customers and clients for your business!


9. Segments

If you want to see how a particular portion of your total website visitors engaged with your site, consider adding a “segment” in Google Analytics. With this feature you can separate users based on dozens of different attributes, like those that came from a particular campaign, users that fall into a targeted age bracket, or from a particular geography. Segments are then compared side-by-side to overall website traffic to see how these users compare to the average user – an extremely useful tool for optimizing a campaign.


10. Goals

Goals in Google Analytics help determine how many times a user takes a particular action on the site. With Goals, you can track certain button clicks, like an “Apply Now” or “Contact Us” button, or when a user views a certain page on your site (known as a destination goal). You can also track where these visitors came from through conversion tracking, and even assign a monetary value to goals to track how important these events are in your profit and loss. This helps you understand which of your advertising tactics are resulting in the highest ROI and allows you to make informed marketing decisions moving forward!


The Digital Hyve is a crew of marketing experts that live and breathe digital. Want to work with us? Feel free to reach out and let us show you how we can improve your digital marketing game!