Edit: There are now 22 terms listed here.
With the growing popularity of inbound marketing, this exciting industry’s terminology is used more and more often.
If you’re just learning about inbound or even digital marketing now, the terms can definitely get confusing. We wanted to shed some light on the most common industry terms, giving you a clear and concise definition of what they mean.
A/B Testing: This term refers to testing two different versions to find out which variation performs better. It can be done on a small scale, with e-mail subject lines or calls-to-action buttons for example, or on a larger scale with entire landing page redesigns.
Keep in mind, however, that if you completely redesign a landing page for an A/B test, you won’t be able to pin-point a single element (such as form length) as the variation that performed better. You will have to consider the landing page as a whole.
Amplification: A content strategy that boosts content for one goal: getting links. By aggressively sharing our content on social media platforms, in forums, in online communities and with hand-picked industry thought leaders, we are likely to get more eyeballs on our content and, in turn, more potential backlinks.
Analytics: Through transparent analytics, we can see exactly what is or is not working – and why. Analytics lets us constantly improve so we can focus our effort where it makes sense, and on the areas that can give us the most ROI.
Bottom-Of-The-Funnel (BOFU) Offer: While it travels through the sales process, a lead will move from the top of the funnel down to the BOFU. By then, it should be considered a qualified lead, primed and ready to take the next step in the sales process. The BOFU offers will be some type of sales promotion or consultation.
Bounce Rate: There are two kinds of bounce rates.
A website bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your page and leave without taking any other action like clicking a call-to-action or navigating through the website. A high bounce rate typically means that your conversion rates are low because visitors do not stay on your site or interact with your content.
An email bounce rate means that an email was sent but was not delivered to a recipient’s inbox. There are two different kinds of email bounces: a hard bounce and a soft bounce. A hard bounce means that the email couldn’t be delivered for permanent reasons. Perhaps the recipient has an invalid email address, or maybe the email went to spam in the past. Whatever the explanation, ini these cases it’s best to remove these e-mail addresses from your contact list. A soft bounce means that the email couldn’t be delivered for temporary reasons. For example, their inbox could be full. Servers will attempt to deliver this email over the course of a few days until they give up. But keep your eye on these types of addresses: if it happens over and over again, it’s best to remove these e-mail addresses from your contact list.
Buyer’s Journey: It is the natural process that every customer goes through to acquire a new service or purchase a product. The buyer’s journey comes in three stages:
- Awareness: When the customer realizes that they have a problem
- Consideration: When the customer diagnoses the problem and begins researching how to solve it
- Decision: When the customer chooses the solution
Buyer Persona: This is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and sales data about your existing customers. Understanding the buyer persona’s helps you align your content creation efforts exactly with whom you’re speaking to.
Call-to-Action (CTA): This term refers to an online graphic, button or text that aims to get a person to click to convert on an offer.
Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of your audience that clicks from one part of your site or email to the next.
Content: Information that exists to be consumed, engaged with and shared. Content can be a blog post, video, infographic, podcast, eBook or anything else that is created to engage your audience and lead visitors to take the buyer’s journey.
Conversion Rate: The percentage of people who went to a webpage and completed the desired action on that individual page. For example, filling out a form.
Growth-Driven Design: This process focuses on three main principles: minimizing the risk of full website redesigns, continuously learning and improving, and informing marketing and sales of newfound strategies and tactics. Through growth-driven web design, we never stop researching, testing and learning about our visitors and our customers so we can continually do updates and make improvements.
Inbound Marketing: This marketing practice aims to capture leads and customers via content creation, search-engine optimization and social media marketing. Unlike traditional marketing (commercials, magazine ads, billboards, etc.), inbound marketing aims to attract customers with a single principle: bring your customers to you by creating content specifically designed for them.
Inbound Marketing Funnel: The path that a prospect takes from their first interaction with your company as they become a lead through their conversion into being your customer.
Landing Page: A webpage with a specific goal, created for a specific audience, seeking to convert those visitors with a specific offer.
Lead: A person who visits your website and fills out a form for either a content offer or a subscription of some kind (blog updates, etc.). Once visitors become leads, they are entered into the inbound marketing funnel where they'll be nurtured until they become, hopefully, delighted customers.
Lead Generation/Lead Nurturing: Lead generation means capturing potential customers through inbound marketing efforts. Lead nurturing refers to developing a relationship with potential customers through all stages of the sales funnel. It involves listening to the needs of the potential customer and suggesting helpful answers. Lead nurturing might include e-mail marketing, blog posts or content offers.
Middle-Of-The-Funnel (MOFU) Offer: This offer is marketed directly to prospects who have already shown an interest in your company. It should establish credibility with your lead through specifically designed content such as webinars, podcasts, checklists or case studies.
Organic Traffic: Organic traffic, sometimes called “natural” or “earned” traffic, refers to visitors who come to a website through unpaid search results. Most marketers strive to increase organic traffic because it means that the website is being found for a specific keyword due to its high relevance and the site's positive user experience rather than through paid advertisements.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This phrase refers to making a website more visible in the unpaid section of the search engine results page. The results are often referred to as “organic”, “natural” or “earned.” Obtaining top position results (as in ranking #1 versus #100) has the potential to give a website massive amounts of monthly traffic... for free.
Search Engine Results Page (SERP): This is the page displayed by a search engine (ie. Google, Bing, Yahoo) that displays the results of a searcher's query.
Top-Of-The-Funnel (TOFU) Offer: Typically this is an educational offer that is not self-promotional so it can generally be consumed by a wide audience. The TOFU offer is designed to generate buzz and interest, educating your lead about your industry as a whole and entering your lead into your marketing funnel.
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