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The ABCs of Digital Marketing


A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil assaulted by bears… No, we’re not plagiarising The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey – we’re paying homage to it.

As you may or may not know, Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an American author and illustrator who specialised in creating wonderfully weird, horribly humorous and markedly macabre stories and poems for… precocious children? Adults who enjoy laughing at the darker things in life? Himself? All three? Neither? To be honest, we’re really not sure. Regardless, he wrote and illustrated an alphabet book – The Gashlycrumb Tinies – that features an array of children, from A to Z, meeting untimely ends.

We bet by now you’re wondering what that has to do with digital marketing.

Recently, our ingenious Content Marketing Manager Rosie came up with the concept of SEO poetry – simply put, writing poetry that is specifically optimised for SEO purposes (you can learn all about this passion project in her blog post). With that in mind, we thought it might be fun to take off our digital marketing hats for just one moment to… put them right back on again and slap our poet hats (we’re imaging them as berets) right on top.

SEO poetry at its finest!

We’ve created a digital marketing glossary that we’re really proud of, featuring common digital marketing terms ranging from A to Z – so we thought why not put our online marketing glossary together with SEO poetry and write our own digital marketing alphabet book, inspired by Mr Gorey himself?

Common Terms Used in Digital Marketing… Used in a Poem

The ABCs of Digital Marketing

A is for avatar, but not like the movie

B is backlink, SEO’s most prized beauty

C is for cloaking, used by evil black hats

D is for domain name, websites’ habitats

E is for email list, essential for outreach

F is for fullstack, devs well within our reach

G is for Google – Analytics, Ads, Grants

H is for hashtag, serious or for bants

I is for Instagram, filled with pictures to see

J is for Java, the script not coffee

K is for keyword, to find what’s the hype

L is for lo-fi, design prototype

M is for memes, viral jokes all around

N is for newsfeed, where new posts can be found

O is for organic, search results that are free

P is for pay per click, ad clicks paid by me

Q is for QA, to ensure you’re the best

R is for reach, put your ads to the test

S is for sharing, as in share this blog post

T is for trending, something talked about most

U is for user, could be you, me or her

V is for vlog by a video blogger

W is for wireframe, web dev’s first practice

X is for XML sitemap, a robot’s atlas

Y is for YouTube, online vids that are free

Z is for zero, the price of our glossary

A Traditional Digital Marketing Glossary

If poetry isn’t your flight of fancy, not to worry – we’re also including the definitions of the above words in a more traditional manner.

Avatar: An image that represents an account on social networks and forums.

Backlink: A backlink is a link created when one website links to another. Backlinks are also called “inbound links” or “incoming links”, and the number and quality of these links are one of the most important ranking factors.

Cloaking: Cloaking refers to the “black hat” practice of presenting different content or URLs to human users and search engines. Cloaking is considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it provides users with different results than they expected.

Domain Name: A domain name is a website’s address that a user types into the browser when they wish to visit the site. Every website is identified by its IP address, and the domain name is a human-friendly label for the numbers in the IP address.

Email List: A directory of email contacts for potential business or outreach leads.

Fullstack: Fullstack developers work in the frontend and the backend of a website rather than exclusively in one part.

Google Ads: The technology that powers Google’s PPC advertising. It facilitates targeting adverts to specific searches, and the adverts appear above and to the right of the organic searches. To find out more about Google Ads see our pay per click information page. Google Ads used to be called Adwords.

Google Analytics: A free, browser-based tool that allows users to track many different statistics concerning an owned website. This tool is vital for SEO and all marketing channels to understand the performance of a website. For instance, a webmaster will be able to track which search engines users who arrive on the site are using, how many visitors there are, where they are located, which pages they visited, how long they stayed for, which actions they performed and more.

Google Grants: Google offers up to $10,000 in free PPC advertising for eligible charities. Please check out our Google Ad Grants page for more information.

Hashtag (#): A hashtag is a user-generated tagging system that helps other users easily find messages with a specific theme or content. By placing the # symbol before a word, it is then highlighted as a tag. Phrases must not use spaces.

Twitter can analyse how many people are talking about something by tracking hashtags. This has been used to track natural disasters and disruptive events in real-time as many people tweet about them.

Instagram: A photo sharing social network that differs from others as it runs solely as a mobile application. The application allows users to take photographs that they can then edit with filters. The user’s photos are automatically shared on Instagram, but with the option to share them on other social networks at the same time.

Java: A programming language used to create applications that can run on a digital device.

Keyword: A term or phrase that a user will search for on a search engine. It is important to have your business’ website associated with relevant keywords so that it will appear when those words are searched for.

Low Fidelity (Lo-Fi) Design: The first and most important role of lo-fi prototypes is to check and test functionality rather than the visual appearance of the product. Content can be applied at this stage to ensure the suggested layouts suit the desired copy.

Meme: An idea, joke or concept that people share. Memes can be images, videos or text. Typically a meme comes in the form of an image with supporting text.


Newsfeed: A hub, often on social media, that consists of the posts a user sees from the people and brands they follow. On Facebook, the newsfeed is made up of friends’ posts. On Twitter, it is known as a timeline and is made up of tweets of those you follow. The newsfeed is constantly refreshed with new posts.

Organic Listings: These are the results of a web search that have not been paid for. The positions of these results should be organic since they reflect the popularity and trustworthiness of the website without being influenced by paid advertising.

Pay Per Click (PPC): While SEO improves a website’s standing in the unpaid section of a search engine, PPC focuses on paid results, which are also found on search engines. On Google, they are above and to the right of the main (unpaid) results.

The website being advertised only has to pay when these paid links are clicked, and more popular keywords are more expensive. These adverts are targeted at specific search terms.

Quality Assurance (QA): Quality assurance, or QA, is a quality testing process that ensures that an organisation delivers the best products or services possible. it’s undertaken by multiple internal personnel.

Reach: The number of individuals who have seen an ad or post at least once.

Sharing: An action made by internet users to pass on any form of information (whether it’s a photo, video, article etc.) to their friends, followers and connections. Most social networking sites have features that make this process very easy.

Trending: An event or topic that is popular and is widely discussed online.

User: An individual who is using an application or a website.


Vlog: Much like a blog, but documented using video instead of written content.

Wireframe: A basic skeletal image or set of images that display the functional elements of a website or page, typically used for planning a site’s structure and functionality at the very beginning stages of scoping with a client.

XML Sitemap: A document in XML format that categorises a website’s relevant files, posts, pages and more. Although this document can be viewed by humans, it is not intended for human use. Its purpose is to help search engine crawler bots easily find all of a website’s given pages.

YouTube: A global video community where users upload and share videos.

And as for Z… well, we’ll be honest with you. There aren’t many digital marketing terms out there that start with Z. If you can think of one, please do let us know!

For a complete list of common digital marketing terms, please check out our simple digital marketing glossary.

And there you have it! The ABCs (and D through Zs) of digital marketing. We hope this will help you next time you’re trying to figure out what the heck a digital marketing word or phrase means. Now go forth and trend on YouTube and Instagram, share a meme on your newsfeed, make up a new hashtag and help your fullstack developer friend with their latest wireframe (isn’t it way cool you now know what all of those words mean?).

Psst… hey you. Are you an aspiring poet? Then we’ve got some exciting news! We’re looking for contributors of all skill levels to help us with our SEO poetry project by writing some original poems – and there’s no previous poetry experience needed! If you’re interested, please send Rosie an email at content@passiondigital.co.uk for more information.