Internet Marketing Jargon

On this page, you find all of the important terms (aka “jargon”) you’ll encounter in online marketing related material. Each term is explained briefly and linked to a more substantial, in-depth explanation, if applicable.


Above the Fold

In printed newspapers “above the fold” refers to the top half of the page, which is visible when the paper is folded up, as you will encounter it at a news-stand. In online marketing, “above the fold” refers to the content on a website that is visible without scrolling down. You will often encounter advice on what kind of text, pictures or ads to place above the fold on your website.

Adsense / Adwords

Adsense and Adwords are the two components of Google’s pay-per-click advertisement service. Adsense allows you to place Google text-ads on your website, anywhere you choose. Every click on an ad costs an advertiser a certain amount of money and if the click happened on an ad placed on your website, you get a commission. Adwords is the advertiser’s side of this system: It lets you create ads and bid a certain price for each click-through to your website. In effect, you can use Adwords to pay for a certain amount of extra traffic to your site.

Affiliate Marketing

An Affiliate is someone who sells someone else’s products for a commission. As an affiliate for any given product, you will be provided with a referral link, which is unique to you. When people click on this link, they reach a product page or sales-page and if they make a purchase, you receive a commission. For digital products, the commissions are usually around 50% and for physical products, they tend to be 10% or lower.
Read more on this topic: What Is Affiliate Marketing?


In it’s simplest form, an auto-responder is a program that automatically sends pre-defined email messages at certain intervals. Autoresponder services like Aweber do far more than this, though. A good auto-responder will allow you to set individual messages for different mailing-lists, determine the time-intervals between the messages, split test different messages and test their effectiveness and much more. Additionally, one of the most important things an auto-responder service does for you is make sure that your e-mails actually reach your contact’s inboxes and don’t get caught up in spam filters. When you’re sending out mails to thousands of people on a regular basis, this is no simple task.
Auto-responders can be used to stay in touch with customers and subscribers and they are highly effective marketing tools, when used right. Hence the expression: “The money is in the list” (the list in this case being the mailing-list). Learn more about autoresponders here.


Website analytics tools are tools that allow you to see various details about the visitors your website is receiving, such as daily visitor numbers, how many pages visitors look at on average, which sites or search engines they came from and much more. Analytics can be extremely valuable in figuring out how you can get more traffic, what your most popular content is and tracking where your most valuable/highest converting visitors are coming from.
Check out this post about Google Analytics alternatives.

Article Marketing

Marketing products by writing articles on public article directories, where anyone can contribute (e.g. ezinearticles, squidoo and others). This can either be done as direct article marketing, with affiliate links placed in the article itself (check the TOS of the directory in question to see if this is allowed), or as a promotion for your affiliate site, with links to your website or squeeze page in the article. Article marketing used to be very popular, but lost a lot of traction, when some of the most popular article directories online were “slapped” by a Google update.
Learn more about article marketing here.



The back-end is where the customer is led once they have made the first purchase. It is said that acquiring a new customer is takes about 7 times the amounts of resources (time, money) than selling to an existing customer. This is why, for most businesses, it’s vitally important to have a good back-end, consisting of special offers, complimentary offers, memberships etc.


A backlink is simply a link from one page to a page on a different website. Backlinks are an important part of how Google ranks web-pages, with pages that have more backlinks pointing to them generally ranking higher than others.

Black-hat SEO

Using illegitimate methods, deception and “hacks” to generate traffic to your site is referred to as black-hat SEO. It’s practically impossible to draw a clear line between “white-hat” and “black-hat” SEO, since Google doesn’t really approve of any truly effective SEO techniques. Basically, they don’t want you to manipulate the search results, while you want to do exactly that.

Bounce Rate

A “bounce” is usually defined as a visitor reaching a page on your website an then leaving again, without clicking on any of the links on your page (i.e. without looking at a further page). If you have a high bounce rate, it’s a sign that you aren’t engaging your visitors and that you need to work on your content or presentation. Note that different analytics tools measure bounces in different ways.

Broad Match

A broad match search result is what you get whenever you type in a search term into a search engine. The search engine will look for relevant sites containing the words you typed in any order. I.e. typing “cute little bunnies” will list a page called “little cute bunnies” in the broad match results. The counterpart to broad match is the exact match.
Read more about this topic: Match Types Explained


Conversion / Conversion Rate

The conversion rate of any given page is determined by the amount of traffic it gets, the conversion goal of the page and the amount of people who fulfill that conversion goal. A simple example is this: A sales-page usually has one and only one conversion goal and that is to make a sale. So, if you get 100 visitors to a sales-page and 3 of them make a purchase, that’s a conversion rate of 3%.
Sites and pages can have all kinds of conversion goals, like a sign-up to a newsletter, a click on a specific link, etc. There is no standard measure of what a “good” conversion rate is, since this is completely dependant on the conversion goal and the traffic source.

Contextual Advertising

The best-known type of contextual advertising is AdSense. With AdSense, you simply add a piece of script to your site and the system will automatically display ads that match the topic of your content, on any page the ads are displayed.


CPA is the abbreviation for “Cost Per Action”. In this advertisement model, you can get paid for a certain action the customer performs, like sharing his address and phone-number or signing up for a newsletter.

CPC / Cost Per Click

The Cost Per Click is an analysis metric that determines how much you are paying for each click in your campaign. The goal of every paid traffic campaign is to keep the CPC as far as possible below the EPC (Earnings Per Clicks).

CPV (sometimes called PPV)

CPV stands for Cost Per View. As opposed to PPC, where you pay each time someone clicks your add, with CPV advertising, you pay every time your ad is served to a visitor, regardless of whether they click or not. CPV ads are usually served in pop-up or pop-under windows.


EPC / Earnings Per Click

Earnings Per Click is an analysis metric that tells you how much money you are making for each click. As a simple example, if you are promoting a product that nets you $50 per sale and it converts at 1%, this offer has an EPC of $0.50 (100 clicks result in one sale, therefore $50 profit divided by 100 clicks).

Exact Match

An exact match search will only return results that match your search term exactly, including the order you typed the words in. In this case, a page titled “little cute bunnies” would not be listed in your exact match search for “cute little bunnies”. To do an exact match search, simply type your search term inside quotes.
Read more about this topic: Match Types Explained

Exit Pop-up /Exit Page

An exit pop-up is an annoying little piece of script that makes a prompt appear in your browser when you try to leave a website (either by closing the window or navigating to a different page). The prompt usually says something like “WAIT, STOP RIGHT THERE! Before you leave, here is a one-time only, super exclusive offer just for you! (yeah right!)”. It is designed to change your mind and sign up or purchase anyway and also to annoy the hell out of you. An exit-script can also lead you to an exit-page, where you will find more offers trying to convert you.
Oh and if you are a marketer, the exit pop-up isn’t so much annoying as it is a potential cash-cow.


Flipping/Website Flipping

Flipping is a term that describes the buying and selling of websites for profit. The process is usually that you purchase a website, do some promotional work on it, to increase it’s value and then sell it for a significantly higher price than what you originally paid for it.


The front-end is what the marketer presents to new customers. Here, you will find initial sales-pitches and often get offered a lot of bonuses and extras, meant to coax you into your first purchase. Once that is completed, you will be lead to the back-end.


FTP is short for “file transfer protocol”, which is a way for you to connect to a server, so that you can easily upload, download and modify files, much like you can do with files on your hard drive.


Google Dance

When you are optimizing a web-page with the goal of getting it ranked in Google for a specific keyword, the page’s progression in rankings is rarely straight-forward or even. Typically, a page will go through a “Google dance” period where it can be seen jumping back and forth between high and low ranking positions for some time, before it finally settles down.

Grey-hat SEO

A term sometimes used to describe methods for attracting traffic that don’t exactly violate the search engine’s terms of agreement, but use some loopholes and not-entirely-legitimate techniques.



A hit is technically a request made to your server and occurs once for each page element, every time someone loads a page on your website. The most common use of the word is in a phrase like “our site got X hits after it went viral”, in which case it’s actually a misnomer, since what is really meant in a sentence like that is the number of unique visitors, visitors or even page-loads that were recorded. In other words: hits do not equal visitors, even though that’s how the term is often used.


Integration Marketing

Integration marketing is when you insert an offer of yours into an existing traffic stream or business. An example of this is when you make a deal with another marketer and get to place an advertisment for one of your offers on a thank-you page of said marketer. This means that all the people signing up to their list will get to see your ad (and the marketer gets a commission if they make a purchase). Another example can be seen when a product is promoted within another product (say, an autoresponder service being promoted in a product about e-mail marketing).


Joint Venture / JV

Technically, a JV would be when two or more people work together on a project or product. In online marketing circles, affiliates are often referred to as “JV partners”, probably in an attempt to make them feel more important than “just affiliates”.



A keyword is a word or phrase that someone enters in a search-engine. Affiliate sites usually “target” a specific keyword that they try to get high rankings on the search-engines for.

Keyword Density

The keyword density is the measure (in percent) of how often your targeted keyword appears in relation to the amount of other words on a given page. You don’t want your keyword density to be too low, because you want to make sure that the Google bots “get” what your page is about (or rather, what you want them to rank your page for) but you also don’t want to have an overly high keyword density (this is called keyword stuffing), because search engines penalize this. And it also makes your texts a pain to read.


Latent Semantic Indexing / LSI

LSI is a method of text-analysis used by Google to determine the relevancy of a page to any given search term. LSI doesn’t just look at how often or how prominently the search term itself appears in the text but also checks for related words and phrases and how they appear on the page. One of the benefits of this is that the search engine can detect keyword-stuffed pages and ditch them in favour of pages with “real” content. LSI is very complex and very interesting. Bottom line is that it’s goal is to find more relevant, more interesting content to match your search term.

List / List-Building / List-Marketing

In online marketing a “list” refers to a mailing-list. Visitors to a website are usually given some sort of incentive (most commonly a free ebook) to submit their e-mail address. This is also known as an “opt-in”. The marketer builds a list of people who have submitted their e-mail address and markets products to them via e-mails. This is called list-marketing.

Long Tail

The long tail refers to specialized niche markets and is in no means limited to just online marketing. The long tail has become much longer and much more lucrative with the rise of the world wide web. As an example, think of “sports”. There are billions of people interested in sports in some way. And there are some companies that dominate the bulk of the market – huge sports-coverage TV-channels, sports news websites, gigantic sports supplies stores. Next to these there also exist a “long tail” of much more specialized, smaller companies offering very specific services – selling retro football jerseys, offering advice on how to improve your three-point throw and other highly focused niches.


Match Type

Google defines three different match types for keywords, in their AdWords keyword tool: broad match, phrase match and exact match. It’s very important to know about the difference between the match types, but it would take up too much space to go into detail about it, here. Instead, check out this article about match types.

Media Buying

A media buy is when you buy ad-space. This could be ad-space in the form of a banner on a website or it could be an ad in a local newspaper or even a TV ad. Whenever you buy ad-space or a time-slot for your advertisement to appear somewhere, that’s a media buy.


A niche within a niche is sometimes referred to as a micro-niche. It’s not always clear where the niche stops and the micro-niche begins. As an example, outdoor climbing is a niche within sports/outdoor sports and a book about the gear you need to go outdoor climbing in cold conditions would be targeting a micro-niche within that niche.

Multivariate Testing

Multivariate testing is a form of split testing, where you test many different elements on a page at the same time. The difference to an A/B split test, where you try to find the best performing page among several page variations is that with multivariate test, you are testing to find the best possible combination of all the page-elements being tested.


Niche / Niche Marketing

A niche is a narrow field of interest that can be marketed to effectively. If you try to market to people who are interested in “how to make money”, you are up against a lot of competition, because it’s a broad term and broad market. Within this market are smaller niches (e.g. “how to make money by flipping websites”) that are much less competitive.


Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is traffic that you get for free, via search-engines and other means. Generally, you get organic traffic to sites that offer interesting and relevant content, because the search-engines pick up on this, visitors return to your site and post links to it etc. In other words, organic traffic is traffic that you don’t pay for and that “happens by itself” to a certain extent.


Page Rank

Page Rank (or PR) is an arbitrary score, between 0 and 10, assigned to web-pages by Google. Basically, the higher the PR or a page, the more trusted and authoritative it can be assumed to be. In terms of search engine rankings, PR has only very little significance because in the search results, relevancy beats authority.

Phrase Match

A phrase match search is done by adding quotation marks around your search phrase and it will return all pages containing those words in exactly that order.
Read more about this topic: [highlight type=”light”]Match Types Explained [/highlight]


A second browser-window opening up as a result of a click is called a pop-up. Pop-ups are incredibly annoying and spammy and I hope they all die a horrible death.


PPC is the abbreviation for “pay-per-click”. This is a type of advertisement where the advertiser pays a certain sum for every time someone actually clicks on his ad. The host of the advertisement gets paid a certain (smaller) sum every time someone clicks on a PPC ad on his/her website. The difference goes to the middleman (mostly Google). This is basically a risk-smallwin-bigwin situation: The advertiser pays and carries a risk, the host gets paid if his site is popular enough and people click on the ads and the middleman gets to roll in a lot of money.



Scarcity is a tried and true marketing method and one that has to do with one of the most basic ways people assign value: the rarer something is, the more valuable it must be. Hence, if you put a limit on your product (either in time or number of copies), it automatically appears more valuable and can command a higher price. This is the reason behind all “exclusive offers” and “limited editions”.

Scraping / Content Scraping

Copying content from other websites and adding it to your own is referred to as scraping. There are services that propagate scraping as a brilliant way to build sites with relevant content without having to put any actual work in. Good luck with that.

SEO / Search Engine Optimization

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is what you do to make your website as “friendly” as possible to search engine bots. Since search engines read websites differently from humans, just having good, relevant content isn’t always enough. With some tweaks to your layout and the right kind of meta-information, you can make sure that your website is just as readable to bots as it is to your human visitors.
For more details on SEO, read this blog post.


Abbreviation for “Search Engine Results Page”. What you see when you type in a search term and hit enter.

Social Media Marketing

Using social media platforms like Facebook, twitter or Youtube for promoting products is described as social media marketing.

Split Testing

Testing two different versions of a sales-page to see which one converts better is called split testing. This can be done via scripts that display one of your pages to 50% of your visitors and another to the other 50% of your visitors automatically. Split testing allows you to test for the best headlines, ad-placements, article-lengths and many other factors.



Ah, traffic. It’s all about traffic, in online marketing. Well, not really. Traffic refers to the visitors coming to your website. Obviously, the more visitors (traffic) your site gets, the more products you can potentially sell. Of course, for successful selling, it also depends where the traffic is coming from, what kind of visitors you get and whether they have any money.

Traffic Source

The place your visitors are coming from is your traffic source. For example, if you write a lot of articles and submit them to Ezinearticles and people read them and click through to your site, that makes Ezinearticles your main traffic source. If you do SEO and your visitors find you through searching for something on Google, that makes Google your main traffic source. The significance of this is that not all traffic sources are equal. Different traffic sources have different levels of effectiveness, depending on how you monetize your site.

Two-Tier Affiliate Program

If you are part of a two-tier affiliate marketing campaign, you will not only get commissions for every sale made through you but also get paid a small commission made by anyone else who signed up to the campaign through you. So, in theory, if you can convince a lot of people to sign up for the program via your affiliate-link and they make a lot of sales, you could be making a lot of cash on auto-pilot. In practice, this is the idea everyone gets so everyone will be signing up new affiliates and no-one will be making any sales (this isn’t always the case, of course, but you get the picture).



USP is an acronym for either “unique selling proposition” or “unique selling point” and it describes a fundamental marketing principle. That principle is that your product, service, brand or content needs to have something that makes it unique among it’s competitors. A USP is the answer to the questions “why should I buy your product instead of one of the competing products?”


When you decide to buy a product and clicking the “buy now!” button takes you to a page where there is a further “special bonus!/one-time-offer!/take this system to a new level!” sales pitch, that’s called an upsell. In short, you’ve been sold one product, so the marketer might as well try to sell you another one right away. Sometimes you will also see delayed upsells in follow-up e-mails.


Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is basically trying to get the general public to do the advertising for you. For example, a very controversial ad can potentially stir up a huge buzz, get coverage on blogs, in the news, get talked about during coffee-breaks etc. Lots of people talking about and paying attention to your product or brand is obviously a good thing. Marketers often try to make something “go viral”, but it’s not something that can be strictly constructed. It takes at least a little luck for any campaign to go viral.


White-hat SEO

Attracting traffic to your websites in ways that are completely legitimate (i.e. “not cheating”).