HomeDigital Marketing 101: Learn the Marketing Basics

Digital Marketing 101: Learn the Marketing Basics

At WordStream,our mission is to make digital marketing easy. We want everyone to have the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in this every changing and sometimes confusing world.

That’s where this resource comes in: Digital Marketing 101. You’ll find below explanations and definitions for a number of general digital marketing terms — including concepts related to search marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more. Arm yourself with this knowledge, and you’ll be well on your way to digital marketing proficiency.

Basic PPC Terms

PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of digital marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. The following are some terms you should familiarize yourself with if you want to learn more about PPC. Click the link on each of the terms to head to a resource containing more comprehensive information on that subject.

Cost Per Sale

Cost per sale is the amount an advertiser pays for each sale generated by an advertisement.

Keyword Price

Keyword price is the amount an advertiser pays a search engine when a user clicks its text ad in the sponsored search results for a particular keyword.


AdCenter was a PPC advertising platform similar to Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) or Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM). Microsoft has since combined advertising networks with Yahoo! to form the Bing Network.

PPC Tracking

PPC tracking, the act of evaluating and improving the performance of your pay-per-click marketing campaigns, is a critical part of search engine advertising.

View-Through Conversions

View-through conversions is a type of conversion tracking within Google Ads which measures how many visitors saw your Google Display Network ad but did not click.

Keyword Strategy

Keyword strategy is an essential part of developing winning search engine marketing campaigns. Your keyword strategy should involve selecting high-performing keywords that drive relevant traffic to your business.

AdWords vs. AdSense

AdWords vs. AdSense: What’s the difference? Find out on this page.


In search marketing, a bid is the maximum amount an advertiser is willing to pay per click for a given keyword. More competitive keywords tend to have higher bids.

Bid Management Tools

Bid management tools are an integral part of the Google Ads process. Having a rich, relevant list of keywords in your campaign to bid on, and monitoring and adjusting those keyword bids, can go a long way in helping you experience AdWords success.

Embedded Match Keywords

Embedded match is an Google Ads “match type” which allows you to target variations of a keyword without advertising against the keyword itself

Dynamic Landing Pages

Dynamic landing pages are landing pages that show different messaging to different users based on certain characteristics of their behavior.

High-Converting Keywords

High-converting keywords are keywords in a PPC campaign that lead to a significantly high number of conversions. Identifying which keywords result in a high conversion rate can help you achieve a good return on your digital marketing investment.


Gclid is a globally unique tracking parameter (Google Click Identifier) used by Google to pass information back and forth between Google Ads and Google Analytics.

Automatic Matching

Automatic matching is an optional Google Ads feature that helps your ads reach targeted traffic missed by your keyword lists.


Geo-targeting refers to the practice of delivering different content or advertisements to a website user based on his or her geographic location.


Dayparting is the practice of running pay-per-click ads at specific times of the day or on specific days of the week to more effectively target an audience.

Basic SEO Terms

SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing web pages and their content to be easily discoverable by users searching for terms relevant to your website. Click the link on each of the terms to head to a resource containing more comprehensive information on that subject.

Search Term

search term, or a search query, is the word or phrase that a user enters into a search engine.

Crawl Depth

Crawl depth is the degree to which a search engine indexes a website. Burying pages deep within site directories decreases the chances that those pages will be crawled.

Query Refinement

Query refinement refers to the process of refining (changing or narrowing down) a search query. Search suggestions can reduce the need for query refinement.

Meta Search Engine

meta search engine is a search tool that sends queries to several other search engines and compiles the results into a list. Dogpile is one example of a meta search engine.

Naked Link

naked link is a hyperlink for which the anchor text is the URL itself.

Gray Hat SEO

Gray hat SEO is an SEO practice that’s riskier than White Hat SEO, but one that may or may not result in your site being banned from search engines and their affiliate sites.

Gateway Page

gateway page is a page specifically designed to appear in a prominent position in a search. Often the page is used for search engine purposes only and redirects the user to another website.

Keyword Frequency

Keyword frequency refers to how often a keyword appears on a given website page or within a piece of content.

Crawl Frequency

Crawl frequency refers to how often a website is crawled by search engine spiders.

Search Engine Spider

A search engine spider is a crawler used by a search engine to browse and index content on the World Wide Web.

Site Map

A site map is a list of your site’s web pages which tells Google and other search engines about the organization of your content.

Head Term

A head term or head keyword, in contrast to a long-tail keyword, is a popular keyword with high search volume. Head terms are generally competitive to rank for in search results.

Referring URL

A referring URL is the URL of a web page that links to yours, sending traffic.

Search Directory

A search directory is an online index of websites organized by category and alphabetically, similar to a phone book’s yellow pages.

Internet search

An internet search is the process of exploring the internet for information with the use of a search engine.

Navigational Query

A navigational query is a search query entered with the intention of finding a particular website or webpage.

Below the Fold

Below the fold refers to the area of a web page that is only visible after scrolling.

General Digital Marketing Terms

PPC and SEO are huge components of digital marketing. That said, here are some other “general” digital marketing terms you might run into. Click the link on each of the terms to head to a resource containing more comprehensive information on that subject.

Contextual Advertising

Contextual advertising is advertising on a website that is relevant to the page’s content. In traditional contextual advertising, automated systems display ads related to the content of your site based on keyword targeting.

Buzz Monitoring

Buzz monitoring is the process of tracking mentions of a company, name or brand on the Web and social media for the purposes of reputation management.


Digg is a social network and news sharing site that allows users to submit, comment on, and vote for content from around the web.


Mindshare is a measure of customer awareness of a business or brand relative to competitors.

How Does WordStream Fit In?

WordStream has been a thought leader in the digital marketing space–specifically PPC–since its inception in 2007. Here are some ways we help beginners and pros alike succeed in their digital marketing efforts. Click the link on each of the terms to head to a resource containing more comprehensive information on that subject.

PPC Analysis

PPC analysis is a critical part of pay-per-click advertising. Find out how our Google Ads Performance Grader can help you analyze your account performance in 60 seconds.

Free Internet Marketing Tools

Our free internet marketing tools include tools for keyword research, PPC advertising, Facebook advertising, and more.

Free Webmaster Tools

WordStream provides a set of free tools for webmasters and business owners, including keyword research tools and free ad campaign graders.

Want to get a jump on the latest tips and trends in digital marketing? Check out the WordStream Blog.

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