Digital Marketing Alphabet Soup: Our Guide to Common Acronyms

August 23 / Clare J. / filed under Internet Marketing

Digital marketing, like many fields, has its own set of terminology. There are many specific words that we use to describe processes, tools, and data. Many of these terms get shortened into acronyms that make it quicker and easier to express ideas. However, if you don’t know what these acronyms are or what they mean, it can feel like you’re dealing with alphabet soup!

Here’s our guide to some of the most common digital marketing acronyms, what they mean, and why you should pay attention to them. 



PPC stands for pay-per-click, and refers broadly to paid digital marketing. This means that you are showing ads on certain websites or in search results and paying when someone clicks on your ad, hence the name. Pay per click is a great way to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and capture demand. Google Ads is one of the most widely used pay-per-click advertising platforms, though you can also run PPC ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft Ads, and more.


Click-through rate is the percentage of people who see your ad and then click on it to view your site or landing page. Click-through rate is a good metric for determining the quality of your ads, and evaluating if your ads are appearing for the most relevant searches.


Cost per Click is how much it costs your business to get a potential customer to click on your ad. Cost per click is calculated by adding up the total amount spent on your pay-per-click campaigns and dividing by the number of clicks you received. Cost per click plays a big role in CPA (cost per acquisition), and can help you evaluate your competition and your keywords.. 


Cost Per Acquisition is the amount you pay per acquisition, an acquisition being a conversion. Conversion actions can vary depending on your business goals. Phone calls, filling out a web form, or adding something to a digital shopping cart are common conversion actions. Cost per acquisition is calculated by dividing your total ad spend by the number of conversions you received.


Search Impression Share is the percentage of searches your ad shows up in out of all the relevant searches your ad could have shown up in. SIS is a great way to evaluate how often your ads are showing, how much more you could spend in a campaign, and, other aspects of your ads (like website quality or ad quality) that could be improved. 


Key Performance Indicators are specific metrics used to evaluate the performance and success of an ad campaign. There are many metrics that can be used as KPIs, including conversion rates, CPA, overall conversion volumes and more.


Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing your website so it can show up organically in search results. This means you don’t pay for your site to appear, but you do need to optimize your website to include relevant keywords and high-quality content. 


UX stands for User Experience. User experience is the overall experience a person has when using your website or product. In digital marketing, this term refers to the ease with which a user can navigate and interact with your site or landing page. Improving user experience can increase conversions and results in a pleasant experience for users. 

All of these terms play a role in helping us communicate ideas about digital marketing, but they can certainly be confusing when you first run into them. Have questions about how to use these metrics to improve your digital marketing efforts? Contact our Chair 10 Marketing experts to discuss how we can create a custom strategy for your business!