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Digital Marketing Acronyms


digital marketing

If you are getting push back that your prospect who is a CMO needs verification from the CEO that your proposed SEM and SEO strategy must have an attributable ROI and strong ROAS in the next 4-6 months to hit Q3 goals and wants to finalize by EOM to hit his KPIs, than you are probably living in the digital marketing world.

Digital Marketing is full of three and four letter phrases that can make a newbie’s head spin. Let’s take a look at what these phrases are and why you need to know them.



  • CEO: Chief Executive Officer.  The head honcho or senior C-Level Executive
  • CFO: Chief Financial Officer – AKA Mr. Money Bags.  Position is to make sure the operation pencils and maintains profitability numbers.
  • COO: Chief Operating Officer. Head of the operations, fulfillment and a lot of behind the scenes.
  • CTO: Chief Technology Officer. This role is becoming more prevalent as tech companies have exploded and continue to rise.
  • CMO: Chief Marketing Officer



  • ASO: App Store Optimization.  Ranking your mobile app higher in the IOS or Google Play Stores
  • SEM: Search Engine Marketing.  Commonly used to discuss driving traffic via pay-per-click methods (ie: Google AdWords).  However, some will include organic search (SEO) in this as well.
  • SMM: Social Media Management
  • SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Perhaps the king of the digital marketing acronyms, this is what it’s all about. Driving organic traffic at a fraction of the cost of paid.
  • PPC: Pay-Per-Click. Driving traffic by leveraging paid ads with your own capital. Pay-Per-Click has immediate effects (traffic) adequate to the invested capital. Once the budget is gone, so is your ad (and your presence online).
  • CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization. CRO is all about making tweaks and changes to an already existing landing page by hypothesizing and testing each element in order of importance
  • LPO: Landing Page Optimization. Commonly swapped with CRO, Landing Page Optimization involves creating a new landing page using best practices to get that page to convert at an extremely high rate (ie: 5-10%).



  • EOM: End of Month – Time to Get it Done
  • EOQ: End of Quarter – Time to really get it done and the best time to get / make a deal outside of..
  • EOY: End of Year.  Many businesses want to finalize and take advantage of any remaining OPEX budget (operating expenses)



  • KPI: Key Performance Indicators. These vary from business to business but for the most part include number of leads or sales and the cost to achieve them.
  • ROI: Return on Investment. The aggregate of the money put into marketing vs. the return on that initial dollar amount. Commonly this is noted like 3X, or whatever awesome numbers your SEO Agency has hit for you. This is very important, as everyone is looking for the best possible long-term solution for the most impressive number here.
  • ROAS: Return on Ad Spend: This is generally specific to paid search and the exact amount invested in that channel vs. the return it has produced.  Things like agency or management fees are not attributed here.
  • CPL: Cost-Per-Lead. How much you are paying to acquire a qualified lead that is interested in your business.
  • MQL: Marketing-Qualified-Lead. This is higher in the sales funnel than an SQL and focuses more on awareness to get a lead to the next sales stage.
  • SQL: Sales-Qualified-Lead
  • SOW: Statement of Work. The list of criteria given by a vendor that shows line items of ongoing work or deliverables
  • MSA: Master Service Agreement. The terms of service that your business is providing as a vendor or client.
  • B2B: Business-to-Business
  • B2C: Business-to-Consumer



  • SERP: Search Engine Results Page
  • RLSA: Remarketing List for Search Ads: The latest and greatest Google AdWords campaign type that allows remarketing on the Search Network.
  • CMS: Content Management System. A CMS like WordPress makes changing arduous layers of code more straightforward and user-friendly.
  • CRM: Customer Relationship Management: A CRM like Salesforce allows you to monitor leads (opportunities) as well as managing tasks from a fulfillment perspective. It is the only way to scale an operation.
  • CTA: Call-to-Action:  This is the action that you want your customers to take and is commonly a button that you want them to press (ie: “those CTA’s don’t stick out enough”).
  • CPC: Cost-Per-Click: Pretty self-explanatory but generally this is always related to paid marketing channels like search and display
  • CPM: Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions: Generally related to Display advertising on an impression media buy as opposed to cost-per-click
  • CTR: Click-Through-Rate: Also referred to as “Interaction Rate” the CTR is letting you know how often your ad was clicked on relative to how often it was shown. This is always very relative to the industry and channel. This is also discussed for organic search but much more so for paid channels.
  • CPA: Cost-Per-Acquisition:  These are the metrics everyone is generally looking to improve. This answers the question of how much are we spending to acquire a new customer. These numbers are much more transparent in an ecommerce campaign, but are metrics that everyone who is serious about their business knows.
  • GA: Google Analytics
  • FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Top level access required to make changes and code directly to a website.
  • SaaS: Software-as-a-Service. Software hosted by a third party company that holds information in a cloud and is typically only available with the internet
  • PLA: Product-Listing-Ads: Image Ads associated with Google Shopping or Bing Shopping campaigns that are specific to ecommerce websites


Hopefully this gives some clarity to all of the business vernacular going around your digital office. Whether you are working at an SEO Agency in Los Angeles or Albuquerque, these are all must haves at some point in your vocabulary tool belt.

Brad Keys

As the Director of Sales at 180fusion, Brad Keys has lead the charge as being one of the top digital strategists at one of the top digital marketing agencies.  With a very strong digital marketing acumen that is ROI focused, Brad Keys continues to contribute and help businesses grow one tag at a time.

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