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OMG! Common Acronyms & Initialisms You Will Hear at a Digital Marketing & Advertising Company

OMG! Common Acronyms & Initialisms You Will Hear at a Digital Marketing & Advertising Company

To someone on the outside looking in, we seem to speak our own language at a digital marketing & advertising company. If you’re not familiar with all the shorthand lingo we use, it can get pretty confusing, but not to worry! Smart WSI Marketing is here to help. We’ve put together a glossary of common initialisms and acronyms you will hear at a digital marketing and advertising company. To learn more nifty marketing and advertising terms, or for a consultation on your overall digital marketing strategy, call us today!

Here are 25 of the most common acronyms & initialisms we use at our digital marketing and advertising company, in alphabetical order:

AI: Artificial Intelligence. AI is becoming a larger element in all things digital. When paired with a team of digital marketing experts, it is nothing to fear! We are able to leverage the advanced abilities of robots to do things we as human cannot, and we as human can make rational decisions based on the information presented to us, things we know about your business, your locale, and your needs. AI is part of a winning team!

BANT: Budget. Authority. Need. Timeline. Digital marketing and advertising companies use BANT when determining a suitable strategy with a prospect or client.

Budget – Does the organization have sufficient budget for the digital marketing service they are interested in?
Authority – Are we speaking to the right person? We want to make sure we are presenting important details to the company's decision maker as well as anyone who influences their decision (other stakeholders).
Need – Does the company actually need this service? We don't want to sell you a service for the sake of making a sale. We want to make sure it is the right product to meet your needs and bring impactful results.
Timeline – Is there a specific timeline in mind for implementation? Can we meet that deadline? Or are they expecting results by a specific date? Does the product have the ability to achieve that? (Example: "I want to be on the 1st page tomorrow.”  No matter what we do, that’s just not going to happen…)


CMS:  Content Management System. This is a software used by to create, edit, and manage websites and other content. The great thing about CMS is you don’t need to know code to use them. These are tools like Oncord, BigCommerce, WordPress and Wix.

CPC: Cost per Click. This is the amount you pay each time your ad is clicked in a PPC campaign. This amount is determined by a number of factors such as the competition, quality score of the ad, your maximum bid amount, and more.

CPL: Cost per Lead. The cost required to obtain a lead. Typically, this used in PPC advertising.

CPM: Cost per Thousand. Where does the “M” come from then, you might ask? It’s technically cost per mille, the French word for thousand. This is a measurement of how much an advertiser pays for a thousand visitors to see their ad.

CRM:  Customer Relationship Management. A CRM is like a big fancy digital address book where you keep all of your customer data. This allows you to keep track of all of your customer relationships, including both potential and existing customers. They’re great tools for helping you stay connected to your customers and streamline your communications.

CRO:  Conversion Rate Optimization. This is the process of optimizing your website with the goal of users completing a specific action. CRO is all about maximizing your marketing efforts by making sure your website provides a great user experience.

CTA:  Call to Action. This is where you give your readers instructions on what to do next after they read your ad or content. Common examples are “call us today,” “visit us now,” and “check out our blog.”

CTR: Click Through Rate. This is a simple math equation. This is the number of times an ad is clicked divided by the number of times your ad is seen. This allows you to measure the engagement with your ad. The higher the CTR, the higher engagement your ad is getting.

Here’s the equation:

CTR = ((clicks/impressions) x 100)

DNS: Domain Name System. A great metaphor for a DNS is a phone book. When you type a domain name (like into your browser, a DNS server translates that into an IP address, so you don’t have to remember that! It will then load the correct page.

FB: Facebook. Still the world’s number one social media platform! Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users worldwide. With the amount of personal information people share on Facebook, they provide you with a plethora of targeting advertising options, allowing you to find your ideal audience in essentially a captive setting.

GA:  Google Analytics. Google offers a wealth of tools for digital marketing and advertising companies. Google Analytics provides a cornucopia of marketing data that helps you and your agency analyze the performance of your website and supporting marketing activities. This allows you to see what’s working, and effectively change what isn’t.

HTML:  Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the behind-the-scenes language of the internet. It’s made up of a series of elements and symbols that detail the structure of a website, and how the content should show up in your browser.

IG:  Instagram. Facebook’s trendier little sister. Instagram is primarily for photo sharing but has similar targeting capabilities. Also, the hot spot for influencer marketing.

KW: Keyword. These specific words or phrases that searchers will type into a search engine when making an inquiry. The web spiders then crawl the vast amounts of content on the web and return the most relevant content containing those specific words, in order to solve the user’s query. Digital marketing and advertising companies, like yours truly, do extensive research on which keywords are effective in your target market based on search volume, searcher intent, and more. From there we develop your keyword strategy for SEO or PPC campaigns.

LI:  LinkedIn. Facebook’s corporate cousin. Actually, not part of the Meta family, but when one thinks of LinkedIn, they can’t help but make the comparison. The biggest difference, is that it is business oriented, making it an obvious choice for B2B advertising.

LP: Landing Page.  Landing pages are stand alone webpages that are designed to complement a specific ad and be an entry point to your website. A user will see your ad, click on it, and “land” on the landing page. From there, they can see if they are in the right place and continue on to the rest of your website.

PPC: Pay – per – Click. Also referred to as paid search, this is number one way to position your company at the top of the search results.  Pay-per-click ads appear above the organic search results and are served to your ideal customers. As the name suggests, you only pay when your ads are clicked.

ROAS:  Return on Ad Spend. Similar to ROI, ROAS is a little bit more specific, considering your revenue compared to what you spent on advertising.

Here’s the equation:

ROAS = conversion value / ad spend

ROI:  Return on Investment. This is a ratio that shows you how profitable your marketing investment was.

Here’s the equation:

ROI = net profit (or loss) / initial cost

RSA: Responsive Search Ads. These are the latest from Google Ads! They actually aren’t that new, but it’s surprising how many people aren’t aware of them. These allow you to upload numerous headlines and description for a single ad, and then through machine learning, Google Ads tests different combinations and figures out which ones perform the best! This means your ads are tailored to each search, increasing their performance.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing. SEM is a broad term for advertising that shows up on search engines. These are activities like paid search advertising, and display ads, such as geofencing.

SEO:  Search Engine Optimization. Ah, yes. Digital marketing’s biggest mystery. SEO is a series of processes and techniques used to optimize your content so that your content ranks higher on search results pages and is found easier by searchers.

SERP: Search Engine Results Page. This is the page you see after you type a request into Google (or Bing, or Microsoft Edge, if you’re into that sort of thing… We’re just joking! Other SERPs are fine! It’s just that Google holds 80% of the market share.) It’s the page where all of your search engine results appear.

Now You Speak Digital Marketing & Advertising Company Too!

We hope you enjoyed your digital marketing and advertising company vocabulary lesson. Perhaps it will prove useful when your next monthly report shows up, or it will give you a leg up when you call us to discuss your digital marketing strategy! Get in touch with us now for a free consultation.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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