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The Complete Marketing Glossary for Manufacturing Companies

Much like the manufacturing industry, the digital marketing world contains a lot of industry jargon that can be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. So to help, we’ve compiled a digital marketing glossary with some of the most valuable industry terms to help with your understanding of how all of this works.

Keep this link handy or better yet bookmark this page to give you easy access whenever you need it. You can thank us later.

Digital Marketing Terms


A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, allows you to compare two versions of a web page, email, advertisement, or any other marketing asset and measure the change in performance. The goal here is to figure out what works (and what doesn’t) in terms of optimizing your assets. To do this effectively you need to isolate the variable you are testing and run the test until you see a statistical relevance. You can then implement the best performing asset.


The standard definition of analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data. But what does that mean to a manufacturing marketer? It means you can use actual data for your various marketing activities. A common analytics example is Google Analytics. This tool records visits to your website, including what channel they come from (email, PPC, SEO), and what their interactions are on the website. For digital marketers, this data is nice to have, it is also must-have. Not only does it provide insight into your overall effectiveness, but it can also provide data to make better decisions on website information.

Application Program Interface (API)

If you have tossed around the idea of integrating any of your various software together, then the term API has certainly come up. An API is a set of functions and procedures that allow the creation of other applications to access the features or data of the system. The point at which the API connects the software program is known as an endpoint. Essentially, the two systems work by calling on and retrieving data from various endpoints.



One of the most sought after elements of SEO, the illustrious backlink. Simply put, a backlink is a link from a website to another. Google counts not only the number of links coming to your website but their quality as well. This is often the differentiator between a well-ranking site and one that never cracks the top 10.


Business to business (B2B) is when businesses work with other businesses instead of consumers. If your brand is not direct to consumer (DTC), you are most likely in the B2B arena.


Business to consumer (B2C) is the process of selling products and services directly to the end-user. For manufacturers, this is also referred to as Direct to consumer (DTC).

Bottom of the Funnel

The customer’s journey is broken down into several stages and this just happens to be the last stage. The bottom of the funnel is referenced when a lead is at the end of the journey. At this point, the lead has researched and is aware of the available solutions. Marketers will highlight products and services that directly fit the needs of the potential customer.

Bounce Rate

When a visitor lands on your website and leaves before going to another page (or another identifiable event) it is considered a bounce. The bounce rate for your site and specific pages is important to measure. A high bounce rate doesn’t always mean there is a problem. It could indicate an issue in the user experience (UX). But it could also show that the visitor found the information they wanted and left.

Buyer Persona

In marketing, a buyer persona is a fictional character created to represent a specific audience. Useful personas include both qualitative and quantitative data. Oftentimes these personas are given unique names like Marvin the Marketer, or Art the Accountant. But they also contain a wealth of information to help marketers craft their message to a specific audience.

Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey is a popular framework that showcases the progression a buyer makes from research to the ultimate purchase decision. While simple to map out, most modern journeys are complex with various stages and drop off points.

Branding Guidelines

Brand guidelines, or brand style guides, are the instruction manual and rule book for communicating as a brand. These documents lay out all of the visual details and important notes about the brand’s voice, tone, and overall messaging. By having refined guidelines you can ensure that your brand is consistent across all platforms.


Call-to-Action (CTA)

CTA represents specific messaging designed to drive action from the reader. These can be buttons, text, images, and anything else put in front of a potential lead. Well executed call-to-actions help drive high conversion rates.

Case Study

A marketing case study is a great way to show how you have achieved success for other clients. This can be a powerful tool for showcasing how working with your company can lead to the results prospects want. An effective case study will include the problem your client faced, how your company attempted to correct the issue, and what the specific results were. The key is to have actual data.

Canonical Links

If you have been hanging around SEOs, you may have heard the term canonical link thrown around. These are links that help prevent duplicate content issues by telling Google which link is canonical or the preferred version of the web page. It involved placing the canonical tag, HTML element within the link.


Email marketing in the United States might still be the wild west compared to other countries, but there are still rules. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act, is a law that establishes what those rules are. This includes having the ability to opt-out, clearly defining your business, and providing an address are a few of the major requirements.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

CASL is Canada’s law dealing with spam and other electronic threats. It is put in place in an attempt to protect Canadians while also ensuring businesses can continue to compete in a global marketplace. It is more restrictive than the US’s CAN-SPAM Act, requiring businesses to only email individuals and businesses with their consent. Consent is obtained typically through a prior business relationship or an opt-in field.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

CTR is the ratio of users who click on a link to the number of total users who viewed it. Or in other terms, Clicks/Impressions. This is a common metric for ad and email campaigns to show the effectiveness of the copy or call-to-action.

Click Fraud

Click fraud refers to the unethical practice of repeated clicks on an ad with the intention of generating revenue for the host site or draining revenue from the advertiser. Keep this in mind if you see a spike in clicks for your paid ads.

Conversion Rate

A conversion is when a site visitor completes an action that you find valuable. This could be a purchase, a request for a quote, or the completion of a form. The conversion rate is the percentage of site visits that include the completion of one of these actions.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization is the process of designing a web experience that will drive visitors to convert and complete actions that you consider of value. This can include page design, creating clear calls to action, and understanding how a visitor navigates your website.


Content should be at the core of your marketing. Content includes everything from new web pages and blog posts to whitepapers, infographics, and case studies. These pieces should have some value to potential customers and have a clear purpose that fits along your customer’s journey.

Content Management System (CMS)

CMS is a software application that can be used to manage the creation and modification of digital content, such as your website. This could be simple web pages with text, images, or video. It could also include more complex systems such as product catalogs document management.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Usually shown as an average, CPC refers to how much you pay for a single click in your pay-per-click campaign. Tracking this can help you find low-cost terms that deliver high conversions that you can then put more of your ad dollars behind.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

CPL measures how much you spend on average to get a lead from that advertising type. A lead could be a phone call, form fill, or other goals. This is a critical metric to track because it allows you to know where you are potentially overspending on your marketing.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

CAC measures the average cost to turn a potential buyer into a customer. It is well known that it is cheaper to keep a current customer than to get a new one. This metric illustrates that point.

Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

A CRM system r is a database that can track past, current and potential customers. You can see how these people interact with your website, emails and other marketing tools. Popular systems include Salesforce and SugarCRM.

Custom Style Sheets (CSS)

CSS is how you can create custom designs for your website that can work on different types of devices. You can customize colors, layouts, and fonts, and you can be confident that it will show a consistent design across different browsers and devices.



Demographics are a way to segment and study your audience. You can break an audience down by age, race, religion, gender, family size, ethnicity, income, and education. You can use this data to define buying personas as well as analyze performance.

Digital Footprint

The information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity. It includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and the information you submit to online services. This can be used to develop effective target marketing.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is any traffic where the visitor arrives directly to the website, without being referred there from another source. These are visits where users enter the URL into the browser or may utilize a bookmark to the website.


The domain is the name of your website (i. E. It is important to make sure your domain is both memorable and clearly describes your business.

Dynamic Content

Dynamic content is web content that can be customized to change based on user demographics or interactions that are known about the user viewing it. It can be used on websites and in emails. Dynamic content can drastically improve your conversion rates by implementing hyper-personalization across your marketing assets.



An eBook is an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device. These can show potential customers the value of your product or company. These can be used as gated content to collect potential customer’s information for targeted marketing. For example, we wrote an entire ebook with everything a manufacturing company needs to know about redesigning a website. We exchange the information in the ebook for the visitor's contact information.

Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar is a schedule of promotions and content that you plan to deliver to potential, current, and past customers. You can then go back and review it every year to see if any adjustments need to be made

Email Marketing

You can use email marketing to send messages to customers and prospects that can generate sales, increase loyalty, or provide feedback. You can use email to share promotions, send customer surveys, and share valuable information that can help push them along the buyer’s journey.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate measures the amount of interaction content earns relative to the audience. This could include link clicks, video views, and social interactions such as likes, shares, and comments.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is content that is timeless and always relevant. This can be the foundation of a website’s search strategy. While it would always be relevant, don’t forget to take cues from current search trends, and don’t be afraid to tweak it to keep it optimized.



Friction is any potential sticking point for a customer in the sales cycle. Friction can be triggered from minor details such as a hard-to-find newsletter signup, a form that asks for too much information and adding users to an email list without an opt-in.

Form Lead

Leads are captured when a user submits information prior to accessing content. Anyone who shows interest in a product or service is considered a lead. A lead capture form provides metrics on content interaction and engagement.


Flywheel is a modern form of the sales funnel. A flywheel visualizes all moving parts that a customer encounters dependent on the speed of the interaction. With the flywheel model, the customer is at the center allowing the strategy to be shifted as needed.


A funnel refers to the sales process from product awareness to decision making. You can visualize this process as a funnel because of the additional criteria that is added throughout the customer’s journey.


Gated Content

Gated content is online content where a user must enter information (name, email, job, etc.) prior to viewing. Common examples of gated content include articles, videos and white papers.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service that provides statistics and analytics of a user’s interaction with the website. Google Analytics provides insights that will improve a website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

Growth-Driven Design

Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is an intentional and continuous method that leverages data to provide users the most value. GDD minimizes the risk of traditional website redesign by focusing on the ongoing analysis of the needs of visitors.


Hard Bounce

Hard Bounce is an email marketing metric that refers to a permanent reason an email cannot be delivered to an address. The recipient blocking the sender’s address is an example that results in a hard bounce. .


Commonly seen on social media, a hashtag is a word or phrase that gives content increased visibility on a specific topic. Hashtags are a great way for you to interact with your audience on social media on a specific topic.

Hypertext Markup (HTML)

HTML is the backend language used to build webpages. Hypertext refers to any hyperlinks an HTML page may contain while markup language is the way tags are used to define page elements.


Inbound Marketing

The foundation of inbound marketing is providing value to consumers, prospects, and customers by creating lasting relationships. Three ways that inbound marketing is applied is through attracting, engaging, and delighting.


An infographic is a simple visual representation of information. Infographics have become a stable in online marketing and provide users with an easy to understand visual on a topic.



JavaScript is a programming language that allows for complex interactive features on a website. Elements such as pop-ups and interactive elements and interactive questionnaires are made possible because of JavaScript.


Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

KPIs are company chosen goal indicators to determine if you’re effectively achieving goals. If a business is looking to increase website visits, the business might look at the number of unique visitors over time as a KPI.


Keywords are words and phrases used to describe content. It is suggested to take themes from search queries and implement them as keywords. It is important to note the search volume of keywords prior to adding it to content. If your ideal keyword has a high search volume, it is likely the CPC will be higher meaning that your budget could be maximized quickly.


Landing Page

A landing page is a unique page created for a marketing or advertising campaign designed with a specific goal. Since landing pages are used for a specific goal, they are not easily viewed on a website.


In marketing, a lead is anyone who shows interest in a product or service making that person a potential customer. A visitor filling out a form, subscribing to your email, or sharing your content are all areas to find potential leads.

Lead Nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of building trust with a buyer throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey. Lead nurturing focuses on listening and responding to the needs of prospects by providing value.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who shows interest in your content. Converting a stranger isn't easy, but some ways you can do this is by hosting events, attending events, live streaming, coupons, and blog posts.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

LTV is the total revenue a business can expect from a customer. LTV considers a customer’s yielded revenue and predicted lifespan with a business.

To find LTV:

  • Take the revenue a customer paid you in a time period
  • Subtract the number from gross margins
  • Divide by the estimated lifetime for that customer

Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition (LTV/CAC)

LTV/CAC is an E-Commerce metric that compares the value of a new customer over its lifetime relative to the cost of acquiring the customer. While analysis is always recommended, LTV/CAC gives a good indication of whether or not value is being created.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are a set of three or more words that are very specific to the product or service. Long-tail keywords can be search terms that have proven to be successful in search query reports.

  • Stem keyword: tool
  • Long-tail keyword: green outdoor gardening tool


Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to software and resources that automate marketing activities that will increase efficiency. Repetitive and recurring tasks are candidates for automation resources. Manufacturing companies can benefit greatly from marketing automation. With features such as anonymous visitor identification, lead scoring, automated workflows, and more, they are quickly becoming a required tool for all companies.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

MQL is a lead that fits your ideal customer compared to other leads. MQLs have a higher level of interest and may already be engaging with your content.


Metrics are measurable and actionable values used to determine if a campaign is effective.


A microsite functions as a separate entity within an established website. Microsites have a limited number of pages that can have its own domain or a subdomain.

Middle of the Funnel

Middle of the funnel marketing refers to the second stage in a buyer’s journey. This is the stage where leads are engaging with content and marketers start to identify the needs of leads with relevant products or services.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing reaches a specific audience on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Examples of mobile marketing, include Snapchat advertisements and advertisements specific to mobile applications. To impact further, content can be optimized specifically for mobile marketing.

Mobile Responsive

A design that is mobile responsive will automatically adjust all elements to display to the correct sizing of the mobile device.


Native Advertising

Native advertising is paid advertising that aligns with the publication as well as the publication’s audience. Native advertisements are difficult to spot due to the natural blend with organic content.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS is defined as a customer’s willingness to recommend a company’s products or services. It gauges satisfaction on an index ranging from -100 to 100.

No-Follow Link

A no-follow link is created with the nofollow link HTML tag. Including a no-follow link on a page will not boost the page’s ranking and will not be crawled by Google.


On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web page content for search engines in order to rank higher and increase relevant traffic. Examples of on-page SEO practices include optimizing title tags, internal links, and URLs.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is optimizing for signals that happen off the website that will improve the position of a website in the search engine results.


Optimization is a technique used to improve the accuracy of marketing efforts in order to get the best results. For Marketings, optimizing is a regular and consistent practice as reports and metrics are updated.

Organic Search/Traffic

Organic traffic refers to the visitors that click on a website without any form of paid advertisement that isn’t referred to by another website.

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is a traditional form of marketing to seek leads which include direct mail, cold calling, trade show, and seminars. The return on investment (ROI) on outbound marketing tends to be lower compared to inbound marketing.


Page Speed

Page speed indicates the time it takes to fully load content on a page. Page speed correlates to your overall site speed. A page that has a slow loading time may have a higher bounce rate and low average time on a page.


A pageview is the number of times a particular user visits a specific page on a website. Using pageview as a metric will allow you to analyze pages to see if any changes need to be made.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is any form of advertising that is associated with a monetary value versus owned or earned advertising. Paying by the number of clicks and impressions are two fee structures for paid advertising.

Pay-per-click (PPC)

PPC is an advertising model to increase traffic to websites and landing pages. Advertisers develop copy with relevant keywords from search queries to increase the visibility of the PPC campaign.


Quality Score

Quality score is a metric that ranges from 1 to 10 which indicates the likelihood a campaign will perform well. Expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience are elements Google takes into account when calculating the quality score.


Referral Traffic

Referral traffic comes from visitors that come to a website from sites other than the major search engines. When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, Google Analytics tracks the click as a referral visit to the second site.

Responsive Design

Responsive is a concept in web design that creates dynamic changes to the website as the screen size and orientation changes.


Sometimes lovingly referred to as creeper ads. These campaigns remind your website visitors to come back to your site after they have visited.

Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI is the performance measure between net profit and the cost of investment. The higher the ROI the more favorable the investment is.

ROI = Current Value of Investment - Cost of Investment / Cost of Investment


Sales Funnel

The sales funnel is a multi-step process that moves a prospect to a customer.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO refers to the techniques used to increase website traffic which therefore increases a website’s ranking in search engine results. Improvements in SEO excludes direct traffic and the purchase of paid advertisements.

Search Term

A search term is an actual word(s) that a user types into a search box. Search terms can have misspellings, additional words, or can be identical to the keyword.

Sender Score

Sender score uses a range between 0 and 100 that evaluates a sender’s email sending practices. A low sender score means it’s likely that email campaigns have high bounce rates and low open rates.

Service-Level Agreement

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a commitment between a service provider and client on deliverables that one party has agreed to provide the other. Quality, availability, and responsibilities are aspects typically listed in an SLA. For example, when working with a potential developer you may include an RFP in the SLA that lays out expectations for budget, quality, and project references.


SMART is an acronym for goal setting to ensure your goals are clear and reachable. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Social Proof

Social proof is the concept that since other people behave or act a certain way, it must be the correct way. It is considered a psychological phenomenon that shows that people are more likely to conform to groups.

Soft Bounce

Soft bounce indicates a temporary reason why an email campaign cannot be delivered to the sender. If an address is consistently noted as a soft bounce, it will then be displayed as a hard bounce.


Target Market

A target market is a defined group of the total marketing that a business intentionally aims its marketing efforts and resources.

Top of the Funnel

Top of the funnel marketing is the first stage in the buyer’s journey. This is the stage where a business spreads awareness of products and services to generate leads.


Unique Visitor

A unique visitor is best described as someone who visits a site a least once during a reporting period. If a visitor uses the same IP address multiple times during a reporting period, reports will only account for one visitor.

Uniform Resource Location (URL)

URL is a web address that information can be found on. URLs play a large role in SEO as search engines will recognize if text in your URL is relevant to the page copy.


User Experience (UX)

User experience is described as the interaction a user has with something a company offers. Every user’s experience is subjective as it relates to their emotions when interacting with a company’s content.

User Interface (UI)

UI involves the look, feel, and interactivity. UI carefully considers every visual and interactive element a user encounter so the user has a smooth experience.



When you think of viral, you may think of virus and that is just what it’s similar to. Viral is used to describe the spread of content that happens quickly from person to person. More often than not, viral content happens purely on luck.


White Paper

White paper is a statement issued by a company to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. The white paper can be used to compare company offerings. If your business is preparing to release a new policy to vendors, prepare a white paper to help readers easily understand.


Word-of-mouth is the transfer of information from one person to another. Google reviews are a great way for consumers to share their experiences with your brand. Word-of-mouth is inexpensive but takes time along with many moving parts to be rewarding.


Workflow describes a set of events that a lead moves through during the lead nurturing process. Designing a workflow is essential to providing a seamless experience for both the prospect and the service provider.


XML Sitemap

You can visualize an XML sitemap as a roadmap of your website. An XML sitemap is a file of code that lists the pages of a website. Sitemaps are a great way to boost your SEO rankings as they help search engine crawlers determine the structure of the website.