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Digital Marketing Definitions You Probably Have Been Misusing

We caught you red handed didn’t we? It’s okay. In this digital age of endless lingo and constantly evolving technology, it’s easy to misunderstand industry jargon. We’re here to clear that up.

SERP – Search Engine Results Page

This is the page that populates after making a search in a search engine. It could have a variety of items like advertisements, organic search results and information cards. All of those elements together create the SERP.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

This encompasses both organic and paid search marketing, though people often mistake SEM for SEO, which only involves organic search.

Organic Search Results

Organic search results are natural rankings determined by search engine algorithms and can be optimized with various SEO practices.

Paid Search Results

You pay to have your website displayed on the search engine results page. This is also referred to as PPC or Pay Per Click.

Position Zero

Position zero is the information Google offers at the very top of the search results. This changes the definition of position one, which is now the first organic search result in the SERP. Position zero gets populated by schema and structured data within the SERP. In Google, this is causing issues of zero click searches.

Zero Click Searches

A zero click search happens when the search intent of the user is satisfied without having to click any actual search result links. This has caused a plethora of problems (especially in Google) over the past three years causing organic search traffic to decrease.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. The “long-tail” refers to the search demand curve – as keyword terms become more specific and detailed, search volume becomes less competitive, but searcher intent becomes higher. This does not necessarily mean the keywords are longer, but that’s possible. For example “Restaurant Near Me” – high volume, high competition, broad, while “Steak Restaurant Near Me Early Bird Special” – low volume, low competition, specific.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator

The KPI isn’t the same for each campaign. In fact, businesses can decide their own KPIs depending on how they want to track success.

CPA – Cost per Acquisition

This is the amount you spend divided by the amount of conversions. Most people overlook the cost per acquisition and only look at the amount generated from a conversion. For example, say 4 people buy your $50 item after you spend $200 in marketing. You didn’t earn $200, you broke even.

CTA – Call to Action

This is not just the text in a button. A call to action could be anywhere in your marketing materials from the headline to the subject line.

Above the Fold

This is an old newspaper term that is still widely used when discussing digital content and search engines. Above the fold refers to content that appears before the user scrolls. In our analysis of Google’s SERP, we found that today only one organic search result appears above the fold, while the rest of the links are paid advertisements.

Never confuse SEO with SEM again! For more digital marketing tips, visit the LSC Digital YouTube page and subscribe for videos on every Tuesday and Thursday.

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